Focused on Familiarity

I spent a few days (or was it weeks) flopping around like a fish out of water trying to find my footing is this new normal we’ve found ourselves in. 

Everywhere we turn, we are being bombarded with information bringing us the latest frightening facts and news flashes from around the globe as we all try to navigate the landmine that is this crisis. 

It is not a topic any of us is an expert on or any of us know how to wade through. So we do our best. We take it day by day and minute by minute and try to keep our heads above water. 

While we are wrapped up in the uncertainly of the days ahead and what the future holds, I’m reminded that searching for explanation and contemplating the what if’s and what next are overwhelming questions and one’s we don’t have the answers to. 

Before all of this started to unfold I had returned from a retreat in January full of ideas, ambition and a renewed desire to start creating again. 

I had lost my voice and stepped away from this platform to go in search of something more. In the process I found community and connection. I found a bit more clarity. I found something else to focus on. 

I also found myself armed with some incredible resources and tools that are going to serve me in the days and months ahead, (as long as I remember to use them). 

So I am heeding the advice of some pretty incredible women who are reminding me to focus on the things I can control to help keep me grounded.

One of those things is sticking to a morning routine. For me that means waking up an hour earlier than the kids to have some quiet time all to myself. During this time I can enjoy a hot cup of coffee, write in my journal, read a chapter or two, or maybe even do a little yoga or meditation. 

This isn’t when I prep meals, dive into a workout, or tidy up around the house. It’s just time to myself to focus on things that make me feel good. My incredible friend who lead that retreat earlier this year teaches a free online course for creating your own daily centering practice.  

I’ve also been moving my body everyday. Going on runs and listening to podcasts. It’s part of Five to Thrive and the Next 90 Days Challenge, which is a free online course offered by The Hollis Co., about how we can all live with intention and choose joy even in hard seasons.

Amidst the uncertainty that is circling around all of us, this much I know is true…

  • I can’t predict the future
  • I can’t control what is happening in the world
  • I can’t provide my kids a timeline for when this will all be over

But there are some things I can do…

  • I can stay home and stay safe
  • I can control my perspective 
  • I can focus on what is right in front of me

So my action plan today and in the days to come is to reach for routine, strive for simplicity and focus on familiarity. 

These are things that will help me stay grounded, that will help me find joy, that will help me ride this wave and hopefully come out of this even stronger. 

I’ve created these desktop backgrounds as a daily reminder. You can use them for yourself if these messages strike a chord for you too. Just click on the image to download and save.

Created on Canva

P. S. Check out a few of my favourite podcasts that help put me in a good headspace –  60 Mindful Minutes with Kristen Manieri, Super Soul Conversations with Oprah, Rise with Rachel Hollis, Rise Together with Rachel + Dave Hollis 

Island Inspired Slumber Party

It was this time last year that Moana was released on home video, so my oldest decided she wanted to feature the flick during her squad sleepover to celebrate her 9th birthday.

The movie’s Polynesian influence was the perfect inspiration for an island inspired fete so I used this as my jumping off point for our party theme.

To set the tone the invitations featured a pretty pineapple design and I added these fun and fruity watermelon stickers from the dollar store to adorn the handmade paper envelopes.

For the décor, I decided to hit the local party supply store as they have a pretty great roundup of luau themed decorations. The island was decorated with a grass tableskirt and grasscloth looking placemats (the latter of which I already had).

I found these incredible coconut vases that I filled with pink and orange carnations from the grocery store. I also picked up clementine oranges with the stems and leaves attached as it added to the tropical vibe.

The Pua stuffy was a gift for our birthday girl purchased at The Disney Store.

These vibrant tiki wall plaques added to ambience and festive party picks in tropical colours were a nice touch on the cupcakes.

I often shop my house first when I have a party to plan, borrowing décor from any and every room if necessary. The lush green wreaths are the ones I hang on my porch in the spring and summer.

Displaying the movie case helped set the stage for our theme. I then cut out some spiky shaped leaves from green construction paper and paired them with mini yellow balloons to make these adorable pineapple wall decals.

The fringed birthday banner and tissue paper flower decals we already had from a previous party, but were originally purchased at Target.

The ukulele was a souvenir gifted to my husband after a friend’s trip to Hawaii, as was the mini surfboard art. I blew up some mini pastel coloured balloons and grouped them with faux greenery for a fun wall hanging.

For the dinner table, I used a scrap of leftover palm print fabric from pillows I had made for our home. Walmart had these sweet little palm leaf side plates so I picked up four at only a couple of dollars each and placed them over our everyday white plates.

These adorable plastic coconut cups with lids were also from the party supply store. I used a gold paint pen to write each girl’s name on their cup. Dinner consisted of Hawaiian pizza (naturally) and pineapple juice.

After dinner the girls played charades and headbands. Set up their sleeping bags and put on their pyjamas. Then they cozied up to watch Moana. I set up a popcorn bar with a few fun treats including gummy fish, sour watermelons, chocolate covered berries and M&Ms (Moana + Muai).

I also snagged this awesome Ice Shaver for under $20 at the party supply store and we made our own Shave Ice (a Hawaiian treat) and topped it with pureed pineapple and strawberries. These cute bamboo spoons were a fun touch.

After the movie ended and the giggles died down, the girls settled into their sleeping bags to tell secrets until they talked themselves right to sleep.

In the morning I set up a breakfast bar that included coconut yogurt with granola and a halved pineapple filled with chopped fruit, as well as toaster waffles with maple syrup and watermelon wedges on sticks. Yum!

The girls dressed in their matching “squad goals” t-shirts that I found at H&M for $8 and had placed in their favour bags along with a flower lei, hibiscus hair clip, coconut drinking cup and a bag of tropical skittles. Altogether the goodies came in around $15 per guest.

It was a really fun party to plan and put together but I am exhausted just writing about it. So it will definitely be a rare occasion in this household.











DIY Date Night Jar

Why not surprise your sweetie this Valentines Day with your very own Date Night Jar?

Whether you subscribe to the idea of a regular date night or would love to start a new heart healthy habit, this inspired idea is so quick and easy to put together.

All you’ll need is a mason jar, some craft sticks, and a sharpie.

Simply write a different date night idea on each craft stick, toss them in the jar, and voila!

When date night rolls around, simply reach in, retrieve a stick and reveal your perfect date night experience. Somebody pass me the easy button please!

Sometimes the hardest part about committing to a regular date night is simply coming up with an idea. Having some fresh new ideas on hand will keep your weekly or monthly rendezvous for two fun and flirty.

Find more great inspiration on Date Night Guide.




Countdown to Christmas

We’ve had our first snowfall of the season and as they say… it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

The first parade of the season was this past weekend, the local radio station has switched to holiday tunes and neighbours houses are starting to light up the night.

I managed to get my winter planters arranged yesterday, just in time for a major temperature drop and have actually done a fair bit of online shopping.

With December 1st a little over a week away, it’s time to dust off the kids countdown calendar and get ready for the fun-filled days leading up to the jolliest of holidays.  Continue reading

A Wild Celebration

For my oldest’s 8th birthday she wanted to invite a few friends out to a movie to see Zooptopia and then come back to the house for dessert.

I love these small intimate parties the girls have been favouring these past couple of years and this formula of just a few close friends, a short outing and dessert back at the house has really been working well for me (uh… I mean us).

Since the guest list is small everyone can easily fit around the dining room table and I can focus on a themed table scape and dessert bar rather than having to decorate a whole house. Continue reading