Beach day (video)

Ever have those days that just feel like its all “go, go, go!” and you just keep going until you feel like you haven’t seen each other all week?

Last  week was definitely one of those. So Hubster surprised us by loading up the car and taking us to the coast for a day.

We sat down sometime just before the start of the New Year and discussed making a small change to our schedules. We both love trips, camping, and adventuring, but we were having a hard time fitting it in sometimes. In many ways we are very much a broke college couple 😀 So figuring something that lets us go exploring but not cost a lot is a big win-win. We decided to try to do something no matter how big or small once a month and one family outing once a week. (even if its just to the store together)

Its always nice to get away and reconnect. Plus, the beach has been a special place for us. It was also Bro-Bro’s first beach trip. He doesn’t like wind in his face, and of course, it was windy haha.

 

And of course no beach trip would be complete for us without, a trip to one of those local seaside candy shoppes and Mo’s for a fresh bowl of chowder!

And by the way- Molasses taffy is AHmazing!

 

I love these little adventures with my family, watching the kids playing in the sand, the heart to hearts Hubster and I share as the kids snooze in the back seat.

If you are interested in seeing a little clip I made of the day you can check it out on my youtube channel here: ~click here for video~

Thanks for stopping by!

Families, traditions, and holidays

“Oh oh oh oh oh! Try everything!”

Home Free’s cover of the song from Zooptopia pumps through my speakers for the countless time this week. I’m pretty sure I sing this in my sleep now.
My hot morning coffee is about to become my cold afternoon coffee. Maybe if I stick an ice cube in I could convince myself I wanted iced coffee all along.
I still have Christmas decorations that need put away and a tent we got as a present hiding under my coffee table because I haven’t wanted to go out in the cold to reorganize our storage closet. But thats really the only evidence left from Christmas.
So that means it’s the perfect time to discuss holidays right?

“Uh, Kimberly? It’s almost February.”

I know, I know, but there was actually a reason for why I wanted to post about these all together. This year we did something new. Let me explain…

Holidays are synonymous with family for me. I grew up with only 2 sibling but lots of cousins that we are very close with. We had noisy, loud holiday dinners with lots of food. And I loved them! As we all grew up and grew larger in numbers things changed, but it was still one large family gathering. Then I married the Hubster and my family grew even bigger, and it is so awesome.

Balancing holidays did become a little bit harder though. And as we had kids, it became even harder. Some of family members involve a lot of driving to go see, some are close by, and we tried so hard to be at as many different holiday gatherings as we could.

We loved it but, want to know a secret?

It all became a little exhausting. Now, I am not saying seeing the family isn’t worth the effort. I don’t believe that at all! I love our loud noisy families and will continue to enjoy going over there even if it means coming home wiped out. Its fun being in the midst of chaos, seeing people you maybe haven’t seen in a while, reliving old family traditions.

It was the old traditions that got us thinking though. We are our own little family, and our kids are (hopefully) going to have fond memories of our holidays we spent together. The thing was, we didn’t really have any just our little family traditions. We were so worried family would miss out having the kids at their parties we kind of put our own little holidays to the side. And again, there is nothing wrong with the kids going to all their grandparent’s for Christmas, but we were missing out on making memories with our kids.

We sat down and did a lot of discussing. We didn’t want to just stop going to family, but we knew we needed to make a change. We decide to make this a low key year. Specifically, we chose to stay home and have our own Thanksgiving dinner just us this year. We had never, in the 4 years we had been married, had our own Thanksgiving. This was something that bothered the Hubster and so, we told family as they invited us to dinner, “Thank you but this year we’re staying home.”

I’m not going to lie, it did feel a little weird and we might have come across as a bit selfish, but guys, it was absolutely wonderful! All of our favourite dishes were on the menu, I roasted my first turkey, Little Man helped me make pie, and when dinner ran a bit late we just spent more time together playing with the kids and dancing to music. I might have also snap chatted my sister, who was having her first Thanksgiving with her new Hubby.

 

 

Next year we will be back at family’s for Thanksgiving dinner and we will love that too. It might be a year or two before we do a private Thanksgiving again, but we will do it again. Thanksgiving- heck, any holiday really- is about being together with family. But, in our case at least, we kind of forgot that once you get married you become your own family. And that little family is just as important to have memories and moments for too.

Which is also what led us to declare Christmas Day as officially “ours”. Meaning, quite simply that unless we are going to church, Christmas will be spent at home, just us. Oh yes, there will still be plenty of time before and after that we will go to the Papas and Nana’s and Gigi’s to celebrate with them. But this gives us one day to set up our traditions and spend time together.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I come from a big family. Family is very important to me and will continue to be, but I am learning that there is nothing wrong with setting aside time for your little family, to create brand new traditions (like our traditional Christmas dinner of homemade sushi), to take a little breather if you need it. If you are newly married, or maybe you’re going to have your first holiday season with your kid, by all means go to Great Grandpa Fred’s and to your husband’s parents, go make memories with old family as a new family. But don’t forget to make a little time in there for you guys too. Make traditions with your husband that are different from what you did as kids, pass on things you guys used to do to your kids so they can have those memories too. Celebrate with all the family and celebrate with just your family. 🙂

 

 

And my coffee is officially cold now 😛

 

New year, new blog?

Over the next couple of week I hope to get the blog updated with photos and stories from the holidays. And Ari and I will be uploading more ipsy videos, never you fear! But the pensiveness that falls on me at the end of an old year and the start of a new got me thinking.
I started this blog for one reason, for me. That sounds super selfish but it is true. It gives me a place to post my photos, give you my opinions, and even show off my amateur chef skills. Yes, I have dreamed that perhaps the blog would take off in such a way I could make a little extra income for my family, but at the very core of it, I knew I needed to want to do this even if it just stayed in a virtual corner somewhere. I have enjoyed doing this so much, and I have some fun ideas for 2017, but I realized something was missing. Something I had unintentionally left off.

Openness and honesty.

No, I am not saying I have been lying to you guys and making up stories to fill my pages in with. If you look at my old post though you might notice I tend to skip and glaze over anything negative. There are a few reason I haven’t really shared them before:

a) Let’s be honest, they aren’t always fun to talk about
b) I am aware that there are people that have had it a lot worse.
Which leads to…
c) I don’t want people to think I am searching for sympathy or trying to play the victim.
And finally..
d) I try to find the positive spin in everything that goes “bad”. So, it is only natural that it is the positive stuff I choose to share with you.

I have been very blessed in my life and I enjoyed sharing that, and will continue to share the good time with you all, but my life isn’t peaches and cream. I don’t want someone reading this blog to think I am some sort of mystical unicorn mom blogger. Because I am not!

My house is almost never fully clean, I burn many a meal or forget to start a meal in time, my kids have meltdowns and tempers, my husband and I don’t always agree, etc…
Life is hard and there are struggles. BUT, it those difficulties have brought us to where we are now. There is nothing wrong with  wanting you to see the good times, to celebrate them (and yes, they will still be the main focus of my stories) but I also want to be able to open up and share the hard stuff to.

So as the blog continues into the new year and I continue to share with you all, I can only hope that there is a new level of openness and realness shared with you all 🙂

Happy 2017 everyone! Here to an adventurous new year!

 

Pink Hair | Ipsy Review (Oct)

I have always wanted to do something crazy with my hair.

But between work place dress code and just plain chickening out, I never have. Now if you follow me on Instagram this is all old news to you. However, just in case you missed it….

I HAVE PINK HAIR! 😀

Rose gold if we are being trendy.

It all started because of Pinterest. Pinterest Made me do it. Okay, not really. It did give me the idea for the colour though. I was scrolling through my feed when I saw a lady with this gorgeous pinky colour they call antique rose. It got me started thinking about dying my hair. It wasn’t too long before I had a entire board filled with different pinks, and rosy colors. But at that point it was just a board of ideas. I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to do it this time.

I should add, I have never dyed my hair before. Soooo, not only was doing such a drastic colour a bit intimidating, the process of dying my hair was too!

But I really really wanted to do it this time. Even if it looked terrible and I had to chop it all off, I wanted to try just once.

So, I sat down and showed the Hubster my Pinterest board and talked about the cost. He was very un-shocked about it (very anticlimactic response to it all, the stinker) but he agreed I should do it. His Sister’s wedding was coming up in a few months and we were both in the wedding party. There was NO way I was doing this before the wedding, and Bro-Bro was due only a couple of weeks after the wedding, so we decided to hold off until later this year.

When the day finally came everything went really smoothly. I had to bring the boys but they behaved so well. (And my hairdresser is so amazing! Not only at doing my hair, but she is completely okay with Little Man playing in the studio, so long as its not busy.) My hair is normally quite the monster, but it took the bleach and hair dye so well we joked it must have secretly wanted to be pink its whole life.

I love how it looks so much I’m trying to figure out if I can afford to keep this up for the long run. Its been almost four weeks and its still pink. Faded yes, but still pink. I can either refresh the pink or let it fade and do a different colour. Maybe I’ll do platinum blonde next!!

This experience has woken up my inner Katy Perry. I want ALL the hair colors now!!

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We have the newest Ipsy review posted, so you can go check out how the colour looks in action. And, you know, check out our review too… 😛

~Click here for video!~

Thanks for stopping by! If you have any great ideas for a new hair colour let me know, you just might see it.

Pumpkin patch and Zoo (pic heavy)

In the spirit of catching the blog up I’m sharing the photos from the birthday celebrations for Little Man.

Hard to believe he is three now! It does NOT feel like its been long enough. Its so much fun to see him growing up and becoming more little kid and less toddler/baby. Though, I’m not going to lie, looking through old photos I sometimes really miss his baby stages.

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But more then anything I’ve loved seeing him step up into the role of big brother. He handled Bro-Bro coming into our lives so much better then we imagined. Yes, we have still had some meltdowns and adjustments to make (and we’ve had to explain why its not okay to perch on top of our little brother, haha), but he loves his little bro so much and enjoys helping however he can with him.

So for his third birthday we decided to of go the big party and keep things mellow (a theme you will see throughout the holiday season this year.) We went to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins and then, later that week, we met up with Aunty Ani and checked out the zoo!

 

The pumpkin patch


 

We have one patch that we have gone to every year since we have been married, save one I think. Its a big patch on a little island not too far from town. The pumpkins are a bit more expensive then say a supermarket, but they make up for it in the experience. train rides, hayrides, petting zoos, and pumpkin cannons. The pumpkin cannon are probably our favourite.

The plan had been to meet up with family at the patch but, we got stuck in a massive line waiting for the ferry. So after waiting for 30 minutes to finally cross the river, we showed up in time to say ‘Hi, bye!” to everyone before they left. One quick train ride with the cousins was managed to be squeaked in which was nice.

A quick bite to eat (Can you say pulled pork nachos? Ohhh yeah!) and then we hopped on a tractor ride down to the patch. Where, of course, Bro-Bro proceeded to spit up all over my entire right side. Way to look glamorous huh? 😛

In the end we found two pumpkins, got completely covered in mud (and spit up) and had a great time!

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The Zoo


 

Next it was on to the zoo! Now this didn’t go quite like planned either. We ended up getting a late start. Which on the good side meant it wasn’t really that crowded, but we ended up staying right up to closing and we weren’t able to see everything. Just means we have to go back sooner 😉

 

about halfway through we realized the zoo was going to close in 5 minutes. We also realized we hadn’t seen anybody in a good 10 minutes. We had the whole place to ourselves pretty much. Let me tell you, a slightly deserted zoo is a bit eery feeling! We kept making jurassic park jokes on our way out, haha!

 

Unfortunately, due to the near deserted state of the zoo, all the restaurants were closed. So we headed into town to attempt to find somewhere to eat. And after a few wrong turns and several google map searches we finally chose Pizzicato

 

I scarfed my food down before I even thought about taking a photo, but guys, it was soo good! Definitely somewhere we would go to again. I recommend their panini with caesar salad. Those croutons! Everything was cooked well, and the ingredients tasted nice and fresh. My only complaint would be there wasn’t a ton of seating space, but the food made up for the campiness of everyone plus a car seat carrier.

If you’re still with us after all the photos, thanks for stopping by! Also, I noticed a lack of food posts by me recently, so let me know what kind of recipes you would like to see and I will see about remedying the food gap.

 

Ipsy review (sept) – Video

Hey guys! Guess what we finally got posted! Its super way behind, but we did it and its here now 🙂 Hopefully, you have as much fun watching it as we had making it.

~Click here for the video~

I know its kind of annoying to have to click through for the video, and I’m sorry. It costs me extra to have it post here in blog. I might do it one day but, for now, it makes more sense fiscally to just link straight to my youtube.

I’m also hoping to get a few more things posted and update on the blog here in the next couple days. Trying to be all caught up before Thanksgiving. We decided this year to stay home with the boys and have our own little family Thanksgiving. Which means this year all of the cooking is on me, should make for some fun adventures 😉

The Tale of Two Camps – pic heavy

Quick update: Here on the blog I use nicknames for both my husband and the boys. Its just a personal preference of mine as the boys are too small to really have a say on whether or not they want to have a big presence on here or if they want their real names being used all the time. My oldest has gone by ‘Little Man’ since day one and our newest addition was going by ‘Baby E’. However, as he gets older the baby part will eventually not fit, so we are going with a new nickname that Little Man came up with, ‘Bro Bro’

And with that we now return to our regularly scheduled program…

Camping. I love it! Even as a youngster, camping has always been something I enjoy. The outdoors, the fresh air, what’1s not to love? And its been fun going from tag-a-long camper with my parents, to planning camping trips (and meals) as a wife, to introducing it to my kids. Now we took Little Man on his first camping trip when he was pretty young and Bro-Bro has been no exception.

I’ve been told by some people that we are crazy for taking our newborn camping, or that they are impressed that we survived. And in many ways I don’t blame them, camping with a infant is not easy but it is doable. And in the long run I think it can be pretty helpful. We never take them before their two weeks appointment at the bare minimum. Though we waited until both boys were at least a month old before any of our camp trips. (There is so much adjustment in those first couple weeks adding anything on top of that, for us at least, is overwhelming.) The benefit of going when they are so little is, as they get older, it isn’t a huge adjustment for them or for you. They’ve done it before so you both can feel like old hands at it.

Taking a baby camping involves a lot of new things to pack (and a lot more to pack then you probably ever have before lol. More on that in a later post) for them and for mommy and daddy. BUT- they aren’t old enough to run off or worry about them falling into the fire. So, in a way, it give you a chance to adjust to the new camping member before you have to worry about where they’ve disappeared to, or what they are up to. Maybe it is just me, but I feel more prepared for camping with my toddler because I got used to camping with him when he was just a wee babe in arms.

Now, for our adventures!

Camp #1 – Detroit Lake

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This was our first of our ‘camping with two’ adventures. We met up with Hubster’s sister and her hubby at Detroit Lake. A beautiful reservoir with a large campground and fishing access that both Hubster and I had been to before but never together (it had also been several years since either one of us had gone back) Not to mention, while a bit of a drive, it was still close enough to home if Bro-Bro didn’t handle it well we could go back relatively easy.

And both the boys did a great job! They behaved quite well. What didn’t behave however was the weather. What was supposed to be 70’s,  with mild sprinkling on the last day, turned into a mini monsoon! Thankfully I packed lots of layers though somehow both mine and Hubster’s rain coats got left behind, Eek!

We showed up late Friday night, set up, ate dinner and headed off to bed after a long fireside chat. No rain yet, but by the next morning it was becoming obvious we were going to need to set up tarps and keep the fire stoked all day.

Little man also got his first try of a real honest to goodness, camp roasted s’more.

Needless to say- they were a huge hit! And he truly could have cared less about the rain. he had a great time playing in the dirt mud and splashing through the puddles as we huddled under shelter and played phase 10 and watch as our campground tried to flood. The guys did attempt to go out on the boat and do some fishing, but as the rain storm got even stronger that was soon abandoned.

We also opted to head in to town and eat dinner there for a little warmth. The place may have looked like a bit of a dive, but the food was amazing! Hubster has deemed it his favourite pizza ever.

The guys snuck out super early the next morning and went to fish under the bridge. (They only caught one fish and had to let it go) Us girls stayed back with the kids and slept in, but even though it had finally stopped raining everything was soggy. Not to mention our tent floor had leaked during the night and soaked Hubster’s last pair of pants. He was, quite understandably, a bit cranky and miserable. So we voted that instead of trying to cook breakfast at the campground, we would retreat to Hubster’s sister’s place. It was closer then our house and we were able to cook up giant breakfast burritos and hot coffee and get everyone in a happier mood. Mini monsoon or not, we really did have a good time and the boys did great. On to the next adventure!

Camp #2 – South Twin Lake

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This was the campground I remember going to the most as a kid. We used to go every year for my dad’s birthday. Eventually through the years though that tapered off, but my dad started taking about wanting to revive it. Only this time we’d rent out one of the big cabins for the whole family to stay in.

Most of the family was able to come for this inaugural trip. My little sister (who is temporarily out of state with work/school stuffs) was able to get the time off to come but, sadly, our older sister wasn’t 😦

The cabin’s were quite comfy and rustically charming. They kept us all warm and dry (which since it ended up snowing one day, I am very grateful for!) and it was nice being able to cook big meals for everyone in a real, albeit small, kitchen.

And guys! We caught so many fish! We estimated somewhere between 45-50 total from everyone, all three days. We only kept a few, but everyone there caught a least one fish. (except the boys who weren’t quite old enough to fish, though Little Man helped Papa row the boat)

Oh, and speaking of boats, Little Man got his first ride in Papa’s boat. He looked adorable in his lifejacket (or boat-coat as he calls them) It squished his pudgy cheeks even bigger! LOL

He was really nervous at first and I thought he was going to freak out as the boat started rocking a bit, but he settled down and was soon trying to take the oars and do his own thing. He also keeps asking to wear his ‘boat-coat’ now that we are back home.

And we had s’mores again, but these were no ordinary s’mores. No sir! I gourmet-ed them up. Firstly (and I still can’t believe this) I found marshmallows that were actually safe for my family. If you remember a few posts back I mentioned my family suffers from a plethora of food allergies. Among them- Corn. Which has made marshmallows a no-go for quite some time as they are almost all made with corn syrup and corn starch. But I found a brand that is gluten/corn free and is sold in local stores!  Dandies not only are safe for the family, but they are so much better then a basic marshmallow. Which truthfully I don’t like the normal ones, but the dandies I could eat straight from the bag all day everyday. They are probably the only kind of marshmallow I will buy ever again.

We also used the ghirardelli squares in the mint, caramel, and dark chocolate flavors. Fancy flavors plus they are already the perfect s’more size. Holy s’mores Batman! These had to be the best s’more ever! Try it if you don’t believe me 😉

I also got head down to the lake and take lots of early morning foggy photos. I love this time of year and foggy mornings are just the best way to start a Autumn day.

It was a great way to wrap up our camping trips for the year. We didn’t put in for tags so no hunting this year. Thats a little bit of a rougher, more rugged camping experience and one we knew would be a bit too much with a two month old.

What places did you go camping this year? Or is there somewhere you’ve always wanted to go?

I hope you had fun looking through the photos and I really hope you let me know if you try ghirardellis s’mores and dandies marshmallows. Also we need a name for these- I’m thinking s’mores ultimate?