What I Wore: Girls Night Out

I haven't really done any fashion posts since I can't really say I'm ultra trendy or fashionable but I thought I would do a few posts about some items I found in Arizona.  It's so nice to buy clothes when you are away on a trip.  I find I'm more adventurous, it's a different selection and you can always find good deals.  

Friday evening I went out for a friends birthday to Chambar and Salt in Vancouver.  One, it's a big deal to have a girls night, two to go downtown and three get out of yoga pants and a ponytail.  I'm sure other mommy's can relate.  I enjoyed getting dressed up and trying out a new outfit.  I bought these black pants in Arizona by Lauren Conrad.  I really debated about buying them.  They weren't my usual style but I decided to take a chance.  And I'm so glad I did.  I got home and started seeing similar types of pants on celebrities on Instagram and Pinterest.  I concluded they were probably closest to a harem pant.  Maybe not a true harem pant with the ultra low inseam and mine don't have elastic on the pant leg cuff but they are baggy, pleated and narrow at the bottom.  I'm still playing around with tops but they are super comfortable and I can see myself getting lots of use from them this spring and summer season.  It's nice that they can be dressed up or down.  In the picture below, I paired it with a Forever 21 top and Old Navy faux snake skin flats. 
What I Wore: Lauren Conrad // Forever 21 // Old Navy
Love these Old Navy faux snake Skin flats
Found on Instagram and Pinterest.

Spring Break 2014: Vegas + Arizona

Spring break has come and gone.  It was a mixture of a wonderful vacation and time spent at home relaxing.  Our spring break was split into about three parts.

Part One// Vegas
We flew into Vegas Friday evening where my parents met us.  We stayed off the strip at a hotel called the Southpoint Hotel and Casino.  It was great to be out of the city and it had lot's of restaurants, a bowling alley, movie theatres and a beautiful pool.  Well worth the money.  We met up with family which was one of the major reasons we went.  Trevor had never been so it was a no brainer for him.  We spent the days checking out hotels, swimming, eating and doing some of the attractions.  We did the Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage.  The kids were more into the tigers for sure.  The dolphin show was ok.  We have an amazing aquarium right here in Vancouver so it really didn't compare.  The tigers however were a hit and we got to meet Siegfried.  He gave Oliver a quarter with a tiger sticker on it.  The other attraction we checked out was the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay.  You can probably see a trend = animals.  Oliver loves animals (as does Isla) so we knew we were pretty safe that they would have a good time.  It was quite small but had a cool Indian Jones temple kind of feel and the sharks were very amazing to see.  The kids also got to touch stingrays.  Trevor and I got out in the evenings to check out the hotels, eat at some great restaurants and met up with friends and family.  We didn't come back big winners but we had fun.

Part Two// Arizona
Trevor had to leave after the weekend to get back to work so I went to Arizona with the kids back to my parents Arizona home.  We did a mini road trip from Nevada to Arizona.  Didn't make any stops at the Hoover Dam or Grand Canyon but still a nice drive.  Our week in Arizona mainly consisted of swimming, shopping, eating and relaxing.  It was just what we needed.  The kids and I got some new summer clothes, I made many trips to Hobby Lobby (like 5 or 6), gained about 4 pounds from going out to eat and got a bit of colour.   Made some great memories and the kids were spoiled by Nana and Papa.

Part Three// Home
We still had six days left of spring break.  We were recovering from our trip so we took it easy.  We celebrated Trevor's birthday with friends with a dinner out and bingo.  Us crazy kids.  And dessert and monopoly with family the next evening.

While it was a nice break from the norm, it's always nice to get back into a routine.  Kids need it and so does mommy.   The sun is shining, Oliver was excited to see his friends at school and I'm welcoming a quiet house while Isla naps.

A few highlights of our vacation

oil pulling: jumping on the bandwagon

So I'm jumping on the bandwagon this week.  Yes, the oil pulling wagon.  It's been all over social media this week.  Not sure why but I've seen it posted on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.  If I was on Twitter, maybe there too.  I've heard about it before but never really tried it.  It seems strange to me but it claims to have many benefits so why not.  It's not going to hurt to give it a go.  Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised.  I just started this week so I can't claim any marvellous results but in a month I hope I will be able to report back some amazing things.  

What is oil pulling?  Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvdeic natural remedy for improved health.  It involves the use of pure oils to pull out harmful bacterial, fungus or other harmful organisms in your mouth, teeth or throat.

How do I do it?  Put 1 tablespoon of oil in your mouth, either sesame or coconut (I use coconut because it have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties). Swish around for 5-20 minutes.  When you are swishing it becomes toxic so don't swallow.  Make sure to spit it out in sink or toliet.  Rinse mouth a couple of times.

There are many benefits to oil pulling.  Here are a few:
: whitens teeth
: strengthens teeth, gums and jaw
: prevents cavities and gingivitis
: banishes bad breath
: relieves headaches
: helps you sleep better
: clears sinuses
: detoxifies the body

I must admit took a while to get used to it.  20 minutes is a long time but keep busy.  Do something to distract yourself.  Find a time that you can do it on a regular basis, either in the morning or at night.  I have sinus issues so I'm hoping this will help.

It's not glamourous that's for sure.

ramblings of lent, life and journal cards

So it's been a while since I've blogged.  For various reasons.  I've been focused on crafting and making for the Vintage and Revamped Furniture Market that I will participating in mid April.  It's my first one and it's a big one so I'm equally excited and nervous.  I guess I have to start somewhere.  My plan is to try a few different crafty items to test out the market and see what is a hit and where I should pursue my efforts.  I've come across some cool ideas that have my mind consumed by wood hoops, fabric, lace, twine, mason jars, etc.  

But in the middle of all this is remembering what my real priorities are.  I need to balance. With Trevor focused on applications and interviews for firefighting, life is to say the least abit hectic.  This is a crazy season for us and it too will pass.  I'm trying to take it in and come out of it full and thankful.  We know God has a plan for our family and praying for patience for a door to be open.  

Lent starts tomorrow.  40 days leading up to Easter.  I've been doing abit of research about it and what it means for me as a Christ follower.  It is almost like I want to ignore it or forget about it because it means sacrifice.  Giving up.  Discipline.  Not necessary bad things to practice but it's not our first things to want to sign up for.  I'm new to Ann Voskamp.  I'm just starting to read her book One Thousand Gifts.  I follow her on Facebook and try to visit her website.  I'm learning alot through her writing.  
She is doing a March Joy Dare.  I started March 1st and trying to document three things I'm grateful for everyday in March.  This helps me be intentional.  

Today, March 4: 3 Things Hard to Give Thanks For
1] Wonderful + loving family who live far and that I miss.
2] Uncertainty.  Patiently waiting for a door to be opened for Trevor.  
3] Parenting.  Some days are long and challenging.  Desire to do the best you can without guilt.

Even as I wrote this, I realized the things that are hard right now are passing.  Not to be focused on.  Maybe uncomfortable but not unbearable. 

I've really noticed a trend of gratitude and joy.  Especially when it comes to social media.  Maybe it's the pages I follow which are largely 'mommy' related.  Many of them focus of finding the good everyday and focusing upward.  I like this movement, if I can say that.  One of the pages I follow is Momastery by Glennon Doyle Melton.  She is candid, humorous and encouraging.  Yesterday she posted on lent and instead of giving something up, like the token coffee or chocolate or Facebook, she encouraged readers to give up ingratitude.  Like Ann, she suggests writing down three things you are grateful for forty days.  Gratitude = peace + joy really.  While we can't change our circumstances, let's change how we see our circumstances.  

I like what Ann Voskamp wrote on her blog about lent today:

Why doing Lent is what we need — because it leads us to Christ:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
-Ephesians 2:8,9

I'm not much a of a journaler mostly due to lack of time but I found these journal cards at Target.  I'm going to use these to document my combo project rolled into one: [forty days of gratitude for lent and thirty days of joy] on them.  Probably post them on my bedroom wall or mirror.  What I like about both of these women's way of doing lent is it isn't filled with guilt.  Fasting is hard.  Giving up something too extreme is hard.  Not that we shouldn't do hard things but I don't think God wants us to be set up for failure or feel guilt as we journey towards a deeper relationship with him.  I will forget to document somedays but that is ok.  It's about an experience not a requirement.  Along with journaling my gratitude, I need to slow down.  Re-focus.  Be still.  In his word and in prayer.

How are you going to journey closer to Jesus in the next 40 days?

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