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I hope that everyone had an amazing long weekend!! For those of you who aren’t Canadian like me, we were celebrating Victoria Day yesterday!

I would like to share with you all what we were up to!

In the very small town of Thamesford, where our shop is, there is a parade every year on Victoria Day. We thought we would whip The Stand out to the front and do it up for the parade.

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I have fond memories from when I was a child of working at various, “stands”. First, we had the Grandkid’s Stand — a stand that my father had built outside at the front of my grandparent’s house. We used it to sell the vegetables that my grandfather had grown.

There was also the chip wagon that we used to have. It was at a farmer’s market near by and my siblings and I all learned how to work the fryers and the till.

I learned many valuable lessons, skills and I attribute my strong work ethic to working there with my mother, uncle and grandfather.

So imagine my delight, when my daughter was so eager to sell candy, pop and chips at our stand during the parade!

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Ava had a great time talking to the customers — she even came up with her own little song she would sing to get the customers enticed to buy.
“Chips, pop and candy kabobs. Come on down and get them”… or something like that lol 🙂
It was so sweet to see her doing this.
My son and niece helped out a bit, too!
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Doesn’t this just melt your heart!?
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It was such a fabulous way to end a long weekend!

Ava is already asking when we can set up the Sweet Treat’s Stand next!

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How To Be A Better Mom Even Though You’re Just So Tired

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I was 23 when I became a mother and I was not prepared in any way, shape or form for how my life was about to change. It took its toll on me in a huge way. Five years after my first child, I became a mother again — and was still not prepared. I now had to adjust to life with two children.

When I was on maternity leave with my second child, there was a day that I will never forget and it’s a day that I hope to never relive.

This day ended with me locking myself in the bathroom. Tears streaming down my face and clutching my legs, I tried to compose myself so that I could go on and resume my life like a mother should.

Why was I so upset?

Minutes before I locked myself in the bathroom, I had completely lost it on my husband because he had the nerve to ask me, “What did you do today?”

WHAT DID I DO? Are you kidding me? I unleashed in a fit of rage a long list of things I managed to accomplish in my zombie-like, sleep-deprived state. I could barely look at my husband because I wanted to rip his head off. I resented him for even having the nerve to ask me such a basic question. “What did I do?” I mean, really!

Looking back on this day, that’s a side to myself that I hope to never see again.

Not only did I lose it on my husband, but I also took my anger out on my kids. I was miserable to be around and motherhood was taking its toll on me.

It’s so easy for us mothers to blame anger or lack of patience on being exhausted.

Parenting is hard — really hard — but for the health of your kids, your spouse, and even yourself, you cannot let anger consume you through exhaustion.  

That is the lesson I learned that day. This lesson that brought me to tears and made me snap on my husband for simply asking, “what did you do today?” was one hard lesson.

Looking back I realize that he was actually asking how my day went. He was trying to start a conversation. I was so blinded by my own rage and exhaustion, I couldn’t see that.

So what’s the answer? How can we be great moms even though we are so exhausted? It’s an exhaustion that brings us to tears and has us begging for some sort of relief.

Although I don’t have all the answers, I do have 10 tips that have certainly helped me. These tips might seem simple and so obvious, but as mothers we forget the simple things. We’re busy and life gets hectic, so take a minute for yourself and read through these tips. They might just surprise you.

This one is a struggle, especially for someone like me who loves their sleep.

I have to admit that there are days where I don’t do this, but I can tell you that on the days I do get up before my kids we have a far more productive day.

If you can take care of yourself before you have to meet the needs of your kids, it can really help improve your mood for the day.

Kick start your day with a nice hot shower.

There’s nothing better than feeling refreshed first thing in the morning — and a shower can totally do that for you.

It may be hard to find the time to sneak in a hot shower, but it’s totally worth it to try.

So often, moms fall into this stereotypical “mom uniform.”

It usually consists of some sort of sweats or leggings and a baggy shirt. Make it a point to get up and put on clothes that you would feel comfortable leaving the house in.

If that’s yoga pants and a clean shirt that’s cool, but at least make sure you’re getting out of your PJs.

OK, take that with a grain of salt.

I don’t mean stop cleaning all together, I mean just stop stressing about it. A bit of mess is OK. We have to do a certain amount of living, so to keep our houses looking like something out of a magazine is ridiculous.

Nobody lives like that — well, at least people with kids don’t.

You know what the Snickers commercials say — “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”

This is so true. Don’t forget to eat. Even if it’s just snacking here and there, you’re no good to your kids if you’re hangry.

If your kids are driving you up the wall — and this will happen — get outside.

Go somewhere where there are no walls and let them run free for a bit. It will totally help.

If it’s crappy out, try and take them to an indoor play place. Let them climb the walls there and you can sit down for a few minutes.

Sure, rules are necessary, but there are some rules that you can totally relax on.

We need to throw this idea of perfection out the window. No one is a perfect parent — no one.

And on that note, don’t worry about what other parents are doing and stop comparing yourself to other moms.

While we’re talking about rules, it’s totally OK to say no. 

“No” is such a powerful word and you should use it to liberate yourself. Realize what you can handle and then just say no to all the rest.

Make time to talk to another adult each and every day. 

There is only so much baby talk and singing that we can handle. Make time to have an adult conversation with a spouse or friend.

Let’s not forget that we’re more than just parents.

 

This is a big one. 

When you’re up in the middle of the night rocking a screaming baby, it’s so easy to say you wish they would just grow up — but remember, there will come a time when you have no baby to cuddle or rock.

By following these 10 tips, I’ve greatly improved myself — not just for me, but for my family as well. I wouldn’t trade the sleepless nights, screaming kids, or even the potty training for anything.

I am proud to be a mother. Cherish the moment and be grateful for it.

Here’s one of my favorite moments.

What’s yours?

If you have any tips to share, help a mother out! Share your tips by commenting below! 

Share this post with a mother in need!

If you want to save these tips, make sure you Pin this image!

 

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Til’ next time 😀

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An Empty Doritos Bag Made Me See My Daughter In A New Light

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So I know this girl, her name is Ava and this girl named Ava likes to save every little thing. This girl named Ava is actually my eight-year-old daughter. I feel absolutely terrible for doing this, but when she is at school, I will go into her room and throw stuff out.

Does anybody else do this? I can’t be alone in this, right? Come on moms, please tell me you do this, too.

Some days it breaks my heart to throw out her drawings and doodles… but she doodles just so damn much! I couldn’t possibly save everything. Doodles and drawings aside, she also collects stuff — rocks, empty containers, rocks…did I say rocks? She has a thing for them lately. I hung up her coat the other day and it weighed waaay more than it should have. I unzipped her pocket and a handful of rocks fell onto my kitchen floor. She quickly ran over, scooped them up and headed to her bedroom. I think she knew that I would throw them out. I think at one point every kid has a rock collection, though.

Although, it did make me stop and think — is this more than just typical kid stuff or is my daughter headed for a life of hoarding? Because rock collections I can live with, but it was another incident that really had me asking myself some serious questions.

We were at Subway with my mother and we had just finished our meal. I had gotten up and started to clean up our garbage from the table. Seems normal, right? My daughter had just finished her bag of Doritos and I sat there and watched her carefully rip open the bag. She peeled it open like she was Charlie peeling open the chocolate bar to find a golden ticket.  She ripped the bag open so that it was flat like a piece of paper.Have you ever watched a kid doing something so intently. The look of determination on their face is almost inspiring. Anyway, I went to clean up the table and she stopped me when I grabbed the bag.

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“Hey, what are you doing?”, she asked as if I had just ripped off her right arm.

“I am getting rid of the garbage”, I said. She told me next that she wanted to keep the Doritos bag. “I was saving that”, she said in the world’s saddest voice ever.

This was my face in that exact moment.

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“Huh? Ava, why on earth do you want to save a piece of garbage? You know that’s garbage, right?” I asked her.
But, I just couldn’t get over it. Why would she want to save a piece of garbage? Out of all the things she has saved this was by far the strangest and the fact that she took the time to peel it open made it even more strange to me.
This was one of those parenting moments where I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, “what the heck is wrong with you???” but kids don’t really respond well to that, so I thought I had better try and rationally figure out what was going on in her head.
So, in my calmest, most understanding mommy voice I could muster up, I asked her why she wanted to save piece of garbage. Ava looked at me and responded, “I want to make something with this. This is a perfect piece for a craft.”
OH. MY. GOODNESS.
THERE. IT. WAS.
It was with that one simple answer that it hit me — she is copying me! ME! My daughter sounded just like me. It was like I heard my own voice coming through a tiny little eight-year-old.
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Then I realized, SHE GETS ALL THIS FROM ME. All the keeping of stuff and things — that is me! I have an entire craft room full of Doritos ba— totally just kidding. I DO NOT have a craft room full of Doritos bags. In all seriousness, though… I do have a craft room jam packed full of stuff that I am saving. Stuff that I just can’t bear to part with because you never know when you are going to need it for a DIY.
My daughter is watching me, learning and aspiring to be just like her mother and in the only way she knows how. The more I pay attention to her the more I see it. Although I didn’t let her take home the Doritos bag, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride. This was her taking an interest in the things that interest me.
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So yah, I have a whole craft room full of stuff. Maybe too much stuff, but the way I look at it, there are way worse things in this world. If I want to have a craft room full of stuff I am saving that I might one day use — so be it.

And you know what, I am going to use this as a learning opportunity. This is now a great thing that we can do together. Rather than just throwing the bag out and not paying attention to why she wanted it, I suggested to her that she and I could work through my craft room together. I let her know that she can help me with some of my DIYs and together we can work our way through some of the stuff we collect.

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So, the next time you think your kid is doing something strange or weird, talk to them. You never know what is going on in their minds. They might just surprise you.

Besides, imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Makeup (4).png

Let me know in the comments below if your kids try to copy you, too!
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What It Means To Be A Mother

I often get asked what it is like to be a mom. To fully understand what it’s like to be a mom, you just have to be one. You cannot understand what it’s like until you have been up all night with a screaming baby or until you have had to clean barf off of your favorite shirt, not once, not twice… well, you get the idea. And if you’re a mom, you fully understand what I’m talking about. When I got pregnant with my first, someone once told me that I would love bath time: she said “it is the absolute best,” if I recall… “Their soft skin and big eyes looking up at you, and when you take them out of the bath and wrap them up in a soft warm towel, you cradle them and listen to the soft adorable coos.”

Remembering all of this and what she had said, I thought I would try to make the most of this moment with my daughter. So I scooped her out of the bath and wrapped her up in a soft towel made to look like a duck, a frog or some other wetland creature. I can’t really remember the towel, but there we sat the two of us, staring at each other like we were the only two people in the world and it was magical… until she pooped on me. This is what it means to be a mother.

Welcome to Motherhood.

Welcome To Mom Stuff

Some of you may not know, but there is more to me than being a DIY enthusiast. I am also a wife and mother and I love every minute of it. I have decided to add another component to my blog — Mom Stuff.

So stay tuned, because I will be adding a ton of great content here for all moms to enjoy!Desktop19

Essential oils suitable for cleaning kids gear

Hey, everyone! I have a guest post for you today!! Chelsea Mills is guest posting on the blog today and she has some really great info regarding essential oils! Give this a read through and let me know what you think!!

 

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Kids are great responsibilities and you need to take special care of them. It is a well-known fact that most of the commercial detergents are full of chemicals, which are not appropriate for treating the kids’ stuff- from clothing to their toys. The best way for cleaning kids’ gears is by use of cleaning agents, free of any toxins. You may be even surprised that your favourite essential oil have cleaning power, which even can disinfect and leave fresh fragrance. It is not hard to find these drops of nature, which best suits your needs. It is easy and safe for the kids’ health. Read the following article and get information about the essential oils, which are most suitable for treating children’s gears.

 

There is one universal rule, which you need to stick to in the use of essential oils for your kids. Keep in mind that the essential oil should be always diluted, so that it won’t cause skin irritation. Even adding to the bath of the kid, you need to use vegetable glycerine, which will perform the role of a carrier. Introduce the essential oils bit by bit to your kid, since these can cause even allergic reactions. Don’t mix oils- stick to the use of one essential oil a day, until you are sure what exactly is appropriate for the delicate skin of your kid. The earliest age you can introduce the essential oils is 3 months, but not earlier.

The most recommended essential oil for kids is lavender. In fact, it is understandable since the scent of lavender is used to sooth the baby. The lavender is well-known with its anti-bacterial qualities, so that you can add it, when washing the kids’ sheets and nurseries. In that way, you will ensure the efficient rest of your kid and save yourself the numerous hours of baby cry. Image result for baby sleeping

The other very popular essential oil for cleaning according to some cleaners from London Cleaning Agency SW4 is the lemon oil. It is appropriate for disinfecting and quick clean-ups of the kids’ gears. We all know that kids are throwing away their pacifiers and toys on the floor. But the lemon essential oil is the perfect way to sanitise the item, before giving it back to the kid. Add couple of drops to the dishwashing liquid or use it like air disinfectant. It’s antiseptic influence is active for 20 days and you can safely use this essential oil. Image result for essential oils lemon

The chamomile essential oil, along with the already mentioned lavender, is well-known for its soothing effect. But it has also anti-inflammatory properties, so that you can use it also for washing the clothes of the kid.

The essential oil of the tea tree is widely used for kids. It has disinfecting properties and its smell doesn’t irritate the kid. You can even make your own wet baby wipes by using some drops of this essential oil. Image result for tea tree oil

For grown-up kids, who are older than 10 years old, you can use some stronger smells like eucalyptus. It is very powerful against germ and mites, but you need to be careful with its use because of the strong aroma.

Peppermint is also very popular for its disinfecting properties. Similar to the eucalyptus, it is recommended for older kids because of the stronger smell. Image result for peppermint oil

On the other hand the fragrance of the sweet orange aroma is great for kids, regardless of their age. It serves as a strong energizer and it is good for its calming effect. You can add couple of drops to the laundry, which serves as a good fabric softener. Image result for orange essential oil
Introducing the essential oils to the kid from an early age is the first step to meeting him/ her with the world. It is even proven that most of the kids, whose gears are treated with essential oils have stronger immune system. As a parent, you need to look for efficient ways to protect your kid’s health and the power of Mother Nature is the most appropriate way.

 

 

Little Logan’s First Birthday

Pictures.jpgLet me start off by saying that I had no hand in this party whatsoever… This was all my sister’s doing — and I am totally jealous! She put us mortal moms to shame!!

So a couple of weekends ago, my nephew turned one and my sister and brother-in-law had the cutest little party for him! Something that looks like it came right off a Pinterest page. My sister put so much effort into this party… I was blown away! I thought I would share some of the pics with you all!

Let me show you the birthday boy first! 16251368_10155005448424851_110572139_o All ready in is construction coveralls 🙂

The party decor started right at the front door. 16251077_10155005449599851_1399022244_o

The food setup was quite possibly the cutest I have ever seen!

For Christmas, we gave Logan a signed picture from Mike Holmes. I was glad to see it on display at the party! It fit right in! 16325874_10155005449494851_2036553952_oThe story behind this signed photo — my sister posted the photo of Logan and Photoshoped Mike Holmes beside him. She posted it to her IG and Mike Holmes commented on it 🙂 I found out the Mike Holmes was coming to our city so I printed out the pic and got him to sign it. It was a total surprise on Christmas… we didn’t even tell my sister. We had him sign it back in September. Let me tell you how hard it is for me to keep secrets — hard.

My sister made up the most adorable loot “bags”… or should I say, pails.

“Loads of thanks I send to you for joining my construction crew. By piling on the birthday fun, you’ve made this day a special one. Lots of love, Logan”

So cute! My sister printed the little poem onto paint chips and then filled the mini paint cans with candy.

There was a super fun game of pin the wrecking ball on the swinging crane. The kids all seemed to put their wrecking balls in the same spot! 🙂

It was a wonderful day filled with great family and a ton of fun!!

And I thank my sister for now setting the bar so high! LOL

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