Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Elf On The Shelf- Why I'm Allowing Him into our House this Year.

The holidays are fast approaching, and I've got Christmas on my mind. Speaking of my mind, I may be losing it, because I have actually allowed The Elf on the Shelf into our home.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Christmas Decorations Before Remembrance Day?

Every year there is always an argument/heated discussions online about not decorating for Christmas before Remembrance Day.


I see 2 sides to the argument, which I will lay out below: 

 Before I get into this- personally I am not decorating for Christmas right now, but I am putting some "winter" things up because I enjoy having my table look pretty and seasonal. I also won't be putting any outdoor decorations up until after Remembrance Day. Our neighbors are in the military and I would hate to offend them or make them think that I don't care about Remembrance Day. I am however currently obsessed with my Christmas play list on Apple Music, and I can't stop thinking about the holidays. I'm just feeling very festive lately, and honestly somewhat guilty for feeling that way. 

While I completely understand the idea behind waiting (respect and not pushing Remembrance Day aside in favour of Christmas), I also feel like forcing people to wait is just making them want to get Remembrance Day "over with" so they can decorate for Christmas. If you're trying to get something over with, it means you want it to go by quickly and probably aren't taking in the entire day as you should. 

If the same people were allowed to decorate before Remembrance Day without being judged, I think they would have more time and patience to actually reflect about what Remembrance Day is all about instead of thinking "I can't wait to dig out my Christmas stuff later"

Some people argue that we should be able to do what we want because they fought for our FREEDOM, so we should have the freedom to decorate. My grandmother's father fought in a World War and I can tell you that she decorates whenever she wants, and I'm pretty sure she even has some Christmas decor out year round. 

Originally when people started arguing about not decorating early, it was the stores they were referring to- asking malls and stores not to decorate before Remembrance Day is over. Somehow, it got pushed to asking people not to decorate their own homes. I think it would be great if there were more decorations and products available for Remembrance Day for those of us who love to decorate. I always put up the Remembrance Day crafts that Mason makes, but it would be great to have more options. 

I feel like when it comes to the whole Remembrance Day/Christmas situation, maybe we should hold off on the judgement and let people do as they please without being called disrespectful or inconsiderate- because I don't think it's anyone's intention to be disrespectful . I don't think that big stores should be decorating for Christmas before Remembrance Day, but someone in their own home? Maybe. I personally have never forgotten to take time to reflect on what the military has done for us, no matter what my house looks like. While I won't be decorating for Christmas specifically before Remembrance Day, there is a thin line between Christmas and winter decor, and If I accidentally cross that line with a snowman that has a festive scarf on, please know I mean no disrespect. I just find joy in decorations, and for someone with anxiety and even depression, I can tell you that anything that brings me joy is a good thing. 

Do you decorate for Christmas or winter before Remembrance Day? 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Two Opposite Examples of Why You NEED to Teach Your Child's Grandparents About Car Seat Safety

 I just wanted to make this quick post about something I saw Saturday. I was at Costco waiting in line for the gas pumps. Saturday is always super busy there, so I was probably 3-4 vehicles back from the pumps. As I'm sitting in my truck, I see another truck pull up beside me. As he pulled up (truck in motion- pulling in from the road), I saw 2 children hanging out of the car windows. They were laughing, both unbuckled- no car seats. They were both neatly dressed and clean, and seemed really happy, but the fact that they had no car seats and were unbuckled sent off alarm bells in my head. I wanted to call the police, and even wrote down their license plate number just in case, but I decided not to call, as they would be long gone before anyone got here. I waited until we were both on opposite sides of the pump and I was going to say something. When the man got out, you could tell that he was their grandfather, and they were probably having a fun day together. The boys looked around 3 and 8 years old. I couldn't help but stare as the kids played with the open window- the youngest one standing up on the seat. My truck sat up slightly higher than his and I could see that there was no car seats in the car at all- no boosters or anything, even though the 3 year old shouldn't be in a booster I thought they might at least have that- nothing.

I didn't say anything and I didn't call the police. He saw me staring and rolled up the car window but the kids were still unbuckled when he pulled away. From experience I know that most people don't respond nicely to hearing they're doing something wrong. This example is why it's so so important to teach your parents and grandparents (and anyone that may have your children) about car seat safety. I imagine the older man probably didn't know anything at all about car seat safety other than the fact that the kids should sit in the back seat. 

About 10 minutes later I pulled into the parking lot of the dollarstore. Once I was done at the store I came out and there was an SUV parked beside me with the door open. An older couple had the back seat door open and were both putting their granddaughter into her rear facing car seat. She apologized for having the door open (blocking my door) and said she was strapping her wriggly toddler granddaughter in. The grandfather asked the little girl if she was okay and comfy, and laughed when she ignored him. She was safe, rear facing and content. 

These are both completely opposite examples of why teaching our family about car seat safety is so important. If you don't say anything, you may have something happen like the first example, where he just put the kids in the car and went. Or you could have well educated, responsible grandparents who take the time to properly strap the child in according to what you taught them. Times have changed and we know so much more about car seat safety than we used to. It's up to us to pass the information on in order to keep our kids safe. 


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What Mason is Reading - Halloween Edition

I just wanted to make a short post on what Mason is reading this month. We love holiday books, and Halloween is no exception. We've been reading them before bed, in the morning, and basically any time he sees them laying around lol. I also love to decorate with holiday books, so we've been displaying them on his dresser, windowsill, and his little table in the kitchen. I love that he loves to read, and it's so much fun to incorporate the seasons and holidays. Here is what Mason is currently reading:


Monday, October 10, 2016

Decluttering My Nail Polish - The KonMari Method

This is just going to be a quick post about decluttering my nail polish collection using the KonMari method. It took me maybe 5 minutes to get through them but I feel so much better that it's done.

Here is the massive and old bag I was using to hold my nail polish. I just don't have room for this anymore, it doesn't spark joy, and I want it gone ASAP. 

When I started sorting through the polishes, I noticed that 75% of them were at least 10 years old. Some of these nail polishes were probably from middle school. I'm serious. 

I immediately got rid of all of the old, dry and almost empty ones. For the ones that still had a decent amount of polish left, I took a few seconds for each one and decided if they sparked joy or not. My favourite joy sparking nail polish brands are O.P.I, Essie, & China Glaze. I just love their packaging and how the handles feel. It may sound weird, but why keep something that I don't enjoy looking at or using? They're also the ones that seem to stay on my nails the best. 

Here is all of the polish I got rid of: 

And here is what I kept: 

Not pictured is 2 O.P.I nude polishes, and an Essie polish because I used them a lot this summer and couldn't find them before I did this. I know 100% that I'm going to keep them though, and will put them away once I find them (probably tucked away in a purse, suitcase or somewhere in our room.)

 Decluttering nail polish may seem like something simple and quick, and for the most part it is, but there were definitely some emotional attachments I wasn't expecting. I found nail polishes that reminded me of high school dances, Halloween parties, a wedding I was in, etc. I also found a reallllly old nail polish of my moms that I think she had when I was a little girl. The only reason I kept it for so long was because I remembered my cousin telling me once that she always remembered my mom having purple nails. So for some reason, I held on to this purple nail polish. No idea why, and I don't even remember her ever wearing it myself. Now that I'm using the KonMari method, it seemed like a weird thing to keep. My mom will probably think I was super weird to keep it if she reads this too. If I dig deeper into the meaning of it, maybe I was keeping it because it's something she used to wear when she was married to my dad- but I wear her wedding set every day, so I don't need a random bottle of nail polish to remind me that my parents got along at one point in my life. I'm letting the purple polish go. 

I think the next thing I KonMari will be jewellery, so watch for that post coming soon :) 


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Our Son Was Tied to His Bed at Daycare- And We Let Him Go Back

I've been wanting to write this post for a while, but had to wait until the situation was resolved before I could do so.

I'm just going to jump right into it. 

(Photo of us walking to daycare yesterday)

Over the summer, I was working from home one day as I always do, and received a call from social services. As any parent knows, you don't want to get a call from social services. Even though we have no reason to have them called on us (we don't even believe in spanking), my heart dropped into my stomach as she introduced herself. What could she possibly be calling for? 

She started off by saying that she had received a report from a daycare worker at Mason's daycare that one of his teachers "tied" him and another boy to their beds at nap time when they refused to sleep. She seemed just as horrified by it as I was. For those of you who don't know Mason, he's only 2 years old and so are the other kids in his class. I cried as she told me the details. Apparently another daycare worker came back from lunch and saw them, reported it, and the daycare worker who did it was fired. 

The woman from social services told me that the police were contacted and they would be looking into it to see if it's a chargeable offence, but this woman wouldn't be allowed to work with children again. 

It was such a hard thing to deal with, because we trusted this woman. She's around my age and I often inboxed her on Facebook asking if Mason was doing okay, and she was always super friendly and normal. Mason was always happy to see her every day. After I talked to social services, I went through my messages with her and saw that she actually messaged me after this incident asking if Mason was sleeping okay at home because he had been waking up during nap time. Of course I had no idea this happened at that time, but it really bothers me that she had the nerve to message me asking that after what she did. 

We didn't hear anything back for a while, so I contacted the police officer in charge of the case. He also has young children, so I felt comfortable that he was the one looking into things. He said that she had admitted to "tightly swaddling" the boys so they couldn't move or get up, and that she seemed to not understand that it was wrong to do. He said that we understand that you don't swaddle a 2 year old, but she didn't get that. In my opinion, if a 2 year old can't get out of a "swaddle", then it must have been pretty tight and restricting. He wasn't sure if this was something she could be charged for, but again advised that she wouldn't be able to work with kids again. 

To be honest, part of me really feels bad for her. She went to school for this, to be an Early Childhood Educator and now it was ruined with this incident. I truly believe that she had a moment of frustration and in that moment she wrapped him up, maybe hoping he would fall asleep, or just wanting a moment of peace. I'm not sure. I don't think she purposely wanted to hurt him. She's not a mother, so maybe she just genuinely didn't realize that you don't restrain a 2 year old like that. I pictured her crying when she got fired and when she got brought in for police questioning. I don't know if she actually did, but I imagine she did and for some reason it makes me really sad for her. It's awful to work so hard at a career and then make one stupid mistake and have it taken away from you. Part of me really wanted to see her charged by the police, but it wouldn't have changed anything. 

We talked to some friends and family about this and some suggested switching daycares. I immediately knew it wasn't something I wanted to do. His daycare acted accordingly and handled this situation quickly and properly. It wasn't hidden from us and no one tried to protect the daycare worker from being fired. The owner of the daycare has always been amazing to us, and she answered all of our questions, even though she was super pregnant at the time and dealing with a lot of her own stuff I'm sure. 

Mason has attended this daycare for over a year, and we feel comfortable with how they handle things. We like everyone who works there, we feel like they communicate well with us, and he has never had reservations about going back after this incident. We also love the curriculum there and the centre itself. It's always clean and welcoming. I think it would have been worse on him to switch him to another daycare where nothing is familiar. Bad things can happen at any location, and at least we know that if bad things happen here, it gets handled properly. 

Today I got a letter in the mail from social services. It states the following: 

" Detective ____ made me aware that during his interview with _____, she admitted to swaddling the children in such a way that they would not be able to get up. Due to _____'s disclosure and her taking ownership along with her being remorseful, no charges will be laid. However, with that being said, my file will be closing with a substantiation of physical abuse by ______. Therefore, _____ will no longer be working with the vulnerable sector." 

So, that's that. It's not something I would wish for anyone to experience. It happened right before our wedding, so in the midst of preparing for that, working full time, and just trying to keep our life together in general, it was definitely not something we wanted to deal with. I will not name his daycare, but we are so appreciative to them for taking the necessary action and contacting social services. I'm writing this in case any other parents ever go through the same thing, or in case those who know wonder why we keep him at this centre. One bad apple didn't ruin it for us and now that we have the final letter regarding this matter, I'm happy to put it behind us. 

Decluttering Our Toiletries- The KonMari Method

Hi everyone!

I've been really inspired to do some decluttering lately. I'm refreshing myself on the KonMari method and trying to really turn our home into a relaxing, calm and clean environment. Clutter is killing me and if I could just get rid of everything at once and repurchase new things, I would. But since that's not possible, I need to declutter what we have, sort through things and decide what stays and what goes. 

It's amazing the effect clutter can have on your mood. Living in a clean and clutter free environment actually reduces my anxiety and makes me feel more productive. It's rare that I feel like this though, which tells me that we have a lot of work to do around here. I feel happy when the house is clean, but I want to take it a step further with the KonMari method. 

In our house, we have 4 places that we keep Toiletries. FOUR. That's too many, and I'd like to narrow it down. Currently we keep toiletries (hair products, lotions, soaps, etc) in the shower, on the shelf in our bathroom, in our linen closet, and under the sink. I want to eliminate the bathroom shelf clutter, and only have current items that we use in the shower, and spare items under the sink or neatly stored in the linen closet. 

I took all of the items out into our hallway and started sorting: 

I made a pile for keep, donate, and throw away. I didn't end up throwing away as much as I would have liked, but we can always go back and reevaluate what we've used in a couple of months. 

The KonMari method encourages you to keep items that spark joy in your life. This is difficult to do with items like this because while most of them don't make me particularly happy, they are necessary. I'm happy to be clean and have products that keep my family clean and smelling good, but it's not a joy sparking kind of situation. 

We had a lot of extra products that my mom has given us, like extra shampoos and soaps. I also have some huge bottles of shampoo and conditioner that I got as a gift and haven't used yet. I honestly haven't had to buy shampoo on my own in years because of the stock pile we somehow keep accumulating. I decided to keep the items that I KNOW we will use within the next few months. I also kept my favourite perfumes, sunblock that doesn't expire for 2 years, and some of my son's lotions and creams that we currently use on a regular basis.

Here are the items we are donating: 

I'm donating (or giving away to friends/family) the following items: 

- New, unopened Johnson's baby lotion because we don't use that brand and someone else could get some use from it. 

- Full bottle of baby oil- we have never used baby oil on Mason and have no plans to. 

- Almost full bottle of Herbal Essences shampoo because although there is a lot left, I don't like the smell. 

- Sunblock because I don't like using spray sunblocks and someone else might be able to make use of it.  

- Purple Shampoo, because I don't have highlights anymore and my mom could use it. 

- A new in box bar of men's soap because my husband doesn't use bar soap, he uses body wash. I plan to make up a box for the men's shelter during the holidays this year, so this will be something I can include. 

- A new bottle of beach wave spray that I won't use because I straighten my hair. 
- A full can of hairspray, because I have 2 other full cans that I prefer and will be keeping. 

- A full bottle of conditioner that I liked the smell of, but just won't use any time soon because I have so many other bottles I prefer. 

Here are the items I am throwing away: 

 - An empty bottle of shampoo that should have been thrown out before today 

- Taylor Swift Perfume. I had a really hard time deciding to get rid of this one. It was Valentine's Day gift from Mitch from like 5 years ago. I loved it so much when I first got it, and it obviously has some sentimental value to me. I haven't worn it in forever and I tried it on today, and the scent isn't the same as it used to be. Over the years the scent has broken down and it's not something I would wear now. It's still half full, which shows that I probably stopped wearing it 6 months or so after he got it for me, and it's not something I'm going to reach for again, so it had to go. My current favourite is Daisy by Marc Jacobs, which I actually use on a regular basis. 

- St. Tropez lotion and tanning foam. This is almost empty now anyway, and self tanners hate me, so it has to go. 

 So, that's it. I know it looks like we are keeping a lot, but it will all be used within a few months time. I'm happy to get rid of  the stuff we won't be using. I'm going to store the extra products in our linen closet in a basket, so it's not right out in the open on our bathroom shelf. 

Eventually I would like to get even farther into the KonMari method by removing labels from products. Having tons of products with all different labels creates visual clutter and can increase anxiety. I'm not going to literally remove labels from products- instead I'll be buying clear bottles for shampoos and body washes, glass jars for laundry detergent, etc and labelling them with a simple, small black and white label. That way everything will look clean and streamline, and it will be the same products, just in a nicer package. 

I'll be making more posts soon as I KonMari other things in our house.


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Buying Good Quality Kids Clothes on a Budget

Hi everyone!

I haven't blogged in forever. I'll blame wedding planning on that- and since I'm a married woman now, I can finally focus my attention on other projects.

As i'm writing this, it is the first day of fall, and the time has come for us parents to switch out our kid's summer clothing for something a bit cozier. I've spent the past week packing up dirt stained shorts and little t-shirts that I swear permanently smell like sunblock; and filling his closet with fall clothes in their place.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Left shoe in the back seat? Stop shaming parents who need a reminder

Hi everyone. I haven't blogged in forever, and its because I've been in full wedding planning mode for the past couple of months and its taking over my life lol.

I just wanted to do a quick post about something that I've been seeing a lot of lately. Now that summer is upon us, there have been a lot of posts circulating with tips on how not to forget your child in the back seat when you get out of the car. Annoyingly, these posts are often reposted with comments like "wow, these people should not have children if they need a reminder." Well I'm glad you're so perfect, and I wont comment on your forward facing toddler with the loose straps and low chest clip...you just keep on shaming others, okay?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Decluttering My Life: Why I Wont Subscribe to Beauty Boxes

Hi everyone and happy Sunday. I hope you're all having a great weekend. So, something I briefly blogged about in the past is wanting to minimize my life and declutter our house. I recently listened to the audio book of "The life changing magic of tidying up" by Marie Kondo, and I swear it changed my life.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter gift ideas for toddlers- Attempting quality over quantity.

It's officially Spring, and although Mother Nature is seriously confused I can't help but get excited. I want to fill my house with plants and flowers this year and spring clean everything, but first we need to celebrate Easter!

It seems like every year someone comments about how Easter is turning into a second Christmas. Because of social media, we are now able to get a glimpse into each others lives like never before, and it seems like not everyone likes what they see. I personally feel that every family should celebrate each holiday however they want. If you want to buy your kids a ton of presents, do it. If you want to have an Easter egg hunt and a few little gifts in a basket, do it. 

Personally, I lean towards giving gifts on Easter, but not in excess. As I research the concept of minimizing and de-cluttering our lives, I've been applying some of the same ideas to purchasing gifts for our son. A lot of times, parents will load up on small gifts at the dollar store, so they can watch their budget but still give a lot of gifts. I prefer the "quality over quantity" rule, so I've decided to forego some of the dollar store "fluff" and put the money towards actual items he needs or will use this summer. I did end up buying 1-2 dollar store items, but they go with my rule of getting items that will last and not get tossed within a week. Some items that fall into the "fluff" or "basket filler" category would be:

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