Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Anniversary gifting with Jord Watches..

Anniversary dates in our house look very, very different these days.

As all my heels get packed up and thrown into the yard sale bin.. Yup, yard sale this weekend!
I find myself missing a bit of the glitz and glam that those early relationship years held.

When you've been together for as long as Nick and I (11 years), it starts to get really difficult to surprise one another OR even just give an actual gift, something other than the I.O.U or lets do dinner verbal promise.
 
 

That's why this anniversary, our wedding anniversary.. 4 years since we said "I do".
I really committed to finding Nick something that would make him feel a bit more special and appreciated... I mean he still manages to get me great gifts but that's because I rhyme off things I want on the daily.

New silverware..
New dishes..
New lipstick...
New makeup brushes..
I saw this top I really love at the mall (exact size plus location sent in text)

I am a never ending 'want-er'..
but what do you get for the guy who says "I have everything, I just want to spend time with you".

AWWWW.

Yeah, right!
no, awwww.
I need an answer for what he wants!
It's so difficult.

 

However, this year I honestly think I nailed it.

 

 

Nick is a simple guy, he doesn't stray much in the fashion department but he does always wear a watch and his wedding band.

He's actually had the same watch since high school (I told you.. simple guy), and although its a nice watch I thought something a little newer, and trendier would be nice.
 


I've seen the wooden watches by Jord floating around Instagram and I've been pretty obsessed with them for myself.


Once I started looking in the men's category I was totally confused (too many options!), so I ended up asking Nick if he had a pick what would be a couple of his top choices?
(questions like this are not unusual for me to ask, because of the blog I am always talking about products and he is none the wiser to what I'm actually ordering and what I'm just IG creeping.)

Surprisingly (or maybe not..) we picked the complete opposite.
I had picked out the classic, sleek, very plain styled watch and practically had it checked out in my shopping cart before I looked at the choices he sent and then I had to start all over again!

I was leaning towards something like this..
while he's checking out all the bells and whistles with something like this..

(Just a little back story, I should have known this was going to happen because when Nick picked out my engagement ring.. he wanted to pick it out himself and have it be a total surprise. When he did propose I was caught a little off guard by the ring.. it was just SO Nicks style. My style is the polar opposite.. but trust me I LOVE my ring, this isn't a sad story lol. I think I love it even a little bit more because it's so Nicks style, it reminds me of him daily. But I do remember thinking "I may not have picked this one", it was just a really quick thought and then it passed. lol)
 



So in the end I settled on the Kosso and Midnight Blue because it seemed the perfect mix of masculine, sporty with just a touch of (my) stylish flare in the coloured face.

He was surprised and really excited when I actually had a gift box for him to open (and the presents don't stop here so stay tuned..;)) he loved the watch and I honestly had to yank it off of his arm so I could take some nice photos before it permanently takes up residence on his wrist.



In the spirit of giving, Jord is gifting one lucky reader a $100 credit to shop!
*and everyone who enters will get a $25 credit at contest closing!
 
 
 
To Enter:
 
 
 
The giveaway will close September 10, 2017  at 11:59pm. Both the $100 and the $25 codes will expire on November 26, 2017
 
 
This year just happened to be our 4th anniversary and I have zero patience, so when I come up with an idea I use it immediately...
but the thought is not lost on me that the 5 year anniversary gift is 'wood'.. 
how adorable would you be if you gifted a wooden watch for your 5 year anniversary!
It's the perfect gift for anyone, sentimental yet practical!
 
I really need to start paying attention to what the 'gift of the year' is so I can stay on track..
Since next year it will be wood, should I hint to Nick to get me a watch?? probably will. 

 
Luxury Wooden Watch

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Where I've been this week..

COMPLETELY DROWNING IN A SEA OF MY OWN DOING.
you????

We went to Cape Breton last week to visit my family and it was wonderful..
Our trips are always crazy and jam packed so you sort of need a vacation away from the vacation once you get back but unfortunately Nick was straight back to work the morning after we got home.

And on top of it he was working an extra shift that left me solo-ing it again for the week.. 30 mins into the first day and all the calm, collected patience I had saved up over the weekend was GONE. lol
but we powered through and I decided to start the LONG, LONG, overdue whole house haul.

You guys know I am a hoarder.
Up until now I've been able to keep my hoarding ways pretty organized and I actually felt proud of the hoard. I literally own everything you could ever need on the planet, I felt like the Martha Stewart of hoards. I could make a craft or DIY on scene at any given moment.

but the last year or so I could feel the control slipping out from under me, my hoard was no longer useful, it was actually becoming stressful.

I didn't have time to organize, things kept coming in the house with NOTHING going out.
Elliott's toy collection was replacing space for my collections and I was starting to lose it a bit.
I would feel so stressed and anxious about opening a closet LOL

Cue that scene when Chandler breaks into Monica's secret junk closet.


So this week, solo-ing and all, I decided to start the purge.
I mean a REAL purge!
Maybe because the kids are growing and bringing a whole new level of clutter into the house, I am feeling myself start to disconnect from my own clutter and realize I don't need to keep everything.

I pretty much took on my grandmothers entire house when she passed and although I love having so much of her stuff, I'm feeling pretty confident with my choice to finally toss her pyjama collection. LOL
(5 years later, yes I have issues. I always think I can quilt or craft or DIY something with everything but I'm officially out of time and its not happening. So, bye Felicia!)

Any way, I started with my own closet and you'll see the progress below but I hadn't planned on blogging this so let me warn you, the before shot is actually half cleaned already.
So just keep that imagine in mind.. it was seriously, seriously dire.

also, No. Nick and I do not share a closet.
He has his own hoarding issues and I can't even get into that right now. lol-ing.
 

BEFORE ^

 
 
BEFORE ^

AFTER ^

 

AFTER ^


I picked up the white coat rack from Walmart $40

and the dress rack I've had for a million years..
but you can get them at Walmart for as cheap as $11 up to $100.

I would probably suggest something like this $30 one that looks really similar to mine and like I said, lasts forever.
 
 

BEFORE^
Next I moved onto the porch closet that was just getting insane...


AFTER^

You would not believe how much came out of that one little space.
I tell people to stop buying me scarves, I could tie them all together and loop the earth at least once over, I swear. so I tossed at least 25 of them.

Also picked up those drawer hanging organizers from you guessed it, Walmart.
 

Trying to power clean with Elliott, Noelle and Marley at my ankles was intense.

 

I found all my Toms, I LOVE toms! so comfy.

but they have seen better days so I checked with FB and they said WASH EM!

I tossed them directly into the washing machine and they came out looking like new! See below.

^ this photo doesn't even make them look as shabby as they were!
 
 
I put them in mesh bags see here, Walmart. I love mesh laundry bags, I use them for everything!

I then dried them on the deck and honestly, like new!

 





AFTER^

So that's where I am at with the purge.



This is actually my donation pile after just those two areas.... ^^^

Next on the list is:

-kitchen cabinets/pantry
-linen closets
-kids rooms
-toy room
-basement (ummm. the basement. I will share that later this week and I swear it will give you all anxiety just looking at it. It basically needs its own zip code for crap. I mean nice crap. but crap.)

wish me luck, keep you posted!




 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

It's easier than I thought..

How's it going?
Easier than I thought.

well that would've been the title of this post had you asked me how it was going two weeks ago.
 
 
 
Going from 1 to 2 kids.. I knew it was going to be hard, really hard, but then there is just something even harder about it.

So funny because I said that exact same thing to my doctor about the C-section!
(c-section post to follow!)
I think no matter how prepared you are for something you truly can't be prepared until you're in the thick of it.

The first few weeks after Noelle was born Nick was on vacation and we were tackling the kids one each, life was pretty stable.
the really tough moments came last week.

Nick took some extra shifts on top of his normal shifts at work, so he was gone.
6 days straight.
12 hour days.
(plus he needed to eat, sleep and travel.)
I was by myself for a week with two 3 and under.

Hard, was the word of the day.
Tears were shed.
and lots of coffee was consumed, even though I gave coffee up years ago.

I NEEDED it back.

It was my mental health that lapsed more than anything.
I'm here trying to get the kids fed, changed & contented...
but that's literally all you do, over and over and over. When one of them wasn't needing me, the other one was.

I don't stress about many things, I don't second guess my intuition, the lack of sleep doesn't hurt quite as much because I've been running on lack of sleep for the last 3 years. lol

but then there's my 'threenager'.
O.M.G.

If anyone tries to tell you the 'terrible twos' is a thing, laugh in their face!
the two's are adorable and joyous!
they still don't understand things at 2, you can fool and distract so easily.

they're not asking "WHY?", "WHAT HAPPENED?", and telling you in full sentences that they're not going to eat their food, they don't want to clean their toys up and then demanding to go to the play ground every hour of the day.

The 2's are like living with an angel.
3.
3 is where you consider dropping them off at boarding school and not looking back.


 

It's really hard for me because I have such little patience... lol
Its true! that's why I wasn't sure if I would ever want to be a parent.
I post a lot of pretty pictures and funny anecdotes but on the inside I've had a lot of Charlotte in the pantry moments.

Skip to 2:50..


That is one of the most real mothering moments captured on film.
I swear.

it's been a roller coaster where my heart is full and excited and thankful.
and its also having 3 times the amount of work to do but only 1/3 of the time to do it in.
you've been at the same job for a while so you feel like maybe you can handle it, but also maybe not.

welcome to multiple kid land!
& surprise, you're not allowed to fail.
hit very close to rock bottom sure..
lock yourself in the pantry..
in a moment of pure desperation, grab taggie bear and throw him at your screaming 3 year old..
watch taggie bear bounce off his head (not hard just super bouncy like)
not know whether to laugh or cry because you feel so ashamed you just did that................
but also the stunned look on your 3 year olds face when taggie hit him was really funny.
really, really, funny.
so you laugh/cry about that for the next two weeks or so.


Now make sure you keep all these feelings/stories on the down low& behind closed doors,
because blogland & facebook only likes to see the happy, smiling, on the ball perfect family dynamic ;)

wake up and do it all again, everyday, for the next 18 years.
that's how my months been.
Easier than I thought.



Hello blog and hello fresh..

Hellooooooo.. (Mrs. Doubtfire cake face)
 
Its been a minute but I have been thinking of you all every. single. day.
Look, I love Noelle, like love, love, love.
She is adorable, cuddly and so precious I can't even project the lovey feeling into words..
but she's also needy, needy, needy.

I can't really explain that very well either since she only seems to be said needy when its just her and I.
I swear to you when Nick is home she will sleep or coo quietly in her swing, but when I am around.. especially just her and I, oh helllllll no, totally different story!

They say that the baby can smell its mother, I don't know if that means all mothers or more so breastfeeding mothers because lets face it, you're the meal ticket... but I 110% believe it!
She is ALWAYS needing me and its seriously cramping my blog style.

I am desperate to get these fingers keyboard clicking.
It really helps me to feel happy and light, I get to rant and rave about whatever I want, the stuff that I know Nick starts to tune out.

but I've been so busy with Noelle during the day..
*I'm not really going to mention Elliott because he goes to daycare 2 days a week.. but remind me to dedicate a post on 'how your oldest/only child will adapt to getting a sibling..' another day.

so blogging has hit a lull.. and another thing that's hit a lull, FOOD.

y'all know I am not a chef but I can follow a recipe.
and if I have the ingredients on hand, I really, really enjoy cooking.

The hardest is organizing the ingredients.. I recently considered making a large wall chart of all the meals we have on a regular basis, writing down the title, ingredient list, and keeping it on display in the pantry.

because Nick does a lot of the grocery shopping, we have a hard time coordinating meals... he shops but I cook.. so its a bunch of random things in the fridge and very rarely do we line up on 'what to eat'.. its always "what's available?? oh a cheese string and 87 frozen chicken wings.. greaaaaat"

that's where Hello Fresh comes in... 

and seriously how do you guys organize your nightly meals??? like how?!! I need help.
 


I've heard of meal subscription boxes for quite some time now but I wasn't sure what was available in Canada or if it would be out of my league?

so when HF wanted to send me a box I knew I had nothing to lose and was really excited to test it out!
there could not be a better time than now considering how crazy life is (3 year old and 7 week old)also I am really concerned with getting some proper nutrition into me since I'm (yes, still,YAY.) breastfeeding.



I did not want to recommend subscribing to the box until I fully tested and read all the info behind it.. but after trying out the meals and reading through all the 'rules'. I will very genuinely tell you that I think we will be signing up for the regular boxes.



there are quite a few plans available see meal plans, and I would probably go with the pronto option myself.. I found the servings were quite large, we always had leftovers + Elliott's not a huge eater right now so upgrading to the family (4 person) plan would be way too much.

They send a box straight to your door step every week, it legitimately took no time to arrive and is packed in a cooler.
3 meals were included, very straight forward instructions, as well as photos and time lines etc.

and I have to add that Nick is a skeptic to pretty much everything in life, especially all my 'crazy' blog ideas but he was won over by the finallllllly eating something with vegetable that didn't come from a pizza box. We actually made the final meal together tonight after he got off work, it was really nice to open the box and follow the steps without stressing about being 'out' of something.

that ALWAYS happens to me, I start baking and literally have one drop of milk left so I consider supplementing with my breastmilk or stretching things out with water. Its a horrible skill of mine to not check anything before I start it.





One of my favorite things about the whole thing was that I gained new ideas to add to the regular supper list.

I don't have to purchase a subscription to enjoy those meals again.. they don't hide anything from you. The entire ingredient list is there so I can purchase and make the meals on my own.

but it is much nicer to have the proper amounts and items delivered straight to your door step..
I mean for those of us who are less than salt bae status.. it's really helpful to just open the box and start cooking. lol
 




and surprisingly Elliott was super into all the meals!^^^^
he didn't eat everything from every meal but he was happy to see the new foods and ate waaaaaay more of that ^ coleslaw than I ever thought he would, so it was good to get him out of his comfort zone.



I'm not sure I've ever gotten this deep into the food zone with you guys on the blog!

like I said to my Instagram followers, I hate to admit it.. I really, really hate to admit it but I want to warn you.. I think I am becoming more of a mommy/family blogger.

I know! I don't want to!!!
I want to stay young and pretty and lipstick'd...
but its just this stage of life and I really hope you guys will stick by me through it.
I have followed tons of bloggers who started out with beauty content but then they became wives/mothers and I  sort of fell even more in love with their stories because there was a deeper connection with the personal life and baby pics.

which brings me to a question..
do you guys want to see more kids stuff?
photos, (boring) stories.. (jk not boring per se.. but things that I view as the 'everyday' or normal kid living/training stuff. I could definitely share all of that, I just always think people are going to be bored with seeing my kids again.. even though some of the most popular bloggers only share their kids so I think kids can totally sell it!)
sooo, just let me know what you think!

And in case you wanted to test out the Hello Fresh box, I have a coupon code!
you know me, go discount or go home!


Use discount Code:
 
HELLOHOLLY40
 
to receive $40 off your first 2 boxes
 
 
 
 
 
*this is not an affiliate link that benefits me in anyway, its just a way to test 'er out if you're interested!

soooo Noelle is just like 'yassss girl check out that discount!' wide eyed.





and then she's just like 'mom, I'm really hungry and all we have in the fridge is an old block of cheese so you better reorder at least a couple of weeks worth!' ^^^

Okie!
check back with me tomorrow because I really want to share Noelle's first month photos and struggles.

then check back again by the end of week for my weight update.. ugh I am dreading showing these photos but I also want to normalize the post partum body.. I am SUPER upset with the mommy 'bounce back' phenomenon that's been shoved down our throats... ok, ok, I'll save it for Friday!

Byyyyyyyyyye! xo 

Friday, 23 June 2017

Her name is Noelle...



A few weeks ago Nick came home from the gym and said
"I just heard a song that started with her name is Noelle.." !!
 
ummm.
Nick meet year 2000...
Teenage Dirtbag was MY JAM in Jr.High school (and beyond)!
It's 2017 and he's just hearing it for the first time..?!?!?!
I mean he's really bad at pop culture and I'm pretty much the pop culture queen..
so I guess I'll give him a pass.
 
as much as I love Wheatus that's not why we picked the name Noelle...
 
 
 
Is it just me or is naming a baby hard?!?
especially girls names!
 
When we were expecting Elliott we knew from the start Elliott was the name.
About 10 years ago we use to watch a lot of Law & Order SVU..
one night we figured out we both loved the name Elliott and that was pretty much that.
(technically I was prepared to name the baby Elliott whether it be a boy or girl)
 
but I'm sort of happy he turned out to be male because Elliott for little girls has caught on recently and I'm stubborn with the uniqueness! (truth be told Elliott for boys is REALLY catching on right now, but 3 years ago there were almost none being born in recent time)
 
2017 rolls around and again we had a boys name picked that was solid, but girl names weren't even a blip on the radar.. we were SO sure we were about to have a second boy we didn't even discuss baby names until after the gender reveal ultrasound.
 
Pretty much the only girl name we ever discussed previous was the name Noelle.
I remember telling Nick when I was expecting Elli... and I was half prepared for him to laugh because I thought he would think of it as too 'Christmasy'.
 
So I kind of casually mentioned it, even though I was pretty sold on it.
I like names that are known but are not 'common' and I wanted a strong female name but also delicate and pretty.. (oxymoron much)
 
anyway, my only fear was that we would have a girl first and become that crazy Christmas family that signs cards:
 
Love,
Nicholas, Holly and Noelle
 
 
even though I don't really think of Noelle in the Christmasy way there's no way she's escaping the
 
"You must've been born at Christmas!!!??!?!?!?"
 
If I had a dollar for every time I've been asked, I would honestly be a hundred thousand-aire. lol
and the jokes on Noelle because my answer has always been a simple "yes".
really it's November.. but lets just answer yes and end that convo. hahaha
but Noelle's going to have to suffer through the "no, my parents were just annoying" answer.
 
long story short..
we just liked the name Noelle and didn't look into other names, it just felt right and of course her middle name is Heather for Nicks mother who has passed.
So we were really done the name hunt before it began!
 

Day of the section! ^
 
We were the flex delivery of the day so I had the feeling we would be waiting quite a while but I wasn't anticipating the wait we had.
 
When you're the flex you call in the morning and check the times, at first she said they were a bit behind so come in at 10:30am. That was fine as I wanted to get in a good shower, even though I was exhausted from not sleeping the night before - nerves!
plus I hadn't eaten.. and don't even ask how many people kept saying "you must be STARVING!"
TOO MANY.
 
Finally at 4:32 that afternoon.. evening.. ?
Noelle Heather came into the world!
I'm going to dedicate a whole post to the C-section and I have some amazing footage that I've been whittling down for a vlog, coming soon!
 
 
My guess was she was going to be near 9 pounds but she was a little less chunky at just over 8 pounds.
 
 
Elliott was so sweet after waiting ALL day to meet his "baby seester", they didn't get to meet until about 8pm!
 

 
that first night she was a little angel, waking up here and there to feed then sleep some more.
night 2 on the other hand was torture (which is apparently common)
she was up ALL night crying and would not settle for anything, add in my not sleeping the last few days (nerves and staying up all the first night watching her lol) AND the pain! ugh the section pain was really bad the first couple days.


but then on day 3 they let us go home!
I know she was born in June and me November, but she had to wear this little sweater that I wore home from the hospital and my grandmother knitted.
 
See me left ^ Noelle right ^
 
 
being at home has been so much better!
Noelle's eating and sleeping has still been all over the place but its nice to be in my own comfortable space.
 
the only thing I wish is that all homes had those bars on the walls to hold onto.. when say, in the bathroom or climbing in and out of bed...
 
seriously.
 
I could barely move!
bending to pee and standing back up again was a 45 minute event!
 
luckily Nick is off for quite a while and our routine is he gets Noelle out of her bassinet changes and hands her to me.. I feed, then he wraps her back up and puts her down again.
 
just going from a slight laying down position to a sitting position takes all the pain killers I can get!
 
flash forward another 2 days and I was feeling much better, flash to today, day 7 and I feel much much better. Still very slow moving and only able to lay on my back but yesterday I half laid on my side and it didn't feel like my entire insides would fall out so hopefully this is the beginning of healed!
 
I'm a stomach sleeper and having been pregnant and now wounded... I feel like I haven't slept a deep sleep in ages!
 
 
I have to say Elliott has been SO good, it almost feels like Noelle has always been here!
he has barely shown a sign of jealousy and he wants to show her affection 24-7.

 
one of his only 'jealous' acts is that he wants to climb in her basinet and crib!
this is him this morning.. which cant happen again because hes so heavy! lol but was cute at the time.
and the other day he climbed into her crib in her room when we weren't looking.
which was a total surprise because he never once crawled in or out of his own crib (which is the same crib). He said he wanted to see her mobile, we were just in the other bedroom and all of a sudden heard music. lol








this is her face when Dad puts her dress on backwards! ^
*she was actually pleasant, just the second I snapped a pic she wailed!
 
 
so far I think she's going to be our cuddly baby!
Elliott is a hug and kisser but not a cuddle person and never was.
She loves being snuggled into me and is a total mamas girl right now.. it may be because of the boobs! haha








so speaking of that, we are breastfeeding right now..
I know, I know.
I said I would never.

I breastfed Elliott for about 5 days and threw in the towel.
He would. not. latch.
It was a horrible experience and I'm a supporter of FED IS BEST so I felt no guilt either way.

I was not going to force myself to do something I never wanted to do in the first place.
I know, controversial... but I feel like I did enough growing and birthing the little guy, the last thing I wanted was him glued to my boob 24 hours a day, starting in July none the less... my body alone runs 10 degrees hotter than everyone else. I am also a big fan of having a solo body and being able to hand him over to feed, or cuddle or sleep over other family members houses.

But this time around I honestly felt the motivation to stick it out for two reasons..

1. weightloss
           &
2. money


I really want to ditch a portion of this baby weight, so hopefully breastfeeding can give a little jump start to it AND  having 2 kids now, I just feel like it would be nice to save a little money if we can.
We want to take a summer vacay in August so even if I stick it out for a few months that's a few months of not buying formula at $50 a box.

Oh also! we now live in a multi level house and I didn't want to have to deal with the prep and location of bottles being this far from the kitchen lol
all selfish reasons, I know.. but #momlife.. just do you.

with that being said LUCKILY Noelle is so much better than Elliott ever was! right from the start her latch has been good and there's none of the panicked non latching, smothering me, hysteric crying going on... minus me hysterically crying here and there over the nipple pain! but that's another post!

On the weight front I am down 15 pounds.. which isn't great because girlfriend weighs over half of that! but it is a good start and once this healing portion is over I cannot wait to get back to the gym!
I can hear the treadmill calling my name, I find it so relaxing to listen to some music and have some me time. weight loss or not that will be in my mental health future!

okie doke..
wrapping it up!
I hope this post is not complete nonsense.. I am really tired so the mild grammar and punctuation I have goes out the window.. but I wanted to connect before I start to forget those little details!
more to come :)
leave me some stories if you have any to share!