Health and Wellness for My Entire Family – How I Don’t Get Left Behind

This post was created in partnership with GSK.

When I became a mom of four, life always felt like I was going a million miles a minute. I tried to carve out time for myself here and there, but I sometimes thought that the days of feeling really healthy and fit might be behind me.

Today I am healthier now than I have ever been in my life. It’s pretty wild to think that after having four kids and at age 37 I have really found balance when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, getting daily exercise and really nailing the healthy eating habits thing.

I must say, I am pretty proud of myself.

I have always had a fairly healthy lifestyle, but after struggling for years with digestive issues, it became really obvious that I needed to make it a constant focus daily. Adapting intuitive eating habits partnered with focusing on nutrition-packed food for fuel… it was like everything fell into place.

When it comes to exercise, that too has fallen into place … finally! 

I was never a joiner and definitely had zero interest in any team sports. I would exercise here and there, but it never really became something that I’d look forward to or set goals towards. 

Last fall I tried CrossFit, (something I thought I’d never do because it looked too intense), but it has not only been the perfect fit for me in terms of pure joy when working out, but I have also joined a fitness community and conquered my social anxiety surrounding fitness.

To have these two extremely important wellness pieces fall into place while parenting four kids, running my own business and balancing it all during a time in the world that is already chaotic is a feat in itself is kind of amazing.

What is my secret? Drop the perfection and put my own and my kids’ health and mental health before everything else, as well as having organization in place so that there is space for wellness and selfcare.

Keeping my kids’ wellness front of mind and organized has been a system I have developed over the years and seems to really work. We have “expectation guidelines” pasted to our fridge. This includes everything from manners and daily personal hygiene to how we treat each other as a family. I have also split yearly wellness check-ups into seasons. Late winter is eye check-ups, late spring is yearly physicals and the fall is the dentist followed by vaccinations for flu and a check of when other vaccinations may be needed for myself or the kids in the coming year. 

Which brings it back to me. While taking care of everyone else, us adults can tend to fall through the cracks. This includes our own wellness check-ups and adult vaccinations, because they are not just for our kids, so talk to your doctor about what might be recommended. For more information on what vaccinations may be right for you at what age and for a customizable vaccination tracker, visit

Because here’s the thing… in a world where we’ve felt like things have been shaken up a lot, life’s real priorities have floated to the surface. Forget the material things or the superficial life before 2020, what really matters most is our mental health, our physical health and the deep connection we have with the people in our life.  

Take good care of yourself.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GSK. While compensation was provided, all opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the opinions of GSK. This post will not be monitored by GSK. If you need to report an adverse event for any GSK product, please call 1-800-387-7374.

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!

8 simple tips (from a mom of four and a personal trainer) that will make your at home workouts more successful

I used to be a gym rat. I had finally found success with weight loss and exercise when I was in my early twenties. I associated working out with leaving my house, away from the distraction, (and snacks) and I would get it done.

8 tips for working out at home

But after becoming a mother and a failed attempt at going to the gym, (while my son screamed the entire time he was in the daycare my gym provided), I knew that I had to find a way to workout at home.

So, little by little I carved out a space, did my research and invested in a few pieces of equipment. This little haven became even more important as I had my second child, and eventually my third and fourth: twins.

newborn twins

There would be times that I would find getting up in the morning, before anyone else, my sweet spot, and other times in the evening, just after putting my kids to bed would be when I could get my workout in.

But it was always nice to know that I didn’t have to rely on childcare, or waste time driving somewhere to workout.

For me it was and is the perfect fit.

After having my twins I was on a roll. I worked out almost daily, starting after I was three months postpartum and I eventually lost sixty of the seventy pounds I had gained. But those last ten pounds have stuck to me like glue.

Mom in bikini

Occasionally I will shake things up and find some success, but then life will happen and boom, back to square one.

That’s when I decided to work with an in home personal trainer twice a week in my home, and it has made a massive difference. I have realized that I was stagnant and not really pushing myself enough.

My husband has got in on the action too, which has held us both accountable. I am now working out six days a week, and not only have I watched the scale start moving again, but muscles I have never seen before are popping up, and I am happier and more patient with my entire family.

I have already learned so much over the past month working out with a personal trainer, and have seen such incredible results, I wanted to share some home workout tips with you.

I asked Rob, from Trainers On Site to share his tips, and I have also included some of mine…

Personal trainer tips:

1. Invest in home fitness equipment. What is worth the investment? Essentials like small dumbbells, (5-10lb dumbbells are a must if not adjustable dumbbells), a stability ball to act like a bench, or a stepper (bench and cardio in 1), 2 different levels of resistance bands (light and medium), a door anchor to attach them to, a cardio machine that lasts like a treadmill, rower or an elliptical machine. Using different equipment not only freshens up your workout, but it puts different stimulus reacting to your muscles being worked, therefore greater results!

2. Use your technology and entertainment devices. You can tap into great music from your smart device, (I personally like FitRadio). Or for boring or mindless cardio, you can watch a show or movie. (Netflix is great for this). Many studies have proven that music enhances your performance. Why sit on a couch to watch TV when you can be active, moving and burn calories?

3. Track your workouts. Don’t just track the days you worked out, but also the sets, reps, load pushed or pulled. Use a notebook or journal, or go high tech and use an app like we do with our clients. In order to achieve better results you need to know what results you had before. Using the Progressive Overload approach and adding more load, or more reps, or more sets, makes a big difference in increasing lean muscle while burning stubborn body fat.

4. Involve someone to help keep you accountable. This could be your partner/spouse, a friend with similar goals, or a personal trainer to keep you on track. Adding a workout partner for motivation and drive allows both parties a win/win scenario. Make sure it is someone you can count on when you don’t feel like showing up to your own workout. Personal Training at home works!

5. Carve out ME TIME. There could be many options here so you have to figure out what works, (early before anyone gets up, during nap or school time, late at night when kids go to sleep), the earlier the better (a moms day never ends! This is an essential tip that might go overlooked. Get in a groove and find out what works best for you and your family and then stick to it. Home workouts are great for efficiency and convenience but can also end up being minimal if you don’t stick to a regular schedule.

Tips from a mom of four who has fallen in love with working out at home:

6. Have a carrot. I find planning a little getaway, or get togethers with friends the best motivation. It can be so easy to not leave your house for days on end without really realizing it when you are in the trenches with your kids. Make plans and get excited about them.

7. Take progress shots. When you are so busy and in comfy sweats most days it can sometimes be hard to see any progress. I love referring back to the photos I have just after having my kids and thanking my body for creating those humans and how far it has come since.

8. Dress up like you are leaving to go to a gym. After having many months of success working out at home, I slowly started to let everything slide. At first it began with me being too lazy to put on my running shoes, then a bra, and eventually I was rolling out of bed and doing a couple sit-ups in my pjs and calling it a day. Putting the effort in to dress the part will set you up for a better workout.

Want to join in on a workout with us? Check out our Facebook live video as Rob, from Trainers On Site, myself and two special guests lead you through a workout you can do at home.

Trainers On Site has been servicing the GTA since 2008 bringing workouts to clients homes and workplaces.

Their mission is to help the world get a little bit healthier one workout at a time.

They offer:
– one on one personal training
– small group personal training
– corporate fitness

They service:
– Milton and Halton Hills
– Oakville
– Mississauga
– Brampton
– downtown and west Toronto

You’re their perfect client if you’re a busy mom or dad who has no time or motivation to get to the gym.

In order to try out their service they’re offering first-time customers a free fitness assessment, personal training session and meal plan to help them get started.

Check out Trainers On Site at or call them at one 188-826-91867.

Workout at home

Disclosure: Nesting Story is in partnership with Trainers On Site and has received free services from them.

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…

Don’t forget to subscribe to Nesting Story on YouTube so that you don’t miss a video!

My Top 3 Post-Twin Pregnancy Abdominal Workout Moves

Losing the baby weight after twins

Having three pregnancies, (including one twin pregnancy), has pushed my body to the limit. What has been the biggest casualty? my midsection.

I am often asked what my daily workout consists of. Well, to be honest, not a whole lot. I keep it simple and effective. Because I don’t have a lot of time each day to set aside for working out, on top of work and raising four kids, I try to keep my workouts to under 20 minutes in length.

Almost all of my workouts consists of strength training, and I make sure I am targeting the areas that need to most work.

Although I am close, but have not yet reached my goal, especially with regaining strength and mobility after having my twins, I have to make sure I am always reminding myself how far I have come.

But I wanted to share with you my three favourite (and in my opinion, most effective) abdominal workout moves.

Side Crunch

If someone were to say that I could only do one exercise move for the rest of my life, and I could pick only one… it would be side crunches. This move by far produces the best results in the least amount of time. Any time I have taken a bit of time off from my workouts and jump back into side crunches, I see more definition in my waist in just a few days!

How to do a side crunch…

Lay facing up with your knees together and bent at a 90 degree angle. Then drop your knees to the left without moving your upper body.


Place your hands behind your head and raise your shoulders towards your hips, as if you were doing a sit-up.IMG_3266

Pause for one second and then lower your body to the ground. I typically do three sets of 15 reps on each side.


Elbow-to-Knee Crunch

I prefer this crunch over just a regular crunch because I find it works my lower abdominal muscles more, (which after twins, always need attention), and this move is also easy on my back.

How to do an elbow-to-knee crunch…

Lay facing up with your knees and hips bent at a 90 degree angle so that your calves are parallel to the floor. Place your hands behind your head, with your elbows pointed outward. Raise your shoulders off of the floor, (don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t get too far off the floor, your abs might be weak from your pregnancy… like mine are), and twist your body while you reach your right elbow to your left knee, while you are straightening your right leg.


Then return to the starting position and repeat with the other side.


I like to aim for about 30-40 reps of this move.

Weighted Russian Twist

I like this move because… well let’s be honest, it gets rid of my muffin top left over from four pregnancies. For a long time I couldn’t seem to find an exercise that would target that pesky spare tire I had hanging around… until I found the weighted Russian twist!

How to do a weighted Russian twist…

Start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Hold a medicine ball (or a weight plate, or even just your hands together without a weight), straight in front of you. Angle your torso at a 45 degree position, which you will hold for the entire exercise. Rotate your torso to the right trying to hold your arms as straight as you can while keeping your feet flat on the floor.


Repeat the motion to your left, again keeping your torso at a 45 degree angle, your arms straight and your feet flat. IMG_3359

I like to do 20-30 reps of this move.

In the end, I know that my body will forever have a different shape since growing my precious four little humans, and I am really okay with that. It tells my story of where my body has been and who it has created!

Weightless after twins

Before starting any new workout routine, always consult your doctor first. You should not start exercising until at least after 6-8 weeks postpartum and until you have received your doctor’s consent.

Read more about my body’s journey here: What having four kids (including twins) has done to my body and my confidence.

Did you recently give birth? Before starting any new exercise routine, set yourself up for success with these tips: 10 Acts of kindness you should do for your postpartum body before starting a new exercise routine.

Don’t forget to follow Nesting Story on Facebook and Instagram for additional tips, articles and before and after photos!