Stop chasing the like

**I wanted to post something but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to write about.  So I’ll just do some free writing – here goes nothing.

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Well I can share that I listened to a podcast featuring an old friend (we met in grade 9 so were friend for over 15 years) that I distanced myself from about a year ago.  I feel bad that we haven’t been able to keep in touch and I am happy / proud of her for following her inner calling.  But I know in my heart we are in different places now (although we both have very similar thinking about certain subjects till this day).  The thing is – I am saying I am happy for her based on what I see in her social media pages slash what she projects of herself online.   I know that behind the scenes there is a lot of struggle and work.  In any case I wish the best for her as I know she would for me.

I am proud of myself for giving up chicken and bacon (oops might have forgotten to mention that here).  I feel better for telling my family (after keeping it a secret for about 2 months) but I realized it was time and everyday that I choose to fuel myself with less animal products, I am happier.  Eating plant strong/plant based encourages creativity in the kitchen.  And that’s one thing you should know about me by now – I love being creative.

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I want to buy pretty things but I love that I am not. (Ok don’t get my wrong, I do buy stuff but not all the stuff and more so out of necessity / less out of “I saw it I want it”).  Hence why my #OOTD shots feature all old clothes.

Although minimalism seems a little extreme, the principals behind the movement really speak to me and resonate with the direction I see my life going.  Yes this entire outfit is all old stuff from my closet. But I love that!

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Shorts (similar) | Button Up | Tanktop | Flip Flops

Instagram, branding, #sponsored posts etc all have a way of making me feel bad/guilty/inferior for not doing what the cool kids are doing.  But then I tell myself “self, what do you really want …you want to be creative and make things because that voice inside of you won’t rest until you’ve done something creative every damn day”.  For me it could be taking a picture, bullet journaling, make something new for dinner, painting or writing.

Other things on my mind: stop eating cookies, stop scrolling on my phone so much, cuddle the Hubz more, buy a new moleskin, write more if I am in the flow, finish reading a book, keep my morning journaling routine, find 2 minutes in the day to be still/meditate.

Yeaaaa! It’s Friday – see you on the flip side!

Time to buy a new planner!

Whoa it’s like Fall has already arrived!

Ellie & I dropped off Miss S today at daycare (she is starting “kindegarden” today) and the temperature was 12 degrees Celsius.  Super excited to put on my vegan leather jacket and fringe scarf and getting the girls in their fall touqs.  Also stoked for for fall fashion!  Bring on all the layers of moody nail polish, rings and clothes :)

It is also that time of year again where all the stationary and school supplies line the front of stores.  It’s taking a lot of controlled effort not to pick up everything in sight but I love the feeling you get when a new (school) year is about to start.

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That said, my current planner year is coming to an end and I’ve used it consistently.   Although I can’t say that I used it extensively (some months were better than others) or that it was a space to keep/record everything.  I often grabbed a plain note book or printer paper to scribble lists on and never ended up returning those notes to my main planner.   I would prefer to keep everything in one place so I can always look up that list or piece of information I recorded because it ensures that I don’t have to “recreate the wheel”.  I like my moleskin planner but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in investing in something that would better suit my current journal/planning style.  I am currently using 4 different planner/bullet journaling methods and I really just want to use ONE!

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I’ve already got a few planners on my radar (like this Moleskin, Mini Day Designer or an undated Passion Planner).

Reviewing all these planners I realized there are some MUST HAVES for me when it comes to planners.

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A planner needs to have:

  • Quotes to start your week.  The right motivation can really set the tone for your days ahead
  • Monthly pages spread across a normal size paper (8.5×11 inches)
  • Project Planning Pages
  • Mind mapping pages
  • Vision board pages (for like actual cutting and pasting into the planner)
  • Vertical Days Section (for tasks lists/general lists, daily appointments in descending order by time etc).  I think “going down a list” as a daily practice helps to keep your productivity in focus
  • Daily trackers for habits such as water intake, exercise and food (i.e. “whats for dinner”)
  • Daily trackers for expenses and self care
  • Daily gratitude section
  • Daily top 3-5 tasks
  • Daily creative work section.  I truly believe that doing something creative is necessary to both exercise the mind and help you in other areas of your life (such as problem solving etc)
  • Weekly goals, essentially the top 2-3 things you need to get done that week
  • Go to Lists section such as grocery, suit case packing, diaper bag etc
  • Daily, weekly and monthly productivity measurement
  • Free space (lined and blank) for doodling, note taking, free writing etc
  • Pomodoro explanation
  • Information on topics such as: productivity, focus, intention, mediation etc
  • Front and back pockets
  • Be able to lay flat
  • Bookmark (an attached piece of ribbon or a ruler that fits into the rings)
  • Free printables (something you can print from the planners website and add to your planner)

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Things I planner doesn’t need to have:

  • Global Date and Times
  • Flight Durations
  • Dialing codes
  • Measurement conversions
  • Shirt Sizes

…pretty much anything that can be googled in seconds!

Weekend Activities + Weekly Goals (Part 10)

We are fast approaching the middle of August which means the CNE is starting up and summer is winding down.  This summer as a family of 4 and mom of 2 has been probably the best one yet.  Although I can’t believe I’ve probably only had a handful of cocktails (#NormalizeBreastFeeding)

I know I am a week late with my weekend wrap up but honestly never late then never.  Because let’s be real here – when I do these types of posts, it’s mainly for myself (or my future self I should say)

And I think it goes without saying, I like to document things.  So without further ado, here is a quick recap of our Civic long weekend :)

Friday evening we braved the long weekend crowd and had dinner at our go-to family date night restaurant.  It’s always a little hairy because by the time we get there it’s the start of bed time routine.  Buuuutt we do it anyway, mostly because the Hubz and I are completed clueless about dinner by fridays (that’s a lie, we have the “what should we have for dinner” convo at least 5 times a day) and the change in scenery is a must for all of us.

Saturday, we had lunch with my in laws.  We went to a steak place, but thankfully I was able to find a veggie option that tasted pretty good!

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Sunday we met my family for lunch at my sisters.  Followed by some fun in the sun at a local park.
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Monday, we hung out with friends.  Pretty chill afternoon hanging out in the backyard with all of kids running around us lol.

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“Fried” chicken (without the deep fryer!)

This recipe is too good not to share.  Although I have reduced the amount of meat I am eating, Miss S and the Hubz have not so I knew I had to make this for them.  And everyone has got to love fried food – but who really loves the deep fryer?  The splatter messes, the lingering smell and the oil that has been used a few too many times…no thanks!

That said I will have to experiment making this vegetarian.  Maybe fried cauliflower – ah yes, that would make it a pakora :P

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So what’s the trick to getting that crispy fried coating – corn flakes!

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This is what you need:

  • Cornflakes
  • Ziplock bag + rolling pin
  • Garlic powder
  • Butter
  • S & P
  • Dill (or other herb of choice – optional!)
  • Chicken breasts (I usually slice them length wise)

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This is what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Clean and slices your chicken, set aside
  3. Using a ziplock filled with cornflakes, crush the cornflakes.  Transfer to a bowl
  4. Add S & P, garlic powder and herb of your choice to the bowl
  5. Melt butter in the microwave (2+ tbls)
  6. Add Salt, galic powder to the melted butter and mix well.
  7. Set up your assembly line: chicken ready to be coated, melted butter mixture, cornflakes mixture and a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  8. Dip the chicken into the melted butter mixture being sure to coat both sides well, then cover the chicken with the cornflakes making sure to cover all areas of the chicken breast then place on lined baking sheet.
  9. Complete above step for all remaining chicken pieces
  10. Pour any remaining butter on all the pieces and fill in any missed places on the chicken with the cornflakes
  11. Bake 25-30 min.  Check centre of chicken is cooked before removing from oven.

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Weekend memories

Other than the washer breaking down on Friday evening (every mom’s nightmare I am sure) the Hubz surprised me and came home early so we scooped up Miss El and headed out to grab a small bite (while Miss El napped).  It was so nice to be surprised and have a change in my afternoon routine.  Saturday, my mom, Miss S, Ellie and I attended a baby shower.  Having been out of the house and operating outside of their normal routine, they were angels.  But the craziness did set in around 6pm and we had to hightail it out of there.  (My mom got a glimpse of it and I hope it didn’t scare her!)

Sunday morning we made a trip to Lowes to finalize on a new washer and dryer and then Miss S went off to ball sports with the Hubz.  While they were out I was cleaning the house like a mad women because our cousins were coming over for a late lunch.  Ellie in the ring sling and me vacuuming the main floor was quite the cardio workout.

After lunch, the four of us hung out on the drive way.  Sunday hangs on the driveway are our new thing :)  It’s a nice change of scenery yet still being at home.  Close to the fridge, bubbles, the kids toys and sitting in the shade while the sun sets behind our house is the best feeling!

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Inspiring creativity in my kids

You know as a parent you are doing something creatively right (especially when it literally feels like chaos in the house 24/7) when you kid asks you to put the photograph you just captured on your camera in their room. But what exactly am I doing:  I am taking time to do something creative everyday.  Luckily my kiddos see what I do.

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We went on a stroller walk, which I turned into a photography walk because it ended up being the only chance I had all week to use my camera.  I’ve kept my 50MM lens on my DSLR for about a month now to create a constraint in hopes that it would allow my creativity to flourish within a restriction.  It has – and I am loving it.

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We had a great weekend, family dinners, breakfasts out, soccer practice, lots of coffee, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and even a McD’s run (because we are so used to daycare taking care of lunches :P)

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My to-do list is long and already in play.  I even got started on some of my planning.