The Makings Of A Home Sweet Home

Thursday, June 21, 2018

|A product within this post was sent to me for the purpose of an honest review, all opinions are 100% my own.|

In the Fall our family went through a major change, a pleasant and very welcome change as we bought our very first home!

Having our own home has been a dream since our dating/engaged days. Fast forward 9 years and we are finally here, livin' the dream! The house came (and continues) with a lot of time consuming reno's, but it has been fun and exciting to transform and refresh this place into a welcoming, safe, loved home of our own.

Our first plan of attack was to get this place acceptable to bring children into, to make it liveable, and to care for some areas that needed some prompt attention! We made the top floor our priority and spent a good month cleaning, changing out fixtures, repairing walls, painting, and refinishing the upstairs floors.

Our biggest and proudest accomplishment so far has been refinishing the old wood floors, it took a good couple days, a lot of sweat, and maybe some tears... but we did it! It changes the whole feel of the upstairs, going with black was the opposite of what we were originally intending (we were going to go with a bare wood finish) but when we got this crazy idea we just went with it, and I'm so glad we did! I love it, and I love that its still a stain so the wood grain still shows for a natural feel with a modern vibe!

Now that its done we want to take care of them, not to the point we can't live the chaotic busy life we lead, but to protect our hard work to last for years to come. The very first way we did this way spending a little bit more on higher quality stain and sealer. Then the more practical ways are putting those little stick on protectors things for every piece of furniture that could be pushed, pulled or moved about on the floors. And lastly we choose natural products that will still clean effectively but aren't harsh and break down the surface or are harmful to us or our kids, in the general day to day cleaning we do this with the E-Cloth Deep Clean Mop.

It's chemical free which sets my momma heart at ease when the kids want to help, which leads me to say the telescopic handle is the best because it adjusts to be perfect height for me and the littles! It's so easy to maneuver around under couches, beds, ceilings...anywhere, and with the extra material on the sides it can even get the baseboards all in one sweep. Oh and did I mention its washable?! Unlike other products you aren't succumbing to our cultural wasteful lifestyle, this mop head is reusable for up to 300 washes, yaaaaassss!

On a sidetone I will warn you now,  if your thinking of going with a dark finish floor, dust will show like no other! This may not bother you now but it means you have to give it a swipe every couple days to keep the dust at bay and the sun shining in shows every last little speck. This is one thing I wish the mop was better at, and probably why they have the "Floor & Wall Duster" mop head, I'm sure it does exactly what I want and will probably invest in one soon! My other wish has nothing really to do with its function but just aesthetics, I wish it was a darker colour so that in the long run it doesn't perpetually look dirty even after washing. Regardless of those minor issues its still an amazing tool to bring into your cleaning regime, it saves time and money on extra cleaning products, somehow its design in the fibres is proven to kill 99% of all bacterias with just water... yah you heard me, water!

E-Cloth has been my number one go to for changing over to more economical sustainable lifestyle, it baffles me that we can use a product and still have the same cleaning power as common household brands that are so wasteful and harmful to us and our environment, for this reason alone I couldn't be happier with this product and brand ....and with that we want to share with you! Hop on over to our Instagram for a chance to win your very own Deep Clean Mop!! (contest ends July.1st, 2018 @12 p.m. PST)

Life Made Easy With Ergobaby

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ergobaby Omni 360: When You Need Every Option

| Ergobaby provided the Omni 360 for the purpose of this review. |
| Within this post are affiliate links. Like always all words and opinions are 100% my own. |

Today I have the honour of sharing one of my favourite baby gear products with you! Let me introduce to you... Ergobaby! They are the makers of some really comfortable ergonomic baby carriers.

Flash back to my first pregnancy, I got wind of Ergobaby from a friend of mine and was gifted the Organic Original Carrier at my baby shower. I was immediately won over by a couple things: its ergonomic design that supports your baby hips properly; its UV protected sunhood; and that it was made from super soft organic cotton. I was a new mom with a babe that wouldn't play contently on her own, or stay sleeping for long periods of time, and because of that my sanity stretched very, very thin, very, very quickly! I needed to be able to go about my day like any other person, and this carrier was my saving grace! Ry would fall asleep within minutes and stay sleeping in it for way longer than if I were to put her down. It enabled me to complete simple chores and rest my aching arms.

Apart from the normal day to day use this carrier came with us everywhere... to the US, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, South Korea... everywhere! I'm actually amazed that it survived all that we put it through, but it did! The only wear it showed was that it faded, and hello... I think that can be expected when you expose it to 9 months of daily scorching hot Thailand sunshine.

When we returned to Canada I sold our original because we scored big time getting a second hand (but still new in box) Ergo Sport along with the new infant insert (it's a way better design, good job Ergo!). I love this carrier, its black and sleek, its more lightweight and breathable than the original, and it has a more fitted design around the tummy/hip area, which for my body type I just felt way more comfortable in it. The only thing I feel it lacked in comparison to the original was the comfy padded shoulder straps.

Now we are the proud owners of the Omni 360! Ever since the 360 design came out I have had serious carrier envy! The day it arrived at our door I literally did a happy dance, Adelyne too, I think we were both equally excited! I'm also not going to lie, I kind of had some baby fever when we got it (I said kind of... no more babies, its not happening!). I just have loved these carriers so much raising our kids and would love to use this one to its fullest potential with a snuggly little newborn (someone lend me your baby! haha), and the added bonus is this design doesn't even need an infant insert, I love that!

Back to when it first arrived, Adelyne and I literally tried each and every position right away! It's just so versatile for the early stages of life, newborn right to toddlerhood! I have always loved the front carry - facing parent position, its always a winner when you want to connect with your babe with some warm snuggles or get a nap in on the go. The hip carry is great for giving your bub a little more visual to the outside world, and the position to get a breastfeed happening. The back carry, my personal fave, gives you more mobility and full use of your arms, and it allows your babe to see but still be able to snuggle if needed. And all new to us is the front carry - facing out position, this is Adelyne's favourite, she calls it her "seat", she gets to see everything around her and she just can't stop smiling when in this position!

The Omni brought back for me the comfy shoulder straps, it still sports the UV protect privacy hood, it has extra head support for babe if needed, it still has that fitted feel with added lumbar support, and they redesigned the handy zipper pocket all ergo's have, by moving it and making it detachable (hello modernized fanny pack!). I love their trendy design and basic colour options, they're all neutral enough to be like an added accessory to your outfit of the day. And the versatility... this carrier is seriously the bee's knees of all carriers, with the multitude of positions and the crossable shoulder straps it can fit all kinds of body types, men included (Ain't nothing more sexy than a baby wearing dad!), and we all know in the carrier world comfort is so important! With the Omni your bound to find at least one way that is comfortable for both you and your babe!

I honestly can't rave enough about Ergobaby and especially this new design of the Omni 360! The quality of these carriers is outstanding! It is and has been for 6 years an essential item for raising our kids. It lives in the car because I still use it frequently, and Adelyne is over 2 years old now! It's perfect for wandering around markets, malls, and grocery shopping ... you know those places where you don't want little hands touching everything. It's gives us the ability to always be on the go, never mind rushing home to get naps in, nap times happen anywhere, like when we're watching Daddy or Rylee play soccer. It lets us stay active as a family with hikes and the walks to get Rylee from the bus stop. This carrier is a dream, and I'm seriously going to grieve the day Adelyne, our last baby, grows out of it!


Back To School : Simple Traditions

Thursday, September 14, 2017

School Season is here! Kids have returned to school, did you do anything commemorate the day or wish you had?!

We ourselves have a grade one'er and a preschooler on our hands! As a parent these are big moments for our kids (and us)! It's a weird, exciting, slightly terrifying transition going from 24/7 parents to only seeing our kids about 6 or so hours a day! This is why I want to share some simple ways you can commemorate this big change and even start a yearly tradition for each new school year!

1. Take A Picture
Last year when Rylee started Kindergarten we started our first tradition by capturing her on her way in her first day of school outfit with an old picture frame I refurbished into a chalkboard. This year we did the same thing for her first day of grade one and for Zachery's first day of preschool!

2. Celebrate With A Special Treat
Last year we took Rylee out to her favourite restaurant, Chinese. This year we did take out and celebrated at home. It doesn't have to be anything fancy or super expensive, but taking a time out with your child with a hot chocolate date, or going for ice cream, or bake some cupcakes is a great way to celebrate their big day and create a fun memory with them.

3. First Day of School Questionnaire
I saw this everywhere on social media this year, we do this for birthdays so I opted out but its still a great idea! Ask your child some simple questions like, "whats your favourite colour?", "Who's your best friend?", "What do you want to be when you grow up?", and so on. This is a great to hold on to and compare over the years.

4. Create Something
Most first days back to school are half days, set aside your afternoon to create something with your child. You could go all out with a paint your own pottery session, paint or craft class, or keep it budget friendly by creating something at home. One idea could be making a shrinky dink keychain of their handprint, as the years go by you'll have a cute mini keepsake of how they've grown, check it out the tutorial here.

5. A Special Gift
I'm not about over spending or creating a materialistic tradition, but think about holding on to one of their back to school essentials (new shoes, t-shirt, backpack), get them the one thing they had their eye on and surprise them when they wake up for their first day back to school. Another good and educational idea could be a new book from a series or author they love.

Good luck with the back to school transitions with early wake ups and tired little people. One day they will be grown and enjoying these moments now will be something you never regret!

Family Camping Checklist

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

It's the last weekend of summer, grab your family and this Camping Checklist and enjoy these fleeting moments of freedom and great weather before our mundane West Coast rains sets in and the routines of back to school pick up.

This summer we embarked on our first ever camping adventure as a family! Surprisingly with three children, five and under, it went considerably well, so well that we want to do it all over again...and again! (I've always loved camping, I can thank my Mom and Dad for that, my husband however he was the one who needed some winning over... mission accomplished!)

The week prior to us leaving we joked that this trip could be the end of our marriage (not really), but it was super stressful! Leading up to it Sevio was working a ton plus had deadlines to make with his online courses, and I had my hands full with the kids and what felt like a gagillion appointments. I did all the packing and organizing the day before we left, it was awful, but, out of it I can share with you an easy checklist to get you started off right to a great family weekend away.

I'm typically a Type-A minimalist packer (is that a thing?), everything has its rightful place and there's no need truckin' around more than you need to... thus why I create lists. Everything goes into a category and then I pack accordingly trying to make everything that should be together, be together, in the most concise way... it's one of my "cute" quirks being so OCD in my packing ways.

Once loaded up, and people this is another good reason to be organized, we still had room to spare... which is something amazing when you have to climb in and out of a vehicle multiple times for pee and food breaks with three little people! Anyways, back on point, we loaded up and left with the rising sun on the first boat to the mainland. Our first pit stop was Abbotsford to fuel up, then Hope for caffeine (mom fuel), then Merritt for lunch (where it was snowing ash from the crazy forest fires), and arrived in Kamloops, our final destination by mid day to set up camp. The kids were amazing, I actually don't think there were any meltdowns that whole trip.

We stayed right along the Thompson River, it wasn't anything fancy, it wasn't remote, or have any special amenities, but it was all we needed and we got a great flat grassy site that had a big tree to give us shade, and we were about 30 feet from a mini beach access. The kids had fun unloading the van and "helping" daddy set up the tent. We borrowed an 8 man tent for this trip and it was amazing how spacious it was for our crew of five.

We were there for a soccer tournament that Sevio was playing in, so we watched a lot of soccer in two days, played at the beach, and just hung out with the other players and their families. On our last afternoon at the campsite a bunch of the guys had preplanned making a DIY waterslide along the banks of the river. It was a great last moment to end on, the kids had a blast sliding down this man made slide built into the sandy bank lined with a huge plastic sheet fed by a water pump one of the guys had brought... that was truly camping at its finest!

Don't forget to download your free Family Camping Checklist Printable and have fun adventuring!

Smile Project : Month 8

Thursday, August 17, 2017

This summer has been such a whirlwind of events that goodness me, I actually forgot about the Smile Project! Thankfully I'm only a week late with month 8, and it is for this very reason that I love this project, it reminds me each month to pick up my camera and capture our kids as they grow.

This month changes have occurred, though you may not be able to tell. Rylee got her Rapunzel long hair trimmed back about 4 inches, and she's sporting a Band-Aid due to her brother sitting on her head as she went down a slide... slide burn...ouch! Zach physically hasn't changed much but this last month his personality has. He's asserting himself more and wants his voice to be heard, which with his lack of clarity in his speech it is frustrating for everyone involved! Adie, my little peanut, is still just as cute and wild as ever, her hair may have gotten crazier and quite frankly her personality too.

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