Whole 30 Update

I’m sure you’re all dying to know if I’ve fallen off of the Whole 30 wagon by now. I’m proud to say that today is Day 5 and we are still going strong up in here. I have to say, its going pretty well! Here’s a quick recap on the last few days.

Day 1: I was super pumped, meal-prepped, and raring to go. I was ready for a change in my health, body, and overall nutrition so I didn’t find Day 1 too difficult.


Day 2: This day was hard. You see, we were rushed in the morning because Owen has baby swimming lessons on Saturday mornings and we did eat a healthy breakfast but we ran errands afterwards and should have packed snacks but didn’t and we both got hangry and had to stop at the grocery store and we were both overwhelmed with everything that we couldn’t eat. The realization hit that our habits were seriously changing as our hunger set in and we became snappy with each other. We’re fine, its fine… it was the hunger talking.


Day 3: We had my aunt, uncle, and cousin over for lunch on Sunday and I was a little worried about what to serve them that would taste good to guests but was compliant. I ended up making two frittatas, one was with roasted potato, thyme, sausage, spring onions, and caramelized onions, the other one was bacon, kale, and mushrooms. I also made a salad and bought a loaf of fresh bread at our local grocery store for them to eat, and then I sent the bread home with them. If it were in our house it would be too tempting to us.

Note: I had a vivid…inappropriate dream about a cheeseburger on the night of Day 3. I had a sex dream about a cheeseburger. I’m not lying but I wish I was. That’s how you know that your body is dependent on bad foods, when you’re having lustful dreams about them.


Day 4: I noticed that I was settling into my new routine on Day 4. I found it easier to make Whole 30 compliant meals without feeling like I was missing out on non-compliant ingredients like cheese, etc. We were invited to a family dinner on the night of Day 4 so I made a meal for James and I and brought it in tupperware so we just ate our meal while my family ate theirs. I will admit, I was staring longingly at the food that my Grandma made but my meal of roasted sweet potato, regular potato, eggplant, mushrooms, and turkey sausage was satisfying on its own and I didn’t crack.

I won’t bore you with all of the things we’ve been eating for each meal everyday but some of the meals that we’ve been eating are:

Roasted carrots, eggplant, sweet potato, regular potato (leftovers from Day 4 dinner) for breakfast on Day 5 with half an avocado and an egg on top

20161025_085332 (1)

Leftover sausage & scrambled eggs with black tea for breakfast on Day 2, with Franks Red Hot on the side. Everyday I am grateful that Franks is Whole30 compliant.


Chicken, onions, and roasted sweet potato cooked in Whole30 compliant butter chicken sauce that we had in our pantry.


Steak fajita salad with homemade fajita seasoning, red, yellow, and orange peppers, onions on top of spring mix salad and Whole30 compliant guacamole on top


Spring mix salad with half an avocado, red onion, cucumber, and two chopped hardboiled eggs for lunch today on Day 5. I’m really into drizzling olive oil and some salt on salads as dressing these days.


You might be wondering how I’m feeling these days with all of this clean eating under my belt. Honestly, I’m feeling pretty good. I feel like my body is responding well to the change and although I think about non-compliant foods a lot, I don’t have intense cravings for them. Drinking my tea without milk and sugar has taken a little bit of getting used to but I don’t hate it. James is getting sick of sweet potatoes so I’m going to give him a little break from those for a couple days, there are plenty of other options I just like sweet potatoes and I’m the one who cooks the majority of our meals but I’ll switch it up.

I feel like I’m losing some major belly bloat already too. You’re not supposed to weigh yourself on Whole30 but I am because I find it motivating to see the scale move down to show that my good decisions are paying off.  My starting weight was taken after my birthday dinner out last Monday night so I was full of food and wine at the time so I realize the weight that the scale read was a little inflated because I was full. I weighed myself this morning and I’m down 7.5 lbs from my starting weight. This seems a little extreme but I think that most of that is water weight and keep in mind I’m also breastfeeding. Speaking of breastfeeding, I was a little concerned that I may have been cutting too much fat in my diet lately and it could be affecting my milk so I’m making a conscious effort to eat more avocado and coconut milk into my diet to add healthy fats into my diet.

So, yeah.. that’s where I’m at on Day 5. I still have 25 more to go, so please send positive vibes because the world is full of temptations and I need all the help I can get.

Posted in Clean Eating, Life, Motivation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

God Help Me

So, I’ve decided to do something a little rash because I need a kick in the butt in the worst way with my eating. I’m doing Whole 30, and started today. I’m nervous to make this public because if I slip up or bail mid-way through then everyone will know but that is also what will help me to stick it out. I will need a collective prayer to be able to achieve this because eating is basically my hobby. Note: if this topic is boring to you, you might just want to skip today’s post.

f89db-lettuce sorry guys

So, what is Whole 30? Basically you are cleansing your body and resetting your system and your mentality around food. You can’t eat dairy, sugar, grains, legumes, or alcohol. For 30 days. So basically all of my favourite things are banned from my life for 30 days. God help me. I have convinced James to do it with me because it would be impossible to do if he ordered pizza and I was just staring longingly at it while I ate celery, you know? He’s a great husband for agreeing to this, he really is.

Why I’m doing Whole 30? Well, there are a bunch of reasons.

My cousin and her husband have done it twice and they explained the premise, how they felt at various stages, and why they did it. I have felt like my digestion, complexion, and overall health need improvement for quite some time and this is an excellent way to get myself in a better place. So… that, and also for the following reasons, in no particular order:

  • I need to re-evaluate my relationship with food
  • I’m tired of feeling like my pants are too tight
  • I can feel that I’ve gained weight in my neck, my NECK, and it needs to go
  • I want to stop rewarding myself with food, particularly with junk food
  • I’m ready to regain my confidence
  • I don’t like how much sugar and bread I consume on a daily basis

So, I have spent a considerable amount of time over the past week or so researching the program, reading blogs of people who have done it, and researching recipes and meal planning. I’ve never been a huge meal planner but I feel that it is imperative for the Whole 30 program or I’m going to fall off the wagon, hard. I went to Costco this week and got a bunch of things to get us off to a good start.


Chicken breasts, three whole chickens to roast, bacon with no added sugar, peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, yellow fleshed potatoes, spaghetti squash, cubed butternut squash, cucumbers, raw almonds, spring mix, guacamole with no dairy or sugar added.

We are doing this for 30 days starting today, October 21 and ending on November 19th. There is really no “good time” to cut out my favourite things (cheese, carbs, alcohol) but it is as good a time as possible because we don’t have many social functions scheduled for this time period which means less temptation. Halloween is an obstacle that we’ll have to overcome but I’ve got a plan. My strategy here is to buy candy for the neighbourhood kids that James and I don’t love and then we will be less tempted to eat it. I’m going to have James bring all of the leftover candy to work the next day to get it out of our house. Boom!

So today is Day 1 and I’m excited to have officially started. Here is what I’ve eaten so far today, plus some raw almonds and a green tea not pictured. I’m not feeling unsatisfied so far but I have definitely noticed that I’m already having to consciously make decisions around my food to stay within the requirements, like eating cucumber and guacamole for a snack instead of cheese and crackers like I normally would have. Baby steps!





Have you done Whole 30 before?

Anyone ever cut out sugar over Halloween? Any tips??

Posted in Clean Eating, Food, Life, Motivation | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

A Fresh Year

You guys, today is my birthday!! For anyone that knows me in real life or has read this blog for awhile, you probably know that I’m a real fan of birthdays. Not just mine, birthdays in general. I love celebrating my favourite people on their days and I also love celebrating my day.


This afternoon I’m having lunch with my cousin and then my in-laws are watching Owen tonight so that James and I can have a date night out to celebrate my birthday. This is our 2nd date night since he was born 4 months ago and I AM EXCITED. Also, I guess Google knows my birthday because this was my browser screen this morning.

bday screenshot

Alright alright, time to get serious for a minute here. I’ve given a lot of thought lately to my life and what I want out of it. Maternity leave has given me some time and distance away from my usual whirlwind routine and its safe to say I’m in a space of evaluating what I want for myself and my little family. I have no answers yet to what is coming next for me, but I have reached a conclusion in one area. My body. I just had a baby four months ago and I realize that I have to be patient and kind to myself because my body just did an amazing thing and its not reasonable to wake up the next day and be back to “normal”…but while we were in BC and I was newer to the post-partum scene I was killing it with my eating and workouts. I really was. I looked great and strangers told me often when they saw me out with a newborn. Then I moved back to Hamilton and I’ve been socializing up a storm and thrown portion control out the window, and also my kid wakes me up anywhere between 2-8 times per night and sometimes exhaustion sets in and I just can’t bring myself to make good choices. These are all excuses though and have led me to a point where I’m feeling really uncomfortable in my own body. I’m really not. I can feel (and see) that I’ve been gaining weight, and to others it may not look obvious but to me its been really weighing on me (ha! I didn’t even mean to make a joke there but lets go with it).

I have been exercising but not consistently, and have had healthy meals but then my next 3 meals are bad. Consistency has always been the bane of my existence.

So this morning I woke up early on the morning of my 32nd birthday, and as I was laying in bed I decided that I am not waiting until January 1st to make life changes and that there is no better time to consider a “fresh year” than on my birthday. I realize you don’t “need” a fresh year mentality at all, but it works for me so I’m going with it.

So, this morning I got up and did a workout on our spin bike. Oh yeah, yesterday we bought a spin bike! We originally bought a treadmill but then realized that our ceiling height in the basement isn’t tall enough for James to run on it, so we returned it and bought a spin bike instead. I wanted to rip apart the ceiling and renovate so that we could fit the treadmill, but I guess that’s unreasonable?

2016-10-17 05.52.38

here she is! don’t mind our messy basement

So anyways, this morning at 5:45 AM I was on the spin bike doing a workout, then did an ab video and some free weights. Now its 7AM and I’ve eaten a healthy breakfast and now I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself until Owen wakes up. Ha! Is anyone else a morning person? 

IMG_20161017_065419[1] overnight oats, chia seeds, almond coconut milk, unsweetened coconut, cinnnamon, half a banana

I’m going to work on my consistency, one day at a time, because being unhappy with yourself is the worst feeling and I’m ready to have my confidence back. Anyways, I will post about the rest of my day later this week but as of 7:30 AM as I hit publish, its off to a good start. Have a great day loves!

Posted in Life, Motivation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life Lately Over Here

Wow, hi! It’s been awhile since I’ve checked in around here. Life has been so busy lately, good busy but busy-busy as in…I’m tired. What have we been up to lately? Well…

1// Owen started swimming lessons. Okay, he’s a baby and its not so much a lesson as it is a sing-a-long session in the shallow pool while praying your infant doesn’t poop through his swim diaper. Yes, that is now the story of our lives every Saturday morning. He’s had two classes now and for the first one I saw in the viewing area to watch while James took him in the pool since I wanted to photo document every minute. There are two ways that I know that motherhood has changed me.

one: I took my role of official photographer seriously because in a 30 minute class I took 60 photos. SIXTY! I wish I was exaggerating. They all look pretty much the same but I can’t delete any of them #crazymom

two: I had to literally bite my lip to keep myself from becoming a sobbing mess while watching his first swimming class. I had this insane burst of pride for him being so brave and grown up in the pool (he was just hanging out in his dads arms and didn’t have a choice in the matter so, I realize being “proud” of him in this moment probably sounds insane).


2// This past weekend my friend Ryan came to visit and we had big plans to get crafty. I love crafting but rarely do it these days, and it was so much fun to do it with someone….we drank wine while we crafted and that just added to the enjoyment level x1000. Crafting and wine go hand-in-hand, turns out I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time. Ryan suggested that we make turkey wreaths for Thanksgiving, so we did.






I know. I know. You’re impressed with my skills. Thank you so much! ha! So many of my neighbours have already commented on my wreath and the mailman was chuckling yesterday when he delivered our mail to the front door. At first I was embarrassed to hang it up but it’s clearly spreading Thanksgiving cheer, and who am I to deprive the community of that?


3// Although I haven’t stepped on the scale I feel like I’ve been packing on the pounds since we moved back home. I think its due to the extra socializing that we’re doing now, which always seems to revolve around food, to the exhaustion that we’ve been feeling as a result of unpacking millions of boxes and taking care of a baby and doing house-things that we end up tired and choosing bad things. Let’s be honest, it’s also due to the amazing pizza place up the road from our house. Its one of those pizza places that is an independent place and isn’t a chain, and they have pizza, shawarma, gyros, etc. We recently discovered their gyro pizza and it is so freaking good that I think about it (and order it) more often than I should. So although Thanksgiving (in Canada) is this weekend, I’m making a conscious effort to be better.

4// The town that James & I grew up has an Apple Festival each year and I used to go as a kid, every single year. We had planned to go and by the grace of God we received an apple onesie for Owen as a gift just the week before so it thrilled me to be able to dress him up to perfectly coordinate our activity. This is my life now you guys.



And in this one we asked the “pioneers” (aka. people dressed up as pioneers because…Fall) if we could use the pumpkin set-up for a photo op. I set him up there and I knew the sun was in his eyes, but…I figured that just one quick photo wouldn’t cause retinal damage or anything…would it? Mom of the year. He’s fine, we’re fine.

20160924_110050    sorry buddy, it didn’t even turn out to be a nice photo after all that

That same day we went to the Ancaster Fair, our first Fall fair of the season and we walked around and looked at the livestock and all of the fair things. The highlight was obviously the food, particularly this funnel cake.




Piglets!! But also, I totally know how this mama pig (sow?) feels. Breastfeeding. Amazing bonding and all that, blah blah, but also feeling like you’re just laying there waiting for them to be done so you can have your body back. Girl, I feel you.

5// I enrolled in an online nutrition course. Mostly for general interest and to educate myself to make better food choices and make sure that my little family is getting enough vitamins in our diets. This will be my maternity leave “project” so that I use my brain for something other than psychoanalyzing the guests on Dr. Phil each day at 3:00 PM.

6// My baby has been sick this week. Nothing crazy, he just has a cold and its hurting my heart to see him sniffling and feeling so terrible. He’s also sneezed in my face and covered me in mucous more times than I can count in the past 4 days, so I think its safe to say I’m surely going to get sick too.


Well, that’s it for now! Its Friday which means that its almost the weekend, which means that I’m very happy that we get James home with us for 3 days for the long weekend. Hallelujah.


Mama’s – did/do you have a “project” or online course that you did while on mat leave?

Got any ideas for a Christmas craft for Ryan and I to do in November?? I’m need suggestions!

Posted in Baby, Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

An Epic Fail: Cake Edition

Something terrible happened to me this weekend. We had a big family dinner at my dads house to celebrate my Grandma’s 92nd birthday and I was asked to bring a cake. “Bring any type of cake you want, just not chocolate because your cousin is bringing a chocolate cake” my stepmom said. I was so excited because I had recently come across a recipe online for a No-Bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake that I had bookmarked, and now I finally had a reason to make it. Since I’ve been MIA from large family functions for 3.5 years, I wanted to make my comeback in a big way and this cake would be a hit. I mean, how could it not be? This was my time to shine.


I got all of the ingredients on Friday amongst a crazy day of rushing around and entertaining my in-laws at our house for dinner. After they left, I decided to begin making the cheesecake… at 9:30 PM, which is typically when I’m tucking myself into bed. But I was on a mission here. I decided to make my own graham cracker crust because buying a pre-made one would be a cop-out and would steal from the limelight that this cake would bring me. I even texted my cousin who was bringing the chocolate cake and told her that this was a bakeoff and may the best baker win. Her 3.5 year old daughter was to help her bake her cake but I wasn’t going to go easy on them and just let them win. No way, 3.5 years vs. 31 years… it was on.

I stayed up til 11:30 PM making the damn thing but the cream cheese was still a little clumpy and I was too tired to continue. I figured I’d wake up early the next morning and finish it before we had to rush out for our all-day plans that morning. Up I was at 7:15AM and was patiently whipping the cheesecake until every last cream cheese clump was smooth and creamy. I folded in the peanut butter like the recipe called for and finally spread the cheesecake on top of the graham cracker crust that I had painstakingly made the night before. I topped the cheesecake with chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups and you guys, it was epic. It really was. It looked like an exact replica of the cake from the recipe, pictured here:


Just as I covered the cake in saran wrap and lifted it from the kitchen counter to the fridge to chill… the bottom of the F-ING spring form pan fell out the bottom and my cake went with it… James was upstairs with the baby and heard BANG and then “….*gasp!*” and came running down stairs to see this sight and me just standing there frozen in disbelief. 



Not only was the cake all over the floor but it was also all over my leg because I guess I tried to catch it with my thigh like I catch food when it falls into my lap (?). I don’t know. His feet are in the picture too because he was hugging me to help me keep from having a complete meltdown. I actually burst out laughing because it was either that or cry, and I figured I might as well laugh at the shit show that was my morning. The worst part was that we both ate some of the cake off the floor because, whatever at this point, and it was delicious. Seriously, scrumptious. If you want to make this recipe you can find it here – just use a sturdier pan than I did.

This is where you probably think the story ends, but wait… there’s more. Obviously after this ordeal the thought of slaving away in the kitchen to make another one was out of the question and I had no choice but to buy a cheesecake at the grocery store before my family dinner. I went with my aunt and the label of the cake said “blueberries and cream” but I figured they had mislabelled it because it clearly looked like a cheesecake with a graham cracker crust. I had leftover Reese’s at home so I sprinkled them on top and figured it would be the next best thing to my floor cake. Well, when they cut into the cake it wasn’t even cheesecake it was a white fluffy cake inside with blueberry filling (???). So now we’re serving blueberry cake with random chocolate & peanut butter on top and it was confusing to the palate and quite frankly disgusting even though people were nice and said it tasted okay, it definitely didn’t. I was so embarrassed. People laughed at me and I laughed at myself and James and my dad both laughed but shook their heads in a little bit of horror like “I raised this idiot” – Dad, and “I married this idiot” – James.

And this is why I shouldn’t be asked to bring cakes to family dinners. The End.


Posted in Food, Life | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finally, We Have Internet!

Well, we’ve made it and we finally have Internet, hallelujah. We’re officially on the other side of our move and are back “home” in Hamilton, ON. Home is a funny word to me now, it doesn’t mean what it used to… I used to consider home to be where I grew up, Stoney Creek (near Hamilton), but then I lived in Vancouver for 3.5 years and that became home, but for two months of that time James was away for work in Japan and during that time Vancouver didn’t feel like home anymore, then he came back and it did. And now “home” has become Hamilton, and we plan to keep it that way for awhile. I guess in our case, home is a fluid concept and really is wherever James & I (and now Owen) are. I bought James this framed print to hang in our first apartment together that says “Home is wherever I’m with you” and I guess that that perfectly sums it up.

We left Vancouver on Friday, August 19th  and then spent the weekend in Calgary to visit my sister and her boyfriend. We always have an amazing time with them and this time was no exception.  On Saturday afternoon & evening they had a wedding to attend in Canmore so James, Owen, and I rented a car and drove to Banff & Lake Louise. We made sure to stop at Moraine Lake at Lake Louise because it’s the most stunning place I’d ever seen and I wanted us to introduce Owen to it. The water is so crystal blue, I mean.. just look at it. This is not a filter, I repeat, this is not a filter.





We spent an amazing weekend in Calgary with them, my only wish in this world was that they lived closer to us. They’re in love with their nephew and we were so glad that they got to spend some quality time with him before we continued on our journey.


cuddles with Auntie Sarah


tummy time with Uncle Jaryd



 Calgary views!


Shakespeare by the Bow (river) in Calgary

On Tuesday, August 23rd we landed in Hamilton and were a little bit excited, overwhelmed, tired, and unsure of where to begin. We are now in our new house (not new, but new to us) which was renovated by the previous owners but we’re still finding tiny projects and “fixes” to do around here. It has been a bit of an adjustment going from practically living on top of each other in our tiny 2-bedroom condo in Vancouver to a 3-level house with a backyard and front yard. It’s not huge by any means but it feels huge to us because we’re not used to all of this space. Owen seems happy here too, I think that he can sense that we’re in a new place and he seems happy with all of the extra space for him too. I’ll share photos of his nursery eventually but we’re not quite finished yet and still have pictures and book rails to hang. 


This past weekend our movers came and now we have our work cut out for ourselves trying to unpack, clean, and entertain a baby at the same time, while squeezing in visits with family and friends. Let’s just say that life has been a little bit overwhelming, busy, chaotic, stressful, and amazing as of late.



Now that we finally have internet hooked up and Owen is back to a regular nap schedule, I’m planning to blog more frequently. At least more frequently than once a month, I can promise you that. We’ve had some major life changes happen over the past few months – baby, new house, move across the country, no big deal right? HA! Thanks for sticking with me through all of it and for your patience with this blog. You’re all the best. xo

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

That Time We Went Camping

I have some news… we have moved. Well, sort of… we’ve officially left Vancouver and are spending this weekend in Calgary to visit my sister and her boyfriend, and then are continuing our journey East next week to Hamilton. It’s a bittersweet move for us, we’re definitely excited to be closer to family and friends but are deeply mourning the Vancouver lifestyle, climate, and scenery that we won’t have anymore. My feelings on this topic deserve their own post so more on that another day. Leading up to the move, we made a point to try and squeeze as many amazing memories as we could out of BC while we could. Two weekends ago we went camping on Vancouver Island because we wanted to make family memories with Owen even though he’s two months old and clearly won’t remember any of it.


It turns out that camping with an infant wasn’t so hard for us because we’ve been blessed with a really easygoing baby. The middle of the night diaper changes in a tent, on an air mattress, in the dark, was a challenge though. We are cloth diapering and are loving it, but we decided to leave the cloth at home and bring disposibles for this trip since we would be gone for 4 days and wouldn’t have access to laundry facilities. We started our adventure on the Friday afternoon and took the ferry to Nanaimo, BC. When we got to the ferry terminal we were STARVING because it was 2:00 PM and neither James or I had eaten lunch yet. There were typical food court options at the ferry terminal and I gave into my intense craving for a chilli cheese dog. I haven’t had one of these in…forever? and it was magical. I had been eating really healthy up until this chilli cheese dog, then it all went down hill from there for the rest of the weekend. Anyway, we got off the ferry around 6:00 PM and drove to Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park where we set up our tent with our little camper.

20160806_082714  his “camping outfit”… I just can’t handle the cuteness

James & I barely got a wink of sleep because we heard wolves howling and strange forest noises and I was convinced that wild animals could smell my infant and would attack us through the thin nylon barrier of our tent. Protective mama instinct or crazy lady? Probably the latter. Owen didn’t seem to notice the howls and once we got him settled in our sleeping bag he slept pretty soundly for most of the night. He seemed to love his first night’s camping experience! We got up early on Saturday morning and made the long drive to Tofino, BC. Tofino is a surfer town on the Western-most point of Canada that I had never been to and wanted to see it before we left. Umm, it’s gorgeous. The day was drizzly and overcast but it made the sights all that more beautiful.



20160806_151930  20160806_151521 

We had lunch at Shelter and since it was damp and chilly outside I ordered carrot & ginger soup to start my meal, and it was the perfect thing to warm me up. Carrot & ginger soup is officially my favourite soup ever.


After we wandered around Tofino for the afternoon we drove to Ucluelet where our next campsite was waiting for us. This was a private campground and wasn’t a provincial park so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but we were so pleased with the site that they gave us and with the views at this place. I mean, look at this…



We set up our site and made a delicious campfire dinner. On the menu was hot dogs and grilled cheese because carbs were the theme of the evening apparently. I bought sandwich/pie irons ahead of our trip and introduced James to camping grilled cheeses.


We balanced out the meal with salad though that survived our travels in the cooler. I don’t buy bagged salad often but it was the perfect thing for camping convenience and it eased the guilt a little of the carnival of carbohydrates that I had going on.




twinning with my boy


We had the best night around the camp fire, eating, drinking a beer, and listening to a camper a few sites over play guitar (he was really good!), it was just the perfect most relaxing night. On Sunday morning we made bacon and eggs around the campfire and then got back on the road. We stopped at a beach in Ucluelet to check out the scenery. I couldn’t get over how gorgeous this was, the overcast day only enhanced the beauty.






On Sunday afternoon we drove from Ucluelet to Nanaimo and checked into a hotel for the night because James had to attend meetings in Nanaimo on Monday. Owen and I explored town and had a breakfast date together while James was working and then we all took the ferry back to Vancouver that afternoon but first we had to eat a nanaimo bar in Nanaimo because it just wouldn’t have been right if we didn’t.


And that was the end of our last BC weekend getaway! We had an amazing weekend and made an effort to stay off our our phones (with the exception of taking pictures) and it was so nice to make some memories as a family of three.


Where was your last weekend getaway?

Have you ever had a nanaimo bar?

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Long Weekend Things

This weekend was a long weekend in BC but I’m on maternity leave right now, so lets face it.. everyday is a long weekend for me these days but it meant that James was home with us for an extra day so we had plans to make the most of it.

On Saturday morning we had big plans to check out this trail through old train tunnels in Hope, BC. These tunnels were an “engineering marvel”, I’ll let you guess who was more excited for this…me or my engineer husband’s. We woke up bright and early and were out of the house by 8:30 AM (which felt like a major accomplishment with an infant) to start the long drive to the Othello Tunnels in Hope. So we walked through the old train tunnels that were blasted through mountains and James was really in awe of the whole thing, I thought it was neat but it was also very dark inside the tunnels and there was cave water that dripped on my head numerous times, and I was afraid that there were bats in there, and basically…I don’t like being in tunnels.


I didn’t complain once though because I’m working on being more mature. These views were worth the drive and the water drops on my head though.




I feel like I should explain the state of my hair in the above photo. I ran out of conditioner so it was fuzz-city up in there, plus I need to get highlights in a big way but I can’t on a weekday because I’m afraid my kid will scream while I’m covered in bleachy foils and our next few weekends are booked up, so… yeah. I guess I’m letting myself go.


After our hike/walk we went to a random diner for lunch with a huge line up out the door, which we took as a good sign, and we ate a glutenous meal which I didn’t photo document for some reason since I take pictures of 99% of the things I eat, even though I rarely blog them. I had some kind of grilled chicken melt with caramelized onions and fries. It just doesn’t feel right to order a salad at a diner, am I right? I felt bad about myself afterwards because I’ve been eating pretty healthy lately and I kind of ruined it with this meal. I decided to just call the day a wash because after lunch we started the long drive home but decided to stop at the Chilliwack Airport for pie. What? I know but the airport cafe at the tiny airport in Chilliwack, BC is famous for their pie, and we decided that we should probably get some. I had strawberry rhubarb and James had blueberry peach crumble. I liked his better and he liked mine better, so everything worked out.


On Sunday I don’t think that I took a single picture but we laid around on the couch for the majority of the day and watched way too many episodes of Once Upon A Time on Netflix. They film that show in a park near our house and in Steveston, a small fishing town about 30 minutes from us. Because its so local, James and I decided to watch a couple of episodes about a week ago and now we are hooked, even though it’s kind of terrible. After way too many consecutive episodes, I got restless and my butt imprint was deeply ingrained in the couch so I dragged myself outside and went for a run. Yes, you read that correctly, A RUN! This was actually my 3rd run post-baby, my first one was last Sunday and then I went on Wednesday morning, and now this one. This time I ran 3km (including up a huge hill) without stopping to walk once and I was pretty proud of myself. I wouldn’t have considered this to be a running accomplishment a year ago but you guys, running is hard when you haven’t done it in forever. I’m looking forward to that run where it starts to feel easy again, but until then I will enjoy the pain and progress, and the baby-free time where I can do something alone. Alone time is few and far between these days, and I wouldn’t change a thing but it was a nice break.

On Monday we went for a hike/walk on Mount Seymour and did a loop trail around a lake. It was really pretty and I carried Owen in our new Ergobaby carrier, which is  easily my favourite baby gear purchase so far. It was incredible how comfortable it was to carry him and he seemed comfortable too and fell asleep within 3 minutes of being tucked in there.



Afterwards we came home and barbecued homemade burgers and ate corn on the cob and watermelon. Basically, it was a perfect Summer day complete with watching The Bachelorette finale but I didn’t stay up to watch the After the Final Rose because let’s face it, I haven’t seen 11:00 PM in weeks because, #momlife. Thank goodness for PVR.


How did you spend your long weekend?

What is your favourite Summer food?

Moms – what is your favourite baby-related purchase?

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Birth Story: Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of Owen’s birth story, click here.

So, we tried to nap but it was short-lived because, contractions. At 6:00 PM, almost 48 hours since contractions had begun, I reached a breaking point and decided that with 100% certainty I was done. I’d had enough. This home birth clearly wasn’t meant to happen for me and I needed an epidural NOW. I called my midwife and told her my decision, she was supportive and I think that she could sense that there was no changing my mind. I was going to the hospital and that was the end of it.

She came to our house again to check me and I was 4 cm dilated which meant that I was at the point where the hospital would give me the epidural (thank goodness!). But only 4 cm after all of that time? Let’s just say I was in disbelief that that much pain and suffering only resulted in 4 measly cm. On our way to the hospital I was in too much pain to sit in the front in a seated position like a civilized person, and so I was in a straddling position in the backseat, facing the back window, hugging the headrest and screaming with every contraction and bump in the road. Every time we got stopped at a red light I felt rage in my heart.

The hospital is literally 5 minutes away from our house and at one point James asked “is the hospital before or after Canada Way?” (Note: Canada Way is a main street in our neighbourhood). I replied, “WHAT! ITS BEFORE CANADA WAY, WHERE ARE WE??!”  I turned my head to see that we were driving up to the intersection at Canada Way… I said a few choice words in that moment that I won’t repeat, but the main message was “YOU JUST DROVE PAST THE HOSPITAL!!! ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?!” If you haven’t concluded yet, labour didn’t bring out the best side of me. 

When we (finally) got to the hospital, James had to drop me off at the door of the Emergency Room because he had to park the car in a far away parking lot, and a volunteer saw me waddling in, grimacing in pain, breathing heavy, etc. and asked me if I wanted a wheelchair. It was one of those questions that really shouldn’t need to be asked when you see someone in such a state, and I don’t think that I even answered her but gave her a pleading look that she immediately understood. Within 20 minutes of arriving at the hospital, we had a private birthing suite and I had the anaesthesiologist giving me sweet, sweet relief. I was so glad that he was available right then and not stuck in a surgery because they had warned me that that could happen. I was always anti-epidural and was afraid of the thought of a gigantic needle in my spine but in that moment I was in so much pain and for so long, that I just didn’t care. Risk of paralysis? Don’t care. Possibility of a severe headaches for days afterwards? Sign me up. Just give me the drugs. And you guys, the results were glorious. I was finally able to get a little bit of rest and relief, and started feeling a little like myself again.

After a few hours they told me that I wasn’t dilating enough and gave me Oxytocin to speed things up. This worked and after a few more hours I was at 9.5 cm, but there I stayed. I was stuck at 9.5 cm for hours and just couldn’t seem to get to 10 cm on my own. Finally my midwife had me push a little so that she could try to manually push the tip of my cervix behind the baby’s head. After a few tries it worked. When they told me that I was at 10 cm and could finally push my baby out, I started to cry because I was so relieved and so ready to meet this baby who was clearly trying to kill me. 

At about 7:30 AM on Thursday morning I started to push my baby out. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed for over 3 hours. At one point my midwife asked if I had had anything to drink other than water since arriving to the hospital the night before, I hadn’t and they quickly got me some apple juice to boost my blood sugar and give me some more energy. After each contraction I’d have a gulp of apple juice, take a few breaths, and push again. After awhile the apple juice started making me feel like I was going to be sick and I realized that I really overdid it with the juice. Every time I pushed, I tasted apple juice coming up and now the thought of it makes me feel sick.

When the baby’s head was coming out, I reached a breaking point where I remember pleading to the midwives & nurses, “Just give me a C-section, cut him out…I’m done!”  They all laughed at me and were like, “His head is literally right there…keep going.”  But honestly, if I could have turned this whole ship around at that point and been like “You know what, I’m good.. forget this whole baby thing. I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to go through with this after all” I would have in that moment. The entire time James was holding my hand, or my foot, or whatever it is that I wanted him to hold and was saying the most beautiful, encouraging things to me that I really needed to hear. Now that I think of it, I don’t even think that he went to the bathroom for hours because he didn’t leave my side.

After my little meltdown of self doubt, I realized that I had to bear down and get this baby out. I had no choice here. I couldn’t talk my way out of this one. I mustered up enough determination to push, and push, and push until 10:55 AM when our baby boy was finally born. It was so surreal when he came out. It felt like things were happening at super speeds around me and I was aware that he was on my chest but I was just trying to catch my breath and wrap my mind around the whole thing. The baby had meconium in his water so our plans to do delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin, etc. were abandoned and a pediatrician was standing by to check him out right away. They did put him on my chest for about 5 seconds before he was whisked away to get examined. Thankfully he checked out perfectly and then he was finally able to lay in my arms .


The feeling of finally holding my baby boy was incredible and strange. I couldn’t get over the feeling that this is my baby, the one that has been in my belly for so many months, he’s finally here. I was so relieved that after 64 hours of labour, it was all over and that he was here safe and sound.


Afterwards the nurse helped me shower, got James and I both a hot meal of quiche and vegetables (I ate most of both of our meals because my appetite was back and I needed to eat all the things) and then we were moved from labour & deliver to the maternity ward and we were able to stay overnight if we wanted to but because Owen & I checked out just fine, we could go home if we preferred. James and I decided to go home around 5:00 PM that day. Just before we were leaving the hospital dropped off another meal for me (dinner this time) of a nice big piece of chicken, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. We had planned to get Swiss Chalet takeout for my “reward meal” and even though we were about to go there, I ate the hospital meal first only giving James a few bites because, post-labour hunger is a beast you guys. Later I ate another whole meal of Swiss Chalet and James was looking at me in disbelief for how much I was putting away, but then he remembered that I hadn’t eaten a real meal or anything substantial since Monday night and had gone through a marathon labour, and then he silently nodded in understanding and passed me more food. Ha!

Although we didn’t get the birth that we had planned for, dreamed of, and expected for so many months, I truly feel at peace with the way that things happened. I tried it without drugs for longer than I ever though possible, but I reached my breaking point and recognized that I didn’t need to be a hero and stick with the home birth plans just to say that I did. I am mentally and physically tougher than I ever knew, and I’m really proud of that. In the end, the midwife told me that when my water broke and they saw meconium in it they would have had me abandon my home birth plan and get to the hospital anyways – so things worked out the way that they were supposed to. I still have to pinch myself that this little boy is ours and that I’m a mother. I don’t know how I got so lucky.


So, that’s the story of how Owen came into the world. I’m going to tell him this story every single year of his life so that he knows what he put me through and won’t skimp on my Mother’s Day gift. :)



Posted in Baby, Pregnancy | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Welcome Owen Douglas! The Birth Story: Part 1

Well you guys, I did it… I had a baby. Owen Douglas was born on June 9, 2016 at 10:55 AM. Let me tell you, childbirth was the single hardest, most exhausting, painful, and incredible experience of my life. Six weeks later and I am still in awe that I am a mother, that James & I created a human, and that this little boy is all mine. My body has done some hard things before like run two half-marathons, multiple shorter road & trail races, I have my black belt in karate, etc. and so, I already had a healthy level of respect for my body and what it was capable of… but all of those accomplishments pale in comparison to just how impressed and grateful I am with my body for being able to grow and give birth to this beautiful little boy. It also made me want to apologize profusely to my mom for ever being mean to her because women really do go through a lot to get their babies here and I have a whole new level of respect and admiration for every mother out there. Sorry for being a jerk all of those years Mom.

Now before I get to the long-winded birth story, let’s just take a look at how cute my baby is. I realize that I’m a biased party here, but look at this picture and tell me he’s not adorable?! DO IT. You can’t, can you? He’s incredible and hilarious, and has SO MUCH HAIR! Note: This picture was taken at 7 days old so, basically he’s 1.5x this size now. STOP GROWING SO FAST!


Okay so, Owen is over 6 weeks old so I realize that I’m a little, okay.. a lot, behind in sharing this story… but being a mom is tiring, busy, and I find myself choosing to stare at him, hold him, kiss him, etc. over pretty much any other task. Therefore, blogging has taken a back seat at this stage in my life which is understandable I think, but now that I’m feeling on top of this whole motherhood role, I’m making it my goal to blog more regularly.


Now onto the story of how this little guy finally joined us in the outside world. I had mentioned on the blog before that I had planned to do a home birth in a birthing pool with no drugs. I had hired a doula and had midwives and I was in control and everything would be totally manageable, right? WRONG. I had heard that you should expect the unexpected with childbirth and in my case, it couldn’t have been more true.

I had been going to prenatal acupuncture sessions for the past 4 weeks leading up to my due date. I was really enjoying these sessions and am a huge fan of acupuncture in general, and prenatal sessions are supposed to ripen your cervix to prepare your body for labour. Let’s just say, at 36 – 40 weeks pregnant, I was more than on board with the idea to get this kid out of me as easily and efficiently as possible, and if acupuncture could help then sign me up! I went to what I didn’t know would be my last acupuncture session on Monday, June 6th (the day before my due date) and asked the acupuncturist if she could “give me a little extra” of whatever it is she was doing, to get this labour kickstarted because my due date was tomorrow and I was ready for to get this show on the road. She said that she would see what she could do, and after my treatment I oddly felt like I needed a nap. I’m really not a napper so this struck me as odd at the time, but I listened to my body and had a really long nap that afternoon which turned out to be important since that was the last bit of sleep I’d be getting for awhile.

Somehow I mustered up the energy that night to make a healthy and amazing dinner for James when he got home from work. Sweet potato “potato skins” with pulled chicken, spinach, and cheddar. I had seen the recipe online and this one was a hit, he and I both loved it. This meal would also be important because it was the last real meal that I’d eat for awhile.


Fast forward to 7:30 PM that evening, contractions started… it was a different feeling than the Braxton hicks which I’d had a minimal amount of in the end of my pregnancy, and when they started coming James & I both excitedly downloaded apps onto our phones to time the contractions. 5 minutes apart, 3 minutes, 7 minutes, 2 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. They were coming but were irregular so it wasn’t time to call the doula, midwives, or our families just yet, but it was enough to get us excited and anxious that we were going to get to meet our baby soon. I had contractions for the entire night and eventually got up and slept on the couch in the living room to let James get some sleep since clearly sleep wasn’t happening for me with the consistent pains I was having. By Tuesday morning I was exhausted but even more excited because today was my due date and I’d been in labour since 7:30 PM the night before, so clearly today was the day. Right? Ha! James told his work that he wouldn’t be in that day, he inflated the birthing pool and we were ready to go.. except that those stupid contractions continued regularly but weren’t regular enough.


After telling our midwives and doula that I had been having regular contractions since the night before, they let us know to phone them when things picked up. In the meantime we went for walks around our neighbourhood, I did squats, bounced on the birthing ball, had hot baths…basically anything that I could think of to make this labour progress. My due date came and went with no baby in sight. I continued to have constant but irregular contractions and didn’t get any sleep that night either. Now let me just tell you that when I don’t get enough sleep I’m a real joy to be around (…..), so I’m sure that you can imagine my mood at this point…

After another night of no sleep and no baby, we were 100% certain that Wednesday would be the day. I started having more signs that things were progressing early Wednesday morning and got into the bath to help with the pain, which at this point had been steady for 36 hours. James stayed home from work again and called my doula in the early morning to tell her that we thought that she should come over. She got here around 7:00 AM and despite me being exhausted and irritable, she did a good job of keeping me calm and focused. I had no appetite and had barely eaten anything since Monday night so she was making sure that I ate and drank even though the thought of food was not appetizing at all.


She put electrodes on my back from her TENS machine on me which sends smalls shocks to your body and helps to block the pain receptors in your brain. I was skeptical at first but had been in pain for so long so I was open to anything at that point. The TENS machine was a gift from God and truly made a world of difference to me. I felt slightly reenergized to finally be getting some relief from the pain.

By 11:00 AM I insisted to James and my doula that I needed the midwives now, my doula gently told me that she didn’t think it was time yet, but I was thinking “this has to be almost over…it has to be.”  Our midwives got there and stayed for awhile, and then my midwife Colleen dropped a bomb gently broke it to us that we were still in “early labour” and that I still had a ways to go until it was considered active labour and it was time to push. She suggested that I take a couple of Gravol and Tylenol and try to have a nap to pass the time. My lip started to quiver but I held it together until the midwives and doula left but assured us that they’d be back as soon as things picked up. As soon as the door closed and they were gone I broke down and collapsed in James’ arms completely emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted. I had the breakdown of all breakdowns and honestly don’t remember ever crying that hard in my life. To say that we were devastated, disappointed, frustrated, angry, and exhausted at this point would be putting it mildly. I had been in labour for 40 hours at this point with no drugs and I needed this baby out of me like, yesterday.

Well this post is getting too lengthy and I need a break. Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of Owen’s birth story!

Posted in Baby, Pregnancy | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments