Thursday, January 24

Thoughts at 40 Weeks

You guys, the time has been flying for months and now that I'm past due with this nugget it's slowed to an abject crawl.

Pregnancy has been a hoot, but I'm about ready to get to the next phase of life as a family of three (plus Lola and Tommy of course). When Nick and I started on this journey in May of last year, I couldn't have imagined what pregnancy held for me or where exactly it would take us. Now that baby has been served the official eviction notice I've had some time to reflect on the experience.

Although all day nausea for about six or seven months off and on has me questioning whether I'll want to do this growing a human thing again, the experience has been overwhelmingly positive thanks to the amazing support I've gotten from almost everyone in my life. I am truly a lucky lady and I'm so grateful to my extended support network.

Best husband award goes to Nick, who has stepped up his game around the house, brought me countless McDonalds cheeseburgers at all different hours of the day, and never once complained about ... anything (other than my wishy-washy flip-flopping on baby names).

Most amazing parents awards go to my mum and dad who have been there at every turn with advice, food, and elbow grease when I need shelves put up or my freezer stocked. These guys are absolutely golden!

Nicks parents are truly fantastic in-laws who jumped at stroller/car seat purchasing duty and have also done an amazing job stocking our freezer, bookshelves, and babies closet.

It's so much fun to prepare for baby when your family is as excited as ours have been to welcome her.

Huge huge props go to my super supportive work. My career has been on a bumpy ride in the last three years after I was laid off from my job of five years. I went back to school, graduated on the dean's list and got fired from my first job out of the gate before landing my current gig. After losing that second job I went through a season of self-doubt and depression. It was tough! I was going through health issues. I lost a lot of the things that I had been using to give my life meaning. Not to mention, I hadn't saved any money. I turned inwards for a while. I made some changes. I built up my relationship with my husband.

When I got hired at this new company, it was for a part-time, evenings and weekends position. I didn't care, I was thrilled to have gotten anything! The company turned out to be amazing for me. I transitioned into full time after just a month. I got a desk in the office! I made friends! Moreso, when I got pregnant just six months into the job I discovered that I had ended up in the perfect place. I was so nervous, but my work has been incredibly accommodating every step of the way. I could not have ended up in a better place for this season of life than a company owned and run by women and mothers. For the first time after working in male-dominated environments my entire career, I have supportive women all around me (and the guys there are great too). Honestly, this has been a revelation. I'm so grateful. Not only have my supervisors in this position supported and accommodated my pregnancy, but I have been encouraged to grow and excel in my role. My work has been appreciated and it has healed my heart a little after going through a period where I was not set up to succeed. Leaving work for my maternity leave was probably the hardest thing I've done as a mom so far.

Staying on top of my skills and the industry (I'm in social media so ... it changes fast) is gonna be tough. If there's one thing I've learned in the last three years, it's that you can't get comfortable in life. You get comfortable, you make too many plans, you decide you've learned all there is to learn -- well, you're probably due for a shakeup. So get comfortable with change. That's all you can count on!

Adding a new life to the mix is definitely going to be a big change. We're nervous. We're excited. We're terrified -- but we're also calm in our hearts, knowing we can tackle anything together.

Nick and I are super excited to be welcoming our daughter (whoa) soon. Any day. I mean today would be swell. My calendar is clear. Come on little nugget.

Tuesday, October 30

Guess what?

I've been holdin' out on you guys just a touch. Not intentionally mind you, I've been a bit preoccupied. In May, the day before Mothers Day, Nick and I found out that we're expecting a wee one!

We are super excited and have been from day one, but morning sickness kicked in around six or seven weeks and I have had very little respite ever since. Keeping me going: Tiny booties, adorable fox prints, and nesting. I am a natural nester. In fact, I think it's my natural state.

It's been an interesting fashion challenge that I can't wait to tell you about, and I've got more than one little update about our home as well!

These pictures are from the summer, baby is definitely looking like a baby now and not just a womb slug. Things are changing, and we couldn't be more pleased. Thanks for sticking around.


Monday, April 16

Here's hoppin' you looked this adorbs for Easter

 Hope you all had a lovely Easter! Yes, it's a bit belated. The last few months have sprinted past! I wanted to share these cute pics from Easter despite the lapse in time. I wore this adorbs headband to my inlaws house only to be greeted by my sister-in-law wearing a bunny headband! We matched! Lola also got in on the lovin', too bad we didn't have any bunny ears for her 😂.

PS. I'm absolutely in love with my ISH lipstick palette from the spring Fab Fit Fun box. Expensive lipstick, turns out, is completely worth every penny.

Thursday, March 29

Layering Up and Getting Wooly

Fabletics jacket, Joe Fresh T, Cloud and Lolly necklaces, ASOS skirt
This is a favourite depth of winter outfit. Do you own a pair of woolly tights? If it get's cold as balls where you live I highly recommend running out and purchasing a pair ASAP. Layer those wooly friends up with an equally wooly, ankle length skirt.  Tuck in any top and compliment with a light jacket. Whalla. You're marginally warmer and a tad more stylish than you anticipated. Since I was rockin' a plain black T I dressed it up with some layered necklaces. If nothing else, I felt great and stayed warm. #goals.

Other revelations: sitting on my coffee table puts me in the perfect window light for portraits. You bet I'm gonna use this to my full advantage.

Thursday, March 15

Fab Fit Fun Spring 2018 Unboxing

Some of you may have wondered where I was at with my subscription box addiction -- spoilers, still going strong. My fav, and currently my only, subscription is to Fab Fit Fun. I like the variety and quality of the items. There's always some skincare, some wearables, and some home decor. Items are always seasonally appropriate and on trend. It's basically the best mail day a girl can ask for.

My only problem, what to do with the gorgeous box it comes in?

Favourite items this quarter: a beautiful copper candle, a fantastic leather sleep mask with cooling pad, and a reversible clutch. I'm kinda in love with everything tho. ;)

If you're thinking of signing up, consider using my referral link!

Tuesday, February 20

Thoroughly Thrifty

Thrifted: Jeans, Calvin Klien; sweater, Ralph Lauren; blazer, Ports International
Boots: Doc Martens
It's been awhile since I wandered through these parts with an outfit post. I guess part of that is I haven't been doing much shopping for clothes lately and thus, am less excited about dressing. I do have a lot to show you though, I promise, there's a back-log. This outfit is a bit of an exception to my not buying clothes -- I didn't even realize till I put on the blazer, but this outfit is totally thrifted. Other than my boots,  everything came from a recent trip to Value Village (it was a good trip).

When I do the thrift thing, I tend to get overwhelmed. To help, I make my way down the aisle checking nothing but the tag. I don't look at shape, colour -- anything. I only look at the tag (and I start in the right size obviously). I'm looking for two things: brand recognition and materials. Often if you're looking for cashmere, for example, it will be right on the label. Brand recognition might sound snobby, but I'm looking for quality and longevity. Brands like Ralph Lauren are dependable because they're not fast fashion, the styles and materials are designed to be timeless. A good example is this blazer I found. The brand isn't one I recognized but my mum used to work at Woodwards ages ago and she remembered the brand as being an expensive one carried at her store. It's a classic fabric, a flattering oversized fit which is on trend, and it fit me perfectly (buttons do up, hangs oversized and boxy as intended).

What are your thrifting tips? Tell me in the comments!
There's so much dog hair on my jeans OMG.  

Wednesday, January 24

Room Tour: Hobby Room

Tommy makes a cameo. It's a no pets room, so he loves sneaking in. 

In our house we have this middle room, it's a little small but it has a big window and great-all-day light. Over the years, it's been a junk room, a guest room, and now -- a hobby room. It all started this fall when we purchased some new living room furniture and found ourselves needing a new home for this mustard yellow chair and our old coffee table (the green trunk in the picture above). I'd been using the room for a long time as storage for *my stuff* since my husband and I share our computer office. We display a lot of nerdy stuff in there but I have things like... this giant picture of a cat on a skateboard that Nick refuses to acknowledge.

Since I've been home a lot more in the last few years (unemployed, student, now working from home) I decided to make the room a place for all of my creative hobbies to come together, hoping to foster productivity and creativity. It's only too bad I can't do digital art in this room!


Thursday, January 11

Fab Fit Fun Winter Box

Hey folks! Long time no write. Actually, I posted all of once in 2017, so you may be surprised to find me back. Such is life. 

I'm here to show you a bit from this winter's Fab Fit Fun box -- my favourite, and currently, only subscription box. What I like about this one is that they include a good mix of items in the fitness, beauty, fashion and living categories. In my box I recieved a cozy poncho by BB Dakota, a pillow spray, exfoliant, clay mask, lovley necklace, and much more! One of my favourite items was a large mug that's perfect for a big cup of afternoon tea. 

Below I'm wearing the necklace, poncho, as well as a lipstick and gloss from the box! I love the variety, it makes me feel like I've just gone on a very productive shopping spree. ;) 

If you're interested in trying a box, consider using my referral link to check it out!

Wednesday, June 21

27 things about my 27th year

1.You know the feeling as you near the top of a rollercoaster? Forgetting to breathe, your jaw locked against the rattling of your nerves, you clutch the safety rail. Tipping over the edge your stomach high kicks you in the rib cage, gravity ceases to exist for a moment before you settle into freefall. Sound familiar? Welcome to your 27th year.

2. Apparently, Saturn returns to the relative position it inhabited in the sky at the time of your birth -- during your 27th year. Or... sometime between 27 and 30. When it happens, it brings change and new beginnings. Upheaval and opportunity. This is the age at which celebrities burn out in a bright flash of light and suddenly your friends all seem to go through a mid-mid-life crisis.

3. All this to say, in June of 2016 I both turned 27 and suddenly found myself unemployed. It didn't come as a surprise, but it did come as something of a shock to the system. Luckily, it was beautiful and sunny outside, and I had no shortage of things to devote my time and attention.

4. I built a loom and tried my hand at weaving. It's a truly relaxing and soothing hobby for keeping hands busy and mind engaged.

5. I started a garden for the first time, I grew flowers and vegetables and lettuce and basil.

6. I attended Edmonton's Pride Parade, another first. It was the most beautiful day!

7. I started a doing yoga daily. If you haven't heard of Yoga with Adriene, she's excellent. I used her Youtube channel religiously all summer, every day.

8. Just days after Pride, my heart was broken for the LGBTQ+ community on June 12. I lit candles. It wasn't enough.

9. I decided I was going to stay productive, better myself. I took online writing courses from UBC, I worked hard on my artwork, weaving, yoga, and reading.

10. I sent out over 85 resumes and applications and heard back exactly twice. I attended one interview. I got zero new jobs. I did, happily, make a bit of money. I started doing freelance photography!

11. I took a lot of walks, visited a lot of dog parks. I took up Pokemon Go and walked the shit out of that app. The best part was that I got to do these things with a friend. I was so lucky to have a magnificent walking friend who drove me and Lola to parks and explored Edmonton with me.

12. I got to spend a lot of time with friends. Friends who worked shifts and graciously let me tag along on their daytime adventures. Friends who worked days and spent time with my husband and me on our patio or at our table, playing board games.

13. I played a lot of board games, thanks Nick.

14. My husband and I put aside our desire to have kids, at least for a little while. It's a bittersweet feeling, we're still excited, but we're waiting.

15. I made a really hard decision and decided to go back to school. When I graduated from university in 2011, I was relieved to know I was now an official, responsible adult and would never be a student again. It was a daunting but rewarding time -- and I was glad that phase of my life was over. I never expected to be standing in that building again, getting a new ID photo taken and purchasing textbooks.

16. I grieved my old life. My office mates. My routine. It took me a while -- months -- before the reality of it all hit me. I think it was receiving the payout cheque for my pension. I was veritably broke and had just received a huge amount of money (to me at least) but it just made me sad. I still tear up every time I think of my time at NAIT because it was overwhelmingly positive and I miss it a lot.

17. I lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers. I had gained 30 pounds over the previous two years, and I did not like how that felt. I feel like I'm a small letter 'ww' convert, I follow the principles but not always the plan. I'm maintaining now.

18. I fell in love with my husband a thousand times over. Having a person who is unwaveringly kind and caring, who supports you, encourages you -- it can be revolutionary. I'm incredibly grateful.

19. But money was tight. Don't mistake. Money can be really hard to talk about with your partner, your family, your friends. We still struggle with absolute honesty and transparency around our finances, but we're trying to get there. I know we are so privileged to have gone through this whole experience -- this doozy of a year -- without taking on debt. We had the right supports and the right circumstances. We are gonna be so good at saving money once I have a regular paycheque to squirrel away.

20. I learned to really -- I mean, really -- appreciate the little things. The close things. My favourite moments now are mornings and afternoon naps spent lazily in bed, a husband at my back, a cat curled up on my chest and a puppy draped across my legs. The best.

21. This has been a painful, painful year and I'm not talking about me right now. Nick was sick with laryngitis during the American election and he wasn't speaking. I was sleeping in our spare bedroom, trying not to get sick during term one finals. I remember laying on the mattress on the floor, watching the election results in the dark and crying. I wrote about it a little on my other website, here. I felt very isolated. I felt very alone. I felt overwhelmed and powerless.

22. This year, I switched up the organizations I was supporting. I supported the LGBT Pride Centre of Edmonton, Planned Parenthood, Rainbow Railroad, the Islamic Family and Social Services Association, The ACLU, and the NCLR. I've thrown a lot of money that I didn't have at the world this year hoping it would get it's shit together. I think donating is important, but it's also the smallest thing I could do. I tried to focus on educating myself, talking with others. I am still learning and trying to wrap my mind around the challenges others face. This year I want to be more active, do more than just donate.

22. I'm learning that tenderheartedness is not something to be ashamed of. Empathy can be a superpower. Even when it hurts. I know so many people who choose to be uninformed, who would rather not see the news. I get it, I do, but I encourage anyone who is feeling tenderhearted to act on those feelings. Lean into the pain. I used to operate on the assumption that the people around me, the people of my city, province, and country had similar values to my own. The election taught me about the silent majority. It taught me to be loud.

23. I gained a lot of confidence this year. Or maybe I regained it, it's hard to say. I know that I have never been a part of professional organizations before, or had industry professionals I trust and respect complimenting me on my writing. I have been lucky enough to meet some truly talented and amazing people both through my program, the organizations I've joined, and my practicum. I networked. I attended awards shows. I passed out business cards. I am fired up about joining the professional community, and I needed that. OH, I really needed it after those 80+ applications I wrote.

24. I got on the dean's list this last semester and I'm pretty proud. I have always been a good student, I have always done well, but I have never done this well. Something about coming back to education as an adult. I was serious about this program -- it represented this crazy hope for a second chance. It means a lot to have my work recognized in this small way.

25. I made new friends. I met people who shared my values and humour and interests. I've always found it hard to meet people as an adult so this is a weirdly major triumph.

26. I set new career goals. When I entered the Public Relations program in the fall, I didn't even know what Public Relations was. I'm not sure what my title will be six years on, but I have some ideas now about where I might be headed and it's exciting. What's more, I know I'm qualified to attain those goals so -- bonus! This is the first time in my life I feel like I have a 'career' and not just a job.

27. I now have a cluster of white hairs right above my left eyebrow and I'm threatening to dye a strip of my hair white to match. My husband thinks this is a great idea. I look kind of like a person whose just staggered off a very tall rollercoaster called "Tower of FEAR".

The truth is, I've never been one for roller coasters. I have a long-standing policy when it comes to carnival rides -- no upside down. But life has a way of picking you up by the feet and shaking you. If you're lucky, some negativity will fall out and, when you're righted, you'll be ready to find your footing.

Saturday, October 29

Not too Busy for Doughnuts

It's getting colder in Edmonton -- and no, my exposure was just fine, that's how the sky actually looks. It's dreary, in short. I'm making up for it with some new clothes from Old Navy in rich fall colours.

Another coping tactic: doughnuts. Nick and I are not good at waking up in the morning, so we rarely make it to Saturday markets to buy my favourite treats. Luckily, Moonshine Doughnuts opened an online shop so I can pre-order my doughnuts! Loath to miss an opportunity of this nature, I paid for my doughnuts Friday and Nick and I lazed about home Saturday morning, went out for brunch, and then meandered to the market to pick up my doughnuts! A miracle of technology I tell you!
The last few weeks (and this coming week no doubt) have been absolute insanity.

I'm finished my midterms (and I'm still in the program, there's a relief) but now I'm facing a single week left of major projects. At the same time, I'm finishing up some freelance writing contracts, modules from UBC's Game Writing Academy, and launching a photography business. Eep! Good thing I have a fantastic husband who takes directions. The other night while I wrote my online midterm in the computer room Nick took dinner directions and dutifully cooked a meal for three. He's stepped it up with dish washing too. Now if I could only train him to vacuum. The real victim here is poor Lola, she hasn't been getting out enough this season! She's more bored than normal, that's for sure. Good thing our sweet mail lady has been leaving her treats at the door. <3

The other thing falling to the side: my weight watchers regime. Some of you know I'm down 34 pounds -- or, I was a few weeks ago! Haha, there's nothing quite like doughnuts when it comes to emergency self-care! And I've been giving myself permission to indulge whilst school rages on. Turns out, there's nothing wrong with gaining a couple of pounds if your doughnuts are keeping you sane. Life tip right there.

Until next time my friends!

Cookie Monster by Moonshine Doughnuts <3

Pants and top Old Navy, Clarks boots from The Bay, Scarf (old) Smart Set, August Silk vest from Winners