Monday, December 26, 2016

What's the big deal?

So, minimalism. What's the big deal? Why am I so excited? This possibly sounds silly but I feel like it is going to change my life in the best way possible. It may sound even more dorky when I tell you I feel this way because I watched a Netflix documentary called Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things. You know what though, I don't care if people think I'm dorky; especially if it helps someone else. This documentary just said all of the right things to me and I am so excited I feel like I could burst into tears.

I think I am realizing that I have a minimalist and a hoarder living in my brain. Maybe I'll start this whole thing by taking a few steps back and talking about my past relationship with things.

I don't know how it started but I have always been very attached to my things. As a child I never wanted to get rid of anything and this definitely continued into my teenage years and adult life. I remember getting upset when my Mom gave some of her books away. HER books...not even my books! My mom really liked to get rid of things and it made me very agitated and upset when she tried to get me to join in. When she finally made me get rid of some of my very important things such as old magazines and literal garbage from Austrailia (yes...I went to Austrailia and saved a bunch of my garbage instead of throwing it out), I convinced Ivan's Dad to let me store it in his attic in case I might someday want to look at these magazines, use them for something or, you know, admire my Austrailian garbage. I feel like I should point out that these things are all still up there in the attic. I haven't needed that garbage once, can you believe it?

Up until a few years ago I also had the habit of saying yes whenever someone asked me if I wanted their old stuff that they were getting rid of. Absolutely any craft supply was hoarded, old, neat looking stuff was a definite yes and pretty much anything that I might someday use came home with me. I couldn't understand why people were getting rid of these things. Oh, and don't even get me started on thrift shopping.

Fast forward a bit and I started to understand. Our house was packed with so much stuff! Don't worry, it's very far from an episode of Hoarders over here (is that even still a show?) but I started to realize that I didn't want more things.

I think that was the first minimalist thought that entered my mind. I was quickly able to curb to need to take other people's junk. I became a really picky thrift shopper (and just a picky shopper in general) to the point of being able to talk myself out of buying pretty much anything I didn't really need almost all of the time. I realized that I didn't have a hard time keeping new things out of the was getting rid of things I had already accumulated.

People who don't share this desire to hold on to objects may not get what I'm saying. For me, letting go of things can be almost painful. Obviously, not everything is painful to get rid of but I have definitely gone through purges where I really want to get rid of the items but it's so hard that I just need to get them out of the house before I can change my mind.

Getting rid of lots of our stuff isn't a new thing for Ivan and I by any means. I personally have let go of tons of things in the last few years that I definitely would not have parted with in the past. Ivan has been talking about being way more minimal for a long time but I always saw minimalism as something that was going to force me to say goodbye to things I really liked just so our house would feel a little less cluttered.

As I mentioned already, the documentary spoke to me in just the right way to make me realize that this could be the change I've been looking for. I realized that I have been spending a lot of time just thinking about all of the stuff we have to get rid of. Our basement full of physical possessions is taking up so much space in my mind. I've also realized that I feel the best when we have just cleaned and there isn't excess clutter around. I've started imagining our piano with nothing on it (something Ivan's been talking about forever) and feeling really relaxed.

I guess it's confusing for me because I like to look at pictures of other people's homes that are full of knick knacks and things they love and display. I think collections are awesome and I love cute little figures of characters I like. I am realizing though that just because I like to look at pictures of those things and visit houses that are like that doesn't mean that's what I want my house to look like. I am starting to realize that to feel truly happy, I need to look around a room and not be distracted by things on every surface. I think so anyways. We'll see.

Ivan and I totally have a ton of minimalist tendencies already. I didn't realize that's what they were until I started reading more about minimalism. I feel like we are basically minimalists who just happen to have a ton of stuff in our house. We don't have many desires to have the latest, greatest, newest things. We have become generally good about making purchases mindfully. We live very much within our means and prioritize saving. Blah, blah, blah. All of this is just to say that I feel like we have been moving in this direction for quite some time now and aggressively clearing out our stuff is the next step. Like I said, I'm really exicted and can't wait to see what else this leads to.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

I have no idea if I plan to start blogging again, but suddenly I have the urge to share some of my life. So...I'll just throw this out there.

I feel like I am at a bit of a turning point in my life. Lately, especially since having Olive back in May, I've been feeling very unsettled. I can't explain it very well. Everytime I try to talk about it I know that I'm not really saying the right things so that it makes sense to other people. I've defintely been dealing with some postpartum depression and/or anxiety as well as just feeling very overwhelmed by life. The everyday things I do, the fact that I have almost nothing to wear because nothing fits, managing two kids as well as all of the stuff taking up too much space in our house, and a whole bunch of other things have been rattling around in my head and making me feel grumpy and edgy and like I'm not enjoying life the way I would like to be. Basically I've just been feeling like a mess and itching for a major change. I just didn't know where to all.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not miserable everyday or anything like that. I know how lucky I am and I see how fantastic my life is. I hate that I feel like I need to put that disclaimer but it's the internet so I'm not sure what tone you're using when you read this in your head...or out judgement.

The reason I feel like I want to share all of this is because I think I have found something that is going to be the big change I need and I am interested to see how it plays out.  It is going to be an interesting process and I would really like to document it for myself. In the past, blogging has been the only way I've been able to stick to any sort of journal so we'll see if I'm into it again.

I think that I will eventually want to talk about why I stopped blogging and my thoughts on the internet in general but for now I am just excited to start my new journey.  Now that I've made this all sound very dramatic I guess I should just share what I've been thinking about nonstop for the last few days. Minimalism.


PS. Man, I'm sitting here having a terribly hard time hitting publish. I haven't even looked to make sure my blog is set up properly so it probably looks totally wonky. Whatever, here we go!

Monday, January 18, 2016

365 Project :: January 12 - 18, 2016

January 12, 2016 :: 12/365
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I was so sad to hear about David Bowie's passing. We watched Labyrinth this weekend in memory of the Goblin King.

January 13, 2016 :: 13/365
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A little monkey eating a banana. Or as he calls it a "bananana".

January 14, 2016 :: 14/365
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I am back to working on this blanket but I have decided that it will absolutely not be a king sized blanket for our bed. I am very happy with it being a cozy couch blanket and I'm hoping to finish it up soon.

January 15, 2016 :: 15/365
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This was a belated Christmas present from Ivan and it was worth the wait!

January 16, 2016 :: 16/365
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Milo and I were playing with a crochet bunny I made a long time ago when I told him that he could pick a friend for it for me to make. He decided on a turtle and also decided that he needed it "right now". Milo was so sweet about it that I started working on it right away while he entertained himself with some books and helped me stuff when the time came.

January 17, 2016 :: 17/365
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There aren't many days where I only take one photo but Sunday was one of them. I decided to quickly snap a photo of the snow through the front window before we went out and...ooops, my neighbour was walking out the door at that moment and I didn't notice until I was editing the photo.

January 18, 2016 :: 18/365
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I am much better at keeping outside plants happy. These guys were outside in the summer having a great time but are kind of pissed about being in the house. Still, it's nice to have a few plants here and there inside.

I have books to return and a new book to pick up from the library today so that's our plan. It's kind of becoming our Monday routine to head to the library in the morning. Nothing too exciting on the list for today except some possible muffin making.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Meal Planning :: January 11 - 15, 2016

The week is over and we ended up doing a kind of fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants meal planning because we were sick over the weekend when we would have normally got organized. This week I had a mental list of meals that we already had most of the ingredients for and although mental lists don't usually work for me, this week it was fine. Here's what we had.

1. Leftover pasta (boring but we had tons leftover from the weekend) & salad
2. Chili (since we were sick last Friday we didn't end up having this so I still had the ingredients)
3. Bowl with Goddess dressing (I had leftover beets, we always have carrots, kale from the freezer)
4. Arabian Lentil & Rice Soup from Appetite for Reduction, salad & homemade gluten-free baguette (this is one of my favourite soups ever)
5. Pizza using this crust recipe from The Minimalist Baker & salad

We were really slacking in the snack department but we did have:
1. Hummus
2. Two types of chia mini muffins (chocolate chip peanut butter & lemon)

I think I will eventually share the chia mini muffin recipe because, although I got the basic idea from the Oh She Glows cookbook, I have made some modifications so that I can make them without any sugar. Also, it's a good base to make up any flavour muffins you feel like!

No photos, just a quick reminder for myself when I'm feeling stuck for meal ideas.

Happy Saturday!


Friday, January 15, 2016

5 Fave Friday

I don't know if this will be something I do often but this week (I actually started this last week) I was really in the mood to put together one of these posts. Here are some things I found around the internet.

5. This crochet blanket pattern from the Felted Button is so cool.

4. I saw this C-3PO patch on Becky's Instagram and I need to add it to my jacket eventually.

3. I really like the shape of this dress.

2. This pin is so pretty.

1. I'm sharing this photo because I am really missing my favourite pair of glasses. I have quite a few pairs but somehow these ones are gone and I'm very disappointed. I'm very tempted to buy them.
Dolled Up from Bonlook


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Thursday, January 14, 2016

What I Wore :: Damn Fine Pins

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:: glasses - Warby Parker :: tank top - Thyme :: sweater - Old Navy :: vest - Old Navy :: Diane pin - Popular Virus :: Other Twin Peaks pins - Jennis Prints :: jeans - Thyme :: socks - Happy Socks ::

So, I've realized that I wear like five outfits (ok, maybe six) at the moment so I probably won't have a lot of interesting things to share. I'm happy to take a few outfit photos here and there though since I'm not taking weekly pregnancy photos this time around.

I had a midwife appointment yesterday and everything is looking great so far with the baby. Did I mention my due date yet? It's May 2nd just in case I haven't. We are pretty sure that we know what we are having but need to confirm so I'm going to hold off mentioning it until we get our next ultrasound in about a month. Hoping the baby will open up his/her legs this time! It is driving me crazy not knowing for absolute sure. No specific reason (other than boy names are impossible) I just really like to know.

Ok, a little about my outfit. How awesome are those Twin Peaks pins?! I have been holding off for so long getting involved with pins. They are exactly the type of thing that I could go crazy with and buy way too many. I am trying really hard to stay strong and only buy pins that are absolute necessities. Let's see how I do with that.

Oh yeah! One last thing! Today is apparently my blog birthday. I started my blog in January 2010 and although I have disappeared a couple times, I still think that it is pretty cool and worth mentioning. Happy birthday blog!


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

365 Project :: January 6 - 11, 2016

January 6, 2016 :: 6/365
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I appreciate garbage day so much more now that I have a kid who loves trucks.

January 7, 2016 :: 7/365
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In this photo the baby blanket was almost finished, it just needed a border. I have since completed it and decided to finish up some lost projects from my craft room. More on that later.

January 8, 2016 :: 8/365
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Ahhh, what a beautiful morning. Unfortunately this was the day I was throwing up all day long so this lovely morning sky was the high point.

January 9, 2016 :: 9/365
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Milo found my old recorder and he really likes playing it. I know recorders are pretty much the most annoying instrument ever (well, besides the kazoo maybe) but I get really excited when he's into anything musical.

January 10, 2016 :: 10/365
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My mom has a much nicer aloe plant than I do. Pinny has a plant knocking over problem and has knocked another plant onto my aloe plant twice in the last week. It is looking really sad and broken at the moment. Obviously, this one is my mom's.

January 11, 2016 :: 11/365
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Ignore the chips on our closet and check out the beautiful shadow to light transition!


Monday, January 11, 2016

What I Wore :: Red, Black and White

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:: glasses - Warby Parker :: shirt - Old Navy :: brooch - Hungry Designs :: skirt c/o ModCloth :: tights & socks - unknown ::

I choose a really bad time to take these photos because Milo was asking me for something that I had already told him he could have after lunch and he kept standing in front of me. Not ideal for outfit photos but really cute in that second one.

I have finally found a hair dye situation that works really well for me. Months and months ago I did a kind of DIY balayage and it has been so perfect for allowing me to have bright hair without worrying about roots. I was bad at keeping up with my roots before I had a baby and after...forget it! The brownish part that you see is all my natural colour and that is very exciting for me after more than 15 years of full head hair dying. It's been like this for quite a long time now too and I'm not sick of it yet which is mind boggling and amazing.

One thing that I realized is that I didn't take any photos to show my 23 week pregnant belly while I was snapping these. My boobs are extra huge so I can tell I'm pregnant without seeing a belly but next time I want to try to remember to take a proper "I'm pregnant" shot.

We had a not so fun weekend. Ivan and I were both really sick on Friday and had some lingering yuckiness Saturday. I have had so many 24ish bugs this pregnancy that I've lost count. The only good thing about being sick is that you really appreciate feeling better.


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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Meal Planning :: January 4 - 8, 2016

I really, really want to document some of our meal planning so that if when I get out of the habit I can look back and get inspired to start again. It's really dorky but I absolutely love meal planning. It makes dinner prep way less stressful because I'm not desperately trying to figure out something to eat. I thought I would write down our five planned meals as well as snack type foods that I prepared for the week. This is mostly for my own benefit but if someone else likes to take a look that's a bonus! Here are the meals, in no particular order.

1. Chili with walnut meat and salad
2. Rice bowl with carrot, beets, kale, chia seeds and goddess dressing
3. Spring rolls with spicy peanut sauce *this isn't really a whole foods meal because the rice wraps have some random stuff in them but we decided to go with it for this week*
4. Not-Chicken Salad wrapped in collard greens from Raw & Simple
5. Meat & Cheese Pierogies from Raw & Simple
I plan on making a gluten free baguette before we have the chili for dinner and some chia pudding for dessert one night.

The snacks I made for this week (some with last into next week) are...
1. Freezer chocolate. I got the recipe from someone and it is just made of 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1 cup cacao (or cocoa), maple syrup to taste and I added a bit of cinnamon.
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2. Raw oatmeal raisin cookies from Raw & Simple
3. Glow bars from Oh She Glows
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4. Hummus from Fresh at Home 
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5. Roasted chickpeas from Oh She Glows
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6. Herb croutons from Oh She Glows to add to salads
We also bought some organic popcorn to pop if we feel like some. Oh, and of course fruit and veggies for snacking as well.

We haven't been planning breakfasts or lunches and that's working just fine for us. Ivan always takes leftovers for lunch and Milo and I figure something out. The other day I made some red lentils with curry and coconut milk so those will last us a few lunches.

I can't believe I forgot to mention this yesterday...I finally say the new Star Wars movie on Tuesday. I don't know about anyone else, but I thought it was great! It definitely followed the same story line as A New Hope but I didn't think that was a bad thing. Anyways, I loved it and I'm really excited for the rest.

Last night we took Milo to a hockey game and he really enjoyed himself...until he fell asleep. He doesn't often nap anymore so he goes to bed really early. I tried to get him to nap yesterday but it wasn't happening so he fell asleep after the first period. The upside was that I was able to get the tangles out of his hair while he was sleeping. When I try to do it while he's awake he says, "Hey! That's my hair!"


PS. I apologize for the less than great photos. I really want to include some photos but I don't want to spend a lot of time on food photography for meal planning posts.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

365 Project :: January 4 & 5, 2016

January 4, 2016 :: 4/365
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The focus in this photo and the fact that it's crooked drives me totally bonkers but I really wanted to use a photo from the library for today. There were a few people around when I was trying to take photos so I was snapping really quick and none of my photos turned out awesome. That's ok though! On this day we visited the library and an indoor playground. There was a kid at the playground having a really hard time and being super aggressive and Milo got a smack in the face/head from him for no reason. Apparently this kid had already hit another kid and then he ended up coming back and pushing Milo and his friend later before they finally left. I totally understand that kids hit but everything this kid did was totally unprovoked and I felt simultaneously furious and really bad for him. I think I handled it really well but it sucks to see your kid get hit. If nothing else, it gave Milo and I a really good opportunity to talk about what to do if someone hits you.

January 5, 2016 :: 5/365
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We go out a lot so I often get dressed (and even do my hair and make-up, although my hair wasn't done this day) so I thought I would snap some outfit photos now and then. I've really missed looking back on what I was wearing and what my hair looked like.


Monday, January 4, 2016

365 Project :: January 2 & 3, 2016

January 2, 2016 :: 2/365
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Just me! We were about to leave for a final family Christmas party so I snapped a quick photo in case I didn't end up taking any while we were out. That was a very good idea because my camera stayed in my bag the whole party.

January 3. 2016 :: 3/365
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We did a lot of playing on this day, both inside and outside. Ivan is working on fixing up our basement bathroom which hasn't ever been functional. It's a big job so Milo and I had a couple hours of playtime upstairs today. I like to rearrange these four blocks to spell different words every few days as a kind of mini challenge.

I've decided to just post these 365 photos whenever I feel like it rather than once a week. It is a really good way for me to remember to take them and also a good way for me to get back in the habit of blogging.

Today we are headed to the library, probably an indoor playground and then maybe an early years centre. Early years centres are so great, especially the one we go to because the girl who runs it is amazing. Oh, and I have to do a bunch of stuff in the kitchen at some point today. We are getting back to a focus on only whole foods so that means making lots of things from scratch. I have a list that I need to get started on.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Projects :: Elycia's Amazing Rainbow Coloured Baby Blanket

I just mentioned this for the first time yesterday on Instagram because apparently I really like to keep these things a secret for as long as possible...but...we are having another baby! I'm due May 2nd so I'm more than halfway there already. This pregnancy is similar to but also very different from my pregnancy with Milo. One thing that is the same is that I'm crocheting this baby a blanket while it's growing in my belly just like I did for Milo.
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This is the pattern I used. I am so in love with this blanket already that I want to make a full sized one because it feels so cozy. I am really not looking forward to weaving in all those ends though. Maybe that will stop me from starting another one just like it too soon.

Of all the things that I have knit and crocheted, blankets are my favourite. They are the most relaxing to work on because once you know the pattern you don't have to think too hard about what you are doing. I have a goal to eventually make a blanket for all of my friends for one reason or another. So far I have successfully managed one blanket for friends who got married and one baby blanket. Not really focussing too hard on that goal I guess. Really it's just a nice thought that I have in my mind and act on occasionally.

It feels great to work on a project and to share some progress (and exciting news) as well! Today we are off to one last family Christmas get together and I'm really looking forward to it. We don't see my Dad's side of the family too often so it's always nice when we do.


Friday, January 1, 2016

365 Project :: January 1, 2016

January 1, 2016 :: 1/365
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After a whole bunch of really unseasonably warm weather (not complaining) we got some snow. Milo loves digging in the snow but most of it turned to ice over night so we brought out the rakes and drew lines all over instead.

Happy New Year! This was the first New Year's Eve that I can remember that we didn't go anywhere and that I fell asleep before midnight. Milo fell asleep in the car before we could do an early countdown and then Ivan and I ate some candy cane ice cream, watched X-Files and fell asleep before 11:00. Party animals, I know!

So...I really want to do another 365 Project this year and the only way I have a chance of sticking with it is if I blog the photos. So, here goes, let's give this a try. I also really want to keep track of the knitting/crochet/sewing projects I'm working on as well as books I'm reading. Double also, and this is going to sound really weird, I like looking back through my blog and seeing what the weather was like. Good thing I mentioned the weather in this post, I will really enjoy reading it again in a few years.