September is here and Fall routines have begun! I say that with an exclamation mark because although I love summer, something about the slightly cooler Fall weather and all the energy to be organized for Fall makes me so happy. Don’t worry, it wears off in about a month 😉 And in other good news, my husband is home a lot more as our seasonal business slows down, which is a welcomed change after a summer of me and the girls.
Vienna is so excited to head back to school this year! She has been asking for the past few weeks if it’s time yet. She loves learning and playing with her friends, and absolutely adores her Teacher. I can hardly believe that she will be in full day Kindergarten next year, that seems like a much bigger milestone that I might not be so prepared for.
The night before preschool she went to bed the happiest, most excited little girl. I asked her a few questions to capture V as she starts her year at preschool:
How old are you? Three
What is your favourite food? Avocados and Broccoli (no joke here guys)
What is your favourite toy? Rollie! (a small rabbit? Mouse? I don’t even know figurine? And I have no idea where its from. All the toys in the world and she chooses this).
What do you like to do for fun? Run around in the park.
What is your favourite colour? Red! (She always tells me because it’s the colour in her heart).
What do you love the most? Rollie (Again, toddler randomness at its finest)
Where is your favourite place to go? To soccer
What do you want to be when you grow up? “A doctor. And you will be the nurse, Mom”. Turns out I’ll always be working for this girl 😉
It’s so fun to look back on these questions from last year and see how much she has changed. V and I read last year’s responses together before bed, which she thought was so fun. And seriously… those pictures of her from last year? ALL. THE. TEARS. So crazy to see how much she’s grown in just a year.
This morning I took her to school and on the way she said “I’m going to miss Aria, Mom. When I’m back I’ll tell her all about my day at school.” I’ll just be over here scooping my heart off the sidewalk, guys. Seriously cute.
If you’re following along, you saw that last week I shared our first set of favourite kid books about love and life in my new Little Library section! We love to read with our girls and I hope they continue to love to read as they grow up. I still remember my sister and I getting in trouble for having the lights on and reading too late! Haha, angels I tell ya!
Next up are some recommendations for us Mamas. Pre kids and post-University– you know that sweet spot when the world is your oyster time-wise (BUT you fail to recognize this and totally waste time?) 😉 I was still reading a lot. Over the past year I’ve made time for reading again, thanks in part to the encouragement of friends– my girlfriend started a self development book club, amazing for accountability–and I can tell you it is so refreshing and important.
Today I’m sharing 5 books for personal development. These books are all about finding happiness with who you are, and what you do, and simply about enjoying and living life to its fullest as YOU. If you have been following along you will know that launching this blog was a big deal for me, I was so wrapped up in what people would think. Now I’m all “who cares, I’m me!” and these books have definitely contributed to that shift.
I love Brene Brown’s writing style and I found this book very easy to relate to. To get a sense, check out her Ted Talk on the Power of Vulnerability. If that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will. “In a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt. But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena—whether it’s a new relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a difficult family conversation.”
Some of my biggest takeaways from this book were understanding and identifying my internal limits, and to my surprise it actually impacted my marriage, in that I understood my husband a lot more. I literally read this in two sittings, on my flights to and from a work trip. “New York Times bestselling author Gay Hendricks demonstrates how to go beyond your internal limits, release outdated fears and learn a whole new set of powerful skills and habits to liberate your authentic greatness.”
I’m only part way through this book in audio format, but I chose to include it here because I wanted to round the list out with something totally different. To learn something in its entirety you definitely need a good variety of perspectives. So, if you’re okay with very frequent F bombs, this book gives a fresh, albeit blunt, perspective on our society’s constant need for more and for approval. ** Probably not the best choice for an audio book if you ever want to pop it on when your kids are in the backseat, haha! #hindsight** “In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.”
I absolutely love this book and Gabrielle Bernstein’s take on letting go and truly living. I found it in a book store on a trip to Seattle when I literally went into the store thinking “hmmm, there’s a personal development book I really want to read, but can’t remember the name of it” and then saw it smack in front of me, a single (and the last) copy on a shelf clearly meant for me to pick up. “In her latest book, The Universe Has Your Back, New York Times best-selling author Gabrielle Bernstein teaches readers how to transform their fear into faith in order to live a divinely guided life. Each story and lesson in the book guides readers to release the blocks to what they most long for: happiness, security, and clear direction. The lessons help readers relinquish the need to control so they can relax into a sense of certainty and freedom. Readers will learn to stop chasing life and truly live.”
This book has a fun, honest, and refreshing take on living your biggest dreams and best life, complete with simple exercises to keep you on track. “#1 New York Times Bestselling Author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word. (Nothing near my above recommendation’s profanity!) You Are a Badass will help you: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, blast past your fears so you can take big exciting risks, figure out how to make some damn money already, learn to love yourself and others, set big goals and reach them – it will basically show you how to create a life you totally love, and how to create it NOW.”
We love to read! And I’m excited to start sharing books for reading with your little ones in my new Little Library section! To kick things off I’m sharing five of our most LOVED books, about love and life. These books always remind me that although this motherhood gig may be hard, it is so worth it. I hope you enjoy these special Little Library books as much as we do. xo
Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney The book with the famous line “I love you right up to the moon– and back.” This is a story all about the love between a parent and child, with Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare sharing bigger and bigger measures of their love for one another. It is a must have for all first libraries! I read this book to Vienna every night when she was little. It’s also sure to make any Mom with grown children tear up 😉
I Love You MoreLaura Duksta This sweet story shares a parent and a child’s perspective on what love looks like. Full of fun rhyming comparisons, you can read this book from either side (perspective) with its flip-in-the-centre format. Vienna of course loves to flip this book!
I Wish You MoreAmy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld A book all about good wishes: wishes for curiosity and wonder, for friendship and strength , for joyous days and quiet moments. It is such a sweet and meaningful story for littles, and great for about age three. We bought this for Vienna’s third birthday and she really loves it!
Little YouRichard Van Camp A book that celebrates the joys babies bring into the world and the potential of all children. This book has short rhymes and beautiful illustrations. Aria especially loves looking at the pictures of this book.
SomedayAlison McGhee & Peter H. Reynolds Perhaps the sweetest book I have ever read to my girls. This simple yet beautiful story of motherhood, love, and life fills my heart up every single time I read it. I will read this book to my girls as long as they will let me.
As a busy Mama of two, I am always up for a solid Mom Hack or a convenient product. I work outside of the home, I have two toddlers, and my husband is an entrepreneur running many businesses– so, one of the three is always keeping me on my toes! Bottom line: I will take all the help and tricks I can get, I have little time to spend getting ready, and if I’m going to do something, it better be easy!
Sometimes I think about this online world of ours and how so much of our social lives are online. I’ve made some amazing connections and I truly have friends in this online community. I look forward to seeing the latest posts of their kiddos, reading a funny story from their day, or exchanging advice mama to mama. The best connections often arise when we really get to know someone, the person behind that pretty Instagram feed.
This month I am excited to feature a collaboration that encourages us to tell our stories. Because really, what’s more fun than reppin’ your own life?! I’ve been on a journey to be me this year, and this collaboration is a perfect fit.
With Vienna’s first year of preschool wrapping up, I wanted to capture a few memories of her at this age. Although they’re about nothing substantial per se, these are my favourite posts to look back on.
Miss V, or “Nenna” to her little sister, is now 3.5. She is still the sweetest girl with the biggest heart (three-nager tantrums aside). She loves to play, especially outside, and she still has that sweet tooth, just like her Dad. Lot’s of people say she is tall for her age and people are forever shocked that this blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby girl is mine.
Summer is here and I couldn’t be more excited for a wardrobe change! I love simple summer dresses, or jean shorts and a basic tank paired with flip flops for days at the park with my girls.
I’ll let you in on a little secret– I’m pretty terrible when it comes to losing accessories. I blame a pair of small children who are accessory obsessed … (but really I should be more careful about where I keep my jewelry). This is all to say that my summer accessory style is pretty minimal: usually a pair of sunglasses and a watch, and if I’m lucky one other accessory that I wear every dang day because it’s the one I can keep track of. So, I’m always happy to pick up another watch or new fave pair of shades. 😉
Hi, I’m Raina, and I’m addicted to taking on new projects. When I was a kid I always wanted to be everything when I grew up (in third grade alone I was spouting off my plans to be a lawyer, doctor, and a Mom… meh, one out of 3 ain’t bad, right?) 😉 I’ve always kept that drive to continuously learn and grow… or maybe more accurately it’s more of an addiction to doing everything. Case in point: you can catch me around the holidays crafting my toddler’s “shared snack” for preschool into theme-appropriate shapes late into the evening. Anyways…
With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend I’m excited to share a few of my favourite products that make for a thoughtful gift for all of the Mamas out there! Of course Mother’s Day is not about the gifts we receive, but it is always nice to get a little something special. Plus, I know my three year old daughter just loves to pick out and give gifts. She gets so excited and that makes me so happy! Gifts don’t have to be extravagant, as cliche as it sounds, it really is the thought that counts.
Spring is here and we’re getting ready for our next holiday festivities (of course!) I love holidays, and having the girls has taken this to a whole new level. #sorrynotsorry. I’m a sucker for holiday anything.
I put the girls’ Easter baskets together this weekend and they turned out so sweet! Yes, my kids don’t need anything, but no, I’m not willing to forgo holidays in favor of minimalism. I enjoy it too much! I am however becoming more mindful of what goes into the basket (read: not random throw away junk, but stuff that we use or need –save for the Shopkins this year– because apparently that is the thing for V). I’m also getting smarter and buying more of the same things for the girls despite their age difference, especially since lately they haveto have what the other has.