An Avocado a Day Keeps The Doctor Away

This weekend was exactly what our family needed. No plans. Just us and whatever we felt like doing. For the first time in months, we decided to tackle a few home renovation projects. I can’t wait to show you guys the before and after. It’s been a while since we’ve done a DIY on here, so hopefully we’ll put something together really soon. Besides that, we took the mornings slow together as a family, visiting our favorite local bagel shop and spending some time by the kiddie pool. I’m a little upset that June is already almost over. This summer has been a blast so far and it’s going by way too fast. I am going to let you guys in on a little secret. When I got pregnant with Cove, I was super paranoid about stretch marks. I knew if I got them, I would live and always remember the beautiful fact I got to carry my child, but I also just really didn’t want to have to deal with them or that adjustment. A friend from work told me…

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Thoughts on Things: Social Media Babies, Hands Free Fashion and Trends I Love

So one of my sweet friends on Instagram shared a post on social media babies and how this will be the first generation to ever grow up with cameras in their face at all time and every single part of their lives being documented on iPhones and often through social media. To be honest, it’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to and Ian and I have talked about before. We have a few friends who don’t share about their children at all on social media, no photos at all, and others who document bare booties and glorious details of real life and the moments in between. I personally don’t think either is wrong, because each of us have our own ideas of what parenting should look like and ideas of how we should be raising our kids. I am sure social media will affect our children, just like it’s affected us, if we are all being completely honest here. For some of us, it’s impacted us in a completely positive way. Some have built businesses, met friends, created a digital journal their…

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Canmore – Johnston Canyon – Vermillion Lakes | Canada Travels Part III

If you have been following along here for a while you may have seen Part I and Part II of our Canada travels. It’s hard to say that any part of the trip was my favorite, because it was all amazing, but Canmore was extra special to us. We were there for about five nights and it was one of the most beautiful cities I have ever stayed in. Much quieter than Banff and it felt like we were able to see more of where the locals would go or live and much less touristy. We ate at the same bagel place almost every morning, Rocky Mountain Bagel Company, which had a Friends tv show feel, with amazing bagels and the coziest little fire place. Our condo was right off the main strip downtown so we could walk to everything. There were cute restaurants and an ice cream school bus food truck. I mean, that in itself is pretty darn amazing. There was a little board walk along the river where Ian and I walked down with our ice cream cones…

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Forever Keeps

I know I am generally a sappy person, but kids will do that to you. I find myself going through pictures while Cove is asleep wandering how time slipped by us so quickly. Now that it’s summer, I honestly feel like he and I have grown even closer. It might sound silly because we’ve been together since he was in my womb, but we’ve connected and laughed together, cried together and he’s so much more cognitive. It hasn’t come without its challenges though… We’ve experienced the terrible twos so much earlier than I anticipated. I guess that’s the thing about parenting – once you think you’ve got one thing figured out, you get thrown a curve ball and you’re learning how to deal with something new. I’ve really been trying to write down quick notes on my phone of things going on, happy or sad, that I want to remember. I may start a little series on here like Thoughts On Things. We’ll see… But for now, here are 10 things I want to forever keep and remember. Every morning…

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Whistler – Revelstoke – Lake Louise | Canada Travels Part II

I hope you aren’t tired of Canada pics yet, because I have so many more exciting places to share with you all. After spending some time in Whistler, which you can read about here, we headed east down the Trans Canada Highway for a pretty amazing road trip to Canmore/Banff. We drove about 19 hours in the course of two days with tons of stopping for pictures, lunch and stretching our legs. I will be completely real with you though, road trips with toddlers are tough. We brought lots of snacks, games and pulled out the iPad pretty frequently. Even though it was tough, the views we’re so worth it. We were lucky enough to have our rental car upgraded to a larger SUV, which made for an incredibly spacious and comfortable ride. And even better, it didn’t have me as nervous when we we’re driving through some of the snow and crazy curves… It didn’t take much for Ian to throw the car into four-wheel drive… The scarier the driving environment, the more excited / adventurous he gets! On our…

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Quality over Quantity | The Style Edition

  It would be embarrassing if you stepped into my closet about three years ago. My shelves were bending in the middle from the amount of clothing hanging on them. Most of it were things I never wore, and a good bit of them still had the tags. I was born and raised a bargain shopper, and because of that I learned the habit of buying things because they were a great deal and not necessarily because I wanted or needed them. After purging my closet multiple times the past few years, I vowed to myself and to Ian to only buy something I really loved. And even more so, to only buy things that we’re going to last me a long time. Since then, my closet has definitely moved in the right direction. I get emotionally attached to clothes for some reason, so some stuff I still have just because it’s hard for me to part with. I’ll call it nostalgia. But overall, I have done a better job at keeping my closet to pieces I wear, pieces I love…

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Picnics + 5 Other Practical Ways We Use Gathre Mats

  Picnics are one of my very favorite things to do together as a family. Almost every year, the boys take me to do it for Mother’s Day or when they know I just need some time with them. It could be the fact I love cheese, bread and fruit and it’s usually the majority of what our picnics consist of, or that I LOVE outdoor dining. Anytime you combine food + a beautiful view, it’s my kind of heaven. After coming home from our trip the other day, our house was pure chaos with laundry, groceries and the mess that unpacking creates. The following Saturday, it was just the three of us with no plans, so we decided to get outside and picnic together. I used my new Gathre mat, to which I’m now spoiled, because now, a blanket won’t ever do for us… It doesn’t heat up in the sun, it’s easier to brush off and it lays flat when the wind blows. We had a mini mat a friend gave us before Cove was born, and it…

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Victoria-Whistler, British Columbia | Canada Travels Part I

I don’t know if we’re crazy or what, but we decided to take a cross-country Canadian road trip with a toddler. We had been really wanting to visit Alberta for a while. My dad was born there and Ian wanted to see Banff and the Canadian rockies. We also wanted to visit my grandparents and introduce them to Cove for the first time. They live in Victoria, British Columbia. So instead of taking multiple trips, we decided to make a big road trip out of it! I wasn’t sure how it would all work, but we sat down one day and made a plan, giving ourselves plenty of extra time for stops and such with a little one. We flew into Vancouver and took the ferry to Victoria to visit with family. Ian and I visited Victoria when we we’re first pregnant with Cove and that’s when Ian got to meet my grandparents for the first time. You can see more from that trip here. We had a great day with my family and I could have cried with happiness to have my dad…

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Feeling Floral | Dress That Hides Taco Bumps

It’s been a minute since I’ve shared an outfit post with you. I’ve been so excited to start dressing for summer and probably pulled out my sandals way too early. This year, instead of going for items that are just fashionable, I have been trying hard to only buy and wear things that fit our lifestyle. Surprisingly, it doesn’t mean I have to dress boring. It just means pulling together outfits more intentionally. Instead of just buying something because it’s cute, I’m asking myself will it fit comfortably when we’re out, will I be able to wear it multiple ways and is it going to be super hard to clean when I get PB&J on it. Just being real here. I got a few pieces from Love Winnie James and have been so happy with them. This dress was one of them. The material is so light weight and gauze-like and it can be dressed up or down depending on where you’re headed. I was really excited because I wore it to date night and I didn’t have to worry about my…

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Quick and Easy Summer Snacks | Chocolate Banana Smoothies & Protein Packed Peanut Butter Cookies

Summer is here and we have a jam packed schedule with all kinds of fun activities. The zoo, aquarium, pool and lots of family road trips. When it comes to food and eating, I really try hard to make sure we have a balanced diet that doesn’t include the drive-thru for every meal. I struggle with low iron and as much as I would love to only eat croissants and fries all day, I would have zero energy and strength to do much of anything. I recently started using Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Boosters to help me get the protein, fiber and iron I need in some easy-to-make snacks. They contain 20 grams of protein per serving plus fiber and are sweetened with Monk fruit, making them a delicious addition to my meals and snacks, like the below Chocolate Banana Smoothies and Protein Packed Peanut Butter Cookies. Cove and Ian love munching on the cookies and they are both super easy to whip up and take with us when we are on the go. Chocolate Covered Banana Smoothies Ingredients 3 scoops of Bob’s…

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Capture Your Heart | Parabo Press + Free Square Prints for Everyone

  Ian is usually a pretty easy guy to buy for. He has a wishlist he adds things to every time he sees something he likes. Every now and then, I love to surprise him with something different and more personal. Until Cove gets old enough to pick out his own gifts for us, Ian and I help him a bit. I went for printed photography because Ian loves to take pictures of our family and always says that it’s his version of a journal to keep track of the good and bad days. We may not post them all on the blog, but we capture a lot, even the really hard moments when Cove’s throwing a fit or we’re in our lounge clothes just hanging around the house. I received about 50 square prints for Ian to refill his wood block frames with, a gorgeous glass print from his favorite trip with Cove to California at sunset and a large engineered print of sunset at Aliso Beach for our kitchen to go above the table he’s building me for Mother’s Day.…

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Thoughts on Things: Managing Time, Sand and a Few of My Current Favorites

  I normally feel like I am pretty good at managing time. I’m type A and make lists for everything. It’s probably a little OCD, but as of late, I’ve really been struggling. It feels like the days go by so fast and my lists never get done. I try to be really intentional about my time with family, so some things definitely get put on the back burner, but it still feels like time is moving way to fast to completely everything I need to. I would love some suggestions for those of you who manage a bunch of different things like jobs, kids, family and other priorities, and how you do it without letting things slip through the cracks. Hoping it’s just a season, because I hate laying my head on the pillow knowing that the list keeps growing. When we took the above pictures, Cove was having a big issue with the sand. He loves the water, but he’s really funny about textures. As soon as it got in his sandals he had a major melt-down and we had…

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Mother’s Day Recap

  This past weekend my boys spoiled me well. Saturday and Sunday they let me sleep in, brought me a card with the cutest little otter on them (this meme is my favorite and I literally said, ‘I Made Dis’ when Cove was born), and took me out for a day of doing whatever I wanted. I opted for a park date and dinner with a little shopping in between, of course. The slow and relaxed days with them are my favorite. Nothing too fancy, just quality time. Ian’s currently building my Mother’s Day present so I’ll show you guys that later. I received the sweetest necklace from Reagan over at Henri Lou and loved the sterling and turquoise accents. I have been mixing dainty gold and silver jewelry for a while now, especially my rings, so I thought it would be fun to try a silver necklace. Most of mine are gold, so it’s been fun to switch things out here and there. For some reason, this necklace reminds me of the desert and the ocean both together and I…

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Stir Crazy & Bellabeat

  This past week was a tough one in the realm of health issues for our family. We were wiped out and didn’t leave the house for a few days, but when we finally started to feel better, we decided some fresh air was what the doctor ordered. I tend to get extremely stir crazy after about one day stuck at home, so I was really crazy at this point. Please tell me I am not the only one like that? We headed to the lake/park to walk around and it definitely helped lift our spirits. Cove loves throwing rocks in the water and was really into the ducks this time. He was screaming “DUCKS!” chasing after them. I was cracking up. Next time we go back, I will have to bring some bread to the lake with me to make it up to all the ducks who were scared to death of the toddler chasing them around. I wanted to share with you guys about this fun new fitness tracker made for women. I have never been a huge fan of…

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To the mother with children on earth, in heaven and those cultivating life in other ways…

  It took a lot in me to write this, and I went back and forth on whether I should or not. But at the end of the day, I felt someone needed to read it. I was lucky enough to have an incredible mother who loved and taught me the beauty of what motherhood is and can be. When I was growing up, she would always say it was more important to her that we loved and treated her well every day of the year than just one holiday where we felt obligated to do so. I took this to heart, but never really gave Mother’s Day much of a thought until about three years ago. I don’t think I was ever one of those girls who dreamed of being a mother from a young age. I knew I wanted to be one, but it wasn’t something I had this deep desire for. But one day, about three years into our marriage, God laid that desire heavy on my heart. So you might think we would have a baby right then and there,…

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5 Tips for Traveling like a Local vs a Tourist this Summer

Summer is just around the corner and I have been counting down the days for our summer trips. We have an excursion to cross through the Canadian Rockies and a few beach vacations this summer. I love having a trip to look forward to, even if it’s just a weekend getaway. When I think back to when Ian and I took our first trip together five years ago, I have to laugh about how much we’ve learned about traveling since then. Not to say we know a great deal, but we have come along way from those tourists carrying our rolling luggage through the cobblestone streets of Italy. We’ve learned you can go on vacation to see and experience everything a place and culture has to offer, or you can stay in your comfort zone, only visiting tourist sites and not truly taking in much at all. In our opinion though, there are really two kinds of trips: Vacations and Expeditions. Vacations are where you visit somewhere with the intention to relax somewhere beautiful, take your time and breath. Expeditions are when you visit somewhere with…

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