Most Popular Blog Posts of 2017

It’s been another year! Last year I took a look at the most popular blog posts on Alysalovely.com from 2016, and I thought I’d do that again!  Here are the top 10 posts according to views from this past year:

10. Unwrap The Present Group Game
This post was from 2015 and was so fun to write!  I must be getting some views from Pinterest for this.  We didn’t end up playing it this past year, but it’s a favourite of ours.. and our friends!  It’s mostly fun to watch.  If you haven’t played, you should definitely give it a try.  I think one of the reasons we didn’t do it this year is because we don’t get any flyers, so we wouldn’t have anything to wrap it with!  I love this game though.

9. 10 Life Lessons from Nanny Fine
This post is from 2013 and it was so much fun.  I really enjoyed watching through all of The Nanny.  I don’t think it’s on Canadian Netflix anymore (it might have only been on American one to begin with) but it was a great watch.  If you have access to it, you should definitely watch it!  It has a lot of great moments. 🙂

8. What to Watch on Netflix If You’re Salty About Degrassi
This post IS from 2017!  I am still grumpy that it took forever for the new episodes to appear on Canadian Netflix when it was on American Netflix (and most other ones) right away.  Degrassi is SET in Canada.  It’s SO ridiculous that it took so long.  Grr.  Still salty, apparently.

7. March Five on Friday
This particular 5 on Friday was randomly very popular. I don’t know why, but great! Haha I hope to do more if these this year.

6. fun gender reveals
This is from 2014. And I was pretty bummed my baby was very secretive about it. I don’t think I did any of these for Aiden either. *note: these ideas are just for fun. We know nothing about the little beings growing in our belly, so having a small piece can be exciting. If you don’t agree with gender reveals that’s fine too! 😘

5. Parenting With Grace and Truth Review
This is from 2017 as well! I really enjoyed reading this book, and I’m glad that this post was so popular this year, and that people are still reading it now.

4. Toddler & Baby Friendly Cookies
This is from 2017 too! I really liked making these with my kids, and they enjoyed eating them! I’m glad others enjoyed it too.

3. DIY Thank You Gift for your Midwife
This post is from 2016. This mug got raves from other midwives, that my midwife called me to ask where I got it. I love how it turned out.

2. My Clueless Birthday Party
This is from 2015, and a super fun party!

1. Baby Cereal Muffins
This is also from 2015. Another recipe! I’m so glad people seem to like the recipes I share!

4/10 of these were actually from 2017, which is interesting. I would say I didn’t write tons this past year, so here’s planning for some more posts this year ❤️

Xoxo,

Alysa

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2018: Simplify

For the last couple of days, I’ve been trying to think about what goals and resolutions I want to focus on this year, and I’ve been trying to figure out my word.  Other years, it has felt like it has come easy to me.. that I just know what I want my word to be all through the last week of the year, and it’s been easy to write about.

So, today I sat down to really think about it.  And as I thought, and as I looked to other words for inspiration.. it became really obvious to me.

Over the last few months, I have become really interested in the minimalist lifestyle, and the concept of hygge (which is Danish and basically means “cozy contentment and enjoying the simple things in life”).  I’ve been slowly trying to rid myself of baggage, and things that weigh me down over the last few months.  Whether it’s clutter, or emotions.  I’m trying not to let things get to me as much (and this is a huge work in progress haha).  I also tend to overthink things, and stress over things that, ultimately, don’t matter all that much.

So, my word for 2018 is simplify.  Stop over-thinking.  Declutter.  Simplify!

What is your word for the year?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Five on Friday!

01 // May Market
I know it might seem like I’m talking about this quite a bit, but I am SO excited to share with you what I have in store for this months market! This month, it’s going to be TODAY AND TOMORROW!!  There are going to be a lot of Easter-y goodness in the market, and from Alysalovely Littles: BUNNY BONNETS!  I have three colours to choose from <3 Join the May Market group here!

02 // Pink eye
UGHHHHH.  THE WORST! What could be less fun than trying to give a squirmy, screaming toddler eye drops?  I can think of few things.  Last Thursday, Autumn woke up and could barely open her eyes because there was so much gunk there.  I felt so bad for her.  Her eyes were all puffy and pink.  I had a feeling that it might be pink eye.  So I did some research online to see.  I found that if it was pink eye, that it was likely bacterial, so we would need to go get some drops for her, with a prescription.  So, we bundled all up and walked to the walk-in clinic that is around the corner of our house.  The doctor looked at her for 1 second and said “yep, it’s pink eye” and we’ve been giving her eye drops.  She had to have them 3 times a day for 7 days, and thankfully, it’s all gone now.  But eye drops and toddlers do not mix.  Kind of like wrestling an alligator while trying to give said alligator a root canal.  NOT FUN! So glad it’s over.  And so glad she’s feeling better, poor thing.

03 // Decluttering for Lent/ 40 Bags in 40 Days
I have been MAJORLY slacking on this.  I have decluttered a few areas of the house, but I haven’t done it daily.  It’s been not that high of a priority, but at least I have it started a little.  I think I’m going to take it a little more casually for the rest of Lent and see how many bags I actually get.  I feel like I have a few bags in each area, so maybe that’ll make up for it?

04 // Buffy
Been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer again lately.  It just celebrated 20 years since the premiere, and that makes me feel ridiculously old… but it’s still so good! I’ve heard rumours that it is being taken off of Netflix in April, so I’m watching as much of it as I can before then.  It’s just so good

05 // Spring!
It’s finally getting to be nicer weather outside, and I’m SO happy.  There’s still a ton of snow on the ground in our yard, so we’re spending time in our enclosed porch.. but the kids love to play in there and it’s sunny and warm, so it’s perfect.  What are you most excited for about Spring?

xoxo,
Alysa

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5 on Friday!

01 // BUNNIES!
I’ve been hustling around here lately, trying to make something new to add to my etsy shop, Alysalovely Littles, and I’m so excited to say that these adorable bunny bonnets are listed!  You can check them out at the link just there <3

02 // Our poor dishwasher
Our dishwasher has been broken for over a week, and I know this is a #firstworldproblem but I miss it so much! I end up, usually, doing dishes multiple times per day, and so this is crazy annoying.  It makes me not want to do any dishes ever, which is not helpful at all, and more irritating.  But we’re getting a new one.. eventually.

03 // Riverdale
Are you watching Riverdale? Because YOU SHOULD! It’s SO GREAT!  It’s different from the comics, so if you’re expecting that it’s going to be exactly like the comics, you’ll be disappointed. But I love who they picked to play each character, and I just love it in general.  My fave new show for sure.

04 // Naptime
Y’all. Both my babies are taking naps during afternoon nap time and it is refreshing!  I get some time to myself and it’s amazing.  I hope it keeps up for a while.

05 // 40 Bags in 40 Days
Instead of doing my usual April Decluttering Challenge, I’m going to do this 40 bags in 40 days thing for Lent!  It’s so nice because while it does last a little longer, you also get breaks.  I’m not doing super great at it, but I’m trying.. and I think that is the important part 😉

What’s new with you this week?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Life Lately…

It’s been so busy around here lately.  There’s been so much going on, and I swear that these last few months have been on fast forward.  Of course it’s gonna feel like that, because it’s already March.  The last few months of a baby’s first year always seem to go by super fast, it’s science.

We’ve been doing a lot of things lately, and it’s been a lot of fun.   As I updated yesterday, Aiden has been crawling more and more, and getting into things.  It’s so much fun to see how curious he is about his surroundings.  Of course, that means that I need to get back on top of cleaning up.. because there’s nothing so talented and magical as a baby to find the one spec that you missed sweeping.  Oh well, it’ll build his immune system, right? 😉

We are a one vehicle household, and usually I don’t get to use the car, but lately, we’ve been able to!  So we did a bunch of different things as a little family during the day.  We went to the new Save On Foods, and it is fantastic.  We went to the Children’s Museum, which was a lot of fun.  We were also able to go visit friends during the day.  It’s nice to be able to get out and do things during the day, though it’s also a little nutty.  Luckily, for the most part, it’s been warmer lately, so Autumn will actually walk to the car.  It’s sooooo nice that she’s finally on board with the snow… you know, just as it’s about to be gone haha

The beginning of March, I had the May Market on facebook, and so I was working toward that a lot.  I’m also in general working on creating more bonnets for my etsy shop.  I’m excited to share the bonnets I’ve made!  Watch the shop, new things will be listed soon!

Otherwise, I’ve been working on my temperature blanket.  It’s nice to have a little bit of something to do every day.  I am pretty sure that my technique is improving, too.

What have you been up to lately? <3

xoxo,
Alysa

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10 Things I Hate About WINTER

I know, every blogger is always going on about how much they love Autumn.  Fall is the best.  Winter, especially winter after Christmas has passed, is the worst!  Here are my least favourite things about winter:

01 // EVERYTHING IS STATIC!
I have fairly long hair.  Long, thin hair.  So anything that has static reacts to my hair.  I get it caught in zippers, I get it caught in car doors.  It’s really annoying.  I’m shocking people left, right & centre.  My clothes are filled with static electricity.  EVERYTHING is.  AH. It’s so annoying

02 // All the LAYERS
In order to go anywhere, you need a coat, you need mittens, you need a hat, you need a scarf.  Your children need all these things.  Once you get places, you have to figure out where to put all these things so you can be comfortable inside.  It’s exhausting to think about. Plus, it’s all filled with static.

03 // How long it takes to go anywhere
Since we need soo many layers, it takes a billion years to get a baby and a toddler ready to go anywhere.  One Billion Years.  And, if I’m by myself, it takes TWICE that!  Plus, getting the car seats safely ready to go.  It’s a lot.  And all of it.. staticky.

04 // Ice Ice Baby
The world is ice outside.  If we had a smaller vehicle I would DEFINITELY want studded tires for it.  It’s so scary when you can’t stop your car!

05 // Everyone is grumpy
Everyone is grumpy because they take a billion years to get ready to go anywhere, and there’s static, and ice and cold. 😉

06 // It’s dark ALL THE TIME
I know it’s technically starting to get dark later now, but it still feels like it’s dark SO early!  There’s a comic where a mom is asking if it’s midnight because it feels like midnight, and it’s only 5:00.  I know that feel.

07 // Snow
My daughter hates the snow, so it makes it less enjoyable for me, too.  Plus, there’s just so much of it this year.  Do we really NEED more? (no)

08 // Fruit is more expensive
We have to buy foreign fruits so it’s more expensive to buy at the grocery store! The worst.

09 // All the effort
If the path hasn’t been shovelled, which..let’s be real.. it hasn’t, that means that it takes so much extra effort to walk across a short distance.  When I was actively using My Fitness Pal to track my exercise and calories, I always felt a little ripped off by it in the winter because my simple ~10 minute walk~ of a few blocks actually burned up WAYY more calories than normal.  I felt like it didn’t take off enough.  I don’t track it anymore, but I still feel like I’ve put forth a lot more effort when I have to walk through almost knee high snow.

10 // The COLD
I don’t know if you knew this… but I live in Winnipeg, which often gets referred to as WINTERpeg.  It gets pretty darn cold here.  It is often colder here than it is on Mars.  And that is a fact.  It’s too cold to do anything.  LUCKILY, my favourite winter activity is staying in and cozying up with a hot beverage. 😉 I mean.. this week isn’t soo bad, but last week. yikes!

So, there you go.  A very annoyed persons list of horrible things in winter.  If you want a more optimistic post, check out my post from last year: 5 Things to do to Beat the January Blues

xoxo,
Alysa

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Church Retreat at Camp Cedarwood

church retreat

This past weekend, we were able to get out of the city and go totally off the grid, to spend time with our church community at Camp Cedarwood here in Manitoba.

We’ve been going to our new church for a few months now, and it was so nice to get to know a few more of the people who go to church with us.  There’s only so much time on a Sunday morning, and all summer we’ve been busy pretty much every weekend, so this was such a great opportunity for us.

Plus, it was absolutely beautiful out there! It was so great to be able to worship together, and just be in community all weekend long, without any distractions.

Hope you had an excellent weekend, too!

xoxo,
Alysa

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Fun Holidays to Celebrate in September

Fun Holidays to Celebrate in September

Last month I shared some of the fun little “holidays” that people can celebrate in August, and I thought I’d do it again this month.  These are totally real holidays that everyone should observe.. especially Wife Appreciation day and Ice Cream Cone Day 😉

Here are the fun holidays that you can celebrate in September:

September 1: Letter Writing Day
September 2: Lazy Moms Day
September 3: World Beard Day and International Vulture Awareness Day
September 4: Pet Rock Day
September 5: Cheese Pizza Day and Be Late For Something Day
September 6: Read a Book day
September 7: Buy a Book day and Salami Day
September 8: Iguana Awareness Day and Literacy Day
September 9: Teddy Bear Day and Wonderful Weirdos Day
September 10: World Suicide Prevention Day
September 12: Video Games Day and Chocolate Milk Shake Day
September 13: Roald Dahl Day
September 15: International Dot Day and Make a Hat Day
September 17: International Eat An Apple Day and Apple Dumpling Day
September 18: Cheeseburger Day and Wife Appreciation Day
September 19: Talk Like A Pirate Day, yarr
September 21: International Day of Peace
September 22: Hobbit Day and Ice Cream Cone Day
September 25: Comic Book Day
September 26: Batman Day
September 28: Drink Beer Day
September 29: World Heart Day

What day will you be celebrating this month?

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2 Questions to ask yourself before putting on the bikini

2 questions to ask yourself before putting on the bikini

She was afraid to come out of the locker, she was as nervous as she could be.
She was afraid to come out of the locker, she was scared that somebody would see…

You know the song.  The Itsy-Bitsy-Teeny-Weeny Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini.  It was the first time she wore it out in public and it’s clear from the lyrics that she was NOT comfortable, and she didn’t want anyone to look at her.  In the 1960’s, when the song came out, bikini’s were just starting to come into popularity and the song actually boosted their popularity among mainstream culture.  After that, everyone “needed”
to have one. Even people who didn’t like them felt that they had to wear them.  That is not ideal though!

It’s halfway through the summer, but the pressure to don a bikini is still pretty strong. Before you put on a bikini this summer, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Do I want to wear a bikini?
  2. Am I comfortable in a bikini?

If the answer to either of these questions is a big giant NO!! then don’t wear one. If you feel comfortable in a bikini, and you WANT to wear a bikini, you should totally wear one!  Otherwise, don’t spend your time on the beach hiding in the locker, under a blanket or in the water.  That’s no fun!

Every year, without fail, there are articles and magazine covers that scream “How to get a bikini body” or “Are you beach body ready?” and when it comes down to it, if your body is at the beach you have a beach body.  If your body is in a bikini, you have a bikini body.  If you don’t want to go to the beach or wear a bikini, that’s okay too! Do what will make you happy and comfortable. You will enjoy your summer more by far if you are comfortable 😉

xoxo,
Alysa

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How to make frequent doctor visits with your baby easier

how to make frequent doc visits with your baby easier

Autumn was a small baby, and she’s still a pretty small toddler.  She’s healthy and growing, which is the important thing anyway, but at first the doctors we saw were concerned with her slow growth.  And so, we got to go see the doctor fairly often.  At first, we were going every week.. then it became every other week, and it was such a wonderful thing to hear when our doctor said “see you in 6 months when she’s a year old.”

Since we were going to the doctor so often, we became almost experts at making the visits easier on us.  Here are some of the ways that we made doctors visits easier:

  1. Dress the baby in a sleeper
    Chances are the doc is going to want you to strip your baby down to their diaper at some point in the visit. The little outfits are so cute but they’re also a little trickier to put on and take off.  It’s faster and easier to put on and take off a sleeper.  Plus, then your baby will be warm and happy sooner. Then you can put the cute little outfit on when you get home and leave it on for the rest of the day … or the next diaper change 😉
  2. Be ready for any kind of parking situation
    Depending on where the doc’s office is, you might have to pay for parking, or walk a long distance, or both. You may have to move your car after two hours or go to plug the metre. Being ready with a bunch of change and being prepared to move your vehicle if needed when you get there will take away some of the stress from the visit.
  3. Plan the appointments for around the same time
    Though it’s hard to get a newborn baby onto a real routine, it does help if you have a vague routine.. at least for your sanity.  So having your appointments at roughly the same time every time you go will mean that it’ll become part of your routine and you’ll be more ready for it than if it’s random.  For example, when Autumn was a newborn, we got a lot of good sleep in the mornings together.  So, when the doctor had us come in at 7:30am, it threw off our whole day and I got accused of looking terrible and not taking care of myself (our doctor was a real peach).  When we switched the appointment to 11:00am instead, it meant that Autumn and I got to have our morning sleep, and our doctor said I looked MUCH better (gee thanks).
    Additionally, since we were going due to weight issues, going at the same time every time meant that the weight was more accurate (in my opinion).
  4. Bring moral support
    Not only is is good to have a second set of ears,  but sometimes you need to advocate for yourself and your child, and having someone else there can help with that.  There are many reasons why you might be needing additional doctors visits, and doctors don’t know everything.  If something doesn’t seem right to you, it might not be.  So another person there to also ask questions can be hugely helpful.
  5. Treat yo’self
    Doctors visits can be hard, and having a sick child sucks.  We would stop by Starbucks on the way home and get a little pick-me-up.  Just a small way to boost your spirits after a potentially crappy visit.  Alternatively, it was a nice “reward” for having an excellent visit.  Either way, treat yo’self!! It helps and it’s an excellent form of self care.

What are other ways to make frequent doctors visits easier?

xoxo,
Alysa

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