Monday, April 10, 2017

Little White House High Tea

photo from Little White House 

When our friends invited us for a tea party at Little White House, we definitely did not hesitate to say YES! I've always wanted to go to a tea service and the Little White House is the CUTEST. Also, they have the most amazing macarons there. Sadly it rained on Saturday but that didn't stop us from wearing spring dresses!

I know I haven't posted in forever but I just had to post about this. I told Arianna we were going to a tea party and she talked non-stop about it for a week. On the way there, she was saying "We're going to a tea party, we're going to have cookies, we're going to have tea, mom's going to have a coffee (LOL) and Avery is my friend and she's going to give me a hug!"

It was a little tricky because Arianna has been skipping her naps lately and this was basically right at her nap time, but she did pretty well considering. The tea was one of my best friend's family members and the thoughtful organizer brought colouring for the girls! It was just Arianna and Avery so they coloured and when that ran out I pulled out trusty Moana songs on my phone haha!

I ended up not even doing the tea service because I was starving and their lunch menu looked amazing. So I just ordered the soup and sandwich and ordered some little cookies and macarons off the menu. they also had rose champagne as an option for the tea! I was really excited for Arianna to try macarons and she did not disappoint me! She took a bite out of one and you can tell by her face she loved it. I took a bite out of the other one and she grabbed it out of my hand and took a bite of of that too!

It's so fun after a winter of rain and snow to get out and do something different! Even though going somewhere with toddlers is always a gamble, it usually pays off in wonderful memories. And adorable pictures to show her in the future!

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!