4 small changes I have made to increase my happiness while we wait for warmer weather

happiness with kidsHoly smokes this has been a long winter. Here, just outside of Toronto, it feels like we are crawling to the finish. Our family foolishly made the mistake of not planning a warm weather getaway this winter and oh boy, are we cooped up.

For me, as the typically happy-go-lucky, problem-solving wife and mother, it’s been hard as I am constantly trying to keep everyone else happy, while here I am, struggling myself.

The long, sunless days, the yo-yo in temperatures and the fact that it is either too cold, or too muddy to let our kids run free in our backyard is keeping us indoors and miserable.

These past couple weeks have been particularly hard, mostly because someone has always been sick. Although being sick isn’t fun for the actual patient, for the mom/wife it is another layer of managing misery.

So, over the last couple of days I have made some changes to help me keep my head above water so I can continue to be that happy-go-lucky, problem-solving member of our family.

1. I’ve gone back to grabbing some rests midday. This one is still not happening often enough, but I am moving towards creating protected time for this. I am realizing that stopping after lunch for up to an hour and laying down, watching T.V. or reading does so much more for my mind than I ever realized. It’s the absence of worrying, to-do lists, cleaning, working and cooking that my mind sometimes needs the most. My mind craves being put on autopilot and get a well deserved break.

2. I am changing up my day last minute. Working at my computer, whether it’s blogging, or editing a vlog (while my kids are at school and my twins are in part-time daycare) is my passion and my therapy. But every once and a while, I am realizing that switching things up and moving my work to the evening so I can go out into the world, soak up the daylight and be around people is good for my soul and my sanity. In fact, right after I hit publish on this post, I am going to head out the door and enjoy this rare sunshine outside.

3. I’ve moved my workouts back to the morning. I really find carving out time to workout changes depending on the season. All winter working out in the evening really fit. Maybe because it was dark out so early and everyone would tend to go to bed earlier. But these last couple of weeks our big kids have needed more time from me in the evenings, and instead of enjoying that special time, I was getting frustrated because I was missing my workout. So, I am switching things up and working out at 6:00 A.M. so that for the rest of the day I can chill out and stop worrying about fitting that workout it.

4. We bought a houseplant. Yup, that’s right, I finally feel like I can keep something else alive, other than our kids. It is actually amazing what bringing some greenery inside has done to my mood. In fact, I am now hooked and can tell there are many more plants in our future.

house plant

You can keep up with my journey through motherhood on our vlogs on YouTube, and don’t forget to subscribe!

I Am Worried About Her (Video)


Sometimes anxiety can creep up on me when I am least expecting it. In this vlog I talk about how a couple of contributing factors are setting off my anxiety and what my approach is to deal with it.

I have been worrying about a couple of the kids; Everly, who has had chronic colds and one of the big kids. But instead of shutting down I am dealing with it head on.

Also, we finally have a successful family meal with Mike and no T.V. on and silliness followed soon after.

Welcome to our home…

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Sometimes I Just Need A Little Space

OakvilleWe are a family that thrives on and craves routine. My kids and I need some kind of structure to our day and without it we start getting irritable and anxious. Mike (and maybe Beau) on the other hand do pretty well being on vacation.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have fun, but it is really hard to shake the nagging to-do lists that constantly run through my mind throughout the day.

It has taken me over a year to create some semblance of balance in our lives, but unfortunately it is a fragile house of cards that can be blown down with a single staycation.

Little did I know that Mike had seen some footage of me talking about how I struggle with this and how it can be a trigger for my anxiety.

In today’s vlog I talk about how I use some much needed space to regroup and continue enjoying our staycation.

Also, we take a little trip to a neighbouring lakeside city for a specialist appointment for Beau.

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Anxiety Over Staycation And A New Vlogging Camera (Vlog 13)

twinsSometimes I can have a really hard time breaking routine and just enjoying a vacation. At the beginning of our staycation I must confess that I am finding it difficult putting aside my constantly running to-do lists that are in my head and just have fun.

Also, we decided to upgrade from shooting our vlogs on my IPhone to a proper vlogging camera. I unbox and shoot the rest of the vlog with our new Cannon G7X Mark II. Later that day Mike and I tag teaming putting our twins to bed and showing why Everly is so much taller than Mia.

Welcome to our day…

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How Anxiety Inspired Me To Start Running And Begin A Two-Week Challenge

A few weeks ago, I was anxious. I could audibly hear every breath exiting and entering my body. Every task, including putting my kids’ shoes on for them, was a struggle. I had a lot on my mind that included worrying about one of my kids, who was struggling, and some tough work-based decisions that I had to make.

anxiety and parenting

I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders and I would be crushed at any moment. I wasn’t able to answer my kids’ questions without hearing a quiver in my voice. I was shattering.

One day, as I finally hit send on an email that had been weighing heavily on me, something told me that I needed to run. Physically run away from my problems and gain some perspective. Luckily, my husband Mike was just walking in the door from work at that moment and I was able to leave him with the kids and head out the door.

As I rounded the corner from the streets lined with houses and entered the path through the forest near my house, my feet began to move faster. I was running… fast. My muscles ached as my body tried to comprehend this new feeling.


You see, despite working out and getting my (new) body back after babies, I wasn’t doing any cardio, only resistance training. Up until this point, I didn’t see the need to do cardio. I was getting the results I wanted to see from portion control, resistance training and making healthy dietary choices. Why bother with sweaty, time-consuming cardio? Little did I know that my mind and body had been craving cardio the entire time.


As I continued to run along that path, something incredible began to happen. I stopped worrying. For the first time in a week, I didn’t feel like I was going to shatter. My mind was gaining perspective and new ideas and solutions were bubbling to the surface. My entire being was strengthening and I was flying.


Throughout the next week, I flew out the door each day as Mike came home from work. I was smiling again, and going through my day with ease and confidence. My anxiety disappeared and I was able to tackle each problem that came my way with a clear mind. I even began to feel my body strengthen. But as life with kids goes, illness decided to pay a visit to our home and my runs were put on pause.

Now that everyone is healthy again, I am ready to jump back into my running routine. I am beginning a two-week challenge to be #evenbetter. I will be running each day while maintaining my resistance training and healthy dietary choices. I will also start including my family in my cardio journey, including going on family bike rides and nature hikes.


Because I struggle at times to get enough water, Ocean Spray® will be keeping me hydrated with their Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Waters so I can dial up on all the healthy benefits.

Ocean Spray PACt

So, what are my goals during this two-week challenge? There are three main ones that stand out to me:

  1. To incorporate daily fitness into my routine and help strengthen my body.
  2. To use running as a stress-release and to control my anxiety.
  3. To not only set a good example for both my kids and my husband, but to include them in my cardio journey as well.

Keeping myself (and my family) hydrated with Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water flavours – including Cranberry Pomegranate, Cranberry Raspberry and Cranberry Mango Passionfruit – will make the entire challenge a little more fun and sweet!

Ocean Spray PACt

The last time I was really into running, I either found that I would get bored of drinking so much water, or not drink enough and end up dehydrated. Ocean Spray® has created the perfect low-calorie drink that is full of ingredients I can feel good about putting into my body.

Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water delivers unique cranberry benefits. It contains PACs, or proanthocyanidins – unique, powerful elements found deep inside cranberries – to help protect against certain harmful bacteria from sticking in the urinary tract.

Made from purified water, each bottle is only 10 calories, is naturally sweetened, and contains no GMOs or artificial colours – the colour comes straight from the red cranberries.

I am really excited to start this journey with my family and see what kind of benefits each of us gain from adding more cardio to our daily lives. Make sure to check in in two weeks to see how we did!

Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water is a tasty and low-calorie way to hydrate in a more meaningful way. Packed with the power of 50 cranberries, PACt® cranberry extract water delivers unique cranberry health benefits. Visit http://pact.oceanspray.ca to learn more and find out where to buy PACt® water at a store near you.


Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Ocean Spray® via Mode Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Ocean Spray®.