Opportunity Comes a Knockin’

If you follow me on Instagram (@danimichelle09) you may have recently noticed that I started a new business venture and am trying to learn the ropes of working from home and being my own boss. I have started up as a stylist for the wonderful company of Stella and Dot, a company that offers beautiful accessories and a chance at create a living from the comforts of my own room. After tirelessly sending out my resume to any and every job that I could find, and not recieving any phone calls back (unless to say someone else got the job) I was starting to get a bit discouraged.

I’ve never been one to give up easily, but I was starting to get a bit panicky at the thought of not being able to get a job and support myself and Casey. Thankfully, I got the call after sending my resume out for the 100th time to a job I wasn’t totally interested in (now is not the time to be picky) and I knew I had to at least try out this new adventure. Now, the thing with this kind of job is that you get what you put into it. It’s not something you are going to make millions on overnight, and if you want to fully succeed you have to attack it from a business point of view. You have to log in the hours and create goals and work at them until they are achieved. I am the kind of person who will put 110% into something if I enjoy it, and while that’s good, it can sometimes take over all of my spare time.

A Home Office Space is a Must


Working from home isn’t entirely new to me. When I was taking my Education degree by correspondence I was used to scheduling time for assignments and studying and making sure I hit all of my deadlines. That was before I had Casey. Now, I am finding it a bit hard to create a good balance between work time and Casey time, but I have been able to set aside a couple days a week to tackle any to-do items and am working around his daycare schedule. Any other moms out there who are working from home that have tips or tricks to creating a good work/mom schedule?

I also feel that since this isn’t a conventional type of career or job, that it’s a bit harder to justify to others that I could possibly make a solid income from it. We live in a very traditional area, and home based businesses aren’t something that people truly believe in. This is where I’m having to trust myself and constantly battle any thoughts of doubt or fear. We all know that new things can be scary (what else is new), but I find that it is soooo easy to have one little negative thought creep in and then all of a sudden it multiplies into a non-stop stream of worry and discouragement.


So me being the positive (and slightly spiritual) person that I am, I took it upon myself to look for strategies to combat these situations so that I can really succeed within this. Obviously we know that confident people believe in themselves 24/7, but the problem is this: how do we truly feel confident with ourselves? I did a little digging and found that mantras and self-talk were one of the top ways to boost confidence, and honestly faking it until you make it. If you believe in yourself and already envision yourself as successful, then soon others will start thinking the same and it will only snowball from there. What we put out into the Universe will come back to us, so if we are thinking we are doing great, we are successful, and we are genuinely happy, then that means we will be getting those feelings or situations given back to us. Simple enough if you have an open mind.


One strategy I found that I really liked the idea of was taking a simple phrase or word and using it anytime a negative thought popped into your head. The phrase could be anything such as your favourite short quote, a word you enjoy, or anything that makes you happy or feel good. So if you’re thinking “Oh, I’m going to fail at this new job” then you simple dismiss the comment and replace it with your uplifting phrase. Easy peasy. Since I have started doing this, I have honestly noticed a shift within myself, I’m no longer thinking about what could go wrong as much and I’m having a much easier time falling asleep at night (and I promise it’s not the wine). It’s definitely worth a shot!

If you have any other strategies or tips at being successful at home, please feel free to comment and let me know! I would greatly appreciate any feedback. With that, I hope you guys have a relaxing Sunday and start your week off on the right foot tomorrow.

Advertisements

The Struggle is Real 

We all know that once you’re a mom, life can get…hectic. Whether you’re a new mom, a working mom, stay at home mom or a mother to teenagers, it’s easy to say that those wonderful little miniatures of yourself keep you fairly busy. Suddenly your life revolves around them and “me time” is something as mythical as fairytales and unicorns. I kid you not.

And for those of you who have gone through or are going through the “terrible twos” with your perfect toddler, you’ll get me when I say “What the hell is happening?!” It’s almost as if overnight your sweet, mild mannered child does a complete 360 and you’re left in a mess of unrolled toilet paper rolls, playdough in your hair and a kid who’s new favourite word is NO. 

He’s still my favourite


As you can imagine, we are dealing with the extreme attitude and mood swings over here, so after a couple weeks of repeated f-bombs under my breath and grey hair inducing moments, I took it upon myself to part with my wonderful toddler (who I still really love) and get some much needed breathing room and time to myself. I visited one of my close friends and indulged in two nights of eating a meal while it was still warm, going to the bathroom by myself and of course a few glasses of wine here and there. It. Was. Amazing. 

Nature hike to sweat out the wine!

We go together like PB&J


Upon coming home, I was greeted by a rather needy and somewhat sniffly and coughing child. I didn’t mind the cuddles, because to be honest I missed the little guy, but the onset of a flu was not what I was prepared for. Fast forward to the next day and the poor kid had a nasty cough and basically looked like a zombie. After another sleepless night we were off to the hospital to get him on the mend. 

Croup. A scary, horrible sound inducing sickness that I’m sure almost everyone has encountered at least once. The cough itself is cringe worthy but the way it made him gasp for air was something else. As a parent, it’s extremely hard to see your child in pain or sick and be totally helpless to it. It’s a weird thing to describe but it’s oh so very common. The most I could do was cuddle him and keep him comfortable. It was a lot of steam showers, essential oils (shoutout to Thieves and R.C), and having a toddler connected to me 24/7. 

Gracie is a good nurse

It’s been quite the long week, and I’m definitely not one to complain, but I will say this: Moms deserve a freaking medal for looking after a sick kid or kids. It’s mentally and physically exhausting and lord knows we always have a million other things to get done, but our child always comes first. So shoutout to you mommas out there trying to keep it together through the cold and flu season. Let’s hope spring arrives early and we can get some much needed time outside and enjoy having our kids be their healthy, fun selves! 

Who Run the World? 

Girls. Duh. You don’t even need to be a fan of Beyoncé to know the answer to that question. Although…it does help that she is basically queen of everything so if she says us women run the world, then we’re not going to object. 

Obviously today I want to talk about women. Now before your mind starts racing, I’ll be more specific. I want to talk about women as a group and how we are generally all the same in our own complex ways. Still lost? Well let me explain…

Recently I attended a Wellness Workshop hosted by my favourite salon (Revitalized in Fairview, AB) and I was able to be a part of something that I whole heartedly believe in. Before I go into detail, I’ll give you a little background on the salon. 

It’s run by two sisters, along with their mom and they have a very energetic and welcoming staff that are always making you laugh and feel your best. They believe in keeping things local and supporting small businesses, as well as striving to spread positivity and love wherever they can. When I think of this group I think of immense support. These are the people who will pick you up off your feet and get you back in the direction you needed to go. So obviously when I heard they were hosting a wellness night, I had to go.

The night consisted of three speakers and their main goal was to help motivate and encourage us all to be the best that we could be, and what better timing than to do it at the beginning of the new year? Each speaker touched on topics of how to implement better eating habits, raise your self esteem, get more involved in any kind of physical activities, and how to be kind to yourself. It was a great example of how us women, when in a group setting, can actually lift each other up and show support and encouragement to people we don’t even know. The energy in the room was radiant and full of empathy. There were a few tears, which is inevitable when you get that many women in one room, but it was a great eye opener in the sense that everyone is fighting their own battles and sometimes a kind word can go a long ways. 


By the end, we all realized that we are much too hard on ourselves, which I think comes naturally for most women, and that there are so many different ways and strategies to starting and living the life we have always wanted. Women tend to put others first and their needs rarely get met. For me, this has always been true, and especially since becoming a mother it’s only magnified. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, and I just wanted to share a few things that I took away from this great night: 

  • No matter your schedule, there’s always opportunities to eat healthy, so research, plan and implement it, sometimes it’s easier than you think 
  • Get a support system. Whether it’s a family member, a couple friends or an online group, have someone to keep you accountable and positive in your journey
  • Practice self love. What hit home with me was “you wouldn’t talk to your children the same way you talk to yourself” so be careful with what you say to yourself and don’t allow negative thoughts to fill your head
  • We are all the same. We all have many insecurities and things we struggle with. So instead of comparing ourselves to others, take a moment and realize that we are all chasing our own goals and be ready to lend a helping hand when needed


Overall, the night left me feeling energized, compassionate towards others and ready to start the year off on the right foot. It was nice to take a step back and realize that hey, we are all in this together, we are all human, and we all just want to be happy. So whatever you may be wanting to do this year, whether it’s lose weight, eat better food, improve your mental health or make a total life change, I suggest you jump in with both feet, make a couple goals and create a plan that will allow you to reach them. We are all capable of doing anything we put our minds to and I hope that this year brings forth some amazing chances for you all 💞 

Sunday Fun Day

Ah Sunday, the relaxing, stay in your pj’s all day kind of day. We woke up this morning to full blown winter weather–a howling wind and tons of snow flying. It was the kind of morning where you wanted to bundle up just by looking outside.

Staying true to the winter season, we’ve all been fighting colds on and off for the last month and poor Casey seems to have his cough and endless runny nose back. This means I constantly have a streak of snot on my pants or sleeve and all my pockets are full of Kleenex. Hooray for Mom Life!

Being the festive person I am, I got over zealous and figured that after Casey woke up from his nap we would make his very own handprint ornaments for our tree. I of course was inspired by Pinterest and all the cute salt dough ideas, so I was definitely eager to see what we could come up with!

img_9145

 

 

It started off well enough, Case was a little unsure about kneading the dough and the overall texture, but it was something fun to do together so I figured we were winning in that department! Fast forward to not even 5 minutes and he completely abandoned the dough and was crawling on the table singing Jingle Bells. Toddlers, right?

We got the dough rolled out and cut into circles and all that was needed was his perfect, little handprint. Turns out he didn’t want any part of it so we abandoned the whole project for another day. To be fair, his cold was bringing his mood down and even though I felt a tad defeated in my Christmas spirit, I’m thinking we’ll have much more fun once his immune system is up! An early bath, and a warm (Baileys) infused drink for this momma made both our afternoons just a bit better.

For anyone needing a quick salt dough recipe, I used 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of salt, and about 1 cup of water (with your choice of food colouring). The opportunities are endless and with a little paint and mod podge after it’s done baking you’ll be set! Here’s hoping tomorrow’s activities go a little bit better and that we’ll have some cute decorations to show off 🙂

 

‘Tis The Season

26 days until Christmas and only 32 days until New Years Eve. What. The. What. Seriously though, where has this year gone? I can’t believe we only have one more month left of 2016, it’s a bit insane.

Now, if you’re anything like me, and you probably aren’t (for good reason) you probably have all your Christmas shopping done and have it neatly wrapped in your room. No? Not yet? Well in that case, I must confess that I am a tad OCD when it comes to Christmas. It’s my favourite holiday and trust me when I say I plan for it all year long. I think I was a bit later this year and started my gift idea list in September and didn’t actually order any gifts until almost October. Gasp. I am also a self confessed online shopper so my Christmas shopping consists of a lot of Etsy scrolling (because small businesses rock) and many trips to the post office. Just how I like it. All you anti-social people will get me when I say I loathe going into stores or malls during the holiday season, because there’s JUST SO MANY PEOPLE. It’s overwhelming. But! Thanks to modern technology, us hermits can totally skip that headache inducing process and enjoy buying our loved ones treasures from the comforts of our own room. Oh, what a time to be alive.

Alright, so enough about my Christmas habits, what I want to get across today is that for one, I’m a terrible blogger when it comes to consistency and I’m not even going to hide it or deny it. It’s been two months since I last wrote something, and honestly, there’s no shame here. I’ll get better at some point (I hope). Secondly, I want to talk about getting through a rough time and keeping your head above water, especially with the Christmas season upon us, it is very easy to get overwhelmed and feeling down, despite everyone claiming it to be the “most wonderful time of the year”.

Now, not to sound like a broken record, but 2016 was tough on me. I started the year out by taking up space back in my old bedroom at my parents house and re-thinking my path in life. Not exactly how you want to live your life at 25, with a small child, but sometimes things need to be done and change is inevitable. For anyone who has or is going through a separation or divorce, you’ll understand when I say “it is never easy”. There are a lot of emotions you have to work through and a lot of dreams and ideals you must put to rest. On top of this, there were a lot of things that were thrown at me throughout the year and it was all I could do to stay afloat. Thankfully, I’m not someone who gives up easily and I was able to persevere and get my feet back under me. I know there are many other things that people can go through, such as changing careers, moving to a new place, losing a loved one, or dealing with any personal tragedy and I just want to give some hope to those who are going through a difficult time, whatever it may be.

We are at the time of year when people are supposed to come together and be happy and grateful and drink eggnog together, but sometimes it’s not that easy. I recently had someone tell me “I’m so strong” and yes, I can slightly agree that right now I am, but it wasn’t always that way. Going through a major life change can take a lot out of a person and it takes a lot of positive self talk and late night conversations with friends and family to help you cope. I am at the point where I accept the way things are and no longer stress or worry about the things I can’t change. Many people expect you to be angry, upset and bitter when you go through something like this, and honestly, that’s exhausting. It doesn’t get you anywhere and it doesn’t change the outcome. People move on. People can change. In the end, there’s nothing you can do about it so you might as well enjoy what you do have and the people who are still there for you. Life’s short, and who wants to waste it being angry and pessimistic? Not this gal.

Ultimately, what I’m trying to get across is that there is always so much to be grateful for. On days you’re feeling down or just not yourself, I urge you to either take 5 minutes and think about all the great things you do have in your life, or if you are like me, write them down. Make a list. Then read it over a couple times. I promise you that once you see what you do have in your wonderful little life, you won’t be worrying about what you don’t have. Above all else, time really does heal everything. Be easy on yourself and be patient. I encourage you to enjoy your holidays, wherever they may be and whoever they may be with and remember that if all else fails, smile and pour yourself a glass of wine.

Image result for christmas holidays meme

It’s important to stay fit during the holidays too 🙂 

With that, I hope you all have a great December and I hope I am back on here before the New Year, but no promises 😉

 

Give Thanks

First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers! I hope you all had a great weekend filled with way too much turkey and many laughs with your family and friends.

So, I’m back. To be quite honest, the reason I haven’t written anything in the last two months is simply this: I didn’t feel like writing.

It’s been a crazy couple months, with a lot of highs and lows, and I didn’t exactly have the time or energy to sit down and write anything worth reading. But alas, that’s over and done with and I feel quite optimistic in keeping up with this finally! Although, I am seeing a pattern where I only write when I feel like I’m finally content with life, so let’s hope it can stay that way! I have some Elle King and Lady Gaga playing in the background, with some cedarwood and patchouli in the diffuser, so the mood is set and I am ready to let my thoughts flow 🙂

Ah Thanksgiving. The time when we eat ourselves into food comas and (sometimes) indulge in a few too many drinks during and after supper. It’s a time where family all gets together and despite our best efforts we all fall asleep on the couch by 10pm. I must say it’s a great prelude to Christmas, and now that the weekend is wrapping up I feel like fast forwarding to December and gearing up for my favourite holiday.

Our Thanksgiving was a good one, despite both Casey and I fighting off colds we caught during our first whirlwind week of full time work and daycare. We were lucky to get a four day weekend to get our immune systems back up and running! Saturday was supper with my family, and it was definitely one of the quieter times we’ve had, since a lot of our favourite people had prior commitments. But, it was still nice to get together and visit, and Casey had a lot of fun showing off his stellar dance moves and all the new words he can say. This year was a far cry from the years before when we would all sit around with way too many rums or whiskeys and laugh until we cried until midnight, but hey, there’s always next year 😉

Since Casey is spending time with his Dad, I have the day to collect my thoughts and get caught up for the week ahead. I used to dread having this much time to think and be alone, but I am finally using it to my benefit and it allowed me to think about what I am grateful for this year. To say this year has been a difficult one is an understatement, but I’m not one to dwell on the negatives, so looking back at the last 9 months I have come to realize that I actually do have a lot to be thankful for.

Family. Without them, I honestly don’t know how I would have survived this far. They have sacrificed so much of their time to help me get where I am and keep my sanity, all the while they’ve done nothing but be patient and uplifting whenever possible. I feel very lucky to have the people I do in my family, and knowing that they are in my corner no matter what makes all the difference.

fullsizerender-2

Casey and Cousin Jord

 

Friends. Everybody needs a great group of friends in their life, whether it’s 5 or 20, you can’t go wrong when you know you have people who are willing to back you up and support any decision you make. My friends have gone above and beyond for me this year and I feel like I’ll owe them the rest of my life for the kindness they have shown me. Whether it’s a simple text, a much needed hug, or a hilarious FaceTime, they have all made me smile when I felt most like crying. Friendship is a lucky thing to have and I am proud to say I have the best friends anyone could ask for.

Casey. My sweet little man is my rock and reason for striving to be better everyday. He has proven to me that you shouldn’t take life too seriously and that laughter is the best cure for anything. Because of him I have a new found motivation to live better and be better, and I’m working my butt off to provide him with the life he deserves. The love I have for this kid is unexplainable, and I am so grateful to call him my son. They say motherhood changes you and I can definitely say for me, it has been for the better.

fullsizerender

With that, I hope you all take a moment to count your blessings and tell the ones you love how much they mean to you and how thankful you are to have them in your life. It never hurts to share a few uplifting words and in the end you’ll feel happy for making someone else happy.

Flying Solo

Let’s talk about comfort zones tonight. You hear all the time how your biggest accomplishments and dreams are outside of your place of familiarity and how you need to push yourself beyond any fears or doubts in order to achieve what you truly want. Aside from sounding like something straight off of the quotes section on Pinterest, I honestly couldn’t agree more. There are so many ways that we can get comfortable and “stable” with what we have and what we do. For some, this is totally fine, and they are completely content with how their lives are. For others, on the more extreme end of the scale, busting out of their comfort zones happens on a daily basis. A lot of times people get stuck and they start to get either run down or questioning their choices in life. They start to feel too routine and the thought of any changes brings about fear and uncertainty. Unfortunately this is all too common and no matter what, everyone feels this at one point or another in their lives. It comes with so many different territories, it can happen to students graduating, someone taking on a new job, anyone who has ever moved, becoming a parent, or even trying something different as a hobby. Being fearful is never fun, but being scared to try new things is a much harsher fate. It’s something that can hinder you in so many ways and I feel like in order to grow and learn more about yourself you have to at least take a walk outside of that comfort zone you hold onto so dearly.

FullSizeRender-2.jpg

Now to explain why I chose this topic. Recently, I stepped majorly outside of my own comfort zone and this may not seem like a big deal to most, but for me it was. I took a weekend completely to myself, did some travelling all alone while my parents took Casey camping. Now it was a big step for me on two levels: one being that I was going to be so far away from my boy (because Mom guilt is a real thing) and two being that I was going on this adventure completely alone, something I have never done before. Cue Captain Obvious here, I was apprehensive because I WAS DOING SOMETHING NEW. Why are we like this?! I mean, I wasn’t totally fearful, it was actually all pretty exciting/nerve wracking, but it’s so funny how our first instinct is to be scared of the unknown. This year has brought a lot of experiences for me where I have had to deal with a lot of new things as well as my old friend, the great unknown. So I felt like I could tackle leaving my space of comfort fairly well. I mean, I’m 25, I’m an adult, I’ve travelled before, so how bad could it be?

Turns out it wasn’t bad at all. Turns out it was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. All you moms out there will agree with me when I say that we get very little time to ourselves, no matter how old our children are. It starts to become a thing of the past and at the end of the day you dream of having a moment to yourself, only to be reminded that you have a million things to get done before your ray of sunshine wakes up. So this was kind of my reasoning behind taking a weekend to myself and doing things solely for me. Call me selfish, but you gotta keep your sanity somehow. I enjoyed wine, a hot bath, a good book (Daring Greatly by Brene Brown — get it!), as much Starbucks as I could handle, a very relaxing massage and lots of leisurely walking and browsing, because that doesn’t happen with a kid anymore. I did a bit of shopping for myself (gasp!), took in an outdoor Farmer’s Market and listened to live bands throughout a park. It was pretty wonderful to say the least. After getting home and realizing how good of a weekend it was, I couldn’t have been happier with myself for taking the step and doing something different. It was crazy how many people I had talked to who said they had never done anything like that before. Being alone seems so taboo to so many, but I think it is so crucial to how we evolve and get to know ourselves better. This year has definitely opened my eyes as to how a comfort zone can actually stop your personal growth and clarity, so it has become one of my main focuses as to how I can better myself by overstepping that line of comfort and seeing what’s on the other side.

FullSizeRender

Starbucks is a Mom’s best friend

FullSizeRender-3

Spa time!

And another shot of me sitting, because picture taking isn’t as easy when you’re alone 

Of course, being a Mom has my mind racing at all hours of the day and this totally correlates back to how I want to parent and raise Casey. I want him to see that you can do things alone and still enjoy yourself, and at some point you need to attempt something that scares you a bit, because more times than not the outcome will be greater than you ever imagined. It saddens me to see people settle and create bubbles around themselves, people who never imagine leaving their comfortable, little world. People can put so many limitations on themselves and I would hate to see my son grow up that way. Change can be a welcomed blessing and I think a lot of us need to realize that sometimes. Comfort zones bring steady, familiar experiences, ones that we know far too well and are never very exciting. I have decided that just isn’t for me and I wish to live a life with a little more spark and creativity than what is so commonly followed. So for now, I will try to take more chances, dive into various experiences and live just a little more boldly than normal. Here’s hoping you do the same!

Barrel Racing Mommas

The temperatures have started warming up and the snow is officially gone, so it can only mean one thing: barrel racing season is upon us. Most of us are just starting to find our horses under all the mud and hair and have begun taking to the backroads or hills to get workouts in. Although, there are a few of the lucky ones who have hauled all winter and kept their horses slick and shiny and I applaude them. Every winter I have big plans to haul to the arena 45 minutes away, but after going once and realizing that it turns into a 4 hour endeavour, I lost the energy to commit. Gone are the days of hauling after school and staying until midnight — adulting has once again taken it’s toll! But, nontheless, I went to my first jackpot of the season on Sunday with my furry and fat mare and had a great time getting back into the swing of things. I was fortunate enough to head out on my own and enjoy a free day (something I am always grateful for) but pulling up on my own without my trusty sidekick of a mom really got me thinking. I am so used to having her in the passenger seat that it felt a bit foreign to be driving to a jackpot without her (my secret is out) and even though it does happen on occasion where we both can’t go, it’s still a weird feeling.

FullSizeRender

Just the princess and I

The barrel racing world can come across as overwhelming to some people, and it typically isn’t too far off from the general first impression it leaves. I mean, you throw a bunch of high strung horses and women together and hope for the best, but once you get past the surface, its pretty easy to see that it’s a total family event. On Sunday the arena was packed, and it was great to see all the familiar faces once again. It’s almost as if it’s a whole other world once the season starts because you basically see the same group of women every weekend from now until September. What gets me the most is seeing so many of the youth competitors from the season before and how much they have grown up or changed and it’s always neat to see them step up onto faster horses (most of which were handed down from their mom) and watch them get more competetive as the years go by. Obviously becoming a mom has made me more sensitive to this, but come on, it’s a cool sight to see.

I cannot say enough about the barrel racing mommas that we come across though. These women are the most selfless, hard working people that you will ever meet. A lot of times, and it was evident on Sunday, they will forgo bringing their own horses and focus solely on coaching and helping their kids. These women are badass. They are the ones who help lead the hot horses from one end of the arena to the other, they are the ones who yell from the sidelines and they are the ones who go through every detail of their child’s run to find where time was lost and how to get it back (plus they always find the best angle to video from). These women wear invisible capes whenever they are at a rodeo or jackpot and do it all with a smile. Plus, I’m not only talking about the ones with young kids. I’m talking about all the moms that hop in with their daughter and are there every step of the way. Some of them run their own horses as well, and some are there for the moral support and the pure enjoyment they get out of watching their child ride, whether they are an adult or not. Its pretty awesome when you think about it. That kind of support can be hard to find, and to have it in your own mom is beyond great.

It doesn’t matter what level you are at, whether it’s a local jackpot, amateur rodeo or even professional rodeo, you will always find a barrel racer with her mom or dad near by. Family support is key in this sport and I know I honestly couldn’t do it without mine. Even Fallon Taylor has her mom and dad on the road with her to help with the horses and making sure every rhinestone is in place, and to me that’s pretty heartwarming. It’s definitely what I love about this sport and how any given weekend you can meet up with other families and have a good time competing and visiting. It makes me even more excited to have Casey grow up in that atmosphere as well because all the kids you find at barrel races generally know what hard work and dedication is, and that’s something you hope sticks with them. Plus, there’s never a shortage of help at jackpots, so you know your kid is in good hands even when you’re riding and warming up (bonus!) I guess these youngsters come by it honestly  though because they constantly see their moms working non-stop to make sure things are looked after and taken care of. It’s no easy feat loading up the trailer full of kids and horses and heading out for the weekend, so they definitely deserve a pat on the back (or a bottle of wine). Not many people will haul a trailer for hours on end, unpack, pay entry fees, run their own horse and video their daughters run, plus make sure everyone is fed and happy. Rodeo moms are a real hidden gem and if you have one you should be proud!

Needless to say, I am very excited for the season to get underway and definitely need to get these ponies in shape. But, I think what I’m most excited about is having my mom and my little guy there with me for it all. Hopefully one day Casey will say the same thing about me, but for now he can provide us with entertainment and a workout as we chase him all over the place. I’m predicting this year of jackpotting to be quite different than the last, but I’m up for the challenge. Thankfully the kid loves the outdoors and horses so I’m sure it’ll be a blast for us all. Or maybe complete chaos, you never actually know with kids, that’s what makes this parenting gig so much fun *Wink, wink*

Casey Turns 1

April 1st has forever changed for me. It used to be a day full of pranks and genuine laughter, but now not only is it that, but it’s my baby’s birthday. On Friday I woke up with a sense of excitement and emotions were high. I was up until midnight the night before preparing Casey’s birthday cake (which I am definitely not a baker) and pulling off yet another joke on my Poppa. April Fool’s had always been “our” day and for many consecutive years we have pranked each other with great success. This year I kept it simple, and inbetween baking each layer of cake I snuck to his house and hung up a huge decoy owl right at his garage door to greet him in the morning (insert evil laugh). So needless to say when I woke up Friday morning I was bouncing with excitement for the day’s activities, but also for that phone call when the surprise finally got him.

For Casey’s birthday we decided to invite just family over that night and the plan was to roast hot dogs over the fire and enjoy some good food and cupcakes. It ended up being a beautiful day (I’m talking t-shirt weather) and you could definitely tell Casey knew something was up. He was absolutely goofy as soon as he woke up, and I had set up a teepee full of balloons to surprise him right after breakfast. As soon as he saw it his face lit up and he was bouncing around laughing and playing with the balloons (which by the way are a mother’s worst nightmare). I was on edge the whole time waiting for him to pop one with his teeth and potentially swallow it, scarring him for life and creating a life long fear of balloons. Sheesh, I can already feel the grey hairs sprouting. Aaaaaanyways, we basically filled the day up with decororating and prepping the food, so it went by pretty quickly. My theme, as mentioned in my first post, was a basic outdoorsy theme with lots of plaid, blue and gold. I was sooooo happy with how it all turned out and came together.

FullSizeRender-3

FullSizeRender-6

About 80% of the decorations were made, with the rest being dollar store or Etsy purchases. The week before I had Case paint his canvas with the number one because I knew I had wanted to display it and incorprate it into the dessert table. It definitely brightened it up, which I loved. His cake took quite a while and experimenting, but I’m definitely happy with how it came together. I decided to do a healthier cake for him because I didn’t think loading him up with sugar before bed would be the best idea. The icing was super simple as well, it was greek yogurt, cream cheese, honey and cinnamon whipped up (which tasted amazing) so it definitely helped keep the sugar levels down. My cousin was kind of enough to supply the stumps and slab of wood and I was able to gather pieces of the spruce and pine trees from around the house as accents.

FullSizeRender-5

Before the mess

FullSizeRender-8

For his backdop, I kept things easy and was able to get the huge number 1 balloon and custom banner off of Etsy and then for his high chair I was able to make the garland myself. I have a hard time spending money on things that I know I could easily make, so this was right up my alley. I went all out and decided to let Casey go after his cake all on his own (brave, I know) and it was totally awesome. Once he realized he could dig in, it was game on. He dived in head first and at one point I thought he was going to launch it off the high chair. YOLO right? He might not have eaten a whole lot of it but he definitely had fun demolishing it, and that’s all that mattered. After a quick bath, he came back out and “opened” his presents, which was basically him playing with the first toy he got out of the box and me taking care of the rest. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.

It was definitely a great night and I was so happy to have all the family come out and celebrate him. There was a lot of reminiscing about how things were so different on that day a year ago, and how much he has changed in the last 12 months. I was able to print out each of his monthly pictures I had taken and hung them up for everybody to see. It definitely made my heart hurt to see how he wasn’t a little baby anymore and the fact that I barely remembered him being so tiny. But alas, it has been great watching him grow and turn into such a vibrant little boy. I can’t slow down time so I might as well enjoy it as it goes and cherish the changes as they come along. I can’t imagine how different he will be in another year and it’s exciting and heart breaking at the same time. Why didn’t anyone tell me that being a mom would be so full of emotions?! I don’t think I signed up to turn into quite a big softy, but here I am. My heart was full at the end of the night and Casey sure felt the effects of the party because he slept in until 8:30 the next morning (winning). All in all, it was a great day for a great kid.

FullSizeRender-4

The Cutest Birthday Dude

Planning Casey’s 1st Birthday

Naturally, my first post is going to be about my favourite little man, Casey, and I thought I would share with you all the details of his first birthday! Case will be turning one on April 1st, so I’ve already started getting items and finding inspiration on Pinterest. The theme that I’m trying to work with is an outdoorsy/camping theme, with plaid and black and gold as the accent colours. I’ve always loved organizing and entertaining, so it was obvious that I would go all out for his first birthday party. I wanted to make as many of the decorations that I could, but also wanted to purchase a few “bigger” items to keep the stress down a bit.

Pinterest and Etsy have played a huge part in the inspiration and decoration department, and I definitely encourage you to check out Etsy if you’re ever looking for party details(or anything for that matter)! I’m a firm believer in supporting Canadian shops because not only is shipping super cheap, but with our dollar it seems like a no brainer to go with something closer to home. The one idea I had in my head was to have a gold banner to hang behind his high chair or over the food table, and I was able to get a custom one made from Tender Love Cardstock  that says, “Casey Is One” in big gold letters. Keeping in sync with the theme, I was able to purchase a ginormous number one balloon (40″ tall) to have beside his high chair. I got it here  from a great shop that has so many different party supplies and it’s conveniently located in Toronto *fist pump*. The last thing I purchased was a burlap banner that said “Happy Birthday” on two different strands and it came in super fast. The shop is called Willow Bloom Wreaths and they have the cutest rustic themed decorations for all occasions. Etsy is the bomb!

Here are some of the Pinterest ideas that I have been going with :
276f935350bd05460d938a2c4883dbce

ce6d32042b1cc4cb805a0c6827580636

As for the rest of the party, so far I have made cupcake toppers that are gold 1’s and hope to make some that look like spruce trees as well. I’ll be doing a healthier version of a smash cake in three tiers for him, and then carrot cake cupcakes for the rest of the peeps! I’ve yet to make a fabric banner for his high chair, still on the lookout for the right pieces, but will definitely get that done soon. My excitement levels are through the roof with how it will all come together. It is definitely a bittersweet moment to realize that your little baby is turning into a toddler, when it feels like just the other day we brought him home from the hospital. I know, typical, but seriously time keeps moving whether you want it to or not and nothing prepares you for it to go this fast. That being said, I actually can’t wait for him to have his own ideas on themes for his birthdays when he’s older and will definitely try my best to make his visions come to life. But until then, I am going to enjoy him being little and cute and having free range on this birthday!