Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Arianna's Toddler Room Inspiration

I have always been firmly in the camp that I would keep Arianna in a crib until she could climb out and I couldn't stop her with any tricks. However, as soon as she turned 2, I got the itch to turn her room into a "big girl room". Before you say "Don't do it!", don't worry. This is not happening anytime soon.

However, I AM starting to gather ideas via Pinterest and items that we will need to set her room up. 

The first thing I purchased was a comforter set from Target in this gorgeous pattern. I got a twin, which will be the right width but a little long. I absolutely love this bedding and I think it will match the curtains that my mother in law made for her original nursery! Side note, did you know if you live in Canada close to the border, you can order from Target and ship to the local store for free? The only downside is you have to be prepared to pick it up ASAP, because they only hold it in store for 3 days max.

The second thing I got from her room was this toddler bed from a Facebook bidding page and I got an amazing deal! It's an extendable bed so when she outgrows the toddler mattress, I can just buy a twin and extend the bed.

Is this not the cutest little girl bed ever?! My niece has the same one and Arianna is obsessed with her room, every time we are there Arianna wants to play in her room and in her bed! 

These tassel garlands have been around for several years now but I still love them! This shop will make custom coloured ones so I'm thinking of getting her to do one to match the bedding!

I looove this Etsy print!

Her crib right now is against the wall, but when I replace it with the bed, I will put the headboard against the wall where the crib was. I'm thinking of painting one of those Michael's crates white and using it as a little side table, because then we can also use it to store books. 
shelf from Target

On the other side of her bed I'm going to do some fun stuff on the wall, and I love this shelf for holding Little People! On the other side of the crib we currently have her dresser and play kitchen, which I will keep in there. I might have to take some toys out when we do the actual transition though haha.

Speaking of the transition if anyone has any tips, feel free to send them our way! You can see my Pinterest board for Arianna's room here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Getting Organized with Happy Planners

After posting a picture of my little office corner on Facebook, it sparked the discussion of planners and I have had a few people join me in starting with a Happy Planner. So I decided to post about what they're all about!

A few years ago, I got a planner from Erin Condren that was very similar and they customised a cover for you so it had my name on it. However, it was extremely expensive, I had to ship it to the states because shipping was astronomical to Canada. I would write my schedule in it and then that was kind of it. I also got it right before I got pregnant with Arianna so that year was a bit different than most.

Around July last year, I spotted a small section of these Happy Planners at Michael's and hummed and hawed about which one to get. 

I finally chose one that came in a kit with stickers and have been going back for more ever since. I've also since joined a Happy Planner Facebook group! Since they took the Christmas stuff down at Michael s, the planner section now takes up an entire one side of a row. Everyone is addicted!

                                                                   Why is it so fun?

First of all, it's very easy to use. But you don't have to just put your appointments in and leave it at that! There's tons of accessories that go with it! Sticker packs, a Budget pack, Home Management pack, Fitness pack, even a wedding planning pack! A lot of girls use washi tape to decorate their planners but I haven't tried that yet. 

I use mine for pretty much everything. I write all my appointments, my to do list, bills to pay, things I want to accomplish. I have purchased the blank lined and graphed pack of paper to make wish lists, to do lists, idea lists. I also have the budget and fitness packs for this year.

The great thing about this is that you can get organized and be creative at the same time! One of my favourite things to do is sit down with a coffee (perched far, far away from my planner because my name is Taren and I'm a klutz) and decorate for the week with stickers! 

The other thing that has made me use my planner way more is having my little shelf above my computer where I leave it propped open all the time. I get to look at it whenever I want and my schedule becomes very set in my mind. I do still put appointments in my phone but I feel very organized and clear about where my day is going.

I also have a mini planner that I use as a gratitude journal, because i've always wanted to do that but never stuck with it. Having a space for each day keeps me motivated to fill it with gratitude!

One of my favourite things about this little hobby is although it CAN be very expensive, Michael's almost always has a 40-50% off coupon! So if you are patient and can buy one thing at a time, you can pick up accessories for very cheap and build your little collection!

I also follow the Create365 facebook page because they always post great ideas on how to use their products! That's where I got the idea to use a mini for a gratitude journal.

A planner is usually about $40, sticker packs are $30, expansion packs are $14-20ish, but keep in mind that you can use coupons on everything and pay half!

If you are interested in these products, I definitely recommend checking out the planner aisle at Michael's! Make sure you take a coupon with you, you can save them to your phone!  You can also browse the Create365 site to see what products they have, but keep in mind it's an american site so in US dollars and expensive to ship here! I've never ordered because Michael's has a great selection. I believe you can also order off Amazon!

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Opposite of Complaining

image via Mad Kitty Media

The thing about being a mom and trying to blog is that I have a million thoughts in my head and I don't know how to organize them into readable words. I wish IKEA sold baskets for thoughts.

Today I want to talk about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. Complaining and positive thinking. I read an article last night about studies that show that constantly complaining can actually rewire the brain to complain even more which can make you feel anxious and depressed all the time.
I know for me personally when I'm venting to one of my friends I can feel the conversation becoming kinda downer which is when I'll try to twist it to something positive so that I don't take my friends down with me. I've noticed that as soon as I put a positive spin on something I instantly feel better.

Now there is complaining and then there is real life shit. The real bad stuff. There is nothing wrong with being upset about real life stuff. The difference is venting about it, talking about it, maybe even having a little cry and then just trying to be positive. There are some things in life that happen to people and I always think how do they even go on? But the fact is humans are SO RESILIENT. If we are strong and try to focus on gratitude we can handle this tough stuff. Sometimes it's' going to suck and sometimes we may get broken hearts but we will survive. I see people on Instagram and blogs going through some of the toughest stuff imaginable and I kind of want to smack myself for complaining about stupid things like traffic or my beautiful funny toddler destroying my house on the daily.

Just to clarify I am most definitely not saying that you should shove your emotions down. If you are sad, anxious, upset, or angry it's a fantastic idea to get those feelings OUT. Talking to a friend, therapy, journaling, whatever works for you. I do them all. Don't keep that stuff in. The difference is not dwelling on it so that you can enjoy and be grateful for the positive things that are happening too.

I declared that I was going to be super positive and non complain-ey for 2017. Enter the first few days of back to real life January. By the time Leigh came home on Wednesday night, I had the dinner table set for him and Arianna and my shoes and coat on. Arianna cheerfully said "Bye Mommy!" like she knew I needed a break after being with her for the entire day with NO NAP. After grocery shopping with friends (yes, we sometimes do this together) and a dinner out, I felt way better. I filled my cup.

The next morning I was determined to have a different kind of day so I put on some music to start my day. You Gotta Be by Desiree always makes me feel pumped for the day. I let the playlist continue into more happy songs and I actually left the house in a great mood and had a really good day. Even though it was also a no nap day.

My mom has always had this habit of making me list things I was grateful for when I was upset. I would always get so annoyed but I now do it all the time and it never fails to perk me up. Gratitude journals are also great. I have never been able to be consistent with this but I'm going to try this year. My favourite dayplanner (which you can get at Michael's) makes a mini planner that I think would be great for this. That way you have a little spot to write something each day.

As I write this post I am thinking about how everyone says you should pick a word for the year. I feel like my word should be whatever the opposite of complaining is. Which really would be gratitude but sounds so cliche. However, I have never been more grateful than I am right now.

I would LOVE to know your guys' thoughts on this subject. Do you feel like you complain too much? Do you have tools that you use to turn your day more positive?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Thoughts on 2017

snow day on new years day

It seems everyone was really excited to see 2016 go. I didn't have a horrible year but it wasn't the greatest year ever either. I spent a lot of time alone and a lot of time reflecting. I'm not sure why that happened but I'm grateful for it. I learned so much about myself this year.

my loves
There is something so refreshing and renewing about a new year. A fresh start, a whole calendar full of possibilities for new opportunities and new memories. Life is hard. But I am fully convinced that the only way to live is to persevere and stay positive. To be grateful and lift up others who need it. I live in Canada which is an amazing place. I have a kick ass husband and beautiful daughter who is getting to be as funny as her dad. I have an amazing family and group of friends. I have books and a cozy apartment and a reliable car. I have Internet and my (Leigh's Christmas present) TV has Netflix BUILT IN! Life is amazing and I don't want to forget it for a second.

That's really my only resolution this year. To be grateful and loving and giving. To myself included.

I have also been kind of loving this snow we've been getting. It makes everything beautiful and also makes this year feel a bit different and magical because we rarely get snow.
So far 2017 has been great! We have spent DAYS organizing our apartment and doing little projects around the house. We set up Leigh's new TV in our living room and mounted our smaller one in the bedroom. I haven't had a TV in my room since I was a teenager I think. I don't know how much we'll use it but it's nice to have the option to cozy up in our room and watch a movie.

We also got a new computer and are in the midst of setting up our little office corner. I bought a piece of wood today to paint and put a shelf above the computer for our printer. I also got this little shelf for holding my day planner open!

I am thinking I'm going to recap our Christmas season on the blog this week because I love being able to go back and read my blog as a memory keeper. I have a list going of everything I want to post about so here's hoping I can get my s*ht together and keep posting regularly!

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Life Update (Arianna Goes to School!)

Hello everyone! Let's pretend it hasn't been like 5 months + since I last blogged. K?

So much is going on in our little world and we are making some changes to our routine. Arianna officially had her first day of "school" at the beginning of September. Of course it's not really school, but she doesn't know that. It's a part time daycare program at a Montessori school consisting of 3 half days a week. It's supposed to be 9-1 but she usually naps at 12:30 so I'll probably be picking her up at 12 for awhile. I was so excited to find a program like this! It's basically preschool hours but she can go a year earlier than most pre-schools.

official first day of school photo

So far she's been really good during drop off, we've had a few mornings with a little bit of wimpering and fussiness but I peek in through the window from the parking lot and she's already forgotten all about me. When I pick her up she gives her teachers hugs and says "bye, guys" to the other kids in the class.

exploring her new classroom on the first day

Part of my reasoning for putting Arianna in this program was so I could work a little bit more. I find I am happiest when I have at least one client in the morning. This summer I had several of my clients off training with me for various reasons and I was actually rather bored and I think Arianna was too. I was just starting to think about looking for more clients and due to a few referrals I'm already getting pretty busy which is great! I have also started a Facebook motivation/support group so if anyone wants to be added let me know!
playing with some new fun stuff

Another very exciting thing happening is that I have booked PAINTERS! I know that our place is only a year and a half old, but after living here for that period of time I can tell you that the colour the builders picked is truly awful. I haven't' decorated at all because nothing goes with it! When I had the paint estimator in, he looked around and was like "Wow, this colour was really popular like quite a few years ago, it's like gold!" It really is gold. I can't wait. I'll have to take a before and after to show you guys, haha!

It'll be really nice to have it done before the birthday/Thanksgiving/Halloween/Christmas season in our family! I'm already planning Arianna's birthday, of course. I can't believe she's going to be TWO! She is so much fun at this age, even though she can be quite sassy and demanding. I have a whole other post planned for her update.

finishing her lunch on the picnic table, everrryy day haha

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Disney Hangover

We are finally home after our 6 day trip/3 days of Disney. Disneyland is so, so amazing. I seriously love it so much. I went years ago and I know I loved it but this time was even more amazing. Maybe it's having Arianna there with me or being with my family but it filled my heart up and I didn't want to leave. I found myself planning in my head when the next time I would return would be. I tried to soak up every moment.

A blogger I follow talked about vacation hangover and it's so true. It's so hard to get back into the real life routine. As my friend put it "Real life compared to Disney is garbage." However,our experiences after Disney make me appreciate real boring regular life.

No vacation is every completely perfect and ours was no exception. After a full day at Disney, I put Arianna to bed and all us kids went out with my Mom and Dad watching Arianna. Just as we were walking nack into the hotel my mom texted me that Arianna was throwing up. After that it was a bit of a domino effect. My niece got sick probably the worst, I ended up getting sick on the last night along with my parents, and the grand finale was Arianna and my two nephews in the row behind me all simultaneously barfing. The announced on the plane that there were sick kids and could everyone let us get off first. Then as my sister in law and I were gathering everything up with everyone watching us, they announced "Just till the ladies in pink get off, thanks everyone." So embarrassing! But it didn't end there, Arianna threw up again while I was standing at the front of the plane waiting to get off. It was literally a shit show. Everyone was so nice and kind on the plane, which was great. They told us we'll laugh about it later.

All and all I am so grateful to my amazing parents for this trip of a lifetime! So many amazing memories were made and I feel like we all got closer which is hard to do as adults. Us kids are busy with our families and its so rare to get to do something like this. It was a trip we will ever forget.

I have zero energy right now but I promise this week I will post some pictures and highlights from our trip!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Arianna Update!

What's that? Why was the last update 9 months? Well...if you've ever hung out with a toddler for a period of time, you'll know where they are. Floating somewhere with my ice cold coffee and half eaten breakfast. Besides people get huffy when you talk in months. Miss Arianna is now almost a year and a half!

Weight: 27lbs
Height: Around 32 inches
Clothing Size: 18-24/2T. She is tall but short arms and legs haha!

Words: Mama, Daddy, Layla, Nana, Grandma, Grandma, aunty, uncle, go, book. up (uppy), banana, baba (bottle), leash, keys, food, toast, lunch, walk, chair, avocado,(she says ack-odo haha) fun, potty, home and like a zillion more. Her newest things to say are 'Awesome" and "Hi Mom!" which means she's starting to speak in phrases.

Loves Paw Patrol, she can get on the iPad and get into Netflix by herself and open the episodes.

She's also really into Facetime, she loves to talk to her grandparents on there. A few times I've left her alone with the ipad for half a second and she's actually dialed people on Facetime. Whenever we call Leigh's parents and they're both on the screen, she always tries to swipe left and right so
she can see more of Nana or Grandpa.

She loves being outside, going for walks and to the park. If I say do you want to go for a walk she runs to the closet where we keep our stroller and bangs on it until I get the stroller out.

She's started doing this funny walk where she crouches down and walks.

She loves books just like her Mama! If I say go get me a book she'll grab one and like back up slowly into my lap and then snuggle in to read. The other day she brought me one of my magazines and sat down for me to read it to her.

She loves food but is getting into the picky toddler stage. Sweet potato and avacodo are always a hit. She loves smoothies so I try to cram as many fruits and spinach in as I can. Her favourite thing is white cheddar chipotle popcorn which I break into the tiniest possible peices.

She still has bottles but we are cutting those out after Disneyland. I've been reluctant to let go because I feel like that's the last "baby" thing. But she really doesn't need them anymore. I've put her down for naps and bed without them and she doesn't notice.

I could go on and on about her but that would make this post boring. The truth is, words can't even describe how much I love this girl. She is so funny and entertaining. She's sweet and cuddly which is so nice. A toddler hug makes everything better.

I'm trying to soak up these days because I'm really enjoying them but I know there's some toddler challenges ahead! I think they call this a "sweet spot" of motherhood because it is just that, so sweet.