DIY- Fairy in a Cage

I have been finding so many little diy house projects while browsing pinterest, but have not had the time to pick up the needed supplies for all of these great crafts that I seem to think I can do!


Stranded with no supplies, I was desperate to be creative!!  I am in no way a crafty person, but have been needing some sort of outlet these days while my basement is in construction mode.


As I sat in my living room wondering what I could do with just the items I have lying around, I spotted this birdcage I’ve had for a couple of years (I think purchased at Homesense).


It has awkwardly been sitting on a shelf, not tied to any decor theme; it was lonely.  Yet I just love its classic look, so I started brainstorming!

My daughter’s room is nature themed- soft pinks with white and beige neutrals, and a lot of wildlife! Owls, rabbits, deer, all of the woodland creatures.

She was also given an adorable fairy statue from her grandmaman (my mother in law) and I hadn’t figured out how to display it yet in her room.

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A little side story- every year my mother in law makes a little fairy garden in her yard each spring.  Filled with little lights, fairies- it is so cute and magical.  Her and I have always bonded over our fascination of fairies.  This year Norah will be helping with the garden, so we are both excited for the tradition to continue!

 

That’s when I figured out what to make! A little cage for her fairy statue!  I had the letter N from a failed craft (I warned you that I am not crafty), some twine, a few little butterflies from my baby shower two years ago, and the statue!


It didn’t take much to make this, and when I hung it from a hook in my daughter’s room, it really added to the magical woodland feel!

Now, each time Norah walks in her room, she looks up and says, “wowwwww!” with gleaming eyes and it just warms my heart.   (Let’s ignore the fact that “wow” is one of her favourite phrases for anything right now…. lol)

Until next time!! xx

Epsom Salts Bath-is there a purpose?

I don’t know if it is the weather, my increase in work outs, or just that I am getting older, but my body is a lot more achy than it used to be! So I started to research ways to relieve muscle pains and I found Epsom salts!  This salt is actually a mineral that contains magnesium and is named after a town in England called Epsom, where it is found in its natural springs.  (note:Magnesium has multiple benefits including the relief of chronic pain)

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Epsom salts have been used throughout time as a laxative when ingested, and today are used for things like sitz baths and aiding the removal of a sliver. epsom

In the past, I had used Epsom salts for an ingrown toenail and it worked really well!   It relieved some pressure and kept the infection down- although the antibiotics helped with the majority of the healing.

A lot of articles suggested that it is a great detox tool as well.  By soaking in an Epsom salts bath, the magnesium seeps through the skin and detoxifies our body.  This got me really intrigued.  As I continued to research, I began to find many controversies about whether it has been scientifically proven or if this is a folk remedy passed down through generations.(never read the first thing you see on the internet!)


So the question still remains, can Epsom salts detoxify and  heal aching muscles while soaking in a bath?

The more research I did, the more discouraged I got.  It all came down to this question- can this mineral actually absorb through the skin?  A lot of articles said no due to the fact that our skin has a protective barrier that blocks the minerals from absorbing. 

There was one research study done proving it can be absorbed however it was never published therefore technically not proven (a lot of websites base their theory on the benefits of Epsom salts on this study). 

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ABC news released an article in 2015 –The Truth About Epsom Salts -stating that epsom salts only provide a placebo affect due to lack of research.

I also found this article, Does Epsom Salt Work?, that has a more scientific approach on why the baths do not detoxify.

Unfortunately the conclusion is that an Epsom salts bath does not actually HEAL aching muscles and it has not been scientifically proven yet that it is an actual detox method.

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This being said, there have been many personal testimonies of these baths being healing both physically and mentally. 

 
So I had a few Epsom salts baths to test these theories for myself.  The Epsom salts forced me to relax in a bath for longer than I probably would make time for which allowed me to relieve stress.  I was so focused on allowing the salts to work, that I would read, listen to music, whatever it took to stay in the bath!   It basically lowered my stress levels, which made me feel healthier and happier!  


Another benefit I noticed was that my skin improved-the severity of my psoriasis had lessened.  Again, this could be due to the lower stress levels (stress is so harmful for our bodies!)

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I found some personal health benefits by taking these baths, so you decide! Does an Epsom Salts Bath heal you? xx

 

 

 

 

 

Talking Out loud

I did not have enough room in my last blog post to discuss the second part of my realization when it comes to my anxiety, so here it is.  and this is really important to me.

So, recap- I have been practicing my CBT and have continued my daily practices that help relieve my anxiety.  But there is another part- one that I did not realize its impact until the other night!Managing-Anxiety-e1429200253965.jpg

As I mentioned before, my anxiety was starting to get out of control and taking over my life.  This happens every once in awhile.  I have an anxiety disorder and I have depressive episodes that deeply impact my life.

Two years ago, i suffered prenatal depression and it was one of my toughest depressive episodes to go through.  To be blessed with a baby and not know why you cannot be happy is indescribable-a horrible feeling.

This past month I could feel my anxiety overwhelming me.  I had to do something because I have been in the darkest places and I just did not want to get to that point- or it was going to affect my job, my home, my life.

While talking with my doctor, I felt a sense of relief- just for the 5 minutes that I saw him and talked about how I was feeling.  My husband and I communicate well and often- so I am not necessarily bottling things in- but talking to someone else in public was different to me.  I hadn’t done it since I had seen my counselor 6 years ago.


When I got home, I had noticed a friend of mine had started up a blog about mental health awareness.   A safe place to discuss mental health with people who are going through the same things I was going through!   This was a whole new experience for me.   I have discussed with doctors, psychologists, but not with a support group of peers.
I have to say this was a missing piece to working through my anxiety!  To hear that I am not the only one is extremely comforting, as I often feel alone with this illness.   To hear what others do to manage this is extremely inspiring.  I realized that even though I have tools, I should not stop learning!   There are so many coping methods and tools out there, and I am learning new ones every day!manageanxiety.png

Most importantly, this blog gave me a whole new sense of strength and empowerment.  My friend encouraged others to voice any of their coping methods on the blog.  I thought ‘I have so many, I can do this!’, without realizing how scary it is to actually speak about this to others!   I was anxious (inevitably) but I recorded myself saying a few jotted thoughts on how I have been managing my anxiety and sent it off.8-Reasons-You-Why-You-Should-Join-a-Circle-of-Women-Photo3.jpg

I thought I had accepted my anxiety disorder- but after talking out loud, I feel like my life changed and I am in full acceptance and awareness.  I am really happy with who I am, and I feel stronger today than I did yesterday. xx

*Follow my friend’s blog on instagram:  lins.letstalk

 

 

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One of those days..

So, the past couple of weeks were a rough few weeks- for me.   My struggles may not seem tough to others, and I know many people who are unbearably suffering which I cannot even compare my issues to, but to me-I was having one of those days/weeks/months.

on-emptyI am surrounded by so many good people- husband, friends, family, my adorable daughter.  However, when one thing after another starts to pile up and merge into one big messy ball of stress, it is hard for me to escape my anxious mind and see the good and to be happy around my loved ones.

It wasn’t until two things happened that made me realize what I need to focus on.  One was an incident this past week, and the other was my friend’s blog (I will get to that in my next blog!)
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So let’s rewind: I am feeling so overwhelmed, in tears, cannot concentrate on anything- so I try to recognize I need to take a breath, and book a day off from work, an actual mental health day.   A chance for me to refresh my mind and regroup.   As I walk in the door after work the day before my day off, I arrive to a burst water pipe and my entire basement damaged due to water.

Warning- incoming panic attack!!!   There I am, husband still at work, my daughter crying because I had put her down to rush and turn the water off, staring at a massive mess and I swear I lost my breath for a moment.panic_attack

I thought- this is it.  my world is ending.  This pipe bursting was a metaphor of my mind too full of worries to be able to handle anything else!  That is how my anxious mind works.flooded-house
I love to cook, but I think that night, my daughter ate cookies and kraft dinner and went to bed late as we all cleaned up the mess best we could.   Everything out of routine- my life reflecting my mess of a mind.  I was losing my ability to mother, to be a team with my husband, to be MYSELF.   This was NOT good.common-symptoms-of-panic-attack1

Yet, this situation actually saved me!   This happening forced me to face my anxiety because I had no other choice.  I couldn’t just go hide in my room and close the world off.  I had to use my CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) to realize that the water damage was not the end of the world.  The worst case scenario did not happen- we are all alive, the house is still standing, and it is just the basement that needs to be restored. So we made a claim with our insurance.   It was a good refresher course in practicing my CBT to go through that mental process.

After that, I have been dealing with all the minor stresses one day at a time- doing yoga, less phone time (technology makes it very hard to live in the moment, one day at a time) and getting extra creative with my cooking (it brings me joy, honestly- i just love it).  Last night, with a bare cupboard, I made tuna-stuffed sweet potato skins and they were delicious!IMG_2953[1].JPG

Sometimes when we think we cannot handle any more, we are given even more to realize that we are strong and can take on any situation with the right mindset!!

I have another blog to follow this, as there was an even more important realization going on during this time. stay tuned! xx

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Tomato Soup 🍅

Well, it is that time of year.  Christmas holidays are over, and the wait for spring has begun!   The season of blankets, fires, bulky socks, warm drinks, and cozy food! 

This is when I really bulk cook and stock the freezers.  Things like stew, chili, spaghetti sauce, shepard’s pie, lasagna.. and soups!    Soups are perfect as this is the season of colds, and they are also handy for quick meals on the days I just don’t feel like cooking!

I experimented a bit and came up with a dairy free tomato soup yesterday that I thought I would share!

Ingredients:

handful of spinach, chopped

chicken broth

1 onion

minced garlic

teaspoon of olive oil

can of diced tomatoes

carrot chopped

2 cups of cauliflower

1 teaspoon of basil

1/2 teaspoon of oregano

dash of pepper

dash of Himalayan salt

1/2 teaspoon of sugar

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1. tossed in the spinach, onion, and garlic with some olive oil into bottom of the pot and cooked on medium-high until onion and garlic slightly brown

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2. Throw in the diced tomatoes, carrot (chopped), cauliflower, the spices and sugar and bring to a boil.

3. Throw in the 2 chopped tomatoes (adds a more fresh tomato flavour) and let it simmer for a couple of hours

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4.  Puree (I use my immersion hand blender) to the texture of your liking.  As I pureed, I tasted to ensure it was the flavour I want.  This is a time you could add more spices and let simmer even longer.

5. Pour in bowl, and enjoy!!  (I like to stir in a bit of parmesan cheese)  MMM!

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My favourite soup yet!!!   Enjoy!   xx

The Anxious Extrovert

So, this blog is a little more personal than usual, but since one of the helpful tools for my anxiety is to write things out, here I am.

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I know many introverts in my life (including my husband).   A lot of my loved ones are introverts- some with anxiety, some without.  Regardless, I have always been a little bit jealous of how non-reliant they are on the outer world.

I am an extrovert-the complete opposite.   I love to communicate through talking,  I feel energized after socializing, I solve problems by discussing them, and I am just a very open person as a whole.i-am-what-i-am

I have not had too many issues being an extrovert with my introverted friends and family.  I’ve learnt a lot from introverts and admire their qualities-they tend to analyze alone and I feel that causes them to be more in tune with themselves.*note: this is more of an observation than a fact about introverts*

I think the issue I am having these days lies within myself- being an extrovert with an anxious mind.busy-mind

It causes me to crave socialization and people.  Yet also to question friendships, to overthink what I say in conversations, to obsessively worry of my mannerisms, and to become insecure.  Being an insecure extrovert is a really difficult combination.   Wanting to be surrounded by people, yet second guessing myself constantly is completely exhausting on the mind.tired

I imagine my mannerisms as an anxious extrovert can be overwhelming to any introvert- who processes internally and keeps to themselves.   I come off as perhaps overbearing or too assertive when wanting to talk about any issue (and unfortunately, sometimes the issue has grown 10 times bigger in my head in a matter of hours).overthink

This is a very hard battle that I struggle with.  I find it puts me in a very isolated category.  I am not an extrovert, yet not an introvert.  I am not wanting to be alone, yet feel very alone.  This has affected a lot of my relationships with people who may not understand my struggle.

There is hope though!  As I have been researching this about myself in the past 10 years, I do realize what my triggers are, and what I can do to help myself through these battles.working-progress

Here is what I have found helpful for an anxious extrovert:

Counselling:   this is just a must if you haven’t tried it.  I learnt so many tools and so much about myself, my anxiety, and my triggers through my counselor.  I am forever grateful for her.   And the good news is- you can go back whenever you feel you need a refresher or a little extra help!

Journaling: This is very important for an extrovert with anxiety.  This gets all of the worries and obsessive/negative thoughts out of your head and onto the paper.    It is the closest thing to talking through your issues with someone.   Once I have everything written down, my head is a lot more clear!

Exercise/Meditation:  I try to do yoga daily  and walk my dogs as often as I can.  The blend of fresh air, meditation, doing something for someone else (my dogs) and exercise is the perfect mix.

Eating Healthy:  I have really switched gears with my nutrition.  I eat healthier food, take more vitamins, and really focus on what is good for my body and mind!  I love my treats (wine and popcorn to name a few) but I am really focused on creating a balance.

Those are the main helpful tools I have discovered throughout the years.  That, and to always surround yourself with positive, supportive people!

Lots of love, T.   xx

 

 

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Raclette- best dinner party ever!

Over the holidays, I went to my parents house, who live a couple of hours away.  My poor husband had to work a lot that week, so I went over with my daughter, so she could have fun with her cousins over the break.   It is always so much fun getting together with my family!  There is always a nice balance of chaos and laughs when we are all under one roof-especially at dinner time. (Our family often relates to the movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation)blue-suit-seventh-outfit-mid_randy-quaid_national-lampoons-christmas-vacation-001

Trying to feed the kids (some in highchairs still) and ourselves at the same time, there is never room for adult conversation.   It just becomes a mission: feed the kids as fast as we can, keep them focused (always hard when they are overtired from the excitement) and shovel food into your own mouths if we are lucky!  dinner-table-argument-cartoon

One night, we decided to feed the kids early and wait until they were in bed before we had our special “adult dinner”.  My mom and dad introduced us to Raclette- a grill set where you melt cheese and grill meats and veggies right on the dining room table.  The concept is like fondue-everyone sits around and you cook your own food- but I found this to be a lot more fun!10468838_1

There were all kinds of meats and veggies, different types of cheeses, baguettes, and a pickle tray all set around the table.  We poured our wine, sat down, and began!  While the meats and veggies grilled on the top, we used the bottom tray dishes to melt our cheese.  While everything cooked, we just chatted and had a lot of laughs, flipping things around every once in awhile.

We started to get creative too- grilling pickles, beets, and at the end of the dinner, my brother in law grilled some apples, which were delicious!!

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There are so many themes you could have for a Raclette party- mexican, brazilian, etc- and have many dipping sauces and liquors to compliment the theme and foods!

I hope to post our own hosted Raclette dinner in the near future- I already cannot wait to start planning.. stay tuned!!  xx

 

 

 

Brussel Sprouts Dish (with Chicken)

As I was prepping chicken nachos last night (trying to use up left over rotisserie chicken), I was trying to think of how to make this a bit healthier, a bit more green.

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I put the usual chicken, salsa, cheese on nacho chips in the oven (for my husband) and then decided to make something up for myself!

I am on a brussel sprouts kick right now, so I knew I wanted to incorporate those!  Brussel sprouts are very low in calories and high in nutrients.   They are high in protein, and meet your vitamin C and K for the day with one serving.  They are known for lowering the risks of cancer, managing diabetes, reducing wrinkles, and improving skin texture!(just to name a few)images

So here is a meal I came up with (as I am trying to expand my brussel sprout dishes):

Ingredients:

1/2 bag of frozen brussel sprouts

1 chicken breast, shredded

1/2-1 cup of garlic vinaigrette

1/4 cup of grated cheese

2 tablespoons of salsa

I took some brussel sprouts (frozen, which actually holds nutrients better than ‘fresh’ from grocery store) and chicken and fried them up in a pan on medium heat with some garlic vinaigrette.

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This Garlic Expressions brand is my all time favourite! I use it for everything..

Once the chicken and brussel sprouts were soft and browned, I added a bit of salsa and continued to fry, now on low heat.  I added grated cheddar cheese (next time I will try parmesan to switch it up) and let it melt, before pouring onto my plate!  Yum!

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The picture does not do the meal justice.  It was easy, fast, and tasted delicious!

Next time, I will try cutting the sprouts in half, to soak up more flavour.(I was in a hurry last night)

I think I MAY even be able to convince my husband to try it!

It is always fun experimenting in the kitchen!! xx

Reflection: Resolutions for 2017

img_26171I was trying to write a blog to reflect on my holidays over Christmas, and to try and transition it into the new year, but there are so many details that I could not possibly write them all out!  There were some rough moments with my family and friends-sickness, conflict, and hard emotions to face– but I started out the holiday telling myself to be positive, which allowed me to enjoy every single moment with my loved ones.

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I have faced many obstacles in 2016– personally, with my family, with my husband, with my work, with my friends- just as anyone has. I have recognized the breakthroughs and accepted any setbacks.  I am going to learn from these and take what I have learnt in 2016 and apply it to 2017.  I hope to increase my meditation, to slow life down to enjoy the little details, and to be positive and full of love.

 

There are 3 basic resolutions I would like to accomplish:  

  1.  STOP COMPLAINING.   I feel the world in this day and age complains more than we need to. I catch myself doing it all the time!   “that driver was too slow” “my throat hurts” “I’m so tired”  “I had to work late”

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I don’t want this to be the way I communicate anymore.  I have been truly inspired by a couple of people dear to my heart- whose lives consist of constant suffering- yet they have no complaints!  They just keep living.  By doing so, it is maximizing the value of their life here on earth!   So, I am going to try and stop complaining, and start living!

2. ATTEMPT BALANCE.  As a new working mom, I am really struggling with where to put my time and energy.  I know the solution is to create balance.  This will be a very hard challenge for myself.  It is a continuing task that is also linked to my anxiety and OCD.

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I am going to increase my meditation this year, because that keeps me focused.  It will slow me down and allow me to center myself and branch out to what I should be concentrating on.

3. SIMPLICITY.  This really ties into the balance portion of my resolutions.   The best way to balance is to simplify your life!  I hope to really minimize a lot of “things” around the house like clothes and other items not being used.  I hope to minimize my activities/focuses so I can have more open time for spontaneous adventures, date nights with my husband, and quality time with family and friends.  keep-it-simple-wallpaper

A simple life actually creates a full life if you think about it!!

So here is to 2017 being the start of a simple, balanced life full of positivity and love!!  May you all find peace in your lives this year.  xx

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