Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Learning to Run | Wellness Wednesday

As a Mom with a squishy tummy, jiggly bits and stretch marks I never used to have, I often find myself reminiscing about my pre-baby body. When I was a student I practiced pilates and went to the gym for cardio and weights at least a few days a week, not to mention I got a full nights sleep each and every evening. Back then, even though my tummy was firm-ish and my limbs were lean and muscular I was constantly striving for improvement.

Now that I’m a mom taking care of myself barely registers on my to-do list; it’s a good day if my clothes don’t have food, snot or some other sort of child love smeared all over them and managing to comb my hair and add a splash of makeup before work is almost a dream.

Since returning to work and spending the majority of my day at a desk, I’ve gained the additional 5 pounds that make my pants just a little too tight and my tummy looks a little bit too much like a muffin-top for my liking. So I’ve decided it’s time to do something about it. It’s time to make me a priority. I’ve been working on my eating habits since undertaking Meghan Telpner’s Fab Detox (which is amazing) but I’m finally ready to try and get my body back in shape.

But time is not on my side.

Between working full-time and wrangling kids into bed (Bolt has been fighting bedtime despite exhaustion and keeping himself awake until 9 or 9:30 every night), its hard to commit to a class and even the time spent driving to and from the gym seems like a waste of precious moments. So I decided to try something I swore I’d never do.

Yesterday, I started running; I downloaded the Couch-to-5K app and armed with my new Nexus 4 I trotted off to the park.

I love that I started my warm up the second I left my house, the C25K app, guided me through 1 minute jogging and 1.5 minute walking intervals and rather than feeling overwhelmed, out of shape and exhausted I had a sense of pride that I hadn’t felt in ages.

Today, I’m still buzzing from the thrill of taking some time devoted entirely to my own wellness and I can’t wait to do it again.

What are you doing JUST FOR YOU?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Zoku Quick Pop Bundle Sale on

You may remember me oogling over the ZOKU Quick POP maker last year. In only seven minutes it creates three custom pops and can make a total of nine pops before the base needs to be refrozen.

That's right, you can make nine healthy and delcious pops in under half an hour and starting today, is having a great sale where you can get a FREE Zoku Tool Kit or a FREE Zoku Chocolate Station with the purchase of your Zoku Quick Pop Maker.

I had almost forgotten all about the Zoku, until my friend posted a picture of her kids enjoying homemade quinoa and blueberry pops on Facebook and suddenly I found myself lusting after a Zoku again.

I just got a juicer and I'm imagining all the healthful deliciousness I could feed my kids in the guise of frozen pops if I owned a Zoku. Fortunately, its my birthday next month and I'm asking for the Zoku  Tool Kit bundle, in fact I'm sending the link over to my husband right now.

And because shipping is always a concern; offers FREE SHIPPING within Canada on orders over $25.

If you want to see the Zoku Quick Pop Maker in action, check out this utube video demonstration!

I am an a member of the Affilliate Program, however all opinions are my own.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My GLAM Night | Vancouver Moms

Last Wednesday night was GLAM, the Vancouver Mom's 2013 Top Mom Blogger Event. Honestly, I was initially thankful for an excuse to get me out of the house for a few hours, but as the event neared, I got more excited and ended up enjoying myself immensely.
Bathroom Art Secret Location
Although I didn't win, I was more than honoured to be nominated to stand beside such high calibre bloggers as my fellow Top 30 Nominees. The event was held at Secret Location in Gastown, a hidden little gem of a place with amazing bathroom art.

In addition to the 2013 Top Blogger Mitzi, there were speeches by three past nominees that focused on 'What I Know Now', but at this particular moment, I can't get Nat Nanton out of my head. Telling us that there was a time when she constantly worried about editing and perfecting her posts before publishing, and that eventually she reached a place where she let that go, and it was a good thing. I need to do that too.

But I digress, my amazing sister Kat attended GLAM with me. In fact she helped me find a dress, styled my hair and applied my makeup and armed with less than twenty minutes left for herself, she looked stunning as always.
Sisters #VM2013
I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with Sharilyn of Weekdays from Scratch; Kat and Sharilyn have known each other for years but this was my first (of what I hope will be many) visits with her.
new friends #VM2013 068
As much as I loved meeting and mingling with the lovely lady bloggers of Vancouver, I would be lying if I didn't admit that I loved having Purdy's Chocolate on hand to help us indulge ourselves by sampling their new Single Origin Chocolate Bars and amazing Himalayan Salt Caramels.
Dukes Gluten-Free CiderPurdys #VM2013

After GLAM, I was ready to head home, make lunches and go to bed, but Kat convinced me to go out and eat with Sharilyn and her cousin. We enjoyed some delicious food at Chill Winston's, including a delicious Duke's Gluten-Free Cider for me. I had a wonderful night, met some amazing ladies and hope the experience will help me grow as a mom and as a Blogger.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Momma's DIY Buckwheat Cold Pack Tutorial

Momma's DIY Buckwheat Cold Pack
Although they hated them for a long time, my kids love ice packs, especially Momma's DIY Buckwheat Cold Packs. If Mommy's kiss isn't quite enough to soothe their owie, Momma's cold pack almost always does the trick.

These were borne out of necessity; before our DIY cold packs it was almost impossible to get ice packs back from my children, which was bad on a number of levels.  First my kids were literally numbing their little hands, second, we could never find ice packs when the hubs and I needed them and  worse, lost or warm ice packs were not sufficient for little boy boo boo's.

I decided to make my own and partially because I had it on hand and partially because I thought the larger grain might not hold the cold as well, I used buckwheat as filler. Flax is also a good option I've used before (which can be heated in the microwave as well) but it has a lot more surface area and I think would stay cold for longer.

The buckwheat is perfect, it warms back to room temperature in 5-10 minutes depending on the size, at which point my kids tend to abandon it somewhere for me to rescue.

They are a super easy DIY that could be completed during naptime if you have a sewing machine. You can make these any size, or shape, you want and whatever scrap fabric you have available. I usually use quilting cotton and this tutorial uses a cute Batman flannel. It's the first time I've used flannel and my boys haven't complained it warms up faster, but its something you may want to consider in your fabric choice.

These are super quick and super easy, I'm sure you can do it.

DIY Buckwheat Cold Pack for Kids
    1. Cut the Fabric
  1. Fold your scrap fabric, right sides together and cut out a square or rectangle. Then, keeping your fabric folded, pin around the three open sides.
  2. 2. Sew and Clip Corners
  3. Starting at the fold, sew up the side and turn the corner. Stop sewing and leave a 2 inch gap before you continue sewing around the corner down to the fold. Make sure you backstitch everytime you start and stop. Clip your corners and turn your cold pack right ways out. Use a chopstick to ensure your corners are pointed before you iron your cold pack flat.
  4. 3. Turn, Press and Topstitch
  5. Starting next to the gap, topstitch all the way around the edge, stopping at the other side of the space.
  6. 4. Fill Your Coldpack Up
  7. Use a spoon to fill your coldpack no more than 2/3 full with the buckwheat groats. Push the buckwheat to the bottom and place pins horizontally to keep it from shifting while you are sewing. 
  8. 5. Finished Cold Pack
  9. Topstitch the gap shut, making sure you backstitch at both ends. Then throw it in the freezer and wait until its needed. Maybe next time Mommy's kisses don't work, Momma's DIY Cold Pack will.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cocoon Apothecary Skin Care Starter Kit | Review

I have sensitive skin; in my youth, I had been to the dermatologist before the age of 10 and I rarely test out new skin care products for fear of adverse reactions. That said, when given the opportunity to test out the Cocoon Apothecary Skin Care Starter Kit, made from organic, eco-friendly products, all I needed was assurance that the products were appropriate for sensitive skin, and I was sold.

When the box arrived, it was beautiful; a small unbleached cardboard box, tied with a simple ribbon and a fluttering butterfly. I almost didn't want to open the box and delve into my goodies.

Step one is the Petal Purity Facial Cleanser, which felt light on my skin, but effectively cleaned my face of the days' grime with extracts of and lavender and geranium, without leaving my skin feeling tight and dry.

Step two of the Cocoon Apothecary regime is the Rose Dew Facial Toner, which takes advantage of the natural astringent properties of witch hazel and combines them with rose hydrosol to calm the skin and reduce irritation.

The third and final step was the very rich and creamy Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream, which is 'packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids to support elasticity, promote collagen production and fight free-radical damage'.

The Cocoon Apothecary products are strongly rose scented, and I was extremely cautious during the first few applications of the product, as scented products rarely work for me. Fortunately, I had no redness or irritation as a result of using the products, in fact, my skin feels softer after a month of use and I no longer have dry, dull spots on my cheeks. A little bit of product goes a long way, so the 3.3 oz bottles of product in the starter kit feel like they are going to last a long time.

 Our skin is the largest and most visible organ in the body and if we think, even for just a moment, that it doesn't matter what products we use on our skin, we are certainly fooling ourselves. Cocoon Apothecary is bringing nature back to us and I for one am loving the softness I'm feeling after using their products.

Cocoon Apothecary Skincare Products are available at select stores and online on their website, and

I received product in exchange for this review, however all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Family Comes First: A Working Mom's Dilemma

Three months ago I made a difficult decision that really wasn't a choice at all. I temporarily reduced my work week to three days so that I could spend more quality time with my boys, particularly with Bolt who was, at the time, repeatedly crying for for Mommy on an almost daily basis.

At that particular juncture, Bolt's behaviours were peaking. He was hitting, he was crying, and he was overwhelmed on a daily basis. He cried each morning that he didn't want to go to daycare, then cried each evening that he didn't want to come home. The stress level in our household was through the roof and literally all four of us were miserable.

I admit I cried more than a few tears; when I had children I assumed I could do it all. Work full-time, be an attentive mother, a loving wife and still have time to blog and follow my personal passions. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that I would have to choose between my family and my job, because truly, its not a choice.

Family comes first. Always.

No question about it, the past three months have been tough, not only have I been attempting to spend quality one-on-one time with my boys, we have been implementing techniques to help four year old Bolt manage his emotions, we've been working with an amazing psychologist who specializes in parenting, children and families, we've changed daycares, we've had a doctor identify that ADD and anxiety are likely contributing factors and after much effort we finally seem to have gotten Bolt's asthma and eczema under control.

I feel like 2013 brought our family to a crossroad and rather than choosing the easy path of denial, we've been putting one foot in front of the other as we travel along the rocky road to our brighter future.

So after three short months, I'm at work full-time, as of this week. My boss expressed concern that my return to full-time was too soon, but my boys are happy. They cheerfully go to daycare each morning (and they've been going four days a week for the past month), we have had literally no reports of excessive hitting or aggression and there are almost no cries for Mommy in my absence.

I'm confident that my boys are ready for Mom to go back to work full-time and I'm even more certain that the personal sacrifice I made, putting my work on the back burner, was without question one of the most important things I have ever done for the health of my family.

What sacrifices have you made for your family?
Working Mom's do you work full-time, part-time or at home? Do you ever consider switching?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Camping Overview...sadly not demonstrated via Instagram

After spending a week camping with my family, I feel grateful. Not for the amenities of home, but for home itself. Thankful that in our life we have the luxury of worrying about the little things, secure in the fact that our home is always waiting for us.

That being said, camping was good.

It was wet and mornings started with a 5am wake up call from Simba.

On Monday morning Simba and I saw a goose wandering around with an arrow stuck through it. He seemed to have one friend, or mate, that stayed close throughout the day. The SPCA came by the campground but the scared little guy continually scooted away and ultimately evaded capture.

Aside from the adjacent Vedder River, one of my favourite features of the campground is that it connects to the municipal trail system, which connects to the dyke system, which leads to the front entrance of the campground. It's an leisurely way to enjoy a 45 minute stroll with my boys. We sing songs, tell stories, eat snacks and generally enjoy each other's company. Truly its lovely, for the most part.

Sometimes we detour a short ways from the campground and stop to look at the horses and donkey in a local field. If Simba had his way, we would spend hours each and every day watching the animals.

We don't watch animals all day, however we do spend hours in the playground; the swings are always a favourite.

And, what would camping be without a campfire? We had campfires at least once a day (I LOVE morning fires) and we went through oodles of wood.  Interestingly, Bolt talked non-stop about s'mores but only ate a grand total of four and was otherwise disinterested in the fire, whereas Simba loved both making and watching the fires and ate no s'mores at all.

Camping, or perhaps I should say glamping (at my sister-in-laws trailer) was time well spent with the family. I enjoyed listening to my boys giggle, laugh, run and play, though I will also admit that I enjoyed my brand new phone and data package (as if you couldn't guess).

Does your family camp?
Do you tent or trailer?
Do you travel the 'world' or you frequent the familiar?

What's your must-bring item for the kids?

FYI - apparently you CAN'T just embed your Instagram photos which is frustrating me to no please do click through to the pictures so you can see all the fun we had!