December 28, 2016

Oh Baby: 39 Weeks

Well, this is it. My very last bump update. As I sit here writing this, in about 12 hours, my alarm will be going off signalling that it's time to get up and get over to the hospital. It's such a weird thing - setting your alarm to go have your baby, and just like with Sully's delivery, it won't really feel 100% real until we are at the hospital and heading into the OR.
39 Weeks Pregnant
Last week, I was so ready physically, to have this baby. But funnily enough, the past several days I've been the most comfortable I've been in weeks. Or maybe the chaos of Christmas and tidying up and doing laundry, etc, distracted me enough from the fact that I am 39 weeks pregnant. Either way, the thought that come tomorrow, I will have two children, is so surreal. You spend so many weeks and days being pregnant, watching your belly grow, adapting to the physical changes and anxiously awaiting to meet your new baby, and sometimes it feels like that day is never going to come! But here I am, about to have my life completely change again tomorrow.

I feel so unprepared in some ways. Unprepared to breastfeed around the clock again. Unprepared to be woken up several times a night and function on little to no sleep. Unprepared to care for a newborn and a toddler.

And I'm also scared. Scared to have another surgery. Scared to have another incision and have to let it heal. Scared that I won't have the patience to be the best mother to both my children. Scared that I won't know how to ask for help when I need it, or to accept it when it's offered. In some ways I'm comforted by the fact that I've already had a c-section and know what to expect for the most part, but sometimes too much knowledge is scary too.

And then there's Sully. I'm so, so excited for him to be a big brother, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried about how he's going to take it. We had a very trying week with him: lots of meltdowns and temper tantrums and bad behaviour. I'm not sure if it's just a case of the terrible twos, or if he's more aware of the changes that are about to take place than we give him credit for. Or maybe it's a combination of the two. Thankfully, at least I know he will be in good hands with his Nanny and Papa while Jim and I are in the hospital with the new baby.
39 Weeks Pregnant
Anyway, this pregnancy has just flown by, as I knew it would. Sure, some of the days were dreadfully long, but it doesn't feel very long ago that we found out I was pregnant. And, as terrified and unprepared as I feel, I'm also looking forward to starting this new chapter of our life, getting out of maternity clothes, getting back into shape (one day) and living and enjoying life as a family of four.

Thank you to everyone who has sent me messages today, wishing me all the best for tomorrow and letting me know you're thinking of me and baby. Your thoughts and support mean the world to me! xoxo




December 20, 2016

10 Baby Items You Don't Need

With Baby #2 expected to make her arrival in just over a week now, I'm finding myself going through piles of baby stuff, making lists on things I still need to pick up, and reflecting on baby paraphernalia that I thought I needed with Sully that I ended up finding completely useless or not worth the money. I don't believe for a second that all your baby needs is clothes, diapers and love. Sure, you would survive that way, but there are some pretty cool baby items out there nowadays that make life with a newborn easier. But that also means there are a lot of baby related things out there that are not worth your money no matter how well the marketing on it might be.

With that being said, obviously this is a subjective list since everyone's needs differ and what works for one parent (or baby), might not work for another, but overall, when I think about the baby items that are useless or a waste of money, these one's make my list.
Overrated and Useless Baby Items

1. Burp Cloths: Totally unnecessary. For starters, they are too small and 10 times out of 10, the spit up is going to roll farther down your shoulder than the burp cloth covers. I'm all for multipurpose items and I found that receiving blankets thrown over your shoulder did a much better job of collecting spit up.

2. Change Table: A piece of furniture that baby will outgrow doesn't make sense to me. Buy a change pad and place it on top of a dresser. Or, change your baby on the couch or the floor, which is what I ended up doing most of the time. Great way to prevent baby falling too!

3. Wipes Warmer: I know, I know, it's a great idea! And I have friends who loved theirs. But I so rarely changed diapers in the exact same spot that the cost of one just doesn't seem worth it. And my son survived without one. Plus, do you really want to accustom your baby to only having it's butt wiped with something warm? What happens then when you aren't at home? Skip it. Babies all over the world have survived cold wipes.

4. The Pee-pee Teepee: These were passed on to me from a co-worker as a bit of a joke gift, but at first I was like, these are genius! No. Just a complete novelty item. First of all, you aren't going to pull them out every time you go to change a diaper. And if you do happen to remember to, if baby does pee, then you've just added another thing to be washed. Also, I never once was peed on...it's pretty easy to gauge when your baby boy is about to pee and a washcloth, wipe or the diaper that is still underneath the baby will suffice.

5. Sleepers that go over the head: Why would anyone think these are a good idea?! It's hard enough dressing a wriggly, screaming baby, let alone getting them into a sleeper that only goes over their head. Throw in a poop explosion and you'll be cutting that thing off with scissors!

6. Diaper Genie: Everyone tells you you need one. And I agree to an extent. The first few months of baby's life, you go through a butt load of stinky diapers so it's nice to have a closed system to contain them. BUT...I still found the smell to be unbearable once you have to empty the diaper genie. And don't even get me started on how expensive the bag refills are for them!! Once I ran out of my refills with my second hand diaper genie, I stopped using it. I'd rather take the garbage out twice a day then spend good money on garbage bags.

7. The Bumbo: You either love your Bumbo or don't. I definitely thought it was one of those "must have" items, so I picked one up second hand. My kid hated it from the beginning and after reading some articles on how it forces your baby into unnatural positions, I knew it wasn't for me. No judgement on mom's who love theirs, but I think a bouncy chair or the floor provides a better option!

8. Shopping Cart Cover: Do you really want to drag another baby item along with you wherever you go? No, you really don't. I get it, you want to keep your baby safe from germs, but I'm of the camp that exposure to germs isn't always a bad thing. And I bet 9 times out of 10, you'll forget to bring the damn thing into the store with you anyway. If you must, give the handle and seat a quick wipe down.

9. The Baby Bullet: I will admit, years before I had my own kid, I thought the Baby Bullet was so cute and I wanted one. But the reality is, a Magic Bullet or any high speed blender for that matter, will do the trick. Plus, it will also make adult sized portions so you won't need to store two different blenders.

10. The Snoogle: OK, technically not a baby item, but I'm throwing this one in anyway. My first pregnancy, I bought the regular Snoogle and hated it. When it was time to switch sides I was laying on, I'd have to flip the whole thing over, but I'd have to lift the covers off the bed first. Way too much work. And I found it uncomfortable on my head. This pregnancy, I decided to try the Snoogle on Steroids, aka The Back 'N Belly Body Pillow. It was definitely comfortable at first, but then I didn't know where to put my arms! Threading one underneath the pillow made it fall asleep and I didn't know where else to put it. That thing, along with the cover for it, was freaking expensive so I returned it right away. Two king-sized pillows, or body pillows to support my hips did the job just fine!


Come back tomorrow to see what my top baby items are!


Parents out there - what baby items did you find to be useless or overrated? 




December 15, 2016

A Clean House is a Happy House!

I have never in my life had my home professionally cleaned. And it's not that I'm a terrible house keeper, but let's be honest here: it is a rare day that my entire house is sparkling clean from top to bottom. But isn't there something peaceful and almost magical about having your entire home clean all at one time? I'm talking, all the bathrooms, all the floors, all the dusting done. It's the adult equivalent of a kid on Christmas morning.

So when Mad Maids, a local cleaning company that services Calgary, Edmonton and surrounding areas, contacted me wanting to collaborate on this post, I don't think I've ever been so happy to receive an email in my life. I was giddy with excitement. Especially since I have a baby due now in two weeks and cleaning my home is becoming increasingly more difficult. It was a dream come true!
Give the Gift of  Clean House
After doing a little research on Mad Maids, I was immediately impressed with the fact that they are a company that gives back. Each time a house is cleaned by Mad Maids, a portion of those proceeds are put away for donation to the World Food Program, which they make at the end of every month. That's pretty darn cool if you ask me!

Booking of your Mad Maids cleaning is also super easy and convenient and can be done all online. Pricing is all fixed based on how many rooms your home has so there's no hidden fees. Just select your date, service of choice (routine clean, deep clean or move in/out clean), and size of home. Payment is all done online, but you are not charged until the actual day of your cleaning. The maids always arrive in groups of two which streamlines the cleaning process and all the cleaning staff undergo identity and criminal background checks. They also bring all their own supplies, but should you want them to use certain products of your own, they are more than happy to comply. This includes everything from the actual cleaning products, to the vacuum, broom, toilet brush, etc.
Mad Maids pricing
The day my house was scheduled to be cleaned, I received an email the night before reminding me of my cleaning booking and time. Then, the morning of, because of road conditions, I also received a call notifying me that the cleaning crew was running a few minutes late. No big deal, but the heads up was very nice! The couple that arrived were super friendly and I gave them a tour of my home. You have the option to be at home while they clean or you are welcome to leave. Arrangements can also be made to leave a key or garage code if you aren't going to be home at all during your cleaning time.

The night before my cleaning, I took a look over the list of items that are included in a deep clean (which is pretty much everything under the sun). There were two things I told the cleaning people they didn't need to do: dust my mantle as I had just decorated it for Christmas, and vacuum my family room couch as we literally just purchased it. Also, if there is anything extra that you want cleaned that isn't included in the package you chose, (such as laundry, your basement, interior windows, etc), you can add those items on at the time of your booking for an extra fee.

My team started upstairs in the master bedroom and then they literally worked from top to bottom and out the front door. I didn't want to be in the way with Sully, so we left to run a few errands and they texted me when they were almost done so that we could head back home. We did a walk through of the house before they left and I couldn't get over how shiny and clean my home looked and felt. When we went upstairs, Sully couldn't get over it either and was jumping around exclaiming: "mama, look at the new TV! Look at your new bed! Look at my new room!! It's AWESOME!!" It was hilarious and we were all cracking up. I mean, I didn't think my house was THAT messy before!
A Clean House is a Happy House
My bathrooms were sparkling, including my glass shower door. Seriously, that thing has got to be the worst thing ever in the world to clean. My bed was made, and they did offer to change my sheets, but I declined as I had just changed them. All of our blinds were wiped (another job I hate doing so I never do it), our floor vents were cleaned, baseboards were wiped, the inside of my oven was cleaned and my floors were not only washed, but also polished! And that's on top of all the other regular stuff (counter tops, mirrors, vacuuming, etc). I joked that we were going to have to live in the basement for the next week as the house was so clean I didn't want anyone touching anything, haha!

It was hard to take before and after photos that truly showed their hard work, but if you look closely at the befores, you can see the soap scum buildup.
before & after photos of glass shower door Oven before and after photos
Overall, Jim and I were really impressed with the service we received. It took the crew about 4 hours to clean two floors which I think is great since I wouldn't want someone in my home for an entire day cleaning. I did notice a few things that weren't dusted on my main floor, and when I mentioned it in an email to Mad Maids (I didn't notice until after the cleaning crew left), they offered to come back and do anything that was missed. I declined since it was nothing for me to run a cloth over, but I definitely appreciated that they fully stand behind their 100% satisfaction guaranteed claim.

You guys, for the first time in a very long time, I feel at peace in my home. I don't feel overwhelmed by the cleaning that needs to be done and it's weird to not have anything needing to be cleaned! What an amazing feeling.

Would I use Mad Maids again? You bet! I also know what I will be asking for anytime someone asks me for a gift idea! Mad Maids offers gift certificates which I honestly think is a fantastic gift idea for someone - especially those hard to buy for people, or those people who seem to have everything! I bet they don't have a completely top to bottom sparkly clean home ;)


The best part of this? If you live in Calgary, Edmonton, or surrounding areas (Airdrie, Okotoks, Cochrane, Bragg Creek, Chestermere, St Alberta & Sherwood Park), you can use code SBF20 for $20 off a cleaning package of your choice (offer ends on 01/15/17). 

AND, I'm also giving away one $50 gift card and one $100 gift card to Mad Maids over on my Instagram account, so be sure to head over there to enter! Win it for yourself, or to gift to someone you know. The winner will be chosen before Christmas so it would make a great gift/stocking stuffer! 


*I was provided with a free house cleaning in exchange for this post. As always, thank you for supporting the companies that continue to make this hobby of mine possible!*


Have you ever had your home professionally cleaned? 

Do you have a regular cleaning company/person come in?

What's the one cleaning task you hate doing?



December 14, 2016

A Slice of Brie Book Club: Wrapped Up in You by Carole Matthews

Hello Book Clubbers! I can't believe this is the final book club of the year. As I also mentioned in the last book club post, this will also be the last book club for the next few months. With baby arriving in two weeks, I don't want to over commit myself until I get into the groove of managing my time with a toddler and a newborn. I like to think I'll still find time to read, but who knows! Hopefully we can pick back up in the spring though! I want to thank each and every one of you who has supported this little online book club. It means the world to me that you wanted to be a part of this and participated in the discussions. The only thing I love more than actually reading, is sharing that love of reading with other people. So thank you, thank you!
On that note, I also feel like I need to apologize for ending this book club with such a bust of a book! All I wanted was to read something light and fun and Christmassy, and this book was none of those things for me. (Maybe I also need to apologize right now to those that read this but loved it!) I know when it comes to a book club it's often a gamble on whether the book will be good or not, but I do take responsibility for this since I put a lot of work into selecting what I think will be good books to vote on. This book has pretty darn good reviews on Goodreads and was listed under several different "Christmas Themed Books" book lists, so I'm not sure what happened. Oh well, as much as I would have loved to end this with a bang, I'm hoping we can all have a good laugh at it instead!

OK quick reminder: if you're new to book club, this is a place for discussion, more than a review, so spoilers are aplenty. But, with that being said, I don't think this book can really be spoiled, haha. I also want to say, I don't take pleasure in rating a book poorly or bashing it, but there are so many things I disliked about this book that I can't help myself. Please forgive me.

Quick synopsis: Wrapped Up in You is the story of Janie, a 35 year old single hairdresser who lives alone with her cat. She's recently split up with her long term boyfriend whom she's pretty sure she wasn't actually ever in love with. She's given up on ever meeting anyone and is completely oblivious to the fact that her handsome and kind neighbour, Mike, is totally smitten for her. Janie is then set up on a blind date from hell by her best friend (and co-worker), Nina. Except this guy won't take no for an answer and continues to stalk Janie. Around the same time, Janie's ex tells her he's getting married and having a baby. So Janie does what any sane woman would do, and blows all her life savings on a week long trip on an African Safari after a client of hers leaves her a brochure on it. Oh, and this trip takes place over Christmas. In Africa, Janie falls in love with her "Maasai Warrior/safari guide", and when she returns to England, she is hell-bent on doing whatever it takes to be with him. Forever.
Here's what drove me nuts about this book:

  • Janie's complete obliviousness to the fact that her neighbour and good friend, Mike, liked her. And that she used him whenever she was feeling lonely or needed something done for her.
  • The whole bit with the bad blind date. I don't believe for a minute that Lewis, the most self-centred, annoying man I have ever read about, would continue to beat down Janie's door to try to convince her that they were meant to be together. But OK, let's say she happened to go on a date with the one crazy guy in her small town. Am I really supposed to believe that Janie believed her going to Africa for a week was what he needed to finally get the picture that she wasn't interested? 
  • I definitely can buy that Janie was attracted to and lusted after Dominic, the Maasai Warrior she meets in Africa. I even buy that she would sleep with him. I mean, what happens on vacation stays on vacation, right? Wrong! This isn't just a little holiday fling. Janie AND Dominic both profess their love to each other at the end of the week. OK, so I can see a woman getting a little wrapped up in such a lust, but I don't buy that Dominic would be so quick to fall in love. He's built and spent his whole like in a tiny village in Africa as a warrior and has standards and beliefs he follows to a T. He spends his time working on these safari's and this is the first time he's fallen head over heals with one of his clients?
  • Oh but wait! Dominic has Facebook! He only has to walk 10 miles to get to the nearest computer though, so Janie and Dominic can totally continue their long distance romance. Easy peasy. 
  • How does someone as primitive as Dominic (I mean, he only needs a few hours of sleep at a time, has wrestled lions in the flesh, survives on only fermented milk mixed with the blood of his cattle, and lives in a small village), also be somewhat educated (he speaks pretty darn good English and clearly knows his way around a computer)?! 
  • I just can't accept that Dominic would so willingly jump on an airplane and leave his family and life behind to be with Janie. What do they talk about?! Love is one thing, but is that enough to sustain a relationship especially when one person is being completely removed from their life as they know it? 
  • I found their whole relationship uncomfortable. Dominic was just portrayed as her protector and lover, and all he ever asked her was "are you happy?" 
  • And for the love of god, if I had a dollar for every time Janie referred to Dominic as "her lover" I would have more than enough money to pay Becky back for actually having to purchase this book. Gag me.
  • I honestly didn't like any of the characters except for Mike. He was the only normal one, but I felt bad that he was wasting all his time and energy on Janie. 
  • Dominic was a pro-snowboarder his first time ever on one. Riiiiiight.
  • When Dominic runs away at the end of the book, he becomes a hero and everyone likes him now because he attacked a mugger to get an old woman's purse back. Would this story really make headline news?! 
  • Why oh why did this book need to be over 400 pages long?! What was even the plot? 
  • I feel so duped by this book. The cover is so misleading...with the wintery landscape and the caption "Will Janie bring home true love this Christmas?" Nope, nope, nope. Not a Christmas (or wintery) book AT ALL. 
OK, phew! I needed to get those things off my chest. I know I left some things out. You guys can remind me of what I missed in the comments, haha! Or maybe you liked this book (sorry for dissing it in that case) and you can let me know why! 

No questions this go around. I just want to hear what you thought about it...if you agree with my bullet points...if I missed any major issues with the book...and/or what did/didn't work for you with this book. 

Again, thanks to every one who has participated in book club this past year! Even thought we didn't go out with a bang, I hope there will still be interest to pick this back up in the spring some time. In the event that you have a post on this book you want to link up, I've included a link up below. Happy reading!


December 12, 2016

Weekending: 'Tis the Season!

Phew! What an incredibly busy weekend, but in the best possible way! I haven't felt inclined to share our weekend happenings lately because they've mostly been filled with home projects or lots of laziness. Or a combination of both. But this past weekend was crammed full of family and friends time and even though it's bitterly cold outside, it was a perfect weekend.

Friday

Originally, Friday night was supposed to be Jim's company Christmas party. I wasn't too keen on going given that I'm 37 weeks pregnant and needed to go buy a new dress that fit, but since my Aunt and her husband were more than happy to babysit we figured we might as well go and get a free dinner out of it! Then two days before the party, Jim called to tell me we weren't going to as it wasn't a semi-formal dinner, it was a casual cocktail/appy evening. Ya, not happening in my condition or in this weather. So I gladly returned that dress and instead we headed out to dinner and a movie (never happens!). The timing and location of where the movies were playing that we wanted to see just didn't work for us, so we ended up going to a cheap theatre and watching Deepwater Horizon, the film based on the true story of the BP oil spill. (Mark Wahlberg sold me). It was actually really good and really interesting to see the events of this horrific event from the people directly involved on the rig.

Anyway, afterwards we headed to Phoenix Grill for dinner because I've been wanting to take Jim there ever since the Blog Squad went after our OTF workout back in the spring. Funnily enough though, even though everything on their menu sounds delicious, I ended up ordering the exact same salad I had last time and it's still one of the best salads I've ever ordered at a restaurant.

We grabbed Turtle sundaes from McDonald's on the way home (SO good!) and then ate them while watching F is for Family on Netflix.

Sully had a blast decorating a gingerbread train while we were gone, and clearly didn't miss us at all!

Saturday

I was up early to head out the door to pick up my Baby Box and run a few errands before meeting Jim and Sully at Sully's last gymnastic class of this session. He was so proud to go up and get his certificate at the end. And I was so proud of him because most of the time he's so shy in situations like that and won't go up on his own.
Afterwards, the boys ran some more errands while I headed home to get ready for the annual Blogger Christmas party that I was hosting this year! We were missing several of the girls, but we still had a great time chatting and catching up, eating delicious food, doing our gift exchange and taking cheesy group photos! After I spend time like this with these women, I'm always overwhelmed by how lucky I am to have found such a good and honest group of friends. Our blogs may have brought us together, but it's our friendships that bond us.
{Nicole//Kris//Leigh//Jen//Me//Ange//Alison}

Leigh and I also exchanged our Blogger Christmas Swap gifts, as we were paired up this year. Leigh spoiled me with not one, but two ornaments that are totally me, plus some other goodies!

Sunday

I've been sleeping terribly lately so I opted to sleep in the basement Saturday night hoping to get a good nights sleep and not keep Jim up with my constant repositioning. I tell ya, the day I can once again sleep on my back and give my hips a much needed rest can't come soon enough! Luckily, I had a pretty good sleep and slept in till 10 a.m.! After we all ate breakfast, we got to work tackling clutter and some final home projects. Tomorrow Mad Maids is coming in to do a deep clean of my house and to say I'm so excited would be an understatement! This is the adult equivalent of a kid on Christmas morning!

Anyway, it's time for this pregnant momma to climb into bed and read a few pages of her book before going to sleep!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!


Tell me something fun you did this weekend! 



December 09, 2016

The Perfect 5 Year Wedding Anniversary Gift

Last month was our five year wedding anniversary. With some big home projects on the go, Christmas coming up and a new baby on the way, we kept the celebration low-key and agreed on no gifts this year. We've now said the same thing for Christmas.

Except, I really wanted to get my husband something special, something that says, "thank you for getting up every single morning and going to work, providing for your family, for loving us with all your heart and being the best father and dad a family could ask for". So when JORD Wood Watches offered to send me a watch to review, I knew I wanted to pick one for Jim. And how fitting that the traditional gift for the 5 year wedding anniversary is wood!
The Perfect 5 Year Wedding Anniversary Gift
I've had my eye on JORD Wood Watches for months now. I love the all wood design and how elegant and unique they look. It's a watch that can be dressed up or down depending on your style as the wood really compliments any outfit. The hardest part is deciding which one to get!

For Jim, I went with the Koa & Ash from the men's series. I loved the dark grey face with lighter wood band. I knew it was a watch he could wear to work and also on the weekends. JORD Watches are definitely a statement piece in my opinion, but they aren't flashy in an obnoxious sense.
5 Year Wedding Anniversary gift idea
Say Happy Anniversary with a wood watch from JORD
I'd be lying if I said I don't plan on borrowing this watch from time to time! I love how light it is and since it's a bit looser on my wrist, it hangs perfectly. But if I was to pick one from the women's series, I'd be all over the Zebrawood & Turquoise one! How fun is that pop of colour?!
Say Happy Anniversary with a wood watch from JORD
If you're thinking you want one of these wood watches in your life too, then click on this link and enter your information and you will receive a $25 instant gift code to use! (Offer expires on December 18, 2016, but you will have until February 28, 2017 to use it).


*This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches but all opinions and reviews 
expressed are my own*


Wooden Wristwatch

December 06, 2016

Book Club Postponed!

I feel like a broken record every month, postponing book club each time! Sorry friends! I'm pushing it back a week until next Wednesday, December 14. I know some of you had trouble getting a hold of the book on time, myself included, and could probably use another week to get through it (it's a big book!). Sorry about putting a book out there for voting on that wasn't readily available! I'm usually aware of that, but that one slipped through somehow.

Anyway, I hope you were planning to join us this month as it's the last book club for a bit! I hope to resume sometime in the spring once I've adjusted to having a newborn again and I know for sure I have time to read!

See you next Wednesday to talk all about Wrapped Up in You by Carole Matthews!





December 05, 2016

Oh Baby: 36 Weeks

It's baby month! It's so weird to think about, especially since this time of year is so consumed with all things Christmas, that I sometimes forget that we will also be welcoming a new addition to our family in about three and a half short weeks. It still doesn't feel completely real yet, even though my expanding belly reminds me otherwise. And even though baby's delivery date is all scheduled, I'm also starting to think about the fact that she very well could decide to come early! It's kind of weird when you have a scheduled c-section because it's like having a baby agenda and everything is planned out and it's hard to prepare for things to go otherwise. Sully was delivered via scheduled c-section only a day before his due date, but it's normal to be late with your first. Since this baby is scheduled for delivery 5 days before her due date, I'm hopeful everything will stay on track. And even as I write that I think how naive that could sound since we all know babies make up their own rules when it comes to making their entrance into the world!
Baby Update at 36 Weeks
Anyway, the countdown is most definitely on, and considering today is already December 5th, I know this month is going to fly on by. This past weekend we had some maternity/family photos done and I can't wait to see and share them! It ended up feeling much colder out than temperatures dictated, but my boys were troopers for staying out there for almost two hours.

These past few weeks, I've noticed a big increase in Sully's interest in the "baby in mama's belly". He often asks to see the baby and lifts up my shirt to do so. Then he will touch my belly or ask if he can kiss the baby. Sometimes I try to get him to hold his little hand still so he can feel her kicking, but he usually starts giggling and then says the baby is trying to hug him. It's seriously the sweetest moments and makes me so excited to see him be a big brother. We also have conversations every day about the baby because while he's aware something is going on inside of me, I'm not convinced he really gets it.

Sully: There's a baby in your belly!
Me: There is. Is the baby going to come out soon?
Sully: Yes! And then it will come out my belly. And then dada's. *And then he lifts up his shirt and points to his belly*
Me: Is the baby going to be a boy or a girl?
Sully: A boy!
Me: No, I think it's a girl.
Sully: No, it's a boy! *laughs hysterically*
Me: What should we name the baby?
Sully: I don't know!
Me: What colour of hair is the baby going to have?
Sully: White!
Me: What colour of eyes will the baby have?
Sully: Blue! (Some days he says green, some days he says red).
Me: Are you going to share your crib with the baby?
Sully: Yup!
Me: What else are you going to share with the baby?
Sully: My mo-mo bike! (his push ride-on motorbike).
Me: Are you going to read her books? Which book will you read her?
Sully: The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!
Me: Will you sing the baby a song?
Sully: Yup! The sunshine song!

And then some days, when we are at the kitchen table, I'll sit down and kind of groan from the back/groin pain and he will say: "You belly too full, mama? You back hurt?" God bless his little heart. Some of the things he says or remembers that I've said blows my mind.

It's weird to think about how the days of it being just me and Sully are coming to an end, and a part of me will mourn that. It's been just me and him for almost 3 years. I know it will be a transition for the both of us for sure. But it also fills me with such joy to be able to bring another child into our world, a sibling for my son, and hopefully a life-long best friend. That, my friends, is worth all the physical complaints I have right now.

Just 3.5 more weeks, baby girl. See you soon. xoxo



December 02, 2016

Currently...{December}

I can't believe this is my last Currently post of 2016! I'm also having a hard time accepting that it's December 1st already. You guys, that means Christmas is a mere 24 days away and my baby, if she stays put, will be here in 28 days! The next time I write a Currently post, I will have two kids, two!

It's been a little quieter around these parts, but that just means that Jim and I are actually making some serious headway on home projects that I'd love to have done before baby arrives. Of course, her nursery hasn't seen any improvement yet, but once we get it painted, it won't take much. Plus, I fully intend on having baby sleep in our room for the first few months (at least) since that is what we did with Sully and I'm really looking forward to that part of having a newborn.

Anyway...here's a little look at what I'm currently up to!
Thinking About: How proud I am of Sully and how quickly he took to potty training. I decided that last Monday was going to be the day we started since we were just about out of diapers, but had a bunch of pull-ups on hand. I knew I was putting it off, and I also knew that once baby comes, I wouldn't want to be potty training a toddler on top of having a newborn. We will still have to work on nap-time and night-time training, as well as #2, but for now, I'm more than happy for him to be day-trained!

Reading: I haven't been reading as much this past month, mostly because our evenings are spent trying to finish up home projects or I'm just too tired to. But, I am on the second book of the Winter series by Elin Hilderbrand and it's cute, fun, Christmassy and exactly what I was looking for heading into December. My hold for December's A Slice of Brie Book Club also finally came in, so I'll be cracking that open right away in order to get it read in time for next Wednesday! Come join us for the discussion if you've read/are reading the book (Wrapped Up in You by Carole Matthews).

Listening To: All of the Christmas music! I adore Christmas music. It makes me happy and puts me in the Christmas spirit. I don't know how I haven't come across this cover of Little Drummer Boy by Walk Off the Earth before, but you guys, it's fantastic! They give Boney M a run for their money! And this video is pretty awesome (although all their videos are awesome)!



Watching: Not a whole lot...still trying to work my way through Gilmore Girls (currently half way through season 2), and now that Jess has joined the show, it's infinitely better! We also watched a few episodes of the Netflix original, Easy...which is kind of weird, but kind of good too. My plan is to watch all of the Christmas movies this month though! Last weekend we watched Home Alone 1 & 2 and they have got to be two of my favourites - still so good even all these years later. Even Sully really enjoyed watching them with us!

Eating: Not much! I'm carrying baby so high and I'm so short of breath that some days it's a challenge to eat much. I don't have any cravings really...except maybe Honeycrisp apples! Gosh, those babies are delicious! Thankfully, Costco had huge bags for an amazing price the other week because those guys are usually SO expensive!

Wearing: Well, you can read all about my signature maternity look in this post! ;) (spoiler: leggings/skinny jeans, plain t-shirt and cardigans).

Laughing About:

Cream for life!
Pretty much!

YES! WHY BRAIN, WHY!!
I do this ALL the time and Jim makes fun of me for it.
AMEN! Except, pile on the floor in the closet is more accurate. This drives Jim nuts and I've tried explaining it to him but he doesn't get it. 
Looking Forward To: Besides the arrival of baby later this month? Our mini family/maternity photo session coming up on Saturday! Of course, I still need to figure out what I'm wearing as well as what Jim and Sully will be wearing, but the weather forecast is looking decent for Saturday so I'm hopeful our outdoor shoot won't freeze our toes off! And of course...I'm looking forward to everything this month has to offer: all things Christmas, the Calgary Blogger Christmas party, Jim's company Christmas party, making new traditions with Sully this year, Jim's parent's visit, and the fact that this will be the first year ever that Jim will actually have time off BEFORE Christmas, plus a few weeks afterwards. It's an exciting month, that's for sure!!


Your turn! Tell me:

What's your favourite Christmas tradition?

Favourite Christmas song?

What are you most looking forward to this month?




November 24, 2016

Dressing the Bump: My Signature Maternity Look

I promised myself that I wouldn't buy too many new maternity clothes this time around. I bought a lot during my first pregnancy because I was working and I am just not one of those women who can make their non-pregnancy clothes work for them while pregnant, nor did I want to.

Luckily, I held on to my favourite pieces and I'm fortunate enough to have generous friends lend me some extra items. Other than a new pair of plum-coloured skinny jeans, and a few basic t-shirts and tanks, I haven't had to buy anything else.

It also helps that my 'signature look' is pretty simple: leggings/skinny jeans, t-shirt/tanktop and a cardigan. It's rare you'll see me in anything else. Okay, let's be honest, this is my signature look even when I'm not pregnant! But still, this combination is one I find to be the most comfortable and the easiest to keep casual or dress up for the evening. Change up the footwear, add or subtract a statement necklace and add some fun to the look with the perfect patterned cardigan.

My signature look lets me run after a toddler all day, but with a few switches, can take me into the evening for a night out with the girls or on a date with my husband. And the cardigan is a pregnant woman's best friend! Layered over your basics, it's my go-to wardrobe staple, and the item I own the most of in my closet. So when I saw this particular one from PinkBlush, I knew I needed it! What can I say, I love me a pretty cardigan!

dressing the bump with staples and a fun cardigan
maternity fashion
A tribal print cardigan to dress up your everyday look
Pregnancy Fashion
Use a fun cardigan and a statement necklace to dress up your everyday look
A fun cardigan to dress up your pregnancy look
Toddler friendly maternity look
Coral Tribal Print Knit Maternity Cardigan c/o PinkBlush


What's your go-to signature look? 

Cardigans: Yay or Nay?




November 23, 2016

Books & Babes

Hey friends! It's been two months since Allison, Becky, and I shared our most favourite reads with you all, so grab your notepads/phones/open up Goodreads, because this post is full of great book recommendations for yourself and for your loved ones on your Christmas shopping lists! We've been reading up a storm and as a result, have read some really wonderful books.

Book recommendations for book lovers

*****

BRIE

I’ve read a good chunk of books in the last two months – 10 to be exact, but barely a handful stand out as really great reads. Such is the life of a reader though! Thankfully, the books I loved, I really, really loved.

Favourites: When we last caught up, I mentioned I had just started One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and you guys, what an amazing book! I pretty much recommend it to everyone I talk to (and I even made my mom read it while she was visiting), so if you haven’t yet, this is one bandwagon you need to hop on ASAP. Immediately after One True Loves, I read After I Do by the same author and while it’s completely different, I loved it too. Now I’m on a mission to read the rest of her books. Happiness for Beginners was my most recent read and it’s now competing with One True Loves for my favourite book of the year. Another feel-good, easy read, but deeper than your average chick-lit. And if you’re in the mood for a twisted, psychological mystery, then All is Not Forgotten is a great read, but fair warning that the content is pretty graphic.

Looking Forward To: My reading has slowed down considerably the past few weeks, most likely because my energy is pretty low as I prepare for baby to make its debut in just over a month. I’ve made it my mission to try and finish off the year with light, easy, Christmas themed reads. I never read seasonal books, but I felt it was time, and after Alison recommended the Winter Street trilogy by Elin Hilderbrand, I put them all on hold at the library. I’m halfway through the first book and it’s exactly what I was hoping to read to round out the year.
Adult Fiction book recommendations for Christmas

*****

BECKY

I think the last couple months were a reading record for me. I read eight, almost nine, books since we last caught up two months ago. My grand total for the year is sitting at 32! I've read some pretty great books but some were just meh, like The Girls and Miss Peregrine's. What is it about over-hyped books being totally mediocre? 

Favourites: It's so hard to choose my favourite but I'm going to have to say Forever, Interrupted. I think Taylor Jenkins Reid has become my new favourite author. However, you should know by now that I can't say no to a good memoir written by a strong female which is why I also really loved both Amy Schumer's and Bif Naked's memoirs. I'm just on the last few pages of Bif's book but knew I'd love it to the end based on her recent book tour where she read some passages with such animation. I'm reading the book with her voice in my head which makes it even more fantastic.

Looking Forward To: I was thrilled when I found both Forever, Interrupted and another TJR book, After I Do at the used bookstore. I've heard After I Do is even better than Forever, Interrupted and I can't wait to devour it. I also can't wait to get my hands on Anna Kendrick's new book Scrappy Little Nobody and Lauren Graham's book, Talking As Fast As I Can, because it's Gilmore Girls month!
Adult fiction and non-fiction book recommendations for Christmas

*****

ALLISON

12 books in 2 months? Whoa. I've been adverse to reading lately (hello all the made-for-tv holiday movies!) so I was a bit surprised to see the tally at 12. The good news, for me, is that I didn't dislike anything I've read recently. Some were just ok but unlike the summer, none were bad. You can follow along with everything I'm reading and what's on my list on Goodreads

Favourites: surprise, surprise; I can't pick just one favourite. I had written a sentence stating that It Ends With Us was my favourite (and it was REALLY good) but I also loved The Velvet Hours. You know how much I adore historical fiction. The Velvet Hours is based on the real life story of coutesan Marthe de Florian who deserted her Paris apartment in World War Two and its contents discovered, completely untouched for decades, in 2010. This is a fascinating story, easy to follow, and very captivating. I didn't like how abruptly it ended but after some research I understand why. It Ends With Us: I didn't love how young the main character was but other than that, I really enjoyed the story line that featured a strong-willed female lead. 

Looking forward to: the third book in Elin Hilderbrand's Winter series: Winter Storms. This is last book in the series (the first two, which came out in 2014 and 2015, were great) and I'm equally looking forward to reading about how the Quinn family's story ends and sad there won't be another one next year. With my overwhelming adoration of made-for-tv Christmas movies I'm not-so-secretly hoping the trio of novels is made into a trio of movies. If you're looking for something light-hearted and seasonally appropriate I would recommend Hilderbrand's Winter Street Triology. 
Fiction recommendations for Christmas

*****

Favourite recent read?

What's on your Christmas book wish-list?




November 16, 2016

Tried & True: Recipes From Pinterest You Need to Make {Pumpkin Edition}

pumpkin recipe roundup
I feel like the love for pumpkin flavoured goodies dies out sooner in Canada than in the States since our Thanksgiving happens so much earlier. When does "all things pumpkin" come to an end? End of November? After Christmas? I really don't know, but in case your still in the mood for some yummy pumpkin infused recipes, I've got you covered. This past month I made over a handful of different pumpkin recipes and today I'm sharing the best of the best with you. (If you want some actual meal recipe ideas, then be sure to check out last month's Pinterest roundup!).

*****

Easy Pumpkin Pie Bites: Pinned over 327 THOUSAND times!
A delicious alternative to pumpkin pie in bite size form!
You know what I find interesting (and frustrating) about Pinterest? The fact that a recipe can be pinned hundreds of thousands of times, yet there are no comments on the pin itself, and the blog post sharing said recipe has minimal to no comments on it as well. I for one, like to see what people have to say about a recipe: what worked for them,what substitutes did they make, did they love it...etc. This is why trying recipes on Pinterest are so hit and miss!

Thoughts: Anyway, thankfully, despite the lack of comments on this one, it was a winner. I made these for Thanksgiving dinner, and while my two younger nephews aren't a fan of pumpkin based desserts, it just meant the adults got to indulge in more! I made them the night before and didn't put the whipped cream on them until we were ready to eat them. I would recommend eating them within a day or two of making since the pastry does start to dry out, but they were still delicious!

Verdict: I loved the two-bite, cuteness factor. Although, I'm pretty sure I ate WAY more of these little bites than I would have of regular pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving dinner calories don't count, right?

*****

Healthy One Bowl Pumpkin Banana Muffins: Pinned 715 times
Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Thoughts:  I wanted something my husband could throw in his lunch for a snack, and something I could grab on my way out the door. These were both delicious and filling. The pumpkin flavour is not strong in them at all - I would probably use pumpkin pie spice next time to amp it up, but otherwise, these would be a great year round muffin to make!

Verdict: These were a big hit with both myself and my husband. Even my toddler, who is funny about muffins, would eat about half of one before declaring "I'm done!". I think the chocolate chips helped.

*****

Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies: Pinned over 103k times

Thoughts: The texture and chewiness was so different than your average cookie, but my husband and I loved that about them!  I'd probably try and cut down the sugar next time I make them, but they were still really yummy. The dough is definitely a bit odd to work with, and make sure you listen and chill your dough for the recommended amount of time! I ended up pressing my chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies before baking as it just seemed easier this way than trying to mix them into the sticky dough. (These got eaten up before I thought to take a photo!)

Verdict: I really, really loved these cookies. And my toddler ate them too, so that's always a win! They reminded me of a nice, chewy molasses cookie, but with a slight pumpkin flavour.

*****

Pumpkin Pie Spice Chex Mix: Pinned 30 times
A delicious holiday party snack!

Thoughts: Okay, this one is a little self-promotion here because this is a recipe I posted the other week, but seriously, if you missed it, you need to make this one! It's the perfect holiday snack, whether it's for Friday movie night or a party. It's easy, delicious and a great way to have your pumpkin pie spice without using any actual pumpkin.

Verdict: Obviously, make it!!



Over to you:

Pumpkin desserts: love 'em or hate 'em?

Favourite pumpkin snack/dessert? Share your recipe in the comments!