Monthly Goals | February 2016

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monthly goals february Some months I really have to work to come up with my five goals, while months like this one, it's very apparent to me what they should be. February's five goals were made obvious through the month of January as I started the year off very focused on establishing my work and family life balance. I'm creating more content than every before and couldn't be happier doing so; but with this comes more of a time commitment. The investment of both my time, resources, and the support of others deserves my full acknowledgement of being "work". This is the focus on the first half of my goals. The second half, is concentrated on gratitude and acknowledging the beauty in those I'm blessed to have in my life. Oh, and water... always with the water.

Monthly Goals for February

1. Own What I Do: I naturally shy away completely avoid telling people what I do. I find it almost impossible to give myself the title of, "content creator" for a number of reasons. I worry people aren't familiar with my line of work and it will require a lot of explanation. It causes me anxiety to think people will judge me and I always find myself justifying or convincing. It should be noted that no one has ever made me feel like what I do isn't significant, it's purely my own insecurities that hold me back from being able to confidently name my job. However, I recognize that I am far too committed and passionate about what I do to not fully embrace it. I will work this month on being much more vocal on naming my job.

2. Stop Making Excuses: Being a content creator takes far more time than I ever would have imagined. As I mentioned in my first goal, being able to produce content requires a large commitment of time that I will no longer apologize for. Again, this is my own hang up, but definitely one I need to get over (like yesterday).

3. Write Down a Simple Gratitude Everyday: A sunny day. My reliable vehicle. Healthy children. A strong community of supportive friends and family. A phone call from my Mum. My third goal this month is to give a moment of reflection at the end of each day in which I will pen down one thing I'm grateful for.

4. Recognize the Attributes in Others. My fourth goal involves letting others know the wonderful traits and qualities I see in them. It is so easy to think there is time, or worse, that others already know their strong suites, when neither is the case. Pointing out the attributes I admire in others will be made a priority.

5. Increase my Water Intake... I know, I know. Someday, friends.

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How to Easily Organize Your Kitchen

konmari kitchen organizationI've only just recently recovered from how much work purging our kitchen was (seriously, how can such a seemingly small space hold so much stuff?!). Knowing I had to face the same space again and reorganize it all, had me stalling. If you find yourself feeling the way I was, fear not friends, I got through it and not only did I survive, I promise it wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated. In fact, having a strategy and keeping things simple made it almost fun (yes, really) to work through our home's busiest space.

Using Marie Kondo's Spark Joy as inspiration, and going with her key point of having your kitchen serve the purpose of encouraging you to want to cook, and having things stored in such a way that it's easy to maintain tidiness, this is what I've come up with for an easy strategy for achieving an organized kitchen:

Step One: Get a Game Plan! Spend time in your kitchen and really look at the way things are currently set up: 1. Take a good look at the different areas of space in your kitchen. A. Are you making the best use of the "prime real-estate" storage spaces? Keep your most frequently used items in the most accessible spaces, while storing your infrequent things in the lesser preferred areas. B. Is your kitchen set up in the most practical and efficient way? Look at the way you use your kitchen, where you prepare your food and drink and evaluate how you currently have things stored in relation this. C. What can you change to make your kitchen work better? Play around with different ideas, until you come up with a solution that "clicks" and makes the most amount of sense. 2. If you're struggling with establishing what changes need to be made, seek out help from someone else!

Step Two: Plan Once you've determined what changes need to be made, it's time to plan: 1. Measure (and measure again) all the different drawers and cupboards - include measurements for different configurations of how you can organize each space (buying ideal sized containers isn't always possible, you may need to play around with layouts) 2. Take an inventory of all your staple food products and make a list of all the containers/jars you need to purchase 3. Bring container list and measuring tape to the store (Dollar stores are wonderful places to buy containers and storage solutions) 4. Buy containers in one colour to keep things looking uniform.

Step Three: Get to Work! Now that you've planned and prepared, it's time to organize! 1. Work in sections to avoid your whole kitchen being a disaster zone! A. Pull everything out of the space you're working in, clean the drawer/cupboard, insert organizational aids, and put food in storage containers. B. Don't be afraid to put like products in the same container to conserve storage space C. Label jars/containers if necessary. D. If needed, implement secondary kitchen storage (closet, hutch, etc.)

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Nesting Antiques, Great Village

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Every once in awhile I find myself in a place that is exactly where I was meant to be. This was the case in early November when I packed up our two youngest children, met up with my Mum, and went for a gorgeous road trip to a place in Nova Scotia that is one of my favourites, Great Village.

Great Village is known for its quaint antique shops that make you feel as though you've truly been transported back in time. It's intimate and a treasure trove for finding the most unique pieces (at reasonable prices!).

Though I love all the shops, Nesting Antiques has my heart. It's owned by Rhenore Collins (whom you'll hear the voice of towards the end of my video) and it's one of the most magical places I've ever been. I could take everything in her shop home with me. From small pieces of coral, to old photographs, jewelry, Victorian clothing, and large furniture pieces Nesting Antiques is a time capsule of beautiful things time has been kind to.

So you can imagine how disappointed I was to find her store closed when we arrived. I knew she was inside, because a gentlemen told me he was speaking with her, but that she wasn't opened for business. It was my Mum (thanks, Mum) who gave me the nudge to still knock on the door, and in the least, say hello to her and ask if there was another time I could come back. Rhenore graciously welcomed me into her shop and instantly I felt like I knew her forever (some people just have that way). She chatted about her love of treasures, living in a barn as a child and watching the barn swallows fly above her head as she fell asleep, she shared that as a little girl she carried little bits of things she found in a cigar box because it always made her feel like home to look at them... she touched my heart. Rhenore also afforded me as much time as I wanted to explore and film her shop so I could share it with you. My footage conveys my experience better than my words ever could, so please take a look: [youtube id="TlsAq2k92W4"]

How to Shop for Children at Christmas

Going by the feedback I received, my 'KonMari Inspired' How to Shop for Children at Christmas video (below) and blog post proved helpful to a lot of you who have little ones on your shopping list this holiday season. Should you wish to pin or save this image for your reference, I thought I'd elaborate on the original post and include examples. Share away, friends! Oh, and a lot of you mentioned that you'll be using this strategy for others, not just children, and I think that's brilliant! Christmas Shopping for Children How to

 

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Holiday Photos 2015

Morgan Webb Photography for the win... again! You guys know how much we love our fall family photos (you can view them here) and the overall experience we had working with Morgan; so when the opportunity came to get the kids booked in for Morgan's holiday mini sessions, well clearly... I can't even handle these photos, I adore them so much! The whole shoot took about 20 minutes and will make for our cutest Christmas cards yet... which I need to order. Now!

In addition to very cute cards, these photos are also going to double as decor! Since going through all our seasonal decorations, as part of the KonMari process, I purged way more decorations than I thought I had, and was a bit shocked at how few Christmas items we have left. I won't buy for the sake of buying just to make our home feel festive, so instead I'm going to fin-ally buy some photo ledges and set up a Christmas gallery wall which I think will be the perfect show piece for these pictures and really add to the holiday feel in our home. Win/win!

The photos ledges I'm purchasing are the 'Mosslanda' 115cm in white.

Mosslanda

I'll do an updated post to show you how it comes together (hopefully this Christmas, not next - ha!).

Monthly Goals | December 2015

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December... can you even believe it?!

November, though it didn't even seem long enough to count as a month, proved to be quite successful as far as my monthly goals are concerned. We won't get into the specifics regarding how I faired out with walking and drinking more water, suffice is to say, they've been put on the list for December (perhaps 2016 will be my year to finally get it together in the way of making these two goals happen). I had TWO outings with friends; one was a dinner with girlfriends and the other I was able to visit with a friend who moved away over the summer and another friend joined us as well. Both were so lovely and proved very beneficial in terms of just getting out and having some fun. Rob and I managed a dinner date, where we purposely tucked our phones out of reach and just enjoyed each other's company. It's important to reconnect and check in with one another. I did a couple "me" things, though I know I could have squeezed in more, I was overall pleased with myself in prioritizing time to do simple little things like paint my nails a couple of times over the month (it's the little things, right?).

For this final month of 2015 (still, how is this possible?!) these are the five goals I will be focusing on accomplishing:

1. More water: This month I'm going to post a visual reminder on the kitchen cupboard that house our glasses and hopefully this will help (fingers crossed). 2. More walks! As the colder weather settles in, it becomes even more of a challenge to bundle up and get myself outside... perhaps I need to find an alternative form of exercise for the winter (or just get over myself and deal with the fact that I'm Canadian - ha). 3. Don't stress and enjoy the season of Christmas: Easier said than done given my personality, but this is a goal very much worth my effort and attention. Pacing myself and keeping to a schedule has made me feel less anxious than previous years, so I think I'm putting myself in a good position for achieving this goal. 4. Let friends know I care about them: Though my absence can sometimes seem like I'm aloof, I'm not and I want to let those in my life that have patiently taken a backseat to everything I've piled in the passenger (how's that for a metaphor), know that I care about them. 5. Be mindful about my snacking: Put down the chips/chocolate/candy! Or at least not be reaching for them as much as I have been lately (I swear my body goes into hibernation mode this time of year).

So, that's it, reasonable and meaningful goals to wrap-up 2015 and start focusing on 2016. What are some of the goals you'll be working on this month? If you care to share, I'd love to hear - please feel free to leave a comment below.

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Elf on the Shelf Ideas

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With exactly one week to go until Chrissy returns, I've found myself majorly brainstorming ideas (what did people do before Pinterest, seriously?!). As I mentioned in my Elf on the Shelf intro, Rob and I had a (non-competitive) challenge going last year of trying to outdo the other with our Elf setups. I crowned myself the 2014 season winner, though he'd likely argue this. Last year, I prided myself in being pretty original with my ideas; only loosely using some I found online as a concept I expanded on. I know there's a million awesome Elf pictures to be found on the internet; and it's a bit silly to make unnecessary work for oneself by needing to come up with unique ideas, but Chrissy is as much fun for me as it is for the kids (and besides I need to concretely prove my champion title this year - go big, or go home!).

Below are some of the ideas I've found (so far) that have me giggling with excitement. Am I missing any that you think I'd love? Please share!