Thursday, 31 January 2013

February Pledge - To Run....Daily!!!

Hey there, Hi there, Ho there! Well, I'm finally starting to feel the affects of old man energy and creativity is at an all-time low, I'm sluggish and grumpy and constantly hungry.  I am forcing myself to finish projects and when I work this way,  I don't enjoy them as much. So it's time for a change. Time for a challenge. A personal challenge.

I have mentioned before (in this post) that my husband and I have both lost a lot of weight. And even though he goes to Taekwando and Crossfit faithfully, I have not raised an exercise finger through this whole journey. Now, that being said, I am a very busy Mom of five that runs around with laundry, groceries and babies all day...but its not the get your heart-rate up, sweaty(well, sometimes) kind of exercise. 

Because it is Winter and I reside in Nova Scotia, daily outdoor exercise is just not practical.  I also have a busy one year old at home with me through the day. We have a family membership to the YMCA, which we use, but baby-minding is only available on certain days. So I need something that I can do on a daily basis, without any help or excuses. I decided to start with running, at home, on my treadmill.

Years ago, when I was between pregnancies, I asked my husband for a treadmill to burn off the extra baby-weight. So being the wonderful husband that he is, (are you reading this Rob?!) I received a beautiful, heavy-duty treadmill and used it almost daily.

Our previous house workout area.

Then we moved, and moved again, and moved again, and my poor machine has now landed here....

Our current house workout area.....needs some work....

One of my new years' resolutions for 2013 was to be more active, which I have been...just not on a consistent basis. But I am here to renew my pledge and stick to it! I am going to rescue my treadmill from the Lego jungle and RUN! EXERCISE! GET MY BLOOD PUMPING! Save myself from this winter funk and in turn, benefit everything else in my life. Because when you feel good it reflects on your energy, attitude and outlook.  I feel unstoppable when my body and mind are focused. And we all  know that "When Mommy's Happy, Everyone's Happy."

Now, I'm not a big-time runner, (ha!, not even close!) I will run my first day until I can no longer breathe...I'm guessing around the 7 minute mark. But everyone has to start somewhere, right? That's why tracking your progress is so important! You can see your improvements on paper and not even to mention, the scale!

For the month of February, I pledge to run daily and track my progress right here for everyone to see.

Now, I guess today's challenge is to clean the toyroom and carve out an inspirational space to exercise. Making a change, no matter how small, is empowering.  I can't wait to get started!

Have any of you made small changes that have had major impact? Did it start with a resolution? Are you following through? Any stay-at-home Mom's struggling with fitting exercise into their busy days?


Monday, 28 January 2013

Dirty Little Secrets ..... Magazines

Good Monday Morning! Hope you had a great weekend! We finished up a couple projects around the house. It is still pretty cold here in Cape Breton, so we didn't venture very far from home. That's okay, lot's to do inside this time of you will see from the pics that follow.

Pssst! ..... I have a secret ..... a dirty, little secret .....

I, Rebecca, am a magazine hoarder. There, I said it. I admit I have a problem. Isn't that the first step? Now I know that this may not appear on the next episode of Hoarding on TLC, but it has always been a problem for me, and I would like to take the necessary steps to correct it once and for all. 

In this new home we have smaller rooms than our previous home, so editing the clutter contents to make it work has been an ongoing process. We are still getting settled and trying to figure things out, but emptying boxes (yes, we are still unpacking!) and finding the right place for your favorite things is very gratifying. 

So, onto the project!

I started with collecting all the magazines throughout the house. The basket in the living room, the stack on my bedside and yes, even the one potty-side...come on! I know you have one too!

As soon as I started, I knew it was going to be a tough process...parting with my I decided not to open the covers.....kind of like how i like to look away while i'm getting a shot.....easier to look away and not get too involved with the details, quick and easy like a band-aid. So, I quickly sorted piles according to title.

After the first box was empty, I used it as the TOSS box. It certainly got easier as I went along. 

I then went back and tossed entire titles of mags that I haven't looked at in ages. And after owning and renovating five homes over the years, I have collected too many dated Kitchen and Bath I decided to set a date of 2010 as the cut-off, anything previous went in the TOSS pile. This made it a lot easier to make quick decisions. Before long, I had made a huge dent in this mess.

Then came the hard part. My favs. I have a couple right now, and over the years that has changed. But I have always been a Better Homes & Gardens girl. It covers everything I am interested in: home, garden, family, food, decor. Not one, single page goes unturned. Also, there is Style at, love, loooove! Over the years, I have had lots of subscriptions and have ended a few as my tastes have changed. I find that has cut down on my stash immensely. So that is a biggie, stop your clutter at the door!  So for these titles,  I stayed true to my year rule and tossed everything before hard....One mag that I have fallen out of love with is Architectural Digest, so I just kept the current year and purged the rest. 

I found these cute little magazine holders at the dollar store...couldn't resist them for the price! 

Magazine Holders - 2 for $1.25
This bookshelf was just hanging around, poor guy hasn't found a home yet, so I adjusted it to house my mags for now. Will most likely change, but for now, it gets stuff out of boxes and off the floor.

So I followed a few rules and bent a few others, in my opinion there are always exceptions. It was a tough job,  but I am so happy with the results. Gaining access to them is a pleasure, and having them organized in a confined space will help me toss more freely in the future. As for these discarded bunch, I am relieved to bid thee farewell.

Fare thee well!!!

Don't forget to check your local recycling facilities for proper disposal. I have donated my magazines to our local hospital for waiting areas as well as my little guys school, for cut and paste projects.

Are you cleaning out the clutter this new year? I have lots of projects on the go...hoping to finish a few more in the coming weeks. Keep up the good work!


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Story of our First Home

Hi everyone! I'm on a little bit of a nostalgic note today as I write this post.  My sister, her husband and four children spent this past weekend here with us. Yup, 13 people under one roof! It may sound chaotic to some, but we are already planning another visit...sooooo much fun! Anyway, they are considering moving from their starter home where they have raised their children, renovated to fit their lifestyle and filled with oodles of memories along the way. I was swiftly reminded of the heartache we suffered when we left our starter home. So that is what I am going to share with you, The Story of our First Home. 

We made the decision ten years ago to move from the comfort zone of our home town. We grew up in a small farming town (population 900) in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. My husband and I went to the same schools, shops and events in our little town, but as soon as diplomas were awarded we bolted to pursue bigger dreams.
After university, my husband (fiance at the time) was posted for his Residency in the small city of Sydney, Nova Scotia. We were excited about this next stage in our lives, but never thought that it would take us 6 hours away from our families. It's funny how at 18 you just want out of that little town and then with a few years of real life under your belt, you want back in.
Within those first couple of years, we made the move to Sydney, got married and had our first little boy. Time flew by and soon Residency had come to an end and we were faced with yet another decision...stay or move? Having a child changed who we were when we first moved to Sydney. Our focus was now on our little boy's future and choices were based on our family's needs rather than our own individual needs. I soon became pregnant with our second child and realized the rental bungalow was just not big enough for a soon-to-be family of four. Browsing the local Classifieds one Saturday morning, we found the perfect starter home - a total fixer-upper in a higher-end neighbourhood on a nice corner lot at a great price. We made our decision to stay, and signed on the dotted line.

This picture was taken on our first viewing in February 2004.
Things moved quickly from that day on. My husband signed a contract with a wonderful Clinic, I stayed at home and became a full-time Mom and we started to renovate our new home. We tackled a lot of painting projects and bought a few new pieces of furniture. For the first year, we just wanted to live in the house and get a feel for how we wanted to use each space. But before long we were tearing down walls, renovating bathrooms and landscaping like nobody's business!

My guy starting the demo on our front entrance.
DIY projects became weekend obsessions. My husband took a few of the Home Depot 'how-to' workshops and along with that, our tool cabinet and confidence grew. As our house started to become our home, it was soon time to welcome baby number three.

I know that most women go through the "nesting stage" of their pregnancies to some extent, however, I go a little over-the-edge.  I was a little obsessed about all the unfinished projects in house. And fully aware that they would not get finished any time soon due to the pending arrival of our new baby, plus his two VERY BUSY older brothers. Instead of fighting disagreeing with a hormonal pregnant woman, we decided to hire a contractor to come in and finish up all the odds and ends.

Well, those "odds and ends" turned into a full-blown reno by the time baby arrived. I was actually admitted to hospital while our carpet was being installed in the basement! When baby was about four months, we decided to go for the rest and had a new kitchen installed, hardwoods laid throughout and a new deck built off the kitchen. It was finally what we had envisioned for our family home...and then I became pregnant with baby number four.

Little Oliver was always in the middle of it all!
A lot happened after we finished our renovation. My husband was working all the time, I was home with 3 kids and another on the way, and soon I started to feel the distance between me and my family. I am the second youngest of seven girls, and they all live with their families in the same town that we bolted from years ago. We wanted our kids to grow up surrounded by family and truly knowing the people who meant the most. Our parents were getting older and seeing them 3-4 times a year was just not enough for us anymore. Even though we loved Sydney, we loved our family more. We started looking at houses closer to our hometown, my husband started looking for work and within a couple of months we were listing our wonderful little home.

It was one of the hardest decisions that we ever had to make. But as I said before, we had to make decisions based on our family's needs. We went through all the chaos of listing a house, packing a house and prep for moving across the province, just before we welcomed  baby number four. We closed the house when he turned one month and began our journey to a new life in our old hometown.

Moving Day! June 2008
So there you have it, a little peek into our lives and our first house. As I'm looking through photos I am thinking that this could turn into another chapter as I'm sure you can tell, it doesn't end here. Have any of you gone through the heartache of selling your starter/family home? Or are some of you still living in your first home? It's an interesting topic, as there are so many reasons for moving, some good, some bad. But there is something special about that first place you call your own.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Taking the Plunge - Start-up Inventory

I've finally taken the financial plunge into the entrepreneurial pool. I have posted here about the ups and downs with self-doubt and lack of confidence, but the one thing you need when running your own business, is confidence. Selling yourself and your product takes a strong person and to be doubtful about the saleability of your product, well, you might as well just stay home. But a few nights ago, I went out to gather some supplies around town when I happened upon a deal that was almost too good to be true. I text my husband, asking his advice, and as always he said, "Go for it!" When he opened the door to his beaming wife, he knew that I had finally taken his advice. Tonight I visited the same spot and cleaned off their shelves. Piles of start-up inventory now lives in a room that was suppose to become the library...but that (along with a list of other things) will have to wait. 
I must say that I am beyond giddy with excitement, anticipation and nervousness. But it gets me revved-up in the morning! So revved-up in fact, that I am jumping out of bed at 5am so that I can get a couple hours of work in before the kids wake up. That is happy!
Things are going slowly but surely and I will have a boatload of spectacular wreaths on the market for the Spring season. Check out my Shop button for a gallery of goodies (coming soon!) I am also in the process of adding a shopping cart right there so you can browse and buy all at the same place. Hope to see you there! 

Has anyone else recently taken the plunge into a new business? Or have you followed through with another big resolution that you are super giddy about? Maybe you are wishing you could start something but you feel you're just not ready...I am here to tell you, if I can do it, so can you!


Monday, 14 January 2013

Lego Storage - Part 1 - Retrofitting Cabinets

Our children are OBSESSED with Lego. That is all that they think about, talk about and I'm sure, dream about. My oldest child (also known as my husband) has a separate, but just as extensive, collection. He keeps it hoarded in his office on the top shelves out of harm's way...did I mention that he is 37!!!

Needless to say, we need an intervention organization plan. Each system needs to be different as they will be used differently. Mr. has more of a Lego "collection" where the kid's Lego is played with on a daily basis. Currently, this is what we are looking at for a starting point (excluding the Mr.'s, as I mentioned, it's hiding upstairs.)

The cardboard boxes and the table beside me are full as well...gah!
Our kids range in age from 9 to 1 years old.  Our youngest, Audrey, has started playing down in the basement toyroom now, so her big brothers' mess just isn't safe. We are planning a complete remodel down here, so right now we just want to get stuff off the floor and somewhat organized.

We are always trying to use what we already have (which saves moola for the bigger reno) so we salvaged these two wardrobes that were left behind by the previous owners of our new house.

A few months ago we moved them from the storage room to this little nook in the toyroom area which will eventually be the dedicated Lego space. Today, we are finally getting around to retrofitting them with some fixed MDF shelving to properly house all of this stuff!

We chose fixed shelves vs adjustable simply because we had most of the supplies already on hand. Plus, we have multiple containers from past Lego projects that we wanted to re-use, so the sizes were already determined.

First, we got all hands on deck (well, except for me because I am lazy the photographer) and picked up all the Lego from the floor and cleared out the cabinets.

And this is what we were left with....

Shall I say it again? Gah!
Then the boys removed all the original hardware in the closets.

We measured the height of the cabinet and then divided it up according to the sizes of the containers that would fit on each shelf.

We cut 3 support boards for each shelf, the back and two sides. 1x3 pine was our wood of choice as it was really inexpensive and we knew it would be getting a few coats of glossy white paint.

We then leveled, glued and nailed those boards into place.

And we ended up with this...

Once we got moving along with the retro-fit, we stumbled upon a few ideas to make room for their Bionicles (which are the Lego 'robot' looking guys.) The boys really don't like to play with these as much if they are not sorted and assembled. So a smaller shelf was made in the second cabinet to keep these guys separate and hopefully more organized.

I'm not the type that needs each shelf to be the same height as the others for uniformity, I just need them to properly fit what's going there. So when the bottom shelf of the right-hand cabinet ended up being an odd height, no worries...we will make something fit in there! Plus, there are doors on these babies for a reason!

We used 5/8" thick MDF shelving from Home Depot. They pre-cut all the boards to size for us - free of charge. We measured our largest container and decided on 16" wide shelves. Our cabinets are 21" deep, so the shelves could have been deeper, but I find things get lost in the back with extra deep shelves.  Plus, I have an idea for a door project that will need those extra few inches for clearance. More on that later...

So there you have it folks! Two retrofitted wardrobe cabinets, ready for some primer, paint and a few new pieces of hardware. We'll keep working on these and be back with an update and Part 2-Sorting and Organizing Lego.

Does anyone else have Lego obsessed little ones (or bigger ones, as in my case)? Or issues with keeping it all organized and off the floor? How do you keep it all together? Let me know!

Friday, 11 January 2013

"Pick the best, Purge the rest!"

One of my favorite blogs is posing the challenge of ridding yourself of 50 items. It doesn't matter if you choose a junk drawer, linen closet or garage, just 50 items. I started wandering through my house chanting, "fifty, fifty, fifty," looking for the perfect purge project to start off my new year. Well, let's be honest, I found many, many purge projects that could have blasted 50 out of the water! But I did stumble upon this one that I decided would perfectly fit the bill.

My ever-growing gift wrap collection.

After studying merchandising and working many of my days in a retail environment, I have accumulated a tonne of "merchandise".  I once managed a shop in downtown Halifax called The Paper Garden (Vancouver and Calgary shops called Watermark) which sold beautiful stationary, journals, notes, high-end pens and a variety of gift items. One of my favourite areas of the store was the gift wrap section where exquisite papers, ribbons and bags billowed from every corner. Needless to say, I acquired quite a collection and over the years it has continued to grow.

I love receiving giving gifts tied with pretty bows, but with 5 children, the number of gifts coming into my house has multiplied. My children go to at least half a dozen birthday parties a month and I still cannot make a dent in my stash. So now I must do the dirty deed of purging some of the less loved items. My Nana would be so upset with me right now!  She was one of those folks who would take FOREVER to unwrap her gifts so that she could save the paper and bows. She was an amazing lady, but her frugal ways existed long before the dollar store entered Canada and gift wrap became widely available, cheap and totally disposable.

So how does one tackle such a job?

Divide and conquer.

First, I emptied the boxes, divided the contents into piles of Tissue, Paper, Bags and Boxes. Then sub-divided those into occasions, such as birthday-kids, birthday-adult, baby, wedding, Christmas, and general. I then got rid of what wasn't in great condition or ugly no longer my style. Picked my favs from each pile and then did a second round. At this point I became very serious about how many items I actually needed. Being of a certain age, many of my friends are not having babies or getting married as often as in the past. So do I really need 20 baby-themed giftbags? No. So I picked a couple of the best and purged the rest...hey, that could another chant, 'pick the best and purge the rest!'


This was a very hard process for me as I have always been attached to "things", useful things.  I am becoming to realized as I force myself to do more of these clean-out projects, that most of these feelings come from guilt. That I have to finally admit that I made a mistake in purchasing too much stuff to begin with and in turn, have wasted money by now throwing it away. But I have also learned (being the salesperson that I am) that someone's junk is someone else's treasure. I have recovered money and pride from alot of my "mistakes" by reselling or donating through yardsales or Kijiji. Sometimes, just knowing that someone else can use it makes the process a lot easier.

So now, this is what I got rid of...

For the purpose of the fore-mentioned purge challenge, count 'em.
small bags-11
large bags-32
giant bag-1

Total - 61 items!!!

I also had 100+ pieces of flat wrap/ends of rolls in that pile off to the side...SCORE!

And this is what I am left with....

So much more manageable and therefore more useful!

I also relocated the tissue and boxes into their own containers for ease of use. 

Gift Boxes

Wrapping Tissue


I am now working on a wrapping center to keep things more organized. Having a home for everything will help keep the contents under I just need to address my slight addiction to ribbon! 

What about you? Does anyone out there have a wrapping center, an under-bed storage container, or a box/bag thrown in the closet? Do you have a problem purging items that are still considered "useful"? Or maybe you are like me, and just have an entire room shoved full of stuff...I call it my craft room, my husband calls it something totally different.


Thursday, 10 January 2013

It will get done, it always does

Oh how I love digging those seasonal crates out of my basement,...but oh, how i hate putting them all away.  I will admit that I am somewhat of an organizing fanatic, but after you have finished buying the perfect gifts, baking the most delectable cookies, sending the most spectacular Christmas cards and hosting the world's most demanding in-laws all while throwing the season's most-talked-about party! are S-P-E-N-T! I have no desire to take it down, purge, sort, or pack it away. I just want to leave my lop-sided, half decorated, toddler-wrangled tree where it is, fully lit while I sit in my lazy boy with a large glass of Merlot.
We certainly put ourselves under a lot of stress this time of year, and that is why January is a planned uneventful month at our house. It gives me peace of mind to think that you are all feeling the same way. As we down our second pot of coffee, praying that no one rings the doorbell because showering required too much energy this morning. Boxing Day shopping has run its course, kids are back at school, and resolutions have long been broken. We spend our evenings with our feet up, snacks in hand, hoping that the forecast is wrong and there is no snow to shovel in the morning. 

I need a well-deserved rest, as do most of us Moms/bloggers/crafters after such a busy season. No longer will I feel guilty that it is mid-January and my grapevine reindeer are belly-up in the snowbank.

It will get done, it always does, but for the remainder of the week, I am going to put my feet up, let my mind and body rest and plan the next wonderful holiday season.


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Deli Wraps Platter

My youngest boy, Elliot, is testing for his yellow belt in Taekwando.  He's only four years old but he is a mighty little thing. Awhile back when his older brothers were testing, the parents were asked to donate some yummies for the buffet table to congratulate the participants and parents. So I whipped up a cheese and cracker tray(aka High Kicking Cheese Platter) shown here.

Today, I decided to make something sightly different but still "banquet table-esque." Easy to handle, fits on a flimsy paper plate napkin, kid and adult friendly were all requirements that came to mind. I started thinking sandwiches, but I'm not the type that can send a plate of egg salad on crust-less white bread ...(not with my name on it anyway!) So I decided to jazz it up a bit, and went with a wrap platter.

I am doing this post after the fact, so I didn't take tutorial pictures at the time. Sorry! But I'll list what was used for ingredients and being the smarties that you are, I'm sure you can figure it out.

At the grocer there is a variety of choices in the bakery. But something with a variety of texture and colour is more appealing when dealing with food. So I chose the 10" tortillas in whole wheat, roasted red pepper and spinach.

For the meat, a variety of roast beef, ham and turkey.

For the cheese, a variety of havarti, cheddar and swiss.

I used a mixture of mayo and grainy mustard and for the turkey wraps used a cream cheese and salsa mixture.

Added a few leaves of romaine and rolled them up. I sliced them in half for easy handling. Although they could have used the extra security, I decided against adding toothpicks as I knew there would be a lot of little ones grabbing at them. We don't need any choking incidents!

For the making of the platter, I placed the wraps around the edge of an oval platter, cut-side out so that people could see what was inside. Then added a few more pops of colour with olives, red and yellow peppers (grape tomatoes and gerkins work great as well!) 

Quick, easy and tasty to boot!

AND...guess who passed his test?!!!


Monday, 7 January 2013

Positive Thinking and Heaps of Inventory

Hello, hello, hello!  Recently, things have been changing very quickly in my life. Everything from my children growing up, to my business building momentum and my least favorite, little lines appearing as I push closer to 40 (Yikes!) As I bolt forward, I am realizing more and more that positive thinking means everything. 
As I started losing weight in January 2012, friends and family would ask what diet I was following. My stock reply was that I wasn't 'dieting',  just eating better quality food, less of it and moving more. No secret there. But as time went on I found that there was something more.  Understanding that each time I consumed food, it had calories, fat, nutrients, etc. Being conscious of that was the key for me. Knowledge is power, and so I started studying my food labels and reading up on replacements for high-calorie components in my food plan. Starting to view food as fuel became the turning point in how I consumed calories and burned calories. When I was hungry and discovered my hand slipping into a cracker box, I would pause and think 'how many calories do I have in my hand?' When you take that moment to look at the side of the box and calculate that 4 of those little crackers have 140cals (and your big mitt has at least triple that!) you will begin to understand why you became overweight. Being conscious in those little moments throughout the day made a difference, a big difference, a 53lbs loss difference.
I find myself constantly fighting with negativity. That I'm not good enough,  not talented enough or smart enough to succeed. That I am being selfish, starting this business when I have responsibilities to my husband, house and kids. Even days when I am full of energy and ready to tackle the world, my mind is full of self-doubt and stress. Unhealthy I know, but that's my reality.  I am one who is used to going full speed ahead until I crash. But as I get older, the harder it gets to live this way. That is why I am taking this year to motivate myself and practice 'conscious' positive thinking. If I can do it with my eating, why shouldn't I apply it to the rest of my life? Training myself to believe and take risks without fear of failure. Believing that making myself a stronger, more confident, more successful woman, will benefit my husband, home and children, not take anything away from them.
I have already taken a few steps this past weekend towards my new business. I have started expanding my website to include a gallery of my wreaths. And most significantly, have taken a financial leap by investing in a heap load of inventory. Ask my husband, this was not an easy 'leap' for me. I nearly drove him crazy! He told me that I needed to make these decisions on my own, but he knew I could succeed at whatever I set my mind to. After a few minutes of pouting and few stomps of my feet, I headed off into the sunset (my Visa in hand) and invested in my future. Yeah me!

Friday, 4 January 2013

"Where is my Furniture?"

Good Morning all! I hope everyone is up and raring to go! I personally was up late last night working on my new website, and then up early to start on my blog. So I am in desperate need of extra caffeine this morning! As I sit in my living room club chair, snuggled up in a blanket writing this post, I am reminded of a few things.

1.  I am so tired! I am still in a deep fog from the Christmas rush. We traveled for a week between Christmas and New Years' with blow-up beds and a young family of 7 looking for any relative along our journey to take us in. It was a great time, surrounded by friends and family, but exhaustion doesn't even touch the way we feel.
2. Where is my furniture? I don't know if any of you have been hit with the bug...the Kijiji bug (Craigslist for you outside of Canada.) I had a major clean-out when we first moved into our new house a few months ago. Stuff from previous houses that just didn't work in our new spot, kids toys that they no longer played with, clothes, books, games.  I happily said goodbye to paintings, furniture and tons of kitchen stuff.  Oh my, to say I was an addicted salesman is an understatement. I loved my phone buzzing at 2am with questions about a queen-sized bed I was selling, people dropping by to pick up the 'new-to-them' items, and of course the spare change that was left in my wallet for my hard work.  But one weekend while my husband was away, I convinced myself that my living room was just not right and to get rid of the furniture to make way for something new. I'm kind of an act now, think later type person. So now, here I sit, months later in an empty room. Two club chairs, an old sideboard(in need of a redo) and a television.  
3. Why now? We live about 7 hours away from our hometown and family. Rarely does anyone travel this way, so it is usually us who packs up every few months and goes visiting. Luckily we have a true Canadian family of hockey players that will travel to the ends of the earth to play. So next week, in the midst of all this craziness and disarray, my sister has asked if her family of six can stay with our family of seven for a long weekend hockey tournament! This rare opportunity doesn't come along that often, so I am trying to work towards the answer, "of course you can stay with us!" Many things come to mind when one is expecting company, but for me it is EVERYTHING! I have lists, upon lists of projects and repairs, cleaning and cooking...utter chaos. But anything for family, right?

Yesterday, I started my post talking about New Years resolutions and took a slight detour to the health and fitness side of things. Today, I wanted to refocus and go back to talk about resolutions that deal with personal goals and achievements. As mentioned above, in the "Where is my Furniture?" segment, I mentioned how much I loved my Kijiji experience. I have always loved retail. Have studied it and worked it. I have always wanted to have a small business, but with 5 small children, time is an issue. But I finally decided that my passions were worth pursuing. So, while traveling over the Holidays, I picked up this book "$100 Start-Up" by Chris Guillebeau.

It was recommended by Leo Babauta from whom I follow faithfully(and savour every word!) Anyway,  I read this book cover to cover in less than a day. My mind never shut down for a minute after closing the cover! Brainstorming ideas, merchandise and challenges. As soon as we walked through the door from vacation, I fired up my laptop and started searching for an inexpensive website to start my business. I figure if I can do the majority of stuff online rather than a storefront (to start), I could manage my home life a lot better.

I am excited and scared all at the same time. But I know I am full of determination and passion. If anyone has any insight on starting an online business, I would appreciate advice and/or experiences.
Have a great one!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Healthy Tweaks for 2013

Hi Everyone! I hope everyone is holding true to their New Year's Resolutions. The first few days are always the hardest aren't they? I am so excited to say that I have had an awesome start to the new year! My husband and I each lost 50+ last year when we changed to a clean eating platform for our family. So this year we are adding a few more tweaks to our healthy lifestyle. 

1. Fun/natural/outdoor activities with the kids - snowshoeing, skiing, skating...we are in Canada nonetheless!
2. Toning up with exercise and weights - hitting the gym. Hubby wants to try the new Cross Fit craze. I'm going to start with a morning run and then add in a couple of classes/week at my local YMCA. We bought a family membership last year and have never used it!
3. Incorporating new/flavourful dishes into our meal-plan. Need to mix it up to keep it interesting!

It sounds crazy to say that I lost 53lbs without any formalized exercise, but it's true. And I know, I know that I would have gotten to my goals a lot sooner had I burned more calories in the gym. But for me, this was a lifestyle change, not a crash diet. I needed to slowly cut out things that were bad, add things that were good, make adjustments as I went along. This is a forever thing, right? So this year, getting my heart pumping is a big one on my list. I feel great without the extra weight, but I have about 20lbs to go, and I know that I would feel unstoppable with a good 30-60mins of sweating it up each day. I have five small children, so to say that I was inactive is definitely an understatement. But it's not the kind of exercise that I need to push my goals. 
So here's to a healthy 2013!

...........I really don't know how this post happened. I signed on to talk about my new website/shop that I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning dreaming up.  It was a resolution to get my business up and running in the new year, so I am super pumped that it is finally happening! But I guess that is another post for another day. 

Note to self: Don't start composing your morning post without consuming coffee first.