TBB asks - Holiday Edition!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Another edition of The Blended Blog asks and we're going Holiday style!

 I love these posts because 1. they're super fun and I love learning random things about people and 2. they're totally manageable for me to do, even at the last minute while surrounded in children lol and 3. they keep me posting around here, even if it's only once a month or so :)

 Feel free to copy the graphic and give your answers and link up your post with us at the bottom!

1. Fake tree :( We ALWAYS had a real tree growing up and I hope to get back to that BUT with super small kids it just seems more feasible to have a fake free right now. I do look forward to creating a tradition where we all go to the tree farm and pick and cut down our own tree. For now, we just get the box out of the basement and spread the branches lol It's even pre-lit so, ya know, as easy as it gets lol.

2. Without a doubt it's Cookie Brittle. I believe some people refer to this delicious goodness as "Christmas Crack". Ya, there's a good reason for that, it's highly addictive. Give me all the brittle and no one gets hurt.

3. Home. We usually spend Christmas Eve at home and then the travel starts BUT this year we actually have NO PLANS Christmas day!!! WHAT?! I can't wait to just chill with the kiddos. We might not even get dressed. PJs for ALL!

4. Clear on the tree, coloured on the house. Although, we don't technically have lights on our house. Last year our neighbours bought one of those lights that shines on your house and angled it so it covers both our houses. It looks like we put in some effort when, in reality, we did absolutely nothing. We lovingly refer to this as "the Christmas light". 

5. Some years I send Christmas cards and some years I don't. This is a "not so much" year. I wanted to but it's rare I get enough time to shower, let alone fill out Christmas cards and get them where they need to go. There's always next year and if it helps, I do feel kinda bad about it.

6. Um can this year's count and doesn't it matter that technically I bought it for myself? lol Seriously though, hubby and I usually buy a "house" gift and this year it was robot vacuum that was delivered yesterday. I am in LOVE!!! Actually, I was so excited about the thing my 4 year old named it "Love" hahahaha. I love Love.

7. I honestly don't know. I love giving gifts so I'll just say giving gifts in general. Nevermind, I think my favourite will be this year because we've sponsored a family through a local non-for profit agency. We'll never see them get the gifts but knowing that we're helping someone have a better Christmas is all I need. I'm hoping to have the kids help with this so they understand Christmas is NOT all about what we get but more what we give. 

8. YES to stockings!! Who doesn't do stockings? They're my favourite thing! Also, if you happen to have ideas for Santa for a 2 year old boy's stocking, I'm happy to take notes for the big guy. 

9. Christmas PJs all the way. No adult onsies though, so not practical if you EVER use the washroom. 

10. Jingle Bells, obviously. I also love Silent Night. And Frosty the Snowman. Okay, it's possible I just love Christmas music in general. 

11. We always got to open a present Christmas Eve. It was usually something pre-approved by mom (so it wasn't a big gift) but I just remember loving that so much. For our kids, their elf brings a little Christmas Eve box with some pjs and a book and some Christmas Eve treats. 

12. Is it possible to be both an early and last minute shopper? I start early but I never finish til the last minute. Sometimes I feel like starting early equates to buying more. 

13. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and Elf. No question. Also the Grinch (both cartoon and feature length movie). Wait, and Love Actually. And The Family Stone. Alright, I just love Christmas movies and want to watch them all. All the time. 

14. Non-alcoholic: hot chocolate. Alcoholic: coffee and Baileys. And wine, always wine. 

15. YES milk and cookies for Santa, that guy works hard and deserves a snack. We also leave carrots for the reindeer (obviously). Alright, if we're being honest, we don't leave milk, apparently Santa prefers red wine lol. Weird. 

Hope you enjoyed learning about our holidays... would love to learn more about you and yours - link up below and answer too!

TBB asks - things you're thankful for

Monday, November 6, 2017

TBB Asks is back (and I'm actually participating this month!) and since our group is mixed with Canadians and Americans and we celebrate Thanksgiving in different months, it didn't make sense to do a super Thanksgiving-specific post; however, we are keeping the "thankful" theme and giving our thanks on Mondays all month (at the Blended Blog) starting with, you guessed it, TBB Asks!

Things I'm thankful for:

1. A new friend
Well they're not technically "new" now, but I'm very thankful for our neighbours. We've lived in our house now for nearly three years but didn't really get to know our neighbours until maybe a year or so ago. Our daughters are the same age (and best friends now) and we've got tons in common. We do boardgame nights while the kids place and spend quite a bit of time together. They've also been amazing since Lillian was born and have been taking Annabelle to school every day. Best neighbours ever!
2. Something shiny
What's more shiny than the sun? I'm thankful for all of the beautiful, sunny days this fall. 
3. Someone unexpected
Lillian takes the cake on this one. She wasn't in the plans but she's turned out to be the icing on the cake that is our family. I literally cannot give thanks enough for this one.

photos not to be used without explicit written consent

4. Something ordinary
Just that, the ordinary. As a new mom (again) I know it's easy to get caught up in the Groundhog Day feeling of it all. Having said that, there's something also so beautiful in the those seeming humdrum moments of every day life. Long nursing sessions, snuggling on the couch watching cartoons, a hot cup of coffee. I'm trying to revel in it all.
5. A person I've known a long time
What's a long time? lol I have some amazing friends who I have known for "a long time" and what I'm most thankful about is that even though we don't talk daily or see each other regularly, things are always just the way they always were. We're all busy with life but the friendships don't change and I am so grateful for that.
6. Somewhere I go every day
If I'm being honest, some days I go as few places as humanly possible. To bed, I'm thankful for what little sleep I'm getting lol. I am also thankful for our finished basement (thank you husband!) because it's become our retreat of sorts once the kids are in bed and I love just hanging out down there.
7. Someone who taught me something
I am literally getting school every singly day by my kids. These little people have taught me so much in such a short time. I had no idea my heart was capable of finding so much room for these three little people. It both blows my mind and takes my breath away at the same time.
8. A far away place
Italy - I've never been but I have already put my order in with Brent that one day we will go, just the two of us, and see the sights, eat all the food and drink all the wine.. with NO kids!!
9. Something that's saving my life right now
10. Someone I see every day
How do I narrow that down?! Kids, obviously. Husband, most days (haha). Dog, not at this exact moment because he's currently driving me nuts with licking his nail but in general. 

photos not to be used without explicit written consent

11. Something I enjoy doing
Sleeping. Drinking coffee. Drinking wine. Laughing. Catching up on my shows with Mr. B. Reading stories with my babies.
12. Someone female
The last few days I've been blown away by my 4 year old. She can be full of sass at times but she's turning into such a remarkable little girl. She got a letter home from school yesterday and she's getting a special character award at school-wide assembly for how she exemplifies cooperation. Ya #proudmom. 

13. A special place
Is it wrong if I say my bed? lol I'm still in mom-of-a-newborn-mode and am exhausted. In all seriousness, I'm grateful for being able to be outside on a beautiful, warm fall day.
14. Someone male
Mr. B gets this award. Three kids is a LOT of work, A LOT. Mr. B works and then comes home and immediately jumps in to help. I don't know how single parents do it and even though I probably don't say it enough, I'm so very grateful for this man. Plus, he and I made the most adorable children, just sayin'.
15. Something warm
I love my fireplace. There's nothing like being curled up on the couch, in a blanket with the fireplace on and a coffee (or glass of wine) in hand. Throw in some cute (and ideally quiet) kids and handsome husband and I'm a happy lady. I'll also take the fireplace, an empty house and a long nap :)

Throughout November the Blended Blog is hosting linkups on Monday with the "thankful" theme. Feel free to share what you're thankful for using our prompts and link up via the Blended Blog :)


Thursday, October 26, 2017

And just like that our family has grown and I’m now mom to three. THREE!!!!

Lillian Ariel arrived made her grand entrance on October 10, 2017.

photos not to be used without explicit written consent

I ended up having to be induced but it went better (and quicker) than expected and even though things didn’t get rolling until 1:30pm (because I had to be on antibiotics for 4 hours), she graced up with her presence at 4:21pm!

If you're wondering about the name - I picked Lillian because I love it and we let Annabelle pick her middle name... so ya, she's definitely named after Disney's Little Mermaid lol. Could have been worse, for a while there I was sure her middle name was going to be "Rainbow Dash" - dodged a bullet there.

I won't lie and say Lillian was a "planned" addition to our family but I will tell you this, she was destined to be a part of our family and was just who we needed to complete this puzzle.

Lillian is sweet and cuddly and super cute (ya, I'm only a tad biased) and she's doted on by not only her mom and dad but also her adoring big sister and even her slightly ambivalent brother. Truthfully, it's safe to say we've all fallen in love with this little wonder and even though she's only been here for just over two weeks, I already can't imagine a time she wasn't part of our family.

I'm off to feed and snuggle the little princess now and am crossing my fingers she continues to be a decent little sleeper and that maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to write a little bit more often... I've felt the thoughts and words brewing but the time to get them down is limited ;)

Lots of love


TBB Asks - Back-to-School Edition

Monday, September 4, 2017

Happy September!!!

Welcome to the back-to-school edition of the Blended Blog Asks! 

This month the ladies at the Blended Blog have come up with some school related questions to make for another easy and fun post for us and you! Check out the questions and my answers below and feel free to grab the graphic, create a post and linkup with us below!

  1. Did you love school or hate it?
    For the most part I really liked school, I'm kind of a geek like that.
  2. Start school before or after Labor Day?
    After, always after.
  3. Wake up: eager beaver or slow poke?
  4. Favorite breakfast?
    Pancakes or french toast with real maple syrup but that usually wasn't a week-day breaky given how long it takes to make/eat.
  5. Favorite cereal?
    As a kid Lucky Charms but I was rarely allowed to eat it... apparently a bowl full or marshmallows is not an ideal way to start the day?
  6. School uniform or no?
    Mostly no but I went to a Catholic High school for one semester and did wear a uniform there.
  7. New outfit for the first day?
    ALWAYS and it had to be something I never wore prior to that day.
  8. Walk to school or ride the bus?
    I've done it all!
  9. Backpack, tote or messenger bag?
    Backpack all the way... totes or messenger bags weren't even a thing when I was in school lol
  10. Eat school lunch or pack a lunch?
    Packed a lunch for the most part. My elementary school didn't even have a cafeteria that served food and I didn't buy lunch that often in high school.
  11. Remember the little milk cartons? White or chocolate?
    Cartons? Um those are still a thing. Does anyone remember the BAGS of milk? Please tell me I'm not the only one. Also, chocolate was always preferred because, well, chocolate.
  12. Paper bag or lunch box?
    Paper or grocery bag... I don't remember having a lunch box. Weird.
  13. Favorite thing to do at recess?
    I remember lots of girl drama in elementary school... then boy drama. Lots of drama lol.
  14. Favorite back to school supply item?
    I loved picking out new binder colors and pens. Yup, geek.
  15. Chalkboard or Dry Erase board?
    Chalkboard. Dry erase wasn't big until later I think.
  16. Regular pencil or mechanical?
    Mechanical because they just seem fancy.
  17. Homework as soon as you got home or after dinner?
    Um how about the very last minute right before bed? I was a procrastinator to the nth degree (this carried through university and all 3 of my degrees... whoops).
  18. Favorite after school snack?
    Cheese and crackers.
  19. Favorite after school show?
    Saved by the bell.
  20. Favorite subject in school?
    English or social studies.
  21. Least favorite subject?
    Math. Me and numbers do not get along.
  22. Name your best friend in high school?
    I had a few (because I went to 3 high schools) but Nancy was and still is my bestest.
  23. High school mascot?
    I had 3 - falcon, phoenix and panther.
  24. SAT or ACT?
    I'll take none of the above. Canada eh.
  25. Favorite year in school?
    I honestly have no clue... too much pressure to pick and nothing stands out like "that was the best year EVER".
  26. Class ring or no?
  27. Attend high school reunion or not?
    Nope. With 3 high schools picking a reunion would be far too high maintenance lol

There you have it! 

Make sure you link up your Q&A posts below and stay tuned for next month's TBB Asks - fall edition (October 2nd).

Summer Book Reviews and fall reads

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Is it seriously September tomorrow?

Where did the summer go?

I've clearly NOT been a blogging machine this summer but I did manage to get in a few audio books.

I mixed up my picks using the list provided by the Blended Blog but also picked a few that were on my "to-read" list.

Here's what I "read" (aka listened to) this summer and my (brief) thoughts on each:

The Year of Pleasures - Elizabeth Berg
Recommended by the lovely Deena. I liked this book but I can't say I found it riveting. It was a nice story about a woman finding herself after the loss of her husband. The story-line isn't such that it has you dying to know what happens next but it was a very pleasant read. I liked the focus on self-discovery and friendships.

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It - Steven Stosny and Patricia Love
No, my marriage is not in trouble lol but I wanted to start adding some self-help ish books to my reading list and this book came up and had good reviews so I figured I'd give it a go. This book did get me thinking and helped changed my perspective in a few areas. It helped me better grasp some differences between my husband and I and how we process things. I also liked that it doesn't focus on talking things to death (and actually says that's counter productive). Worth a read if you're wanting to personally take some steps to better your relationship/connection/communication.

Wonder - R. J. Palacio
Katie recommended this read and she was right on. I REALLY liked this book but it also made my heart ache and reminded me how cruel the world can be. I don't know what to say other than I feel this is a really "special" book about differences and seeing people for who they are on the inside. It's such a touching book and I wish it was required reading for late elementary school.

My Not So Perfect Life: A Novel - Sophie Kinsella
I love me some chic-lit and Sophie Kinsella is one of my faves. I loved this book and there were so many parts that had me laughing and embarrassed for the main character all at the same time. A quick and cute read for chic-lit lovers.

A Hundred Summers - Beatriz Williams
One of the recommendations from the Blended Blog book club and for some reason I didn't think it would interest me. I was hooked right from the beginning! I found myself trying to figure out how everyone tied together and to solve the little mystery that's presented early on. Definitely had my "side" picked early on and enjoyed the present-to-past and back perspectives to unravel the story. Great read.

The Husband's Secret - Liane Moriarty
I'm quickly becoming a big Liane Moriarty fan. When I first started this one I found myself constantly trying to figure out how everyone fit together and trying to guess what the big "secret" was. Needless to say, eventually all is revealed and I really liked the way it all came together in the end. A great look at the complexities and intricacies of relationships and how things definitely aren't always what they seem.

Winter Garden - Kristin Hannah
I LOVE the last Kristin Hannah book I read (the Nightingale) so I was looking forward to listening to this one. For me, it felt like it started a little slow... I was frustrated by some of the characters and because of that it took me a little while to get into it... but once I did... wow. I said before that I don't typically read or love historical novels but I love the way Hannah makes these historical pieces so personal. It's gut-wrenching and beautiful at the same time and I couldn't have been more surprised or pleased with the way she ended this lovely book.

How'd you do with your summer reading/listening?

We're linking up book review posts below and we'd love for you to join us in September with some great picks from Deena, Sheila and Alison!

the Blended Blog Asks - summer

Monday, August 7, 2017

Welcome to another edition of The Blended Blog Asks - my friends and I at the Blended Blog come up with a bunch of questions and it makes for an easy and fun post for us and you!

I am pretty sure I mentioned my indecisiveness in my last question and answer post... don't think I'll all of the sudden be providing succinct response lol
Here goes:

1. Pool, lake or ocean?
I like to lay by the pool, swim in the lake and look at the ocean :) So all of the above really

2. Camping, cottage or hotel?
I've done my fair share of camping but if we're being honest, I'd much rather sleep in a comfy bed where bears can't get me lol. I LOVE going to a cottage and just chilling but there's also something fun and exciting about staying in a hotel. Again, I'm not really answering the question am I? In short, for relaxing and enjoying the outdoors, cottage it is. If I want to explore a new city and enjoy luxury, hotel all the way.

3. Favorite ice cream flavor?
You're asking the pregnant lady? Give me ALL the ice cream!!! There's few flavors that I don't like but if I HAD to pick one, I'd probably opt for french vanilla.

4. PJs, nightgown, t-shirt/shorts or birthday suit?
Depends on the time of year. In summer I'm usually in underwear and a t-shirt, in winter it's pjs.

5. Fave summer beverage?
Wine... always wine :)

6. Would you rather be hot or cold?
Neither lol but if I HAD to pick, I guess cold, because then I could add blankets, turn on the fireplace and get all cozy.

7. Sandals with heels or flats?
If they didn't hurt my feet I'd do heels all the time. Having said that, I'm VERY pregnant this summer so it's been consistently flats for this momma.

8. Shorts or skirts?
Depends what I'm doing. Shorts are easier if I'm out and about with the kiddos because I don't have to worry about flashing anyone my undies.

9. Sit in the sun or the shade?
I love the sun!

10. Water, tea or soda?
How about coffee? I always have my water with ice with me.

11. Fave summer fruit/veggie?
Fresh picked strawberries and corn on the cob!! YUM!

12. Sunrise or sunset?
Sunrise. It's such a quiet and calm time of the day.

13. Bike ride or walk?
Walk. I haven't rode a bike in ages and given my 8+ pregnant-status, riding a bike isn't an option at this point.

14. Winery or brewery?
Have you met me? Winery ALL the way!!

15. Garden or no garden?
Does my planter hanging from the fence with 3 pepper and 2 tomato plants count?

16. Big summer concert or music in the park?
I love a more intimate venue - as long as there's good music and tasty drinks are always nice.

17. Fave cookout food?
Nothing like a BBQ steak, baked potato and corn on the cob! YUM

18. Dine indoors or patio?
If the weather is right, patio is where it's at!

19. Fave summer destination?
Does the back deck count? We don't have a regular go-to summer spot besides spending as much time as we can outside.

20. Big theme park or local carnival?
BOTH! We've got little people so either are a hit! I feel safer on rides at a big theme park but there's nothing like a local fair :) We've already been to a few this summer (one today actually!).

21. Drinks blended or on the rocks?
I don't usually do sugary drinks but I guess blended seems more summery to me.

22. Popsicle or freezie flavor or choice?
I used to LOVE banana popsicles... I don't even know if they still make them.

23. Hotdog or hamburger?
I can't pick (shocking) both hotdogs and hamburgers are summer staples around here and I love them both equally... and now I'm hungry (also shocking, I'm sure).

Make sure you check out how the other ladies answered and feel free to grab the photo above, answer the questions and linkup with us below!

Christy @ R Squared
Carrie @ A Stylish Fit
Shaunacey @ Simply Shaunacey
Lana @ My New Happy

Christmas in July

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Merry Christmas!!!! In July that is!

Who doesn't love a gift exchange? I know I do. Last year's Blended Blog Christmas in July gift exchange went so well, we decided to do it again this year. And, when I say "we" I obviously mean other people kindly organized it (thanks Whitney) and I just hopped on the bandwagon (as per usual). 

My Secret Santa was Katie!!! 

I have to give it to Katie, she nailed it!!! Clearly she knows I love me some pretty accessories because she sent me this really pretty layered necklace that she discovered a local boutique in her area.
When I opened the package and pulled out the necklace, my 4 year old daughter was immediately eyeing it up (I don't know where she gets it). 

As if that wasn't enough, Katie also got me a beautiful beach towel. I'll tell you why I'm excited about this (besides the fact it's super pretty): my kids keep getting these super fun towels for when we go swimming and I'm always stuck using plain old bath towels. It's like Katie knew I needed my own special towel for our family swimming outings. :)

And here's a pic of my tired mug with my pretty new necklace because, well, why not?
Never mind the drops of water on my shirt... I just gave Ollie a bath and he decided that the water was better on me than in the tub... naturally.

Wanna see what everyone else got? (which, if you're curious like me, you do) head on over to Katie (who was my Santa) and Lana (who I shopped for). 

Happy Thursday (yay almost Friday!!)