Peony Season

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It’s the end of June and that means it’s finally Peony season here!!!

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I had one plant succumb to winter kill but the other two made it and one is thriving better than ever before. It literally makes my heart skip a beat when I see them!

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I bought my very first plant 6 years ago, I brought it home and discovered that it was covered in ants. I quickly cleaned all the ants off into the dumpster and proceeded to plant it in my flower bed. It died. A seasoned peony growing friend of mine told me they need the ants. I did not like that! Not one bit. I hate ants but I wanted the peonies, I learned to accept that the ants were part of the package. I don’t know what the deal is, I don’t know if they actually need the ants but I’ve been growing the plants successfully since, I’m not about to mess up a good thing.

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Lesson learned: accepting things I do not like might yield a beautiful result.

Dear Anna,

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You are growing up way too fast.

I hate it. I love it.

I see your face changing daily and it breaks my heart and lights me up, all in the same second.

I worry that I didn’t spend enough time soaking up baby Anna and every phase after that. I remind myself daily to soak up who you are now before that part of you grows up too.

Every new phase we enter brings new challenges but also new celebrations.

Every now and then I wish I could turn back the clock but then I remind myself how grateful I am for where we are now and the present becomes my favorite phase.

Right now:

  • You are 6 years old.
  • You are so funny & you’re a little too cheeky for your own good.
  •  You love to go on dinner dates and coffee dates.
  • You still love to hold my hand.
  • You are so smart.
  • You are becoming more brave and confident daily.
  • You play with Barbies, Shopkins & Lego.
  • You can read.
  • You love to sing and are always making up songs. This morning I heard you singing about math.
  • Lucy is your best friend.
  • You love to go on family adventures.
  • Your favorite foods are anything potato, grilled cheese, banana pancakes, Nutella on anything and berries.
  • You have lost 6 teeth. 2 pulled out by the dentist, 1 kicked out at recess and 3 pulled out by me. Your toothless smile makes me smile.
  • You love swimming and are working so hard at swimming lessons.
  • You hate bedtime. Bedtime can be so hard. You are a master at avoiding getting ready for bed.
  • Someone said something kind to you at school about your freckles and now you love them. I’ve loved them all along. I hope you learn to love them on your own.
  • You say “I Love You” all the time and leave little love notes in my office for me to find.
  • You only have 34 days left of Grade 1.
  • You take Hip Hop classes, swimming lessons and have joined the running club at school.
  • You really want to read/watch Harry Potter but you’re afraid of Voldemort.
  • You love Snapchat & I always find the funniest pictures on my phone.

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Anna, you are my favorite & I am so grateful that I get to be your mom.

xo,

Mom

 

Valentine Cards

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Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the kids or for couples, it’s for all of us. Whether you’re calling it Valentine or Gal-entine or  Pal-entine there really is something for all of us. I created these cards for my tribe of women, my Gal-entines. It’s a simple gesture that says “Hey! I was thinking about you and I think you’re wonderful.” I wrote in most of them something I loved about them- their kind hearts, their beautiful spirits, etc. I created simple cards using the Valentine collection from Crate paper, the latte stickers were perfect as each card also got a $5 gc from Starbucks. I started buying after Christmas each time I had a $5 bill. This way the expense didn’t feel so big and small amounts spread out over time were more manageable for me.

Today I’m making Valentine cupcakes for Anna’s class and apple tarts for our dinner tomorrow. I love love and I we love goodies over here so baking seems like a wonderful gift for our tummies. 🙂

 

Audio Books are my jam!

I have this thing… I LOVE personal development & autobiographical books! Like can not get enough! However… I don’t like to read them. In fact I can barely get half way through any given one before I’m kicking it to the curb. I can however listen to hours and hours of these books. When I’m walking, when I’m driving, when I’m working, when I’m folding laundry… you get the point. Audiobooks have changed the reading game for me! I “read” more books: personal developement and autobiographical books last year than ever before, at least 15+. I read read maybe 3.

Here’s a few things I’ve learned about myself…

  • I want the audio books to be read by the author. It make me feel like I’m hanging out with them. I will often avoid an audio book if it’s not read by the author.
  • If it’s not read by the author I will listen to a clip and if I don’t like the readers voice or how they read it- I won’t choose that book.
  • I can only listen to audiobooks if I’m alone. I find it annoying if other people are around. I got headphones for my birthday and it was a game changer!
  • I discovered that I can walk/run farther and for longer if I’m caught up in an audiobook.
  • I can not listen to fiction audio books. I can not pay attention and I get bored so easily. (I have to read these and not listen. I prefer crime & thriller.)

The books pictured above are all so good. I have listened to The Year of Yes and Big Magic multiple times. I loved the books from Amy Poehler, Tiny Fey & Mindy Kaling- we would totally be BFF’s in real life, I just know it. 😉 Not pictured are all the books by Brene Brown, I could listen to her tell her story and share her work all day!

I get most of my audiobooks from the library, I simply download it to my phone with the Overdrive app and away we go, I also really like Audible.com when I’m looking to buy.

I’m currently listening to these two and so far I’m loving both. Completely different and both completely captivating.

If you are an audio book lover and you have a favorite (nonfiction) let me know.

 

 

 

2016: One Second Video

It’s been 2 weeks since we said goodbye to 2016 and  I wanted to share a little recap. This past year I downloaded the One Second Everyday app to record our year. It’s a visual diary, one second captured daily (or not) and then pieced together to create a movie. Honestly- it’s amazing. The finished movie made my heart so happy.

Here’s a few things worth mentioning:

I was not consistent but I love this app & I 100% recommend it. I am using it again this year, seeing the finished product is so amazing to me.

The idea is that you take a video every single day, load it into the app and then it helps you trim out 1 second. At the end of the week, month , year you can mash them all together and you have a mini movie.

Once your video is in the app you can delete the video from your phone storage to save space. The video on the app is only a 1 second snip so if the video was one I wanted to keep I downloaded it to my computer before deleting from my phone.

I did not take a video every single day, I pretty much missed all of March.  I  did not stress about it. I did  almost always have a photo from the day (October is mostly photos) and I loaded the image to the app instead. Not as great as a video but a memory captured and that really is what this was all about for me.

2016 in 1 seconds…

Anna turns 6

 

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Anna turned 6 mid way through November and we celebrated with an “Under the Sea” party. Saying that I loved getting ready for this party would be an understatement. I worked on decorations for almost 2 weeks in between all my Christmas creating. Cory & I cleared out the one room in our basement and I hung up $1.25  plastic table cloths on the walls to create “water”. I pretty much used Pinterest as my bible for these decorations. Seriously- search “under the sea” party… it’s amazing and there are so many ideas. img_9514

We had the girls paint picture frames and then I hot glued shells to them. We hired a face painter and then when all the girls were done we took a group photo. I printed the photos off on my Selphy and we put them in their frames. That was their “goodie bag” as well as one of the mermaid cookies below. The rest of the time was basically free play, eating and chewing as many gum balls that they could get their hands on! You can always tell the kids that aren’t allowed to have gum.

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I am so blessed to be surrounded by such talented women, my friend Sharla has a Cookie & Cake company and I had her make me these amazing cookies for us! I can’t get over how freakin cute they were! If you need specialty goodies- The Little Cookie & Cake Co is a sure bet and her pricing is so reasonable!

The Octopus (we referred to him as a Sixtopus (hee hee) as I only gave him 6 tentacles) was one of my favorite pieces to create. How cute is he!! The jelly fish were one of Anna’s favorites.  Almost all the rest of the decorations were cut with my Silhouette Cameo. The shells, coral, starfish, mermaids, bubbles & seahorses- so easy and perfect!

We have taken most of the decorations down so we could have our basement back but the jelly fish and Sixtopus remain. This girl makes me so happy and doing a party like this is 100% worth all the fuss. All the little details are as much for me as they are for her. Birthday parties are the best!

 

First Day of Fall

 

Today’s the day… officially. As far as I’m concerned it’s been fall for almost 3 weeks already. The weather is cool but the sun is still hot on your face, the leaves are all changing and falling… what’s that saying- if it looks like a duck. Anyways… let’s talk fall. The changing of the seasons is always so refreshing. I know that winter is just around the corner but still I get excited for the move from summer to autumn. It is just so flipping beautiful! Dare I say it may be more beautiful than summer as far as colors go.

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I  love the cool breeze and the hot sun. I love the colors, man do I love the colors! I love the sounds and the rustling leaves. I love scarves and boots. I love getting cozy and lighting candles. I love baking and cooking all those meals that remind you of comfort. I love opening the window and then laying on the couch in a pool of sunlight. I love Sunday football with Cory- not for football necessarily but for the snacks he makes and the lazy cuddles on the couch.  All these things mean fall to me.

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A little fall inspired scrapbooking using the Warm & Cozy collection from Pebbles Inc.

Thanks for stopping by, I’m off to kick my way through all the leaves as I walk over to Anna’s school for pickup.