Video Recap Of Our Week: Be A Fly-On-The-Wall In Our Busy Home

Dress up and craft room reveal

We had a busy week of dress-up, introducing the idea of potty training to Mia and Everly and it was Beau’s fifth birthday! Have a peek behind the scenes in our busy home.

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to Nesting Story’s You Tube channel. I am going to be sharing a lot more behind the scenes videos of our family.

Six family members, six skin types: how I care for each member

Caring for six different people’s skin can sometimes feel like a full-time job. Although each of us are members of one family, we have very unique skin types with entirely different needs.

Being a mom to four young kids has taken its toll on my body, especially my skin. Not only do I try to pamper my body’s skin after all of the stretching it has gone through during my pregnancies, but I find that my hands can get very dry, especially during the winter.

I spend a lot of my day washing dishes, bathing kids and washing my hands, especially during cold and flu season. Pair that with the dry winter air, and it creates a perfect storm for dry hands. As a consequence my hands can get rough, sore and chapped.

I’m not the only member of our family that can get dry, chapped skin at this time of year. My 6-year-old son, Holden, has very sensitive skin. His lips and face get very dry and chapped from both from the cold air while he’s playing outside, and from his attempts to moisturize his lips by licking them.

Holden's dry skin

Mia, one of my 18-month-old twins has had extremely dry, sensitive skin from the moment she was born. In fact, if I don’t moisturize her skin daily, it can become so dry, it feels rough to touch.

Mia’s twin, Everly, and their 5-year-old sister, Beau, each have olive skin that doesn’t get as dry as their siblings’. They take after their Dad, who also has this type of skin.


So how do I care for all of these unique skin types? I recently switched our family over to Vaseline’s skin care line, which includes a variety of lotions, created for a variety of skin types and needs.

Vaseline products
Here is the best part, not only do Vaseline® skin care products give you instant relief and softer skin, but each lotion contains micro-droplets of their Vaseline® Jelly that heal from within.

So, which products do I use, and what family members do I use them on?

For my hands, I love Vaseline’s new Intensive Care Repairing Serum. Not only does it repair my severely dry skin, it also smells incredible. I have started to protect my hands more by wearing gloves while I wash dishes, and I keep this non-greasy moisturizer on my desk so I can moisturize my hands throughout the day, while working. In just a couple of days, I’ve experienced some much-needed relief from my sore, dry, cracked hands.

Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Relief Repairing Serum
For my body, I am obsessed with Vaseline’s Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Lotion. This non-greasy lotion not only brings out your skin’s natural glow, but the cocoa smell makes me feel like I am on vacation.

Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radient Lotion
For Holden’s chapped face, we use our family’s number one, go-to product for years: Vaseline’s Original Petroleum Jelly. He typically applies the jelly before bed each night, and by the morning, the redness on his face has cleared up.

Holden and Vaseline
For Mia’s dry skin (as well as the rest of our family), I give her daily massages using Vaseline’s Intensive Care Advanced Repair lotion. This unscented and non-greasy lotion is rich and heals very dry skin.

When I massage Mia, she suddenly goes very still, which is rare for a toddler her age. Mia’s body relaxes and her breathing slows each time I apply this lotion on her skin, while giving her legs a feet a little rub. I always apply Mia’s moisturizer after her bath in the evening, and then I dress her in cozy pajamas for the night. Her skin has never been so soft!

Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented
Vaseline not only creates tried and true products that our whole family loves, but has also started to give back in an effort called The Healing Project. Here’s how it works:

1 Vaseline purchase = 1 Donation Towards Healing – the purchase of any Vaseline® product will support the partnership with Direct Relief to deliver dermatological care, medical supplies, and Vaseline® Jelly to those living in crisis and disaster.

Disclaimer: Vaseline® donates a portion of the proceeds towards The Healing Project up to a maximum of $100,000.

Taking care of our family’s different skin types doesn’t have to be a full time job. Now that we know which product works best for each member, I can’t see any of us suffering from dry skin any time soon. That’s the healing power of Vaseline.

Vaseline® believes that with deep-healing moisture you can transform dry skin into healthy-looking skin. We know this because we are one of the original skin experts, helping to safely heal dry skin for over 140 years in North America. Today, micro-droplets of our Vaseline® Jelly can be found in all Vaseline® products. Vaseline® doesn’t just make skin feel soft and smooth instantly, but absorbs deeply into dry skin and moisturizes to heal it from within. For more information about our product offering and The Healing Project, visit

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Vaseline via Mode Media Canada. While product samples and compensation were provided, all opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the opinions of positions of Vaseline.

Beau’s 5th Birthday, Managing Expectations And Our Kids’ Craft Studio Surprise

Beau's birthdayYesterday, my spunky, vibrant, nurturing, loud, and beautiful little girl turned 5-years-old. This past year has been a challenging one for Beau. I have watched her bright light, dim, while she wrestled with anxiety, and lost herself for a little while. With a lot of love, support and encouragement, her spark has been relit, and a confident little lady is re-emerging.

We have always given Beau’s older brother, Holden, fairly big gifts for his birthdays. He thinks big, and knows exactly what he wants. But when we asked Beau what she wanted for her birthday, it was simple: bubbles, craft supplies and anything green, (her favourite colour).

During the last year, our active Beau has found a new passion, creating. She has the most incredible imagination, and her teachers were raving to me recently during my in-class visit, that she is so talented. She will build and craft the most imaginative things.

I must admit, I hadn’t really noticed. I am so busy with all of our kids, that sometimes, I can miss these budding interests. Holden has always been into drawing (like I was as a kid), but I don’t think I really realized, not just how much Beau loves doing crafts, but how much it feeds her soul.

So, after a lot of thought, Mike and I used part of our date night last Thursday to shop for Beau. But our biggest surprise up our sleeves was to create a craft studio for her. We have an unfinished basement where Beau had a craft table. But it was always a mess and there was zero organization. I wanted to create a space that was hers and where she could let her imagination fly.

So we used an old Ikea bookshelf and desk that we had, and went to our local dollar store and bought tons of green bins, and went nuts with the craft supplies.

Kids' craft studio


The morning of Beau’s birthday though, was a bit of a gong show. Beau woke up bossing everyone around, melting down constantly and being downright mean. We hadn’t even given her her big surprise yet, and she still had her birthday party in the afternoon.

I gave Beau a talk, letting her know that when she woke up that morning, no one put a crown on her head and said she could treat everyone around her like garbage. This wake-up call seemed to work. After adjusting Beau’s mood and expectations, as well as opening a few presents, we finally revealed her craft studio to her.

Beau in her craft studio

It was a massive hit! We have not seen Beau or Holden since the reveal.

Holden and beau

That afternoon, and after Beau spent a lot of therapeutic time crafting, we were ready to head out to Beau’s party. I had hired a babysitter to stay with our twins, (who were too young to take and keep track of all of the other kids).

Although I occasionally go all-out with our kids’ birthday parties, I decided to book Beau’s party at an indoor trampoline park. We had gone there for Holden’s birthday in June and it was great. The pizza, cupcakes and even loot bags were all provided, which saved me a lot of time and stress.

I was a little worried that Beau would start melting down, shy away from her guests, and cling to me like she did at her cousins birthday party the week before.

Beau shy at birthday party

But I was relived when I saw Beau’s cousins and friends take initiative, holding her hand and wanting to play with Beau.

Beau's birthday party

In the end she had a blast, and I am pretty sure she wasn’t the only one…


It is so wonderful seeing Beau enjoy life and develop new interests after the year we had with her. Watching your once vibrant child loose their way can be heartbreaking as a parent to watch.

Beau blowing out candles

Although I am beyond exhausted today, I am thrilled that Beau was able to enjoy a really special day with the focus completely on her. Happy Birthday Beau!

To read more about Beau’s struggles and triumphs this past year, read: I regret having our daughter visit me in the hospital after giving birth.

Wearing Many Hats As A Mother Can Feel Impossible Some Days

Wearing lots of hatsLast week I froze. I froze and my brain couldn’t seem to process simple tasks. I stood there in my kitchen, with my hands on the counter while my four kids were asking for “more snacks” and “what’s for dinner?”

The dishes were still piled up beside the sink from breakfast, the house looked like a tornado had gone through it, and I couldn’t seem to process what I should do next.

I walked from room to room without completing one a simple task.

Each day I wear many hats. I am a blogger, writer, entrepreneur, business woman, story teller, daughter, sister, friend, mother, wife, caretaker, nurse, janitor, chauffeur, chef, and a therapist, just to name a few.

Throughout the day my brain has to shift into different gears; planning meals, dressing, cleaning and feeding kids, then switch into a momprenuer for different segments throughout the day, before switching gears back into a mom and then often back into a business woman/wife in the evening.

On that particular day last week, my brain couldn’t seem to make the switch. The gears got stuck and I froze in neutral.

Deadlines, ideas, pitches and to-do lists still filled my head while I was supposed to be thinking about dinner, snacks, baths, homework, and spending quality time with my kids.

Working mom

But on this day it all felt like too much.

My four-year-old daughter began screaming, yelling that her throat hurt and she felt so sick. She needed me to shift into nurse mode. I momentarily snapped out of it, assessed that my three other kids were safe and secure, then scooped her up, carried her to her room, tucked her into bed, took her temperature and gave her medicine.

I told her I’d be up in a bit with her dinner and retreated back downstairs. Downstairs to all of my other responsibilities.

It all felt like too much. After another long pause I was able to get a few basic tasks done.

It was time to make the decision on how I would process this feeling of being overwhelmed. Do I  just let the tears flow like I did the previous week? Did I have the energy to snap out of it and take charge? Or do I just numb myself and let all of the extra stuff go?

I made the decision to walk away. Walk away from the mess. Walk away from the to-do list, the emails, the unfolded laundry and focus on my family and my time-sensitive work deadlines.

I had to shelf a bunch of my hats, and focus on one task at a time.

That’s the thing. You can have it all, but never at the exact same time. Something always has to take a back seat. Something always has to wait.

I am learning that if I am going to follow my two dreams: being a mother and a successful entrepreneur, I am going to have to learn that sometimes the extra noise can wait.

I Regret Not Parenting My Older Kids Like I Parent Our Twins

4 kids in Florida

Well, at least we go two out of four right! This is something that my husband Mike, and I say to each other often, half jokingly. Two out of four of our kids listen the first time we ask them to do something. Two of our four kids are not picky eaters. Two of our four kids are generally more content. Is this our faults? It kind of is.

We have followed through with our twins really well, and were a bit too soft with our older kids.

Okay, okay, I know that there are a lot of other factors at play here, like we were newer parents with our older two. They are OLDER, and with every new phase and age, new obstacles arise. Personalities definitely play a role, and our twins have older siblings to mimic.

But I often think to myself, hmmm nature vs nurture… we really could have approached parenting differently in the beginning.

When our son Holden was born, our world revolved around him… too much. If he fussed a little we put the TV on, if he wanted a toy at the store, we usually bought it, if he didn’t like what food was in front of him, we whipped up something else that was usually less nutritious. When Holden got a little older, and we were in a rush, we would do everything for him, including dress him, and not give him much of a chance to be independent.

Holden realized he could limit his food to 10 items, have someone dress him everyday and basically run our home, having me race around bowing to his every whine.


Beau came soon after Holden and was not only able to ride his wave of ridiculous pampering, but we were so focused on Holden’s moods that we rarely attempted to fix our mistakes.

Beau in-turn, had mastered the art of tantrums and destruction. The best way to describe Beau, is she is a FORCE to be reckoned with.the faces of Beau

It wasn’t until our twins were born, that we had to change our parenting styles, and it was for the better. You see, when you double the amount of children you have, you just can’t approach parenting the same way. Everyone had to basically fend for themselves more, and be really patient.

This concept of patience, compliance and obedience is something that Everly and Mia have known since day one.

Case in point, the other day I had just finished bathing Mia and Everly, while Mike was hanging out in their room (he’s usually at work when I bath them). I turned to Mia and Everly and said, “okay, it’s time to brush your teeth.” Without saying anything else, both girls walked over to a specific spot in their room, sat down, and waited patiently for their toothbrushes. Because they know that they aren’t allowed to walk around with their toothbrushes, it isn’t safe. If they try to walk around with it, they loose it. Simple.

twins brushing teeth

When Mike saw this, his jaw dropped. “Well, at least we got two out of four right.”

When Mia and Everly have food placed in front of them, they eat it. When they are bored, they don’t rely on TV, they know that’s a rare treat. They only fuss when they really need something, and they are so proud of themselves whenever they gain some independence.

At 18 months old, they have learned how to completely undress themselves and mostly dress themselves. They love cleaning up and understand that it is expected of them, and whenever I give them a little job, they run back for their prize: a high five.Twins putting shoes on

Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t robot twins. Mia thinks it’s hilarious to throw her food on the ground, and Everly is going through a hitting phase.

Mia and Everly

But I have set a precedence with them, and rules that I so wish I had done with Holden and Beau.

older kids

After Mia and Everly joined our family, we really had to turn things around with Holden and Beau. We have been laying down the law, following through and encouraging them to be more independent and responsible. Slowly, we are getting there. Mia and Everly are also helping by setting a great example.

Despite Holden and Beau having to learn (along with Mike and I) later in life, they are two pretty awesome kids. Holden is extremely compassionate and Beau always knows how to put a smile on our faces. The two of them have been the most incredible siblings to their twins sisters, in fact, I don’t know what I would do without their help each day. So, Mike and I must have done something right in those early years.

Big kids

So, to new parents and parents to be, I want to say this:

Drop the guilt. If there is a lull between reading books and singing songs, don’t feel guilty. Let your child figure out how to play on their own.

Don’t always do everything for them. It is tempting when you are trying to get out the door to dress your kid for them. Let them do as much as they can before you help.

If your child fusses, don’t rush in and switch their food, or turn on the TV. Let them fuss for a minute. See if they can get over it.

When you are shopping, resist giving in to pestering. It is so tempting and can often make that shopping trip a lot easier. But in the long run, they will start expecting that they should get everything they see, each outing.

Carve out special routines each day of cuddles, reading books and doing other activities. But make sure there are times each day, (other than when they are napping), that you are cleaning the kitchen, sitting and putting your feet up, or getting other tasks done, while they amuse themselves.

We all are trying to do our best to survive. But sometimes, when we put in more effort and exhaust ourselves, we are doing our kids a disservice.