Sling Diarist – Entry Submission

A few days ago I sent in my entry submission to Sakura Bloom to become a diarist.

I think it would be such a cool thing to do.  I am finally feeling well enough to look at my computer without getting dizzy so figured I’d post it here too :)

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Perception

To my daughters

I wonder if I could go back in time and tell my younger self that the standards I believed to be true are not the only things to strive for in life.  To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have believed it.   In my twenties, my goals were to have a successful career, own a home and be happy.   Even though I have achieved these things, little did I realize that my perception of happiness would change.

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We are told that what we perceive is due to the way we comprehend the inputs accepted by our biological senses. What’s more important is that we can change our reality by altering our perception.  And my dears, here is the secret I’ve learned over the years…We all have the power to change our reality. Simply by altering how we perceive our surroundings, circumstances and each other.

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I’ll be honest, it takes practice (I am still working on it) but by truly appreciating the journey you are on, living intentionally and supporting one another you will find that success and happiness is achievable.

A few months before starting my MBA thesis I met your dad. If at that point, I had decided that school would be my only focus and sense everything else as a distraction – I wouldn’t have come to know the joy of being swept off my feet in love and ultimately realizing the life changing delights of being a mom – your mama.

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So please remember this my sweet loves, just when you think you are on the right path or when you feel your victories are within your grasp – something will knock the wind out of you. You may feel excited, confused or even hopeless. This is the exact moment you will need to realize that this direction is meant to impart some wisdom on you. So take a deep breath, count your blessings and keep going. Do your best not to let any negative perception of your circumstance deter you. The best thing is, you’ll realize that there is happiness along this new path and it was something you weren’t expecting.

With all my love,
Your mommy

Capsule Packing for Las Vegas

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I’ve always enjoyed packing a suitcase or overnight bag.  The planning, the organization, the list making – everything that goes into packing makes me feel like I’m getting ready for the first day of school.  I guess packing gives me a sense of control, which isn’t something I crave in my every day life (I’m not exactly a type A personality).

But packing as a family of 4 takes on a whole new level because now I am trying to be as minimalist as possible.

Okay, I’ll be honest, you can’t really pack minimally with kids.  I mean even if you are going away for 6 days you still have to pack 12 days worth of clothes.  Well 15 because you need back up clothes for your back up clothes 😂.  With more than one kid, diapers, wipes and all the other stuff kids are comfortable with, that could take up an entire checked luggage.

So when we starting planning for our 1st multi-generational vacation I knew that going with more than one checked suit case was more then we could handle.  I mean we have only so many hands and carry ons and backpacks work better with umbrella strollers and babies in carriers.

I had to get creative and decided to plan all outfits (included back ups of back ups), pare down the number of shoes I normally take and research as many ways as possible to be as lean as possible with our packing.

I was pretty happy with myself when all we had was one large checked luggage, one carry on luggage and one backpack for 6 days!

I figure I’d share my capsule wardrobe for Las Vegas.  Mind you I didn’t do any clubbing but considering the girls’ grand parents were with us I did plan in case we would be able to get out (we didn’t – the time difference didn’t make for easy for evenings).

Daytime outfits were needed for hanging out at the strip, shopping, checking out the free hotel attractions, going to the gym and taking a day trip to go hiking.  Evening outfits were normally just for dinners (restaurant or buffet).

I was able to make 13 outfits from the following pieces:
– 4 fancy tops
– 1 tank top
– 2 t-shirts
– 1 button up
– 1 black skirt
– 1 light weight jacket
– 2 pairs of shorts
– 2 pairs of leggings (1 was vegan leather)
– 1 pair of gym crops
– 2 gym tops
– 2 bathing suits
Accessories included: wide brim fedora, chocker, handkerchief
4 pairs of shoes (runners, converse, mid heal sandal and flip flops – should have left the converse at home).

What started out as way to save space in our luggage actually turned out to be an efficient and quick way to get dressed for different activities on our trip.

Have you tried capsule/minimalist packing on a trip?

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!

5 daily pick me ups

Mat leave is wonderful and hard.  The second time around it’s definitely more work. The first time around, I don’t remember ever making/preparing dinner before 5pm or doing dishes for that matter.  These days I am constantly multitasking and with that I fight for my personal time.  I need it for myself and for my family.

On the hard days, I want to remind myself on ways to pick myself up.  So here goes:

1. Consume something positive or uplifting: My go-tos are an inspiring Ted Talk, Pod Cast or listening to my summer play list.  I know I’ve been discussing and trying to understand #CreateMoreThanYouConsume but when the thing you are consuming is positive and uplifting I really believe it pushes you to create something.  You’ll have a smile on your face, you’ll be filled with inspiration or you’ll actually create something to deliver what you’ve learned.  Here, here and here are somethings I’ve consumed worth sharing.

TLY_WRWW12. Drink water: and lots of it.  When I am feeling blah, a light goes off in my head “drink more water, drink water now, finish that entire bottle and then refill it”.  So without thinking I do just that.  On some level I think it’s my brain or unconscious self saying, get rid of the toxins and you’ll start to feel more content.

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3.  Exercise: Whether it’s a stroller walk in the mall or run on the treadmill while the baby sleeps, stop procrastinating and do it.  The endorphins will kick in and you’ll have an automatic smile on your face.

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4. Journal: Right now, I have two journals of choice.  One for gratitude/intention/affirmations/positive thinking and another for day planning/bullet journaling. I use them to both start and end my day as well as keep me focused on things I want to accomplish.

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5.  Get Outside:  Fresh air does wonders.  Even if it’s only 5 minutes of sitting in the warmth of the sun.  The babe will be mesmerized by something in nature which will give you a few minutes to yourself :)

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A goal is a goal

I have 6 more days left in my blog challenge and although I have a blog calendar I don’t have anything prepped for today’s post.  And by today I actually mean yesterday.  And by prepped I mean have my talking points or pictures ready.  I definitely will be going back to my 3 day a week posting scheduling after this challenge is over.  Not sure what I was thinking when I thought I could do 5 days a week of blogging (I remember my teacher saying that even 4 days a week of blogging is not easy).  But it’s a goal I set for myself and I intend to meet it.  So today’s post is more of a #DiaryEntry.

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Photo taken circa 2011 in Paris after my MBA convocation

Yesterday was the mister’s MBA convocation.  (If you need ideas on how to spend solo parenting time with your kid you can read this).  At first Miss S didn’t want to attend because she was going to have water play day at her preschool.  I was a little sad but also relieved because having her miss a celebration of her father’s achievement would be disappointing but keeping a toddler quite and still for 2 hours would not be easy.  However because the forecast for the day was raining she had decided that she didn’t want to go to preschool and would attend the graduation ceremonies.  Luckily, I had 2 sets of grandparents to help! …All went well except when both kids wanted me to hold them LOL.    Thank goodness for my sling and strong arms :)

This morning we I had early wake up calls (thanks to our #HumanAlarmClocks).  Brought the older one to our bed and she played with my hair and back so I could sleep for another 20 minutes.  Managed to get her ready for the day (bathroom, dressed, breakfast and play time) and write in my journal before the baby woke up.  We let the new grad sleep in 1.5 hours more before I made the toddler wake him up :)

This evening we are heading out to my parents house for a belated Father’s Day BBQ.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday.

Father’s Day Gift Guide 2017

When I was young I would always gift my dad a handmade gift from school or girl guides.  He still even has one of those gifts hanging in the garage (I think – will check next time I’m there and snap a pic).  Anywhooo – here are some gift ideas for Father’s Day.

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Smart Phone Charger | Beverage of Choice | Silicone wedding band | Ankle Socks | Waterbottle