HELP… This Parenting Gig is Tough!

So this vacation has been amazingly good for our parenting egos, basically whenever we go out as the whole family we get at least one if not many compliments. Some are just about appearances “Oh look, they are so cute”, some are more surface/conversational “you’ve got your hands full”, but the best are “wow your kids are so well behaved”, “you guys make it look easy, we are struggling with one”, and many more.

It’s interesting because when I look around there are lots of families walking with babies or just one kid and it does look easy. The parent to child ratio is great 2:1 but then I look at our circus and the kids are becoming such great friends, they are learning how to play with each other and more than that they are learning life skills like sharing, compromise and empathy. When I see Grace stop to help Rowen or Row check on Eleanor to give her a bottle and a blanket, there is nothing else like it. It reminds me when the challenging times come that we made the choice to have 3 kids and that despite the challenges there are way more good times than difficult. Plus not all moments are challenging some days we attempt something and the kids are all in the right mood and somehow we have this incredible day that even I want to give ourselves a little pat on the back.

That being said we are really struggling with discipline and follow through, I am looking for any ideas that have worked with your family. I think the hardest thing right now is finding age appropriate discipline, basically we have Rowen (3), Grace (2) and Eleanor (10 months). Oh and the struggle with being outnumbered by our kids. We don’t have enough hands to catch all of our rascals when they start running away! Or have your tried going to the pool with 3 kids 3 and under (it’s terrifying).

We are working hard on being proactive. So for example in anticipation of being near a pool and ocean for a good chunk of time we invested in quality swimming lessons and both kids wear their swim belts while swimming (supervised). We also don’t go certain places or plan around when we will have less kids or even bribe them with food. Like we had to go to Costco to do a big shop but we bought them fries and they ate in the shopping cart while we did all our groceries. May be this is bribery and not teaching them how to behave in a grocery store or maybe its genius. I do not know, but what I do know is it is what works and what has been helping us get by:)

However there are some areas we are struggling.

The one challenge I faced today is Grace learning how to share or learning patience to wait. Eleanor was napping so I took Grace and Rowen with their new balls across the street to the park. Kids have given up naps although we are finding they need them while vacationing (who doesn’t!). They love the swings and both still want to be in a baby swing. Well this particular park only has two baby swings and I let another family use one so my two kids had to share. Rowen was fantastic and patiently waited his turn but Princess Grace lost it when her turn was up. She arched her back, screamed like she was being attacked and let the waterworks fly. At which point I made the decision to follow through with my promise and bring both kids home, no more park or swinging. The same situation had happened last night when all the swings were taken and Grace could not grasp why “her” swings weren’t available.

How do you reason or explain to a two year old about sharing and waiting. My latest attempt is they are told the rules before, ie if you cannot share when we get to the swings and do not listen we will go home. Then usually what ends up happening is we have to pack up and go home. I am hoping after a few consistent times it will help break this behaviour but so far I don’t know if the kids even notice what is happening.

With Rowen it is whole other issue we are dealing with, LISTENING. His example was at the pool yesterday when he was told to stop throwing his toy out of the pool and he didn’t listen. He was given multiple opportunities to stop and many chances to stay but he continued so we just scooped him out and left the pool. This happens all day long in terms of taking toys from people, not keeping our hands to our selves, and just general annoying bickering between siblings.

The things I have learnt that do work include adjusting my expectations and setting us up for success.

Example is if I know they are tired I don’t expect the same out of them. We try to go for a nap or plan activities I know won’t cause arguments. Another example is if I want to go somewhere with them I try to plan it at a good time. Taking them in the morning while they are typically a little happier and more agreeable.

Expectations include things like ordering take out and hitting up the park instead of trying to go to a restaurant and then taking away a park play because they behaved badly.

Sometimes these things are hard to do because they aren’t what I want to do or they are inconvenient. But I know in the long run it will be more than worth it. I do know one thing though. We were in Maui last year at the same time with just Rowen and Grace who were just 2 and 1 at the time. This year we have been able to relax a little more and enjoy the beach and the pool more with them as well as some new activities and even eat out a bit. So, with this in mind I realize as the kids get older some things will hopefully become easier.

Have you had similar struggles with 2 and 3 year olds? Do any of my struggles sound familiar? Did you find anything that worked with your family? Would love to hear from you:)

Merry Everything A Happy Always!

So we celebrated our first Christmas as a family of 5, and it was great!

Unfortunately our whole house was hit with a terrible flu for over a week before Christmas and honestly I think it was a bit of a blessing in disguise. It was terrible… not only was I very sick but I was still mom so it meant up at night with sick kiddos, many loads of laundry, being puked on and lots of disinfecting but also feeling absolutely horrible myself. Thank goodness we seemed to alternate kids being sick and I could try to comfort all my babies at different times! It is very hard to be outnumbered by your littles. The blessing though was it meant last minute me just gave up on a lot of the ideas I had of a perfect Christmas.

See Fraser and I come from two very different versions of Christmas.

My childhood Christmases had many traditions, we were raised Catholic so defiantly Christmas had a religious aspect to it including Church on Christmas, nativity sets and the story of Christmas were all part of our traditions! We also were spoilt at Christmas. With 7 biological Aunts & Uncles (plus spouses), many family friends or pseudo “aunts/ uncles”, 4 Grandparents, and almost everyone living locally our Christmas Day was spent unwrapping a lot of gifts. When I look back at it as an adult I don’t know how my single mom managed to pull off such incredible Christmas’s! Plus I also realize we got so much stuff… and it was so unnecessary. Do not get me wrong, I loved our Christmas gifts and traditions, I never complained. But now having kids of our own and struggling with Christmas lists and gift ideas for the kids or space to put all their new stuff I realize that this is not the same Christmas traditions I want to set up for our family (although it is tempting). I feel so lucky that we had the magical and family filled Christmas traditions we did and cannot wait to start making memories of Christmas for our kids.

Fraser on the other hand was raised without religion and with a much smaller family who was much more practical when it came to gifts. They had lots of their own traditions but religion was not apart of Christmas, gifts played a much smaller role and they had a more intimate group of family at Christmas. One interesting thing about Fraser’s Christmas memories revolve around food, although they had an always changing Christmas menu he has some things that he loves to make for Christmas and I like the idea of that being a tradition we can carry on with our kids.

I like to think we will take our two versions of what Christmas looks like and meld them together for a nice fit of what Christmas will look like for our family.

I definitely want our kids to know the religious background of Christmas and I do know that this is something that Fraser most likely will not want to participate in. Religion is a funny thing, I am learning that it is scary for people who didn’t grow up with it and I would never want to force it on him. So, hopefully this is an area I can manage to teach the kids with the help of my family. I know one day they will make their own decisions but I like the idea of them being informed and knowing about religion and the background of Christmas!

Our Christmas started on the 22nd and ended on the 25th, so it was just a couple of days and we tried to make each day just have one or two things planned. We are not hugely routine and try to be flexible but kids do require certain things through out the day (mainly meals and we always benefit from a nap). So, we did try to keep that in mind but I do find with the holidays and so many different activities going on routine and structure goes out the window.

We try to celebrate Christmas with both our families and all the Great Grandparents and extended family which often means many dinners and visits but the benefit to this is more quality visits and gifts for the kids are spread out over a couple of days. I love this because they don’t get “tired” of opening gifts and they get to enjoy and appreciate each gift and we know who gave what! Plus the whole Christmas season is so much money and work I like the idea of extending it over a period of time to at least make all the effort feel more worthwhile.

I have to say being sick right before Christmas meant I didn’t have as much free time or extra time to run out to the mall and go over the top on presents or even decor. This was a great lesson to teach me that I didn’t miss all the over the top stuff I would normally be all over. The kids stockings had just the right amount of stuff and each kid had a few fun gifts as well as a few things I knew they needed. Fraser and I didn’t exchange gifts this year as we decided instead to make a donation to a fundraiser that was more meaningful to us than any gift we could have bought. Plus our big Christmas gift this year is starting off 2018 with Fraser taking 7 weeks holidays and us spending a month in Maui! Although we may not be able to continue this extended period of time every year I hope we always are able to take time off in January and to start off the New Year spending quality time as a family and rest and relax.

I think that the way we are starting 2018 is also the way we are ending 2017, the idea is about spending quality time and enjoying the kids early years with our family. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the Christmas spirit of over indulging in every way (over eating, over drinking, over scheduling, over spending and over gifting… ) but when we all got sick all the rest kinda stopped and by the time I was feeling good enough to start thinking Christmas it was here and I just made do with what I had prepared and it ended up being more than enough food, decorations, gifts and booze:) Well I did make a last minute liquor store run but… LOL:). I think you get the idea, we have more than enough and Christmas is about more than gifts.

At the end of December I do not want to have gone into a bunch of debt to buy a bunch of stuff that we don’t need and the reality is we don’t “need” anything as we are so well provided for. But there are people who are less fortunate and do need, and that is a lesson I hope to teach our kids. We used to go shopping with my aunt every year at Christmas and help pick out a bunch of toys for the toy bank, plus my Grandparents always helped with he Christmas Hampers through the legion. These are just a few of the traditions my family had for giving back that I still remember and want to pass on doing similar stuff with our kids. These types of “gifts” are ones that have lasting impressions and teach more than any other gift ever could.

As 2017 comes to an end I can’t help but feel it was an EPIC year for the Farlow family. We are all healthy and happy, we have more than enough, our year was filled with way more good days than bad and we added to our family with Eleanor completing our little family. Fraser had a phenomenal year at work and continues to enjoy his job which is most important. I started my blog and also found doTerra and have made essential oils a part of our daily life. Plus we have made some healthy lifestyle changes, started to implement exercise and healthy eating into our lives. Overall I have loved 2017, and with that I am excited to start off 2018! This new year brings promise of some new adventures and self discovery. I am starting off January with a one day wellness retreat (including Yoga, mediation and oils!), I have a few oil classes planned and can’t wait to see what personal growth stuff I uncover this coming year. Plus we have some big goals with Rowen for 2018 including completing his Autism Assessment and starting to get some help in place so we can get him prepped for grade school and start him off with as much support in place as possible, Grace will start preschool this year (September) and I am excited for her to have something of her own and our little Eleanor will celebrate her first birthday!

So Merry Everything and A Happy Always from our family to yours I hope this year was one for the record books and I hope 2018 brings you even more good things. XOXO

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!

Girls Night In

“Choices, life is all about choices” is a common phrase you can often hear my mom saying.  She does make a good point, some choices are simple and have relatively little impact on our life, like what colour socks you wear, it’s a choice with no real life long effects, others are more influential and have a longer lasting impact. Things like how much you drink in a night, the hobbies you choose or the friends you associate with. This is not luck, it is a choice you make.    

I am so proud of the friendships I have cultivated and the people I choose to associate with. Each one of these women represent traits and things that I want for my own life and my kids lives, these are the role models I want to have my kiddos to look up to!  I am blessed to have a tight group of girlfriends, and although we may not see each other as much as we might like we all play pretty big roles in each other’s lives!  We are aunties to each other’s children, mentors, sounding boards, therapists and/or drinking buddies when needed. We are a self made family. 

This weekend we had planned a girls night in, instead of going out we had a catered dinner. Knowing how busy each of us are I took it upon myself to just get it catered and have us all split the bill! This was genius if I do say so, it meant no mess, no dishes, easy clean up and best of all no stress! Just show up.  Newman’s Fine Foods was so great at putting together a beautiful charcuterie platter for us as an appie.   Illuminate Restorante in Tsawwassen was equally accommodating and easy to work with, the best part was the food was delicious.  

I think so often we get wrapped up in making things perfect or not attempting to do something in case we can’t do it well enough. I know I definitely do.  However, with this night I kept reminding myself less is more, it is about the people and getting together not where we have it or what the menu is. So in an effort to simplify and give up a little control I trusted the chef and asked him to design a menu that would be seasonal and work for everyone. He did a great job and I didn’t have to do anything (not even make a decision).  I know maybe this isn’t for everyone or isn’t always possible but the point isn’t get a caterer, it’s don’t get too wrapped up in the details… grab bags of chips and snacks, go to Costco and get some party trays, order pizza. It doesn’t matter just get together!  Make time away from kids and hubbies and share some laughs and fun with your gals:). Nobody cares what your eating (rather what’s in your glass) J/K! 

I had planned a beautiful outdoor evening at one of my favourite spots but the weather prevented it from happening. So, in true friendship fashion one of the gals offered up her barn.  Some of you may wonder why I was hosting a dinner in a barn when I have a beautiful newly renovated home… so many reasons but a big one is this was a night for the girls and we all have roommates ( I actually have 4) AKA hubbies and kids. So the best way to get away for a dinner and enjoy a night of laugher and recharging was to break in our new “clubhouse”. 

The night could not have been more perfect. It was so fun to just sit, enjoy good food, drinks and best of all the company of, as one of the ladies refers to us, “the loves of our lives”. It was a really good reminder no matter how busy you are take time out to spend it with the people that matter to you!  It’s amazing how good it can be for the soul. 

My favourite thing about the evening was actually a little exercise we did ahead of time. I had asked everyone to email one word beside each girlfriends name, when the gals sat down to dinner they had a sheet of paper with 10 beautiful words describing them. We actually went around the table and shared our words, which truly was a highlight.  I have to admit there were many words on those pages that made me proud of my tribe. The best part was the repetition of a few words. One really stood out as I think 7 out of 10 of us had LOYAL down.  I think that says a lot to see the same word given by so many and about so many different woman. 

Another special treat for the night was the party favours. Not only did one of our girlfriends make each of the gals some funny and fabulous wine glasses with hilarious sayings (these will be available at our Christmas Market from Westham Jar Co.) she also had homemade marshmallows and fudge (check out Farmhouse Floral & Gifts, also at our Christmas Market) done up for each of us!  I loved the idea of having some favours so when she suggested it I jumped on board and added a room spray with a custom scent I made with oils that carry certain properties I felt we were all in need of right now!  The reaction was amazing to all of these goodies:)  Check out my instagram if you want my “secret” room spray recipe.  The best part is that we actually have favours still coming as another girlfriend has commissioned a local jewelry designer to make custom friendship bracelets with different stones and charms that hold meaning to her and to us.  This night is really the night that just keeps on giving. 

I can’t forget to mention my favourite gift though, it was something I was a little unsure about at first. I had thought about asking Daph if she could come and snap a couple photos and then wasn’t sure if that was weird.  Like, we aren’t the Kardashians (almost but not quite) and why does a girls night need a photographer?  Plus we all have iPhones right?  First, iphones do not substitute a photographer (see pictures below and you will understand!).  Second, a girls night needs a photographer because how often does Mom get into the pictures?  Not very often in my experience Mom is usually the photographer.  Also how nice is it Sunday morning to wake up and see these beautiful reminders of what a fabulous evening we had.  So Thank You Daphne Lynn Photography (did I mention she will also be at the Christmas Market).  I also was a little worried having a photographer there would maybe ruin the vibe we were going for but I think she was the perfect addition to our party:) 

So, in an effort to remind myself of this night and the feelings I left it with I decided to use this as an opportunity to check in with myself more.  Am I living life with purpose? Do I stay true to my values? It was a good reminder to me that when you give of yourself what you get in return is so much more.  I might have spent a little time putting this together but what these women gave me in return was so far greater!  I woke up the next morning feeling groggy (maybe a little hungover), so loved, so supported, so blessed and energized. It was exactly the check in that I needed.  Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed and like life is too busy what do you do to recharge and gain balance and perspective?  I know what I do and who I go to!  And this was exactly what I needed and when I needed it. 


XO Carly   

Location: Private Farm, Westham Island

Caterer: Newmans Fine Foods & Illuminate Restauranto

Photographer: Daphne Lynne Photographer

Decor: This Plain Life, Westham Jar Co.  And Farmhouse Floral & Gifts

Back to School Make & Take Workshop

So as some of you already know I am selling Essential Oils and in preparation for this week and back to school a friend and I partnered and hosted our first Make & Take Workshop. It was so easy, you came by and brought your kids, learnt how to use the doTerra pure therapeutic grade essential oils and make anxiety rollerballs, lice spray and hand sanitizer.  It ended up being a beautiful day and the kids were super into making these great products. Hope they got used today!

For those of you who couldn’t make it here are our recipes. 


  • 2 drops tea tree
  • 2 drops of lavender
  • 2 drops of rosemary or peppermint

Place into your spray bottle and when your finished you just fill it up with distilled water. 


  • 1-2 drops balance
  • 1-2 drops Serenity
  • 1-2 drops Lavender 
  • 1-2 drops wild orange, bergamont or citrus bliss (whatever oil child prefers)


  • 2 Drons On Guard
  • Mix half aloe gel and half water

Please contact me if you are interested in any more information or any oils. 


When I grow up I wanna be a _________________

So I have always loved learning and teaching… whenever I thought of what i wanted to do when I grew up I would think of becoming a teacher.  I just loved the school environment, the research, the questions and watching people get inspired and excited.

But I took some different paths, some involved learning and teaching but not in the traditional teacher role.  Some were closely related like studying to become a Special Education Assistant.   And some were unexpected like becoming mom to three little babes, that part was expected, it’s the things they have taught me I didn’t even know I need to learn (like patience, selfishness and unconditional love) that was unexpected. 

I love being mom and teaching and learning from my 3 little crazy kiddos but I still feel like I need something for me.  Moms can you relate?  You become a mom and it involves so many wonderful aspects and new experiences but I feel like I lost a little of me as an individual and in my case gained a whole pack of mini me’s. I guess parts of you live on in your kids and maybe those are the pieces I am missing now.   

Lucky for me doTerra oils entered my life and I have only signed up to sell the oils less than a month ago and I am absolutely in love.  I am in love with the product and using them but more than that I love learning about the company and how they started, how the oils are sourced and extracted and where they come from and finally how they are helping people, some of the testimonials are amazing.  

It’s funny I never thought this would be the thing I needed for me, but it has opened my eyes at taking a few more risks, trying something new and even helped over come some of the anxieties I have developed around social situations since having my kids.  Pre kids I was super social and super confident, post kids I have been humbled and started to doubt myself a little.  It’s so funny the pressures you feel as a parent and how lonely and judgemental parenthood can be.  It definitely was not what I expected.  

I have no pressure to earn a set dollar value from my doTerra business so it really is a nice feeling knowing I can do whatever I want with it. I can use it as a way to meet or attract like minded people, I can even use it as a way to get involved with community events and I can also use it as a way to get social and interact with adults again:). Sounds ridiculous and you shouldn’t need an “excuse” to do these things but this was the push I needed to do all this and more.  Thank you doTerra and the people that come with this amazing business for waking up my passion again!  (If you are interested in joining my team or becoming a builder with doTerra please CONTACT ME). 

I have started to watch information videos and participate in webinars and I cannot believe what I am learning. I am so thankful for today’s technology and how I can use it to learn in my pj’s (or more like my new Paper Label Nicola playsuit), from my bed, with all my kids.  I am having fun and getting inspired all at the same time.  Through this learning I have discovered a little bit about who I want to be when I grow up.

So here is the short list,  when I grow up I wanna be

  • Curious
  • Inspired
  • Brave enough to take risks
  • Strong
  • Interesting
  • Motivated

I hope I am on the right path. What do you want to be?  Are you living your dreams or working towards them?  What stops you or even better what encourages you?

I am living my dreams and more, my tribe encourages me more than they will every know (my family, friends, Fraser, the kids and my readers).   What used to stop me was my own self doubt and negative talk but once I started to believe all the positive and inspiring comments I was getting from my tribe I started to feel more capable of exploring and taking risks. 

Hope this inspires you to take risks and do something for yourself like I did!  With September fast approaching and my calendar filling up I really just wanted to let everyone know why and what I was doing with this doTerra business and also introduce myself.  I will continue to post about the oils and how they can help you in everyday life but if you have any questions or would like a sample of something please please please reach out to me or come by one of my upcoming events:

September 8th I will be participating in Girls Night Out at Emma Lea Farms, come by and try out our Deep Blue Rub to help with any sore or tired muscles before or after Fitness with PJ The Studio’s amazing workout!  Plus I will have a few sprays to cool you down and even some ice cold water for you to try with some of our citrus oils to infuse it. Click her for more information on the event. 

September 9th You can find me at The Ladner Summer Night Market at the Odd Fellows Hall.  Come by and smell some of our oils, enter to win a prize or just come by to chat!

Stay Tuned for more Events later in September.