3 EASY Festive (Non) Baking Ideas + Our Christmas Decor

It’s that time of year where all I want to do is eat all of the sweet treats and go to all the potlucks.  One day I would love the idea of being one of those mom’s that adores baking and cooking up a storm…buuuttt I already know that I am DEFINITELY one of those women who eats EVERYTHING on the dessert table so I really have to keep my sweet treat making in check!  Aaaannnd I am always nervous I’ll mess up the recipe so I love the idea of #Bakinghacks :)

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Stockings | Evergreen Garland | Floral Clip Ornaments

I do have some lunch and dinners planned with friends and family before Christmas, so I figured it would be a great option for me to flex my creative (non) baking muscle without worrying that I’ll eat everything on my own.  I found some awesome options for faux-baking/pre-made cookie decorating LOL.

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Fairy Lights | Garland | Frame

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Pom Pom Garland

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Elf on the Shelf

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Floating Shelf | Mini Wicker Baskets (Similar) | Frames | Mason Jar

Ok so on to the no-bake-treats and cookie decorating ideas.  I saw these and thought I would love to add a Christmas touch to our beloved peanut butter cookies.  We literally make these cookies all year round.  They are more or less guilt free and have no white sugar or flour. Just dip them in some melted dark chocolate and sprinkle some red, white and green sprinkles and they are a perfect holiday treat.

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The Hubz loves turtles so these would be for him (I am not a fan of caramel) these are super easy and take literally 10 minutes.  I can’t believe I’ve never made them before.  I am just not sure if I should used salted or unsalted pretzels?

Lastly I have to at least attempt to make these DIY thin mints.  I love girl guide cookies and being able to make these at Christmas (or even all year round would be brilliant).

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Check out our christmas decorations from last year!

Miss El’s eigth month update

Slowly my attention is returning to the other part of my life that hasn’t needed my focus in so long.  I am thinking about going back to work as well as everything that comes with that: schedules, pick ups, drop offs, commuting, budgets, meal preps and dinner on weeknights.  My mind is exploding with to do lists and calendar dates.  But for the next few minutes I am going to focus on 8 months of Lou-Lou

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Peplum Top & Leggings (Similar) | Headband (Multiple colours available)

Yep – she’s got a new nick name.  It’s funny, Miss S and I read this book a million and one times while Ellie was in my belly.  I was sad that our world wouldn’t have President Barack Obama in it any more and Miss S would constantly ask about LoLo (I started pronouncing it Low-Low – and I guess she was amused). Anyways – Miss S now calls her it affectionately and the grandparents do it to.  I guess that works because she only answers to that or Elora so now it’s stuck!!

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Christmas Tree | Fairy Lights | Area Rug 

She is talking up a storm!  Calling Ma’am Maam, Da-Dat, Eeeee, Ooaa.  She thinks she’s a big shot and we couldn’t agree more.  She’s started pulling herself up and experimenting with cruising and getting accustomed to being on her hands and knees.  Lots of bouncing, pushing backwards, scooting in circles while sitting or on tummy time but no actual crawling yet.

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Jacket (Similar) | Cold Weather Onesie (Similar)

She’s been exposing herself to TOOOONNNS of food, now eating 3 meals and 1-2 snacks a day.  Although we do give her a lot of store bought baby food (our go-to brands are: Baby Gourmet, Love Child Organics and Earth’s Best) she’s tried my mother in laws black channe and her Pop’s weekly oven baked fish and was totally into it.  Right now her favourites are banana, scrambled eggs, coconut yogurt, 3 ingredient pancakes.

She claps and hurrays with her arms.  We are teaching her the basic baby sign language and she’s tried doing “more” lol.  She’s still really into her sister (but not her sister’s “smuhugs” aka smush-hugs), has started to play wrestle with her sis, as well tries to hide a toy in her hand if she sees Miss S running towards her LOL!!!.  Still into PDA and has even started giving us wet kisses 💋💋!!  She loves playing a game with her dad and I where she wants to go from my arms to his arms and back and forth – she obviously thinks it’s hilarious!  And we do too!

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Head band | Hair Clip | Cardigan (Similar)

3 ways to get out of that #MomLife rut

Lately and on-and-off I’ve been in a weird funk.  I’ve be snappy and rude one minute and totally loving the next.  One minute I am a multi-tasking goddess and the next I am pissed that I have to do everything.  Also, I have a general feeling of being uninspired and demotivated.   Feeling like I have fallen off the wagon in so many aspects of my life.  Looking at my to do list and then feeling unaccomplished.  Total #FirstWorldProblem slash sounding like a #Millennial  (or Xennial as I am finding out)…. I know.

I think it’s a combination of realizing I head back to the working world in 4 short months and the isolation of Mat Leave that has brought up these feelings.

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Faux Leather Leggings | Booties | Off The Shoulder Top

Outside of all that – wallowing in self pity is not a good look for me.  I mean I didn’t even want to post this publicly.

So instead of complaining I figured I would teach.  Teach myself, teach my daughters and teach any other girl, woman, mother how to help yourself when you are feeling not yourself.

  1. Try to create > consume:
    I feel the the most out of it when I binge watch something on Netflix, mindlessly scroll Instagram or eat because I am bored.  It’s literally taken me 34 years of my life to realize what it was.  On the days I don’t create or accomplish something, whether thats dinner, workout, my step count, a painting, write in my journal or post on my blog – I feel like a slob.  So I try to make sure what I create balances what I consume or ideally I create more than I consume.
  2. Comparison if used incorrectly is the killer of joy: 
    In our social media ridden society it’s to easy to get caught up with what our friends and family are doing.  What I’ve learned is that everyone is in a different season of life.  And with each season/phase come different victories and different challenges.  Navigating those ups and downs is what makes life ..life!  So as much as I would love to be in a certain place doing certain things – I have to keep grinding.  And the best way to set myself up for success is only compare myself to my past self.  “This isn’t about doing everything exactly right; it’s about doing something a bit better a bit at a time.” (such a powerful idea, although I can’t take credit for these words)
  3. Guilt-free time alone/time away:
    This is huge for me.  I always complain that I want to have time alone with the Hubz but I feel so guilty asking for help with the girls. No words or wisdom or experience here just that I need to get over that.

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Miss El’s seventh month update

Here we are 7 months Ellie Babe.

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She is entertaining us so much right now.  If I am not cleaning up the puddle in front of her chin then I am literally changing her clothes or bibs 3-4 times a day because she’s blowing raspberries.  She is too quick to grab things (like the salt and pepper shaker from the dinning table, books or pens in my hands and even my coffee or tea mug).  She loves saying “da da” and on occasion has said “na” and “ba ba”.  No “ma ma” yet :(

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She’s always interested in what her sister is doing and loves cuddling us all.  She loves the bath so I am thinking about taking her to the pool once a week before we officially put her in swimming lessons.

She’s been eating at least twice a day – mainly because I’ve been lazy giving her lunch on the weekdays :/  So I am sure she’d take more.  It’s hilarous when she thinks any food going into our mouths is for her.  She’s really into sweet potato, banana and cheesy scrambled eggs.

We finally got her ears pierced although I was in no rush as she has an uncanny resemblance to her Nani (maternal grandmother).  I remember with Miss S, she looked too much like a girl version of the Hubz I pierced her ears ASAP lol.

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She’s really into banging things together, dancing (really its just a little lachak in her hips), claps on demand and has been initiated into the season of Fall with a few colds :(

She loves playing on her tummy and exploring things upright while sitting.  Rolls from her back to tummy and starting to turn to the side when she’s on her back – only if she’s got the right motivation (aka our iPhone).  We love encouraging her to do 360 turns while on her tummy (think: the hands moving around the face of a clock) with the right motivation which is currently a Fidget Spinner.

 

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A little bit of vulnerability and a lot of openness

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 8.33.08 PM Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 8.34.53 PMIt’s hard to believe that six months of my mat leave is already over. Well technically I’m already halfway trhrough the seventh month which leaves me with five-ish months left of maternity leave.  This blog post is just some free writing because I have a ton of thoughts and I need to get them out.  I don’t want to over edit this post because then I’ll probably won’t hit publish.

When I first started my leave, I set a lot of goals for myself during this time. One of the biggest priorities I had  established for myself was to stay motivated and productive.  With setting that goal I managed to get a lot accomplished sooner than later during my leave.  Setting such a big goal (essentially dreaming big) also help me learn about myself.

I’ve learned that I’m a creative. I need to do something creative everyday to feel fulfilled.

Being fit and working out is important to me.  I feel good when I make getting a workout in a priority.

I’ve learned that writing publicly makes me more intentional but also highlights / serves as a reminder of my failures (which obviously doesn’t bother me very much as you can go through my weekly goals and notice many of the tasks repeated week after week because they never got done).

I’ve learned that I am very good at starting things but not so good at finishing them.  Like this, this and this  :roll:

I’ve learned some really cool productivity hacks such as using the microphone on my iPhone to write blog posts and lists, the effects of bullet journaling on my everyday life.  And that #DocumentYourDays is important as reflecting back helps you correct as you move forward.

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I’m inspired by motivational quotes, journaling, inspirational people on social media. (I already knew these things but it’s a good reminder to myself).

Matt leave it’s both invigorating and isolating (more on this in a future post).

I’ve also learned that being self-motivated within an unstructured day takes a lot of work and effort.

Self care is really important.

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Creating more than I consume prevents burn out (and overall anxiety).

I am not perfect and and I shouldn’t get let myself get down and out if I can’t do everything right from the get go.  I’ve learned that its more about doing something a little bit better a little bit every day.

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Miss El’s six month update

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And here we are, ½ year old Ellie Bellie.  She celebrated like any baby should – in Las Vegas!  :-P

Right before she turned 6 months she figured out how to roll from her tummy to her back. She’s been trying new foods and grabbing things we are holding in our hands or food we are putting in our mouths!

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She’s really into examining things by moving them from hand to hand, putting them in her mouth or just starting at it intently.  She still loves trees and I think she kind of loves the song “Part of your world” from The Little Mermaid.  She’s trying really hard to sit up unassisted and is not a fan when we take her toes out of her mouth during a diaper change.

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Ellie is really giving us a run for our (parenting) money but from I am understanding that is the natural evolutionary path of adding another kiddo to the mix.

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