Monday, 23 October 2017

Just like that, she's 4 months..

In true second child fashion, Noelle has barely been mentioned around these parts..

No pregnancy journal, no baby book, no printed photos, not a scrapbooked page for her yet..
I had the intention of doing all these things, I even own all the books but.. they're just blank pages.
does that make it better or worse?!?!?

I'm thinking better because I can fake fill it in maybe when she's about 4. Right before she learns to read... and she'll be none the wiser. lol

To be honest you swear to yourself you're going to be on the ball, wake up before the kids, get yourself ready, make their breakfast, have them dressed and peacefully playing by 9am.

Yeah that doesn't happen with 2 kids..
it's pure survival mode.

I'm just proud I've managed to snap her monthly photos relatively close to her monthly b-days.
see below..

Its very strange but I truly believe the Universe has a plan for me and somehow it always sends me only what I can handle.. weird I know. If you want me to ramble about my weird universe thoughts and how I think I'm connected to the spirit world... let me know because that's a whole other story!

Anywhoo, thank you universe, I know how lucky I am to be sent this little nugget!

She is the happiest, most easy going baby.. and its hard to compare because Elliott was the same but I think she's going to be dare I say, even more pleasant!

Its funny when you have your first child you can't wait to see their little personality develop, by the time you have your second you realize their personality is already there.
100% there from day one.

It's harder to see with your first because all you do is look at your new baby and you're focusing on what to do, when to do it, if they're doing what they're suppose to do.

but then your second comes along and because you're an 'ol pro, you get to sit back and spend more time just watching and getting to see the little quirks that make them who they are.

Habits, emotions, reactions that they have as an infant will often be the same through their whole life, or that's my experience these last 3 years. lol

Whenever I see photos or memories of baby Elliott all I see is my mischievous, thoughtful,  hilarious 3 year old Elli.

I am amazed at how little jealousy and how much love there is between these two already!
Elliott is so helpful with Noelle, at most he will become a little bit more cuddly with me (he's never been a cuddler) just making sure he gets enough 'mom' time in.

But he hasn't been acting out, or mean, or demanding.. he wakes up in the morning and asks to see 'his' baby.

He knows her routine and the things she likes.
He loves 'sharing' toys with her aka playing with his old baby toys.

and of course Noelle is mesmerized by her big bro, she looks at him with big doe eyes and has huge belly laughs when he acts silly.
(which he LOVES, its so cute, I try to video tape them on the down low but they always catch me)

This girl LOVES sitting up!
We tried out the Go POD this week but she was just the tiniest bit too small.

I can't wait until the exersaucer is in play though because holding this girl on my lap is all I do! She's such an observer, lives perched on my knee, back up straight and head bobbing around watching everything.

She's loving toys lately, anything ball shape is her favorite.
Who gifted me that pink apple teether and where can I get another??!
I just googled and couldn't find it but that is her very favorite so I will have to keep looking.

She is for sure my cuddler, her favorite place to nap is right on mom.

Luckily she doesn't pull that at night, she has a good sleep pattern, ever since she was a couple of weeks old she falls asleep around 9pm every. single. night.
and thank goodness because the not day napping is taxing.
but if its one or the other, I'll take the sleeping at night (in her bassinet)!

She's going to be a tall girl!

She just got her 4 month needles last week, like a little champ she barely shed a tear.
She weighed in at 13 pounds (27th percentile) and 66cm long (96th! percentile)

I look at her and I'm shocked that I have a daughter but I'm also forgetting what life was like before her.. typical parent sentence, but true!

Everything is a lot harder, nothing runs smoothly, some days I cry my eyes out and hide in the bathroom for longer than I should.. but most of the time I'm missing them when they're just sleeping upstairs.

Equal parts exhaustion and excitement  = parenting.

And that brings us up to date on the last 4 months, maybe now I will finally write about Noelle's birth story!! maybe by her first b-day....

*And I won't say if she 'completes' our family because I'm not sure yet.
I hear people say they knew, but I don't know.
how did you know?!?!?!?

Friday, 20 October 2017

First Impression Face Mask Friday, GlamGlow Gravitymud Firming Treatment...

I've been testing out some beauty products over on Instagram but I wanted to make sure you weren't missing out here on the bloggy so I'm popping over with the info!

I didn't think much of it when I turned to Instagram stories with a face mask sample packet in hand last week. I just thought it could be interesting to do a first impression and see if you all had any comments... turns out people commented that they really liked my 'first impression' style quick video.

so now I'm thinking every week I could try a new face mask.. I've been wanting to try a bubble face mask since forever so I will order some this week and fingers crossed they arrive.

Now, this GlamGlow firming mask first took me by surprise because it is metallic.
Straight up metallic, highlight, silver, glowy.
and I honestly LOVE that.

I am a true sucker for packaging/appearance.
If something looks pretty, drawn to it.

Second impression when I read the instructions and it said the mask was peel off.
"huh. peel??"

it didn't feel thick enough to be a peel off mask.
the consistency was definitely more 'rubbery' than I am use to, from say,  a charcoal style mask but it still didn't seem rubbery enough to peel off.

low and be hold, it took a minute to find an edge that was thick enough to start the peeling but it did come off fairly easily once I got that corner started.

I may even suggest building a small dollop like edge for easier peely starting, just make sure its fully dry before you try to remove.

Skin immediately after mask ^^^

The mask didn't seem to do much for my blemish I have above my eyebrow there.
but it didn't claim to, its not a spot treatment mask so I wasn't surprised.

Its called firming and my skin did feel 'firm'.
Not tight or dry but 'lifted' if you will. lol

I felt like my skin overall was soft but 'lifted' and also had a nice glow about it, without being harshly 'burned' as to make my rosacea stand out.

Overall rating:
I really liked this mask. ****/5

I love the pearly colour, I love the peely factor.
it didn't burn or tingle.
it left my skin feeling a little cleaner and glowy.

$24 for the size pictured above ^ there's probably only 3 or 4 uses in that tube.
$79 for the large tub, and I just cant pay that.

So the mask was good but WOW-ie is GlamGlow made from straight up gold???
why do they have to be so, so pricey??

Now that I know I like this mask I will make a point to grab extra samples or stock up on holiday packs with it included but because I'm a multi masker and need different masks at different times.
I don't think this mask did enough to justify a weekly application price tag.

Sad but true.

I think you should look for it as sample counters, put it on your Christmas wish list, maybe splurge during the VIB 20% sale (coming this November! I think.. should be November right peeps?? no dates been confirmed as of yet.) but otherwise its too rich of a regular item for me.

How about you???
do you spend when it comes to skin care?
I would not blame you if you do!

I'm pretty flexible with my own skin care products because my skin is forever changing and its not too overly sensitive so I have the luxury of switching it up.

but sometimes when you find that holy grail.. you gotta pay the price!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Halloween food DIY...

I am SO torn guys.
I've been loving connecting with you all on Instagram (stories to be specific) so, so much that I've let the blog die a teeny, tiny, little bit.

You probably know that vlogging is my dream job (if only I could hire an editor! editing videos is sooo time consuming) and IG stories is a little micro version of vlogging so its been a fun time expanding my audience over there.

If you're not following can I recommend checking it out?
you may end up seeing too much of me over there and want to come back to the once a week blog lol but give it a try!

Problem being IG stories does not pay the bills the way the blog does..
but I was never a writer! I am a talker and have tons and tons to share but writing things down is very hard for me. I have a touch of dyslexia and mild ADHD so it is a struggle!

Alas, bills to pay!
so you'll see me try to balance the both.

It's my favorite time of year!
I have been rolling in the leaves, sucking in that brisk autumn air and wildly decorating for/anticipating HALLOWEEN.

I was super into Thanksgiving décor this year (Canadian Thanksgiving just passed last weekend) I brought out all the pumpkins, hay, grateful, blessing, blessed, thanks-full, whatever remotely related to thanksgiving was out on my front porch and all over my harvest table.

I will get some photos of that on the blog as well!
Out of order, yes.. but my USA friends haven't celebrated their turkey day yet so maybe someone can get some 2017 inspo out of it.


I have so much to do and so little time.. a lot of my Halloween décor can't go out until Halloween day itself because it's weather sensitive.

In fact we just had a witch hat vs. wind situation that didn't pan out well for the witch hat...
but that's all info to come!

As far as costumes, its been no secret that this year is all about the superheroes!
sometimes you have to put your imagination on hold and cater to your 3 year old.
to be honest I think a family of superheroes is a classic that will never die so I was into it too :)

We went to a birthday party this weekend and got to do a full dress rehearsal.

Wonder Woman Glow Parties $60
Batman Spirit Halloween $60
Spider-Man Costco $21
Super Girl Spirit Halloween $34

I always secretly wanted an October baby just so we could have Halloween birthday parties (I got a June and July babe, booooo haha)

Look at how adorable these Halloween themed treats are! ^^^^^^

Clementine's with chocolate stems and mint candy leaves as pumpkins.
Chocolate cookies (you could even use oreo!) a hersey's kiss and some orange icing piped around is the cutest witch hat!
Rice crispie treats cut then dipped in melted candy icing with some sugar googly eyes.

There were so many cute decorations at this party I couldn't even handle it.
Our house is the most decorated in our neighbourhood so far but I came home with loads of inspo to push those Halloween limits even further.

Stay tuned... ;)

Saturday, 7 October 2017

World Famous Nacho Dip

It hurts me a little bit to share this..
I've been hoarding this recipe to myself for a long, long time in the hopes of fooling people into thinking I am a homemaking master chef.

Alas, the time has come and I will reveal my famous secret recipe...
mainly because I already talked about it on Instagram and people keep messaging me for the info, so now I can just copy and paste this blog.

Here goes:

Easy but SO delish nacho dip!
I normally place it on an oversized tray but how cute is that little single serving??^^^

I am very much into 'use what you have on hand' so those little candy dishes (belonged to my Nanny) may have to make more appearances as appy servers. 

- tub of sour cream
- block of cream cheese
- packet of taco seasoning
- green onion
- tomato
- marble cheese

Chop all your veggies and shred the cheese.
This is not an exact science..
if you like large tomato chunks, make 'em large.
we prefer small (hopefully we don't notice we're eating tomato..) pieces.

in a bowl cream together sour cream, cream cheese and sprinkle in taco seasoning.
again, I can't stress how easy this is..
I'm not giving you exact numbers because there are none!

I try to do equal parts sour cream and cream cheese, then I add in the seasoning until the mixture turns a bit pink. and that's it!

Layer the mixture on a plate or tray.
I picked this tray up at Superstore and I specifically purchased it for when we have this dip, it has a nice little ledge all around the ends so the dip won't get pushed over the edge by a chip.

layer some mixture then cheese, tomato, green onion.
open a bag of nacho chips and add some dippable veggies to the side.

Everyone always compliments it and its such a family friendly dish because toddlers to grandma seem to like it.

Of course you can add some ground beef under there if you like!
shredded chicken!
more veggies!
its a super adaptable recipe.

Let me know if you try it! :)

Monday, 2 October 2017

Overnight hair mask, buy or BYE..

So I stole that BUY OR BYE from Rachhloves because I'm too tired to think of something creative right now, so check out my girl >

She's Canadian, perky, talented and on the ball with content lately! Go Rachh!!

Now, overnight hair masks ($6) worth it or naw ?!
Long story short: naw.

but I truly feel like I am not the best judge of this because I am such a hair mask nut!
I use my Moroccan Oil mask at least 3 times a week, my hair is so, so healthy. too healthy, (side eye...) if we were talking in the terms of 'cleanliness'.. you could eat off this hair!

Is it easier to use a in shower hair mask?

is it less time/hassle/money/effort?
yes. yes. yes. yes.

but is that really what an overnight hair mask is about???
or is it about the fun/spa/sleepover/teenage feeling you get when you apply it?
it's totally about the spa birthday party feeling! lol

and talking about teenage sleepovers.. who the heck are these included shower caps made for?

that's my main complaint!

This overnight mask could be helpful for someone who doesn't use masks often.. because the product itself was decent, but the shower cap was WAY too small for my head!

This is a shot of my hair the day before I used the hair mask ^

This is the morning after removing the shower cap ^
my hair was a little crunchy, the lotion seemed to sink in, my hair was no longer 'wet'

This is a photo after a wash and dry ^

In the package you get a little parcel of the 'mask', it looks exactly like any generic hair conditioner, and then you get the head shower cap. (which is very cute with coconuts all over it. I love little touches like that, I was excited to keep the shower cap for future hair needs)

Apply the conditioner to mainly your ends, I piled my hair into a loose top knot bun and put the shower cap on but it would barely cover my whole bun!

I know I have a lot of hair because I had my hair extensions in at that time but still.. there are people with much more hair/bigger heads! (boooo, the cute shower cap was basically useless and NOT worth keeping)

My hair the next day felt a little heavy and my curls were definitely weighed down even after my regular wash and dry.

But all of that is to be expected I think. (I mean the weighed down, not the tiny pin head caps ;p)

I wouldn't repurchase the hair mask unless I was doing up a 'spoil yourself' birthday gift for a girlfriend or maybe a sisters sleepover spa night, something fun like that it might make a good edition to.

but as far as regular use, I much prefer 'old reliable' apply in shower hair masks.

what do y'all think??
is this a niche item??
or have I not given it a fair chance??

There are more kinds available (Rose, etc.) so I can see me trying out the whole line eventually.. but the mom in me thinks its more work than its worth, maybe just a once a year treat.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Today was my last day breastfeeding...

I haven't had a chance to dive deep into parenting on the blog yet.
Every night before bed I write these touching, pull at your heart strings, Huffington post worthy articles in my mind.

I think about writing them down, at least a little note in my phone... but I'm so tired.
I am sure I will still remember in the morning.

What was that profound thing I said last night? think brain. where is it? where is it? hmmm.
nope its gone forever.

So tonight I thought I better write..
I *tried BF-ing with Elliott, it lasted about 5 days.
Tried as in I knew I wasn't going to be dedicated to forcing anything, breastfeeding had to come to us naturally or I was peacing out of there.
so I peaced.

It was hot, hot mid July I was recovering from a 4th degree tear surgery and Elliott was smacking his face into my boob, sloshing around screaming because he didn't know how to latch.
The hospital was terrible to be honest.
I knew he wasn't latching from the start, I'm sure the poor boy didn't eat for the first 4 days of his life.

I remember the staff coming in and going "oh yeah that's fine."
No bottle option.
No latch checking.
No "Oh hey you're probably completely overwhelmed with 100 new things right now, any questions?"
just "Bye."
sent us home and within 24 hours of that Nick was buying formula.

Of course I had to call the 811 (health care info line) because I didn't even know if I could just give him formula...

what kind of formula?
how much?
what bottles?
what style? powder, wet, baby led weaning style? (that last ones a joke. hehe)

811 sucks by the way, they just keep asking you questions then tell you to consult your family doctor.
Oh, great, glad I wasted 23 minutes chatting to you.

so Nick came home with 3 different formula options and we narrowed it down to the wet pre-mixed form. (something like bacteria can land in the can of dry stuff.. so newborns should have the pre-made.)

That was the end of breastfeeding Elliott and I was A-OK with it.
I never wanted to do it in the first place, I'm not very snuggly, I get overheated just looking at another human and I knew our bond was going to be just the same in either scenario.

Getting through the next couple of days with super engorged breasts was brutal though, again something no one ever mentioned... I'm still not sure if I should've gone cold turkey like that but I didn't end up with mastitis and the milk just went away, so all's well that ends well.

When pregnant with Noelle I made a pact with myself that I would really attempt breastfeeding.
Mainly because I wanted to lose the baby weight.
a close second being that I wanted to save money.
and bringing in the rear, the fact that I am so lazy and didn't want to trek up and down stairs warming bottles at night.

by a stoke of luck Noelle was born knowing how to latch and immediately the situation felt different from Elliott's. She smooshed her little duck lips into me and I knew I could do it this time.

That was until the nipple pain stepped in.
The razor sharp blinding pain that makes your toes curl into your foot, your nails burrow into the mattress, while you purse your lips and muffle your screams, your baby just suckles away peacefully.
that pain lasted weeks.

I cried and whined and swore I would quit.
Then I would try "one more day" and eventually it eased up, then disappeard practically all together.
I was in the home stretch.
I wouldn't say it out loud but I secretly had a timeline of 6 months in my head.
Breastfeed for 6 months.
that was the holy grail goal, my measure of success.

and once the pump stepped in, they say wait 6 weeks before you pump.
I waited maybe 4 because I needed a break!
there was a little relief, I could pump and leave Noelle with Nick for longer periods of time.

The pump was as much a fixture to me as my cell phone.
she's in the background of every photo and I had pump part sterilization on rotation like clockwork.

Then at 2.5 months something changed.
I could tell I was making less milk, it was stressing me out bad.

I asked the doctor and he said just keep feeding.
I said I wanted a prescription for milk production and he said no.
"if she's not crying, she's fine. just keep feeding."

I hate it when doctors don't listen.
I feel like this is the story of my life.
I KNOW my body, I know what it needs and I NEED more milk!

So I googled...and I drank 20 thousand glasses of water a day, I powered through the Fenu greek pills, I fed, then pumped, then fed and pumped and fed and pumped and fed and pumped.

every minute of the day I was thinking about MILK.
it was horrible.

Nick said "let's just top her off with formula."
super nonchalantly.


I've been working my ass off for 3 months now to solely breastfeed and you just think we can 'top her off' like it's nothing??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

does he know anything about BF-ing?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
once you 'top off' its a very slippery slope.

Well I'm not very good with slippery patches, so we slipped. we fell. we've fallen and we cant get up.
that's it.
end of story.

I could tell Noelle was hungry.
she was feeding happily at first bite but then the milk would dry up and she would claw and push me away, it was right back to that Elliott way of feeding where frustration and heat overwhelmed me.
but this time it was particularly upsetting because I was trying.

the latch was there.
the nipple pain was gone.
I really, really tried.
the sweet spot, I wanted it, I paid my dues and I wanted to coast through the next 4 months.

My body had other plans so we started to top up.
Its been about a month since that day and slowly I've been drying up more and more.

first we would top up just a little.
then 50/50.
then I gave up feeding from the breast altogether because she was getting too little milk, she wouldn't even take a starter feed.
I started just pumping.

Today September 26th, a good pump day is 4oz. total. all day.
4oz for a baby who eats more than 25oz.

I am prepping, washing, feeding formula bottles, I also need to find the time to sit and pump for 20 minute sessions, then sterilize and do again. Its just not worth it.

So our breast milk journey is over, I am retiring the pump.
its just another thing that I may never, ever do again and I feel like my body forced me into finishing when I wasn't quite ready to give it up. I'm not disappointed in myself, I am proud of how far we've come but its just a tad bittersweet.

a bittersweet ending.
but that's the word that best describes every moment of parenting.
excited for the future but sad to say farewell.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Playroom makeover/under!!

I've been dragging my feet posting this because I have looked EVERYWHERE for my 'before' photos of the playroom.

It's driving me up the wall!
I know I took before photos.. or I really, really thought I did but I've searched every file folder/memory card... and NOTHING.

So sadly, you will have to use your imagination..
I do have this one snap of before that I uploaded to Instagram
So just picture piles and piles of toys caving into the middle of that room and you'll pretty much be picturing the before photo.

We've lived in this house now for almost two years and we had not properly cleaned that room.. ever.

When we first moved in we painted (it use to be a metal blue, cute but made the room feel small.), I wish I could name the shade of grey for you but it was honestly a quick pick from Kent. I never put much thought into paint, I just choose and hope for the best but that's caused some hits and misses over the years.

Luckily I LOVE this grey, its really fresh and clean.
My advice for choosing a grey is go a shade lighter than you think (unless your looking at the lightest already), you'll probably find the grey dries darker than you think.. so go light!

We also replaced the light fixture.
I truly can't remember what was in there but I'm assuming one of those 'boob' basic builder light fixtures.

The red ball fixture below I picked up at Bouclair for a legitimate, legitimate steal: $19.99

That was quite a while ago when we first moved in so don't run there tomorrow looking to find one but just as a heads up, Bouclair has some amazing deals! Keep them in mind.

I always look in there marked down curtain bin as well! I have gotten so many $1 curtains there, because there's no matching sets they assume the curtains are useless but I turn them sideways and use them as a draped topper OR I loop a knot in the bottom and voila!
Slide the panel to the middle of the rod and the knot weights it, it looks finished with only one panel.
(you will have to view my IG stories to see a visual)

I took EVERYTHING out of the room and I swear Nick almost took a heart attack because this project took the better part of the week.
A friend gave us that multi coloured bin shelf so that was the starting point that made me want to clean everything.
You can grab those shelves off of buy and sells often or find them at Walmart here.
I'm sort of flabbergasted, the price range is $79-125, I was thinking they would max out around $80.
no wonder a lady asked if it was for sale during the yard sale I had recently..she saw it in the garage and I had to tell her 'hands off!!' haha.

Everyone asks where we got our Captain America shield and I am 100% positive it is from a local comic book store called Cape & Cowl.
I've never been in there myself (looking at their website though I really have to go, looks so cool!) but I remember exactly when Nick picked up that shield.
We were on the phone chatting and he was in the store with Elliott, he said "I'm really tempted to get this Captain America shield but its $39..."
We both remember the convo perfectly and he did get the shield but recently I tagged Cape and Cowl in the photo on Instagram and they said they never carried that shield..... (WRONG. lol)
Long story short, I've also sourced it on Amazon for you here but you may want to shop around for a better price.
Superhero toys:
Batman (unable to find exact)
Superman (unable to find exact)
Smaller 3 (online and in-store)

One of my favorite 'art' pieces in the house is this giant PLAY from Urban Walls.

I had seen Urban Walls featured on Love it or List it Vancouver yearssss ago, anyone remember the episode with the bunny wall decal???

I immediately googled Urban Walls and fell in love with their stuff.
I didn't have a girl at the time (boys can like bunnies too but my boy doesn't, he's made out of mud and boogers I think lol) so I got to looking at what else was available.

And they have expanded SO much since this time, they had about 10 items back then and now you can pretty much find ANY wall decal you can think of.

Elliott has the triangles in his bedroom and I tell you, I am honestly considering different decals for Noelle's room, the laundry and the powder room.. we will see.

A decal that large was surprisingly easy to put up, of course my patience = non existent, so I put it up by myself and there is a little crinkle in the 'A'. You can barely notice it.. I put the lamp there anyway lol

Any baskets that you see are from Winners/Homesense.

That Spider-Man inflatable Elliott got for his birthday, I want to say its from Walmart?
My sister got it so I will ask her and wait.
If she answers expect this to be edited ;)

The arrow coat hanger is also from Winners

The Superhero cape collection is from Amazon and I cant say enough how much I (Elliott too!) love those capes.

The large wall chalk board is from Winners and I just happened to have it and have no where to put it.. if you watch IG stories you know I have no wall space.
In our last house I had it in the porch and we would leave notes or grocery lists, it was super handy!

If I didn't have the chalk board already on hand I would've liked to paint a wall with chalk paint.
I will find a wall to have chalk board paint on at some point!

I wanted to show off Noelle and Elli's wooden toys from The Toy Factory, which I talked about for a second on Instagram.

This cute little toy store in PEI where they make wooden toys right there in the back and you can take a peek and get your name, date written in. Its super cool for the kids so I wanted to display that and have a little craft corner in the playroom with the chalk board and crayons.

The two multi coloured tables in the playroom I had found on a local buy and sell group.
I ran to pick them up because they were 2 for $45 and I thought they were just too adorable to pass up.

I love that the paint is fun but they're so practical with the extra storage space, I have all the art supplies safely tucked into one and Mr. potato head and pieces in the other.

One final cool piece is the pillow seen here behind Luna.

At first glance its neat because its Mario world but if you look close its also Halifax!
It has a couple of major points like the Halifax bridges and I just thought that was too cool.

you can find the pillow here.

So that's what the room looks like now, I'm not sure I would call it a makeover as much as a make under... ?!?!

I really just tidied everything up, I took all the building blocks and put them in the basement for now.
As well as any large toys that were very clutter-y but not in daily use.

I think its a safe bet to say Elliott will find them more exciting if he only sees them a few times a year and its really been surprisingly easy to keep the room clean now that I've made a place for everything.

Elliott's getting to the age where he can understand that things have a place and because he's got a tiny bit of my OCD he's been quite good at putting things back because then he can actually find them in the morning.

I've linked as much as possible but let me know if you were wondering where anything else is from! :)

I found the befores! Just plopping them here >