Monday, October 14, 2013

Thanksgiving At Matheson Island - A B&W Project

You could say I am a B&W hater. Something that always bugs me is when people switch their photos to monochrome and call it professional. While monochrome can save some images with terrible white balance, it isn't a single defining thing to make a picture great. 

I rarely use black and white, so this weekend I attemped to take some photos with monochrome in mind. It was a fun challenge, and I am happy with the result. B&W is growing on me, but I still love my color better. I am a colorful person. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

THM Thanksgiving

Starting a diet right before Thanksgiving might seem like a bad idea. And you are right, it is a terrible idea.

Thankfully, this is not another fad diet. It is a lifestyle change that doesn't involve counting points, tracking calories, weight or measuring food (other than for recipes of course). This is a way of eating I want to make permanent.

That being said, when Eric and I were talking about changing to this lifestyle we agreed on two exceptions, when we go to people's houses and holidays/birthdays. In our own home, we will follow the THM lifestyle because we can control what we make and buy. We don't want to impose our diet (noun) on other people. We may choose to have a smaller serving of carbs and a larger serving of veggies in the meal permits, but we are not going to refuse to eat. We don't want to turn down hospitality.

And for holidays we are not going to pass on the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. We are not going to pass on the cookies at Christmas, or some chocolate during Easter. Moderation is the key, and if we have these things occasionally it is not going to be a set back. In fact, it may just make it easier to find success. Nothing is harder when trying to diet (verb) and people all around you are indulging in delicious food and you can't.

I also forgot the mention in my first post is that the ladies that wrote the book are Christian stay at home mom's. I love the fact that God was involved in the writing of this book. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama: Day One

Flashback to several months ago. I was on my way to do a Steeped Tea party in Okno, rather upset about the fact that I feel like I have tried every diet in the book and nothing has ever given me permanent results. I prayed to God for an answer, some direction, some hope.

At my tea party I was telling the hostess about how I wanted to learn to eat in a more healthy and natural way. She asked me if I have ever read Trim Healthy Mama. I said no, and her and her guests were shocked! Everyone they know has read it. One of the ladies had a few books for sale for $40, so I bought it off her and picked it up a few weeks later .

It took me a few weeks and another tea party later to finally read the book. I loved it. Immediately ordered tonnes of the specialty ingredients and starting making recipes from the book. Most of them were delcicous. I ate from the plan for 2-3 weeks pretty strictly. I lost 6 lbs and Eric lost 7 or 8, (it kills me cause he didn't stick to the plan as closely as I did).

Enter summer vacations and cooking at camp for a week, and I was completely off track. I struggled to get back on for weeks, always saying I would start Monday, and by midday I was stuffing my face with candy or having a hardcore chocolate craving.

This past Tuesday I weighed myself to find, not to my surprise that I had gained all my weight back, and then some. It was time to try again.

Yesterday completed a whole day, I ate food I enjoyed, I didn't crave anything and I wasn't hungry.

This is what I had yesterday:

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with cheese, 2 slices chicken bacon and a glass of chocolate almond milk.
Lunch: Asian Salad with Sweet Chilli Thai chicken
Snack - Some cheese and a few almonds
Supper - Pizza on Joseph's Lavash Bread (Very low carb flatbread that I bough online at )
Dessert: Secret Agent Brownies with Icing. I made the brownies with Chana dahl beans.

On the menu today:

Breakfast: Sweet Cinnamon Quinoa, 2 slices chicken bacon and 1/2 Banana
Lunch: Tomato soup with 4 slices Little Big Bread (it's sprouted bread, I get it from Costco for 5.99 for 2 loaves. It is the best bread I have ever had, I would eat it even if I wasn't on plan)
Supper: Ground beef tacos with Josephs low carb Tortilla's (also from
Dessert - Brownies from last night. They are even better the next day.

The basis of the plan is not eating fats and carbs at the same time, and you have protein with every meal. The plan is divided between two main types of meals, S - Satisfying and E- Energizing. They focus on only having one fuel source at a time. Fat being one fuel source, carbs being the other.

S meals are your fat based meals, they have generous amounts of healthy fats - butter, olive oil, coconut oil, red meats, nuts, etc. They must not contain more that 15 grams of carbs.

E meals are the carb bases meals, but they are supposed to be good carbs. Ones that have a low glycemic index which do not spike your blood sugar. You are still supposed to try to keep the carbs under 45 grams for these meals, and fat no more that 5 grams (1 teaspoon)

There is also Fuel pull meals, which have protein but less than 5 grams of fat and 15 grams of carbs. These meals help to speed up weight loss.

There are Crossover meals as well, meals that have over 5 grams of fat and over 15 grams of carbs, these are meals that will help maintain weight. If you are trying to loose weight, you should have very little crossovers.

Basically, you switch between S and E meals, with at least 3 hours in between types of meals. You can have 3 S meals in a row or whatever you want, but you always are supposed to wait 3 hours between types of meals. Fuel pull meals and snack you can have at any time, because they don't have any major fuel source.  Yesterday, all I ate was S meals because it was easier not to switch. Today breakfast and lunch are E's (the soup is a fuel pull, but with the bread added in it is an E) and supper/dessert is an S.

I find it much easier to make and enjoy S meals. I struggled to find tasty and enjoyable E meals, so I end up eating more S' than E's. Which is ok, they say to have at least 2-3 E meals a week.

This has turned into a very long post, and it is time for me to make lunch! One reason I wanted to start blogging again was so I could share my everyday struggles with this. I am hoping it will help me stick to it in some way or another.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

First Day Of Daycare

Tallet went to daycare for the first time today! I want him to get some socialization, and it also gives me a chance to get some stuff done at home. I will probably take him once every two weeks, possibly once a week. We will see how things go. 

His first day went really well as far as I know. He didn't cry when I dropped him off, and he was happily playing outside when I came to pick him up! The girls said he was super happy all day, napped well and barely cried. 

I wanted to get a bunch of my house cleaned, make and can pasta sauce and make some bibs. I got half my house cleaned and pasta sauce canned, but that's it. Honestly it feels like I got nothing done even though I was worked all day. Sometimes it is depressing to know that the housework is never ending. I cleaned the kitchen all morning and afternoon, and now due to supper and backing bean brownies, it is filthy again and I am wiped. I guess I also did some laundry, sorted and washed Tallet's baby toys and packed them away, and swept the floor. And I showered. Always nice to get a shower in now and then. ;)  

So even though I didn't get as much done as I would like, it was nice to be able to focus on those things. When I am cooking/cleaning/crafting when Tallet is home, I always feel guilty for not spending all that time with him. This way he gets attention all day and I get stuff done. 

Back In The Saddle

I did say I wanted to start blogging again, so I figured I should start with short update!

I am officially jobless. My mat leave is up and I am not going back to work. It is a dream come true to be able to stay home with Tallet. Although that makes our income the lowest it has been since we were in college, and our bills the highest. It is quite hard to adjust your lifestyle from what you are used to. 

I definitely feel the pressure to contribute, so in my spare time I have been doing photography and sewing. It makes me feel very overwhelmed at times. I can't be a mother, work/craft/edit pics and have a clean house and be a good housewife. So I usually have to choose between the latter two. I make stuff and have a messy house. I clean the house and nothing gets made. I can't have both. 

Tallet is going to daycare for the very first time tomorrow! He will get some much needed socialization, and I will get some much needed time at home to catch up. I plan on doing some crafting, cleaning and making pasta sauce. 

I am thinking I will take him once every two weeks. I do have family that could take him for the day, but I really think it will be good for him to be around other kids a bit more. He loves other kids! 

That's it for now, I would like to post more in depth about my work projects next! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Linen & Lace Giveaway!

As you may or may not know, I have started a photography business with my wonderful sis-in-law Alyssa! We are hosting our very first giveaway, so please enter and share it with your friends!!

We are giving away our Linen package which includes 25 high resolution images on a disc and a 1 hour session, for up to 8 people. This is worth $125 plus tax. Your session must be booked and held by October 31st, 2013. You must be located in the Winnipeg or Interlake Area, travel fee may apply. If you would like to upgrade to another package, you may pay the difference.

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter below! Giveaway ends September 14th @ 12 AM Eastern Time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


This poor abandoned blog! I think it's time to revive it a little bit, but not today. For now here is a picture of the cutest kid on earth.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

First 5K Run! Color Me Rad

This morning Eric and I and his siblings/inlaws ran in the Color Me Rad 5K!

It was a great time. We got there an hour after our wave started because traffic was bad, but it didn't really matter when you ran. Nobody checked or anything! 

I can't wait for next year!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Fleece DIaper Cover

This is a quick and easy project! I have now made Tallet 8 of these covers, 4 of each Medium and Large. They are fleece diaper covers for my fitted diapers for nighttime. They are super breathable but still water resistant.

I also have some available in my etsy shop!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Happy Canada Day!

I have backed out of doing Partylite for the most part, but this sale was too good not to offer people!

Shop online at . Shipping to anywhere in Canada. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

8 Months!

Well I am officially a terrible blogger! Being a busy mom will do that to you! Most of my freetime (AKA naptime) is spend doing chores, cooking and sewing diapers! 

Our boy is now 8 months old. We have been talking regularly about how "grown up" he seems now. Baby doesn't seem like the right word to describe him anymore, he is a little boy!

He started crawling a few weeks ago! And by crawling I mean doing the worm, but he gets where he needs to go. He is *almost* able to crawl on all fours. Regardless of crawl method, he gets around. He now leaves the fun and safety of his playmat to come join me in the kitchen, play with the dog bowls and eat morsels of food he scavenges. I try to keep my floors a lot cleaner now!

He is also starting to mimic us with sounds. So far no words, but he enjoys when we emit the same yell he does. 

We took him camping a few weekends ago, and he loves it! He really seems to love being outside a lot! 

Monday, April 29, 2013

6 Months!

This post is slightly late, but we have been busy!

Time really does fly when you have kids. It is hard to believe that in 4 months I am scheduled to go back to work. I am trying to figure out some options now so I don't have to go back full time. I would love to stay home with Tallet.

Tallet is growing in leaps in bounds. He is into 6-9 and 6-12 month clothes, most of which JUST fit. I am sure he will be in the next size in a month or two.

He is eating solid foods 3 times a day and loves it. We try something new every 3 days, and he doesn't always love it at first. I am making my own baby food. I am trying to do some baby led weaning but  he doesn't get enough food that way and at this point he is used to getting a certain amount of solids, he cries in hunger if he doesn't get it.

I am also back to breastfeeding. The 2 week break combined with a routine of apple cider vinegar, olive oil and baking soda worked to get rid of thrush was the only thing that worked. I literally tried every single other option other than gentian violet. I am so glad the pain is gone, breastfeeding is wonderful now. I am SO SO SO glad I stuck out the pain for 5 months instead of giving up. Bottle feeding/ bottle washing was no fun. I pump every night before I go to bed for extra milk for when I need to leave him with someone.

He has moved to his crib for night. This means he is upstairs, which seems really far away. We do have a fantastic monitor that if I hold it up to my ear I can hear him breathing. It isn't one of those $300 monitors that have video and movement sensors (my friends decided that would make me too paranoid so they bought me this one) .

Anyways, his transition went VERY smoothly. We were using the Ferber method up to this point, and it was working ok. But I really didn't want to let him cry it out for 2 hours his first night in the crib so we (I) read the No Cry Sleep Solution and we are combining the methods. We have a bedtime routine : bath, change, eat, book, and then lullaby music/soother/teddy and getting rocked to sleep. If he wakes up after we put him down for night, he has to cry it out. He never cries more than 1 or 2 minutes at a time. The second night he was in his crib we tried picking him up and rocking him back to sleep when he woke up, but every time I would lay him down he would cry again. When I would pick him up, he was asleep before he hit my chest. Then I would lay him down and he would cry. I did this for an hour before I became so frustrated I just left him in his crib and walked away. Within 5 minutes he was alseep and he slept through the rest of the night. My life lesson from this is : the sleep methods you read about in books are great to give you ideas, but they do not work for every baby. My advice is to read as many books as your heart desires and then do what works best for you and your baby.

We are going to slowly phase out the getting rocked to sleep part of it. As long as we are consistent with the bedtime routine, he will learn that it is time to go to sleep for the night. Actually, I have found that he doesn't fall asleep in my arms completely. He kind of writhes around like he is uncomfortable and then once he hits the mattress he is out like a light. So he is kinda phasing out the rocking to sleep thing himself!

Naptime is a little more of a challenge, he doesn't fall asleep as fast as he does for nighttime. But he has improved napwise in the last week, so I am sure it will continue to get better. We have reduced the number of naps from 4 to 3 so I think that helped.

Enough about sleep, Tallet loves to play. He still enjoys getting books read to him, and will often calm right down if he is grumpy when you start to read to him. He can move around in circles on his mat quite well. He can get up on his hands and knees from time to time, so I am sure crawling isn't too far away. He has started to take steps when hold his hands, and will walk all the way across the room. Up until a week ago he showed no interested in that. He also likes to stand up "by himself" against the couch or coffee table or me. My hands are always there to catch him, but I am surprised how much balance he has gained in the last two weeks doing this!

Tallet's baby dedication was yesterday! It was such a special and meaningful time for us. A lot of family came out to support us. It is so important to us that our family and church commit to helping us to foster Tallet's relationship with God. I want nothing more for him than to live a faith filled life! After church we had family and friends over for lunch. It was such a great time, I just wish I had a bigger house to fit more people!

Well, this post has been long enough for one day! I just wasted a whole naptime typing this when I could have been sewing! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


One of my best friends, Coralee, doesn't think I post often enough anymore. She figures I do nothing all day, so I should be able to post at least once a day! Hahaha. This is for your, Cor!

Yesterday Cor came over and I helped her make a budget like we do. I have been using a budget for a few years, but just over a year ago we switched to a cash only budget. I had been watching the show Till Debt Do Us Part with Gail Vax Oxlade and that is what she does with all the couples on that show.

Now I no money guru. In fact, historically I am terrible with money. I have gotten myself into a lot of trouble with money. Trouble I am STILL paying for today. But this method has really helped me to learn how to handle money. We are now well on our way out of debt, and even have some money in savings. All the bills get paid on time and there is no more scrounging around at the end of the month when the loans come out! In fact, in less than a year the only personal debt we will have is a mortgage (unless we decide to get another vehicle, of course). This is what we do:

I used Excel to make a spreadsheet with two categories: Fixed and Variable.

The fixed expenses are things like mortgage, loans, hydro, telephone, cell phone, tv, car insurance, life insurance, house insurance. I pay all these things online at the beginning of the month, or they come out  automatically, and hydro I write a check out.

Variables are things like food, gas, clothes, gifts, pets, entertainment, miscellaneous, personal money and tithe. I take out cash for all these categories at the beginning of the month and put them into bags. You can use jars if you want. And then that is all the money we have for those things for the entire month. It works for us to take out all the money at once because Eric's only gets paid once a month. But for some people they take it out once a week, or twice a month. Depending on how they get paid.

I guess technically there is a 3rd and 4th category: Savings and Debt Repayment. I have savings set up online to transfer a set amount on the first of every month to two accounts : Personal Savings and Tallet's Savings. This way I don't have to worry about transferring it every month, it is automatically done for me. We also have a set amount for debt repayment every month, I do that online too.

If we want extra things over and above out budget, we use savings for that. Things like car repairs and large purchases like a breast pump.

Something that is a necessity for a cash budget is to take your debit card (and credit cards if you use them) out of your wallet/purse. This is something I didn't do at first, but then I found myself using my debit card when I ran out of money for certain categories. And then that meant I would have to readjust the budget for the next month to make up for the shortage. I budget down to the last dollar, so there is not room in the budget to do that. Just take the cards out of your wallet so there is no temptation to do that. Freeze your cards if you need to. That way if you need to use them for something, you have a while to think about it before you do. We use the debit card strictly for accessing the savings for the extra things.

I do feel stupid when I go to the store and take money of of a baggie to pay. And I am pretty bad at spending most of the food and miscellaneous money at the beginning of the month and then I scrimp the rest of the month. I need to learn to spread it out a bit better.

I highly recommend using this method. I used to budget by using quicken and tracking every purchase on the computer, but I often got backlogged and it was complicated. This method is easy and it works.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Our Farmhouse Table

Our table is finally done! It is exactly what I wanted it to look like, and that doesn't happen to me very often. 

Below I posted pictures of the Restoration Hardware table ours was inspired by. It is on sale right now for $2500. 

Our table cost under $300, and we still have enough wood, stain and wax to build a coffee table too!

I kind like ours better, too!

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