Four Step Makeup Routine

Hi there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog today. I really appreciate your support and believe me, I am really grateful you took the time out to read this blog. Some of the products displayed on this blog have been gifted to me and this post may contain affiliate. If you choose to buy from these links you won’t pay extra, you fact you may even save money. I’ll get a commission which will keep this blog going. However, all opinions expressed are completely my own.

This week I was guest blogger. Click the link below to see what I wrote!

https://www.audreysaysfashion.com/fortheculture/simpleandquick4stepmakeuproutine

To support buy some merchandise from Grenade and use promo code Sandy25 to save some money.

New Family Hobbies

Hey there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog. Today I’m just highlighting some of the hobbies that we’ve implemented in our routine to help us all adjust to our new “normal”. Of course, this mean more family time and messy kitchens. In the long run, it’s all worth it.

When I first realized that the parks were closing, I knew that my three year old would be distraught and I was in trouble. My daughter loves to be outside and anytime she can run around is a good day. Unfortunately, running around in the house isn’t a solution I am keen to accept, because she is also prone to bumps and bruises. So I decided to do what any other mama would do. I went to Pinterest and got some ideas.

As a result here are some hobbies that we’ve been adopting to avoid being bored in the house.

Arts & Crafts

Arts & crafts have never been my “thing”. I was never good at drawing or making/constructing anything that looked. In fact, the only type of crafts I’ve been able to perfect since elementary school has been the stick figure. And even then, it may look like an ancient hieroglyphics instead of a person.

Unlike me, my husband is super talented and can draw a sketch of a person that looks like it belongs in animation. But he’ll swear it’s a doodle, nothing more. Go figure! He started making little doodles and I noticed that my daughter asking to draw or paint. Since we didn’t have anything else, I started visiting Pinterest and get some ideas.

We got messy. We painted, made playdough and coloured outside lines…no, seriously this girls can’t keep the colours inside the lines to save her life. But all in all, we had fun. We bonded and she taught me that perfecting arts & crafts is not the goal. Just being with one another, enjoying a moment of creating something was the fun part.

At Home Parties

Growing up, we always had music playing in the house. It wasn’t uncommon for us on a friday night to just start dancing. My mom would often show us the hottest dances from her day and we would show her, what was current in our day. It was so much fun.

So I decided to pass along this “tradition”. The fun doesn’t need to end just because we’re home. We got dressed, put on our dancing outfits and grooved to the music. Surprisingly, Baby Shark was not on the playlist.

Reading

Reading has become a staple and lifesaver when I need the girls to just settle down. When I say the girls, I mean the older one. She has tons of energy and normally doesn’t like to sit still but when it’s story time, she’ll sit. Some of the books she’s already memorized. Her favourites include I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont, Dream Big Little One by Vashti Harrison and Fresh Princess  by Denene Milner.

Baking

I don’t know what it is about being in quarantine but it seems like everyone has been bitten by the baking bug and I was not exempt. Lately I’ve been watching Nailed It! on Netflix and watching everyone run around the kitchen getting their pastries in the oven is highly, until I became that girl in the kitchen. I was second guessing myself and double checking recipes. Meanwhile my sidekick, little miss Mae, was right there with me, mixing and stirring. She is definitely a chef in the making. We honestly have the best time baking in the kitchen. Of course, the eating part is our favourite.

Going For Walks

 

For her birthday, my daughter got some rollerblades. She had been dying to try them and I was really anxious about going outside. But on a beautiful day we took a walk as a family. Within 30 minutes, my girl was skating like a pro (okay maybe more like an advanced amateur) I couldn’t be more proud.

The Verdict

All of these activities are cost effective and really the main ingredient is time. Some days I really have to struggle to find the energy to even get up in the morning. Most days, I just do what I can to make it to naptime and then I count down until bedtime.

You see parenthood is hard. We’re all doing the best that we can. One of these days, the parks will re-open, the community centres will re-open and this little girl will be able to run up the ladder and go down the slide. But until then, we will pick up a new hobby, as a family.

What new hobbies have you picked up?

Quarantine, Mom Guilt, etc.

Hi guys! I know that I have been MIA for a while now. I’ve been inconsistent and I’m hoping to change that. Currently, my house looks like it’s suffered the invasion of the Jumanji jungle. I’m so exhausted that I’m nauseous. My toddler has a birthday coming up and I’m scratching my head trying to figure out how I can make her day special.

We, like many other families, are transitioning into a new normal. One that we didn’t plan for, it came unexpectedly. Even though, this is only temporary, it doesn’t change the fact that we are all feeling the effects of it.

I’m not going to lie. There have been many good that has come out of it, personally speaking. I’m sure that my daughter would agree that I’ve allowed her to do more arts and crafts. I’ve become less concerned about the state of cleanliness, or so it seems. Inside I cringe at the mess that I see and keep it all inside until I can grab a broom and frantically create a space that calms my spirit.

Cleaning has become my coping mechanism. That and working out, singing, painting, listening to worship music, my “at-home” photo shoot, doing my daughter’s hair, binging Law & Order,  pretty much anything that I can do to make me feel productive and avoid being outside. Better yet, avoid feeling anxious. I’ve never been good at feeling anxious. I don’t like stress.

I can hide stress, I know how to act under pressure. I know how to hide, suppress and avoid stress. You see, I was taught at an early age to see and not react. I was trained to be seen and not heard. I can execute any role flawlessly on the surface but when it comes time to voice my concerns, problems arise. This is one skill I refuse to pass on to my children.

So you see, I have concerns like everyone else. I am scared of contracting this virus not because of what it will do to me but because of how it will affect my husband and children. I don’t want to be separated from my family. I don’t want them to be separated from me. I’ve got a 6 month old that I’m still breastfeeding. I don’t want to stop giving her my milk. I don’t want to miss any monumental event in their lives. I know how my girls speak and they understand me. I like us. I don’t want them to see this weakness and because I associated this anxiety as weakness I do all that I can to hide it from them.

So I make up for it by looking for crafts that my girl can do quietly.  I stay at home with my girls like a good citizen, avoiding the news, but staying up to date via the internet research. I find entertainment on social media. I try to hug my girls as much as possible. Most times it’s not to the level that I envisioned. I don’t sleep like I should, therefore I am tired. When I am tired I get cranky. I lose my cool way more than I would like. I’ve had to apologize more than I’d like to admit. I carry the weight of shame for not being the emotionally supportive wife to my husband and mother to my children, but most importantly, friend to myself. It transferred into mom guilt and has kept me from really being the blessing I was made to be to everyone including myself.

I felt guilty because I feared that I wasn’t creating a space where my girls could thrive emotionally. I felt guilty because I felt like I should know better and do better. I felt like I wasn’t being the “good” mom I believe my girls deserved. I saw myself repeating certain traits I saw growing up and I began to resent myself for allowing it to continue. I couldn’t understand why I would fail the same God who gave me these children and in turn fail them.

Turns out, I was wrong. My husband made sure to point that out.

I was doing my best. My best is good enough.

So wherever you are, whoever you are I hope you know that you are not alone. You are not feeling this by yourself. It’s normal to feel guilty. It’s normal to feel anxious. It’s normal for it to hit you like a ton of bricks a month after social distancing laws have been enforced. It’s totally normal.

So give yourself grace. Give yourself room to learn, adapt and evolve. You’ve made it this far being able to overcome every obstacle and challenge you faced up until now. You will get through this and you will be better because of it.

Speak life and forgiveness into your soul. Take a breath and note every single blessing you’ve been given at this time. Because believe me it won’t last forever and soon we’ll be back to saying “I wish I had more time…”

Why I Chose Jesus

Hey there! Thanks for checking out my blog. I hope you enjoy reading it as much I enjoyed writing this.

I am a believer and follower of Jesus. I chose Him as my Lord and Saviour over 15 years ago. As you can tell, this post is a testimony of how I became a believer. I hope this encourages you.

This all started when I hit puberty. I didn’t hit the clubs, do drugs or hung out with the “wrong” crowd. I was a church kid born to a fiery and faithful believer, my mother. Unlike her, I hated church.

It’s not like I ever really liked going to church, but by the time I became a teenager I hated going to church. I hated it so much that I even hated Sundays. Yes. The whole day.

You see, I was very angry and resentful. I had questions that I couldn’t ask and the ones I could ask, no one could answer. I was burdened with a responsibility that I never asked for, it was just given to me. Everyday I woke up feeling like the weight of everyone’s happiness was on my shoulders and I failed every single day.

Looking back on it, I know it wasn’t true but back then…

So around the age of 15, I started counting down the days. If I could just get to the age of 18 then I would be legally able to move out and ultimately stop going to church. It’s not like I was praying anyways so…

The anger continued to build. Before, I continue let me give you some insight into my world.

During my early teenage years, my home life became extremely unstable. I had my first panic attack at the age of 13 after witnessing an assault. I wanted to feel safe but instead I was made to feel utterly stupid for not being able to compose myself.

I struggled silently with my insecurities. I was never enough for my environment. Whatever was required of me never seemed to be satisfied.

We never stayed in one place for too long.

I didn’t have a father.

It’s crazy but I never felt like I was taken cared of and yet always required to take care of.

Emotionally I was a wreck. I needed help and help wasn’t coming. I’d cry myself to sleep praying, begging and pleading for a better way of life. I was stuck in a toxic place, alone to fend for myself.

Suddenly, during one of my forced church trips I would begin to cry during the worship portion. It was weird. My mom says it was God calling. Until this day, I cannot confirm this. All I know is that they would sing and I would cry. I hated it. I couldn’t control it and the tears wouldn’t stop coming.

So I cried.

I began to pray asking God to prove His realness. If He was real, things would change. My life would change. And it did….

Eventually, our home life got stable again. Things began to change. We found a church that I liked. I began to fit in. I got answers to my questions, without being treated like a child and it felt good. I felt like a human. I didn’t feel crazy. I had friends, finally.

You see crazy happened to me. I didn’t have a deep spiritual encounter take place. There was no metaphysical transformation. Just a girl who slowly got to the realization that I chose Jesus not because I had to. Simply because He chose me.

I had questions. I wanted better. God showed me that He could make it better and He did.

You’re A Good Mom

20170421_212432Hey there! Thanks for checking out my post. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing this.

So many times I’ll check out other mom post or blogs and end up feeling worse off than when before I saw it.

Let’s be honest, nobody does parenthood perfectly. There’s no perfect way to parent any human being. We’re flawed. We know that there are some definite WRONG ways of parenting. There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed and when they are, the perpetrators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

But otherwise, all that’s really required is for you to show up and to love your human beings. I know it’s not always easy. I’m not going to lie, I lose it from time to time. I apologize far more than I would like. But every day is a new day.

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This is why I put up this post is to remind you that you are a good mom. You show up everyday. You love your children and put them first in your daily life.

Are you the type to let your kid have unlimited screen time? Good for you. No matter the answer you are good mom.

Today is Youtube, 20 years ago it was television. Go figure. img_20181015_141912_746691140741.jpg

Do you let your children play with all the toys in the house? Good for you. No matter the answer, you are good mom.

Your definition of a good mom shouldn’t be based on what the last mom blogger said. You’re a good mom because YOU ARE.

Point. Blank. PeriodT.

Now, go and enjoy your children in all of your glory.

*That may include a disastrous house, unwanted questions and overdrawn out stories.*

In A World Where

Hey there! Thanks for checking out my blog.

This year I’ve decided to participate in #nablopomo. This is a challenge where bloggers around the world write a blog post a day for the month of November.

Today, as I was feeling nostalgic, I looked at some of my daughter’s pictures. You see my daughter is a toddler with a lot of energy and a big imagination, which I absolutely admire.

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It’s crazy to me that 2019 that many girls around the world are denied their right as a basic human being, let alone their right to live and dream.

I don’t know what’s in store for my girl.

She may become an athlete. Changing the game and elevating the skill level required to play.

20190921_102328_originalA savvy businesswoman, taking on important phone calls. Maybe changing the global spectrum on an international level.

20190701_135245_originalMaybe a veterinarian. She loves animals…well as long as she doesn’t have to touch them. Ok, so maybe not a vet, but anything is possible, right?20190621_101526_original

She could very well be a musician.

20190901_153722_original Or the first driver to master the art of peace while stuck in Toronto’s worst traffic jam.

That would be awesome!

20190803_195701_originalA pilot on a plane, travelling wherever she wants, whenever she wants.

20190907_105924_original An author, creating stories and sharing knowledge.

Whatever she chooses to do, I know it will be awesome. And I will be there supporting her and cheering her on.

In a world where young girls are often tasked with the responsibility of perfect, I challenge every girl to dream. Every girl should be allowed the opportunity to be the woman God designed them to be.

That’s how they become superheroes!20190823_155523_original

 

It’s Never Like In The Movies …

It’s never like in the movies. There’s no musical background to set the mood. There’s no focused lens to keep you zoned in on a moment.

There’s usually lots going on, at the same time. Sometimes it’s a storm with all the different environmental elements going on at the same time. You feel the humidity in the air as the cloud gather themselves. They darken quickly and release the torrential downpour. The wetness gets uncomfortable. It gets cold too quickly and the need for comfort becomes paramount.

Sometimes the storm shows up in other forms. It’s a mountain of bills that needs to be paid, dishes still unwashed, children with an attitude who choose to stain the kitchen floor with cereal and milk, traffic and construction coupled to delay your journey, the list goes on.

On the days like this it’s easy to lose it. Yelling, crying and checking out become a side effect of the storm.

Unlike the movies, we can’t cut to another scene. We ride out the storm.

Today I choose to use the umbrella of gratitude.

I’m grateful for my loved ones who love me despite the storm.

Why The Dream Mustn’t Die

Growing up, I couldn’t wait to be an adult. As a child, I had dreams of touring the world, singing the songs of my heart and doing everything I couldn’t do because of my size and age. Now that I am an adult I find myself waiting for myself to grow up.

It’s weird because I am now fully grown, with a family of my own. I’m fostering and hopefully, creating an environment where my kids can live and have dreams of their own. Yet, I’m still dreaming.

So my dream has changed a bit just because I have a family now.

I want to travel and see the world, but with my family around.

I want to sing and have my whole family in tow.

It’s a beautiful dream. One I fight for daily.

Until then I’m grateful.

I have a dream that I fight for daily and that keeps me going.

Comfortable In My Body

Hey there! Thanks for reading my blog. As you can tell I’m fully engaged in #nablopomo. The yearly blog challenge which takes place every November, where bloggers such as myself get to write about whatever.

Of course, I’m doing this while caring for a newborn and making lunch.

For today’s topic, I’ve decided to write about my body and how awesome it is, in all it’s glory. I may be tooting my horn, and believe I will be tooting it the loudest. Does it mean I will be parading my post pregnancy body in a Kardashian-esque photo op?

Umm, NO!

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However considering I used to look to be a size 4/6 insecure young woman (see bottom pic) who blew up and gained an uncomfortable 40 pounds during my first pregnancy (see top pic) I think I faired pretty well.

The truth is I didn’t. I had all this weight on me and after the baby was born I just couldn’t snap back. My body didn’t look like it did before the baby did no matter I did.

I did diet which I never had to do. I ran, which I hate doing. I even cut out CARBS!

Do you know how much carbs mean to me?!

20180902_181353-01796336718.jpegThis was the best I could do. Looking back on it, this is amazing!

Unfortunately I couldn’t get over that 5 pounds of fat, that I couldn’t get rid.

That little pouch that I couldn’t mold into a flat tummy, hanging off of me.

What kind of sorcery is this? Where we could bypass the greatest feat ever to grace this body?

I carried a child in my womb, while my uterus grew to be the size of a watermelon?

I pushed a child out of my you-know-what, while it grew to be 10 centimeters wide.

I nursed a child from birth, providing it’s every nutrient, water supply, love, care, etc.

This body literally did this, not once but TWICE!

So yeah, I’m tooting my own horn and this time around. I’m eating all the KD dinners I want. I will eat all the carbs I desire. Please, let’s continue to indulge in the chocolate candies and Nutella sandwiches.

I will enjoy this body and be grateful for this fine piece of machinery that I’m so very blessed to inhabit.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got tiny humans to tend to.