31st Birthday Wish List

31 Aug

In less than a week, I’m going to be celebrating my 31st birthday (but seriously, where did this last year go??).  I’ve been looking at Etsy a lot lately, and here are some of my current favourites!

  1. Deep Thoughts Mug
    Deep Thoughts Mug; By Jack Handey; Saturday Night SNL; Approx. 3x4 Inches
    I used to love this sketch on SNL! It would be so fun to have a mug based on it. :)
  2. Bow Headband
    THE BECKY Bow GlamHerBands Rhinestone Crystal Headband
    I LOVE headbands! This one is just too cute.
  3. A Tula

    I know this isn’t technically from Etsy.  I love my Sakura Bloom, I love my Boba.  My newest addition to my baby carrier want-list is a tula! They’re so pretty. <3

And, if all else fails, I always ask for Starbucks Gift Cards! These will ALWAYS be put to good use ;)

xoxo,
Alysa

Road Trip Observations

28 Aug

Parliament of Canada

Inside the Parliament Building

Chicago Skyline

Here are some more of our road trip photos!  After Niagara Falls, we didn’t really take too many pictures.  At that point, we were just trying to get home, so we didn’t think to take out the camera.  But I do have some observations about travelling through Ontario and parts of the north United States.

  1.  Ontario announces itself a lot
    Especially on the trans-Canada highway, it seemed like every 5km or so, there was a sign that said “Ontario”.  I found this particularily interesting because there was a trip I took with some friends when I was younger where we were SURE that we were in Alberta, and we were PISSED because Alberta didn’t welcome us.  Then, it turned out we were still in Saskatchewan.  If Saskatchewan had the thing where they announced where we were every so often, we wouldn’t have been so mad haha
  2. Americans talk on their phones while driving, A LOT
    It was actually pretty ridiculous.  When we were driving around Chicago, there were giant signs that said how many people had DIED that year in that one state from texting and driving.  And the number was REALLY HIGH.  Get off your phones!! Come on!  It was like 500 or something people, and it was July.  Like seriously? Get off your phones.  Whatever you have to say is not that important, I promise.  I kNOW that it’s illegal there to text and drive, too.
  3. Motorcyclists don’t wear helmets in the states
    I don’t think I saw a single motorcyclist in the states wearing a helmet.  I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to do that here, so it was really weird for me to see that.  And they still drove really recklessly, too.  It was pretty scary tbh.

xoxo,
Alysa

On My “To-Read” List

27 Aug

books

I’ve read barely anything this month.  Between getting back from our road trip, getting ready for being at the cabin, and getting ready for weddings, there just hasn’t been any extra time for reading.  I started something at the cabin, but left it there.  I started something the other day, but haven’t completed it.

So, here is a list of books I’d LIKE to read:

  1. The Harry Potter Series
    I like to re-read Harry Potter every few years.  It’s been quite a few years since the last time I read it (I can’t remember exactly, but it’s entirely possible that I last read them before I even got married… so it’s been a while).  It’s fun to re-read, I always get something new out of it.
  2. Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling
    I don’t know if this book is even out yet, but I’m SO excited to read it!  I loved her first book, so I’ll be very happy to read her second book.  TBH, I don’t even really care what it’s about.  If she wrote it, that’s all I need to know.
  3. Anne of Green Gables
    Again, I have read this before, but I’d really like to re-read it.  This was what I started reading at the lake, and I was really enjoying it.  I just need to find my copy though haha

What have you been reading lately?

xoxo,
Alysa

Road Trip: Niagara Falls

21 Aug

At the end of last month, we went on our first family road trip!  It was a lot of fun, and we got to see some of the parts of Canada (and the U.S.) that we hadn’t seen as a couple before.  One of the places we went was Niagara Falls!  I had been there before, years ago, and it was my husband’s first time there!

Here are a few of the pictures we took while we were there:

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

xoxo,
Alysa

How To: Make a small get-together more special

19 Aug

I love having people over and hosting events in my home.  For the longest time, since Autumn was born, I wasn’t really able to do that the way I wanted to though.  It’s pretty difficult to prepare for a get-together or event with a babe-in-arms.  But a few months ago, I had some ladies over for a little get-together, and I decided to make it a little bit more special for my guests.

Here are some small things you can do to make a small get-together a little more special: how to make any get-together special

 

  1. Make a banner
    I made this banner the night before.  It was very simple to make, and it gave the night a little something extra
  2. Put the food table in the sitting area
    There’s something nice about not having to keep going back and forth to the kitchen for the food.  Plus, this way guests will feel more comfortable with helping themselves to more foox and drinks!
  3. Use a cake platter
    It just looks more fancy when it’s on a platter, even if it’s just a little cheesecake from Superstore ;)
  4. Use real dishes
    It makes it a little more special if you use real dishes instead of paper plates.  It’s not as easy to clean up, but I think it’s worth the hassle of clean up.

 

turn any get-together into a special event

 

How do you like to make get-togethers feel more fancy?

xoxo,
Alysa

 

Happy Monday!

17 Aug

Happy Monday!  How was your week?
I had an inadvertent blog hiatus, for the simple reason that last week was crazy busy.  It was weird though, I had some stuff planned to write about but just never found the time to.  It was a great week though! I went to a baby shower of a good friend of mine, and we went to a beautiful wedding of some friends of ours.  It was lovely.

We have another busy week this week, and another wedding this Saturday, but it’ll be a great week. I love weddings <3

Here are some other things making me happy this week:

  1. An easy way for Canadians to register to vote
    It will also tell you if you need to register, or if you already are registered.
  2. Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
    I’m not generally a huge fan of the pumpkin spice trend, but I LOVE pumpkin pie! I had it as my birthday “cake” last year haha

 

that video is hilarious.  to be fair, liquid eyeliner is HARD!! ;)

Have a great week!!

xoxo,
Alysa

9 Months!

10 Aug

9 months

Autumn is now 9 months old, aka 3/4 of a year.  Woah!

This month there were many more firsts.  It was the first time we went to my husband’s family’s cabin, the first time we went on a road trip as a family, and then the first time in Ontario for her, the first time in Quebec, and the first time leaving the country (only to the US, but it still counts!!).   It was also her first time at Niagara Falls, first time in Ottawa, and our first time visiting my sister and my uncle and aunt!  It was a pretty busy month for these kinds of firsts.

Autumn also got her second tooth.  She drank from a straw for the first time, and figured out how to drink from a regular cup (though in her case, it was a shot glass because it was the right size ;) ).  Autumn has also started crawling now, and she pulled herself to standing for the first time.  Great month for firsts :)

Autumn is continuing to grow lots.  She’s in a lit of 9 months clothes, as well as 6-12 months sized clothes.  She’s growing approximately a half inch every month, and is now 27″ tall!

Her favourite game is when one of us carries her up the stairs, and the other one follows behind her.  We don’t even have to be doing anything funny or silly, but she still thinks that it’s pretty hilarious.  Her favourite toy this month was her car keys that she got as part of a goodie bag at our friend’s wedding.  She sleeps best in her own bed, but still had some great sleeps while we were travelling (aside from when we were at the cabin, she did not like sleeping there for some reason).

Autumn’s favourite food this month was the mini-muffins that I make for her, and she loved the pumpkin loaf that my Aunt made for us when we were visiting them.

This next month is going to be pretty busy as well, so it’ll be great to see how Autumn changes this month, too :)

xoxo,
Alysa

Ontario Road Trip

7 Aug

We just got back last Sunday from a whirlwind road trip of Ontario (with a little bit of the states thrown in there).  We decided to head East this year because as a couple we’ve only ever travelled West before.  We thought it might be fun to go East this time!  The other draw for us is that my sister lives in Toronto, and an Aunt and Uncle plus a really good friend who live in the GTA, so we wanted to visit them all!  Plus, Andrew had never been to Ottawa or Niagara Falls before, so we definitely wanted to check those out.

I don’t know if it’s because it was such a short trip, or because we had a baby with us, but I feel like we didn’t take very many pictures, and that makes me kind of sad.

Here are some of the photos we got along the way there:

ontari-ari-o!

night danger

Funny story. We saw this sign a LOT. And for the longest time, I tried to get a picture of it, but my phone couldn’t open fast enough and it would be gone.  For this picture, we saw it coming and Andrew slowed down so much that we actually stopped… and I STILL missed it!! haha so he had to back up so I could get out and take this picture.  Good thing there was no one else on the road just then ;)

ontario

ontario

family road trip

lake superior

We were able to stop and dip our toes in Lake Superior.  We thought we might be able to do this with the other Great Lakes, too, but it didn’t work out.

lake superior

lake superior

 

xoxo,
Alysa

 

 

 

World Breastfeeding Week – My Breastfeeding Story

5 Aug

my breastfeeding story

It’s World Breastfeeding Week this week!  There has been a lot in the media lately about breastfeeding (or, has there always been a lot in the media about breastfeeding all the time, and I’m only noticing it now because it actually applies to my life?) Anyway, I had been thinking about writing about my breastfeeding story for a while now, and figured that this week was a great time for me to do it!

I want to tell you that breastfeeding came easy for me.  When I was pregnant, I read the book “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” and I specifically remember getting to the section on troubleshooting and skipping it because the rest of the book made it seem like it was going to be this super natural thing that would come to both of us pretty quickly.  Babies know what to do, they’re meant to.  But it wasn’t easy.  Breastfeeding was really hard for us, especially at first.  When Autumn was first born, she was a very tired baby.  She was also pretty lazy.  She would immediately fall asleep as soon as I started feeding her.  And when it wasn’t that she was always falling asleep on the job, it was that we had a poor latch.  There were lots of times where breastfeeding really sucked, pun intended.

The falling asleep often meant that when she woke up, she was just hungry again.  There was a lot of cluster feeding in the first few days (which I’m told is actually very normal).  But, because we had a poor latch, it also meant that it REALLY HURT.  She didn’t have any teeth when she was born, but when we were having problems with latching, it felt like she had razor sharp teeth.  I can’t tell you how painful it was.  Luckily, there was an easy solution there with nipple cream, the kind with lanolin in it, which was a lifesaver (or nipple-saver, as it were).  Also, we had a few days of breastfeeding strikes.  Those are SO frustrating.  I was literally leaking milk, but Autumn wouldn’t take any.  Luckily, it only lasted a day each time it happened… but I couldn’t believe how she refused it, and then cried more because she was so hungry.  Babies, man. They’re super weird.

Then, came the weight issues.  This is still really hard for me to talk about.  When Autumn was born, she was in the 50th percentile for weight.  At just over one month old, our doctor didn’t think that she had gained enough weight.  Then, the next day, Autumn had actually gone down a little bit in weight, which is not anything you ever want to see, so we got referred to a pediatrician.  This was the worst thing that we could have done.  Despite the fact that every single time after that, Autumn was ALWAYS bigger and ALWAYS gaining weight, it was never enough for this doctor.  This doctor talked to us like we were stupid, and like we were starving our daughter on purpose.  She just kept saying that Autumn needed more to eat, but then told me that I should only breastfeed her every three hours, and give her formula in between.  I didn’t agree with that at all.  I had no problem with breastfeeding my daughter as often as she wanted to be fed.  It was frustrating to not have that support from someone who was supposed to know what they were talking about.

And every time we saw this doctor, Autumn had gained weight.  The numbers were always going in the right direction, little by little.  At my two month follow up with my own doctor, she said that Autumn is probably just a small baby.  And that’s exactly true!  We ended up being referred to a different pediatrician.  The new ped told us that Autumn’s weight was good for her height.  I saw her one other time, and Autumn had gained enough that we could go back to our family doctor from then on out.  Our family doctor agreed that Autumn is a small baby, but that she looks perfect.  She was exclusively breastfed from when she was 3 months old until when she was 6 months old, when we started solids.  We are still going strong. Every time we get to another month, that is another major milestone for us.  Additionally, we went from going to see a doctor every single week, to not seeing a doctor for two months, and now, we are not required to go see our doctor until Autumn is one, unless something comes up.  It’s huge for us that we don’t have to go to doctors that often anymore!

There were so many times in there where I almost wanted to quit.  I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore because it was so hard.  Autumn will be 9 months old on Friday, and I can’t believe that we made it this far.  I am very grateful that we did make it this far!  Breastfeeding is something that I love doing.  I love that I am able to care for my daughter in this way, and it is so important to me.

There’s a lot that this experience has taught me.  I think one of the biggest ones is, if your doctor isn’t supporting you in your breastfeeding goals, you can find a new doctor! You don’t need to continue to see a doctor who treats you poorly.  That best decision we made was no longer seeing the pediatrician who made us feel bad about the way we were parenting our daughter.  It was so hard at first, and it was  hard for a decent amount of time, but it did get better.  When I look at my daughter, though, I know it was all worth it.

xoxo,
Alysa

Happy Terry Fox Day!

3 Aug

Happy Terry Fox Day!  We just got back from our road trip yesterday, and the August Long Weekend’s new official day (in Manitoba) was great news to come home to!

Our trip was a lot of fun.  Lots of highlights, lots of things to talk about.  But that’s it’s own post ;)  For now, though, I just have to talk about that photo up there.  My gem of a find at the thrift store I went to in Burlington, Ontario.  I had been looking for Dream Phone for years.  YEARS!  I haven’t played it in years either.  I couldn’t believe it when I found it!  I’m still so jazzed about it.  AND, the bonus is, all the pieces are there and it actually still works!  Love it!

Here are some other things making me happy this week:

  1. Terry Fox Day!
    It’s too good and I love it.  There’s more information about Terry Fox and about the decision in the link :)
  2. What to do with a baby
    This post is very informative.
  3. 44 Signs that you should wear a crop top
    One of the most important being “because you want to.”
  4. If Disney Princesses were Moms
    These are so freaking cute.  I love them so much!  My favourite is how Rapunzel is shown with no kids in the picture, because she’s a free-range parent.  It’s too good.
  5. Kristen Bell is the best
    This story made me ugly cry tbh.  She’s just such a sweetheart <3

Have a great week!

xoxo,
Alysa

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