Friday, December 29, 2017

Reflecting and Goal Setting

This is the time between Christmas and New Year's Eve where it's nice to look back and reflect on the year that was and then goal set for the one upcoming. I've had some bigger resolutions in the past such as work on our marriage, improve my fitness level and find time to rest. This year? I'm going in a totally different direction. Are you ready? Wear lipstick and give more hugs. So simple, attainable and measurable.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I lost track of the days and also how many chocolates I consumed. Today is Thursday which is a time to reflect and focus on gratitude – I'd love for you to participate! This week I am thankful for:

Sunday, December 24, 2017

How to Teach Your Kids About Money

We talk about teaching our kids skills such as cooking and laundry in preparation for the "real world", but what about money management? One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me was teaching me how to be money savvy from a young age. From shopping and couponing together to finding a job for each stage of life (babysitting to retail to teaching and a whole lot in between) and donating a portion of our income, they walked alongside us. We talked about mortgages and knew the Christmas present budget – money was discussed naturally throughout our daily conversations.

How to teach your children about money

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

I always thought that once my kids were in school things would slow down. But. Nope. Kai is in school sports now and we've added a baby so life just keeps on going on the same old pace (okay, busier especially now in basketball coaching season). This week I am thankful for:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Should You Buy an Instant Pot?

Yes, I'm late the Instant Pot party. I generally like to get a feel for how a product is doing longevity- wise before diving in. After a year of the Instant Pot gracing my Facebook and Instagram feed from friends I knew and trusted, I reluctantly succumbed to the Black Friday sales.

Should you buy an instant pot? Here are my thoughts on it with it's pros and cons.

Monday, December 18, 2017

What It's Like to Be a Foster Parent When You Get the Call

{As a foster parent I have gone through this on seven occasions and each time I get incredibly nervous with the necessity of quick decision-making. Not every home would go through these feelings, and maybe I'm a bit dramatic, but these are mine. I cannot share details on the ministry or the children in it's care, I can only share my own thoughts...and I have a few.} 

What it's like to be a foster parent when you first get the phone call.

The red light on the answering machine was blinking. I knew what it was. I mean, it could have been my mother-in-law – the only one who regularly leaves us messages on our machine – but more likely it was The Call because it's Thursday. Thursdays are the day when the placement team in our city meets to match up children who need a home with families that have rooms available and are the best fit for the children. Most of our placements have happened on this day of the week.

Three Quick and Easy Christmas Games for Kids

We recently hosted a Christmas party for four other families and I wanted some super simple games to play as a family which would work for a variety of age groups. I looked on Pinterest and found three keepers (aka I didn't need to buy supplies, it was eco-friendly, and great for all ages).

Three quick and easy Christmas games for kids!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Well, we've had an interesting week! I had to call in sick last Friday because Nya Bear caught a respiratory virus and that very day we said "yes" to a sweet foster baby. Then Gary had a basketball tournament over the weekend and I came down with a different virus. So, ya. I had to miss hockey on Tuesday (boo) but somehow we made it through the week okay.

This is what I am thankful for today:

Watch Your Holiday Favourites on YTV

Watch your holiday favourites on YTV

When you find something that all of your kids can agree on without fail, you grab on to it! For us there is a unanimous appreciation for snacking on freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, playing school, having chicken pot pie for dinner and watching YTV. This TV channel is the most watched in our home and they have stepped it up a notch for the month of December.

Watch your holidays favourites on YTV this December!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

How to Take Your Photos to the Next Level

Did you know that Gary and I were photographers for eight years? It was an awesome experience building and owning our own side business and we developed many skills and met wonderful client turned friends. We closed down our business last year because weddings meant we were away from our kids on the weekends which is prime adventuring time. The good news is that we kept almost all of our equipment and I can continue to share images here. Using my DLSR is important to me because I appreciate having quality photos of my kids and the places that we have been to.

Would you like to put more time and effort into your photos for this upcoming year? 

Monday, December 11, 2017

When You Find out You are a Perfectionist

I recently took the Enneagram test to learn more about myself – why I do what I do in both a healthy state and under stress and what that looks like in childhood, relationships and at work. After completing the free online questionnaire, the results were in and I was sure they were mistaken. I must have answered some of the questions incorrectly; maybe I was indicating how I was striving to be rather than how I actually behave. I retook it changing some answers I was on the fence about. Same results.

What to do when you find out you are a perfectionist

What Netflix Shows are Canadians Savouring and Devouring?

When people ask "What show should we watch on Netflix?" I struggle with the answer because each person connects with a different genre and I need to know if you're looking for something funny, scary or intriguing. When Netflix posted the results from shows that Canadians savoured and devoured over the year, I was interested to see which ones I loved made the list–were they ones that I would recommend? 

What Netflix shows were Canadians savouring and devouring for 2017?

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Keeping the introduction brief today. Every week I write about ten thing that I am grateful for and it seems even more important now as it's been rainy for a month and darker earlier. If you're feeling on the gloomy side of the spectrum, I'd really encourage you to practice some gratitude today. And if you're happy and you know it, being thankful never hurts.

This week I am thankful for:

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

What I Wish I Knew Before Saying I Do

I don't know if I have ever had a bigger mix of feelings than the night before Gary and I got married. I realized the magnitude of what was to be – til death do us part. There was deep excitement and a whole lot of fear, to best honest. We had a rocky dating relationship (date, break up and repeat) which I never imagined would be the case with the man that I was supposed to be with forever. I figured that when you met "the one" it would be easy from that point on because it was meant to be. Maybe working through those stages helped realistically prepare us for what was to be in a lifetime together.

What I wish I knew before saying I do

The next day, as I stood with my parents about to approach the aisle, I asked my mom to tell me a joke because I could not handle the range of emotions. She told me one about a cow that I wasn't able to processs it but it allowed me to walk down the aisle while staying emotionally intact. It ended up being the best day of my life.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Behind the Scenes of Blogging

I started blogging back when most people used it as an online journal – 12 years ago! I wrote for two reasons at the time: to share photos with friends and family (this was before Facebook which I thought wouldn't catch on) and because it was therapeutic. I had always been a journaller but when we got married I ditched the daily notebook writing for the computer. Three years ago I was nominated as one of the Top 30 Mom Bloggers in Vancouver (runner up, yo) and decided that it was time to kick things up a notch when I realized that more people were reading it than I thought. I'm still a little fish in this pond but have done some sponsored content, am monetized with ads, and have used it as a platform to share on topics I am passionate about: fostering, parenting, marriage and adventure.

Behind the scenes of blogging
At a local media event
I love learning a bit about the behind the scenes of people's jobs and TV shows and therefore will let you know some of what goes on just writing one blog post. This is very general but gives an overview of the process.