SOCIAL MEDIA

Thursday, 10 May 2018

So, you haven’t lost the baby weight...

Ok.
Well, who ****ing cares?!

(I don't know how to get through this without cursing so bear with me)
so you haven't lost the baby weight

































Oh, I will tell you who cares...

Denise from across the street who has birthed 12 kids and "Bounced right back every time! All it took was breastfeeding."

Mike from your work who is single and childless but feels knowledgeable in commenting "You've still got a while to go before you get that pre-baby body eh?"

Your Aunt Beatrix who knew you when "you were always such a thin child/teen, I guess those days are behind you!"

Some John Smith on the internet who literally lives half a world away, knows NOTHING about your life, pregnancy, birth experience, health issues, work, kids, etc. but knows "bouncing back is not that hard, stop being a lazy cow, put down the burger and hit up a gym every once and a while!"

so you haven't lost the baby weight

Then there's the subtle shame and expectations we as a culture put on moms even before they've given birth, experienced parenting or in some cases even been pregnant.

Like this Pregnancy journal that I got for my Pregnancy with Noelle...

so you haven't lost the baby weight

There are a few Pregnancy journal options out there, I had one with Elliott and it was awesome. I remember every little kick and doctors appointment because I kept it in the journal.

With Noelle, I wasn't as organized, second child, sorry Noelle.
So, I went back to fill in the blanks last week and this was the BS I came face to face with.

WTF.
Honestly, what the actual F?!

This ain't my first rodeo so I knew all the ways my body was about to change and I'm not saying its something you should be ignorant to because trust me, your body WILL change.

But am I going to get fat?
Things I miss about my old body?

This is the loaded bullshit that gets women all messed up in the head.
Instead of embracing this time in their lives where they have a beautiful round bouncing belly full of kicks and flips, a nursery to decorate, a lot of sleep to squish in before baby arrives.

Women are already watching the scale, counting every pound that jumps up and stressing about how hard that's going to be to lose once the baby is here.

Then they're running out of the house at 6 weeks postpartum hitting the elliptical like a workhorse, avoiding bathing suits at every cost and trolling TMZ for before and afters of celeb mothers who were back down to their pre-pregnancy weight within 4.2 hours of birth.





IT'S COMPLETE BS.




The fact that anyone dares to look at a new mom probably not knowing anything about them, their medical history, their pregnancy history, their birth history, their home life, their work life, their hobbies, interests, hopes, fears, dreams, babies sleeping patterns...

And makes a snap judgement based on appearance and assumptions.

I'm sorry Denise, but breastfeeding only lasted 4 months for me and can actually cause the opposite effect in some women, where you gain weight because of the hormones/food intake etc.

OK Mike, well I am a little busy right now but believe it or not I do get to the gym as much as possible. In fact, why don't you volunteer you've got some free time, right? How about you babysit and I'll hit a Zumba class or 2.

Yeah Aunt B, seems I am not the same shape and size I was at 7 or 15... probably because that was 16+ years ago. When I was a CHILD, carefree and didn't have 2 mini versions of myself hanging on either arm asking for shiz, needing food, water, playtime and poop wipes every 30 seconds.
According to my high school reunion group, I am on par with the ageing though, thanks.

John Smith, you're not worth my time.







So, I haven't lost the baby weight but you know what I do have?

A brain, that tells me the media has been pushing this "bouncing back" term on the world to create sales, drama, stress, interest, pressure, comments, shares, etc. etc.

A term that puts the birth mom in yet another position of trying to be a great mother, balancing the hormone changes, perfect body, hair, makeup, President and CEO, hobbyist, a classical pianist, volunteer on every committee.

And then feeling like a failure when they can't do all those things perfectly concurrently, feeling like you have to choose between being a great mother or being pretty or smart.

News flash!
I am a great mother, I am gorgeous, I am wicked smart and sometimes I do get all those titles on the same day, some days I don't, but I am no less of any of them. 

My brain makes me hilarious, intelligent and beautiful beyond the measure of what you see on my outer shell.

I have a strong heartbeat, that allows me to hit the gym, dance at Zumba and run (walk ;)) my first marathon 10 days from now.

I have a sense of peace, I know I am so lucky to have had 2 wonderful birthing experiences where everyone came out healthy and happy, my pregnancies leave something to be desired (I had HG!) but still I made it through (counting down literally every. single day.) and my kids were perfect.



AND I STILL HAVE A FREAKING BANGING BEAUTIFUL BODY.



That's right!
My 190-pound body is strong and sexy, like really sexy.
Not just "sexy for a mom" or "sexy for her weight"








I guess the point of this is that there will always be people who comment on your body.
Big, small, short, tall, wavy, curly (wait now I am describing hair types... lol)

Every person has a 'type', every person has an opinion on what the 'perfect' body is but to me its such a moot point, why bother making those types of comments and don't let people who comment like that get you down.

And this extends beyond 'baby weight', I have dealt with weight comments my whole life.
Shamed for being 'too skinny' and too big and it doesn't stop at women, I feel for the men too.

It's a major problem, it's bigger than I can/would know how to fix but I am hoping we can start a ripple effect by doing the smallest thing: love yourself.

Stop comparing, look in the mirror and pick out good things, talk about them out loud, let your kids/friends/family hear you say it, carry it with confidence.

Love your body, show off your body, show off as many different bodies as we possibly can!





*I am not immune to the comments, I have bad days where I get down, hell, I have whole years where I get down on myself! I have blog posts talking about weight, I go to the gym (mind you, I really go to get energy and it helps with mental health). I just want to change the discussion to normalizing and loving all figures!

ex: there is nothing wrong with bouncing back from a baby in 4.2 hours, there is a problem when that's all we see and when it becomes a competition to pit women against each other: 2 hours, 1 hour, 15 minutes, 25 seconds and she was pre baby weight!

I want to see different stories, different examples from all across the board.



Sunday, 22 April 2018

Easy Ideas to do with the Family this Earth Day...

This blog post is in partnership with none other than, Ranger Rob!
In honour of Earth Day, Treehouse is hosting a Ranger Rob marathon April 22nd, 3:15 - 6:30 ET.
(US residents: Sprout 9am, repeating at 3:30)

Easy ideas for the kids this earth day

I will be honest in saying I worry about my carbon footprint, everything in our lives is disposable...

An example, my grandparent's homes always looked the same, in 20 years I think I could count on one hand the number of things that changed in either set of grandparents home and it wasn't that they were too poor or didn't keep their house up, it was just the thought of 'why replace one good thing with another good thing?'

But my mom replaces good things all the time, I don't mean to rag on her but I can't help but notice when something good gets replaced with something equally as good and how its kind of weird. When I walk into stores now I see so much stuff that makes me wonder how much good stuff got tossed into a landfill to make way for this good stuff?

I think about it all year long but I really think about it this time of year because of Earth Day, Spring cleaning, Roadside pick up (if you live in our area there's a giant 'swap' date to put out things you don't want and others can take what they like) etc.

I am guilty too, I'm in part my mom but I will admit my vice is clothing and makeup, which I try to convince myself is better than house decor as its typically in smaller packaging.

There are a few things I try to do especially this time of year to tip the scales back to my grandparents time...

Easy ideas for the kids this earth day

1. GIVE AWAY FREEBIES

You don't even want to know how often I put a bunch of stuff with a FREE sign at the bottom of my driveway. (at least twice a year, last week ^)

You may be done with something but someone else may be able to breathe new life into it!


Easy ideas for the kids this earth day

2. CLEAN OUT THE KIDS CLOSETS AND DONATE

Ok, this is a problem for me because I am not sure if we're done having kids.. but I still try to go through and keep as little as my hoarding self will allow.

Easy ideas for the kids this earth day

Same goes for playrooms!
I have been sorting toys into - donate, yard sale, going back to grandmas, and everyday use.
It's making a huge dent in organizing this mess! (this is the before)

Easy ideas for the kids this earth day

3. BUY USED

If you have the shopping bug I suggest going to the thrift stores!
It always satisfies my itch and usually costs a small fraction of the shopping mall.
(the clothes are still as good as new if not NEW ^ this dress still has the original tags on)

Easy ideas for the kids this earth day

Especially while the kids are young, they have no idea this isn't brand new and I don't think they would care either way! I still find 'cool' paw patrol, superheroes, etc. etc. stuff at the thrift store.

Easy ideas for the kids this earth day

4. CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIDGE AND PANTRY

I am super guilty of letting food expire, mainly because I didn't know it was there.
I have been making a habit of moving the closer expiration dates to the front and putting my new groceries near the back.

Easy ideas for the kids this earth day

5. COOK IN BULK

So, I just did this the other day and it feels really good to have a freezer stock full of food!
Not only because its easier on the wallet but I always feel like fast food/restaurant takeout comes with so much wasteful/ non-biodegradable add-ons!

- straws, cups, lids, ketchup packets, burger wrappers, plastic bags, plastic cutlery... x each family member!

Easy ideas for the kids this earth day



Easy ideas for the kids this earth day

6. PLAY WITH TOYS THAT DON'T USE POWER

I try to keep my kids away from screen time as much as possible, with a 3 year old that may not mean every day (he loves his Gameboy!) but when I can distract him from the video games I try to tempt him with things like sidewalk chalk, hula hoops, bike riding, sandboxes, anything that is outside is only a bonus.



7. SAVE WATER

I will bathe the kids together and/or let Elliott shower with Nick or I and I am forever reminding him to turn the water off while brushing teeth and washing hands!


Easy ideas for the kids this earth day

Tips from Rob ^^

I love that we crossed ideas a couple of times but also love that Rob has more ideas that I can implement today!

Happy Earth Day to you! 
Wednesday, 11 April 2018

4 Braids to keep you feeling cool but looking HOT...

How do you like that title?!
I am really working on building my blog confidence and making my titles more eye-catching.
Realistically what are you more likely to click on...

Hey some braids, check them out if you feel like it. No pressure!
OR
HOT, HOT BRAIDED HAIR STYLES TO KEEP YOU STYLIN' & PROFILIN'

Because I have clicked on way too many Buzzfeed articles due to their commanding titles (wayyyy too many! lol).

Braided hair for sun and hot weather, dutch braids, braid updos

I feel like braids are the most under-appreciated and underused of all the hairstyles!

Everyone knows the topknot, ponytails have had their time to shine but when does the braid make a comeback?

It's definitely found its place in the wedding world lately, every updo is braided in some fashion. Fishtail, Dutch, French, upside down, milkmaid, rope braid, halo braid, waterfall braid.

I can do 6/8 of those on myself and 8/8 on other people so they're not that hard to master, they will take practice (probably a lot of practice) but nothing worth doing ever came easy right? (sweat laughing emoji)

I learned to braid a 3 strand braid when I was young, around 5/6 then around 12 years old I learned the french braid. It wasn't until I was in my 20's that I learned the fishtail and dutch way of braiding and once I got it I felt silly for struggling so hard for so long.

The best way to learn is to watch A LOT of youtube videos.
I'm not going to share tutorials done by me in this post, its mainly just to show you the options but if you want to learn the techniques I will include some youtube videos down below!

1. DUTCH BRAID PIGTAILS

Braided hair for sun and hot weather, dutch braids, braid updos

Braided hair for sun and hot weather, dutch braids, braid updos

Dutch braids are my favourite!
Its a french braid turned inside out (easier than it sounds) and it ages your braids in a good way!
I feel like there's a rumour saying french braids are juvenile (which isn't true but whatevs) but Dutch braids look chic, stylish and complicated.

They even make piggy tails work for 30 somethings and beyond!
Sometimes I do a full braid from scalp to tip of the hair and sometimes I braid to my neck and then elastic off and have half dutch braid/half traditional piggy tail.



2. THE MILKMAID BRAID

Braided hair for sun and hot weather, dutch braids, braid updos

This is my most used braid style, it works on the dirtiest of hair and I ALWAYS get compliments when I wear it. Like, always, always, always.

People really like this style but I like it because it showcases a cool pair of earrings perfectly.

There's almost nothing to it either, you braid pigtails and then lift them on top of your head and pin down with bobby pins. Easy Peasy!

Always make sure the end of each piggy tail is tucked under the braid so you don't see any hair elastics and the updo looks polished.

Braided hair for sun and hot weather, dutch braids, braid updos

Braided hair for sun and hot weather, dutch braids, braid updos

Braided hair for sun and hot weather, dutch braids, braid updos



3. THE BRAIDED HIGH PONY

Braided hair for sun and hot weather, dutch braids, braid updos

This one is definitely do-able for all!
Whenever my hair is fuzzy and unmanageable I put it in a high pony (as high as I can go! I feel very 80's typically because I also do this with a side pony) and do a basic 3 strand braid.

Sometimes I will wrap my hair elastics in hair to make it look more polished but mainly I find this helps to keep me cool or used best while swimming, plus later in the night when I take it out I am left with really nice waves.

Braided hair for sun and hot weather, dutch braids, braid updos

A trick I use is to bobby pin the bottom of the braid to my head so it stays in place and doesn't swing around everywhere.

Just under that bottom elastic is a bobby pin holding the braid in place ^



4. THE BRAID BUN

Braided hair for sun and hot weather, dutch braids, braid updos

This is my go to, ride or die, I even did a blog post about this years ago and called it the postpartum hairdo or something.

Read that blog HERE 2014 wow!
Ugh I can't even read it, I never read my own blog, I am super annoying, bless you all for standing by me (lololing)

You do the high braided pony that I did above but then you wrap the braid into a bun and pin in place.
This is so easy but feels like an upgrade from the basic topknot, plus it stays in place all day!

Sometimes with baby fingers around my topknot gets knocked, pulled, stretched, and by the end of the day looks like my baby actually did the bun for me. But the braided bun is much more stable and doesn't fray in the storm that is known as Hurricane Noelle. 





And that's it for now but this post inspired/reminded me of so many hairdos I want to wear.
I think I will start a hashtag for my hair photos, how about #HollyHousewifeHair

Then you guys can search it and I can look at your creations if you use it! 
Sunday, 8 April 2018

Broke But Bored? Check out what we did with the kids last week for cheap or FREE...



free stuff to do with kids in Halifax

I am not someone who has to have something to do daily.
Actually, I really like being home, like, really, really. 

But when Nick is home with me its game over, our days get unorganized and I can't focus.
It seems weird to say that, like its easier to do everything myself than to have my husband help...
But you guys know, spouses mess with your schedule.

So Nick randomly had this whole week off and instead of pushing our schedules on him I decided to throw caution to the wind and DO STUFF OUTSIDE THE HOUSE. (dun, dun, duhhhhnnnnnnnn)

However, we are now a family of 4 and stuffs expensive man. 
Just eating out is expensive, let alone an activity (plus it has to match our age brackets, 9 months, 3.5 years, 31x2)  so I really had to push the boundaries and think of some stuff that we hadn't done in a while, stuff that was cheapish and things that would be "exercise" -ish is bonus points.

Because FYI we dropped Elliott off at a playgroup this week and 2 kids brought iPads....... IPADS.

Which then prompted all the kids to gather around and watch the iPad kids play on the screen.
Honestly, I am just going to say it, WTF.

Yeah, I watch way too much tv and my hobby/side gig is being available on the internet WAY too much and maybe I will eat these words in a few years when my kids are older and more annoying about screen time.

BUT WTF?!

IPads during play time??
That's just not ok with me and I really dislike that other parents are cool with it because it's making my job of screen police so much harder. I dropped my kid off to avoid the video game fight (Elliott got a video game for Easter and he LOVES it, I have to tell him an hour a day or he would literally play morning till night) but here we are gathered around watching other kids play, not even gaining our own hand-eye coordination. (lolol just watching)

Anywoo, I just wanted to get that off my chest...

Without further ado, here are some fun things that we did that you could do too!

free stuff to do with kids in Halifax

1. BOWLING


I LOVE bowling, I love it, I love it.
When we lived in Newfoundland I was always so sad because we didn't live anywhere near movie theatres or bowling alleys (or wave pools but that's a lesser sadness) and I live for those things.

free stuff to do with kids in Halifax

This was Elliott's second time bowling and he was actually into it and good! He pretty much beat me every time (he did have a ramp lol).

free stuff to do with kids in Halifax

free stuff to do with kids in Halifax

It was a good fun couple of hours.
We got a little exercise, we got a little competitive, we got a little hungry!
So we went to.....

free stuff to do with kids in Halifax

2. MCDONALDS

Ok, hear me out.
We don't go to Mcdonalds often and if we do it will 9/10 times be the drive-thru so we thought this time we would go inside, make an event of it AND we went to the Sackville Drive location which has a play place!

free stuff to do with kids in Halifax

3. IKEA HAS A FREE PLAY PLACE FOR KIDS WHILE PARENTS BROWSE

We had to get Noelle a new light fixture and IKEA has a free play place where you sign your kids in for an hour and Elliott loves it there!

The only negative I can say about this is that 1 hour to get through all of IKEA is a stretch.. so then you're lost in that massive building, trying to loop backwards and follow the floor arrows but it would all be so much easier had you had 2 hours. I don't know, would 2 hours break the bank IKEA?!

free stuff to do with kids in Halifax

We ended up with this one! ^^^^^^
You guys saw it on instagram and so far everyones loved it!

free stuff to do with kids in Halifax

Some other options^

free stuff to do with kids in Halifax

IKEA also has a great quickie snack bar!
We haven't eaten at the big restaurant yet but we have hit up the snack area because you can get hot dogs + drink or pizza + ice cream for just a few bucks. It's an awesome way to fill the kid's bellies and have them asleep by the time we start the car for the ride home.



4. GO FOR A WALK

The weather is getting nicer (not today, if you are reading the day this is published and live in NS) and we took the kids to the playground which was a bit too cold to stay very long but then we went for a little walk and it was perfect.

Noelle is obsessed with making a cheese face now*^

My kids love walks and we will sing or make up fun games like counting, pointing out colours, trees, animals.



5. CLASSES AT MICHAELS CRAFT STORE

I feel like everyone should know that Michaels offers classes!
Kids, adults, free, cheap, fun!

I knew about them years ago and that's where I learned to make jewellery.
I went to a Christmas earring class (pay the cost of materials) and made the cutest earrings ever! I still wear those earrings and made them with my Girl Guides to give as Christmas gifts.

This week they were offering a free slime making class so we went to that and it was super fun! Although, we didn't actually make the slime (I was a little disappointed), the slime was premade and we just added our bling, sparkles, sequins, foam balls to it.

If you click here, it should bring you to the Michaels website where you can find out what dates/classes are offered near you

free stuff to do with kids in Halifax

free stuff to do with kids in Halifax

free stuff to do with kids in Halifax

Then we walked around the store and touched things but Elliott knew we weren't getting anything and it was an easy exit because he did get to leave with his slime so he was pretty happy.
(these balls in a net give me the creeps!)



6. KIDS EAT FREE

Ok this is a bit of a cheat because I really dont know all the days and locations where kids eat free.
You're going to have to send me what you know and maybe I can compile a master list of all the places where kids eat free on a certain day.

I do know that on Mondays kids eat free at the True North Diner (Bedford), which is where we are below!



I'll be real with you, we have been to the True North Diner a few times and the food is not my favourite... but the atmosphere IS!

I love the throwback diner colours, booths, poodle skirts, jukeboxes, and so did the kids!
Elliott loved the Jukebox, he would put the quater in (monies go to the IWK) and pick the song.

It was just a fun place to go to enjoy something different and it sounds even better if you're getting a free kids meal to boot!



And that's all the stuff we did this week!

I'm already on the hunt for cheap things to do during Nicks next vacation.
I am thinking we will focus on Bayers Lake and maybe do a day at Chapters, mini putting and end up somewhere kids eat free in that area.

Let me know if you have any tips!