gobble gobble (and being grateful)

I always decorate for fall a little a lot early. I usually don’t wait until fall or Labour Day weekend for that matter. I know it can be irritating to beach lovers and sun worshipers who wish I wouldn’t wish away the summer. It’s not about that. Or about my affection for PSLs, either. I just love the way fall feels and smells. It’s comfort food (and baking without heating the house up to 1,000 degrees) and knee-high boots with cozy sweaters and the best smelling candles at Bath and Body Works.

Naturally, we have a few fall projects up our sleeves.

We’ve had a few requests from friends and family for new artwork for fridges and offices so I’ve been pinning ideas to engage the kids (why is it when people don’t ask for art, I have it coming out the wazoo and when we have orders to fill, they suddenly have creative block?). This Thanksgiving-inspired idea was easy to execute and anything involving paint (especially when the intent is to put it on our hands on purpose) is always a win.

All that said, it was also a great reason to join in an awesome Maritime bloggers hop, which means I’m not the only one sharing awesome turkey fun this week! Be sure to click the link at the bottom and check out everyone else’s poultry-inspired projects!

The poem is simple to type up in any font and format you like:


(The one above is Isaac’s. I love that his mish-mash of colours turned out looking like a camoflaged turkey!)

The kids’ jaws dropped when I started explaining the project by painting directly on my palm. Doing it this way allowed us to create the patterns we wanted.

Three things made me feel grateful about this project:

    • It was simple and created an adorable finished product.
    • It was the perfect way to spend a weekday evening with the kiddos that didn’t involve screen time or headlocks.
    • It gave us a great opportunity to talk about what makes us feel thankful. The answers ranged from petting puppies and our home to safety and getting presents. It made for a lively discussion that we wouldn’t have otherwise had.

Be sure to click this handy little button for more projects by Maritime mom bloggers:



marriage monday: personal boundaries

1928381_20613676032_2509_nMy girlfriends and I got into a conversation over the weekend, the likes of which only girlfriends have. It centered around bodily functions. We are all very open with each other; TMI just isn’t a thing. We discussed couples we’ve known who refuse to pass gas in each others’ presence. I, frankly, and my girlfriends agreed, could not be bothered to go to another room if I needed to break wind. Who has time for that?

It did make me think about my relationship with my husband though. When it comes to personal boundaries, we don’t have many.

Times in which we are open books:

  • Peeing with the door open. Pee only.
  • Food. I’d lick his ice cream cone and he’d lick mine. That’s not an innuendo.
  • If I had a pimple on my back, I’d let him pop it. But let’s be real, he probably wouldn’t do it right so I’d probably need to ask one of the aforementioned girlfriends to help out with that.
  • The entire family may wander in and out of the bathroom while either of us is in the shower. We have another half-bath downstairs, but everyone seemingly forgets or ignores that fact.
  • Emails, passwords, wallets, purses. All fair game.

Grey areas in our relationship:

  • Changing clothes. I don’t think twice about it most of the time, but I also want to maintain a certain level of mystery. I mean, we have two kids and we all know how that happened. Plus, he saw them shoot out of me. How can there still be mystery, you ask? There is. He doesn’t need to know what colour my underwear are every single day.
  • Sharing germs. I will not kiss him if he’s sick and vice versa. I do not pick up his dirty tissues. I will share his drinking glass or fork though.
  • Mike would rather not have to buy tampons for me. He has before and will again, most likely, but he’s not a fan, which I get.

Areas in which we draw the line:

  • I will not sniff his laundry to check if it’s dirty.
  • We don’t share toothbrushes. I also hateee it when I’m within three feet of him when he’s flossing. Ewww.
  • Anything going on in a washroom beyond peeing requires a locked door. Mainly to protect ourselves from the kids slamming into the room, but also to maintain a certain level of decorum.

What do you think? Are we too exposed? Too prudish? Where do you draw the lines in your relationships?

friday favourites

It’s birthmas! This weekend, I get to go away for an overnight with a handful of my very best girlfriends. We’ve been doing an annual night away for several years, but over the last couple years we’ve incorporated a new tradition called birthmas (a concept we borrowed from a friend of a friend). Basically, rather than ensuring we can gather and give gifts on birthdays or add to the expense of sharing gifts at Christmas, we reserve this one night a year to give gifts to each other. Everyone gives everyone a present, so with five of us in attendance, the pile of 25 gifts is pretty fun and exciting! We take turns opening our gifts and it’s a ton of fun. Not to mention, we always use this weekend away as a chance to see a new nook of our province. This weekend, we’re heading to Five Islands to a cottage on the water. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

It’s really fall now: I no longer have to hold in my excitement about my favourite season lest I offend summer lovers! Pumpkin spice all the things!

Blog hops: I’m participating in a blog hop next week! There’s a great collective of mama bloggers locally who are sharing links of the same nature. This time around, we’re all sharing turkey-inspired projects in time for Thanksgiving. Be sure to check back on Monday for my project and links to five other great local bloggers!

I can’t promise it’ll be as awesome as this (but it’ll be close):


Five things: Montreal

On the theme of summer wrap ups, I also got to spend an amazing weekend away with one of my favourite people on the planet.

Earlier this month, we travelled to Cornwall, ON for a university friend’s wedding. Since we were in the neighbourhood, we also opted to take an extra day off and spend a couple days exploring Montreal.

Here are five things that made the weekend awesome.

1) Travelling with someone like-minded is the best.

  • No checked luggage allowed? Check.
  • Vegetarian? Check.
  • Wants to do and see as much as physically possible and also take the time to soak it all in? Check.
  • Also wants to take lame selfies while reading books on benches? Yep.

2) Seeing a beautiful couple get hitched.

And getting to meet their gorgeous family.

3) Exploring a new city in our great country.

4) All the awesome food and drinks.

$0.89 tacos means you can spend more money on margaritas.

5) Thinking about where we could go next!

say no to bullies

Admittedly, this whole story takes place because I was horribly last minute. Last night, I went on a wild goose chase with the kids in tow to find pink shirts for my boys to mark this year’s anti-bully day at school. If you’re not familiar with this initiative, click here to read about how some Nova Scotian teens inspired this annual event.

The trick is, pink shirts are super hard to find for boys. Especially on the night before the day that every little boy in the province needs one.

I ran into some other harried moms in the T-shirt aisle at Michaels who were in the same boat. They’d already been to Walmart and Winners and turned up empty handed, too.

We decided to opt for white shirts and have a tie dye party. At this point, it was after 6 p.m. and I was starting to feel heart palpitations about getting this all done, plus supper, baths and bedtime.

A search at Walmart turned up two packs of T-shirts for $15 each and a tie dye kit for $19.99. As much as I wanted the kids to participate, I wasn’t about to fork over $50 to Walmart for the occasion.

Then it dawned on me that maybe shirts didn’t have to be the be-all, end-all. We swung around the hair care aisle and grabbed a package of pink hair chalk. The kids, as I’m sure you can imagine, were thrilled. And so was I because it only cost me $6.

Next year, as suggested by a friend, I’ll be adding this to my school supply list!

self-care sunday

59231ce0adb4076b610187fa1699af6f--sunday-funday-sunday-schoolEarlier this year, I started a little tradition with myself. On Sunday evenings, after the kids are in bed, the dishwasher is loaded, Monday’s lunches are organized and the weekly meal plan is posted, I take an hour or so for me. It comes in a variety of forms. Sometimes I paint my nails or do a face mask. If the weather’s ideal, I might go for a run with music blasting in my earbuds. If it’s a book club week, I’ll often use the time to make sure I finish the book on time. A key to my relaxation is that I ditch my phone and other screens during this time.

The point is, I’m starting to realize that there are small things that I can do for myself that can make a fairly substantial difference as I start a new work week. I tried to learn how to meditate, but after many attempts, I realized that it just isn’t my jam. My brain is a browser with 891 tabs open at all times and it seems to be beyond my ability to clear out the mental clutter long enough to sit in silence and think introspectively (if I’m doing that, who’s remembering to sign the form in Jacob’s backpack or take the chicken from the freezer to thaw or pick up eggs and bread on the way home?). Funnily enough, I do some of my best thinking during self-care Sunday when I free my mind from distraction and let thoughts flow freely. Instead of being bogged down with commitments or life logistics, I relax and let my mind wander.

It is kind of funny to have to schedule in time to take care of one’s self, but life is hella busy. Over the summer with lots of travelling and company, my ritual went mostly by the wayside, but now with the welcome routine of September and fall and a new school year, I’m getting back into the habit.

Take last night, for example. I made Sunday supper and the four of us sat down (we even used a table cloth!) and had a really nice family meal together. It felt oddly luxurious. I took the time to make a healthy, well-rounded meal. I wasn’t rushed because it was a work day on which other obligations or traffic may hold me up (meaning the kids weren’t over tired and therefore not cranky). We shared a great half hour of conversation and everyone licked their plates, which always gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Spending that kind of quality time in the kitchen and with my family — the self care could’ve ended right there and I would’ve happily embarked upon Monday, but I also snagged a couple hours on my laptop, working on a special writing project (more details to come), which made me feel excited and inspired. I went to bed content.

If you’re not doing it already, find an hour to yourself to do something completely for you, completely alone. If you try it, be sure to come back and comment on your experience! If you’re already practicing self-care, do tell — how do you best enjoy spending your downtime?


summer wrap-up: part 2

A few years ago, we started an annual tradition with our Bunin family. We call it Bunin Reunion — we pick a spot in the Maritimes and convene — all 23 of us. That’s just the immediate family, believe it or not. We’re nothing if not a crowd, with kids ranging from one year old to 19 years old and adults from 32 to +70.

This year, we snuggled into cottages at Milford House. It was rural and rustic — just right for a few nights away from it all.