Rainy Daze (with kids)

What do you do on a rainy day?

For me, it used to mean making an entire pot of tea to myself, walking over to my stack of books, grabbing my favourite throw (and maybe a few cookies) before settling down to read the day away.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Oh, I’m so sorry. Doesn’t that sound idyllic and wonderful though?

Now, rainy days mean being trapped inside (my inner voice saying “you have no excuse not to do that chore you’ve been putting off!“) with a rambunctious little kid.

So what do I actually do on a rainy day?

1

 

Rainy Day Activities

 

BECKRAAdotcom_rainydaze_icepaintingcotton-ball-painting-1Erupting Art for Kids (8)

Messy Crafts 
It seems counter intuitive to do messy crafts when you can’t make the mess outside (for easier cleanup) but hear me out. If you have a few old sheets or plastic table clothes, the cleanup from your kitchen table shouldn’t be any worse, and afterwards? A nice warm bath! You can even do this with your teeny tiny kids. N enjoyed splashing paint everywhere when she was only a few months old. ūüėČ Some ideas for babies, little kids, and¬†bigger kids.

BECKRAAdotcom_rainydaze_milkcartonvillage

Build a Village 
This was technically a favourite activity of mine and my brother’s on rainy or sick days. It works for any sort of age group, and with any toys (and non toys!) you have. Use your megablocks/legos/to build basic structures or place a shoe-box on it’s side. Use your tiny kids meal toys, stuffed animals, action figures, or even salt and pepper shakers (ours were shaped like cats!). Half the fun is building up the village, the other half is destroying it! (Okay, and it might be fun to actually play with it too)

BECKRAAdotcom_rainydaze_fort

Forts
I really don’t think this needs to be explained at all¬†but here are a few ideas if you’re looking for inspiration! Here are some¬†easy forts,¬†and sofa fort blueprints,¬†and you can always set up a tent inside. Try using an umbrella, and don’t forget all your stuffed animals, action figures, and of course, some twinkle lights!

Movie Marathon 
Pssssst. I have a confession. Sometimes we have rainy movie days. We sit around on our butts for hours, lazing about the couch (sometimes in our forts) cuddled up with blankets and popcorn. I have chronic pain that flares when it’s damp, so occasionally I don’t have the choice in letting myself and my daughter relax on a rainy day. Regardless of your health, there’s no reason to beat yourself up for not doing a ton of crazy activities. Sometimes unwinding is enough. Your kids will be happy to have a happy, chill mama. I promise. Becca wrote a list of rainy day movies, which includes some of my favourites to watch with little ones as well. E.T. anyone?

Video Games
On that similar note, rainy days are the perfect excuse for video games and TV. Especially if you get right in and join your kids! One¬†of my favourite memories is¬†of my mom joining my brother and I to play Need For Speed¬†during a thunderstorm when we thought the power was going to go out any second. Thrilling, exciting, and so fun to have her with us. I can’t wait to be able to teach N how to properly play Sims, or games on the Wii. She already loves taking the xbox remote (and can get to Netflix all by herself, which I’m not sure is a good thing?) so I’m happy to pass our passion right along.

Popcorn-salts-4

Fun Food 
When the weather is wet and cold, I love a good chili or soup to warm me up. Let your little one help in the kitchen! Even if it’s just playing with some of the chopped up veggies or beans ūüôā When they’re old enough, placing things in the pot, and having it be their job to “stir occasionally” is always rewarding.¬†Other fun rainy day foods that your kid will love helping with? Nachos, DIY personal pizzas (even just on naan is always a hit!), fresh baked cookies (I like these healthy ones that my 18 mo helps “stir”!) and air popped popcorn (with way too much butter and a “toppings bar” from my spice cupboard).¬†Never underestimate involving your kid in your “chores”. Being with you¬†and being a part of what you’re doing is often magical to them, and rewarding for us.

3

Puddle Jumping
If it isn’t pouring or thundering out there, GO GET WET!¬†What else are rain boots good for? I found waterproof pants at Walmart for a steal, and with boots, and a raincoat N is good to splash and race leaves down the driveway till her hearts content (or until I’m too soggy to take it!) There’s a reason I placed this on my Spring To-Do List,¬†it’s a favourite family activity! Plus, similar to making a big mess in the kitchen, afterwards there’s nothing like a warm bath. Maybe followed by a movie, watched with some popcorn in your fort?

I hope these inspired you to enjoy your next rainy day.¬†Here’s to making the most of it!

  • xo, Kris

Writer’s Block

writersblock[img  src: Haute Chocolate]

Oh, “writer‚Äôs block.”

You’re not all that unfamiliar. I remember being in high school trying to write and not being able to get the words out, rolling my eyes and scratching out words so hard I ripped the page because nothing was right. Needing to get them to bring to band practice, to get edited by a boyfriend before a coffee house, there was a sense of urgency to complete my thoughts. Later too, in college, trying to get that great idea out on paper, put my thoughts into words with a deadline looming.

But what if there is no deadline? What if there is no set topic? What on earth am I even blocked from writing about? Writing for?

When I took away these things and really thought about it, I finally realised what my personal writer’s block has always come from.

I don’t have confidence in my own voice.

Why would anyone want to listen to what I have to say?

What makes me an expert, or even someone worth acknowledging, about anything at all?

Out of the blog posts I have written the ones that seem to get the most reads are those that peer into my personal life. Things focusing on my feelings. My feelings. Hunh. How about that?

So I need to get over myself and not take things so seriously. Write what I know, or at least what I pretend to, and that would be the inner dialogue running ramped in my head.

Alright! I can do that!

But wait!

It’s scary! I know that there are consequences of voicing an opinion online, where it can be subject to criticism I have no way of defending myself. I know that future employers will be able to see my opinions and make judgements based off that before interviewing me. I know that it will affect future clients, and even possibly could be manipulated to be used against me for a variety of other personal things. Not to mention the complete unknown future of the internet and how that will affect my daughter (or future children).

I’ve set boundaries. I will voice my opinion and discuss my life, but not my family, my significant other, or children directly. My feelings on motherhood are a journey all my own. Just as I may share a child, but the pregnancy was my own. I feel that motherhood, and all it encompasses, are mine to own and share.

OKAY COOL. I’ve got it sorted. Believe in yourself and write whatever you can, but make sure you stick to your boundaries.

WHOOPS ONE MORE THING

How do I justify taking that time away from the trillion other things I have to do? I mean, there are currently some pencil crayons on the ground that I really have no excuse to not have picked up before writing this. Some laundry I could be folding! Pre-making food for when I have a suddenly awake and starving little girl downstairs!

I don’t have to justify self-care. This is my self-care. Writing and taking a moment to have an identity outside of being a mother. That is a whole post unto itself, and a whole journey to struggle through. But I will prioritise this fun and relieving hobby to make sure I don’t lose myself.


So share I will. I look forward to babbling a lot more soon. But I am also not going to beat myself up if I need to disappear.  Luckily and happily I have the lovely Becca co-writing with me, sharing both our fun shared events, and her life as well.

Thanks for letting me be human!

xo. Kris

Seeing Legally Blonde & My Favourite Musicals

 

Legally Blonde

Last weekend Kris and I got to check out the local theater scene by seeing a version of Legally Blonde: The Musical! (And of course we dressed to theme!)legally blonde picture

I’ve been dying to see this show for years and though I¬†never got the chance to see it while it was playing in bigger city theaters, local theater came to my rescue and put on the show in my city!

Some of you may remember that cheesy MTV show a few years back called¬†Legally Blonde: The Musical – The Search for the Next Elle Woods.¬†It was a competition show where they looked for the girl who would play Elle Woods on Broadway next. This show aired in 2008 and that’s how long I’ve been waiting to see¬†Legally Blonde: The Musical.¬†So honestly, thank you local theater for making this little dream of mine come true! lol

They did a really great job and the music was everything that i’d hopped it would be!

In honor of Legally Blonde¬†and¬†local theater I wanted to do a list of my favorite musicals. I’ve always been a musical lover, so this post has been a lot of fun for me to put together!

 

The Last Five Years

51DXNaqoaeL

The is my number-one-all-time-perfection musical. It’s about the story of¬†two 20 somethings. The whole show goes through¬†the beginning of their relationship and how they fell in love, to the end of their relationship and how it became a mess. The story is moving, the music is flawless, and the movie version’s actors are so perfect! It’ll make you feel happy, sad, angry, and excited. I have the soundtrack playing in my car on repeat!

Favourite Song:¬†See I’m Smiling

Honorable Mention: Still Hurting, I Can Do Better Than That

 

La La Land

La-La-Land-poster-1-620x893.jpg

I’m sure no one really needs an introduction to La La Land, but just in case: It’s about two people who are struggling with making their dreams a reality, and the journey they have together.

There was so much hype over this movie¬†and the first time I saw the trailer, months before the movie came out, it gave me chills. I ended up seeing it twice in theaters because i literally needed to see it again! lol It made me want to be more creative, find my passions, live more in the moment. It actually kicked my butt into gear with both writing more for the blog and finally starting the online design program that I’d been putting off for months.

Favourite Song: Audition (Fools Who Dream)

Honorable Mention: Mia and Sebastions Theme, Someone in the Crowd

 

Annie

MV5BMTY3NjA4MDYxMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTMyNDgwMzE@._V1_.jpg

An absolute classic, Annie is the story of a young orphan in New York City. Because of the many movie remakes and stage revivals, it’s become so nostalgic for so many generations. I grew up with the 1999 movie version, so that’ll always be my favorite. I remember watching this version on VHS over and over again as a child. The story is heart warming and the music is so catchy!

Favourite Song: NYC

Honorable Mention: Maybe, I Think I’m Gonna Like it Here, Easy Street. (I’m so bad at picking just one!)

 

Into the Woods

into_the_woods_ver12

Of all of the musicals on this list, this is the one I most want to see live, hopefully one day I’ll get that chance. It’s the tales of Cinderella, Jack and the Bean Stock, Little Red Riding hood and Rapunzel all intertwined into one story.

I only recently watched Into the Woods (it’s on Netflix, go watch it!) and I was blown away. It was so hyped, so I was nervous it wouldn’t live up, but it exceeded my expectations! This may be the best music and lyric writing in a musical that I’ve ever gotten the pleasure of listening to, and it’s a must see!

Favorite Song: Your Fault (This is a perfect example of the fantastic music and lyrics in this show.)

Honorable Mention: Prologue (I Wish), Agony, On the Steps of the Palace. (Seriously, I can’t pick just one!)

 

 

Honorable Mention Musicals

  • Les Mis Les Mis is amazing, but it’s one of those movies you¬†really have to be in the mood for. It’s long and very intense. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful and moving and emotional, but it’s… a lot.
  • Wicked –¬†Wicked has become a classic! I got to see it at a huge, beautiful, old theater and it was great! They finally confirmed the movie adaptation in 2019 and I am so excited for it!
  • We Will Rock You –¬†I went to go see We Will Rock You¬†on a school trip, in elementary school. It was responsible for getting my whole 8th grade class into the music of Queen that year. lol Fun fact: This was actually the first musical that I ever saw live!
  • Mamma Mia¬†– I really don’t think i need to explain Mamma Mia at all. And again, it was responsible for getting me into classic, disco ABBA music!

 

* Disclaimer – all of the links and posters provided are of the movie version, not the stage version. I’ve only been lucky enough to see a handful of these shows live on stage. Though hopefully one day I’ll have seen them all, for now I used the movies as a reference, just to keep things uniform and recognizable.

  • xo, becca.

Spring Re-Fresh

girl-using-tablet-on-the-garden-picjumbo-com

[image src]

WordPress is updating, so I started typing this post in a sticky note. The intro to which I had been speculating would be something cute about how I’m not even sure if my baby monitor was going to die while I tried to write this, as I haven’t used it in two days. It’s been chaos and sickness and we haven’t had normal nap times or bed times or adult alone time in a while. (I just wanna write a blog post and play some sims, okay?)

Guess what? It died. That, in summary, is how things have been going lately.

April is normally the time I refresh. It’s never January. I read a study once upon a time (that was reiterated in a mental health seminar) that the idea of starting anew and trying to set goals mid-winter is very unrealistic. That’s actually the time to splurge, spoil yourself, and spend as much time with loved ones and doing fun things as possible. Because getting to the end of winter is HARD. Post-holiday happiness is HARD. Suddenly losing the prettiness of twinkly lights all around your home is HARD. (Okay, that last one might just be me.) So make yourself feel better! Start fresh when the world does, in Spring!

April is my GET THINGS GOING time. I have fresh bursts of energy, and I’m usually no longer in immense pain because the weather has warmed up. I had plans to start painting the house now that we can open the windows! I have birthday parties to plan! Easter is here! But alas, we’ve all been insanely sick, and when¬†A works 28 days straight, that means so do I.

But, I’m on the mend! I have lots of exciting things coming up, including being back to posting about my life endlessly. Here’s my vague¬†list of Spring/Summer Projects 2017. Maybe these will inspire you to start something new this spring.

House Stuff

  • Paint the house (especially the zebra stripes!)
  • Backsplash the kitchen
  • DIY lamps &¬†fireplace
  • Plant front garden &¬† honeybee seeds (get your free seeds here!)

Parenting Stuff

  • Join a stroller-group and attend once a month (half done!)
  • Puddle jump at least twice more
  • Kid friendly art projects, and DISPLAY them

Self-care Stuff

  • Play my first game of derby as a DRRD’y Farmer!
  • Have girl-dates with my best friends, minus my baby
  • Take 1hr a week for hygienic self-care.
    (Do a facemask, actually blowdry my hair all the way, paint my nails, whatever)

Blog More of course! 

A bit rambly, but it’s the vague outline I have for the upcoming months. Setting goals and refreshing my routine come spring-time is one of my favourite things. Thanks for checking in!

  • xo, Kris

How I Asked My Bridesmaids

 

 

becca-is-getting-married

 

Getting to ask our wedding party to actually be our wedding party was such a fun part of this process for me! I spent a lot of time googling and thinking about how i wanted to ask them.

When it came down to it, my inspiration came from a bit of online shopping! When i was browsing a store online i came across these dainty, sweet little bracelets that were in the shape of knots. The symbolism was perfect and i decided to make the purchase! One for each of our moms and one for each bridesmaid. The “asking the brides maids” theme ended up being “will you help me tie the knot?”

DSC_0231.JPG

 


For each bridesmaid i wrote a personal letter, which for obvious reasons, i’ll keep private. I just talked a bit about our friendship and why i’m so proud to have them in my wedding party. I also wrote a longer letter and gave a copy of that to everyone. In the longer letter I outlined things like the planning process and the fun things coming up (bachelorette party – whoop!)

Lastly I made a little cover page for each of the girls. It was a simple sign actually asking them the “big” question!

will you help me tie the knot-

 

 


After everyone in the Bridal party had agreed to be a part of it i got to make a Facebook group for us, which is so fun to me! I love to have a place where we can all post our ideas and communicate with each other all at once. I even made a cute little header for the group, posted below!

Becca's Bridal Bitches

 


After all is said and done, I’m so happy with how my “bridesmaids proposal” turned out, and I’m so excited to have these amazing girls in my wedding party. My sister Laura, Ryan’s sisters Shannon and Danah and my girlfriends Danielle, Kris and Kristin are going to be amazing bridesmaids and i cant wait to really get into the wedding festivities!

my brides maids

 

  • xo, becca.

The Engagement Party

becca-is-getting-married

Three months after we got engaged we finally had our engagement party and it was so much fun! A small group of our close friends and our siblings came together to celebrate with us and I’m so grateful!¬†We played the “Soon to be Newly Wed Game” (hosted by Kris) and “Who knows the Bride and Groom Best?” (Hosted by Ryan’s sister Danah) and it was such a good time!

I started off my two years of “bridal-ness” by wearing all white for the occasion! Which i quickly split a red jello shot on, so i ended up changing into legging approximately 2 hours into the party…lol But at least i got a few pictures of my outfit before i ruined it!

A couple of thank yous to hand out Рmy lovely friend Corri was kind enough to take some pictures for us, so thank you so much! And to Kris as well, for helping with the set up and printing a fun little poster for us!

Take a look at some of the pictures and festivities below!

 

  • xo, becca.

My Top Five Albums

 

Today i¬†wanted to talk about my top five favorite albums. Lorde’s first album Pure Heroine¬† made my cut so in honor of her new and upcoming music,¬†i thought there was no better time to post this!

The thing about music, is that the first few notes of a song can transport you to another day or change your mood and emotions entirely. All of the albums on this list do that for me and this was a really fun and intimate article to write. I was really brought back in time and reminded of so many good, bad, sad and emotional memories, As i wrote about each album i listen to it’s songs and it was a slightly emotional post for me!

(*disclaimer – it was already hard enough for me to narrow down my top albums, you can’t expect me to put them in order as well! So this list is in no particular order.)

 

1.-Lorde-Pure-Heroine

Lorde- Pure Heroine

This album came out in 2013, but i really got into it during my first year out of college, 2014. I love it because only a handful of the songs on it are romantic. A lot of them are about life Рsome are as simple as spending time with friends (No Better), or as deep as commenting on society and the way we live. (Tennis Court)

Favorite Song: White Teeth Teens

Honorable Mention: No Better (this is actually my favorite song on the album, but it’s from the extended edition, so i feel like i can’t make it my official fave.)

Best Memory of this Album: I really got into this album when i first moved in with my now fiance, so it has lots of memories of love and romantic happiness attached to it! Those are my favorites, but what’s funny is that I also remember walking home from the gym once, listening to this album, when Ryan texted me saying that our room mates were having a big blow out fight. And that’s just how music and memory work! It’s not like that fight has any impact on my life after that day, i wasn’t even involved in it, i just happened to be listening to that album as i arrived home to a screaming match and for some reason it stuck with me. lol!

 

Breakaway_Album

Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway

This album was actually one of the first albums i ever bought myself. I was only about 8 years old when it came out in 2003 but i think i actually bought the album when i was about 11. I actually still have my original copy and it’s one of the most played¬†CD’s in my car!

This album is so much more then a frilly pop CD, so please really give it a true listen before rolling your eyes at it. If you actually give the lyrics a chance you’ll see that it’s full of emotion and thought. Sure, there are the iconic pop anthems (like all of Kelly’s CD’s) like¬†Since U Been Gone, but there are emotional songs (like all of Kelly’s CD’s) like¬†Because of You¬†(which is about her father).

Favorite Song: Addicted

Honorable Mention: Gone

Best Memory of this Album:¬†It’s funny that my greatest memories of this album are from current day. It came out over a decade ago, but i love to blast this album in the summer with the windows down and the sunroof open! Summer 2016 definitely comes to mind.

 

51lnoteKq9L

Sarah Harmer – You Were Here

This album is a indie folk style album by a Canadian artist. It came out in 2000, but i really got into it in 2013.

Any of my family members who may be reading this are probably laughing. This was an album that was constantly playing at family parties and gatherings growing up, especially on my dads side. It was pretty much the sound track to my childhood and it reminds me of running around with my cousins, and playing in the yard.

It wasn’t until my second year of college that i really began to listen to it as an adult, and take in the music for myself. Now, this is also a big break up album for me. It reminds me of walking through Toronto, music blasting in my head phones, feeling sorry for myself because i had just broken up with a summer fling and i was back in school having to complete a program that i had lost interest in.

Favorite Song: Capsized and  Lodestar.

Honorable Mention:¬†Uniform Grey, Basement Apartment, Don’t Get Your Back Up. (All nostalgic, i can’t just pick one!)

Best Memory of This Album: Childhood and family.

*side note – if you only listen to one album from this list, let it be this one. It’s so unique and beautiful and under appreciated!

 

 

TML

Drake – Thank Me Later

This album came out in 2010 and shocker – this time i actually bought and listened to the album the year it came out! I remember hearing one of Drake’s first main stream singles¬†Best I Ever Had¬†and thinking to myself “Damn. I need to get this guys album.” Thank Me Later¬†is actually what i credit for jump starting my rap/hip hop phase, which enjoyed through high school and into my first year of college. lol!

Best Song: Karaoke

Honorable Mention: Show Me a Good Time

Best Memory of This Album: Hanging out in my bedroom with my friends in high school.

 

 

Taylor_Swift_-_Red

Red – Taylor Swift

This was the album of grade 12 (2012, the year it came out) and¬†the following two years of college. This was another huge break up album for me, as it got me through my ‘big, end of high school’ break up and it’s still an album i put on to this day when i’m feeling emotional about almost anything.

It’s full of iconic ballads, fun, poppy dance tracks and quiet, emotional love songs. Pretty much the formula to a great album right there.

Best Song:¬†All Too Well¬†(IMO this is Taylor Swift’s best song ever.)

Honorable Mention:¬†Begin Again, State of Grace, (and¬†State of Grace acoustic, which isn’t officially on the album.)

Best Memory of This Album:¬†The song¬†State of Grace reminds me, down to every lyric, of me and Ryan’s relationship, so that song always brings good vibes. In general I’m reminded of high school friends and scream singing the songs in my car. (This album is so belt-out-able. Is that a thing? It’s just so easy to get into the emotion of each track and sing as loud as you can to every lyric!)

*side note – i think it’s pretty well known that Taylor Swift doesn’t let her music live on Youtube, so the Youtube links to her songs aren’t quality…

 

Honorable Mention Albums:

Taylor Swift’s 1989 was close to making the cut, but i really couldn’t have two Taylor Swift albums on the list… I’m not a super fan, even i know that’s a bit much.

I also adore the to the movie version of the musical¬†The Last Five Years, but since it’s a soundtrack i thought i would save it. I want to do a favorite Musicals post soon, so i’ll talk about it then!

  • xo, becca.

 

 

*disclaimer – i do not own the rights or images to any of the photos used in this blog post.