How I Manage Stress

I haven't talked much on here about my history with Mental Health.
Addiction, depression and anxiety have been and are a huge part of my life.
It's not something I choose to talk about a lot, because it is heavy, but it is important to know that mental health is just as important as physical health.
It's also important to know that you are NOT ALONE.
Whether it is you, or someone you know who suffers from any form of mental health issue, it is so important to open up about it.

I shared a little bit about my experience with anxiety in this post here, but really that's just breaking the surface.

Today, I want to share 5 things I do to improve my mental health. 
I don't always practice these, but when I do implement these self-care strategies, I notice it helps me better manage any stress or difficult situations that may arise.

Whether I hit the gym or follow a long to a yoga session on youtube, exercise has been amazing for my mental health. 
I went to the Dr with a ton of physical symptoms of stress a couple years back and she recommended that I work out, or even go for a walk, at least 3 times a week to reduce stress.
At the time, I thought it was just one more thing to add to my plate.
It wasn't until a year after that, that I actually started implementing exercise to my weekly routine.
Now, if I go a week without some sort of exercise, I can feel it mentally.

Healthy Eating
I used to eat out at least once a day.
It was the easiest, and sometimes, most cost effective choice for a busy mom.
But, I was always feeling sluggish.
When I found out that my son had a bunch of food intolerances, I changed my diet too.
I cut out french fries for leafy greens and I've never felt better, physically or mentally.
I've been having far less headaches and I have more energy than ever, which leaves me feeling far less irritable. 

This is probably where I fall off track the most, but sleep is SO important.
I know that it's hard to come by in today's busy society.
Most of us have a long commute to work and busy social calendars, but we need to make sleep a priority. 
I feel best when I get 8 hours of sleep.
I try to get to bed by 10pm and wake up around 6.
I find that I am far less productive, and not in a great mental state when I go to bed any later than 10pm.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the power Social Media has over our mental health.
I think Social Media can be so wonderful. 
I have met so many wonderful people in my life from platforms like Instagram, but I can also see where it can be dangerous.
I've caught myself scrolling through Instagram and having feelings of self doubt.
When this happens, I know it's time to take a step back and disconnect for a few days.

Say No
Time is limited, so it is so important to be intentional with our time.
It's okay to not be busy all of the time.
In fact, I'm actually my happiest when my calendar isn't jammed packed.
I have a busy mind, it is constantly going, which means I need to be especially careful not to stretch myself too thin. 
This past year, I've said NO, to a lot of things to ensure I wasn't feeling overwhelmed.
I had FOMO for a while, but eventually, I noticed I was a lot less anxious when I gave myself days with nothing at all planned. 

Do Something You Love
For me, that's having a nice hot bubble bath while listening to music.
If I've had a long day that has left me feeling defeated, this is how I end my day.
It helps me to unwind, soothe achy muscles, and get lost in the music.
It's proven that listening to music has a positive effect on the brain and body.
It can lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol, a hormone that is linked to stress.

I hope these help.
I'd love to know some ways you manage stress, let me know in the comments below. 


How To Make Instagram Highlight Menu Buttons

Happy Weekend Friends!

I wasn't planning on writing a blog post this weekend, but I have been getting so many DM's on Instagram asking how I created the Highlight Menu Buttons on my Instagram feed that I thought I would take the time to write a quick tutorial post for everyone!

If you have no clue what I am talking about here is what my feed looks like now.

You can see that I have my Highlights organized with nice labeled buttons for each category.
( Food + On The Blog + Events + Home + Travel + Try Ons)

Not only is this visually appealing to look at on an Instagram Feed, but this is such a useful feature for bloggers, because our readers can come to our Instagram page and be directed to exactly what they want to see.
It is very similar to having tabs at the top of a blog.

It's Brilliant and very easy to create! 

I created my buttons in the Canva app on my iPhone.
It is free to download and super user friendly.

Just Log in or Create an account then pick a template.
I chose the blank template but you can choose from a variety of different backgrounds or choose your own that works well with your Brand.

(For Example I wanted an Airplane Logo for my travel button so I uploaded a photo with an airplane)

Once you've selected the template you will see a plus sign icon to the bottom right of the screen.
Click that and choose "GRAPHICS" if you want to add an image.
You can edit the graphic colour to suit your brand or feed.
After this step click the plus sign icon again to add "TEXT".
Select the font and colour you want.
When finished click SHARE.

Once you click share it will bring you to your phones options - click SAVE IMAGE.
Go to your Instagram page and go to add a story as your normally would, this time adding your saved Canva image you just created. Once you publish that image to your story click the HIGHLIGHTS icon to the bottom right of the screen.

Select NEW and label the highlight. 
 I added the category text in my image so I chose to use a + symbol as the Highlight name to give it a clean look.

Once you have your Highlight Menu Button saved to your feed you can go back in at any time to that Highlight and select the MORE button the bottom right hand of the screen (like the image above) and select EDIT HIGHLIGHT where you will be directed to a page where you can select your ARCHIVED stories to keep adding to your stories.

I hope this answers all your questions but don't be shy to reach out to me if you still need help! 
I am way behind on my Instagram DMs but the best way to get an answer back is to shoot me an email at


My Current Top 10 Workout Songs

I always joke that I turn into a total gangster when I work out.
My workout play list is much different than the music I listen to in my everyday life.
Usually I'm listening to anything from Lana Del Rey to Paul Simon to The 1975, but when I hit the gym I turn into a total bad ass.

Anyone else a gym gangster? haha

I got together with Adriana of Chaos & Caffeine, who also happens to be my gym buddy and BFF, for an Instagram Live last week, where we shared our current Top 10 Work Out songs.

Although our shared obsession with the 90's band Hanson is one of the main reasons for our friendship forming 7 years ago, our taste in workout music are quite different! 
I won't say whose list is better, but lets just say she included Nickleback on her  playlist.........
I'll let you all be the judge! haha
(sorry Adriana!)

Here are my current Top 10 Workout Songs:

1. Humble - Kendrick Lamar
2. Bodak Yellow - Cardi B
3. Best I ever had - Drake
4. Sugar W'ere Going Down - Fall Out Boy
5. Mask Off - Future
6. Little Things - Good Charlotte
7. Fuck You - Lilly Allen
8. Every Day - Ariana Grande
9. Summer Bummer - Lana Del Rey
10. Symphony - Clean Bandit

What songs do you listen to while you sweat? Do we share any of the same favourite work out songs?
Let me know in the comments below! 

Check out Adriana's Top 10 Cardio Songs HERE.

Gluten & Dairy Free BLT Sandwich

You guys know we've been eating a gluten/dairy free diet ever since we found out our son is intolerant. 
I snuck some dairy in last weekend in the form of cheese on a gluten free pizza and woke up with a broken out face.
I've been getting so many questions from people across my social media channels asking what we eat now that we have so many restrictions and while I haven't had the time to plan out a full post dedicated to this - I snapped a picture of my lunch today! 
I have been eating mostly salads or soups for lunch - but today I felt like comfort food.
Below I'm sharing a super easy recipe that's quick to make for lunch and super delicious! 

Gluten/Dairy Free BLT Sandwich 
PC Free From Bacon
PC organic cherry tomatoes 
PC Organic Baby Spinach 
PC Lactose Free Margarine 
Little Northern Bake House Delicious Gluten Free Seeds & Grain Loaf
(Its 100% Plant Based & Egg Free)

1. Fry Bacon & transfer to plate with paper towel to absorb fat
2. Cut cherry tomatoes in half
3. Toast Seeds & Grain Loaf
4. Spread Lactose Free Margarine on toast
5. Add spinach leaves & slice tomatoes
6. Season with salt and pepper
7. Add bacon
8. Enjoy

Bon Apetit! 


Living Room Update & Honest Budget Talk

I was talking with a friend last night about Instagram, and how sometimes, it can make us feel like we're not enough. 
It seems like everyone and their mother has millions of dollars to renovate their homes and I often find myself scrolling the feed, thinking that I'm some huge failure in life, because I can't afford to gut my whole house and make my dream home. 
Sometimes I share these thoughts out loud with my family, which is usually a very good thing, because they bring me back down to reality real quick.
I'm twenty eight years old, with three kids, and no college education.
My husband and I worked our behinds off, said no to many fun nights out, vacations etc. in order to be where we are today, and I should be pretty darn proud of ourselves! 
I am a homeowner, a wife, and mother. 
I have SO much to be proud of, yet sometimes I find myself sucked into focusing on the negative.
My dad wasn't a homeowner until he was 33 years old  and my mom was in her 40's when she purchased her first home.
I still remember that first home my dad bought.
I was in grade five and we were all SO excited to have a place that was all ours.
I didn't care that the bedrooms had paisley shag carpet or that the kitchen was the size of some peoples walk in closets.
My dad worked his behind off to buy that home and we were all very proud of it.
I'm writing this post because, I want to share the raw, the real.
Life isn't easy when you have a young family.
It's easy to look around you, or scroll your feed, and think everyone is doing SO much better than you. 
But I just want to remind you not to compare yourself to others.
You don't know anyone else's situation but your very own.
Maybe the fell into money, or are in credit card debt up to their eyeballs.
You only can know your very own situation. 

I love the quote

"Don't compare your beginning to somebody else's middle"

I often have to remind myself of this.

We've been in our Current home almost 3 years now. 
I had big plans to renovate every inch of this house as soon as possible.
As much as I'd love to say goodbye to the green tiles in my bathroom, and tear out the super outdated kitchen, the reality is, as a young family on one income, we need to scrimp and save and do things slowly over time.
You know, like our parents used to do. 
Everyone wants everything right now (myself included), but unless I want to get into a big heaping pile of debt (been there, done that), slow and steady it is! 
And that is OKAY.

This November, I started working a seasonal job to bring in some extra money.
I've been working insane hours where I hardly see my hubby or my littles, but it has allowed us to put some money aside for a rainy day and refurnish our living room. 
I've been posting some sneak peaks on Instagram, but I wanted to share the bigger picture here on the blog.
I had to work my behind off to pay for this furniture. 
Extra hours, little sleep and even then, we didn't splurge.
We stuck to a budget and bought things from places like Ikea and Structube, that are a bit more budget friendly.
Up until this refurnish, we have been sharing ONE  three seater Couch in our home, as a family of FIVE, for the past FIVE years.
Our TV was on an old dresser.
And guess what, it didn't kill us! 
It sure did make us appreciate the sectional we now happily own though! 

Here are the photos of our Living Room Refurnish! 
The total cost coming in at around $2,000.

Sectional : $1,400
Coffe Table: $269 
Tv Unit:  $249
Pom Pom Cushions: $19 each


Photo Highlights of 2017

Happy Friday! 
A few of you have been sending me DMs asking to share my highlights of 2017.
I went through my Instagram feed, since Instagram is basically just a highlight reel, and picked out some of my fave moments from 2017 to share here on the blog.

Upper Canada Mall Campaign

(See my post with The Keg here)

A little home makeover with Canadian Tire. 
See the before photos here.

I had the opportunity to work with some of my favourite brands and include some of my favourite people and loved ones in my work. 

Marshmello at WayHome

Vikram Vij (chef & dragons den) at Big Festival 

Issac Hanson of Hanson
(mmmbop if you need a memory refresh ;) )

Zac Hanson
 (the drummer and my first ever crush) 
signed my jacket and drew me a flower!

The girls got to meet famous Youtuber MayBaby

Audrey got to meet Splash and Boots! 

We got to meet some pretty cool celebs in 2017.

Check my post out here

I went on my very first Press Trip with some amazing bloggers! 

See my Family Fun Guide & Vlog here

I got invited back to the same City later on that summer - this time with my Fam Jam.

See my 30 Day Healthy Living Challenge here
Learn more about gut health here 

I learned to love my body and take care of my health. 

Canada's Wonderland

    Spent our summer days at Canada's Wonderland 

Goals for 2018 & My Word Of The Year

Happy New Year!!!!!!
Hope everyone had a wonderful NYE.
I had a little too much fun, had a few glasses too many and ended up in bed the whole first day of the year!
My first hangover since I was probably about eighteen haha.
I wasn't sure if I should share that embarrassing part of my evening, but I'm all about keeping it real on this little space on the web.

I love a good fresh start.
I'm a huge fan of Mondays for this very reason, so you can imagine how excited I get about a whole New Year!
2017 was one of the best years I've had in a long while and I can only anticipate for 2018 to be just as wonderful, if not better!
I like to choose a word of the year each New Year.
You can read about my word for 2017 in last years post HERE.
My word for 2018 is ADVENTURE.
I want to try new foods, see new places, learn new things! 
We have our longest family road trip ever planned for this Spring and I can hardly wait for it! 
It's kinda funny to say, since I chose a married life with a bunch of children, but deep down I am a free spirit.  
It's the Aquarius in me.
My kids and Husband are kind of free spirited too, and it's nice to try new things, see new cities and experience the world and different adventures with them!

I've also come up with a list of Goals I want to continue to work on in 2018.
I say continue to work on, because most of them I started working on last year. 

Be More Present
I've said this one a million times, but as sad as it is to admit, it's one of the goals I find more challenging. 
In the mornings the first thing I do is look at my phone, which can often lead into a 45 minute Instagram scroll. 
I only have a short time with the kids before they head off to school, so I want to make a plan where I leave my phone upstairs during our morning routine so I can be 100% present in the moment.

Meal Plan

A few days ago, I shared this post here which explained why we were cutting out Dairy & Gluten.
It's actually been a much easier transition than I thought it would be, but it definitely takes some planning ahead. 
 I want to set aside one day a week where I meal plan, and one day where I cook food for the week.


Set Schedules

In order to be successful, I need to set schedules for myself or I'm like a lost puppy.
I want to set a workout schedule, bedtime and morning schedule for myself to keep myself in check!

Practice and Exercise Gratefulness
A few months ago we started adding a new step into the kids night time routine.
Every night before we go to bed  Louis and I and the kids all say 3 things we are grateful for.
I think it's so important to be grateful and content with all that we have.
We are so lucky to live in a home, have family who love us, food to eat etc. but it is so easy to get caught up in the negatives.
This is awful to admit, but I can be pretty hard on myself and compare myself to others, out loud in front of the kids.
I've caught myself saying
"Our house is too small" and things such as this, where I should be grateful that I even own a home.
I want our kids to appreciate everything they have, but I also need to practice what I preach.

Be More Organized 

I am ridiculously unorganized!
As a busy mama of three, working mom and business owner - this is totally unacceptable.
I NEED to be more organized.
For me, this means things as simple as 
Doing One load of Laundry EVERY single day.
Being on a set schedule (as mentioned above)
Putting things away right away.
We also plan on doing a few home Renos to make our lives a little more organized this Spring.

Monthly Game Night With Friends
Because, I love my friends and need to make them a priority!
And board games are just the best excuse to put away our phones and really connect!

Family Dinners Once A Month
Why should we wait for special occasions to spend time with family?
I want to plan a monthly dinner with our parents to keep connected.

Date Nights Twice A Month & A Digital Calendar 
Last, but most certainly not least - DATE NIGHTS!
We are SO bad at sticking to our date nights.
So this year, we are going to plan our date nights a year in advance on a digital calendar that we both share.
I guess this is sort of a two in one goal, because this also means one goal is to start using a digital calendar on top of my regular planner so Louis can be on board with the planning :)

What are some of your goals for 2018?
 I would love to hear them!
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