Writer’s Block

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Oh, “writer’s 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

Spring Re-Fresh

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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

Winter One-derland

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You can have the best laid plans in the world – but sometimes life gets in the way. Am-I-right?

We had scheduled a first birthday party, the morning of two other events. I also had an event the night before that we were going to be a little late for, because work schedules. That’s okay! I thought. My mom was going to come down early, and we would decorate and clean the entire house the day before, and prep the food. That way, the morning of my mom could finish off the food, Andrew would go to the store to pick up fresh doughnuts and hot chocolate, and I could take some cute photos for the blog…

Ha. Hahahaha. Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

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I’m not going to explain the series of several events, but between multiple people bailing on me, and getting seriously sick the morning of (almost go to the hospital sick) … we moved it to the next day.

My sister and sister-in-law coming from Downtown and Missisauaga respectively had already left by the time we rescheduled, and since they were family we did low-key visits with them during the day. A good amount of people still showed the next day, which was nice. Although I don’t have ANY pictures (except a few cell-phone pics of the cake smash) my baby had fun, and we got to see some friends and enjoy ourselves. That’s all that really matters right?

 

I thought I should probably share these printables that I made, although I didn’t get any cute photos of them in use 😦

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BIG SIGNS: These signs I had printed at Staples using the engineering prints.

  • Welcome To The Winter Wonderland: We used the welcome sign that said “please come in” so that we didn’t have to run back and forth to the door, especially with the cold weather! We have a “knock and enter” household as it is, but I did include a sign without it, if you’d prefer!
  • Baby It’s Cold Out There: The lettering is smaller in the middle because we weren’t sure how much space we wanted it to take up. We added paper snowflakes, foam snowflakes, and glittery foam snowmen around it and had this as a wall decoration.

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FOOD SIGNS:

  • It’s Chili In Here: I like puns. This was placed on the cupboard above the chili, because … winter, chili … Yup. This was a bigger sign.
  • Food Tags:
    • Hot Chocolate Bar: What great winter party isn’t equipped with a hot chocolate bar?! People probably know what candy canes and marshmallows are, but the extracts and powders aren’t always clear. Plus, this makes everything look cohesive. We got two carafs of hot chocolate from Tim Horton’s, as we were crunched for time. I would still do this in future, but maybe use gift wrap on the caraf to make it look a bit nicer.
    • There’s a few fun winter food ideas in here too. “Cold Cuts” and “Melted Snowman (ranch dressing, carrots, pretzel sticks). For “snowballs” we used powdered TimBits and got them fresh that morning, but there are a LOT of small white desserts you could use. cookies, big marshmallows, rice krispie balls, white truffles, etc. For beverages we had “Melted Iceberg”(water) and Hawaiian Blue Punch as our “Polar Punch” because of it’s great colour.
    • I’ve also left blanks for to be added for whatever you need! / I forgot 🙂

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ACTIVITIES:

  • Make A Snowman!: This can be used a myriad of ways. Either taped to the fridge (or metal door) and then add magnets to the accessories, OR use the snowman as a template with white felt, and add felt to the backs of the accessories. Then they will “stick” and this can be done on the floor as well as the wall. Printed as an engineering print on 24×36.  I’ve left blank space if you’d like to draw your own items to add, and a banner at the bottom you can cut out and use as well.  For a smaller, table game, print out on 8×10 sheets and let children colour &/ cut and paste.
  • Time Capsule : I’ve included “He/She/They options depending on the needs of your birthday child[ren]. I suggest filling in the sign with a fun example, but it can be framed or placed on the wall. I had my slips printed on blue 8×10 paper and then asked to use the paper cutter to cut them out. I then put them in a snowflake tin. P.S. I, also, will not be reading these until my child turns 18!

 

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EXTRAS: Thank You! We had hot chocolate powder and marshmallows in little baggies, with a snowflake design on them, for guest to take as they left, and we had a sign taped above them. However you could just as easily frame it!

 

 

DOWNLOAD LIST:

Baby It’s Cold Out There

It’s Chili In Here

Food Tags

Make A Snowman

Thank You Snow Much

Time Capsule [He] | Time Capsule [She] | Time Capsule They

Time Capsule Slips

Welcome To The Winter One-derland | Welcome – Please Come In

I also made tassel banners, a banner with monthly photos printed out and strung up, and TONS of paper snowflakes (which are REALLY hard to do without an exact o-knife!)

Hope your next event goes as planned!

Lots of winter wishes! & Happy January!

  • xo, Kris

Holiday Outfits – Christmas ’16

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Wait – no – it doesn’t work if you can’t hear my voice. Frosty the snowman reference anyone?

Here’s a quick peak at what we’ll be wearing this Christmas!

 

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Becca: My outfit description is going to be pretty lame because non of it is new, which means I can’t post any links to the specific pieces! I’m sorry! Just for the sake of it, I’ll link the store website.

Dress – American Eagle (bought about five years ago), Gold Sparkly Heels – Aldo  (bought about four years ago, and are my favorite shoes i own!), Blazer – Suzie Sheir  (bought about four years ago)

–♥–

Kris: Red Dress – Bluenotes a different colour or similar dress, Nude Pumps Just Fab (no longer available), Red Leather Belt – Vintage

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  • xo, Becca & Kris

P.S. If you’ve noticed the bottom half of my tree doesn’t have ornaments … just remember that I have a one year old. We also don’t place our star/angel on top until Christmas Eve. ❤

15 Must Watch Christmas Movies

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One Christmas when my older sister was young, she decided to chart and record every single holiday special she could onto VHS tapes. I can’t tell you definitively what year that was, only that it was the 90’s and featured a lot of 70’s & earlier Christmas movies. Those are the tapes I grew up watching with my siblings.

I actually still have some of the tapes, and the honest-to-goodness best part? Watching the commercials. I know. 

Now, as I’ve got older my sister and I have added movies like The Holiday and Love Actually to our “must watch movies” but on Boxing Day as we slowly wind down our Christmas spirit.

Becca and I have comprised a list of some of our favourite holiday movies (although there are some we disagree on, see #11a/b) – hopefully we encourage you to branch out! Who knows, maybe I’ll watch some Arthur …

  • K

 

15 Must Watch Christmas Movies

  1. A Christmas Story
  2. White Christmas
  3. Elf
  4. The Santa Claus
  5. Arthur’s Perfect Christmas (Yes, Arthur the cartoon aardvark. Don’t hate, this is truly one of the best Christmas specials and I’m always so excited to watch it! -B)
  6. It’s a Wonderful Life
  7. The Holiday
  8. Love Actually
  9. Disney’s Sing-Along Songs: Very Merry Christmas (what, you mean you don’t still have the VHS? -K)
  10. a) Home Alone (the 1st one only! -B)
    b) Home Alone 2 (All others are blehh -K)
  11. Frosty The Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & Santa Claus is Coming to Town (must be watched together!)
  12. Miracle on 34th Street (1994) OR (1947)
  13. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas BOTH VERSIONS
  14. “The Stingiest Man in Town” (1978) (My fav. version of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”-K)
  15. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • xo, Becca & Kris

Gals Gift Guide

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Next up in our series of Gift Guides is for Gal’s! Sister, work bestie, actual BFF, & etc. But hey – if you know a guy who’d rock that scarf harder than I would … wrap it up!

WANT: A Beauty Advent Calendar I gave a beauty advent calendar as a gift once and it was such a hit! I think it’s a lot of fun to give someone a present that they can “reopen” everyday for the entire month! Definitely worth the money if you have a bigger budget. A great example is this Nyx one! -B

NEED: Clinique Moisture Surge Alright. I know that trying to buy people creams is annoying. After they’re 15 they have their own very specific preferences that you must buy exactly, or not at all. Scented gift lotion baskets just get shoved under the sink… BUT this lotion … it is a need. Hear me out. It works on every skin type (and I have crazy sensitive skin), and this time of year even the oiliest skin is getting whipped by winters harsh winds and blasted by over zealous heaters. Oh yeah and it can go under or OVER your makeup! Meaning you can put it on throughout the day if you need to. It comes in multiple sizes at multiple price points. It doesn’t smell like an old lady … Everyone needs a moisturizer. I’m just letting you know the one that is actually going to get used. 🙂 -K

WEAR: Warm Accessories I know that buying a scarf and hat are no giant revelation, with good reason. You don’t have to worry about size, you don’t have to worry about price, and you can always find something that suits the person! One of my best scarf finds to date was for a good friend that likes The Nightmare Before Christmas … I found her a pretty, floral, infinity scarf … that has tiny Jack Skellington faces on it. Subtle, and she loves it. My brother buys my sister and I a scarf each year and without fail it’s one of the items that I get the most use out of. A warm hat, or texting gloves to go with that, and it’s a perfect combo! Some of my favourites are here, and here, but I love Winners for high quality, unique accessories. -K

READ: A Female Comedians Book Anyone who knows me knows that I love any book written by a female comedian. To be honest, this niche genre is probably my favorite type of book to read! (and I can’t wait to write a post all about them in the future!) I have books by Mindy Kaling, Chelsea Handler, Tina Fey, Amy Schumer and Amy Pohler. I think it’s a great way to learn more about strong, talented women and a great source of entertainment! A great example is Anna Kendrick’s new book entitled Scrappy Little Nobody which just debut this week, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it! (*Hint hint* to anyone still looking for Christmas present ideas for me…) -B

BONUS Stocking Stuffer: A fun tumbler or travel mug!

  • xo, Becca & Kris

Looking for more gift guides? Beckraa’s parent gift guide is here

Disclaimer: We are in no way compensated for these product recommendations. Any and all opinions and comments are entirely the authors’ own. 

Winter Playlist

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Winter is coming!

Even though it’s not technically winter till December 22nd, here in Canada I can realistically tell you that winter can start as early as October (although we were blessed with a very mild November! People wore shorts the first two weeks!)  we have hit snow, and it isn’t even December 1st yet.

In order to get you in a snowy spirit, I thought I’d share 10 winter songs! I’ll be playing these at my daughters Winter One-derland birthday – and although some have a Christmas feel to them, they are mostly centered around cold weather

In the list is one of my absolute favourite songs for this time of year, “My Boots” by Lights. Growing up near Toronto she knows full well that half of our year is snow covered, and wanted to make a “winter anthem” to go along with allllll those summer anthems out there. How awesome is that? Plus, it’s a super catchy song. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Winter Wonderland – Ella Fitzgerald
  2. My Boots – Lights
  3. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Dean Martin
  4. Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes
  5. Baby It’s Cold Outside – Buddy Clark And Dinah Shore
  6. White Winter Hymnal – Pentatonix (Fleet Foxes Cover)
  7. Frosty the Snowman
  8. A Marshmellow World – Bing Crosby
  9. Winter Song – Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson
  10. Sweater Weather – Max & Alyson Stoner (The Neighbourhood Cover)
  • xo, Kris