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Summer To Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Summer to fall capsule wardrobe

A few months ago I decided to move my four kids and I to a different town. We needed a fresh start and I wanted to move closer to the beach and to a city that I’ve loved for many years. Part of the decision was to also downsize and pick a beautiful house that would work better for my kids and I, as a solo parent.

I’ve gained so much more than I have lost… but I had to let some things go, including two walk in closets and tons of storage. This was okay with me because for years I had been moving my family towards a more minimalist lifestyle and this has forced us to take it to the next level.

One of the things I had to do was edit my wardrobe. I held onto what I loved and let go of the extras. I chose staple timeless pieces carefully and said goodbye to anything I hadn’t worn in a while.

I love fashion and I love refreshing my wardrobe each season, so this edit will have to happen regularly. Since moving I have got some new pieces and mixed them in with what I had to create a lot of outfits to take me from summer to fall. I’ve added links to pieces that are still availably and some similar options for the ones that aren’t available. Here they are, my favourite staples while working in some current trends while making them work for me, a 38 year old mom of four.

Similar Tube Top

Similar Zara Wide Leg Jeans

Aldo High Heel Platform Sandals

Similar Free People Purse

Zara Faux Leather Biker Jacket

Similar Ray Bans Sunglasses

Similar Tube Top

Aldo High Heel Platform Sandals

Similar Zara Wide Leg Jeans

AE Ripped 90’s Boyfriend Jeans

Reebok Classic

Aerie Tie Dye Cut Out Knot Dress

Vans Old Skool Platform Shoes

Similar High Waist Faux Leather Leggings

AE Cropped V Neck T Shirt

Similar Free People Purse

Similar Ray Bans Sunglasses

Aldo High Heel Platform Sandals

AE Ripped 90’s Boyfriend Jeans

AE Cropped V Neck T Shirt

Reebok Classic

Similar black skirt

AE Cropped V Neck T Shirt

Vans Old Skool Platform Shoes

Similar Cropped Denim Jacket

Similar black skirt

AE Cropped V Neck T Shirt

Similar Black Babydoll Dress

Aldo High Heel Platform Sandals

Similar Free People Purse

Similar Denim Shirt Dress

Reebok Classic

Can You Breathe? Making The Final Decision to End My Marriage.

I found this photo as I scrolled through the photos taken around the time that this happened.

When can I breathe? If I stayed in my marriage, or if I ended my marriage?

That was the final question I asked myself before ending it.

I have been asked a lot by people I know in person and people who have reached out online, how did I finally decide? They were on the fence and didn’t know what to do.

Asking myself that question was how.

Ending a marriage, especially with kids is a monumental decision that will have an atomic sized impact on many people in your life. Years later we are sometimes feeling the effects of the blast as if it just happened. So, I want to be clear, I do not talk about this decision lightly.

Looking back it was a slow burn over years. Years of stress, and emotional disconnection and distrust. It took two, and to be honest, we were pummelled by stressful life events to the point where it was getting harder and harder to get up again.

But at the end it was like I was hit by a freight train.

I tried. We tried.

Intense therapy, and attempts at reconnection. We could have gone on like that walking on the tight rope of should we or shouldn’t we for many many years. I think a lot of couples do.

But after realizing that staying wasn’t actually best for my kids because they needed out of the pressure cooker too and to have two happy parents, it was this that question I asked myself that made me step off the tight rope.

The idea of staying felt like I couldn’t breathe. Although terrifying, ending a relationship that was destroying both of us meant I could fill my lungs with air again.

Little did I know that almost immediately after deciding I would also be able to see life in colours I never saw before.

The decision was made. The page had been turned and the pressure that was on my chest for years was gone.

Note: My intention of sharing bits and pieces about this sensitive topic is to help share some of my own tough experiences in the hope that I could help someone else going through something similar. I am very sensitive to make sure I keep my kids and other parties in mind as I share because our family’s goal is to move towards healing and happiness. Although I would so badly like to give individual advice as I receive messages from others going through something similar, I found that when I was doing that I was not able to heal properly. xo

I Am Burnt Out… With Parenting

I am burnt out.

I’ve hit a wall.

The day in and day out of sameness with parenting without in-person school, kids’ activities or camp is becoming almost impossible.

There. I said it.

I love my kids. Why do us moms feel like we need to say that as a disclaimer when we need to be real for a minute that it is not always laughter and happiness? It goes without saying.

Of course I love my kids.

In fact, as dark as it sounds and probably a bit messed up, anytime my kids question my love, usually when I asked them to go get their own snack or have said no to an unreasonable request, I say “come on, I love you hit by a bus level.” They know that means without a second thought I’d push them out of the way from a bus and take the hit for them. That’s a mother’s love. Effed up or not.

With the disclaimer out of the way now… I am burnt out in the parenting department. Like, I don’t feel like talking to my children right now.

I live in Ontario Canada and we are heading into our last week of virtual school next week… and then home free. You bet your ass I have signed my kids up for camp (which is allowed now). In fact, I just added another week for the first week of summer. So in my mind means I only have a week and a half left in pandemic isolation hell.

Sorry if I am being super blunt here, but it has to be said and I bet I am not the only one feeling like this. I am not burnt out with working out, or unpacking our new house, or working, or gardening, or talking to adults.

It’s the making meals and snacks, cleaning up the kitchen, breaking up fights, finding something to do, arguing about getting schoolwork done, asking for messes to be cleaned up. It’s the daily arguements about getting dressed, brushing teeth, brushing hair and showering even though there’s nowhere to go.

There’s nowhere to go.

But above all… its the constant talking.

Which sounds bad saying it out loud. But as an introvert I need quiet time to recharge. Which I don’t get.

Cue perfect timing; I kid you not, as I wrote the last sentence one of my kids was talking to me and I was staring right as them as I was typing with one airpod in (because music takes the edge off) and then she said, “mom, did you hear what I said?” Honestly, I didn’t retain a thing. My brain is at full capacity.

The other night three out of four of my kids confronted me pretty much telling me that I have been emotionally unavailable to them. It was like a punch in the gut.

It brought me to tears.

The next day I shared this with another solo parent and I got the pep talk I needed. It’s a pandemic, I am doing more now for them than humanly possible, and they need to recognize that and I need to know that in a couple weeks when the pressure valve is finally released that they will get a whole version of me again.

For now, scraps of me is going to have to be enough.

So, parents… if you are burnt out in the parenting department too, and you are robotically replying with blanks stares and “that’s nice” you are absolutely not alone.

Scraps are more than enough after the storm we have sailed our families through this past year. We made it to the other side and never sank.

That’s a win.

Take the win.

Getting My Family’s Nutrition On Track Post Pandemic

Okay, My family cannot be the only one who’s nutrition completely fell off the deep end over the past year.

Burnout can really force survival mode. Easier options, pre-packed snacks, cereal, takeout. We did what we had to do. All of us did.

The pandemic clouds are parting and rays of sunshine are breaking through. It’s beginning to feel like real life is on the horizon here and our sugar-fuelled life is just feeling gross now.

I decided to film a video over the past couple weeks documenting me starting to steer our family’s ship into a healthier lifestyle. I am realizing it is not a straight line but I know our goal and I am determined to get us there. Here’s the video:

Do I Even Bother Keeping My Scale?

As I was unpacking I pulled out my scale and thought, “Do I even keep this?”

The last time I weighed myself was around Christmas. We had just begun another stay-at-home order here in Ontario and the food and booze were flowing. My clothes were feeling tight and I figured if I weighed myself I could shock myself into cleaning up my act and lose a few pounds. I hadn’t weighed myself since almost a year before and had mostly forgotten why I had stopped.

I had stopped weighing myself because I had realized that as soon as I take away the weight-loss goal and make it about achieving more strength, better gut health or generally feeling good everything falls into place where it’s supposed to.

Knowing the number was a slippery slope for me and even worse, repeatedly checking on that number. The reason is it would create this stressful yo-yo lifestyle that was so unhealthy.

If the number went up, I’d deprive myself. If the number went down I’d gorge and set off a SIBO flare up.

I’d completely stress about the natural changes my body goes through every month and every year.

What works for me is checking in with how I feel. Do I feel tired, weak, stiff? How is my gut? Am I bloated? How do my clothes feel on my body? How is my skin doing? Do I feel foggy, depressed or anxious? How is my stress level?

Once I have done a scan of my body and really have a sense of how I am feeling then I adjust accordingly. What I adjust is not always the same. Sometimes it means more smaller meals with extra vegetables. Other times because of my SIBO it can mean that I have to reduce my vegetables, fruits, sauces and animal protein for a little while to get out of a flare up and reintroduce them in small portions.

Sometimes it can mean I need to overhaul my schedule and really carve out time for daily exercise which for me is typically a little cardio and a fair bit of strength training with weights.

Lastly is my sleep. My sweet spot is falling asleep by 10pm and waking up at 5:30am. If I do that consistently then I am firing at all cylinders.

Ben and I are pretty similar when it comes to this approach. He called it his three pillars: healthy eating habits, daily exercise and good sleeping habits. I love that way of looking at it so I am going to steal it.

The couple weeks leading up to my move and right after I was a mess. I was eating whatever I could grab, which often meant leftovers on my kids’ plates, I was not exercising at all and I had the worse case of insomnia.

But I was easy on myself knowing that what I was doing was nearly impossible and I just had to survive it… moving four kids during a pandemic who weren’t in school as a solo parent to a new house and city. Phew!

But… I friggin’ did it!!! Whoop Whoop!

About a week after my move I was feeling it. All my clothes were tight, I was trying to sleep better but it was still spotty, and I had set off a pretty bad SIBO flare up. It was time to piece back together my three pillars.

As I unpacked I pulled out my scale. Weighing myself didn’t even cross my mind. No way was I falling into that trap again. I almost tossed it but remembered I may have to weigh my kids fromm time to time so I have slid it way under my closet built-it.

In the meantime I will be protecting my three pillars and making sure I don’t take life too seriously (I am shoving my face full of Lucky Charms as I write this… just keepin’ in real).

Good bye scale!