Resolutions or Reflections???

New Years are like Birthdays to me. A perfect time reflect on how the last year has been and what I want from the upcoming year.

I typically love reflecting, and maybe it has to with the fact that as I get older I feel like each year gets better and better. I am more comfortable and confident and my relationships deepen and my life seems to get more meaningful as I gain wisdom and experience.

Obviously there is the sad stuff and the odd year that is tougher than most, as people get older there are losses or sometimes with those way to young to be gone. There are moments that forever change you or experiences that change your perspective and make you re-evaluate what’s important.

So, 2017 was a big year for us as a family and for me personally. We finished our first Reno and moved into a new space to start off the year, we took our first family vacation to Maui and loved spending time with our kids just chillin’ at the beach and enjoying paradise. Fraser had a record year for work and I managed to start my blog (work in progress for sure but pretty excited to get it up and going). In addition I co-hosted our first annual Christmas Market at the Farm, as well as my first annual Girlfriends long table dinner and I started selling doTerra Oils which has been a huge learning experience and has challenged me to get back into selling but also to start to venture out and meet new people. It has been the year we completed our little family and welcomed our last baby, Eleanor, into our family. We celebrated two weddings, one family members and one close friends. Our oldest son started preschool and we have started the process of having him privately assessed for Autism (in addition to ADHD, Anxiety and ODD). It was the year we survived having 3 kids under the age of 3 and I like to think we did better than survive it. We also developed some new healthy habits this year which included a new eating plan and started to do a lot more intentional exercise (thank you to The Studio). 2017 didn’t come without it’s challenges and disappointments as well as sadness but we feel extremely blessed and definitely think our good outweighed our bad this year!

With all that being said I am super excited to welcome 2018 and see what it has in store for our little family! We are starting it off with Fraser taking 7 weeks paternity leave, 4 of which we are spending in Maui! During those 4 weeks we will be overlapping vacations with my Grandma, Great Aunt & Uncle, my Aunt & Uncle (as well as 4 other couples that are family friends), one of our best friends and her husband and kids as well as their whole extended family and my mom and two of her really good friends… just to name a few. I would say this is a GREAT start to 2018. We are definitely not worried about the January blues or after Christmas dumps, but in fact I am worried we are starting off the year so well how will we be able to continue the momentum. That being said I have a few goals for this year…

I’m not super big on Resolutions, mainly because I feel like I make unreasonable ones and they are super generic and no one follows through. So, instead I have made some goals for me personally as well as a few family or house goals. We make goals all the time but I find a new year is the perfect excuse and time to just re-evaluate and write down what you want.

So here goes some of my goals for 2018, I am hoping by sharing them I hold myself a little more accountable.

– Set aside time just for family. No TV, phone, etc

– Sleep with my phone in a different room.

– Take bold risks, do stuff even if it scares me and put myself out there. (Specifically with my blog, oils, etc)

– Make me a priority. Set aside time for things I do solo (without Fraser and the kids).

– Work on getting Rowens assessment finished and put together a support system to get him prepared for grade school.

– Get a budget in place and decide what our financial goals are for 2018 (are we saving, doing any home improvements, trip planning, plan any big purchases, etc).

– Find an exercise regime that is realistic and that I can commit to.

– Clean eating at home, cook most meals (meal plan) and avoid refined sugars.

– Drink more water.

I feel like I have a million things on the go, and that my list is a bit ambitious. However I also feel that it is doable and all areas that I want to work on. I am excited for a lot of these goals and have already started to get working on my list. Let’s hope the motivation continues beyond January and I can keep the momentum going.

What resolutions or goals do you have for the New Year?

Lots planned for 2018, Bring on a New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I am not sure about you but I love the idea of a fresh slate and a new start, nothing is better than reflecting on the last year and all that you have (or have not) done… and then feeling like you have a whole year to work with. It’s inspiring and allows for dreaming and scheming and planing and most importantly it allows for action. Obviously you can take action and change your life at any point but the start of a New Year seems like the world grants us permission and asks us to act!

With that in mind I have big dreams and hopes for 2018. 2017 was incredible personally for our family and I loved reflecting on such an amazing year. Knowing how great it was I want to keep the momentum going, plus 2017 was a year for family and although my family will always be my main focus I am hoping to spend a bit of 2018 focused on myself and self growth as well as taking time to do stuff for me and maybe exploring some different things I have always wanted to do! It is time to take a few risks and see how it goes.

The first thing I am trying is something I have been curious about for a while and have really wanted to take part in. A group of 4 of us have teamed up to offer monthly Moon Circles. Our goal is to meet up on New Moon each month and just take time to rid ourselves of whatever we have been holding onto that is no longer serving us and to set intentions under the new moon. I am new to this whole Moon thing, but to start off the year I plan on doing a bunch of reading and research and learning all about the moons and power of it as well as the power of meeting up with a group of women. The start to my reading is The Red Tent and so far I am totally enjoying it. I have already loved the planning part of our moon circles as it has involved getting together and sharing and learning from three other women whom I love spending time with and are just inspiring to be around. Today we launched our facebook group ( Goddess Moon Circles) and have our first circle planned for January 17th. Please check out the facebook group and event for more information or shoot me an email craeplain@gmail.com.

Basically this is our intro about why we meet and what Goddess Moon Circles are about

Let’s start with, why do we gather? When women gather the power is undeniable, Magic even! Women have been gathering for centuries all over the world, across many different cultures. When women support each other, our spirits heal. We become weak when we feel that we are not enough, we feel jealousy or anger towards each other. This is about emotional well-being, a sense of community among like-hearted women and to bring our dreams and goals to fruition. To create a space where thoughts and ideas, once thought impossible, can be fulfilled. We are here to provide unconditional support. We have the power to heal one another by simply listening. We are in this together.

I love the idea of having a non judgemental place to just come and recharge, I find I get down and want to just hide out at home but when I allow myself to go and be around people who love and support me I always leave feeling better than when I arrived. It’s amazing what power a community or tribe has and I cannot wait to start these moon circles. This year I am about taking risks and manifesting great rewards in terms of family, friendships, financial and of course personal fulfillment. Anyways I hope everyone had a great night celebrating the New Year however you like to, enjoy today as it is the first of what I hope to be a year of many great times! XO from my family to yours.

Real Housewife of A Long Shore Man

I ran in to my mentor, coach and last employer a couple weeks ago. Both of our lives have changed pretty significantly in the last 3 years and we had lots to catch up on. As we were standing there chatting she gave me a huge compliment. She commented that I looked great (always nice to hear but that wasn’t the compliment) and that I didn’t have that over tired/stressed out mom look most moms with babies and young kids have. She then proceeded to say ” You did that, you have made choices to make sure that you are not too stressed or over tired. It is not luck but your choices.”

It totally stuck with me as I sometimes feel mom guilt or compare myself to others without meaning to and then feel bad that I am not your typical mom! However I feel like people see me or us out as a family and say how “Lucky” we are for many different reasons. I don’t think its luck, I think its hard work, compromise and prioritizing. Most times people mean well by the comment but it doesn’t seem quite right as we work hard to have the lifestyle and life that we have.

These pictures below are such an example. I love them but they were done on a super cold day at 6pm, because I had a conference all day and that was the time we could make work. Fraser had worked a graveyard shift only to come home to watch the kids (I had already left for the day so he took over from my sister). When I got home we frantically tried to dress our kids (hence why Rowen isn’t wearing a jacket, he actually wanted no pants or socks. We compromised). And sweet Grace had just gotten up from a nap. The pictures most definitely don’t tell the whole story, but they captured each of us perfectly IMO and I love them. That being said I wish other people knew when they looked at them these pictures were 15 minutes of a crazy day and don’t depict our full story.

Here’s the thing, we intentionally had three kids under the age of three and we knew it was a bit crazy and going to change lots. However, we both knew we still wanted to be individuals, to have time together and with friends to socialize as adults (we started as just the two of us, and we will end up just the two of us again so we want to keep the love alive, and we actually enjoy each other’s company and like spending time together).

I like working, or I at least like being a part of a team of people working towards something (not necessarily work in the traditional sense). However we both decided with the age of our kids and the hours we would both end up working it didn’t make financial or emotional sense for me to go back to my old job. That being said it wasn’t that I could never go back to work just need to get the kids into school. Just another trade off, I love my life and we both made the choice to stay home but I do not have my own income and people don’t look at a mom and see how hard she works, instead they see a lucky kept lady getting to stay home, sleep in, cuddle a baby and shop without paying for it. Trade offs. I do get to do all those things but I also rarely have breakfast (or at least fresh/hot breakfast), often don’t shower until 3 (and over half the time its with a child), have been puked on more times than I care to count, don’t remember the last time I slept without at least one child in my bed or the last time I peed alone and have you ever tried to shop with three kids under three (best budgeting tool ever)?

Here is us on Market Day, we had a babysitter but figured to make it easier on her and better for Eleanor we would bring her for at least part of the day, this was just what was best for the greater good! I loved planning and preparing for the market, Fraser loved getting to create a bit in his workshop and loved seeing me happy and my kids love being at the farm and “helping” on the days before and after the market. It is not easy, but it is rewarding and fun and was such a great day!

I miss the responsibility and independence and accomplishments that come with having a job outside of the home. Obviously this is always an area that will have pros and cons and I love the decision we made for our family but I definitely think it is a hard decision for every family and again it comes at a cost. I do look at a lot of my working friends in envy and with so much pride for what they are doing. The really cool thing for me is I think as a collective group of friends we are able to get the best of all worlds. I am around if anyone needs any help, etc and my friends are around for me to get to jump in on occasion (like at the farm, getting to work and do the market).

I have managed to find things that I can do part time or on contract and still get the feeling of some independence from the family but not have it negatively impact them. Instead all these things I do make me a better me and a better mom! This idea of self care isn’t new to me, it’s something I have always struggled with (I am an all or nothing type of girl but I am totally working on balance). I decided to start this blog, sell doTerra Oils, help train and teach the girls at The Urban Rack (my last job) and even take on some projects/ events like the Christmas Market at the Farm and my girlfriends long table dinner. These things are not making me rich, to be completely honest most of these things end up costing more than they ever make. But money isn’t the only measurement of success and what these things bring to our family in terms of socialization, feeling of community and happiness and fulfilment out weigh any paycheque they are missing.

Fraser is a longshoremen and he works nightshifts by choice (specifically graveyards). This is one of those choices that we make to provide us with our “lucky” life. The trade off for him working at night is a better paycheque (amazing shift differential), more family time, flexibility in taking time off (when you make more at work you can work less!). With these benefits come costs and the cost to us is nighttime’s alone for mom with 3 very young and not great sleepers, sleep deprivation for both of us (especially for Fraser who doesn’t get many hours a day of sleep), early nights (no more wild nights out TIL 2 am, home before the clock strikes 12… especially when you work at 1am). We feel the benefits out weigh the costs and we try to balance it all, so when we find it taking its toll on us Fraser might take some time off, or we just have some lazy home PJ days.

We were able to do a renovation last year and this year we are able to take a month off to go to Maui, some might consider us “lucky” for having such an extended vacation but I look at it as well deserved time to rest. Fraser has many weeks were he works 7 days a week, and on top of his paying night job he is a full time dad, and a part time handy man for our household as well as for all my wild ideas (like setting up a table at our first Christmas Market). There is also all the things you don’t see, like our less than extravagant vehicles that are far from our dream ride (but we have no car payments!), or the fact that I haven’t bought new bras in I’m embarrassed to admit how long or that Fraser’s gum boots have holes in them! I mean we aren’t poor and hard done by but we also make choices and go without a lot of things.

Its funny though both Fraser and I struggle with taking time for ourselves. It’s hard to leave the other parent with three kiddos and not feel a bit of guilt for it. We are good at getting a babysitter. I never feel guilty paying someone to come and be with the kids but leaving the other parent (who willingly signed up for this parenting gig), and doesn’t get paid, is much harder to do. Just because it is hard to do though, doesn’t mean we both shouldn’t still try. Fraser has a much harder time than I do with just popping out and doing something with the guys or just for himself. This will definitely be something we will continue to work on as we both think its important and something I believe will come easier as the kids get a bit older. It does mean our weekends or even days on a motorcycle are few and far between, or drinks with friends or days spent doing nothing by ours selves are not really a reality right now. But the odd time we do get to do some of these the more we appreciate and enjoy it.

I think the reminder in all of this and the lesson is that we make our own luck. Life is life and making it great is up to us. We really do have the power to make life what we want. We wanted chaotic and crazy and knew what we were getting into. The good so outweighs the hard (because it is never bad, its hard). In my opinion anything worthwhile is hard, so stick it out and the benefits are usually way bigger than you can ever imagine. Check in with yourself often and evaluate.

When we are overwhelmed we look at how we can simplify and what is important. We hire our amazing babysitter and take time out just the two of us. Or we try to see when we need a break and encourage each other, sometimes its me needing a nap after a rough night with the kids or Fraser needing to go out to his shop and do whatever it is he does out there:)

I have a large family who has been there when we need them and are always offering help but we certainly don’t have financial or childcare support that we know a lot of young families have. What we do have is creative help, my sister is always offering to take some of the kids or we trade off preschool pick ups which is huge. My mom is always dropping off meals, coming by to hold Eleanor just so I can get a bit done or even taking our laundry and returning it the next day cleaned and folded. These things are HUGE and I am learning to accept the help that is offered. We also recently hired a house cleaner, and I am learning that is a huge help! It took a bit of work (cleaning the house for the cleaners) and then being out of the house for them was a chore with three kids. However coming home to a clean house is always a good feeling for everyone.

I think another thing I am learning since having kids and more life experience is everyone’s life looks great but we see is just the good stuff not the compromises or things they have given up to get the good! It’s easy to envy or to think grass is greener but instead of doing that make a life you love and you will have no reason to feel that way.

What choices have your family made that were difficult? Do you consider yourself “lucky”? Would love to hear from you…

Kick Off To Christmas!

As the first weekend in December comes to and end my heart is beyond full, my body beyond tired and my mind a little foggy, all signs of a great start to the holiday season. We really have come to a point in our lives where our family are our friends and our friends are our family and it has got to be one of the best feelings. Hard to imagine when we were younger but we have created a life where it is full of the most amazing people who are there for us through thick and thin. This weekend was a great reminder of that, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

We took some family time to decorate our tree, and it was just a surprisingly great experience. Obviously Christmas decorations change when you have little ones who love to touch and play but I was so surprised at how helpful and into decorating the tree Grace and Rowen were. We decorated the bottom foot of the tree a little more sparsely as Eleanor does show interest in the tree and we figured it was just safer this way!

When I think of Christmas and my kids the word Magic really is what comes to mind, it is such a special time and feeling and I just want to soak up every minute (even the trying ones!). This was definitely a fun time with the kids and everyone loves the way the tree turned out. I used to love a good theme and colour scheme and hated all our mismatched ornaments but I gotta say the sentimental mama I have turned into loves all the meaningful and homemade ornaments and how they have the ability to remind us of past holidays and memories.

Saturday was a bit of a lazy day, but we had wanted to head out and support a couple of our friends at their First Charity Event Photos with Santa.

First, we love J.Baird Cattle & Co because we love the family, the manager is a good friend of ours and their pepperoni is the kids favourite snack! So, we loaded up the whole family (dog included) and headed out to the stand. It was such a great set up and for a donation to Delta Assist we got a family pic with Santa (still waiting to see it, but I am so happy we got all of us in it totally doesn’t matter what it looks like!). Bonus for the hot chocolate and cookie bar, I loved the Santa Wishlist writing table and the fires were perfect for warming up on a dreary day! So many great details and the perfect laid back event for our family. If you haven’t been out to the stand you definitely need to stop by and check it out!

Sunday morning though was the ultimate end to a great weekend. One of my favourite traditions we have with our friends is our Annual Kids Christmas Party. Now I am starting to realize I love me some traditions and this is one that has some great components to it. Some things have evolved but many things have stayed the same and for that I am thankful.

Some of my favourite things that have stayed the same are

  • the menu (Bacon & Hash brown Casserole will never loose the appeal)
  • the activities (cookie decorating is amazing especially when you let little ones go wild with icing and sprinkles!)
  • the people. This year we have a few new additions (Sam, Faye & Eleanor) and were missing some of our gang because of scheduling conflicts but for the most part the crew stays the same.

The only thing that maybe has evolved is the gift exchange, and for that I am so thankful. Our kiddos used to always do a secret Santa but we are beyond blessed with some very fortunate kids so this year we did gifts for less fortunate families as well as food to the food bank! What a great way to start our Sunday morning off good food and friends.

Tonight I am just so happy sitting by the beautiful tree, enjoying a little wind down to a fabulous weekend. We had dinner at Nans house with all my sisters, the kids cousins and of course GAG (Great Aunt Grace). Nan gave everyone a bath and sent the kiddos home in PJ’s and ready for bed, all in all I call it a fabulous end to a great weekend. I hope that you all have enjoyed the first weekend in December and are able to spend it with those you love.

Christmas can be a stressful and sometimes sad time for people and I truly feel blessed that this year for us Christmas is a happy and magical time. I know there will be years that are more difficult or Christmas’ that are tough but I am going to try and enjoy all the ones with the kids little and see things through their eyes. 22 Sleeps TIL Santa! Off to bed, need a little rest to recover from this weekend.

The Art of Gift Giving

Around this time of year it’s easy to get caught up in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and the “stuff” surrounding Christmas, I don’t know about you but I love a good impulse buy and am all about saving a buck or two! I also love good merchandising and anything in pretty packaging gets me… the more the merrier??? Or maybe not. This time of year we have a big influx of new “toys” come into our house as we celebrate two birthdays (Rowen and Grace) and Christmas. It’s a lot in a short period of time.

Our year round “policy” around toys and stuff is less is more, and for the most part I follow this and try to encourage everyone in the house to follow this principle. We aim for experiences over stuff and try to focus on getting out and going places (near or far). We love to spend time and money on vacations, outdoor activities and even seasonal experiences like boating in the summer or mountains and snow in the winter (who am I kidding, more like Maui and beaches in the winter 😉). However we sometimes need to keep each other in check and Birthday/Christmas season seems to be when we start to slip. So, here are some of my favourite gifts as well as tips and ideas to stay on track… also some of the traditions I am trying to start with our family.

First, we are through one of two birthdays and I wanted to share some of my favourite gifts!

I love love love when people give books. My kids all enjoy them and I feel like its a gift that will be enjoyed for a long time. Plus I love giving books! I think they encourage imagination, can be part of good habits like bedtime routines or spending quality time just reading with your kids and I also love that they can be such learning and teaching tools. I know my kiddos have learnt new words and I am hoping even a bit about emotions and feelings from books. Top two favourites that are new Birthday gifts in our house are I am Yoga and I am Peace, A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde. They are so perfect for kids with busy minds and bodies ( Rowen & Grace!!!). I love these so much that they will definitely be ones I give as gifts. Plus I know they are well suited to my kiddos because they received them from their auntie but their Nan came over and saw them and said “I saw this and was going to buy it for the kids”.

A surprise favourite is a toy I had never seen or heard of but it came from Rowens Aunt who runs a preschool so she knows all the best toys. They are magnetic shapes you can use to build all sorts of things. The kids love them and there is so many different ways they can and do use them. Plus they definitely encourage imagination!

Finally a gift I never get tired of is art supplies and Rowen received all sorts of great supplies including paint brushes, paint, sketch pads and canvases, plus stickers and stamps. My kids love to paint and we go through supplies quickly so its always nice to get new stuff!

Next tip to avoid over indulging is to try giving more than receiving. We have an annual kids Christmas Party with a group of our friends who all have kids now. It is pretty special as the parents are all childhood friends raising the next generation of friends.

We used to do a gift exchange and it was loved by all the kids but the last few years we have transitioned to ” adopting” a family or individual kids through different organizations like Delta Assist. I love this. Nothing feels better than teaching your kids how to give to those who are less fortunate or maybe have fallen on hard times. I know my kiddos are still very young and might not grasp the idea but I am so proud of what we are able to do as a group and the values this will ins-till in our kids.

Tonight I hit up West 49th as my recipient of the gift I was buying was a 13-16 year old boy. The boy at the store that helped me was this age. He was so helpful and didn’t really get what I was asking for at first, so he helped pick out a reasonably priced sweater that he said was “good”. I didn’t recognize the brand and didn’t think it looked very fun but I don’t have much experience with shopping for boys especially this age. Then I asked him would you like to receive this (he didn’t really say much but I could tell it was a no). SO, I said we have no budget just show me what you would like. It was like a different kid started to talk. He said this is “wicked” and he didn’t even know Vans Spitfire made these hoodies. It would be so cool. Being a practical and boring mom I was sceptical of white, but he was so animated and excited I bought it and can’t wait for whatever boy gets this on Christmas. *** I made sure it came with a gift receipt, #1 RULE to good gift giving always include a gift receipt.

The idea here is that sometimes we have so much in our lives that we loose sight of those who maybe aren’t as fortunate. Why not use these opportunities to teach our kids about giving to others. Christmas can be a hard time for lots of people and we aren’t even aware of it. I cant imagine not being able to spoil our kids and feel so blessed everyday with all the things we can give them. OF course I know kids can survive and need very little but knowing and doing are two very different things and it is really nice to be able to spoil your kids, but why can’t we spoil and share! DO both.

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y for some traditions I am going to start in our house this year, I love the idea of a little goody box on December 1st. So this year my kiddos will be getting their new Christmas Jammie's and their advent calendars plus I think maybe a book and a tree ornament for each of them. I love this idea and think it is nice to have something to start of December with. We always got new PJs on Christmas Eve and I used to totally look forward to it but figured why not spread out some of the giving to make it last over a longer period of time. I would like to also include the Elf on The Shelf as part of this tradition but am on the fence mainly because I cant decide if the kids are too little to leave him alone or if they will just want to play with him. Any feedback from veteran households who have had the elf visit?

Of course, Christmas morning my kiddos will get some fun things (not pictured here) like dolls, trucks, games and such but I also am using Christmas as a time to stock up on some of the essentials (like socks and sweaters, etc). Another thing I am trying to do more of is find local handmade gifts. The little hula dolls are a special gift I had made for the girls, they are to signify our trip to Hawaii which is a big part of the families Christmas gift, they were handmade by The Little Honey Bee & Me. I love the idea of giving gifts with meaning and supporting local.

I hope these tips have helped you with your Christmas lists and reminded you of what’s important to your family! Would love to hear any tips or advice you have when shopping for your family.

3 Fast Years.

When I was pregnant with Rowen Fraser and I would imagine all the possabilities for our first child… Would he or she be confident, social, shy or independent?  We envisioned a child with all sorts of wonderful characteristics, all the best traits and lots of friends and accomplishments. What we didn’t discuss or envision was this child’s struggles or the obstacles they would have to overcome.

I have been worried about our oldest, Rowen, since before he was born (I guess that is what parents do).  Being our first baby every milestone mark comes and you worry.  “Did he get his teeth in the right order, at the right age, can he walk? Does he sleep through the night?  Is he taking a bottle, he’s too old and we need to wean him.”  These are just some of the many thoughts I would over analyze about with Rowen.

Lately the concerns have been hard to explain or list but I was worried that he wasn’t developing as he should!  Then we got a call to come in and meet with the teachers, they had noticed a lot of the same things I have noticed and were impressed by how on top of it I was. Obviously its nice to know you haven’t been over reacting and that you were right to trust your mama bear instinct but it’s also a little upsetting to hear your child isn’t developing typically or that he is already facing more struggles than the average two year old.

I had a friend point out the everyone will struggle or have troubles at one time or another so it isn’t if it’s when? And the sooner it happens the better prepared and equipped you are to deal with life. I love this and totally agree with it. So I am looking at this latest hurdle as an opportunity for growth for myself as a parent and for Rowen as a person, learning skills that will help him through his life.

Funny thing about parenting is, it is nothing like what you expect it to be and it is so hard (and rewarding and amazing).   I think we glamorize parenthood (especially the newborn stage) to be magical and natural.  When in reality parenting is so much more than that… it is challenging, exhausting, trying and so very emotional.

I had images of what my children would be like, personalities, looks and even how they would dress, like a lot of people we said “our children will never do that” or “we will raise them differently”. Before becoming parents we knew it all, now that we have children we know nothing!

My kids refuse to wear the clothes I pick out (a lot of the time they refuse to wear clothes at all), my almost three year old is not even potty trained yet, we co-sleep the majority of the time, we have an iPad for every child and we avoid taking our kids to restaurants (something I swore my kids would do and do well).   Nothing is how I thought it would be. Sometimes I am frustrated that the kids that I have aren’t the kids that I imagined but then I realize they are so much more!

We are just learning as we go with this parenting thing, and really try to make the best decisions we can make. Sometimes we get it wrong and often we are so happy we had three kids , hopefully we get it right for Eleanor! LOL:). Just kidding we hope all three kids turn out okay.

It has been and continues to be a learning curve. Tomorrow I will take Rowen to the paediatrician and start the process of hopefully getting some developmental assessments done. This is good, this is progress and hopeful will give us some tools as to how we can best help Row to succeed.

Next week my oldest and first baby turns 3, and I am not sure how I feel. I remember finding out I was pregnant, going 2 weeks overdue. I remember having an emergency c-section and being up with him through those first few months where everything is new to all of us and we didn’t want to let him cry ever. We have learnt that sometimes he will cry and we can’t prevent it but that’s okay. And that everything with Rowen is new to all of us and that whatever we do it is with the best intentions. Most importantly we celebrate him and who he is and all the things that we love about him.

Next week we will celebrate his birthday his style, at McDonalds with a few friends and cousins (he doesn’t like loud or big groups), he loves French fries and donuts so I will order him a donut cake. Then for dinner we will go to Nans house (as per his request) and have Boston Pizza (his other favourite food besides fries, must be Boston Pizza or Niagara, nothing else compares for him) and then Nan will have a cake she made for him!

I love Birthdays and like to go crazy with parties but I know that isn’t what Rowen would enjoy so this year it was all about him and what he would pick (plus Grace’s birthday is less than a month away so I can always go wild there).

These three kids are by far Fraser and I’s most challenging job/responsibility and greatest achievement. We cant imagine a life without them and are truly trying to live in the moment and enjoy them while they are little because they are growing so fast!

How did your kids surprise you and change you? Can you remember the days before kids (we often try and it seems so long ago)? Was parenting what you expected? I would love to hear what you think about parenting and life with kids…

Reflections from last weekend. 


Last weekend I participated in a really cool workshop called “I am Magnetic” with half of my doTerra Oily Housewives team.  Then we had a lazy family morning, attended a 3 year olds birthday party at a farm and I ended my day with an amazing restorative Yin yoga class.  The whole weekend left me feeling inspired and recharged. 

The workshop was fantastic, I loved the messages from it and left feeling super empowered.  I had no expectations going in (well I was hoping for a fabulous day) but it surpassed what I could have even imagined. 

It was so nice to get out and do something to get my mind working outside of family life. What I loved is learning some new things, not just oil related (but it totally tied in doTerra and I loved it). 

The first speakers were a husband and wife team who spoke about releasing trapped emotions and limiting beliefs, following curiosity, and living in alignment with your flow as well as the art of receiving.  They believe you can change your behaviours and actions through repetition, emotional impact and environment and that your past is what determines your limiting beliefs but that we can release these beliefs. I had heard about energy frequencies and about holding space but they explained it and it totally resignated with me.  They said that essential oils might not have measurable properties in them but that the bodies reaction to oils is measurable and that is how we scientifically know they are working. I particularly loved how they gave an example of how smell can connect you to emotion which is how and why I love using essential oils. In their example they say to remember a drink that maybe when you consume it has a memorable impression… now if you were to smell said beverage right now would you have an emotional or even physical reaction?  (I personally thought of tequila!). I just love this example of the impact smell can have on us and our bodies. Good or bad… It was kinda fun when I got home and saw a little energy test, so I took it and this was my energy:


Strange how true that reading of my energy was.  

Then I came home and our doTerra team is doing a really cool book study in combination with the I Am Fabulous book of Essential Oil Blends, I used my “Face your Fears” blend and started to read the second chapter.  This book is so exactly what I need right now and I love how lately just things are falling into place.  It’s like the world knowss what I need and is providing it in huge ways!


Our lazy Sunday ended off this amazing weekend, it included pancakes and watched Moana from the Teepee with blankets and pillows. Then we went as a family to a local farm (Greystone for those from around here) for a friends 3rd Birthday Party. It was so nice to see a lot of our close friends and some people who I just love to hang out with but never get to see, the best part was not just the friends who were all there but the sisters who hosted us at Greystone (Laura of Equine Essentials and her sister Emily of Schoolhouse Farms were the perfect hostess’).  The kids loved it, our Gracie had her dreams come true of riding a “horsie”, she is obsessed with the show Spirit right now and all the horses.  It was such a great weekend!  I love when I can get a combination of me time, little work, seeing friends and family time… which at our busy household is hard to do!

Would love to hear how you spend your weekends and what makes for a great weekend!

Defining your OIL Type…

Here is a simple guide to see how you want to, or maybe even how you already do, use oils.  

Think about the questions below and see the answers associated with either A, B or C.  You might find you’re a combination and want to use oils a variety of ways (that’s great). Or possibly you use oils for one primary reason (thats great too!).  

Whatever the reason and way you use them remember to enjoy and contact me if you have any questions or want more information!  (You can call or text me at 778-899-9498 or email me at craeplain@gmail.com)

When you think about essential oils what is the first thought:

A) Good Smells   

B) Healthy Living  

C)  Feelings and Mood

If you think about using essential oils what application do you think of?

A) Aromatic (includes in a diffuser)  

B)  Internally (on tongue, in water or even cooking with them)  

C)  Topically (even on specific areas of the body
Types of Oil Users:

A)  SMELL SO PRETTY, but keep it simple!

You tend to use one or more diffusers in the house and want a single oil (maybe a DoTerra blend) to diffuse. Typically your looking for scents you are drawn to and aren’t really interested in the properties each oil possess but more in what they smell like and how it can be easily used. 


B)  HOLISITC HEALER

You are someone who has heard from a naturopath or friend about the benefits using essential oils can have on you and you would like to encorporate oils into your healthy lifestyle practices, this may be preventive or to aid in treating conditions.   The smell of certain oils aren’t necessarily your primary concern but more the properties they possess. 

Sample Daily Oil Usage Guide

C)  GUIDED EMOTIONS

You want to use your oils for mood enhancers or to help guide you through feelings such as overcoming fears, dealing with loss or even to help energize.  You are interested in using oils for their healing and emotional benefits but also will start to associate smells with certain feelings. 

Sample Oil Usage for Balancing your Chakras:

Self Care

 

How often do we schedule in time for ourselves?  I know when I most need it is when we are busiest and that is when it is hardest for me to choose myself over all the other things that I need to get done.  However as a family we are working very hard to prioritize self care for all of our family members.  For us the focus has been around diet and exercise.  So it has meant scheduling in each of our activities and even scheduling in grocery shopping and meal prep.  This has been the game changer, if its on the calendar then we somehow manage to book around it!  Fraser and I sit down each week and schedule our workouts, allowing each other time to go out and get that much needed exercise in.  Plus we meal plan, make a grocery list and then grocery shop and meal prep (typically on a Sunday but doesn’t always work that way).  No person or family is perfect but we are trying to find a way to just make this our new normal!  I used to be able to find every excuse but now we just do it and feel so much better… the results have been incredible.  Both of us have found we have more energy, better and more stable moods, more patience with the kids and overall just happier, plus we both have lost weight (Fraser more than I!).

What stops you from making time to be a better version of yourself?  How can you take care of your family and your responsibilities if you are not taking care of yourself!   We all know what we should do and what makes us feel good but knowing and doing are two different things.  I encourage you to see if you can make a date with yourself this week!

What does self care look like to you?  Sometimes we are so out of practice that we make the time and then don’t know what to do with it, or we think every self care activity is expensive and we cannot afford it, this is so not true… here are some of my favourite suggestions.

  • Go for a walk
  • Take a bath
  • Hit up the gym or even the local pool for a swim
  • Clean (I am a little crazy but sometimes cleaning makes me feel so good)
  • Grab a Starbucks and read a Book
  • Mediate or practice yoga (this doesn have to be at an expensive studio, use YouTube or an app)
  • Paint or colour or draw… I am no artist but sometimes just listening to music and painting feels so relaxing.
  • Write or Journal… not sure where to start how about all the things your thankful for, or a bucket list,

Hope some of these ideas inspire you!  Would love to hear from you and the ways you make time for self care!

Back to School Blends

I have been so busy with back to school and back to schedules and back to routine that I have been a little slow with sharing my oil information with you all! But I will start now, and what better place top start with then some of the oils that are most helpful with our kiddos (and us) and helping ease them into routines!

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Essential Oils or specifically doTerra I will just let you know when I recommend oils or how to use them I am referring to doTerra Oils. All brands and oils are made differently and used differently so just be careful and aware of what you are using.  For more info on using Essential Oils click here.

So basically my goal with my kids and school is to make sure they feel good in their bodies and they are well and able to learn.  SO many things affect kids and their learning (environment, learning style, mindset, diet and mood… the list is really endless).  And so many of these things we are able to control or change, some obviously are harder than others but we can adjust the lighting, remove distractions, change foods and diet, add in breaks through out the day and visuals for learning or whatever else might help.  Another way to help with making kids feel good for school is by using oils.  The oils I am going to focus on today will help with 4 main areas

  1. Physical Health (Cold & Flu & Germs)
  2. Anxiety & Mental Well Being
  3. Focus
  4. Strength (Bravery Blends)

1.  KEEPING OUR PHYSICAL BODIES HEALTHY (Cold & Flu type stuff)

First thing that comes to mind when I think feel good is to stay healthy, and we have a few oils that can aid in helping with healthy bodies in kids.


DigestZen:  This is a great one for kids with tummy issues,  just dilute it into a roller ball with fractionated coconut oil and then rub on child’s tummy.  It will help with gas, bloating, digestion.  


On Guard:  This is the oil for school, again you dilute and put it on a rollerball and have your child put it in their sock drawer.  Then before they put their socks on have them roll the bottoms of their feet.  It helps protect against environmental and seasonal threats with a blend of oils known for their positive effects on the immune system. 


Easy Air:  This is a good one for help breathing for any sort of issue (maybe its shortness of breathe from anxiety or maybe its dust in the classroom, exercise, etc). Whatever the reason same application as DigestZen , dilute in a rollerball and then have your child apply to chest.  A really easy way to get them to do this is to say make a heart on your chest with the rollerball!

2.  MENTAL WELLBEING & ANXIETY

Another big thing in our house with the kids is Transitioning into preschool. Currently in our world my kids (mainly my son) has had to transition into a more structured day, with time away from mom and dad and siblings and having to be up and out of the house by 9am.  Obviously every family is different and it might be different issues with your little or big kids but they may gave some of the same solutions.  So here are a few helpful oils!


BALANCE & SERENITY

AKA Liquid Calm these two oils are grounding and calming blends.  Balance is a bit of a woodsy smell to it and it works for when you are feeling on a bit of high and need to come back down, Serenity has a floral/ vanilla scent to it and is calming for people, even good to help with sleep.  Serenity has a very gentle aroma and would even be nice put on a piece of diffusing jewelry for a child to have.  (Balance is one of my all time favourites) 


CONOSLE & PEACE

Console has been described as a hug in a jar, but the really cool thing about console is DoTerras team of chemists actually researched how the brain reacts to a hug and tried to find a combination of oils that had the same reaction… so this is as close as you can get to a hug from oils!  It has a floral scent to it and is a blend of many different oils including Frankincense, Patchouli, Ylang Ylang, Rose and more.  Peace is known to give the immediate calming feeling, literally you just cup it in your hand and breath it in to feel the calm!  These two oils are good for helping with separation anxiety.  (These are on my next personal order for sure, both my older kids have been having serious separation anxiety!)


CITRUS BLISS

Exactly how it sounds an invigorating blend of citrus scents with a touch of vanilla. This blend is uplifting and energizing and when combined with Balance it is known as “Monster Juice” used to calm your little monsters.  

3. FOCUS

These oils can be used to help kids or anyone focus. Sometimes you migh find ADD or ADHD students can find these oils useful in keeping attention.

 

LEMON: The clean scent of lemon helps to bring you back to focus. So if you find you are easily distracted and your mind wanders this might be a good oil to try!

VETIVER: Earthy and woodsy smell that is also used for anxiety and panic attacks. Vetiver can help stop mind chatter, so if you have brain that just doesn’t stop and its hard to focus because it has so much going on up there try Vetiver!

PEPPERMINT: Smells as you would imagine (almost like a candy cane) and it helps make you more alive, it wakes you up!  This oil can help your brain catch up to your thoughts. 


IN TUNE:  This blend was specifically designed to support focus, one easy way to apply would be on the bottoms of the feet before school or on the back of the neck,  even to have in an inhaler so that your child can smell it whenever they need to throug out the day. 

4.  STRENGTH (BRAVERY BLENDS)

Who couldnt use a little help with finding strength and bravery in everyday situations, and when your little school projects or difficult situations definitely need you to brave.  A few great oils for this are:


GINGER:  This warming oil is great for empowerment, amazing for self confidence!  Plus if you are anything like me difficult situations can upset the tummy and this oil helps to calm the tummy.


TERRASHIELD:  Interestingly enough is the bug repellent blend but it is also ab ink fir shielding (setting boundaries).  If your kiddos are having issues with dealing with others maybe this would be a good one to help. Think warrior oil!


MOTIVATE:  This citrus and minty blend is made to give you an uplifting push of motivation.  It can help keep the heart open and communication!