Finding My Groove

Hello blog, it’s been a hot minute.

I’ve thought about writing everyday since my last post. It truly is a passion of mine, writing and sharing my life. I really do love it.

But lately it’s been hard, I haven’t known what to write, and when I do have a topic I’m hesitant because I feel like no one will read it.

I’ve been in a funk as you could probably tell by the hiatus I’ve been on… But I’m going to do my best to be back, because I truly do miss my blog!

I’m not going to post daily, but definitely at LEAST once per week.

On this time off I’ve been doing a lot of self reflecting, it sounds silly but I’m really trying to figure myself out. Find out more about myself, and who I am as a person.

I’m working on finding my interests, what makes me happy, my style, what kind of life I want to live, being healthier both physically and mentally, and trying to better myself as a partner, mom, and member of society.

Because in all honesty I haven’t been happy with myself lately, and my anxiety has been the worst it’s been in ages, so it’s time for a change! Time to switch up my routine and break out of my funk.

Finding yourself and choosing happiness is a journey that never really ends, people are constantly in a state of growth and change. But it’s a journey I need to embark on, because I feel like I’m not my best self at the moment, I’m not the person that I know I can be, and that I want to be. I need to invest in myself.

I’m blessed to be surrounded by amazing people and all of them deserve my best self, but most importantly I deserve my best self.

So here’s to the beginning with no end. The journey of finding my groove.

Valentine’s Gifts For Him

The day of love is right around the corner, that’s right, Valentine’s Day!

I almost forgot about it to be honest… January has absolutely FLOWN by.

Luckily I remembered in time so Ben and I could book a reservation at a restaurant. That was no easy task though, Melbourne is a pretty busy place February 14th apparently. So we may not have gotten our favourite restaurant but hey, I’ll take what we can get, a night out is a night out!

That being said something I took even longer to decide was what I was going to get Ben! And although I won’t be sharing that in this post (since he reads my blogs, Hi Ben…) I thought I’d share some ideas of what you could get your boyfriend/husband this year for Valentine’s Day! Hopefully make it easier on you, cause we all know how much guys suck to shop for.

  1. Experience Presents. To me, these hold so much more thought and value over something material. Doing something together with your partner is so fun and creates memories opposed to a materialistic item you’ll probably grow tired of. Some fun ideas would be going to a play, a hot air balloon ride, a sporting event, a concert, or doing a craft night like pottery or painting. Do something fun together that you don’t normally do!
  2. A Watch. Go to present for a guy, most men love watches and tend to like to have a collection. A nice watch is a classic piece they will get tons of use out of! Fossil and Nixon both make very nice men’s watches (in my opinion.)
  3. Sleep shorts, underwear, and socks. These comfy presents are always handy! I feel like Ben constantly loses all his so every holiday these seem like a good opportunity to stock him up! If you’re in Australia hit up bonds for some nice ones, those are Ben’s favourite.
  4. Speaker. Boys and their tunes, a speaker is a great present if you have a music or party loving partner! Bose makes super nice ones, but the UE Boom is what we have and I love it! It’s so portable and makes a great gift!
  5. Gym shoes. Stepping up the sneaker game is never a bad idea. If you have a man who loves to be active and hit the gym check out Adidas, they make super cool looking shoes for the gym!
  6. Wallet. Get rid of his old leather one that’s falling apart and upgrade to a nice new one! Roots makes amazing wallets (if you’re in Canada that is.)
  7. Something personalised. Whether is be a bracelet, mug, key ring, anything! Putting the effort into getting something personalised with your names, a special date, or his name, shows the next level of effort I’m sure he’d find sweet.
  8. Edible arrangement. Fruit, chocolate, donut bouquets, cookie pops, whatever it is there’s an edible arrangement for it! If your man has a super sweet tooth (like mine) he’s sure to love this delicious surprise! A lot of companies also offer some alcoholic add ons like beer, champagne, or whiskey to make it even better.

And that’s all I have for you! Hopefully one of these things sticks out for the man in your life. But if not, a nice handwritten love letter, a night watching Netflix, cuddling on he couch, drinking wine, and eating your favourite meal is just as good! No need to spend heaps of money, the day is about celebrating love and your relationship, so enjoy love birds!


Getting It Together

One of my new years resolutions that I made for myself was to get my shit together, be more organised, get on a schedule, and to have more structure to my day.

Since 2018 began I haven’t done much about that resolution to be honest but alas, I’m finally taking action!

Ainsley is getting older by the day and its getting even harder and harder to keep up with her, shes constantly on the move and constantly wanting me to play with her (totally not complaining) but that being said I also have a ton of goals this year in regards to business as well as normal house hold wife and mum duties.

So I’ve come to the decision its time to make myself a schedule. Not only will this benefit me but kids thrive on schedules, and I’ve been wanting to get Ainsley on a set schedule for a while now.

I haven’t yet sat down and decided on a schedule but when I find one that works I will be sure to update you all.

Another thing I want to look into is getting a planner, like a physical planner book. Like I said previously with Ainsley getting older and us as a family getting busier I think it would be good to have everything physically written down.

Writing out lists of what chores I need to get done for the week, writing our grocery list, scheduling in events for the month, even bills and budgeting. Now that I’m looking into it I don’t know why I haven’t gotten into it sooner.

If anyone has any suggestions on good planners please let me know! I haven’t yet found one that I love.

Another thing I’d like to start organising now that Ainsley is older and a more fun and playful age, and now that I’m more settled in our new house and area is getting out with Ainsley more. I want to plan more outings and activities with her, maybe even a play group, tiny tots gymnastics or swim lessons. By getting more organised I think I will feel more confident to do activities like those on a weekly basis.

One thing I have started this year is organising the house. I’ve been super busy this past week organising, de-cluttering, and cleaning the house. This makes me feel great, new year, fresh house!

Now that I’ve put my plan out into the universe lets hope it helps get me moving on it. I’m going to start looking for a planner and activities to sign Ainsley up to, so wish me luck!

Hopefully this post inspires you to take a look at your life and see how you can get more organised!

Lets get organised together, leave your tips in the comments and let me know. I would love any tips/advice you mummas have and your favourite planners!


Cuddle + Kind

Today’s blog is a quick review of a company I believe deserves a shout out.

Disclaimer this is not a sponsored post, this is my 100% honest opinion, I just really like this company and think they’re doing something really amazing!

Cuddle + Kind is a US based online shop run by a family of five that sells ethically produced stuffed dolls.

Aside from the fact that they are absolutely ADORABLE and the options of dolls to chose from is plentiful. They are so well made, Ainsley has “Willow the deer” in the large size and I was so astounded by the companies values, the quality of the doll, and how kind the owners are, that I just had to write a blog about it to tell all my followers, friends, and family to support this amazing company.

The dolls are made with high quality ingredients that are soft and cuddly and also safe for your little to chew and suck on.

All the dolls come with an affirmation card, a little backstory, and their own personal birthday. I find little details like this so adorable and they give the doll a personality which I think will be cute when Ainsley’s a toddler, Willow will be like a little friend.

Now, what I really love about Cuddle + Kind is their business and why they make these dolls.

For EVERY doll sold they donate 10 meals to hungry children. You can go to their site and read where the money goes and how they do it. There’s no sketchy activity, it lays it all out for you. They’ve contributed to organisations such as the breakfast club of Canada, orphanages in Haiti, and the Children’s Hunger Fund. All reputable causes! These organisations directly help children in need.

Another reason I truly love and will continue to support this company is they provide jobs to women in Peru. Every doll is hand crafted by women overseas who are provided a fair trade and sustainable income.

Cuddle + Kind creates amazing quality and gorgeous dolls with such a good reason and goal behind them.

If you have a little one in your life I highly recommend checking them out! You will not be disappointed 💓

Cuddle + Kind:

Living Down Under Vs. The Great White North

I’ve had many of my fellow Canadians ask me what I like about living in Australia and likewise I’ve had my Aussie friends ask me what I miss about Canada. So I decided to write a blog about it!

Disclaimer; both these countries are beautiful and amazing places to live and hold special value in my heart.

I know a lot more about my homeland, good old Canada, so I’ll start there.

All my family and childhood friends live in Canada. It’s where I was born, raised, and where I went to school. I’ve spent pretty much my entire life in Canada. So obviously it has the upper hand with the fact that my Mom, Dad, Brother, best friend, ect, all live there. But aside from my family, here are other things I love about Canada.

Being from Canada is a blessing. No matter where I travel I’m always proud to tell people where I’m from. Something I love about Canada is the amazing reputation Canadians have. People are always so interested and excited when I tell them I’m from Canada and that makes me so happy.

Another thing I prefer about living in Canada is the trees. I know this may sound silly but seriously! Here in Australia the trees aren’t as green or naturey looking? If that makes any sense… I prefer the nature looking aesthetic that Canada has, everything is so much greener and in my opinion prettier (sorry Aussies…)

SPORTS. I never in a million years thought I’d miss how much sports centre I was forced to watch. I miss watching baseball, hockey, and dare I say even Sunday night football with my brother. I find all they watch here is footy or cricket and for the love of gosh if I have to watch ONE MORE game of cricket I may go insane… In my opinion I find North American sports more entertaining!

To end, one of my most favourite things about Canada is fall. Australia doesn’t have a proper fall… I feel like fall is so hyped in Canada there’s tons to do. Corn mazes, apple picking, pumpkin patches. And just being around all the changing leaves is something I’m going to miss, nothing is more beautiful than fall in North America. I live for fall weather… If you know me, you know how much I despise the heat, so fall you will be dearly missed by this sweaty little Canadian.

Alright, enough bagging my poor Aussies. Because I love so much about the people here and their country!

First off, as hard as it is being away from my family like I’ve talked about before. My Aussie family and friends are seriously amazing. They’re so friendly, welcoming, caring, loving, and so much fun. I’ve met so many awesome people that have made this transition worlds easier.

Raising a child here in Melbourne is something I feel so lucky for. Melbourne is a seriously amazing city with SO many kid friendly things to do. Back when I was a nanny, I never ran out of things to do with the kids. There’s so many play centres, museums, cool parks, libraries. So much to do with the little ones. It makes me so excited to raise Ainsley in such an amazing place that’s so involved in their youth. Melbourne is the #1 most liveable city in the world and I can totally see why.

Shopping and eating are both much better over here in Aus. The shopping centres are amazing and the good ones are so much closer to me then they were when I lived in Canada. I much prefer the style of clothes they have over here, the stores have some seriously cute stuff.

As for eating, don’t even get me started! If I could eat out everyday oh trust me, I would. It’s probably the thing I find most different here, there’s so many independent restaurants and cafes not everything is a chain. In fact huge chains are more uncommon here. They don’t have things like Montannas, Swiss Chalet, East Sides, The Keg, Wild Wing, ect. Instead most restaurants are one offs and independently owned.

Along with amazing restaurants, there is a wider range of healthy options here. I think Australia is a little more health oriented than Canada is. Because I find so many healthy options when I’m out which makes someone who cares about that (aka me) very happy!

Last thing with regards to food, is COFFEE. If you love coffee you’ll love Melbourne. They take their coffee very seriously down here, and it shows. I didn’t care for coffee much until I moved here, and discovered the world of real coffee. It’s small, strong, and delicious. You can pretty much go to any Cafe and get the best latte you’ve ever had. I’m pretty much in love over here ☕️

Something I bet people aren’t expecting me to say that I love here is the weather. Now I don’t mean the 40 degree weather, screw that. But every other day when it’s not scorching it’s gorgeous out. Even their “winter” which is the closest to North American fall, is gorgeous (to me, although Aussies don’t seem to fond.) In Melbourne winter it gets pretty chilly so I find some joy in that because it remind me of Canada, but even better because NO SNOW! Which means no shovelling, no wiping of cars, no idiot drivers, it’s great. I much prefer to deal with a couple days of 40 degrees opposed to dealing with months of frozen tundra.

There is so much to see, do, and eat, here in Australia and I’ve only seen one tiny part of it!

I would highly recommend living or coming to Melbourne as a holiday.

Now that I live here and am finally settled I wouldn’t change being here at all, I’m so happy I get to live here and raise Ainsley here.

Now if only the rest of my friends and family would move here then that would be perfect!

But until then I’ll appreciate the life I have now here in Aus, and the life I lived in Canada.

Comparison; The Thief of Joy

Comparison truly is the thief of joy, for me at least.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m someone who’s always wondering “if the grass is greener on the other side.”

It doesn’t matter how happy and content I am with my life I always catch myself comparing my body, my belongings, and my personality to that of others.

When I started to really notice how often I compare myself to others is when I really put the effort in to try and stop. Because it was, like the saying goes being the thief of my happiness.

By constantly comparing myself to other people, be it friends or strangers it makes me seriously doubt who I am as a person and puts me in the mindset of not being good enough. When in fact being different than other people is a part of life, it doesn’t make me any less important or valuable.

In life there will always be people who have more than you, act differently than you, and look different. But comparing yourself to them doesn’t bring any good.

Don’t try to be like someone, try to be the best YOU, you can be.

This is something I have to constantly remind myself when I get caught up in comparing my life or my physical appearance to others.

I’m never going to be anyone else but me, so all I can do is be grateful for the life I have and work as hard as I can to improve myself!

I may never know if the grass is greener elsewhere but what I do know is that grass is greener wherever you water it.

So put your time and effort into yourself and bettering your own life, not fantasising over other people’s and judge yourself by your own principles.

2017 Recap & Moving Forward

Down here in Australia it’s already January 1st and to me it’s so surreal that it’s already 2018!

I feel like 2017 flew by way to quickly, last New Years I was pregnant with Ainsley and here she is now at 7 months old.

It’s scary how fast time is moving, I feel like before I know it Ainsley will be a typical teen girl wanting to go out with her friends for New Year’s Eve instead of hanging with her parents.

2017 was the best year of my life thus far. A year full of personal growth, self love, new adventures, and lots of changes.

The highlight of my year being bringing Ainsley into this world of course.

Ainsley has brought so much joy and happiness into my life and truly changed me for the better. Since becoming pregnant and giving birth it’s seriously like I’m a completely different person, and I love it.

I’ve become someone I’m so proud of, and gained a new level of confidence as a Mother that I never had before.

Ainsley gives me motivation to be the best version of myself. I don’t know where I’d be without her but I’m forever grateful that 2017 brought her into my life.

2017 also brought my permanent move to Australia. A huge change, and the start of an amazing adventure with my partner Ben. We’ve settled into our own place, and have worked very hard as a couple to get our “shit together.” I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished as a couple and how we continue to tackle every obstacle that’s thrown at us and come out stronger than before.

Some points of 2017 it felt like nothing was going my way. Curve ball after curve ball it was hard to see the good in the year at some points. But looking back now it was all so worth it, every struggle, every roadblock, I wouldn’t change a single thing! Because everything I went through made me who I am today, and I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time.

Moving forward into 2018 I’m very optimistic. Now that Ainsley is here, we’ve settled into our home, and our visa is almost launched, I am ready to enjoy this coming year raising my daughter and enjoying life with my family.

My 2018 goals are;

  • Switch to a more plant based diet
  • Spend more time outdoors
  • Put more time and effort into my blogging
  • Reach out to more people and try to make new friends
  • Spend more quality time one on one with Ben
  • Be the best mother to Ainsley that I can

I hope to have another amazing year and I hope the same for you all. Be kind to yourselves and take each day as it comes!

“New Year New Me”

We’ve all heard it a million times, how much the coming year will be a time to completely change your lifestyle, lose weight, eat better, blah blah.

“New year, new me!”

But what if the you that you are right now is enough?

There’s nothing wrong with setting goals and wanting to better yourself. But that doesn’t make who you are now any less amazing.

There’s no need for a new you, the you that you are is good enough.

With the new year creeping in I think people start to hyper focus on all the things they didn’t accomplish this year, they focus on all the bad things that the year brought and promise to themselves “the next year will be so much better!”

To me, this mindset is so unhealthy! I believe in focusing in all the good the year brought, even if it’s minor. Bad things happen all over, to everyone. But focussing on the negatives isn’t going to help you succeed.

Accepting the year as it was and thinking of all the things you did do will make you feel so much better about heading into a new year. Use the future that can be as motivation not the past that has been.

Head in to the new year feeling great, not with negative emotions all pent up because you didn’t lose those “last 10lbs.”

Like I said previously though, there’s nothing wrong with setting goals. In fact I myself have set some goals for 2018.

It’s no secret pretty much everyone’s goal is always to lose weight. There isint anything wrong with wanting to better your physical appearance or health.

But it makes a difference the type of goals you set. Instead of goals like “lose 20lbs” “get abs” “get a bigger butt…”

Make goals that will help you grow as a person, and improve your physical and mental health. Goals such as joining a gym, starting yoga, eating a more whole natural food diet, make an effort to reach out to more people, do things that step outside your comfort zone, spend more time outdoors.

Making goals that have more objectives than just to lose “X” amount of pounds. Because once you lose that weight then what?

Making bigger goals with a larger impact on your life than losing weight will not only still help you lose weight but will better your mental state and instead of giving up after you lose your desired weight can set you up for continuous success.

An example of this would be making a goal to incorporate more whole foods into your diet. Not only will this help you lose the weight you want by cutting out processed and fast food, but eating a whole food diet has plenty other (more important) effects aside from weight loss. Like clearer skin, increased energy, better mood, less bloating.

Moral of the story is with this upcoming year keep in mind that there’s no need to create a “new you.” Who you are is more than enough.

Head into the new year focusing on the positives, let go of the negatives.

It’s okay to want to lose weight or “get in shape” but set goals that will do more for your mental and physical health than just shed pounds.

Write down your goals and make it a point to look at them weekly. Do your best and keep a positive mindset! Changes physical or mental don’t happen over night and require constant effort. Don’t give up, keep at it, and by this time next year you’ll have so much to look back on and be proud of.

May 2018 bring the best for you!

Not The Friendly Type

I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but ever since I can remember I’ve never been someone with many friends.

People have never hated me, nor were people ever mean to me. I was never picked on, bullied, or poked fun at.

People just never really chose to be my friend.

Elementary school I had a group of friends like any normal pre teen girl. Then when I got to high school it dwindled to a tiny handful like what happens to most people, you weed out who your true friends are. Turns out I only had three!

When I moved to university I didn’t ever truly fit in, have a friend group, or really even a “best friend” like I thought I’d find in university. Like everyone around me was seeming to find… Everywhere I looked people were making friends for life, and I just wasn’t.

Now again, people were never mean to me, just no one seemed to be too interested in becoming close friends with me.

I mean, at this point I started to think what am I doing wrong? What can I do better?

So I tried.

I’d make cookies and treats for people, I did my best to be welcoming and friendly. I even got a part time job in hopes to meet people but again, nothing.

After leaving university and moving to Australia things still haven’t changed much.

With being a Mom now it’s even harder. I don’t get out much and it’s hard to make other Mom friends when I’m decently younger than most other Mammas…

It very well may be my fault, maybe I need to reach out more and put in more of an effort, and stop being so shy. But honestly it’s terrifying, it seems everywhere I look everyone has a little group they belong to, and I’m just an outsider.

My social anxiety also doesn’t help. Constantly worrying and ruminating about what people are thinking about me. It’s tough…

I’ve always wished to have a group of girl friends to talk to, hangout with, gossip with, pretty much basic friend shit that girls do.

But for now I have my Canadian best friend, my Mom, and my boyfriend (and Ainsley, she’s the best listener.)

I’m lucky to have one best friend who’s been with me since eighth grade. I may not have a group of friends, or many people to talk to but I always have had Maggie.

Maggie and I have been best friends since we were 14, we never went to the same high school and lived in seperate towns, but cheering together is what brought us as close as sisters.

Days like today when I’m feeling lonely and down, I stop and remind myself how lucky I am to have a friend like her in my life. That will always be there for me regardless of what’s going on.

I may only have one best friend, but she really is the best, best friend.

I don’t want this post to be sad and depressing because I really am happy with my life, don’t get me wrong!

I love my daughter, Ben, my family, and my best friend. I just would love to make more friends, I’ve always wanted to make friends, I just don’t know how, and I don’t know why people always just see me as an acquaintance. But it’s something in 2018 I’m really going to try to work on.

I was scared to post this, and honestly considered just leaving it in my drafts but I know I’m not the only person who feels this way so hopefully this helps one person feel like they aren’t alone…

Moving Away

This is a touchy, sad, and unpleasant topic for me but I figured since I just left Canada for my last time for at least a year it was a good time to talk about it.

For those unfamiliar with my situation, my partner Ben and I live here in Melbourne with Ainsley, and all of my family and friends are back in Canada.

When we learned I was pregnant with Ainsley I was on a working holiday visa here in Aus with plans to eventually go back home, finish school, y’know that whole thing.

But falling pregnant obviously threw a wrench into things! We had to make a decision of where we were going to live permanently, and where we would start our lives as a family.

It took us a quite a bit to finally decide on either Canada or Australia. For a while we thought it was going to be Canada, but at the end of the day it really didn’t make sense to up root Ben from his job. He has a lot of good opportunities with his job and we decided to put our trust in that and move here to Australia.

It’s never easy telling your parents you’re moving across the world, to literally the farthest possible destination. But it’s even harder telling them when you’ll be also taking their first and only grandchild.

My heart feels so heavy when I talk about leaving my parents/Ainsley’s grandparents. Because I really freaking love my parents, they are the best parents out there hands down. They’ve taught me so much and truly made me who I am today. Never have the ever hesitated to bend over backwards to do something for me and for that I am forever grateful. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to properly thank them for everything they’ve done for Ainsley and I but my heart will never forget.

As much as I love them, I miss them a million times more.

Leaving the first time was tough, but leaving with Ainsley is a whole other situation…

In the times Ainsley has been in Canada, I’ve been blessed to be able to see how amazing and loving my parents are as Grandparents. It makes me smile when I think about them with Ainsley, but it also makes me very sad that they are going to miss out on so much by being so far away.

I know how sad they are that they can’t be the involved grandparents that they had always hoped for. But I’m lucky that they do their best with the situation considered.

I’ve made a promise to myself to not leave them behind. I send them pictures constantly and let them know how Ainsley is doing. I’m determined as Ainsley grows to make this long distance grandparenting work.

The same goes for her godmother Maggie, and her Uncle Shaun. Both extremely important people in my life, who it hurts me beyond belief to leave behind. But I know how much they love Ainsley and I so I know they’ll forever be in my life regardless of how many miles are between us.

Moving to the other side of the world without your family or friends is tough, it’s sad, and sometimes can feel very lonely. I get pretty down sometimes when I think about my future here and can’t see my parents living right around the corner like I always imagined.

It’s the little things they’ll miss out on that make me the most sad. Family dinners, holiday get togethers, game nights, weekends at grandmas, trips to the zoo, birthdays, things like that, that they won’t get to experience with her unless they’re here visiting… I can’t say it gets easier to think about, because it doesn’t, I’m always going to miss my family and a little part of me will always wish they were here. But I have learned to cope with it, because the reason I’m here is for a better life for my little family, which is my main priority.

I do love Australia, I’m blessed to live here, with an amazing partner, and a beautiful daughter. I am so lucky to have the second family that I have here- don’t get me wrong! I’m excited and happy to live here and to be starting our life as a family of three.

But that being said they still aren’t my parents, it’s not the same, and it never will fill the little hole in my heart that appeared when I left them.