SOCIAL MEDIA

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Super Simple Homemade Play Dough: Only 5 ingredients that you already have in the pantry!

This recipe has been around these parts for a few years now, I already wrote a blog post about it - (Click Here) way back in 2015.

Since it's been a while, I thought I would write down my updated recipe and list some ways for you to customize it in your home.

It's honestly SO simple, the homemade version can be whipped up in minutes and stored in the fridge for a few days.

Plus you can play around with making your own colours OR add no colour at all and use it as is, moldable sand!



HOMEMADE PLAYDOUGH

 
- 2 Cups Flour
 
- 1/2 Cup Salt (I used Kosher salt in the updated photos because that's all I had in the pantry! Worked great!)
 
- 1 1/2 Cups Water
 
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
 
- Colour Agent (I use food colouring, especially NEON! see below) 


Instructions:
 
Mix flour and salt together in a bowl. 
 
Mix the vegetable oil and water in a pot on the stove, bring to a rolling boil. 
 
Slowly mix your boiling water/oil into the dry ingredient bowl.
 
Continue mixing the oil/water into the dry ingredients until it forms a dough consistency (I use all the oil/water mixture).

Flour counter top and knead dough smooth.

Divide dough into as many balls as you have colours.

Have fun making custom colours!

Add scent if you desire.

I considered adding a bit of vanilla for a nice aroma, or kid-friendly essential oils  





I like to keep plastic table cloths from the Dollarama on hand for these messy floor activities, they're larger than a cut garbage bag and if you shake them outside you can usually use them through a few painting/playdough adventures. 







Notes about how to colour your playdough:
Feel free to adapt this!

Use Koolaid packets!

 Or natural dye from veggies/spices (beets, turmeric, cabbage, strawberries) by boiling the veggie for 10 minutes and then simmering for 10-30 minutes until you get desired colour.

If you use the veggie way of colouring replace tap water (in the recipe above) with the veggie dyed water and work your dough one colour at a time.

If you use food colouring try to fold your dough as thick as possible to avoid getting dye on your hands.

Once it's worked into the dough it's fine to give to the kids, it doesn't leave any colour residue beyond regular playdough stickiness!




Throwback photos of Baby Elli!













Current photos of my boy!



We got a solid 30 minutes of silence while these two were playing!
I give them some measuring cups and spatulas and send them on their way.



Honestly, I played too!
It's a very calming activity to roll and shape the dough.

This was second-day dough and I added a bit of fresh flour to the balls if they felt at all damp but overall they hold up wonderfully in an airtight container stored in the fridge.



Hover over photo and PIN ME! >



Saturday, 2 March 2019

My DIY Dresser: Super Affordable Glass Knobs and Drawer Pulls off Amazon



I'm going to start off by right away giving you the links to this hardware!




Click the link above for the glass drawer pulls, they're 5 for $25.43 (I ordered two sets, 10 pulls total because I needed 9).

They're available for 2-day shipping if you're a prime member, I've been a prime member for 1.5 years and I cannot rave about it enough! I use Amazon TV (like Netflix but different shows) and Amazon music (daily), plus I order a ton of little things off of Amazon itself which always has free 2-day shipping! (Some items are not available for free 2-day shipping but I've never found a product I couldn't substitute for something else that has the free shipping!)



Click above for the knobs!
These are not glass but they're only $13.99 for 12 (!!!) and they're really lovely quality, very sparkly/shiny.

I ordered these all the way back in December and they were also free 2-day shipping.
After visiting hardware stores and specialty knob and pull stores, I am so pleased with my Amazon orders!

They're by far the most affordable I could find and the quality is beyond what I expected!

The links above are affiliate links so if you want to order either I would appreciate if you buy right after you click on my link because I'll get a tiny commission, all of last year I think I was paid out $15 in total (lol) so its barely worth me linking but hey, I'm recommending them anyway, I may as well! ;)



Now onto the makeover!



I spotted this dresser during the Halifax curbside giveaway week, I always participate in these weeks and I ALWAYS drive around picking up. (much to Nicks dismay LOL)

As soon as I saw this dresser I saw its potential!
Notice how clean inside the dresser drawers are, call me boujee but I always take note of the house things are coming from. You still get to be choosey with giveaway items, just because something is free doesn't mean I don't care if your cats been using it as a litter box for 6 months.

Just take a quick peek inside of drawers and circle round the item, make sure its in solid condition.

I love a project, I don't mind putting a little work into an item, I actually love owning 1 of a kind pieces! Sometimes my projects can end up costing half of what something new would cost and a person who doesn't enjoy DIY may ask "why put in all that effort?!"

But isn't it satisfying to have something to work on?? You're the only person with that particular item, maybe in the world! It's like a special little piece that has also helped the earth by being reused instead of going into a landfill.

So much of what we get rid of these days still has life and purpose in it, it just needs a new home and maybe a little TLC. 



You know I've been on a tv stand rampage lately (fireplace debacle!) and I'm trying to declutter the tv stand scene. This has not been easy because we do have a lot of things that need to be displayed, cable boxes, Xboxes, yes, that's a VCR (hehe). I love the idea of clean areas since this is a major cat hair, dust collector but we also have to be practical!

I thought the dresser would be a perfect compromise, Nick would get to store some of his clothes in our room and we would just keep the essentials on top of the dresser (eventually wall mounting this tv too!)



We picked it up way back in October so we were able to keep it outside for the day and sand it, then we went straight in with one of my favourite paint.

I have three wood items in our bedroom painted with this,  2 side tables and the dresser.
I also have a massive armour in Noelles room that's been painted the same.

See the makeovers in this old blog post 2017! CLICK



I would say you can get this paint at almost any hardware store, I always pick mine up at Kent.
It claims one coat and no primer needed but that's not been the case for me.
I'm very fussy, I've never used a primer but I definitely do 2 if not 3 coats for a nice opaque look!

It's priced around $30, which isn't cheap but it will last you through a couple of projects!

I like to roll it on with a mini roller and have a brush on hand to get into corners and creases.



These are some throw backs of the other pieces I've painted, you can see the before and afters in the old blog post I've linked above.



Back to the handles!
They were the perfect fit, they are your typical or average sized handle when it comes to spacing for screws.

The last thing I wanted to do was fill in holes and have to make a new placement for where the handles go. This actually held me up for a minute because there were some other handles on Amazon I really liked but they wouldn't fit where the old handles fit, so I debated what to do.





In the end, I am so happy with this project!
Nick loves it!

He put the handles on in ten minutes flat, they're nice and sturdy, they look fantastic.

The whole project must've cost me just around $100 start to finish (even with getting the dresser for free!)

$65 on hardware
$30 on paint
I always have some brushes and rollers on hand so I hardly ever count that value while working on a project but if you don't own them, add that cost in as well.

But, dressers are expensive man!









I just priced some dressers at IKEA and you're going to pay anywhere from $100-400 easily, plus you know what a challenge putting together IKEA furniture is!

You will probably put more effort into an IKEA piece than what I've put into this and you'll have a copy cat of what everyone else has.

Springtime curbside give away will be coming up (usually May) so keep an ear open and maybe get a one of a kind DIY dresser for yourself!

For FREE, lol, the lie I always tell Nick whenever we pick something up. It's FREE.
Don't mention the cost of DIYing ;)

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Budget and Due Dates: How do I make them work?

If you follow my Insta stories you may have seen my new shelf/desk.

It's a mix of everything I love: use of height, storage area, trinket holding space, wood tones and CHEAP.

It was marked down to $50 from $600 at Winners/Homesense.
My mom originally bought it for herself but she has no room for it so I stole it.



Now, is it a desk you ask?
It could be!

It would be a great desk and I feel like eventually, that's what it will be.
I can see it in a teens room or in our future finished basement with a nice chair.

For now, I'm going to leave it as is with that white stool underneath and I'm on the hunt for a nice big basket to balance the other side.

We use baskets for everything in the newborn stage, I'll fill this one with baby blankets and newborn diapers.

Noelle's diaper basket is on the other side of the red couch and it's perfect because she knows that her spot and anytime she needs a change I ask her to bring over the diapers and wipes.

Parenting hack: Use open baskets for everything and get your children to help out, early on!

Just this evening I asked Noelle to bring over her diapers and wipes to get changed for bed, I then asked her to toss the used diaper in the trash and I asked her to bring her used clothes to the hamper.
She did it all!

I make it out to be a fun/helpful task and part of our routine, both kids are really good about it.



This is the wall before we moved the shelf/desk over.
I've been meaning to take these photos down and replace with some more up to date family photos, it has been almost 2 years and we don't have a single photo of Noelle framed in the house - LOL!

But because I put them up with command strips I didn't want to mess with them until I had picked and printed the new photos, which never happened! (lol again, 2nd child)



The strips came off easier than anticipated considering they were up for four years, yay!

Click the photo below for the exact ones I use, they're velcro for hanging frames.

Amazon Affiliate link




Clean!
Minus a couple of nails, I still use nails for hard to hang items.







So, now the elephant in the room is my fireplace.
I've wanted to replace this fireplace for so many years but the timing was never right.

Ideally, we will get built-ins on this wall but not knowing how soon or far away that would happen has been holding me back from changing the fireplace.



We do love the look of the lit fireplace, I know Nick is a little devastated that I'm so eager to dispose of it but it's driving me nuts!

I hate the balance of the shelf/desk next to the fireplace, the wall seems too full and everything is sloped towards the kitchen, its seriously bothering me.

SO, I went through a big moment of "I'm going to paint the fireplace!"
Look, I LOVE a DIY, I am not scared of putting a ton of work into something that may not even be worth it.

I love a project and I take as much joy in doing the makeover as I do when it's complete.

But, after much debate, I just don't think paint is the answer to my problem.
The sloping sensation will still be there if we keep the fireplace, painted or not!

This stage of life is hard though, its really hard, I've been stressed with the thoughts of "did we plan the timing of this baby, ok?"

There are so many things I want to do that cost a lot of MOOLA!
- Paint the kitchen
- New shelving for the kitchen
- New light fixture in the kitchen
- Paint Nannys curio cabinet
- Paint Nannys rocker
- New couch
- New living room rug
- Wall Mount living room TV
- New wall mounted fireplace for the living room?
- Some sort of faux mantle in the living room?

And if we do those mini living room makeover points then we will definitely be delaying built-ins because Nick is not going to drop $1000 on all of that just to tear it down and replace with built-ins in 4 years.

But am I ready to set aside my built-in dream for another few years??

It's so tough!

Everyone on Instagram makes getting new stuff look so nonchalant but our reality is, anything over $200 is a large purchase that we will discuss and plan for.

My maternity leave will be 4 months of top-up (93% pay, less if you take the 18-month leave) and since I plan to take the 18 months leave the rest of the time I will get around 33% bi-weekly.

It's starting to freak me out a little bit!
100% of pay down to 33% is a leap and it would've been nice to keep that 100% going a little longer since I have such a 'want' list growing.

But, I have to remind myself that the list is nothing but cosmetic work.
It's not urgent and with this timing, I get the first 18 months of Elliotts School life off work, it is going to be amazing to have time to volunteer andshuffle him to and from school everyday.



C'est la vie!



I'm also stumped with this red couch, its the only red thing in our house but I love the low height and it is SO completely practical, WE NEED THIS EXTRA SEATING.

SEE ABOVE! :) 
Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Mudwraps to Manicures Party: How to cleanse your skin like a professional..


Last week I got to visit the Spa!! -
http://mudwrapstomanicures.com

It was an exclusive event with the owner, Lisa.

I love being in a group session and hearing the thoughts and concerns from all skin types/ages/colours. I was secretly salivating to fill the air with all sorts of questions but I didn't want to monopolize everyone's experience!

I did offload a lot of info in the videos I shared on Instagram and I saved them so you can watch on my highlighted section - Spa PJ Party Click Here




How often do you wash your face???

I will self admit, I struggle with skin care.
I love makeup so much but I find skincare daunting.
I have rosacea and milia, where do I even start?!

Turns out I should start with twice a day cleansing!

One of the first questions Lisa asked us was "whats something we're probably doing wrong but could fight signs of again and give us better skin?"

I thought maybe over cleansing???
I've heard of that.
When you take everything out of your skin but never replace the moisture.

Or maybe, tugging too much??
I still think this is partially true!
We need to think of our skin as precious cargo when washing, around our eyes especially!
Think of that under eye skin like you do tissue paper.
It is delicate!

The real answer was so simple, 'not cleansing enough'.

Lisa said we should be washing our face, toning and moisturizing 60 times a month!

I was shocked but also, not at all surprised!



Next, we did a mini demo of wash, tone, moisturize and we added in a face mask for good measure.



Something I really took to heart last year was how amazing good quality skin care products are.
I started using high-quality skincare on a consistent basis and it was the first time in a long time that my skin looked dewy and glowy without any makeup on.

Lisa provided us with the most high-end products I had ever used and they were worth the hype!
(they had that soothing, relaxing spa smell!)



First, we washed with a cleanser, then we used a peel like product - the more you swirl it around your skin the more debris will come off.



Next, we applied a mud mask, I learned that you can spray toner directly into your mask.
You can mix the two together in a bowl with a brush and it will keep your mask more hydrated.

You can even spray toner on your face once the mask is on!
(this is so genius but I would have NEVER thought to do it)

Mud masks are great but they can turn into that crispy desert feeling once they dry down and it may take a lot of pulling to remove.

You don't have to let that happen, spritz with toner to keep it soft and clay-like.





Another tidbit that is really important like I mentioned above: cleanse the skin around your eyes using a 'C' shape pattern.

Don't go pulling under eye skin all willy nilly!

My biggest take away was the 60 day cleansing "challenge"
I'm calling it a challenge because I want us to try this through the month of March!

What if we all wash, tone, moisturize morning and night for a whole month?!
We can take a before and after photo and track our progress!



We also got to tour the Spa and its truly beautiful (show me a Spa I dont like, eh?). 

There is a really lovely lineup of chairs at the pedi station where you could have a couples appointment, go with girlfriends/bridal/baby/birthday/endless scenario of party people and overlook the Bedford Basin while your toes soak.



Don't we all look fresh faced?!
Seriously?!
I think we look so good!

www.curtainsareopen.com
@KerriFor
www.confessionsofafitnessinstructor.com



At the end of the night, we were all smiles.

A little pampering and self-love can go a long way in keeping me in a balanced mental state.

I think Lisa suggested making a professional skin care appointment every 60 days and I say, if you can't get in on that timeline try for every 3 months and if that's out of reach get there at least once a year.

I promise a simple birthday or Christmas gift of a Spa gift certificate will be worth more in happiness than it will in cash value!

Additional thanks to:

www.takeitoutside.ca for providing us all with matching jammies!

www.fid-kitchen.com for providing delicious snacks!

www.annatownsendfit.com for providing us with the tools to meditate on the spot and for reminding us to give ourselves permission to power off, shut down screens and be more present in everyday moments!


Thursday, 7 February 2019

Bump Date #1: Pregnancy Depression, what no one tells you..

If you haven't heard the news...
We're expecting!!!
Yayyyyy!
I am so, so excited.

For me, it was always going to be only 1 or a whole lot of kids.
2 was never even an option, I always knew 2 was a stepping stone to 3.
So how exciting that we (me) are expecting, right?!




It's very exciting and I couldn't be happier to add a little baby to the mix this fall!

Happiness aside I need to talk about current day feelings and so I want to place a trigger warning for pregnancy and loss. This is not an easy post for me to write and I feel like I need to but I don't want anyone to read this if you're struggling, please exit, please don't continue.

I never knew pregnancy was so hard!

Who knew???
How could we know??
No one talks about this.
Really, even in the baby center chat rooms and the bazillion 'what to expect' book passages.

None of what I read ever said, "look, this pregnancy might break you".

They talk about the labour and delivery and should we find out the gender?
does your pee smell a little off or are my prenatals to blame?

But no one says, you're going to feel every cell in your body change, your body will no longer be yours, you probably will be sick and dead tired and fat and crying and just plain miserable for 9 months straight.

But you still have to pick yourself up, go to work, take care of the house/kids/your partner/life and pretend like you're pulling it all off flawlessy because pregnancy is not a disability and even if it was... its a self-inflicted blessing of a disablment with a happy outcome, so no one wants to hear you whine and complain about it. k.



Pregnant with Elliott ^ Month 1 & 2
So young and naive, still thinking the HG was just morning sickness and I would reach that blessed 2nd-trimester where all your sickness subsides and your energy levels return.

I was always suspect to the fact that my body wasn't built for pregnancy/delivery.
Just little tidbits told me, I can't explain without getting extremely intimate and personal.

So when I ended up in emerg to find out I was pregnant with Elliott and then back in emerg over and over again before being diagnosed with HG, 4th-degree tear with that delievery.

Pregnancy #2, HG again (emerg again, off work again, but only because I beg, apparently if you can show up to doctors appointments they'll assume you're fine to shovel parcels down a conveyor belt) and elected C-section this round.

I was not surprised by any of it, I had an intuition that I wasn't made for this but you know whats bigger than that intuition? MY STUBBORNESS.



40 weeks with Elliott^ I was SO done.
but he still didn't come for 14 more days, he inherited my stubborn.




So when deciding to have a 3rd, I knew it was going to be hard.
really, really, really unbelievably hard but I knew my stubborn desire to have 3 kids would outweigh.



39 weeks pregnant with Noelle ^ Smiling but SO done.



So here we are late first trimester, early second trimester???
who knows?? I don't know.
You know why?
Because I have no desire to know, all I know is its not far enough along.

I am so early into this pregnancy and I am already begging father time to speed things up.
I can't believe how bad I feel with how much time is left.
I thought my 'tough guy' 'I got this' 'women are warriors' speeches would carry me through to at least month 4-5-6.

I thought all my "you have 2 kids to take care of, this pregnancy will fly by" BS I read online would translate into my real life and I would struggle, sure, but I would prevail and this pregnancy would pass with ease and be a fond memory.



That's just simply not true and I'm scared.
I'm scared, this is scary.

I feel so unhappy, I don't want to do anything, I can't do anything, I am beyond sick and tired. (HG again and the meds are sleep aids so its a little bit lose/lose.)

I lay around like a lump on a log and feel sorry for myself.
I feel like I'm in a pregnancy depression and the only cure is giving birth, which won't happen for months and months so there's no relief.
It's not the flu or cold, it's a long 9 months when this is the diagnosis.

And I feel guilty about feeling so bad and I feel bad that Nick can't understand because I feel SO alone, lonely, isolated, I don't wish the same onto him but I wish he could relate or understand how to better support me.

Then I feel bad for being unable to help him, he's doing all the dirty work of cooking/cleaning/daycare pick up drop offs and I feel bad for the kids not getting my full attention.
I can't wait to see the kids after daycare pick up but after 25 minutes of them being home, I'm desperate for bedtime to roll around.

I don't care about showering or beauty.
Laundry, dishes, housekeeping.
I don't even want to insta story!
insta stories normally bring me so much joy! (insert #KONMARI)

I feel really, terribly depressed and saddened about the length of time left in this pregnancy and thats not something that people really talk about.

I am overjoyed to be expecting, I can't wait to hug, snuggle and love this baby, just as much as I adore Elliott and Noelle.

I'm just worn down from puking, peeing, feeling greasy (why does my hair skin nails get so oily during pregnancy?) exhaustion,  just the all over uncomfortable feeling in every aspect you could ever possibly imagine.

It sounds so petty and pathetic but it's hard.
Then I feel bad for feeling so bad and I feel bad for complaining about it.
I hate hearing myself talk lately, just call me Eeyore! I'm doom & gloom 24/7.

But that's the truth, that is how pregnancy is for me and I know I'm not alone.
I know it's going to be worth it.

If this is your first pregnancy you may be questioning if its all worth it but it is. 100%.

As fast as your body flipped into pregnancy blues it will flip the switch out and you'll be tired still (newborns, eh) but so happy and feel in your own skin again.

We just have to get through this tough time, keep those spirits up and think ahead, just get through one day at a time.