Happy First Weekend of December.

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A few fun links to peruse this first weekend of December…December?! How’d that happen?

I’d love to tour these underwater art installations.

Such a pretty DIY Advent Calendar.

Ways to use the stress of the holidays to make your relationship stronger.

Would you eat dinner in the sky?

Beautiful ways to display art at home.

I definitely need a cat-tongue detangling brush (as soon as they’ve created it).

There was a National Pie Day and I missed it.

A simple design quiz to figure out your interior design personality. According to this, I’m “urban industrial”, but secretly I think I’m “transitional”.

This will make you think twice about parental shaming and fears.

A one-pot dinner that looks delicious and simple to make.

Some more fun reads here, here and here.

Happy Weekending!

4 Things That Have Surprised Me About Motherhood

Motherhood

So far, motherhood has surprised me at every turn. These surprises have been both good and bad…

Good Surprise: It can be unexpectedly funny, absurd even.

Since becoming a mom there have been times when things have become so precarious, ridiculous, or insurmountable that all I can do is laugh. In many situations, I only get the chance to laugh quietly to myself, like, when I’ve had a prolonged, unintentional, “nip-slip” while ordering coffee from an unsuspecting barista.

Bad Surprise: It can be tedious.

I’m not sure if this is the case for everyone, but I find that being a mom can be a tad (quite) tedious. I feel a twinge of guilt even writing that, but I suspect that I am not alone in finding it difficult to always match the mindfulness of children. Maintaining patience/sanity can be a challenge when your 2-year-old insists on walking slowly through EVERY SINGLE puddle on his way to the park.

Good Surprise: It can make you less judgmental.

I like to believe that I’m not an overly judgmental person, but, then again, maybe we all like to believe that about ourselves. Either way, I definitely feel that becoming a mother has made me less likely to judge others. I think this is because motherhood has made me guess, second-guess, and triple-guess myself. It’s hard not to feel humble when the only thing you’ve managed to figure out is that you’re not exactly sure what you’re doing. When you find that you have suddenly become the mom in the grocery store who is giving in to her screaming child, you reflect on times gone by when you may have passed a quick judgment or made an assumption about such a scene.

Good/Bad Surprise: It can make you more empathetic, but somehow less friendly.

Since having my first child, I have felt a deeper love and understanding for the people around me, strangers included. I find myself thinking a lot more about the fact that every person was somebody’s baby once. Remembering we were all babies makes it so much easier for me to see the sweetness and fragility in us all.

On the flip-side, having children can make you fiercely protective and this can sometimes mean being less friendly. Recently, my friend made me laugh when she described her system of keeping strangers at bay while riding the bus with her baby. She keeps her stroller covered at all times and wears headphones (with no music). This helps her avoid having people touch her baby, ask to hold her baby, or engage in a line of questioning about her baby. Apparently, before she started doing this, the frequency of all of these things happening was driving her bananas.

Mindfulness

If you’ve chosen to embark on the crazy-train called parenthood I’d love to know what has surprised you…

 

Kate’s Fall Reads

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Kate’s second instalment of book recommendations are perfect for this spooky season. (Read her first instalment of recommendations here).  

I love the arrival of fall. It means colourful leaves, pumpkin-spiced everything, cozy sweaters, and, hopefully, some rainy afternoons with a good book in hand. With the weather turning and Halloween approaching, I always find my literature choices veer to the darker end of the spectrum. Suspense, thrillers, mysteries; they’re all fair game for me now. Here are some of my all-time favourites to help jump start your fall reading.

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Children’s Fiction

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

While Ray Bradbury is better known for his adult fiction (his works such as Fahrenheit 451 are very popular in English Lit classes) his kid’s books are just as delightful. My particular favourite is The Halloween Tree. The story opens on Halloween, with a band of friends gathering, eager to run amok.  When they discover a member of their group is missing, they must turn to a mysterious stranger for help. Only by travelling through time and space to learn the true meaning of Halloween can the boys hope to save their lost friend. This fabulous book offers a bit of everything; it’s spooky, educational, funny, and emotional and appeals to a wide range of readers. Plus, it’s not that long, making it a perfect family read.

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Thrifty Halloween Decorating

Halloween Mantel

Halloween and thrift-store shopping are two of my favourite things. So, this year, I was excited to decorate my mantel for Halloween with the help of Value Village.

While shopping I found a variety of housewares that I thought would add a spooky feel including a candleholder, dessert stand, vintage books, and old glass bottles.

Halloween Mantel

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Packing For That Important Hospital Trip

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I’m 40+ weeks pregnant, so there really is nothing left for me to do, but wait around and write about things like what I have packed in my hospital bag. After having Frankie, I realized that packing a bag for the hospital to give birth is kind of like making sure you have a security blanket on hand. It brings you comfort and helps make you feel ready, but at the end of the day you don’t absolutely need it. As much as I pack, I’m likely going to wind up partially or fully naked in a room full of a few knowledgeable strangers and the people I’m closest to. Giving birth is a humbling experience and it makes you realize that during the most difficult and exciting moments in life all your really need are people by your side.

Having said all this, here are a few of the things I packed last time and this time that I think are useful. Most of these items are likely come in handy after your little bundle has arrived…

Clothing

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  • an old nightgown and robe
  • some warm socks and Uggs type shoes or slippers
  • an easy dress to put on when you’re ready to head home
  • a bikini top (in case you’re considering going into a birthing tub to have the baby)
  • old undies (not pictured for everyone’s benefit)

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Mix-Tape of Weekend Reads

Le Marche, St. George

A few fun links …

A great picture of a mom just getting it done.

Wish I could have a cocktail served by this guy.

An ode to Facebook mum groups.

Avocado toast. Yes please.

The real colour of a dinosaur.

Very happy to hear that binge watching can be good for relationships.

I’m quite fond of the idea of healthy chocolate bars.

Looks like I’ll be hiking in jeans the next time I go for a walk near rattle-snakes. Which could possibly be never.

Happy Weekend!

 

 

Netflix Recommendations

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It dawned on me that despite enjoying the beautiful summer weather, having a toddler to chase around, and taking many pregnancy naps, I have managed to fit in a large amount of Netflix time over the past few months (with Joe by my side). I often hope that we are not the only ones who have been sucked into the world of extreme streaming and that it’s many couples’ dirty little secret. We like to refer to Netflix as the glue that holds our relationship together (along with watching The Bachelor, of course).

In case you aren’t as extreme as us and need a few recommendations …

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