Thursday, August 4, 2016

Podcasts // loving right now

Since I became a grown up, I am starting to appreciate the quiet.  
When the kids are in bed and the TV is turned off, its like my head can breath again.

I put podcasts in that category somewhat.  It's a nice alternative to music and television.  When I go for a walk, I will often download a podcast to listen along the way.

I am into it.

The Simple Show // Tsh Oxenreider discusses many things but always with intention. She somehow she puts things in perspective for me.

Elise Gets Crafty // Elise Blaha's podcast often hits the nail on the head as she discusses her world of being a mom and running a home crafty business.

The Lively Show // Jess Lively finds a way to help me progress and certainly continue to be the best version of myself.

The Paperclipping Roundtable // This is a memory keeping podcast but it invites different guests to discuss telling their story and why.

Live Inspired // Tracie Claiborne chats with guests to bring you information about what inspires you.  This doesn't have to be necessarily in the DIY world.

There are so many more that I want to listen to like Being BossOne Bad Mommy and Ted Radio Hour but I don't have time for them yet.  What are you listening to and when?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Cape Spear | Adventures with kids

Adventure Time:       One Hour.
Public Washrooms:   Yes. Indeed.
Price:                         Free
Strollers:                    Very limited.

It was mid July when we decided to get up on a Saturday morning and explore Cape Spear.

Ahem. Rewind. My husband actually suggested this short adventure. Now. My husband is amazing in many ways but to say he has a "get up and at 'em attitude" would be completely out of this world.
"Let's go to Cape Spear." He said. "Where can we go today, do you think?"

Coming just back from work - now being 10am.  I wanted to just sit down with a coffee.  But I was silenced. A deer caught in head lights.

...shhhhhh.  Nobody. Move. Let's see if he says it again..

"We don't have anything until when?"

... could this be real life?

"Well, I suppose we can go to Cape Spear if you want to. We have a birthday party at 2pm and we have a Butterfly release at 4pm at Bowring Park."  

And... so we did.  

For those who don't know, Cape Spear is the most Eastern point in North America. I am not here to tell you a history lesson because quite frankly, I did History in French by perhaps a lack luster teacher who only made me memorize words out of a book rather than force me to actually learn... I just don't know the answers.

Today was the day to go to Cape Spear.  The whales were everywhere.  We saw them close and we saw them far. Of course, not caught on camera.  I will send you a link though of someone else that caught them on video on the same day.  

It never gets old.  Not this kind of beauty.

Like many parts of Newfoundland you can be sure that weather can be a big factor in your experience.  But no amount of weather can stop you from feeling the energy of this place. I am just if you capture it in a bottle that #darknl would never happen.

Back to reality.

If you are like me, the thought of having my three year old unpredictable "Batman" near the edges of any cliffs will bring my heart out of my chest.  The laws were laid: "STAY ON THE PATH".

Hey. Hey. Hey. Kid. Kid. Jack. Jack..
"What did we just say?"
On. The. Path.
"Read. The. Sign."
Easier said then done. But I was born for this challenge. Bring it kids. I can already see my mini me dragging Jack back onto the boardwalk in between cartwheels and the Husband not seeing a thing.

We started our hike by travelling towards the Atlantic Ocean from the parking lot where we could point out Signal Hill. We followed the boardwalk and the dirt trails while watching the whales dancing in the distance. Quite literally. We saw five at the same time as we walked in.  We stopped at the look-out where crowds are often gathered looking for sea creatures.  Today they found plenty and you could feel the excitement.

The whale lost their appeal as it seems waiting 10 seconds between blasts of water bellowing out of their spouts was too long.

As you go around the hike you end up in the entrance of the old jail.  We climbed the canons and went inside as far as you could.  At one time, you could walk through a short path of this dark and grungy place but it's locked up now.... and well, thank goodness... I am 34 years old and am still scared of the dark.  That can be our secret. Shh.

Regardless, its like there's a tingle in the air... like you can feel the spirits and the magic, most certainly you can feel the heros and the sorrows that occurred.

Right now, I am just here for the party.
"Party. Party. Party." The Husband would say.

I suppose you could also say I am here to get my Fitbit steps in too. *wink

Following the path to the lighthouse. Warning!! Warning!! Watch out Mommies - there's lots of stairs here so leave those strollers behind.  Batman was slow as molasses - Still, there was no complaints from him or any person on the path behind us. Let's get real here - they were all thankful for a reason to go slow.

At the top of the hill, we saw photographers everywhere but what was most intriguing was an older lady from Parks Canada blowing a whistle indicating to all the fools to move away from the edge. No one listened so I am not sure why she is there - that was highly entertaining.

We sat at the top and looked all around then slowly made our way to the larger building.  There's a snack place and a craft store if that's what turns your crank but with two kids I ran away.

Back down the wide steps. Slow and steady Batman. This kid is my style.  He's a "Mosier".  On the contrary, Jane is doing cartwheels on every platform.  I didn't stop her - there's lots of room to be yourself here.

Be free friends. 

Happy adventuring.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

a rainy day bucket list | what to do in st. john's, newfoundland

You have a full day to tackle the world.

You are ready for a family weekend adventure.

It's raining.

You are not feeling like a fish today.
Get serious... I never do.

Let's do this.

A Rainy Day Bucket List || St. John's, Newfoundland

1. Movie Day
2. GeoCentre
3. Axtion
4. Clay Cafe
5. Fluvarium 
6. Railway Museum
7. The Rooms
8. PolkaDot Place, Seedlings or Brighter Futures playgroups (pre-school kids)
9. Family Swim: The Y, Summit, CBS Pool and Aquaria
10. Bowling at Paradise Bowl, Riverdale Lanes, St. Pats or Plaza Bowl
11. Chapters (Watch for story time)
12. The Little Gym and Cygnus Gymnastics Drop-in programs
13. Wall Climbing at Wallnuts
14. Play a board game at Mochaopoly
15. Play interactive games at Breakout NL
16. Pick out some books at the Arts n' Culture Centre Library

she didn't make the team | real life

It happened.

She didn't make the team.

As a parent, this happens all the time.  But this is my first time. She is five years old and didn't make the competitive gymnastics team. So let's be real here - she doesn't even know what's going on.  She just shows up to the gym a couple times a week and gets to work. She has no idea she's currently in an advanced program.

But when I got that email, it was a surprise. Now, I am not blind. I can tell that she may need work on her core, where as the next gymnast might need work on her flexibility and another on cartwheels.  Her report card gave no real indication either. Regardless, of the reason why, it was a disappointment.

It might be useful to point out that I've coached for many years of my life and have had to cut hundreds of kids.  Now I am on the other side. Ouch.  I am surprised by how much it hurt.  Almost like, I didn't make a team.

I'd like to know exactly why I feel that I have let my daughter down?

You heard me right.  I let her down.

It might be a Mom guilt thing. Logically, I know that I sincerely didn't let her down.

But my brain immediately went to all the times I never took her for a jog.  All the vacations when we didn't do her stretching.  All the times when I fed her McDonalds or a frozen pizza instead of lean chicken breast and vegetables.  I immediately wondered about whether I should have emailed when I was disappointed in the coaching or if I pushed her too hard.  Clearly, this was my fault.

No. No. Miss Lady.  No you don't.  Don't go there.

But. Just for one moment. Think about why is it that many Mom's and parents feel exactly the way that I do.

Is it related to the fact that I already feel that my child is behind because she doesn't know how to skate or ride a bike with her trainers off or tie her shoes?

Were Moms feeling this way 20 or 30 years ago?  Has society changed us?

All I can tell you is this - Yes. I do feel this way. For now.  But I can assure you when I wake up tomorrow morning, I'll be focused on the important things like drinking coffee... I mean that.  In a sense at least. I'll be focused on watching my daughter to make sure she's happy.  She won't be happy if I serve her coffee... but every time I try, her brother gets into fits of laughter, which causes a chain reaction. That's happiness. Coffee and belly laughs.

Tomorrow, I'll remember that it's not my fault.  And in a week's time, I'll be so excited that I don't have to fight with my daughter on a sunny Sunday to get dressed for gymnastics.

We will see you again in September stinky gym but in the recreational program.

Update to this post: // A couple days later a spot opened in the competitive program and as such Little Miss was offered this spot.  She has taken the spot and will be re-assessed in September. I suppose all you can say here is, you simply never know so don't count your chickens before they are hatched.  And also, be kind. Kindness matters.

Monday, June 6, 2016

a sunny day bucket list | what to do in st. john's, Newfoundland

I get that "Mom Guilt".

My husband doesn't but I do. Why is that?

I get the feeling in my belly whenever the sun is shining, that I should... that I NEED to be doing something with my kids.

Don't get me wrong here, we do a lot of free play in my world - which I value very much.  However, when you live in Newfoundland, Canada, you really only have a dozen sunny days.  Therefore, when one comes around, you need to take advantage.  When it lands on a weekend, its when things get 'real crazy'.

Last year, I decided that I would make a point to have weekend adventures.  I made a summer bucket list and included it at the back of my Erin Condren Life Planner.  When I looked at my schedule, I fit in one of the items from the list. See what that looks like here.

A Sunny Day Bucket List || St. John's, Newfoundland

1. Ferryland Lighthouse Picnic
2. Salmonier Nature Park
3. Catch pricklies in Rotary Sunshine Camp 
4. Petty Harbour Touch Tank
5. MUN Botanical Gardens
6. Have a fire + boil up at Topsail Beach 
7. Manuels River Interpretation Centre
8. GeoCentre: Hike 
9. Bannerman Park swimming + picnic + frisbee golf
10. Ocean Science Centre
11. Mini Golf
12. Berry Picking: Lester's Farm U-Pick (Opens, Thursday July 21, 2016)
13. Marine Drive Park swimming + water sliding
14. Build a sand castle in Sandy Pond in Terra Nova Park
15. Signal Hill Tattoo
16. Boat Tour + Fish n' Chips
17. Fluvarium hike + scavenger hunts & adventures
18. Terry Fox Monument + ice cream
19. St. John's Farmers Market
20. Railway Museum
21. Lesters Farm
22. Bowring Park: ducks + splash pad
23. The Rooms
24. By the Beach Fish and Chips in St. Phillips
25. Cape Spear adventures
26. Thomas Amusements
27. Geocaching at Quidi Vidi
28. Go fishing: Paddy's Pond, Butterpot, etc.
29. Watch the sunrise or sunset on Signal Hill
30. Caplin rolling in at Middle Cove in mid July
31. LaManche Provincial Park: Swimming + Hiking
32. Swimming at Holy Cross Park in Holyrood Mahers River
33. Sk8 Park + Botanical Pond in Peter Barry Duff Memorial Park in Paradise
34. Explore Nature around Octagon Pond
35. Skate Park in Mount Pearl's Brad Gushue Complex **
36. Go "Playground Hopping" in your own neighbourhood
37. Northern Bay Sands
38. Find hearts in nature at Salmon Cove Sands
39. Murray's Peak Hiking Trail in Holyrood **
40. Hike to the cross Georges Cove Mountain Hike in Holyrood **
41. Ziplining in Petty Harbour **
42. Catch a lunch time concert in Harbour Park or Bannerman Park
43. Roll down the Pippy Park hills
44. Blow bubbles at the new splash pad at the Paradise Complex
45. Play Pokemon Go and check out the Pokestop at the War Memorial downtown
46. Check out  Shakespeare by the Sea **
47. Rent a canoe or kayak around Powers Pond
48. Fairy Doors Hike at Pippy Park
49. Picnic lunch at The Battery Cafe + find a nice spot near the Signal Hill Tourism Centre

** Not recommended for pre-school aged kids

Are you interested in the East Coast Trail?  Here's the information you are looking for: EAST COAST TRAIL PATHS

Events to watch out for: 
Regatta Day races (August 3, 2016 - weather pending)
Wings For Angels Butterfly Release (July 16, 2016)
Pirates Day at Topsail Beach
The Rubber Duck race
Squid Fest in Holyrood (July 15-19, 2016)
Nevaeh's Lemonade Stand (July 24, 2016)
Mount Pearl City Days (mid July)
Canada Day festivities
NL Kids Expo
Brigus Blueberry Festival
St. John's Folk Festival
Folk Festival at Bannerman Park (August 4-7, 2016)

Stay tuned for my reviews!
I'd love to hear your weekend adventure hot spots!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

a beginning | around here

around here // there's been a disruption in routine.  I've been travelling for almost two weeks and the house feels like its in disarray

around here // we have half painted walls and unfinished projects

around here // the lawn needs to be mowed for the first time this summer season. he ran out of gas in the front. a portion of the yard looks a lot like how my legs look when I forget to finish the other half.

around here // the kids + their friends run in and out with their shoes on, leaving doors open and clothes on the floor.

around here // our eight year old fridge is grumbling and whining as it lives its last couple weeks. A new fridge cannot come soon enough.  six weeks, they said.  six weeks.  All because I didn't want the freezer drawer.  I don't want the drawer.  It feels like I am throwing food in my junk drawer. I wouldn't have it.  So, here we are. week two of six weeks.

around here // i am doing a long awaited blog re-design