Whole 30 Recap

You guys, we did it. We successfully completed Whole 30 and I have to say, I’m really proud of us. I’m a little behind in posting about this actually, Day 30 was on Saturday so we were officially completed on Sunday. Want to know the results? Okay, its really hard for me to post these photos because the “before” pictures of my tummy make me cringe but I’ve decided to swallow my pride and post them because they show how much of a change I have experienced in just 30 days of clean eating and discipline. I lost 15 lbs and 13.5” in 30 days and James lost 9.5 lbs (we didn’t do his measurements). Check it.



If you look very closely in the first “after” picture (front view), and I mean very closely, you can see the tiniest hint of definition in my stomach. I’m really proud of myself for sticking with something and having such positive results but I’m not done, these “after” pictures are not my “final” pictures.

Since we cut sugar, dairy, grains, alcohol, and legumes completely we noticed some side effects aside from weight loss. We’ve both noticed that we sweat less, sleep more deeply, and feel more mentally clear. James commented that he doesn’t hit the afternoon wall of fatigue that he usually feels at the office between lunch and 5pm. We can’t tell exactly what contributed to those side effects but I’m certain that its the absence of sugar in our diets.

Leading up to being finished, we big plans for our first day of “freedom”. We missed bread. My aunt has a bread maker and made us a loaf of fresh bread on Saturday night for our first breakfast after the cleanse as a treat. It was really thoughtful and we were excited about it. We each had a half of one slice of bread, toasted, with butter, and even “cheers-ed” our bread (my idea, obviously). You know what? I only ate half of my piece (so a 1/4 slice of bread) and I was like, “I don’t really want this.” Bread and I used to be BFFs and all of a sudden I felt like it was a stranger to me. Who am I?


Fast forward to our first dinner of freedom that night, James was feeling strongly about getting a fried panzerotti from Valentino’s and I didn’t have any specific cravings so I was on board because I’m a supportive wife, he’s very lucky. How was it? To be honest, I only ate half and then felt gross and heavy so I ordered a garden salad with oil and vinegar dressing from our server and filled myself up on that instead.


Then on Monday it was back to my new “comfort food”. My definition of comfort food has changed to be food that I’m comfortable eating because it makes me feel good. Spaghetti squash with homemade meatballs made with coconut flour instead of breadcrumbs for dinner and a snack plate for lunch.



So,  we completed Whole 30 and lived to tell the tale. My pants that were all tight a month ago are now very loose which is such a good feeling and gives me an excuse to go shopping. So what’s next for me now? I am not going to be strictly Whole 30 again anytime soon because its extremely restrictive and socially awkward. Thirty days is a long time to stay in for every meal and to decline dinner invitations with family and friends because we can’t eat what they’re cooking. Overall James and I have decided that we’re going to eat a mainly Whole 30 diet when we’re cooking at home but when we go out we are going to enjoy ourselves if we want to splurge. I like how I feel and I like how my clothes are fitting and I’ve gotten used to the Whole 30 lifestyle so I’m going to keep it up for the most part to continue the transformation. Let’s face it, this baby weight isn’t going to lose itself.

I’m so glad I committed to doing this for 30 days not just for weight loss although that was a factor, but also to reprogram my thinking and to break some bad habits that I had developed around eating. I religiously read ingredient listings on food I buy now, I avoid sugar for the most part, and I contemplate if I really am hungry or if I’m just bored, sad, etc. and want to eat for comfort/convenience. I’m also learned that I’m stronger than I think and actually do possess some willpower. Now the struggle is to get back to a balanced life without falling off the wagon completely.


Have you ever done Whole 30? What were your results?

What is your favourite cheat meal?

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Whole 30 Update: Day 13 – 21

Its time for another Whole 30 update around here, just skip this post if you’re sick of hearing about it…I completely understand. Well, we are still doing it and today is Day 21. I’m extremely proud to be able to type that, it hasn’t been easy. On Sunday James and I were both feeling exhausted (he ran a half-marathon, I watched him finish it…equally as tiring if you ask me), and we were just not into the idea of cooking/eating Whole 30 compliant food. We wanted to order pizza, and we wanted it bad. We talked at length about it, including where we would order from, what we would get on it, etc. etc. etc. It got to the point that he was ready to dial up a pizza place and order and I chickened out and put a stop to our sordid delicious plan. Why? Because of this blog. I won’t lie, I was extremely annoyed with myself for having posted my commitment to myself for all of you to read, and that’s the reason that I stayed strong. I cursed this blog, but that’s exactly why I posted about it for you all to read, to keep me accountable.  So thank you.

Day 13-14: I was feeling pretty good physically but was starting to get bored of Whole 30 foods. I was like, “Okay, I get it. This way of living makes me feel good and I’m losing weight but I want variety again.” I turned to Pinterest to get some new meal inspiration and it was the perfect thing to get out of my cooking rut.

Day 15: On this night James and I were seriously missing our old food. We felt great and all but it was Friday night and we had a house full of leftover Halloween candy and we wanted to dive right in. Instead of indulging we made up a game where we went through the alphabet and and listed off a delicious (and off-limits) food that begins with each letter. For example, A = apple pie, B = brownies, etc. I’d like to take this opportunity to point out to you all, just how many delicious foods start with the letter “C”. Ready? Cake, cookies, chocolate, chips, crackers, cheetos, cannolis, cream cheese, cheese, cheddar (to be more specific), corn, corn chips…I could keep going. So yeah, Day 16 was rough.

Day 16: Things were fine but we were still lusting after the foods in our alphabet game. James & my friend Ryan were running the Hamilton Half Marathon the next morning and I was challenged with cooking something for them for dinner that was carb-heavy without being pasta. I decided on roasted herb marinated chicken, roasted sweet potatoes & yellow-fleshed potatoes, and mixed greens salad. I think that James would have definitely preferred the pasta.

Day 17: This was half-marathon/pizza lust day that I mentioned earlier. At the finish line they had the Gorilla Cheese food truck that serves amazing grilled cheese sandwiches (side note: we hired them to cater the late-night food part of our wedding and it was a really memorable part that people still tell us how much they loved), and I didn’t get one but I wanted to.


Day 18: I was in a bad mood this day, I was just tired and needed a “momming break” you know? I don’t get this way very often but on Monday I sure was. Normally on a day where I’m cranky I would eat my feelings and it was a serious challenge to not do this and stick to my healthy snacks like almond butter spread on an apple with pumpkin seeds & chopped walnuts on top.

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Day 19: I woke up on Day 19 and felt really, really good about myself. I weighed myself and I had officially lost 11.5 lbs and did my measurements and I was down 10.5” overall with 2.5” gone from my waist alone. I took this photo on Day 19 and was really pleased because I haven’t worn this shirt since way before I was pregnant because I never liked how it looked on me. Now I feel like its fits like its supposed to and this was a really great feeling. I was really seeing the effects of the good decisions and willpower I’d been exercising and my motivation was restored and I was no longer as tempted by the “forbidden foods” as I was just 24 hours before. I was like, I can totally do this for 11 more days.


Day 20: I have been noticing how good my stomach (insides) feel after I eat. I never feel indigestion, bloating, or that general “gross” feeling that I used to often feel after a meal. I’ve had some time to do some reflection and I think that grains don’t agree with me. I’m definitely not saying that I have a gluten allergy even though that’s all the rage right now, but bread, pasta, rice, etc. don’t make me feel very good.

Day 21: I can officially feel my ab muscles again and my stomach is feeling so much leaner. Mind you, I’ve been doing spinning workouts accompanied with various X-HIT Daily on YouTube (arms, abs, squats, depending on the day) and my workouts coupled with the clean eating are paying off. I took a selfie with Owen this morning (Day 21) and I noticed how much leaner my chest, neck, and face look in just 3 weeks.


So, that’s where I’m at right now and there is no doubt in my mind that I’m going to make my 30 day goal. It feels really good to say that. Here are a couple of meals that we’ve been eating lately.

IMG_20161110_123441 mixed greens with roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds, and homemade dijon vinaigrette (dijon mustard, olive oil, rice wine vinegar, salt & pepper)

20161104_191224 roasted acorn squash stuffed with chicken sausage, onion, mushrooms, and kale with a mixed greens salad with pear and pecans with a  homemade oil & balsamic vinegar vinaigrette dressing


What do you do when you get into a recipe rut?

What is your go-to healthy snack?

Anyone else usually eat their feelings when having a bad day?

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Whole 30 Update: Days 5 – 12

Well, I’m still on the Whole 30 train over here. Yes you read that right… no sugar, alcohol, grains, dairy, or legumes over here for 12 days and counting. Well…there was one time that I put frozen peas in our dinner and thought they were in the “vegetable” family but after a quick Google search found out that they’re actually “legumes”. Whatever, I’m not counting it as a cheat because it was unintentional and they were peas, not a chocolate bar.

Here’s an update on how the past few days have been for me, if you want to see how the first 5 days went click here.

Day 5: I went to the movies with my friend and our babies (Stars and Strollers at Cineplex is often my Wednesday “thing”) and I knew that I would be seriously tempted by popcorn. The smell of popcorn hits like a wall when you walk into any Cineplex, so I came prepared. I “snuck” in a large water bottle, plantain chips (ingredients: plantains, oil), and fresh red seedless grapes in a tupperware container. I wasn’t even really missing the popcorn, I mean… my heart wanted it, but my head and body were fine without.


Note: I’m not actually certain these plantain chips are “whole 30 approved” like my Instagram story would suggest but the ingredients were “plantains, oil” so I’mma go ahead and just say it’s compliant-ish. You’re not supposed to snack on Whole 30 but I’m breastfeeding and also a generally hungry person so I’m not following that rule.

Day 6 – 9: These days were challenging not because I was tempted by non-compliant foods but because I had come down with a cold and didn’t have the energy or desire to spend much time in the kitchen. This is tricky for Whole 30 because it requires a solid amount of meal prepping/cooking but I powered through and stuck to it. I made myself compliant homemade chicken soup (without noodles) which helped my cold a little. It turns out when you’re breastfeeding you can’t have any good sinus cold medication and I couldn’t find any throat lozenges without sugar, so… I kicked the cold naturally and just rode it out.

Note: On or around Day 8 I began to seriously crave my new go-to snack: an apple with almond butter, chopped walnuts, and pumpkin seeds. Its incredible and I want it in my belly 24/7. I’m craving apples now, who am I?


Day 10: They say that Days 10-11 are the most likely days that you’re going to quit Whole 30. For us, Day 11 fell right on Halloween and on Day 10 I stuffed 60 Halloween treat bags for trick-or-treaters for an hour and a half on my floor while watching a Jon Benet Ramsay case documentary. I had to constantly remind myself “no” when the urge to pop a Hershey’s cookies & cream bar into my mouth hit. 



Day 11: Halloween. We only had 1 trick-or-treater, ONE! Which means that we have 58 of these little bags left (I made 60 but gave the little Minnie Mouse at our door two since she was the only kid). We just moved into this neighbourhood 2 months ago and we didn’t know what to expect. Talk about a disappointing turnout! I don’t even know what we’re going to do with all of these things, send them to work with James to put in the lunchroom I suppose.

One of our local fast food places (Harvey’s) who are known for delicious burgers sent a flyer with tons of coupons on it. I stared at this flyer longer than I should have but I stayed strong and ate my coconut chicken and salad for dinner that night.


Day 12: Harvey’s sent ANOTHER coupon flyer the very next day… STAHHHP! We have $96 dollars in savings right now at Harveys with our combined coupons and you know I love a bargain, but I.will.not.give.in. James and I both reported a “cleansing” effect on our bodies this day in the bathroom department, numerous times, (yes, we talk about that stuff #marriage). I’ll spare you guys the details.

I was officially feeling back to normal after my cold and started to workout again on Day 12. I felt like I had tons of energy and didn’t feel like I was really forcing myself to continue. I did a 45 minute workout while Owen napped (30 minutes on the spin bike, 5 minute squat video, and 10 minute ab video) and felt amazing afterwards.

Some observations on Whole 30 so far:

1//James and I haven’t felt hangry once since the Day 2 debacle in the grocery store while our bodies were in sugar/bread withdrawal. I rarely feel hungry (don’t worry, I’m eating regularly) but I am starting to see food more as fuel and less as a hobby. This is the outcome that I was hoping for and I’m hoping that the next 18 days help to further engrain that into my mind.

2// I did my measurements this morning (beginning of Day 13)  and I’m down 10.5 lbs and 5” overall so far. James has lost 4 lbs (we never did his measurements so I’m not sure how many inches he’s lost but I’m noticing he looks leaner than he did two weeks ago). Clearly I had more to lose but I’m going to blame the baby (not my bad decisions, ha!) for that one.

3// We’ve been talking a lot lately about Day 31 and beyond.. basically, what will we eat when we don’t have these restrictions. James would like to start putting milk in his coffee again but is done with adding sugar to it. I think that I could drink my tea black daily but when I go to Starbucks I’ll get a tea latte (half-sweet) with non-fat milk as a treat once in awhile. We’re going to eat cheese again, but not in the copious amounts that we were, and I’ve decided that we won’t buy bread unless it’s a special occasion or we’re having company or something. We’ve got more on this topic to discuss over the next 2.5 weeks but for now that’s how we’re feeling

4// I’ve noticed that I’m much less “phlegmy” (gross, sorry) being off of dairy. I was vegetarian a few years ago and vegan for about 1.5-2 months of that time and remember the same thing. I feel like my throat is clearer and my nose doesn’t run/need to be blown as often.

5// We are saving a lot of money by cooking at home for every meal, I don’t have an exact dollar figure for you but we’ve both observed that we are spending must less. I miss the experience of going out to eat but I like that I’m able to control what we’re putting into our bodies right now, and of course we’re liking the extra $$ in our bank account.

So that’s where we’re at right now. Sorry for the long post I guess I’m feeling chatty this morning.


What is your favourite Halloween candy?

Every tried to diet over Halloween or any other food-related holiday (i.e. Christmas)? Did you survive?

Are you as obsessed/tempted with fast food coupons as I am? ARGHH!

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An Epic Fail: Pumpkin Edition

You guys know that from time to time, I do some ridiculous things. Sometimes I get these great ideas in my head but then 9 times out of 10 it turns out to be a total fail. Most recently I posted about my cake incident, if you haven’t read it…you really should. See that post here

So this tale of my most recent fail is about a pumpkin. Let me start from the beginning. Two years ago my friend posted a picture of her then-baby (now toddler) sitting happily in a pumpkin on Halloween. She had cut out leg holes and sat him right in there and badda-bing-badda-boom, adorable memory and picture of a baby smiling in a pumpkin to prove it. This year I decided that since I have a baby I should attempt the pumpkin picture too. He’s only going to be this small for so long and next Halloween he won’t fit in a pumpkin anymore so it was now or never. I’ll go to great lengths for a cute photo opp, I really will, but this one takes the cake. Note: Please don’t call child protective services, we all came out fine and mostly unharmed.

On Halloween morning I spent over an hour cleaning out and carving a pumpkin in order to sit Owen in it. Side note: I hate carving pumpkins. It always seems like it will be more fun than it is and I get excited to do it, until I start doing it, and then I’m like “I hate this”. So anyways, I power through this unappealing task and get decided to put like, 2 paper towels inside so that his back and bum wouldn’t be against the wet, cold, pumpkin flesh. So, I put Owen in the pumpkin and you guys, he wasn’t happy about it. It took a few tries to get him in there but I did it and he was freaking out. For a baby who rarely cries and even more rarely screams, he was losing it and I was laughing but also feeling a little guilty because, I mean, look at this.


So anyway, I took about 20 photos of him having an emotional breakdown before I decided that I had enough photo evidence of this precious moment and decided I should get him out of there. Except….he was stuck. I couldn’t get him out. He was screaming and kicking his little legs and flailing his arms and getting all sweaty and I was like…”Shit…”.  I tried a few times to lift him out, and couldn’t. And that’s when he started to understand that he was actually stuck and that’s when he the volume of his screaming really heightened and that’s when I started to officially panic. I’m not really a panicky mom but my kid was stuck in a pumpkin because of me and I started to freak out a little.

I thought of breaking the pumpkin, but the only way that I knew how to do that was to drop it and he was in there so it didn’t seem like a good idea. That’s when I got another idea…mind you, it was a terrible one. I would cut him out. I knew at the time that it was a horrible idea but like, I didn’t have any other options in that moment and he was losing his mind.

So I started to attempt to cut him out but he is in a “grabbing stage” and kept trying to grab the knife and so I was trying to maneuver it swiftly to cut him out while avoiding his grabby hands and flailing limbs everywhere and I accidently knicked him on his knee. There are a couple little knick spots, they look like needle pricks if you will. I know what you’re thinking, what kind of mom tries to cut her kid out of a pumpkin? I know. I KNOW. In the heat of the moment it seemed like my only option. I then noticed blood smeared on his back and I’m like, “HOW did I cut his back, omg!” and then I realized that the blood was mine and that my finger had been cut too. This is when I was like “Laura, put the knife down. This was a terrible rescue strategy. Pull yourself together and figure this out. You got him in there, you can get him out.”

I pulled myself together and after a few tries of gently angling him out I was finally able to free him. Poor guy was covered in slimy pumpkin and was sweating and upset, and I was reeling from what just happened and overcome with mom guilt for the whole experience. I gave him a warm bath and put him in a fuzzy sleeper, read him two stories and put him down for a nap, and he had the longest nap he’s had in weeks because getting stuck in a pumpkin is traumatizing for a little boy.

We had a great day after his nap and I think that he forgot about the pumpkin incident of 2016. Here are some photos of yesterday in happier times.




So that’s the story of how my kid got stuck in a pumpkin on his first Halloween. I hope that I didn’t give him a weird phobia of pumpkins for his life.

giphy (1)

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Whole 30 Update: Days 1 – 4

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

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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.

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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??

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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!

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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!

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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.


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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

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