to Annabelle on her 5th Birthday

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Annabelle

My baby, I know you don't like when I call you that big girl, but you have to know you will always be my baby, even when you're all the way grown. You're the first, you're the one who made me a mom.

I have thought about what I wanted to tell you on your birthday, what I wanted you to know... The thing is, I hope that what I tell you is what you know already, I love you. I love you so big and so fierce that nothing, nothing could ever change it. Even if I'm not around to tell you, my love for you is so giant, you will feel it. Always.


I know I tell you all the time, to the point you tell me "I know mom", but my heart literally beats for you and your brother and sister. No matter how bad your behaviour, I am your mom and I LOVE YOU.

So now that you know that, here's what I want you to know about yourself. You are a bright light. In a world that sometimes feels full of darkness and sadness, you are light. You shine so bright my little star, you always have.

There's a quote on canvas in your room that reads "she leaves a little glitter where ever she goes" and I picked this out because it couldn't capture your essence any better. You sparkle and everywhere you go, everyone you meet, has just a little more of a twinkle from your essence.


You gravitate towards music and dance. You spin and twirl and do all kinds of "routines" around the house that we all love to watch. You're an entertainer through and through you love an audience even when that audience is your 6 month old sister. Truthfully, she might actually be your biggest fan.

No one can talk like you. I still remember people being blown away how early you spoke and how much and how clear. Since you were my first child I just assumed this was normal but in hindsight, you could have an actual conversation much sooner than any child I've ever met. The thing is, since you started talking you haven't stopped. This is something I love but that drives me (and I'm sure your teachers) crazy! I rest assured knowing that you'll never have trouble keeping a conversation going or filling an awkward silence... or any silence for that matter.


When you started school this past September I was a ball of nerves. I was worried how you would manage on your own, how you would make friends, how you would eat your lunches. The truth of the matter is that I was worried how you would do without me and what I would do without knowing all the details of your day. Naturally, you surpassed all expectations. You each your lunch, you open all of the packaging and you have lots of little friends you love to talk about.

The other thing you starting school made us very aware of is how smart you are and how eager to learn you are. You practice letters, writing, math without any instruction or direction or prodding from us. These are the things you want to do and this is how you want to spend your free time at home. Its a remarkable thing to see such a small person so excited about learning. I hope you keep this thirst for knowledge, because it will serve you well.


I admire your memory and your ability to beat me at the "memory" game even when I'm trying my hardest. Seriously, it's embarrassing how many times and how badly I've lost to you. When we first started playing I actually thought I'd have to fake lose... no faking here. Just losing.

Annabelle, you're funny, wild, kind, thoughtful, sweet, hilarious, outgoing.. you're so many amazing things that I couldn't possibly list them all. What you need to know, what you need to take away from this post is that you were meant to be mine. You were meant to be my baby girl and you will always be that, no matter how old you are.


I love you my big girl, to the moon and back and even more than that.

momma





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 

TBB Asks - Beauty Edition

Monday, March 5, 2018



March is beauty month at the Blended Blog so obviously our TBB Asks post is beauty-themed!! Grab the above graphic and link up with us below!

  1. Eyelash curler?
    Negative. I have one (or three) but I rarely use it. It's a phases thing for me and depends on how good the mascara is I'm using. Also, eyelash curling = more time and I am short on time with 3 munchkins.
  2. Favourite nail colour?
    Like pick ONE colour that I love above all others? Impossible! But I usually go for neutral nail colours, blush pink-ish.
  3. Favourite lip colout?
    Again, pick ONE colour? How hard is that? I'm a LipSense addict (and distributor) so I have FAR too many lip colours on the go. If I had  to pick my most worn/loved colour, it would probably be Praline Rose BUT I love mostly all of them lol. I tend to stick to a neutral lip but like having fun with reds and some bolder colours.
  4. Blow dry or air dry?
    I usually shower at night so will air dry. If I shower in the am (on the weekend) it's usually the only time I blow dry.
  5. Artificial nails?
    I haven't done "fake nails" in a looong time but I love me some shellac nail polish! Haven't had that done in a while either but I'm thinking I may need a spring mani and my almost 5 year old has been begging for a spa day :)
  6. Foundation?
    I use a colour-correcting moisturizer every.single.day (yes, SeneGence, again). It's easy, light and evens out my skin tone/tones down redness without taking up too much time. Having said that, I definitely use foundation when I'm doing something other than hanging at home with the kiddos.
  7. Hair: up or down?
    My hair is usually down.
  8. Bar soap or body wash?
    I use both. I love my Dove bar soap but I also love my SeneGence body wash. For some reason I always use bar soap for shaving.
  9. Bath or shower?
    I shower far more often than I bath but I LOVE me a nice hot, quiet bath with a glass of wine and lots of bubbles!
  10. Body lotion?
    After every shower :) 
  11. Perfume? Favourite scent?
    I only wear perfume if I'm going out (i.e. dinner, date, party etc)... so, not often. I have a few scents I like but usually Juicy Couture.
  12. Shave daily?
    HA!! This question actually makes me lol. I'm home with 3 kids under 5, I don't even shower every day, so no, I do not shave every day... not even every shower - judge away. Don't worry, I pick things up a notch in the summer when I'm wearing shorts and stuff lol.
  13. Favourite lip balm?
    I've been a lip balm addict for ever but since I started wearing LipSense I realized how the wax in most lip balms prevents your lips from their natural exfoliation. For the most part I use the SeneGence lip balm but usually just at bed time as during the day I'm slathering gloss on to keep my lip colour lasting all day.
  14. When did you start wearing makeup?
    I don't even remember. Probably in high school at some point but my love of makeup didn't really take hold until I started "going out" lots in University lol.



share the love - February Gift Exchange Reveal

Monday, February 26, 2018

Happy Monday!!!

The Blended Blog ladies thought it would be a fun idea to do a little gift exchange in February.

Sooooooo here's the BIG reveal!!

Erin and I got each other. There were a bunch of people signed up for this gift exchange and I was grateful to get someone I kinda "knew". Erin is a super sweet mom of 3 and she's remarkable. I admire her because her instagram feed is real and honest and so easy to relate to. 

Here's what Erin gifted me:



So our giveaway "theme" was accessories, which meant, we were to gift accessories (in case you need that explained lol).
Erin sent me these gorgeous and unique wooden studs which I adore.
She also sent me a beautiful message but I'm keeping that to myself - I will share that it was very sweet, kind, and uplifting. Thank YOU Erin for that, it touched my heart.
She also included a $5 bill, which, when I first saw it was like "why is she sending me cash?" but he note explained it all, she wanted me to treat myself to a caffeinated beverage at my coffee-shop of choice and enjoy some kid-free time (yup, she's definitely also a mom of three lol).


Also, how freaking adorable are these earrings? Yup, I LOVE them!


Thanks so so so much Erin!! She may be sharing on her Instagram what I gifted her and you're all welcome to head over to the Blended Blog to see what everyone else was gifted - tell me I'm not the only one that loves seeing other people's prezzies? I'm not, right?

This is is for our February themed linkups (what happened there?!), see you in March! xo



Friday Faves

Friday, February 23, 2018

Remember when I had one child and I used to write weekly posts sharing my most favourite things? HA (also, I used to change my writing to cater to my US friends/followers, but you're all going to have to deal with the "u" in colour, neighbour, favourite etc because I'm too tired to consciously change my spelling for you and it's not fair to my Canadian friends!).

Where was I? Oh ya, back when I used to be organized and have enough time to write a post *almost* weekly with my favourite things.

Those were the days.

Well, now life with three kids is kicking my butt... BUT I'm writing a true-to-life faves post.

Here, my friends, are my faves this week:

1. Long weekends. Long-weekends = more two-parent time for me, which is always a win. Plus more time together as a family and all that. Also, long-weekends = short work weeks which also mean more two-parent time. Score! I love my kids, so much, but they're much easier to manage when I'm not on my own. Single parents out there, I literally do not know how you do it #props

2. Grandma visits. This week my mom came over for the day. She not only helped with my tantruming two year old and sleep-fighting four month old, she also folded ALL of my laundry. No, guys, she folded ALL OF THE LAUNDRY. There was a lot. There always is. Don't worry though, we're already actively building up our supply of unfolded, clean clothing again. Ugh.

3. Coffee. When you're up for hours on end trying to get a baby back to sleep, it's just a given you're going to have a love affair with coffee. Coffee and I are in love. Until 12pm, then all ties get severed, because, breastfeeding.

4. PizzaPizza having a dairy-free cheese option. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me. Because, yet again, breastfeeding. And believe me when I say it's actually good!!! For real.

Seriously kids, what are you trying to do to me?!

I had intentions to do more but I'm drawing a blank and it's about bedtime for this momma.

What are you loving this week?

And there's no guarantee I'll share my faves next week, or ever again for that matter because that's momlife.


What love looks like to me

Wednesday, February 14, 2018



I just sat down, at 9pm on a Tuesday night, to write a post that was intended for yesterday (whoops) about what love looks like to me.

Would you like to guess what happened the moment my mind turned to the topic and my hands began to move towards to keyboard?

The baby woke up screaming.

So, here I am, telling you what love REALLY looks like in real-time.

Love looks like a tired-mom not fulfilling commitments in blog-land because her kids needed her more often than not and there wasn't enough time, after getting the kids to bed and trying to spend a few minutes with her husband, to write an insightful, or any, post about what love looks like.

Love looks like a husband (in this exact second) trying to calm and change a squirming, screaming baby while his wife tries to do anything other than parent or clean for 5 min.

Love looks like trying, calmly, to talk your tired and somewhat belligerent 4 year old through an outburst and telling her you love her even though she just yelled at you for a solid 30 min.

Love looks like instantly forgiving your 2 year old for throwing his entire dinner to the dog when he oh-so-sweetly says "sorry mommy" as his picks the plate off the floor and hands it to you.

Right now love looks like me trying not to be irritated that my husband just opened the chips I bought for myself because he's eating them while holding the baby who just wants her mom but dad is trying to let said mom have 5 min to herself.

Love looks like late nights, middle of the nights, early mornings. Love looks like no sleep and coffee until there's wine.

Love looks like getting irritated and frustrated and wanting out but then not getting out because when you think about where you really want to be it's with the people who sometimes drive you the most crazy.

Love looks like feeling like you can't stand another second but feeling like it would be the end of the world if you couldn't, in fact, do this for another second.

Love is the ultimate contradiction and juxtaposition. It makes no sense but all the sense.

Love looks like a quickly written and sloppy blog post by a exhausted mom who is going to relieve her also tired husband from baby-duty (and take back my bag of chips for Pete SAKES!!) because I get that he needs a break too.

Love doesn't always look the way we thought it would. It is NOT a fairytale with prince charming and angelic children but that doesn't make it any less beautiful.

Love is love and this is it.

Happy Valentine's Day... I hope your busy lives are filled with so much love today and everday.

cross your fingers that by the time you're reading this post, we've all gotten a few hours of sleep lol

baby duty awaits ;)

What I'm wearing Valentine's day

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

It's Wednesday and I'm blogging!! Try not to faint with shock.

I haven't done a Wednesday post because I haven't both worn something cute AND been able to snap a decent pic. Sure, I've had a few outfits (you know, on the few occasions I leave the house and actually do something) that were kinda cute, but I wasn't organized enough (or had enough time without one of the three children hanging off of me) to get a pic. Don't let the previous sentences fool you into think this post is going to contain great quality, child-free pics, guys, that's just not my life.

So, with the Valentine's theme in mind this week, I'm sharing my go-to Valentine's outfit AND makeup!

Let's start with makeup (yay).

I LOVE makeup.I have always loved playing with makeup but don't always have time to really "do" my makeup. Often it's the minimum which for me means filling brows, mascara, tinted moisturizer and, of course, my LipSense. This is all good and fine for an everyday look but I love to take it up a notch whenever I have the opportunity (mostly because there aren't many opportunities lol). 

Pre-kids, I used to go out often and that meant a full face of makeup which included false lashes. I love false lashes because they make me feel quite glamorous and my natural lashes leave something to be desired. Plus, false lashes are a fun and easy way to jazz things up or add a little va-va-voom, especially to your Valentine's Day or date-night look.

I was sent some Esqido mink lashes to try. Before I tell you my thoughts, you need to know that I get offered products regularly and don't post a lot of review/sponsored posts anymore unless it's something I genuinely want to try. I could not ignore the opportunity for some new lashes (and for any excuse to find a place to wear them lol).

First of all, I'm in Canada so things often take a long long long time to get to me. These lashes did not! I got them so fast! Like two days after they were sent (WHAT?!). Now, that was like December and I'm just writing the review now, why? Because, as I may have mentioned, I don't get out much lol

I see a difference, do you see a difference?

I think the before and after kind of speaks for itself.


I chose the "Radiance" Esqido mink lashes and was also sent the eyelash glue. I chose the "Radiance" ones because I felt they looked kinda natural. My goal with lashes is for them to be noticeable but not like "WHOA", ya know?

As you can see from the before and after above, you can definitely notice a difference with the lashes on but it's not so dramatic that you couldn't pull it off for most events (including the baby shower I attended and SuperBowl party (aka "This is Us" party) that we had.


Aren't they pretty? Even from the top down it's not obvious I'm wearing lashes but they look gorgeous!!

Even my mom was like "you look great, I love your eye-makeup" but couldn't pinpoint what was different until I told her. Goal achieved!


My thoughts? I loved these lashes!! I also love that they're reusable (I've worn them twice, both times with ease). I have tried many (MANY) false lashes in my days. There have been a few different glues that have bothered or irritated my eyes and I'm happy to report I had absolutely zero issues with the eyelash glue from Esqido. The application was very easy for me and I liked that the glue didn't take too long to dry and wasn't noticeable once dry. The lashes feel very light (I've worn some heavy lashes and can't handle the weight) and natural, both attributes essential for this makeup-loving momma.

They often have buy one set, get the second 50% off and if you're a lash-loved, I'd highly recommend grabbing a set (or two)! Plus, if you order now you'll have them in time for Valentine's Day!!

And now... the outfit.

Well, this mom will likely be doing a dinner at home once the kids are in bed because who wants to volunteer to watch 3 kids? Anyone? Bueller? So comfort is key but that can be done kinda cutely... right?

I love this Addy Poncho I recently got from Stella & Dot. It's soft and cozy so I feel like I'm wearing pajamas but don't look like I just rolled out of bed.

Don't mind the socks, we don't wear shoes in the house in Canada (well, most of us don't I think) and the boots I wore in the snow aren't exactly fashion-forward lol. Also, my mini-me was insistent on getting in on the action, obviously.


You all can just pretend you don't see the baskets of unfolded laundry in the background, um 'K?


Stella & Dot selling tops is going to be the end of me (or rather by bank account). I have the maroon one in the middle below and I think that would also make a great night-out outfit too! Don't tell Mr. B, I have that top but have yet to wear it. D'oh! Again, anyone up for babysitting? 



Link up below and share your outfit posts with my friends and I at the Blended Blog!! Can't wait to see what you're wearing!






TBB Asks - all about love

Monday, February 5, 2018



HELLO FEBRUARY!! Where did you come from?

Fleeting time aside, it's another monthly edition of TBB Asks and for February we're answering about all things love-related.

Here's goes:

  1. Kisses or Hugs? Hugs for sure.
  2. Candy or Flowers? I love flowers and never get them (and probably eat too much candy) so flowers for me!! I also don't get flowers often (unless I buy them for myself) so they're that much more special when I do... and again, I get candy (for myself) far too often lol.
  3. Baking or Cooking? I really do love both. I'll have to say I like baking just a tad more but doing anything in the kitchen is fun for me. The best part? Eating whatever I've made!!
  4. Do you remember your first kiss? Um YES! Grade 6 (young, I know) at the movies watching Benny and Joon (I feel old now).
  5. Favourite colour of roses? I don't have one that I LOVE more than all the rest. I'm just happy to get them lol. Husband - you getting the hint yet? Get this lady some FREAKING FLOWERS. Moving on...
  6. Conversation hearts, yes or no? To play with, yes, to eat, no thanks.
  7. Do you leave love notes? No, and now I feel like a jerk. Note to self: leave love notes! If it helps, when my kids are old enough to read, I think I'd totally leave notes... maybe, if I have time... and can find a pen.
  8. Do you decorate for Valentine's Day? No. I wish I was one of those cute, put-together, crafty moms who decorated for every holiday but sadly, I am not. Christmas is the only holiday that gets decor around these parts. Maybe one day...
  9. Red or pink? I love pink!
  10. Milk, white or dark chocolate? Dark!! I LOVE dark chocolate. Also, since I'm currently dairy-free (thanks Lillian) there are actually a bunch of dark chocolate treats I can still eat!! YAY!! I have NEVER liked white chocolate.
  11. Do you believe in love at first sight? No. I believe you can be instantly attracted to and have chemistry at first meeting BUT I think real love is built over time.
  12. Do you give humourous or serious Valentine's Day cards? Usually funny with a mix of "I love you so much" lol
  13. Favourite chick flick or romantic movie? PS I Love You. I just love that movie so much. It's such a beautiful love story and also a major cry-fest.
  14. Stay in or go out? Well, we will be staying in over here and "celebrating" with 3 kids lol. I'd rather go out but that's not in the cards this year. I should also note I'd rather go out on a day that is NOT Valentine's Day because it's INSANE everywhere. I would much rather do something at home for Valentine's Day, including kids, and then have a special night out with my hubby on another night.


Here's what's going on in February around these parts (and the Blended Blog)

Mondays in Feburary:


New series starting this month called "let's hear it from the girls" - check it out, feel free to link up with us - I'm also accepting guest posts if anyone is interested!



Link up your TBB Asks posts below!! Can't wait to read your answers



We want to hear from YOU!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Do you have an anecdote you want to share?


An experience to relate?

A funny tale?

A hard thing that's still happening?

Something on your heart?

None of the above but something burning to be in print?

Yes please.
My Blended Blog buddies and I are launching a new series and I would LOVE for YOU to be part of the conversation!

Here are the details:

Each week will have a different topic, if you’re feeling extra wordy, feel free to submit for more than one theme.

FEBRUARY & MARCH 2018- Fostering Strength



Now until Feb 9: Call for submissions

Feb 12 - 16: A Portrait of Love: Talk about what love looks like to you.  Be creative. Here are 3 examples of very different versions of the post- you can really go anywhere with this. Glenna-Jordan-Sara

Feb 19 - 24: Watch Embrace (available to rent on Itunes- Documentary, Gravitas Ventures) and create a post using one or some of the questions in the discussion guide (here)- tell us what you took from this film.



Feb 26 - Mar 2: Affirmations and self-talk: share your tips, what do you do to build up your confidance? Life hack survival tips: What do you do well that helps you get through life? See an example of a post here.

Mar 5 - 10: I’m *insert your age here* and I tried it : any fun trends you want to share that you’ve tried? Or that you’ve been dying to try and just need that little push ? Have you accomplished something that you are really proud of? Here’s an example of what Abbie tried at 35.

Mar 12 - 16: 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 somethings.  Talk about this period in your life and what you’re going through.   Here are a few examples: JodiRenee

Mar 18 - 23: A woman you admire: tell us about the/a strong women/woman in your life.

Mar 26: closure and intro to April and May topics
 
Our goal is to reach out to our reader community because we know there are some great voices out there with stories to be told.  Please pick one or a couple of topics that interest you and prepare a guest post and email it to me (shaunacey@gmail.com)

I will include a bio of your awesomeness and your words. I'm sorry to say that I'm not paid so neither will you be but I would love to promote any links you have to your amazingness and send you free hugs. You don't have to be a blogger to participate!

Not super-desirable in this series...
1. Posts that sound like "do it my way 'cause it's the right way."
2. A blatant advertisement for a business (mentions are fine!!).
3. Meanies. You know who you are.
4. More than 7 swears per line. Ow, my ears.

To sum up, in the words of of the lovely Malyn, "I was never at the cool mom table but we made our own table and we're all invited."

You in?

Email or message me on Facebook or Instagram if you've got a great idea or an already formulated post!

You do NOT have to a professional blogger/writer/person. You do have to be yourself.

Can't wait to hear from YOU!


P.S. I may not be able to use all of the submitted posts depending on the amount received but I hope to publish as many as I can and THANK YOU for your time and submissions.

Fashion, food, fitness and friendship goals (aka "all the Fs")

Monday, January 29, 2018

So I've shared my goals for 2018 already but I'm not sure I hit on these topics specifically so here goes:

Fashion
I am on maternity leave until October 2018 (thank you Canadian Government, no, really, THANK YOU. Having so many American friends and family, I am so grateful for this) so my goal for most of 2018 is to GET DRESSED. That simple. Get out of pjs. So far, so good. I make a point to get dressed do something with my hair or makeup most days just because I feel better when I do. In reality, I don't leave the house much (aside from picking biggest up from school) but it's more about how I feel. My outfits often consist of a tunic and leggings but again, I'm okay with that at this stage of the game. In short: keep getting dressed and try and do something hair/makeup-wise BUT I'm also being kinder to myself this year, so if these things don't happen every.single.day. I'm not going to cry about it.
How: just do it - hair/makeup as soon as I get up (before the day starts or it doesn't happen). Get dressed before going downstairs (or, surprise, it doesn't happen). I've been good at this, I think I can keep it up.

mini me and I heading out for a mommy-daughter date - it's entirely possible she's the more stylish of the two of us. Okay, she definitely is.


Food
Well, lucky me, baby #3 means no dairy AGAIN (did that with baby #2 and YES, I'm being sarcastic, I could eat a brick of chedder with a side of brie followed by a package of goat cheese... in case you're wondering). You'd be surprised to know how poorly you can still eat even when you're not able to eat all the dairy (if you take away the cheese, the majority of the McDonald's menu is dairy-free - not that I've researched that... or whatever). I need to do better with what I eat and not because I want to weigh ____ lbs, but because I'm not eating the way I know I should be.
How: make a freaking meal plan. Need to do this. Every week. Also, prep all.the.things. I always eat better when healthy food is readily available to me.

I should be eating a lot less of this (burger has no-cheese - see what I mean? dairy-free does not equal healthy lol but so so so so good). Pretend you're not drooling, I dare you.


Fitness
MOVE IT! I shared on Instagram recently that I took my FitBit off the day I was induced with Lillian (Oct 10, 2018) and haven't put it on again since (until Jan 24th) and I told myself (and others) that the reason for that was because I didn't want to hurt Lillian while holding her BUT the REAL reason is that I didn't want to know how little I was moving or be accountable for that. The good news? Day 1 of wearing my FitBit and not moving ANY more than normal, I did almost 10,000 steps!!! WHAT?! So not nearly as bad as I though (by like 7,000 lol). Now, to tone up... ugh.
How: wear FitBit. Do other stuff. lol

this past week (before I came down with the flu - ew) - first non-yoga workout post-baby. I almost died.


Friendship
Surprisingly, I actually do have some friendship goals for 2018 one of which includes meeting up with the Blended Blog crew in South Carolina in October!!! LOOK OUT!!!
I also want to spend more time with some friends that are very dear to me (you know who you are) and have a couple friends who I adore and need to spend some time reconnecting with (assuming they'll have me lol).
How: schedule friend-dates.


Link up your goal posts with us below (I'm super nosey and LOVE reading what other people are up to)


- DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS -