3 ways to optimize 2015 no matter what your resolutions!

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The nights have slowly been getting longer (Thank God) and this nutty year is coming to an end.  Now that you are starting to get the hang of things as a BrandNewMom, why not set some personal goals for 2015?

Well, there are only a handful of hours left of what has been a whirlwind of a year! I vaguely remember saying to myself this time last year that I wasn’t going to make any specific New Years resolutions. There was rather more of a reeling desperation to once again get a good nights sleep and sense of normality in mine and my husbands’ lives. You see, my little boy was born Dec 11, 2014 and since then, we have only just begun to get more than 3 consecutive hours sleep. But I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir and all you Brandnewmom’s know what I’m talking about!

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4 reasons you WILL miss being pregnant!

Whether you have spent your first trimester hugging the porcelain bowl or yearning for the day you can soon enjoy some of your fave sushi again, believe it or not you WILL miss being pregnant.

You will miss the temporary endowments and shopping trips!
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 (photo credit Diemstudiosinc)

You may have walked passed the mirror and saw what looked like a teenage version of yourself! You can thank the increase in oestrogen during pregnancy which has done wonders for your aesthetics! Your hair is as thick and silky as Repunzels’, your nails as healthy and hard as an acrylic French mani, and your skin is literally glowing like the sunrise. This more youthful look can do wonders for your mood and keep you feeling wonderful despite any inherent pregnancy physical symptoms you may be experiencing. (more…)

Trouble Shooting Iced Christmas Cookies

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Everyone has a favourite bunch of recipes they look forward to baking around the holidays. For me, sugar cookies carefully decorated in royal icing is a labour of love.
This year my sister from OdieLuMediaGroup asked me to do a corporate Christmas Cookie package for her VIP clients. This normally would be an easy undertaking but I agreed before realizing she needed them done the same day as my baby boys first birthday! Needless to say, I will never do that again. However, I said I would do them and kept my word.
This time around, I made some big cookie mistakes. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when baking your Christmas sugar cookies this year;

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Nesting…Knocking out a Nursery!

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This was one of my favourite things to do in preparation for our LO’s arrival. We love nature and wild animals so deciding on an “classy jungle” theme was a no brainer. Something simple, clean, and serene would translate into a sleepy sophisticated setting for our LO to rest his head. We plan on converting our guest bedroom into more bright and stimulating play room. Not only would a dichromatic nursery yield pleasant dreams, it is also gender neutral. This way when we have our next LO we can incorporate other accent colours, like perhaps, pink! 😉

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 Here’s a breakdown of the finished room.

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Announcing Baby!

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Congratulations you are pregnant!!! Now what??

Whether its a big surprise or you have done some “planning”, you and your partner now have a few more major decisions to make.

To tell or not to tell? That is the question.

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TTC? Surprising emotions that may accompany this “trying” time

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 (photo credit Diemstudiosinc)

Unless you get pregnant on the first “try”, there’s a good possibility you and your partner are in for an emotional roller-coaster ride. Fasten your safety belts because it WILL be a bumpy ride! TTC can be a tumultuous time in your relationship or marriage.

 *Tip of the day* Ovulation and pregnancy tests from the drug stores can get expensive. Thankfully we found out early on that none other than the good ol dollar store carries them!

 Elation, Anxiety or disappointment?

 So you have made the decision to TTC and are so happy to bring a little one into your lives? You research the best timing in your cycle, you DTD (do the deed) and anxiously await the results. You pee on the stick, embrace each other tightly and stare for the next few minutes for that positive sign to appear. If it does, you are crying tears of joy! However if that is not the case, all of a sudden you cry tears of disappointment, worry, sadness, insecurity or inadequacy. We even felt jealousy when we would see teenagers and other parents happily pushing their buggies. On top of all those emotions, DTD soon became a chore and lost its lustre.

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Pre-conception   

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When my husband and I first met, one important quality (among many) we both hoped for in a partner was someone who shared strong family values. To some, immediate and extended family may not be of particular importance but for each of us, this was simply intrinsic. One day we would hope to be blessed with a tight-knit family of our own.

After we got married and purchased our first home, we felt ready for the next step in our lives. Like a lot of new couples, we wanted to ease our way into parent-hood. So after lengthy research, we rescued 2 retired racing greyhounds from Greyhound Relocation and Adoption Canada! They fit so wonderfully into our new little family and we thought to ourselves, “Okay, we are ready”.

So what happens next besides the obvious?!

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Well, why not do our best to be our healthiest for each other and our future little one by taking a look at our mind, body and spirit?

We researched as much as we could online, in books and asked our loved ones for conception tips and tricks for when we would start trying to conceive (TTC)  WhattoExpect.com is a great resource. We had deliberate conversations on child rearing practices/decisions and ensured that dialogue was always open. Onlookers could always tell whenever we got too busy to check-in with one another. :)

Before conceiving, my husband and I began cleansing our bodies of excessive processed foods, junk, alcohol and stayed away from potential teratogens. We ate more nutrient dense foods and I began taking these all natural vitamins. Of course, these lifestyle changes are great no matter what if going on in your life. We scheduled pre-conception doctor appointments to check for any anomalies and kept up our work out routines.

Lastly but definitely not least, we continued to nurture our growing faith, through prayer, study and shared our daily devotionals.

It all seem pretty obvious one might say however, unless we are deliberate in each of these areas, they can quickly be placed on the backburner and fizzle out. This will then directly reflect on the relationship which will suffer.

So, all things considered despite our age, we figured getting pregnant would be easy. Was the aforementioned enough? Did any of it matter? Were we being naïve?

Stay tuned for future post on Trying to Conceive (TTC)

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That Friday Blog Hop

First Comes Love…

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 (photo credit Diemstudiosinc)

Although it seems like an eternity,  my husband and I have been together for 3.5 years. We fell in love at first sight and knew we would spend the rest of our lives together.  But what waslove to us? How did it differ this time from other “loves” in the past? How would this “love” last? To me, as an upwards of 50% of marriages these days end up in divorce, searching for what propels the other 50% to not only last, but thrive was imperative.

 Growing up, I had what many young women had…a fairy tale dream of what life would ultimately be like. One day I would find a wonderful husband, have an impermeable marriage, and beautiful family. But after a few failed relationships and a seeking heart, I wondered if that dream only existed in my conjured Utopia. Feeling hopeless and only after exhausting all other options, did I pray.

 I soon realized that my past longterm relationships were my attempt to subconsciously force that fairy tale ideal into fruition. Or worse, blissfully yet dangerously, ignore the warning signs or lack of the natural qualities/ values/ belief system that jived with mine. What I thought was love, was the farthest thing from it.

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After being primed to understand what love certainly was not, its’ true definition was, at last, presented to me in the form of my husband. (Awwwwwe:) He was not Mr. Dream or Mr. Perfect like the fairy tale I had envisioned. He was, afterall, human just like me and soulfully flawed. However, there exists a presence of immaterial, unspeakable, unmatched connection for one another and a joint understanding of what love would be to us.

A stale, stagnant or dissolving state is what many marriages fall victim to. Our belief and foundation of what love truly looks like comes from the Bible, (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) and was by no mistake spoken at our wedding ceremony. While many can recite this verse from memory, after its initial utterance, it is soon forgotten or worse signifigance is lost as a modern day colloquilaism. We decided together that the survival of this love requires the watchful eye from the heavens above and the willingness, on both our parts, to continually examine, nurture and grow together.

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So far, our young marriage has been the most challenging yet rewarding and eye-opening time in our lives. We have already learned so much about each other as individuals and as a couple and our faith grows stronger. Through it all, it all comes back to the root of it all, love.

 I took the time to write this is because perhaps this may be somewhat of a revelation, cause for deeper relational introspection or hopefully ring true to your marriage/partnership before becoming a Brand New Mom.

 So what is love to you and your partner?