2015 in Review

IMG_75332015 felt Grand. Like not awesome-grand (which it was) but more so like vast-grand. If that makes sense? This post is going to be a thought dump, so hold on!

I stayed closer to home more this past year than I have in a long time, the farthest we traveled was Edmonton or Calgary. Seriously, I can’t think of a year in my entire adult life that I haven’t left the province. So that in itself is pretty impressive 😉

Matthias was also closer to home this year – he took a job in town and has been home every night since February. It’s been a good adjustment. Quinn absolutely loves him and he loves her and him being home every night has definitely helped them bond.

I also feel more disconnected from my Nursing, but I guess that is to be expected as I went off work at the start of February. That means I will be going back to work at the start of February… when Quinn is only 10.5 months old. But we won’t talk about that right now because hello, *DENIAL*. I remained active with CARNA, but not as much as I had in previous years, and I definitely found it harder to make it to meetings. It will be bittersweet when my term is over in September 2016. While part of me wonders “What’s Next?” a bigger part of me says “NOTHING UNTIL YOUR DONE HAVING BABYS” haha.

I lost all that baby weight I gained and then some, which feels good, and I suppose is noteworthy, but in the grand scheme doesn’t really matter. My relationship with food is peaceful. I eat if I want to, I eat what I want to, and I no longer have an emotional connection to eating.all.the.things. That feels really, really, good. I’m no longer at a place where I feel controlled by my caloric intake. I don’t beat myself up if I eat a box of Kraft Dinner (that was today’s lunch in fact 😉 and it was delish). I’m no longer tempted by the ice cream in my freezer. It’s just there. And when I really want some, I’ll have some, instead of obsessing about it.

I found a way to enjoy home workouts! That is also pretty rad. The connection of a Challenge Group has been pivotal to this one, and for that I’m grateful.

I’ve said it before but Beachbody Coaching has made a world of difference in my life. It’s given me that sense of “More Than Just a Mom” that I need.

I continued to teach spin until my 35th week of Pregnancy and then started again in September! I also stepped out of my comfort zone and started instructing yoga. It was both terrifying and humbling, and now its something I look forward to every week.

The pets are getting older, which makes me sad. Our oldest cat is 8 and our oldest dog is 6. How?! Tucker has been dealing with some health issues throughout the year – he’s been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that attacks his nails so he has had multiple infections from that. It sucks. He’s hopefully on the mend now but will be on TID meds for the rest of his life. *cha ching*

I still really would like to buy a different house, but I’ve come to terms that it won’t happen for a while. I sure hope it happens before baby #2 though, because I might lose my mind if it doesn’t haha.

We’ve really worked hard at getting our expenses more under control. And while we are ending the year in more debt than we started it, I feel confident that 2016 will be the year we can make some large strides in turning that around.

The grandest part of the year has been Motherhood. It’s been a ride. It’s also the hardest and greatest journey I’ve ever embarked on. It’s been profoundly transformative. It’s hard for me to even articulate how motherhood has impacted me, but that might also be because I have a cold and its 10pm at night. 😉

Did you make it this far? I know it doesn’t all seem that Grand, but my heart has never been bigger, or more overflowing with love, than it is right now. So cheers, 2015. You’ve been so good to me.

Be Filled <3

FullSizeRender-1Let’s all take a moment to talk about how seriously awesome the Be Filled Planner is. I’ve read about them on both Becky and Lindsey’s Blog’s before, but had yet to experience the awesomeness myself, until now!

As a busy mom, new entrepreneur, Registered Nurse, spin instructor and yoga teacher – I have a lot of stuff on the go and I find it annoying to always be entering in appointments to my calendar on my phone, it just isn’t user friendly or pretty. So I knew I wanted a sweet planner for my next year because I’m hoping to stay just as busy.

Be Filled offers quite a few cute colour schemes to chose from for your planner. I went with Teal and . The cool thing about these planners? You go in and enter the dates for everything, and number through the weeks as the year goes on. Of course me being the Type A that I am I went through and labelled my whole 2016 year. Another bonus? You don’t get all the crazy holidays listed for everywhere in the world. You know when you look in a planner and in small writing it says “National day of {insert holiday here} – Australia,” like …. thanks, but I didn’t need to know that. So with this planner you can go through and enter in the holidays you celebrate!

When my planner arrived in the mail (so quickly I might add!) I wasn’t sure what was going to be inside the box. That bad boy was heavy – like small textbook heavy. So when I opened it up and saw the planner I was super excited. This thing is DURABLE. It could possibly be used as a weapon in the event of a break in (not like I’m hoping to use it in that fashion of course). Durability is huge for a planner. I don’t want some flimsy dimsy thing thats going to rip if I blow on it the wrong way. I want something that is going to hold up when my baby turns to a toddler next year and is on the destruction path.

FullSizeRenderI also loved the quotes on each week page, the to-do lists you can create, and the places to enter in all the birthdays and anniversaries each month. The colours pop, the font is fun, and the days are separated into morning, afternoon, and evening which makes it easy to plan your life!

Another fun bonus? Each month has a fun puzzle to do like sudoku or word search. And there is a fancy pocket in the back to hold business cards and other papers you might need that are important. I can’t say enough about all the cool features these planners have!
2016, I’m comin’ at ya! 😉

Interested in getting a Be Filled Planner of your own? Check out the website and contact a vendor close to your area. Give them this code “Amie’s Blog” to save 15% until March 2016!

{I was given a very generous 30% off my order for a review of the Be Filled planner on my blog. All opinions are my own and I’m seriously looking forward to using this bad boy in the new year. It will definitely be my go to for planners from here on out}

Better Than Before – Book Review!

Gretchen Rubin is the best selling author of the book The Happiness Project. I’ve read that book before, so when I signed up for Blogging For Books and saw that her new book, Better Than Before, was available for review I jumped at the chance to read it and review it!

Better Than Before covers the topic of Habits – how to make them, why we break them, why some people have an easier time with forming habits, and creative solutions based on your personality characteristics to increase your chances of being successful with the habits you want to create.

I loved being able to reflect and identify myself as an upholder – I easily stick to deadlines and tasks and get things done, I am focused, and when I make a decision I almost always follow through with it. There can be some drawbacks to being this way – I see the world in mostly black and white, and I can be too rigid, but if I can identify where those might be negatively influencing my habits I can work to change them.

In Better Than Before Gretchen shows us that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to forming and maintaining healthy habits. I enjoyed that the book was an easy read, written with easy going humor and showcasing lots of personal examples. Gretchen writes in a relatable way that makes you want to go out and do what will make you happiest.

Reading this book at this time, right before entering motherhood, really helped me to reflect on some of my own habits that I want to work on and instill in my daughter. It also gave me a little boost for helping to make healthier choices once the baby arrives! :)

Holiday Traditions

I love the Christmas Season and the Holiday Traditions it brings along with it. Matthias and I only have a few traditions so far, but I am sure we will expand the list when little Daughter comes along! I know it will be a few years still until she “gets” Christmas, but I still plan on bringing out #ALLTHEHOLIDAYSPIRIT next year!

Traditions We Already Do:

  • Exchange Stockings – In years past, Matthias and I have just made lists of big and expensive things we have wanted, which is silly because we would put a price range on our spending and then make sure we were even, when really, we could just buy the big things for ourselves. Last year we exchanged stockings only, and it was so fun! We bought each other lots of little things and only gave a few ideas, so our (read: his) creativity really shone through with the gift choices. We are exchanging stockings again this year, and I think we will continue with that being our primary mode of Christmas Gift Giving for each other in years to come.
  • Eggnog French Toast – This will be the third year that we have Overnight Eggnog French Toast on Christmas Morning. SO delish!
  • Christmas Lights – I am definitely the one that nags Matthias to put these up, but I love Christmas Lights! Ours haven’t worked out so great this year (we installed plastic clips in the summer and like half of them have broken off from the cold weather), so next summer I am REALLY going to nag him to fix it all up so that we can have a decent looking Christmas House next year. It doesn’t help that I am in secret competition with our neighbors over, well, everything (flowers in the summer and lights in the winter haha), but alas, they are winning this year.

Traditions I am Looking forward to adding:

  • Decorating the Tree with little Daughter – duh.
  • Santa pictures – I secretly hope she will be a screamer and hate every minute of it. Those pictures are SO priceless.
  • Christmas Cards!!

Have you heard of Minted.com? Minted offers cards, stationary, notebooks, invitations, fabric, interior decor, art, and literally, SO many more products. They call themselves a “Design Marketplace” which is a fancy term for including every day artists to be noticed and have their products sold. Everything they sell is backed by an awesome 100% satisfaction guarantee. Another cool feature? They send you a print of what your final product will look like (over email) that has been reviewed by an editor, for you to check one more time before the order goes through. There goes that pit-in-the-stomach feeling that MAYBE you made a mistake on your spelling before the order gets processed and shipped to you! What a relief.

So yes, I am so excited to dress little Daughter up, put reindeer horns on all three dogs, and attempt to get a good family picture with everyone looking at the camera next year to send out as a holiday card. Dreaming big? Maybe. But one can hope!

I am so excited about next-year-cards, that I have been searching the Minted.com site for cards this year that I love.

What I love so much about Minted.com is that EVERYTHING is customizable. The font, the colors, the shape of the cards, the paper they print it on, and the envelope inserts. Heck, if you know the addresses of where you’re sending the cards they will even print that on the envelopes for you!

   

I can’t wait to order Birth Announcements, Shower Invites & Thank You’s, and Next-Year-Christmas Cards from Minted.

**In exchange for my review of Minted.com Holiday Cards I was offered a credit for my own personal use. Whats funny, is that I had already started a shopping cart on the website before even being contacted! As always, all opinions are my own, and I wouldn’t recommend a site that I didn’t think was high quality and super awesome.**