I've always wanted to have professional maternity photos taken. Pregnancy is truly a time to celebrate. While it can be a difficult journey (the first 4 months for me), I love being pregnant and feel blessed to carry a child to term. I teamed up with the lovely Jenn Munro from Jenn Munro Photography and had the photos taken when I was 38 weeks pregnant. We had hoped to take the photos when I was 32 weeks along but a string of bad weather postponed the date. Finally, the perfect evening and we just went for it. We laughed and smiled amongst the lilac bushes in a garden not far from our home. I am so happy that she was able to capture this special moment with my husband and daughters right before we turned from a family of 4 to a family of 5.
The first step I took to making my new place a home was to plant. I’ve longed for a garden to dabble in but didn’t want to admit it for a while (I was convinced that apartment living was perfect for me). Now, I am grateful for the opportunity to make a small outdoor space, green, colourful and tranquil.
With the help of my husband, parents and children, we’ve slowly dug up the grass, cleaned up the litter in the yard and trimmed back some of the overgrown shrubs. A gardener’s work is never done but I am satisfied with what has been accomplished this season thus far. Herbs are growing wildly in their pots, some almost ready to be used in our kitchen. Annuals and perennials are establishing themselves, the peony is in full pink splendor. We planted a hardy sapling in the front yard (our lovely neighbor, told me that he did the same thing with his family almost 40 years ago. They now have a beautiful, mature birch tree to remind them of that time. What a wonderful memory).
The more I work in the garden, the more I realize I have no clue what I’m doing! There is so much to learn and I welcome the challenge and physical labour. It is so very satisfying to see the changes from one day or one week to the next. Do you have a green thumb? What is your favourite flower, herb or tree?
Happy Friday everyone! What are your plans for the weekend? I have a few more boxes to unpack but otherwise, this weekend involves family. My eldest is has her first ballet recital this Saturday and then of course, Sunday is Father's Day. Since I can't be with my Dad this weekend (he lives too far away), I have sent my mom home with a batch of cookies (she stayed with me this past week as my husband was away and we're on full baby alert now). We didn't plan much for my husband as my pregnancy track record says that I'll have the baby 5 days early. I'm hoping the baby will wait it out until at least Monday! It's wishful thinking, I know! Labour and delivery is truly one of the few things that we have absolutely no control over (nonetheless, I have avoided spicy food, pineapple and all the other things that are suppose to bring on labour). Anyway, we're hoping for a slow Sunday so we can all celebrate this special day together.
Now, for the Friday Top 5. Moving is stressful! It certainly helps to be prepared. I’m always looking for ways to simplify my life so that I have more time to do the things that I love. After several moves with children, I have finally come up with some tips for making the daunting task of moving go more smoothly. These tips also help with the after, the unpacking which, for some people can take up to a year! If you have moved several times and not opened a box, then it is time to say goodbye to it (I found this happened with some of my old school and work boxes).
1. Collect boxes in advance
If you order anything online or have friends that have recently moved, reuse the boxes. You will always need more than you think.
2. Start packing items that you can live without about a month in advance
If you’re moving in the spring, start packing up your woollens, winter boots and clothing. Similarly, if you're moving in a colder month, ensure all of your summer items are packed and labelled.
Make a conscious effort to reduce the number of items that you have. This will make moving less arduous but also make unpacking go more smoothly. To get you started, watch Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things or read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up as soon as possible. Ask yourself of the that book that you bought 10 years ago and have never read, does it spark joy? If not, donate it.
4. Arrange for help
Book your movers or enlist your friends and family to help you move. If you have children, arrange for someone to care for them.
5. Move breakable items yourself
Make the effort to move something yourself if it is breakable and you love it. Houseplants don’t tend to fair well in the back of a moving truck. Your wine collection or grandmother’s China may also need the same love. Move them in your car (or friend's car) and then you won’t have to worry about them.
Anything that I’m missing? What are your moving tips? Comments always appreciated!
And suddenly, its summer. Hot and humid. Lightweight dresses, sandals, large sunnies and wide-brimmed hats everywhere. I love everything about it except for the stickiness of my sunscreen and the fact that I am squeezed into compression stockings.
As such, at the moment I’m greatly enjoying the benefits of air conditioning (and free Wifi) at my local coffee shop. Oh, and that iced lavender latte also helped a lot. I don’t have air conditioning at my home and up until yesterday, I was convinced that I would never need it. Now, my confidence is waning.
This morning, I took my youngest on a mommy-daughter date. Just the two of us, sitting in the sunny and bright Northside Kitchen. A latte for myself and croissant with Nutella for Evie. I could have taken a photo to post of the chocolate mess that ensued but thought better of it (what if she detests a photo of herself covered in chocolate when she is 8 years old?). Although, I should say, it is quite entertaining to watch a 2-year-old try to get as much Nutella possible on a soft pastry good. She couldn't have been more happy with experience of eating and then going to wash her hands afterwards. Ah, simple things.
Here are 5 things that made me think, reconsider, laugh or gave me hope… in no particular order. Have a wonderful weekend!
1. More Than Pretty: Why Beauty Matters, By Tala C
2. How to Navigate a Career Switch, By Megan Cane
3. Making a Marriage Magically Tidy, By Helen Ellis
4. On Water... Polluted Water Popsicles, Posted on The Jealous Curator
5. Good News in a Time of Bad News?.... China, California sign a climate deal after Trump's Paris Accord exit.
How do you remember? Are you an avid photographer and documenter? Do you try to journal daily or weekly? Perhaps you keep mementos, make scrapbooks or you have a stash of stuff in your basement. Maybe your cell phone is constantly lacking space because of the number of photos and videos you take. Despite my efforts to declutter and reduce, I still have high school clothing stored away (which I have no intention of wearing again), yearbooks, crumbled photographs, old museum entry stubs and Christmas cards in boxes. Admittedly, I don’t look at them often but when I do, happy memories flow and, sometimes tears. I hope that they may bring others joy (primarily my children) when they stumble upon them years from now. Hopefully, they won’t feel like these treasures are a burden.
At first, I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about for this post. Lilacs are beautiful and smell heavenly but that is stating the obvious. The fact that their season is so fleeting makes them more precious and brings me into the moment. The recipe began with my desire to keep this lilac scent longer than a 2-week period. As I was editing the photographs from my lilac sugar photoshoot, the mason jar caught my eye. Compared to today’s mason jars, it is thick and rugged. It is heavy and the metal tightening lid is a bit shabby. It was also made-in-Canada which is rare for these sorts of items. I have noticed these jars showing up in antique sales and retailing for about $10- $15. Happily, I didn’t pay that price for the jar. Rather, it is one of the few things that I inherited from my maternal grandfather after he passed away several years ago.