Road trip to Pittsburgh

At the beginning of November, the Hubz, the girls and I travelled to Pittsburgh for my husband’s cousins’ wedding.  I was terrified to do a 6 hour car ride with the girls. (give or take an hour or so).  I mean, Miss S literally asks for a snack as soon as I buckle her into the car seat.  And she (like any other kid, including myself when I was her age) incessently ask “are we there yet” or “how many more minutes”. I was really afraid I would lose my $#!t.  (#BadMom alert!)

I am happy to report that it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  Considering we’ve done a few 2 hour trips with them, this was relativity easier.  Mainly because we broke up the trip and having Miss S ride half the time with us and the other half with her grandparents (who were also attending – just driving another car).

We made sure to have lots of snacks, a bag of entertainment (crayons, letter beads/pipe cleaners, hot wheels and lots of books via this children’s e-reader), a few CDs burnt with our favourite songs of the moment (like this, this and this) and of course an iPad with some downloaded kids shows as back up (thanks to Netflix Canada’s downloadable feature)…. I felt for the most part prepared.

Not sure if we could do that type of road trip on our own but I do feel a little more aware of what to expect and a dare I say a little more confident.

Here are some of the pictures I snapped while we were away!

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Kids asleep in the mobile bunk bed (aka a double stroller) so we get to ENJOY!

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Miss S always makes our family pictures so much fun :P

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I always love seeing the “4 pillar” representations at Hindu weddings.

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Gparents babysitting meant that us two got a break and went straight to the Hotel Lobby Bar ;)

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The happy couple!

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Our visit to @CafeLandwer

Last week, the Hubz and I (okay… and #EllieHaze asleep in her car seat) checked out Cafe Landwer.  And ohmygoodness it did not disappoint.

We went for brunch but the menu is chalked full of so much goodness.

The restaurant itself has got this cute vintage yet modern looking style with Instagram worthy tiles on the floor.

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Maybe it was the sleeping baby, or the cozy atmosphere, or the fact that we hadn’t been out together in a long time but this place definitely hit the spot.  We ended up getting the Landwer’s breakfast for 2.  It came with 4 eggs cooked to our choice (we went with omelette of veggies and cheese) + a huge tray of bread and a variety of dips.  I swear I felt like royalty eating this :)

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We are definitely going to go back for the coffee and desert and maybe with Miss S to check out the kids menu ;)

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

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!

I want to remember this day

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August 16-17 2017 will be the day I remember that I did it. The thing I’ve been so fearful of as a mom of two.

Taking care of both my girls solo.  

Going out with both my girls solo.

(…No help or even moral support with me near by)

And I did it!

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Doing a daycare pick up with both kids is routine for me, but doing that, followed by trip to Melonhead to get Miss S’s hair cut, followed by a walk around the grocery store as we waited for the Drs walk in clinic to open was uncharted territory for me.

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The next day, I took them out for some fresh air in the morning, a grocery run in the afternoon and then to the library. The second day included a poopie diaper change in the trunk of our car while it rained cats and dogs. Then dealing with 2 meltdowns in a matter of 4 minutes. 

But what I will remember most about this day: I conquered my fear, I took joy in listening to Miss S belt it out on a frozen song (realizing that’s how I took found my singing voice – singing Disney songs), the interaction between the girls and that I conquered a fear.

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.