Spring Cleaning

Monday, April 16, 2018

It's Spring Cleaning day at the Blended Blog...

This will not be a post with remarkable before and after pictures featuring all of the progress I've made around my home this "Spring" (I use that term VERY loosely, because we still have snow in the forecast... SNOW!).

Instead of skipping the Spring cleaning post altogether I thought I'd share some "quick win" cleaning things that I hope to accomplish in the not so distant future (i.e. when Lillian is sleeping more consistently and when Oliver is in daycare... wish me luck). I'm hoping that writing these things down not only motivates me to get my butt in gear but also inspires you to scratch some of your own quick cleaning things off your list.

I'll be honest here, I have a cleaning service come to the house every 3 weeks. Yes, it costs money (though they're actually very reasonable) but yes, I'm willing forgo some other luxuries to have this. We still tidy the house and I try and vacuum daily (okay, sometimes that just means pressing the button on the robot vacuum, whatever) BUT the big stuff, the bathrooms and the floors, get done by someone else. Why? Because this mom doesn't have time where there aren't little people all over me and when I do, floors and bathrooms are the last thing I want to be doing.

So when I'm talking about "Spring Cleaning" I'm more thinking about areas of my house that could do with a little more organization because, overall, I like to think our house is fairly clean (minus the dog hair, because we have a golden retriever and there's simply no escaping it).



Here's my Spring Cleaning to-do list (which will likely turn into a Summer and Fall to-do list lol - just being honest)

Sort through the kids dressers and get rid of clothes that don't fit anymore - this is a constant struggle. Apparently kids grow fast! This will also need to involve going through the bags of clothes with bigger sizes we have and maybe a little shopping ;)

Go through my own clothes. The good news is that this actually has to happen because Annabelle's school is doing a clothing drive next month (money is raised for both her school and a charity) so I'm going to make this happen! This also may involve some shopping post cleanup ;) (I'll take any excuse to shop, obviously)

Purge the bathroom vanity. I love me a good subscription box and free hair, skincare, makeup sample but I'm drowning in them. I throw them all in my vanity and then they're lost in a massive hair, skin and makeup black hole. Seriously folks, how do you keep this stuff organized? We have a double vanity and I think it's fair to say 95% of it is occupied by my stuff... oh the shame.

Tackle the junk drawers/baskets. You KNOW you've got a junk drawer (or 5) around the house. We have a lot. It seems like every time a space is clear we fill it with random stuff. These drawers require constant monitoring because not only do Brent and I throw stuff in them, but the kids do too. Chances are, if something is missing in our house, it's in one of these dreaded drawers.

I could give a laundry list of things here but I'm going to stop. I'm doing this because 1. you don't need to know how unorganized we are lol and 2. because I don't want to overwhelm myself at the thought of all the things I have to do and the lack of time I have available to do it.

Last maternity leave I made the mistake of writing out a list of ALL.THE.THINGS. I wanted to do around the house while I was off. It was a two page, one item per line, kinda list. Sure, I knocked a few things off but mostly the list just served to make me feel inadequate about the things I was able to accomplish while home with my littles. What did I learn from this? Whatever goals you're setting for yourself, Spring cleaning or otherwise, make them realistic, make them challenging but doable. You got this.

Happy Monday, odds are I am NOT cleaning today lol

What's on your Spring Cleaning list???




to my Lillian on her half birthday

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Lillian (aka Lily, aka Lily beans, aka Lily B, aka baby girl, aka Lily girl - you've got a lot of nicknames)

6 months. 26 weeks. Half way to the big "one".

I looked at the calendar this morning, knowing this day was coming but pushing it to the back of my mind, and my breath got stuck in my lungs. It could partially have been because you were up ALL.NIGHT.LONG. but I confident that the bigger reason my insides were churning was because I was struggling with that realization that you, my last baby, turned 6 months old today.



 Yes, 6 months is nothing in the scheme of things and, with your almost 5 year old sister and not too far from 3 year old brother, I KNOW how quickly time flies but you, YOU, you're my last and it seems like 6 months just slipped so precariously through my fingers and now it's gone. I'm grateful that we seem to have made a lifetime of memories in your short life and even though you don't have a baby book (that went out the window after your sister) and I have poorly documented "all the milestones" (they're in a "note" on my phone), I still have ALL the pictures and the memories of all the beautiful moments we've shared are etched in my memory and heart for eternity.

You'll grow to know we never planned on having a third child, but you, my sweet girl, knew better than we did. You and the powers that be knew our family wasn't finished yet. I joke with your dad all the time "can you believe we didn't plan for this?" because I mean it with every piece of my being that you, my angel, were absolutely 100% meant to be a part of our family.



We've shared our ups and downs this past 6 months. You're not the greatest sleeper (okay, I'm being kind, you're a terrible sleeper) but what you lack in sleep you make up for in cuteness. You have a
smile that utterly melts my heart each and every time. It's a smile that not only lights up your entire face, but all of our lives. And your laugh, my gosh your laugh. Though, much to my chagrin, no one can make you belly laugh like your brother and sister (and believe me, I've tried and made a complete fool of myself exhausting my efforts to elicit a giggle even close to what your siblings can... I fail every time). While you may not laugh for me like you do them, the way you look at me, I know, without any doubt in the world, you love your momma.

Then there's daddy. Well, you equally melt his heart and I can tell already that we have another daddy's girl on our hands. I can't say I can blame you, he's pretty amazing and so good with you and your brother and sister.

What else can I tell you about yourself... you recently went swimming for the first time and LOVED it! You also saw Niagara Falls and had your first hotel sleep over (fun!). You are loving solid foods but want to do everything yourself already (we're in trouble). You LOVE being in your jumper and will try and "jump" even if one of us are holding you, it's actually super cute and hilarious. You just started going to sleep on your own and napping better BUT you haven't quite figured out the night sleeping business (I'm really kinda sorta hoping you're planning on giving me this gift for your 6 month birthday? Mother's Day maybe? I did make you afterall). You have the longest, most crazy hair and I get stopped constantly when we're out in public with people commenting on it. You just realized that any household items are more fun to "play" with (aka put in your mouth) than your own toys. You are now sitting up (but still falling over sometimes, don't worry, we usually catch you - or at least have a pillow behind you). You have staring contests with the dog on a regular basis and he's quite protective of you (he'll get between anyone and you if you're getting upset). You adore your brother and sister, I know I've said this before but it astonishes me daily the way you look at them with such joy and love, it's one of the most pure and beautiful things I have had the pleasure of baring witness too. And know, they look at you that exact same way. Oliver, your rough and tumble brother, is (usually) so kinda and sweet and gentle towards you. He's the first to get a dropped toy or soother or whatever. Annabelle, will actually stop dancing or watching her most favourite show, to help get you to stop crying (and it works, almost every time, she's got a knack that one).



I could go on and on.

6 months has gone by so fast and yet, it's nothing, it's just the beginning. We have so many things to learn about each other, so many memories to make and I hope so so so much more time together.

You, my Lily girl, are one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Yes, it was Annabelle who made me a mom, Oliver who made me a boy mom, but it was you sweet girl who put the cherry on top. It was you who completed our family. It was you who made me the mom I'm supposed to be.



So, before I get too sappy (I think that ship may have sailed), Happy half-birthday, and you won't remember this but we did sing you Happy Half Birthday and Annabelle and Oliver threw a little dance party for you at bedtime lol.

I LOVE you my sweet girl and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you.

Love,
Mommy

reintroducing myself

Monday, April 9, 2018

I'm going to try  and keep up with the Blended Blog Monday prompts for April - so far so good as I already did the Blended Blog Asks Spring Edition, now for reintroducing myself.

Hi, I'm Shaunacey.

I have started writing this post multiple times and deleted more words than I care to admit.

How do I reintroduce myself? What do people want to know? Are there still people even reading this?

Good thing, yet again, that life is making the decisions for me. It's currently 8:30pm on Sunday night. The littlest sleep-thief has just gone to bed and I'm going to guzzle a glass of wine before I turn in and hope beyond all hopes that no one wakes up before the clock strikes midnight. It's unlikely. Someone usually wakes up the second, like literally the SECOND, I lay down in bed.

C'est la vie... non?

When I started blogging over 4 years ago I was prepping to get back to work after a year-long maternity leave with my little girl. Fast-forward to today and I'm on maternity leave with baby #3 (who wasn't exactly in the plans lol).

I'm busy with the kids a lot of the time. Parenting, wife-ing, doing "all the things" that I need to do. That's my life right now.

I'm currently in that stage, moms will know it, the one where you've kinda sorta lost yourself to all of the other things but you know you're close, so close, to starting to get back to you again.

I'm on the precipice of starting to get back to me and I'm excited about that. I love being a mom, my kids, all three of them, are cute as all get out, but I'm also so much more outside of my mom-self and I'm looking forward to honing back in on some of those other aspects.

So my LIFE consists of taking care of three kids right now but that's not the summation of who I am.

I am strong, I am vocal, I care a lot, like A LOT, about other people. I like yoga, I need to do more yoga. I'm a fighter, I've overcome a lot of challenges and I'll overcome more. I hate cleaning, but sometimes love it. I love naps, but never get to take them. Flowers make me happy. When my kids laugh belly giggles I feel like I'm right where I was meant to be. I think my husband is the most handsome man on the planet. I love family get togethers. I struggle with anxiety every.single.day. I don't take my vitamins. I listen to audiobooks and love it. I'm obsessed with makeup. I love dressing up. I need to get out more. I love nachos. I'm currently not eating dairy. I have a love-hate relationship with breastfeeding. I fight the urge to wear leggings every day. I love red wine. I miss summer. I hate snow. I constantly have my phone on me. I love Lucky Charms. I'm irritable a lot of the time due to lack of sleep. I drive a minivan. I never thought I'd drive a minivan. My dog, Lilo, was my first baby. He stinks. A LOT. I love food. I need to go to the gym. I would buy all the accessories if I could. I always have water with me. I don't sleep (even when the baby sleeps). I wish time away and then wish it back. I love Christmas. I spoil my kids. I yell a lot. I hug a lot. I text really fast. I type even faster. I need a new phone. I think I'm allergic to lobster. I LOVE lobster. I hate play doh but let my kids play with it anyways. I constantly worry I'll ruin my kids. I doubt myself constantly. I love to cook and bake. I'm always hungry. I am afraid of flying. I love travelling. I cry when I'm tired, I'm always tired. I love a good pair of jeans. Hugs are my fave. I love sparkles. I love the Bachelor but know it's terrible tv. I love singing shows (American Idol, the Voice), I want to learn to knit one day, maybe, I love doing crafts but suck at it, I have no musical ability, I love sleep (I think I said that already, I don't get enough), I love getting my nails done. I need my nails done. I sometimes feel like I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. I have some amazing friends and am lucky for that. I'm going to bed. lol

That's it. It's now 9:36pm and I need to try and get the little sleep the kids will allow.

Happy M onda

TBB Asks - all things spring

Monday, April 2, 2018



Ahhh Spring. If you live in a part of the world similar to me, with 4 very distinct seasons, than you know the excitement spring brings. Sadly, even though we "welcomed" the season on spring on the calendar, I'd still technically say we're in winter. I mean, the kids are wearing hats, mitts and snowpants soooooooo.

I love spring but actual spring weather seems to start more near the end of April where I live... going into May... but, because I'm itching for warmer weather and all things spring (and summer) I'm playing along. Here goes...

  1. 3 spring colours: white, pink and teal. Any bright fresh colours make me think spring but those were the first three that came to mind.
  2. Wardrobe addition: it's different by year and I haven't been much of a shopper as of late (because I'm not exactly in pre-baby shape and feeling kinda frumpy)... I think I need me a new spring coat... maybe some shoes? Truthfully, I'll likely see what you all are buying and make my decisions from there lol.
  3. Clothing ditch: winter jacket, boots and heavy sweaters - SEE YA!
  4. Lawn mowing: we're being honest? I don't even know how to work the lawn mower.
  5. Spring here: spring is lovely but it's late. There are flowers and plants blooming, birds chirping, children playing outside. It's pretty awesome really BUT it takes far, FAR too long to get here. I'm ready now, like RIGHT NOW.
  6. Fave spring thing: sunshine and warmth. And being outside. And wearing cute clothes without a giant coat. And no more boots. I love all things spring. Except rain, I don't love rain. YOU try and get three kids anywhere in the rain. It's the things nightmares are made of.
  7. Spring cleaner: hahahahahah I'm not a "cleaner" in general and with three small kids right now, that's a HARD no.
  8. Baseball: we're Toronto Blue Jay lovers in this house! I'm not as dutiful as a watcher/follower as I have been but I hope to be better this year.
  9. Tulips or daffodils: tulips. I LOVE tulips. A lot. Like send me all the tulips. Oddly enough, I have NONE planted. lol.
  10. Outdoor activity: is ANY outdoor activity the wrong answer? I honestly just love being able to "be" outside with the kids and not having to worry about how much clothing they've got on. Seriously, dressing three little people for the winter is a nightmare. A freaking nightmare.
  11. Flowers in ground or pots: um neither. I have like 5 plants in my house and nothing outside... we'll eventually plant some things outside but that's more likely near the end of May, early June in these parts.
  12. Bird: true story - birds totally creep me out. I do not like them one bit. Ew.
  13. Car washing: how about, I wash my car when it rains. Totally counts.
  14. Sandals: I bust out the sandals when the snow is gone, when I know my toes won't free AND when I've had a pedi lol


Link up your TBB Asks post below and hop over to the Blended Blog to see what else we've got going on this month!








TBB talks... about makeup

Monday, March 26, 2018

It's beauty month at the Blended Blog so on Mondays we've been sharing all things beauty.

I hesitated doing this post because I feel like all I've done all month is talk about SeneGence products and I don't want this to be a salesy place. Having said that, it's legitimately my primary makeup of choice at the moment so there would be no makeup post without mentioning it. Plus, the products are kinda great, if I'm being honest.

Now that that is out of the way, let's talk makeup!!

I LOVE makeup! I finally figured out how to use it in University-ish (because I maybe went "out" a little too much and of course had to try and look my "best"... oh those were the days). Since then I've been trying, stockpiling and falling in love with all the makeup.

I think the reason I love makeup so much isn't just because it can make you look totally different, but more for the same reasons I love clothing and accessories, it's the ability of these things, when properly used, to make you feel good about yourself.

This won't come as a newsflash, I am a busy mom of three, so I don't do "full makeup" often, but I try and put at least a little bit on every.single.day. and I do that for no one else but myself (because, some days I really try and leave the house as little as humanly possible lol).

I'm thankful to report that Mr. B takes the kids downstairs and gets them breaky, and I rush to 'do my face' as fast as possible so that I'm ready to finish helping with the morning routine and get all the people where they need to be!

So, as much as I'm not inclined to post this, here is my before and after.


 And in better lighting (um YAY for good lighting) - does someone wanna just follow me around with a ring light 24/7? Any takers? no?


Here's how the magic happens:


Today's face was made up of this (except the wrong lip colour because I changed my mind at the last minute).

SEE it's not ALL SeneGence stuff!!
I swear by Benefit brow products and use them daily to fill and even out my eyebrows. I think I need to get my brows microbladed because filling my brows, while necessary, is the bane of my existence.

My Face: Colour Correcting Tinted Moisturizer in "light" is my go-to. Love this stuff. Goes on lovely over my normal moisturizer and is light coverage so I don't look too "made-up" but evens everything out.
ShadowSense: This stuff is so amazing and multi purpose. I use Garnet for shadow (corner of eyes) and liner. Candlelight was primer and under eye concealer today. Pink frost shadow. I normally use Mulberry as a blush but skipped blush today.
Pearlizer: I use a tiny bit of this as a highlighter on my cheekbones and under my eyebrows. Love it.
Lips: obviously I'm sporting LipSense because lip colour that doesn't move all day and that I don't need to reapply is key. This is praline rose, I adore this colour. So so good. 
Mascara: I do like our mascara but it's a two-step and I'm lazy, soooooo I'm using the rest of my Younique Epic mascara which I really like. I'm awaiting a new mascara from a different company (Limelight) so I'll let you know how that goes.

There you have it. My face.

Tell me your makeup Faves because I LOVE trying new things!!




Instant Pot Honey Sesame Chicken Recipe (soooo good)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018



I am in LOVE with my Instant Pot. Sure, it took a solid few weeks for me to try the thing out, but now that I have, there's no going back!!

I've tried quite a few recipes but like to tweak things to my taste so I've adapted a few recipes and am sharing this amazing dish that I just KNOW you're going to love as much as I do. The best part? Only ONE pot to clean!! SCORE!!



Instant Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts (boneless skinless) - diced (cubes)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped) - I use a tsp of minced garlic in oil
3/4 cup Bragg natural soy sauce (you can use regular soy sauce)
1/3 cup ketchup
3 teaspoons sesame oil
3/4 cup honey
red pepper flakes (I just a couple shakes of the spice jar, yes, very scientific - how much you add will depend how spicy you want it)
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp water
1 red pepper
1 cup edamame (I use frozen)

Cooked rice (I use brown rice that I have pre-cooked)

Directions:
Preheat Instant Pot (IP) using the saute setting. Add vegetable oil, onion, garlic and chicken to IP and saute stirring constantly for 4 minutes, press cancel on IP.



Add Bragg sauce, ketchup, sesame oil, honey and red pepper flakes to pot and stir. Pressure cook mixture on high for 3 minutes. Once pressure cook is done, wait 5 minutes and then do quick pressure release.

In a separate small bowl, combine water and cornstarch and add that mixture to pot. At this time you will add chopped red pepper and edamame to the pot. Select Saute and cook until sauce thickens up a bit.

DONE!!

Note: I serve this over pre-cooked brown rice. I'm still figuring how to perfect the cook of my brown rice using this brown rice pressure cooking guide.




Inspired by: Pressure Cooking Today's Honey Sesame Chicken recipe



Hope you'll try this recipe and let me know how much you LOVE it!!

Feel free to spam the linkup below with your favourite recipes (bonus points for more Instant Pot recipes)





TBB talks... about skincare

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

I had good intentions to stay on top of the Monday posts in March but low and behold, the second one rolls around and I'm off the wagon.

What's that saying? Better late than never...

Over at the Blended Blog on Monday we hosted a TBB talks about Skin care linkup. I actually read a bunch of the posts in the linkup and I secretly (well, not so secretly now) LOVE seeing what products people are using.

So here I am, on Thursday night, writing about my skincare.

I'll start by saying that right now I'm using all SeneGence products mostly because I sell it lol but I'm sharing it because it's legitimately my skincare and there really are some great items. Having said that, I may or may not have some Rodan and Fields products coming my way to give them a go as well. It's not that I don't love my current skin care (my skin has never been this soft in a winter in the history of my life) but this lady's wrinkles need some pretty aggressive intervention (I was going to insert "lol" here but I don't really find it that funny).


Ya, that's a LOT of products. I've never put so much stuff on my face in my life.

Morning and night I wash my face with the 3 in 1 cleanser (I use normal to dry line which is moisturizing enough for my normally dry skin). I use it with the Foreo Luna Mini 2 (that pink thing). The Luna Mini is a cool gadget "an award-winning sonic face brush that cleanses and removes up-to 99.5% of dirt and oil. It offers a gentle, effective cleanse to decrease the onset of acne breakouts, reduce pore visibility and eliminate blackheads. Experience clearer, softer, healthier-looking skin in as little as three days." 

Both morning and night I follow my face washing with Climate Control. If I had to recommend one item ONLY, this would be it. This stuff is hydration in it's purest form but without being greasy. It helps with redness and has worked wonders on my post-baby blotchy skin. It can be used to help sunburns, eczema and so many other issues. Miracle in a bottle!

In the am I follow Climate Control with daily moisturizer and eye illuminating cream.

In the pm I follow Climate control with the night time moisturizer, eye cream and collagen pack.

When my skin is needing an extra hit of moisture, I use nangai oil.

I'm not going to get into the ins and outs of each product mostly because that seems salesy (which I hate) and because I'm exhausted lol. I am happy to share more info if anyone wants it ;)

Despite loving my current routine, I'm always on the lookout for the best products so will keep checking out the other posts or leave a comment with your favourite skin care products!!




if you do want more info check out my Facebook Group 
- DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS -