Up To (Great) Grandma’s House We Go

This past Friday we went on a short road trip up to my grandmothers home with Lily and my mother. We had four generations all together at once!

Lily was surprisingly good on the way up, she has been starting to cut a tooth so she has been fussy for a little while know but she ended up falling asleep before we were fully out of the city! She slept until the car stopped in my grandmothers driveway so I was able to sit down and just listen to some music on my mp3 player without distraction.

While we were there my grandmother actually brought out toys that I played with as a kid, and even a barbie doll that my aunts played with when they were children! Lily loved eating the barbies feet. Throughout the day we baby proofed in sections, Lily would find the photo frames on low bookshelf’s and we would take those, then candles, and little candy bowls, it was actually like a game, how quick could Lily find something she shouldn’t have?

Showing off her new hat!

Showing off her new hat!

We shortly decided to sit out on the front deck and layed out a quilt and some toys for Lily, we sat there for awhile and then moved to my Grandmothers front garden were Lily loved looking at the flowers and trying to eat the grass, and she loved the gnomes!

We then sat down to some amazing barbecued burgers and salad with radishes and apples in it and Lily sat eating her Gerber puffs and then “chewing” on a celery stick since she doesn’t have teeth fully yet.

It was nice to see my grandmother and Lily had so much fun playing with new toys and seeing her great grandmother. She tuckered herself out and slept most of the ride home.

Advertisements

Christmas Shopping

Yesterday I took my second trip for Christmas shopping, and I’m still not done! I am pretty close though, all I have to do is a couple more things for Michael’s stocking, and I need a stocking for Lily still.

Last year due to being on the psych ward in our local hospital for a month+ I was unable to get a day pass so that I was able to do Christmas shopping, luckily I was in art therapy so I was able to use my projects for Christmas shopping. Where the presents were liked and understood by my family I wanted to make sure I gave my family something amazing this Christmas.

Christmas Shopping In Heels!?

Overwhelmed with Presents!

This is the most Christmas shopping I have done in my life! I’m buying for my parents, my sister and her husband, Michael and my little cutie, Lily. And I’m not going  lie, it’s exhausting!

Not just the running around, the going to two different malls, different big stores, random smaller stores. But shopping with a baby is exhausting also! countless moments spent having to carry Lily around the store because it was the only way to calm her down (I’m pretty sure Lily is starting the teething process) and countless diaper changes, folding up the stroller, taking out the stroller. It was exciting and I feel proud that I was able to handle 4+ hours of shopping two separate days of shopping in under a week.

One of the hardest things is keeping myself from buying so much. This year is one of the first years I have more then $80 to spend on Christmas gifts, and that coupled with wanting to make Lily’s first Christmas, and the first Christmas with Michael more amazing by buying great gifts it’s hard to stop myself from buying plenty. But I was strong and didn’t spend a crazy amount and didn’t go as crazy as I want to. I turned down buying that new xbox, and I turned down buying Lily three different fancy dresses (Honestly as much as I love them, she wouldn’t fully have anywhere to wear them to)

Christmas shopping for a bigger family, and my own little family makes me feel more grown and mature, and I adore the feeling! I’m proud of myself for being able to even go out and budget for Christmas, I’m proud of being able to think of multiple gifts, and creative ideas for gifts. I’m proud that I’m even able to go out shopping and not have a panic attack, heck January of this year I had a panic attack just going into the same malls as I did my Christmas shopping due to social anxiety.

In all honesty, I really do like the experience of Christmas shopping, I love giving things to others and I can not wait to see my family’s face’s when they open there presents, I think honestly the only thing that could make Christmas shopping better would be A) if I didn’t have to walk around for 4+ hours in one day to do the shopping B) If I had more money to buy the things I wish I could buy for my loved ones!

I hope your Christmas Shopping is the best experience it can be, and GOOD LUCK.

Do you like Christmas shopping? What would make it better?

Hot Chocolate Station

Personally the best Christmas drink is Hot Chocolate, of course recently the close second is becoming peppermint Mocha’s, but Hot cocoa is still number one in my books.

This past Sunday was one of my families Christmas parties, my sister and mother hosted the Christmas Soiree and my sister had one of the greatest idea’s for a Christmas party, a hot chocolate station, I just had to share it with my readers.

Hot Cocoa Station!

Hot Cocoa Station!

From young and old everyone took part and made there own special hot chocolate, and even went back for seconds…and thirds. It’s the perfect thing to add to your Christmas party, or an amazing thing to bring to a party.

To make your own the main ingredient of course is the Hot Chocolate, you can spring for an actual canister, or you could go to a bulk store and buy plenty of mix (honestly it saves money, and on top of it, it does taste pretty good anyways!) there are plenty of mixings you can add some of the few we had at the party were:

  • Crushed up chocolate
  • Crushed up white chocolate
  • Crushed up candy canes
  • Marshmallows (of course!)
  • Soft Caramels
  • Caramel sauce

There are plenty of other things you could add, if you do go to the bulk store to get the hot chocolate go through the aisle’s and take a look at other things you can add!

What is your special/favorite Christmas drink? Would you make a hot chocolate station (if you do I’d love to hear how it went!) 

 

Christmas Wishlist

I remember as a child writing my “Dear Santa” wishlist for Christmas. I would sit down at my families kitchen table with the Sears Christmas catalog as my mother cooked dinner and go page by page and list my dream presents. Of course my first draft was large, but I would spend a week on my list and narrow it down (Yes I was the child that actually had about three written drafts of a Christmas wishlist before I made my final decisions and my final list that I would send to Santa Claus) Where Santa is no longer the person that needs my wishlist, I’m going to write a couple of things I dream of getting, even though since having a child makes our pockets tight I’m accepting I might not get what I want on this list, but I’d like to have a list to look back on next year to see if my likes and dislikes have changed in a year. cfd33102a18c6ed85cbd3c0e6c25f04fI really want to be able to have a constant reminder of Lily during the day, even if she’s not with me. I want to show people that I’m a proud mother and that my child is my miracle, I want to have something about her close to me. I’m hoping to have a tattoo of her name or a Lily flower to remind me of her, but i’m not going to be able to get one soon so I’d like to have something else signifying her in a sense on me, and what better way then with a ring? I’d love one with her name on it, her birth date possibly, or even her birthstone. I found the above photo on Etsy but there are plenty others that I love. I’m trying to find one big enough (size 7 or so) but a ring would be perfect so whenever I write I can remember her, and since I have my grandmothers necklace I don’t wish to have two necklace’s or they will just tangle.

My mother has collected Willow Tree figurines since I was a young child, She even has a Willow Tree Nativity! This past Mothers day my mother did things differently and decided to also give presents to my sister and I and that’s when I was gifted my first Willow Tree, since then I’ve been gifted another Willow Tree and I would love to start a collection like my mothers. She works at Hallmark so I’m able to look at all the beautiful figures they have whenever I pick her up from work. This one caught my eye and I would love to have a figurine that reminded me of both Lily and Michael.

Eat St. is my absolute favorite Food Network show. I love that they share so many different recipes, and from so many different types of foods, BBQ, Asian flare, Organic, Vegetarian, Pizza’s and even just simple burgers done with new twists! When I found out the show was coming out with a book I couldn’t wait, I believe this recipe book would go so far, so many different types of food and so many different ideas!

I love tea, Obviously. I actually have only had summer and autumn seasonal tea’s from DavidsTea, and I would love to have a winter seasonal tea, this tea I think was pretty much made for me, I adore white chocolate and then on top of the tea having my much loved white chocolate it has peppermint in it! I think I would end up drinking this tea throughout the year so a big bag might be needed, but any new tea would be amazing!

I love candles, I love the warm light perfect for a relaxing bath, I love the magical smells they make. Where I might not be able to light candles as much soon because of fear of Lily hurting herself possibly, I would love some special candles with amazing smells. There is one other candle a mint chocolate candle that looks amazing, and they both say they are limited edition so I should try and get them soon!

What To Expect When You're Expecting DVD

What To Expect When You’re Expecting DVD

I watched this movie earlier this year just a little bit after I found out I was pregnant, I honestly loved this movie, it has hilarious parts, some tear jerking parts, and I’m amazed how amazing the movie is even though there are multiple different stories going on at once.

What’s on your Christmas wishlist?

Let’s Get Yoga With It!

I had never actually heard of yoga until I was fourteen and was in hospital treatment for my depression, twice a week all the patients would go to the hospital sanctuary and have a yoga class. It was a blessing.

tumblr_m6nt5w2hq51ruwt5bo1_500

I was terrified the first few times, I actually faked a hurt ankle and feeling sick a few times to get out of it (Of course the nurse’s understood it was anxiety taking over and pushed me to keep trying no matter what) I was never very good at anything to do with a “workout” or exercise other then dance so I didn’t have any belief in myself when I started. Once the third week rolled around I had a completely different mind set towards yoga. I was able to bring out the natural flexibility I’d had since a baby and I grew to be the yoga student that if the teacher was working with someone else they would ask me for help. I started having an identity in my treatment program as the “yoga girl” other patients during lunches would ask me to show them how to do a pose, or to show off something. Yoga gave me so much confidence and I can honestly say it was a large part of my recovery, teaching me how to calm myself and push myself even if I’m anxious because sometimes the anxiety I had/have wasn’t for any concrete reason, it also gave me confidence in myself, something I hadn’t felt in years.tumblr_m237bc7tgf1rn559ko1_500

Over the years I have fallen out of practicing yoga, I can still remember most of the poses, the breathing techniques and such but I’ve slacked on actually getting to the mat. I’d love to be able to take a yoga class again, but I’m not planning on that for awhile, I already tried to force myself through my anxiety and get to the gym last year, which failed miserably because I wasn’t ready for that exposure of exercising in public and ended up paying for a membership that I never really used. I’m not giving up though, I plan on getting out my beautiful yoga mat and practicing at home for a few months and then re checking myself to see if I am ready to do a public yoga class. I’m also going to make sure I’m not signing up for a gym membership, just a couple of classes at a studio specifically made for yoga classes (I feel like it will be more about spirituality and relaxation then exercise in a yoga studio)

Have you ever practiced yoga? Whats your favorite part? The workout, the spirituality? the overall calm?

My High School Days

As I lay in bed last night trying to get to sleep, my body exhausted but my brain going a  mile a minute (do you not hate when that happens?) I began to reminisce about my days in high school.

Me, at one of the hardest times of my life during my high school days.

Me, at one of the hardest times of my life during my high school days.

By no means was my high school days “normal” I did some of the normal things a high school kid did, I skipped a few classes, I hung out with friends during lunch, I failed a few tests because I never studied but in the grand scheme of things my high school days were not “average.” My high school years were the years I self harmed almost daily, in those years I dealt with domestic abuse, I dealt with a “full blown” eating disorder, I dealt with leaving public high school in grade nine to seek treatment for my mental health issues and being diagnosed properly. Up until my last year of high school my days were not just about school and friends, my days were mostly about my mental health, coping with my issues and being overwhelmed and to afraid to talk to anyone about it.

But finally I got to my fifth year of high school (due to missing most of grade nine, I had to make up for lost time with a fifth year) and other then a french class (which I surprisingly liked for being the only 18 year old in a grade nine course) my full year was filled with “open courses” (course’s that are chosen by the student, unlike English,math, science which are mandatory) I loved my fifth year, I finally found my “niche” my days were filled with classes about psychology, child development, child education, anthropology, and world religions.

Me and my favorite teacher!

Me and my favorite teacher, on my last day of high school!

I loved my days, my last semester was my favorite of all though, I woke up happy to go to school for the first time in my life, I didn’t worry about the way I looked as much, I didn’t care if I didn’t have many friends at the time,I wasn’t constantly worried about failing because I knew I understood the material. I just wanted to get to class, I loved my course’s of children education, my intro to psychology, sociology and anthropology, which was taught by my favorite teacher, she would joke with me constantly and was always there for me if I needed to talk, she was both fun and serious.

Me writing my first novel in my high school cafeteria

Me writing my first novel in my high school cafeteria

I loved my parenting course were we would weekly go to my old elementary school and work with the kindergarten children. If I could have I would have skipped through lunch and go straight to third period, my psychology course, learning about Freud, Skinner, and Jean Piaget, it’s the course that taught me all about children’s development. My other favorite teacher taught my world religions course, I had, taken his law course before which eased my way into a student teacher friendship with him when I returned the next year and took another course, I loved being able to speak with him about Christianity,the bible and other religions and felt like he was speaking to me with respect and not just as another student.

My fifth year in my eyes was obviously the best, I finally reached my goals of getting 90% and higher in more then one of my courses, I ended the year with the Family Studies certificate, and the World Religions subject award upon graduation. My fifth year taught me that I didn’t just like reading about psychology and taking care of children, I was actually good at it! The end of my high school career was hard, not just because I had to leave high school and my much loved teachers and loved librarian, but the way it ended, in the last two weeks of high school I not only had my first job interview, but I also had my first job acceptance, which needed me to be on site during the exam week, in one week I had to  switch all of my exams to one day, finish them all and the next day head out to my first on site  job just out of London. I wasn’t able to do the big “goodbye” to most of my teachers, and even to some of my friends due to them being busy with exams also.

Prom!

Prom!

It might amaze you after reading how almost 80% or more of my high school journey was filled with negatives I honestly wouldn’t change a thing about those high school days, I hate that I had to deal with domestic abuse, an eating disorder, cutting and suicidal thoughts when I should have been really only worrying about tests, boyfriends, future college courses and jobs, but that last year of high school made a positive ending which helps me accept the negatives in that part of my life.

Love For Bulk Barn!

Grocery stores are not the only places I love to spend hours in just looking through new food products from fresh produce, healthy packaged food, to international cuisine, checking health facts, and brainstorming meal ideas, I also spend hours in Bulk Barn!bulk-barn

If you are not sure what Bulk Barn is, it is a bulk food retailer (Canada’s largest) where they have:

“A wide range of premium quality bulk food products and complementary packaged items.At Bulk Barn we carry over 4,000 products — everything from soup to nuts, candy, snacks, baking and candy-making ingredients and supplies, cereals, grains, spices from the everyday to the exotic, dried fruits, nutritional vitamins and supplements, health and natural food products, pet food, plus everything you need to throw a great party.”

I was never had a big love for Bulk Barn until recently to be honest. I would go in as a child and I was allowed to get candy, but I wasn’t one to really ask my parents if we could visit the store, or one that got overly excited if I was told we would be going, (Remember I did/do have social anxiety and didn’t like being in public so that might have been part of the issue also)

Last year though when I changed my eating habits into more healthy foods, and a vegetarian lifestyle I decided to try Bulk Barn again, I knew from the past that they had some health foods, and I was aware they had the ingredients for one of my favorite snacks, homemade trail mix.

Some Bulk Barn Goodies!

Some Bulk Barn Goodies!

When I entered the store, I was greeted with so many new products that I had never heard of, or products I had been unable to find in the health aisles of the grocery stores I had been to. I was able to find almonds, my favorite nut to snack on (which I always return and buy a large bag of) I was able to find almond butter, which I did not wish to buy a large jar of which is all I was able to find at grocery stores. Other goodies I was able to find was coconut milk, and almond milk, gluten free products galore, dried fruits which I love to munch on instead of sweet candies and much more!

I love that the store has one of the biggest selections of bagged teas I have ever seen, and also has some pretty good loose leaf teas also! for a tea addict like myself this is a great store to buy from when I do not have enough cash to spend on Davidstea or Teaopia but wish to try a new tea.

I also love Bulk Barn because it has such a WIDE selection of energy and health bars. I had been looking for Clif bars and Luna bars for a month when I found them at Bulk Barn for the first time, and I still return to Bulk Barn to purchase these bars because they have the biggest selection I have found in my city.

Even though it might not seem like a store a foodie would normally think to return to plenty to purchase items I think people should make it a monthly trip to a bulk food store. You can find so many spices, cereals, snacks, health food and new ingredients and the fact that you can buy as much or as little as you wish, and it normally costing less then prepackaged items adds such a great positive that I wouldn’t think of any other store not to return to monthly (other then a grocery store and tea store of course! 😉 )

Do you like Bulk food stores? What are your favorite items to buy at Bulk food stores?