Who stinks? Natural Deodorant by Routine

Oh, you know that scent…then one we all dread; It smells a bit like a stir fry, a bit like a raw onions and, depending on the person, it can be somewhat reminiscent of feet, Play-Doh or corn chips.
If you’re really lucky and trapped in an enclosed space with this person, you will get a combination of all of the above!

I know, personally, I never want stink like that and I was, up until recently, willing to sacrifice my health via antiperspirants in order to make certain that I did not. Then, I read a bit about it. Parabens? Triclosan? Aluminum zirconium and chlorohydrate, or propylene glycol? Does that sound healthy to you? It’s not! Google it- then avoiding trying not to stink after you’ve crapped your pants.

The harsh reality is that these cancer causing agents, proven contributors to Alzheimers (as if my husband doesn’t already have enough difficulty remembering to do things I have asked him to) and chemicals with a variety of other negative effects to our health are in our day-to-day products. They are part of our routine.

Sadly, however, it is very difficult to come across a natural deodorant that is effective, long-lasting and smells good. I mean, really, I want to smell like a dewy, fresh rose while sweating like a hog. Who doesn’t?
I am not that chick in the gym who pretends to wipe sweat off of her face while sneaking a pit sniff (yeah, I saw you lady!) but I want to make certain that I don’t stink to high heaven when I go to hug the hubbs once he returns home from work. As a result of the aforementioned facts, I also like doing that without a lot of chemicals.

Here’s where Routine De-Odor-Cream comes in, a natural deodorant, which I received free in exchange for this review;
It looks like icing, smells like cake and is not meant for eating but, considering the ingredient list, you actually could. You’ll be tempted, believe me. A very cool fact about this particular scent is that it’s comprised of flavour oils and not essential ones, which is completely safe for pregnant, or nursing, Mamas as well. Yay for that!
Now, I wish this stuff came in a handy, dandy stick but it doesn’t. Luckily, you need very little in order to get the job done and simply apply it with a finger tip. The jar pictured above lasts anywhere from 3-6 months, depending on how much you require each time. The initial investment may seem rather large but, when you consider how long the jar of natural deodorant lasts, it is worthwhile.
The Woah Blackberry Betty smells a lot like blackberry cake or the fruit itself mixed in with a vanilla icing; not that gross, synthetic vanilla smell either but one that makes your mouth water. It is very richly scented and stays with you for quite some time.
I found that it lasted through the day, although the scent did diminish and that was preferable to me. It was a bit strong for my liking at first but my husband loved my skin smelling of dessert. He said that he has never come across a deodorant that made him hungry before and thought I smelled like a jam-filled doughnut.

The above picture is the Maggie’s Citrus Farm scent option and this one was my least favourite, as well as the least effective, of all of the options that I received. I was not the biggest fan of the orangey aroma and I felt self conscious as the day wore on. It’s made of the same, beeswax base that the other is but I was just not a big fan.

This little, blue bird covers Routine Cream’s clay based option for deodorant, which I found kept me more dry throughout the day than the beeswax one. This particular kind is called Sweet Jane and it most definitely smells very sweet, with a couple of notes being similar to the Woah Blackberry Betty kind, with the hint of baking from the vanilla, but it includes pears as well. Sweet Jane is also scented with natural and organic flavour oils, instead of essential ones, and is my personal recommendation for the nursing Mamas.
I really loved this one and it was the sample that I went through the quickest, as I wore it daily.
I am not sure if it is due to the formula difference, or just the way the little trial sizes are packaged, but these ones were a bit more wet than the large, glass jar. I didn’t mind that but the one is decidedly more solid.
The pink bird above labels their Sexy Sadie scent and it is one of the best sellers from the brand. It, to me, is also one of the most complex but I actually thought it was slightly less pleasing than the others. This one includes patchouli, which is fantastic for skin conditions and as an antifungal addition but it does not appeal to me personally. I don’t like anything with herbaceous, musky tones and find it’s cousin, lavender, more pleasing. For ladies who wear perfume on a regular basis, you would be used to this and probably enjoy it. Just not my thing.
I use ylang ylang quite a bit in the household, in my diffuser or topically, so I was reminded of that from this one too. This scent is actually fantastic for uplifting moods, inspiring feelings of joy, relaxation or hope and for treating depression. If you happen to have any underarm irritation from shaving, this would also be excellent for helping to sooth and heal that due to the addition of ylang ylang to the ingredient list. I think the name may come from ylang ylang being used as an aphrodisiac but I could be completely off the mark with it. Either way, it’s fitting.
Speaking of the hubby, Routine Cream also sent along their Napoleon Dynamite blend for him to try out. The bitty, birdy buddy on that one is black, although I do not have a picture of it because he took it to work for his locker.
Now, when I first opened this one I did not enjoy the way it smelled in the slightest, then it grew on me once my husband applied it and it mixed with his own scent. It was similar to the Maggie’s Citrus Farm, only even more reminiscent of oranges or grapefruits, and then included some undertones that I figured were more feminine. This one includes bergamot oil, however, and you can wear that on it’s own as natural deodorant so it’s duplicity in scent makes for a great deodorant for the ladies who are more worried about odour. Try the men’s line! Bergamot is proven effective and, as an inclusion in the ingredient list, it helped to make sure my husband could wear a natural deodorant without smelling like part of the wild. Considering he’s a sexy, albeit occasionally stinky, beast and this one kept the latter at bay- it earned my approval.

Routine De-Odor-Cream can be found online here and you can also check out their Facebook page for more information.


An Interview With Peanut

I saw this post flying around on Facebook and decided that I would make it into an interview, with my oldest daughter, and post it on here in order to have the cute keepsake. Without further ado, here are the words of my three year old Peanut.


1. What is something mom always says to you? Eat.

2. What makes mom happy? If I eat all my lunch.

3. What makes mom sad? Um… if we have to throw out toys.

4. How does your mom make you laugh? Um, painting the wall.

5. What was your mom like as a child? Um, a birthday cake.

6. How old is your mom? Ummmm, four.

7. How tall is your mom? Seven and one thing.

8. What is her favorite thing to do? Make a craft.

9. What does your mom do when you’re not around? Don’t like it. Make a craft and go for a walk.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? For walking.

11. What is your mom really good at? Painting.

12. What is your mom not very good at? Not making sandwiches.

13. What does your mom do for a job? Writing things down.

14.What is your mom’s favorite food? Sandwiches.

15.What makes you proud of your mom? I love you.

16. If your mom were a character, who would she be? Mermaid.
(man, I love this kid lol)

17. What do you and your mom do together? Go for walks and on dates.

18. How are you and your mom the same? You’re twenty and I’m two.

19. How are you and your mom different? You’re Mummy and I’m Peanut.

20. How do you know your mom loves you? We paint a card for you, for Balance Day.
(She was confused on this one, saying she shows me she loves me by making cards for Mother’s Day…. which she thinks, for some reason, is called Balance day. I suppose that makes sense, as I juggle quite a lot :P)

21. What does your mom like most about your dad? When he makes things for you.

22. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go? To Freshco’s.

23. How old was your Mom when you were born? Um, twenty.

A Moment In Me-Time; March Madness

It feels like I just wrote one of these posts- goes to show how quickly time flies.

It also shows that I really ought to keep my butt in gear and get my posts published on time, in order to have a nice gap in this series.  Thank you for coming by and sharing my moment, while I have some me-time (aka a glass of wine). This is the series where I let you into my personal life and tell you about what’s going on this month at Chez Casteels.

My thoughts on March; In like a lion, out like a lamb- truly!

  • March came in blustery, frigid and absolutely terrible on the tails of February’s record-breaking cold snap. It appears that spring has sprung, however, and we’ve had beautiful, warm and sunny days lately. I was outside in just a sweater this afternoon and was completely comfortable. Everything is thawing!
    On the downside, I saw an ant in the living room today and it’s time to bust out the peppermint oil. I can effectively, and naturally, keep those pesky buggers outside where they belong by sparsely dropping the oil around the perimeter of my room maybe once a week or so. It also smells just lovely and is far safer for my children, as well as our dog.spring-60504_1280

          What I’m reading;

  • I’m such a douchecanoe- I’m not reading anything. I’ve been making an effort to invest more in my blogger tribes this month and I’ve been spending spare time pouring over fellow bloggers’ musings and work. As such, a novel has been put on the backburner. I’m going to have to invest some time in a good book soon though, as my Gramma has read pretty much everything Nicholas Sparks has written in this past month alone and she’s putting me to shame.1619207_10153786900450416_728380407_n

          My favorite blogs/sites this month;

  • Tomoson is ranking up in my list of faves for March. I know, I know- so many bloggers complain about it but I’ve actually made some money and found some excellent products on there this past couple of weeks so I’m a happy camper. Yay for bill payments.

  • I’m cooking a lot of different food this month so I’m actually perusing The Food Network’s site every second day, Alton Brown’s Good Eats section in particular. Gah, I love that guy.

         What I’m watching;

  • I’m catching up on The Blacklist. Admittedly, I’m fairly disappointed in the plotline. This whole, “Will she, won’t she?” back and forth between the two main characters is getting to me. Moreover, it seems like the only intelligent characters are male. I’m not sure what woman, ever, would just drop a subject when someone distracts her with another- but it seems highly unlikely to me, especially from a woman who’s trained in investigation and profiling. I think it’s getting a little silly but I’m still hopelessly addicted to James Spader. Lord.
  • I have also gotten much moreintoSchitt’s Creek, a story about a fabulously wealthy family that is swindled by their accountant, leading to all of their assets being seized. They’re forced to move into a tiny town full of “regular people” and hilarity ensues. Daniel Levy is laugh-out-loud funny and is my favourite character but they all play off of one another so well. I highly recommend it.


    sourced from cbc.ca

         What I’m eating or drinking; 

  • Guess what I did? I broke down and ended up with my rear end sticking out of our fridge, stuffing my mouth full of cheese and anything I could find- including chocolate. I don’t even like chocolate (unless it’s dark)! I hate myself….and I looooove food lol. I make very sensible diet choices on a regular basis but I know where I go wrong and have to just cut that stuff out, rather than limit everything I eat and do. I’m not “fat” but do need to tone up and slim down just a wee bit. As a result of my freak out, I’ve decided that I can lose the weight slightly slower but wind up quite a lot happier. I lost 78lbs after having my son (back to pre-pregnancy weight) so I do know what I’m doing. I just have to stay motivated, disciplined and I need to refrain from snacking at night.

What I’m wearing; 

  • I have recently done up some shirts that help with the promotion of this site. They read, “I’m afraid if I gave up wine, I would have to replace it with MURDER” and include my website across the bum or the sleeve. Considering I’m tagged in a wine-related post at least a couple of times each week by those who know me, I felt it was pretty fitting. I’ve been wearing my comfy sweater with that printed upon it, then a tank top that matches. I’ve got a few more, to give away to people, but I’m debating how I want to go about that.search-back[1]

What I’m doing; 

  • I’m getting ready to plant the herb garden and we’ve taken on tomatoes this year. I’ve got little seedlings sitting on my diningroom table, just waiting to sprout their organic deliciousness.  We’re making a serious investment in the outside of our house this season, as I’m tired of it looking shabby and I will be able to have the girls out in the yard this year- no newborns that need to be held! (Not sure if I’m happy about that or completely distraught) This means that I’ll be able to tend to our garden so we’ve started the compost and the seedlings.
  • I’m actually starting to wedding plan and solidify a few things- yay! I’ve made a few small purchases and gathered some of the decor, which will be mostly DIY so thank goodness I’ve got a crafty streak. I’ll probably feature a few of those items on the blog when all is said and done.
  • Spring cleaning. Gah, so much crap to sort fun.

What I’m listening to; 

  • Sugar by Maroon 5. Bear and I are actually going to use this song for our first dance when we get married, rather than your standard slow one. We prefer a bit of fun and something different, plus the lyrics are pretty good. It’s been playing quite a lot lately, in celebration of finally settling on one.

  • I’ve been looking up “Greatest Hits- full album” on YouTube quite a bit and just going with a lot of the random things that pop up. Right now, I’m playing Michael Buble (I love him) and Home is playing as I write this.
Making me happy this month;
  •  Lessard Coutu Custom Jewellers. Keep your eyes on the blog over the next couple of weeks for a special review going up! My engagement ring from Divine Diamonds/Infinity Jewellers (which I had nothing but problems with and it caused us to postpone our wedding) is now being redone by a truly gifted jeweller from an unrelated store. It’s being fixed and I can’t wait until I can finally wear my ring. I can not possibly say enough about Lessard Coutu Custom Jewellery and our experience has been fantastic so be sure you click that link and check out their Facebook page.  It would mean almost as much to me as their actions, if you would go and visit their site. Stop by, tell them that more businesses need to genuinely care about their clients and that their personal touch has peaked your interest. While you’re there, you’re going to want to scroll the wall and see some of the amazing custom designs that they do, based upon the stories of those that walk into their shop.
    I can promise you, with all my heart, that this is a business worth supporting and Moe, one of their staff members, is why I’m over the moon in March.
  • Peanut turns 3 today! I can’t believe how quickly time flies and, although I am so proud of my little lady, I feel like I’m being robbed by fate. It’s impossible- she’s getting too big, too fast. Hey uh, life…Slow down already!
    I never truly knew how much I loved your father until I saw how much he loved you. You are one of my greatest accomplishments and I can not possibly express how proud I am to call you my daughter. You provide so much joy and I can’t help but beam when I think of the sassy, smart, hilarious girl you’re becoming. I love you, sweetheart!


    My goals for LAST month;

  • Continue working on the SEO. Still a work in progress, although I am getting it done.
  • Lose 10lbs more, at least. Decided this would lead to binge eating, which it did, and opted to slow it down a big. I remain on track and am considering this accomplished, even though the number itself has not been met.
  • Start doing my squats again. Done! My butt is even bigger.

My Goals for this month; 

  • Work out my bum and abs at least three times each week.
  • Harass the hubbs to clear out his crap from the workshop. Set up my sewing and craft space, which I’ve been wanting for years.
  • Make a go of the garden, at least getting it tilled by the end of the month. Seedlings will need to be planted soon!


A Moment In Me Time; Reflecting Upon February

I am taking things up a little late this month, as I didn’t feel February was full enough at any given time for my  A Moment in Me-Time series, where I give readers a glimpse into what is going on in my own personal life during each new month. Check out the related posts at the bottom of the page for past months. Now, in retrospect, I can include February- as well I should!

          My thoughts on February; Just like in January, Brrrrr….

  • I was still dealing with the whole raging snowbitch factor, no point sugar-coating it. February was one of my area’s coldest months in history and we got a crapload of snow. A lot, a lot of freakin’ snow. Don’t get me wrong, if I didn’t have the wee ladies…I would be out, enjoying the cold. I actually love the cold. Presently it’s -14 degrees, which isn’t terribly cold in comparison to what we’ve been dealing with, and I have my bedroom windows open. Of course, I’m snuggled up under my nice Marilyn Monroe blanket but most people who enter my bedroom do so like this; blizzard-15850_1280

I love the cold. You can’t, however, enjoy it completely when there are toddlers in tow. Poor baby fingers, toes and noses become chilly rather quickly and I wouldn’t expose my wee ones to this weather for any length of time;

snow-storm-596351_1280(Above picture is what is known as a “light dusting” here :P)

          What I’m reading;

“Things To Do With Mum”, a book full of activities for Mamas and wee ones, ranging from neat, easy craft projects, to games, baking recipes and gardening ideas. I got mine at Winners but I just checked Amazon and realized that it can be purchased for a penny! Well worth the cost. There are a lot of ideas that work for varying age groups, which is great for our household due to the gap between my sets of children (the boys being 8&9 and the girls 2&1). My kiddoes and I are running out of craft ideas and, admittedly, I can’t check Pinterest for them or I’ll go on a pinning spree. Must. Maintain. Self. Control. *eye twitch*

(Affiliate link)

          My favorite blogs/sites this month;

  • Huffington Post. The drama is never-ending and they are routinely publishing such garbage, ridiculous articles that I find it easier to deal with any type of person that I run into as a result of having exposed myself to complete stupidity earlier in the day. I can face the internet with the thought, “No one can possibly be as ridiculous as what I read this morning”, leading to more patience and an overall uplifted mood. Thanks HP, for  providing garbage, although typically amusing, literature!

  • Happify would take my second pick. I even got my oldest started on the little activities. They’re so much fun and I used to use the site on a regular basis, finding that it genuinely helped improve my overall mood, but I have just gotten back into it in the last few weeks. If you don’t know what Happify is, I suggest you check it out!

         What I’m watching;

  • Jon Stewart, as always. Not going to lie, my heart broke a wee bit (okay, maybe a lot) when he announced that he would be leaving the Daily Show. I’m not entirely sure of what I’m going to do without him.
  • I haven’t actually picked up much of anything else, or watched what we already typically do. I have 3 episodes of The Blacklist sitting on the PVR and I feel like I have betrayed James Spader. Not sure what’s up- I just wasn’t in a TV kind of mood in February and it’s continuing into March.

         What I’m eating or drinking; 

  • Too many salads, with various types of protein on top.
  • Organic beer. We’re dabbling with that this past couple of weeks.
  • Isagenix shakes. I started on the program (yeah, I know, and I’m still having a beer here or there lol) and have lost a bit of weight thus far. I’m finding it incredibly unenjoyable but worthwhile, I suppose. I know I’m going to break down and end up sitting on the floor, surrounded by packets of Swedish Fish, Tootsie Rolls, a multitude of chocolate bars, a hunk of spicy salami and some chips. I just want a damn candy bar, alright?!

What I’m wearing;

  • Last month I spent most of the time in sweats and pajama pants. I was feeling pretty down due to the weather, my lack of activity and the cold. I stayed bundled and actually wore socks a couple of days in February.

What I’m doing; 

  • I spent a lot of time revamping the blog and I still have plenty of work to do.
  • I saw family much more and began talking to my sister on a regular basis, which is awesome. I think having children has eliminated much of their social circle/desires and its lead to her wanting to visit a bit. My nephew is the cutest (giant) monster in history and Butterball snuggles brought a lot of joy this month. Gah, babies. They make me mush.

What I’m listening to; 

  • I spent A LOT of time with the Galaxy radio stations on. My girls love Uptown Funk (thank God I do too, otherwise I might have shot myself by now) and “The Whistle Song”, as Charlii calls it. I can’t even recall what the title is on a regular basis, as I’ve started to think of it like the girls do. This is the song that I heard FAR too much of in February;

Making me happy this month;
  • February was actually the first month, ever, that my husband surprised me in our relationship. We typically do not celebrate special occasions with gift exchanges and spend the day together, possibly with a bottle of wine or a trip out for breakfast. I had never received a birthday gift, Valentines Day present, Mother’s Day gift or anything of the sort. If I need something, we’ll buy it and it’ll be my “birthday present”- so I purchased a small item for myself a couple of times but he has never actually surprised me with something.
    I just don’t like guilt and, if I could spend the money on my children, I would rather do that instead. Admittedly, I have cheated a couple of times in the past and surprised him with something but he usually sticks to our agreement and I’m genuinely okay with that. This year, for Valentines Day, we planned to have fondue at home, with a bottle of wine and a romantic movie after all of our children went to bed. However, he showed up late home from work and presented me with a little gift bag. I was shocked. I was even more surprised to discover that the bag held Chanel No. 5 perfume, something I’ve wanted for at least a decade and could never justify spending the outrageous amount on as a result of our little ones. I use all natural products in the house, don’t wear scents and don’t even burn Scentsy but if I can smell like Marilyn Monroe, you can bet your ass I’ll risk cancer for it. I’ve just always wanted it, for as long as I can remember, and bringing it home was the most thoughtful, strange and lovely thing he’s ever done for me. unbeknownst to me, he had been saving his coffee money for months on end and going without in order to put toonie by toonie away to save up for this. It took a long time, as he doesn’t buy coffee often, and I knew how much it meant to him to be able to do that for me. I cried. It was incredibly romantic and made me extremely happy. Untitled-4

    My goals for LAST month;

  • Redo all posts, making them SEO suitable. (1/2 done. This is taking far too long but I’ve made excellent progress)
  • Purchase and utilize a proper planner, for my blog as well as for the household. Solidify the girls’ routine. (Done! They go to bed at the same time nightly, I have zero issues getting them to stay there and I’ve got a great calendar that I’m using instead of a planner. Works the same way)
  • Go through my “still to contact” bookmark and complete everything. (Pfft. This one will have to carry over, for the same reason the SEO will. I have four children and not enough hours in the day)


My Goals for this month; 

  • Continue working on the SEO and Still to Contact (making it one goal, as they’re both half-finished)
  • Lose 10lbs more, at least.
  • Start doing my squats again.


A Moment In Me-Time; January

It’s that time again! I took up A Moment in Me-Time series, where I give readers a glimpse into what is going on in my own personal life during each new month and this is the fourth installment. A Lovely Life Indeed gave me the inspiration for these posts and I hope you have been enjoying them!

My thoughts on January; Brrrrr….

  • If it gets any freakin’ colder here in Ontario, Canada, I think my husband’s testicles are going retreat far enough to turn into ovaries. I have also become a raging snowbitch. I hate being cooped up, which is next to impossible to avoid when I’ve got two toddlers in the house who loathe being anything other than a balmy 170 billion degrees while on top of me, nestled into my cleavage and rubbing baby palms on my skin. I don’t think tobogganing is a very toddler-appropriate activity.  snow-woman-554176_640
  • New Year, new me, yadayada. I get so sick of the, “I’m going to own 2015!” type posts. Who cares if 2014 turned into 2015? You’re still the same person you were 30 seconds before midnight and any resolution made simply because it’s the start of a new twelve months on the calendar isn’t one that’s going to last very long. I’m not saying that I’m innocent in this- I used to make resolutions, as I figured that was a good idea at the time, but they were soon forgotten. I now set goals for myself, month after month, not because it’s a change of date but because they’re ones that truly matter to me in the moment and I can get behind something like that. I did, however, pick a single word to steer me in the right direction for this coming year. You can read about that in this post; here. I felt that would be an easy daily reminder, rather than having to tackle a list of tasks set for myself.

    What I’m reading; I had been reading 101 Nights Of Great Sex/Romance (or something like that) until I realized it was written by a man, who’s clearly a pig, and involves a bunch of tasks where you present your guy with porno mags, bring porn into the bedroom or degrade yourself as a female by pretending to be a helpless nincompoop. I don’t like the idea of talking to my spouse like I can’t understand something simple and need him to do it for me because I can’t figure things out for myself. This, of course, is in order to get him out of the house, all so that I can artfully arrange his tools in a bowl for a masculine table centrepiece and surprise him with a guy’s night when he returns. That was actually a task described in the book (who puts drills and screwdrivers in a bowl, anyway?!) and it wasn’t my idea of “Great”.

    My favorite blogs/sites this month;
  • My Domestic Dish; Yeah, it’s mine! 😛 I have been investing a lot of time in my site so far this month, which has prevented me from reading as much as I normally do, and this will be the only one on the list for January. I have been changing up the header and the logo, as well as going back through and redoing some old post SEO. Those are things I had neglected previously and, as I want to really focus on writing more, I figured I should redo the things that I had not gotten completely right the first time. Correcting all of my old mistakes will make me less likely to continue them going forward. What do you guys think of the new imaging? Do you like the cute, cartoonish lady and the new header more? LogoforMyDomesticDishAs a refresher, the old header and logo looked like this;

PROPERLOGOdomestic_copy (2)

      What I’m watching;

  • Jon Stewart, as always. His irreverent style is exactly my kind of humour and I love the man.

    Source noted above.

    Source noted above.

  • Modern Family has also started back up and it’s one show that my hubby doesn’t want to miss. Of course, it’s probably because he and PhilDunphy aresoulmates, two halves of the same whole. Some days I just shake my head. Thank God I snagged him,eh? And that he looks better in nothing but dress socks;


    What I’m eating or drinking; 

  • Spring rolls! I have a friend named Jerrah, who makes the most absolutely delicious spring rolls and I can’t get enough of them. I buy them often and am so thankful to have a container of them left, waiting to be heated. They’re calling my name as I type this and I am actually debating frying some up right now. Is there anything better than Filipino cooking?
  • I have been wearing a lot of items from Perfect Threads lately, which is kind of like a Once Upon A Child for grown ups. It’s a neat store and I’m going to be doing a review for them in the coming week so be sure to check back! I love their customer service, above all things, and have received some fantastic pieces.
  • Sea Glass Riesling. It comes in a blue bottle and is normally about $16. I found some on clearance at the LCBO and opted to give it a try. It is absolutely divine, even better than Megalomaniac (maybe), so it has made it’s way into my me-time routine at night, as well as my Me Time post!glass-434789_640

    What I’m wearing;

  • I’ve also been wearing socks. I absolutely hate socks. Anyone who knows me is aware of this and, for some reason, I’ve felt like putting them on. I typically wear them only when absolutely necessary, in order to sport some sort of shoe that requires stifling my poor tootsies in a stuffy, overly warm compartment and then I take them off immediately upon returning home. My floors are chilly and my feet have “all of the markers for RA”, according to my rheumatologist, so they’ve been causing me a great deal of pain. I’ve been wearing the socks as a buffer but I’ve been compelled to wear them even in slippers or shoes. I suppose it really is cold here, as this is the first time that I can ever recall wanting to wear the slip ons from Satan.socks-91856_1280


What I’m doing;  Please see above (regarding the blog), as that’s what is taking up most of my time. Tonight, however, I’m making chocolate mousse, wine bites (various, hoity-toity appetizers that will be fantastic with wine) and I’m having a date with the hubby on our livingroom floor. Instead of the Teddy Bear Picnic, we’re doing a Parents Picnic. It’s like that, with less fur and smelliness, depending on how long my children allowed me to take a bath before making numerous high-pitched demands that their very existence hinged upon having met.

The only time they're not asking me for things.

The only time they’re not asking me for things.

What I’m listening to; 

I haven’t been listening to much, actually. Maybe numerous high-pitched demands (see above).

Making me happy this month;
  •  All of the work I’m getting done on the blog! I’ve been productive.
  • My hubby’s been far more supportive than usual, which has greatly helped with the aforementioned point. He has shown more of an interest in what I’ve been doing, as well as making sure that we set some time aside to talk to one another instead of just watching TV together. Now, don’t get me wrong, he’s normally a pretty good guy but he’s not exactly thoughtful on his best days. Lately, however, he’s not only been doing housework but he has been helping with the kids moreso than usual as well. This is all on top of his normal work schedule. I’m  not sure what has gotten into him lately but I like it. A lot.

    My goals for LAST month;

  • Keep on bonding with the hubby. Spend at least one night each week having a “date”, or at least a few hours devoted to one another without any distractions. He votes on naked snuggling (of course). DONE! I’ve been doing more of these things lately and have something set up for tonight as well. 
  • Finish my quilt when the sewing class starts up. Sewing class has not yet started.
  • Use the new Flex Belt three times a week, minimum. Not done. Womp womp. I forgot about this- and, see, that’s why resolutions are not a good thing!My goals for this month;
  • Redo all posts, making them SEO suitable.
  • Purchase and utilize a proper planner, for my blog as well as for the household. Solidify the girls’ routine.
  • Go through my “still to contact” bookmark and complete everything.

A Moment In Me Time; To Remember December

This is my third installation of my A Moment in Me-time series, where I give readers a glimpse into what is going on in my own personal life during each new month. A Lovely Life Indeed gave me the inspiration for these posts and I hope you have been enjoying them!
Please check out my previous months here and here, if you’re interested. 

My thoughts on December; Pressure, pressure, pressure…

  • I actually hate Christmas. I know, I know, I’m probably in a small minority but the commercialism is sickening, the pressure is stress inducing and the monotony of the same damn songs and specials played year after year makes me want to shoot myself in the face. I love spending time with the family, don’t get me wrong, and I love giving my children presents but I resent the idea that some fat bastard in a red, fur-lined leisure suit gets the credit. I don’t want to teach my kids to sit on some old guy’s lap in exchange for gifts, nuh uh, but “‘Tis the season!”….or so everyone says. I just hate it. I despise everything about it, with the exception of the Christmas tree. The only reason I participate each year is that I’m addicted to seeing joy on my children’s faces and a holiday season that culminates in that, however polluted in other ways, is worth subjecting myself to. As I stated in my last month’s post; My gorgeous babies will become wrapping paper shredding, screeching minions of Satan and they’ll be more wired than Charlie Sheen while winning, which is not my idea of a grand old time. Until the New Year, I am a closeted and falsely happy human embodiment of Grumpy Cat. Bah-Humbug! 
from smosh.com
  • It’s cold. Having two toddlers, I can’t go outside often. I’m a shut in; A grouchy, sunshine-starved, corpse-white shut in.
  • My ladies Thursday morning, a women’s social group that I attend in our community, ends until the New Year. My sewing classes also end, which means I have very little to do outside of the house and on my own. I am constantly in the company of children now that I have no programs to attend. Although I love my babies dearly, if I have to hear someone whine about wanting juice one more GD time after I just poured them a glass that was rejected by way of throwing it off the table, or if I need to mediate one more argument about who shoved who and how it shouldn’t matter because it was, “only tapping like this”, I may curl into the fetal position and cry.
  • The month is full of errands, company and errands for company. It’s hectic.
  • This is the most expensive month of our year and it’s highly stressful.
  • FML. December can end already!

What I’m reading; 

  • Nothing at all: This month is not about reading. It’s about wrapping, stress, baking, stress, spending, stress, more wrapping, stress, some cleaning post-baking and post-wrapping, stress, children unwrapping, stress and then more cleaning. No time for books and escape!
My favorite blogs/sites this month;
  • The Sits Girls; This is a fantastic blog for a newbie to the cyber world, such as myself. I suppose my page views don’t exactly quantify me as “fresh meat” but I’m still learning the ropes and have much to improve upon. I love the organization of this blog, how easy it is to navigate and I like the overall sense of community from the general site as well. It’s an excellent resource for bloggers everywhere and, as I’m hoping to improve My Domestic Dish in the New Year, it’s providing me with some regular reading material.
  • Mirth and MotivationI love dropping by Elizabeth’s blog, especially on a Motivational Monday, and am always floored by her collection of quotes, her outlook on life and the inspirational posts that she manages to piece together week after week. This blog is a lovely positive-while-not-preachy place and it’s my sanctuary during this stressful month. I would love to join in on the themes for a month, following proposed topics for bloggers and I think I might make an effort at it this coming year. It’s a great place to head for some daily affirmation!

What I’m watching;

  • Reruns; Everything I regularly watch is over. I’m watching the usual Christmas programming and have probably involuntarily seen Elf enough times in the past two weeks to file a restraining order against the overly cheery ahole. 
Attribution; http://cdn.3news.co.nz/3news/AM/2013/12/19/325800/Elf.jpg
  • I have also been taking full advantage of the fact that the On Demand fireplace is back. I love turning it on and have been doing so daily. In fact, I’m listening to the crackle of it as I write this. 

What I’m eating or drinking; 

  • I’ll be entirely honest, I’m eating everything I shouldn’t right now. Gah- and I was doing so well! I’ve been baking quite often and have a variety of cookies, meats and other homemade delectable that are steering me off of the healthy path. I’m not normally one to indulge in many sugar binges, as I am more of a savory lover, but I’m blaming Elf. The four food groups mentioned in that movie are candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup- I’m going to suggest that it embedded itself into my brain and has effed with my wiring. Freaking Ferrel and his pointy hat!

  • The beverage of choice this month; wine! I’ve actually been given a couple of bottles from the women of my Mommy group so I’ve been sampling some various brands lately, courtesy of my lovely friends. I am looking forward to rum and eggnog this Christmas Eve, as part of our celebration with extended family, and we enjoy Kraken the most. If you’re a rum drinker and haven’t tried that one yet- do it. Do it and let me know how much you loved it!

    What I’m wearing; 

    • A front full of flour, most of the time, as well as pj bottoms or sweats. I’ve been baking quite a bit and choose those items when working with flour. It makes no sense to get covered in ingredients while wearing jeans or a skirt. I have also been rocking the poncho wrap a lot lately, as it’s like a big hug on a cold day and it’s super comfortable!
    What I’m doing; 
    I’ve been baking a lot lately. It’s not my idea of fun anymore, as I feel like a mini shortbread factory and it’s really getting to me.

    • I’ve been taking care of Thing 1, who has undergone surgery to remove his appendix. He went in on the 14th, after spending the morning vomiting and I knew there had to be something up because he was never sick. As soon as he said that he had pain in the lower, right side of his body we got him to the emergency room immediately and he was in surgery by that evening.
      It was, easily, the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me as a parent and my poor, little guy was incredibly brave the whole time. Minutes before his surgery, he was comforting me while I could see the fear in his eyes. I never, ever want to see my child in pain again and if I could put them all in a bubble, I would seriously consider the undertaking. 

      What I’m listening to;

      • Christmas carols, what else?! Michael Buble is my reason for the season. 
      • Uptown Funk and Bruno Mars. Gah, love that song!

      Making me happy this month;

      • My little Chicky is potty training! Not only has my youngest daughter been using the toilet, she’s also coming out of her shy, little shell and is talking much more than usual. She’s finally piping up in front of her Daddy, my family members and siblings more than just the odd word here or there. Prior to these last few weeks, it’s only been Peanut and I who have gotten to speak to her so I’m very proud of her. It’s so exciting! At the same time, it’s bittersweet because my bitty baby is growing up and she’s the last of our brood. Ah, my ovaries! 🙁

      • Crafting! I’ve been doing a lot of Christmas crafts with the kiddies. I love finding a project that the kids enjoy but this year our ornaments didn’t turn out all that great. My oldest went in a different direction, my other son did what he was supposed to do (but he’s the artsy one) and Peanut Modge Podged our entire dining room table. So be it! It was fun while it lasted. I still want to make a salt dough ornament with Chicky though, just to mark her first Christmas craft and to go with everyone else’s handprints from previous years.

        My goals for LAST month;

        • Lose more weight, even after eating cette weight in Halloween candy. Hasn’t happened, although I haven’t gained either. Small steps, it’s Christmas and I haven’t added an ass cheek in shortbread!
        • Finish my quilt. My sewing class started doing Christmas things instead, which prevented my completion by no fault of my own. However, it’s given me something to look forward to in the New Year so I’m going to mark this as a carry over goal. 
        • Devote some time to the hubbs, as I have been doing with the children…At least once a week, without any other distractions. DONE! (When he’s awake, that is. Keeping this on for next month too, as it’s a positive goal).

        My goals for this month;

        • Keep on bonding with the hubby. Spend at least one night each week having a “date”, or at least a few hours devoted to one another without any distractions. He votes on naked snuggling (of course).
        • Finish my quilt when the sewing class starts up.
        • Use the new Flex Belt three times a week, minimum.

        A Moment In Me-Time, Loathsome November

        Being inspired by a fellow Blogger’s “Ahora” series, I’ve decided to start A Moment in Me-time and give readers a glimpse into what is going on in my own personal life at the start of each new month. This is the second of this series, for November (obvs!!). Thanks again to Kelly, from A Lovely Life Indeedfor the inspiration. 
        *** Disclaimer; Post includes Amazon affiliate links***

        November…I hate this month with every fibre of my being;

        • It gets cold. I don’t like this kind of in-your-bones-teeth-chattering-nipply-and-nose-runny cold. Plus, it’s wet. Cold and wet are not the way to go. Canada sucks right now, no two ways about it.
        • Halloween passed and I’ve got Christmas to dread. Living in a home with four children means bills- Massive bills and Christmas strewn everywhere. My gorgeous babies will become wrapping paper shredding, screeching minions of Satan and they’ll be more wired than Charlie Sheen while winning. Until the New Year, I am a closeted and falsely happy human embodiment of Grumpy Cat. Bah-Humbug! 
        • My love of pumpkins must be stifled for the time being.
        • That creepy Elf On The Shelf comes out to freak the shit out of my hooligans.


        What I’m reading; 

        • Superfreakonomics: Last month’s post actually inspired me to pick it up again and, even the second time around, it’s fantastic. 
        My favorite blogs this month;
        • Crazy Little Projects; Just click it, you’ll see why. This blog is absolutely beautiful and has an insane amount of cool DIY stuff on there. I have pinned a bunch of her projects already and am truly inspired by the amount of work that goes into everything and the creativity of this blogger. Check out the 25 Creative Gift Ideas Under $10
        • The Megalomaniac Mommy; I like Anne’s way of writing and find that she is easy to relate to, especially as we share an illness and both have large families. Hers is a bit larger than ours but, hey, we’re still young ;P This blog covers a massive array of topics, from crafts to reviews and everything in between. Anne puts it all out there in some posts, has beautiful photos in all of them, and will give you plenty of food for thought. This is a blog that I am always happy to return to.

        What I’m watching;

        • The Blacklist. It’s a fantastic, suspense-filled crime drama based around Raymond “Red” Reddington, an ex government agent turned career criminal. He voluntarily surrenders to the FBI after decades of eluding capture in order to work with an agent, Elizabeth Keene, on her first day on the job. It’s been good so far, even if some of the plot twists and relationships are a bit too drawn out for my liking. I can say without a doubt that James Spader is my absolute favourite actor and there’s nothing like hearing him tear a strip off of someone. He rocks my socks.       As if the Avengers franchise couldn’t get any better, they’ve added him to the cast. Can’t wait!

        What I’m eating or drinking; 

        • Halloween candy. We bought far too many boxes of candy this year and got about a handful of kids. I’ll take one for the team and try to consume the rest of it. On the subject of Halloween candy, this is something that I look forward to seeing each year and will tune into Jimmy Kimmel, if only for this reason; 

        • I have also been into lentils lately and have been using them in different dishes. I’m actually going to post something about that this week, I hope, if I can get some decent photos when I make my next dish. They’re so good for you!

        • I’m still eating pumpkin seeds. I should have done a tutorial for how I make mine, as they are crazy addictive and a better snack than most. I have one, uncarved pumpkin left over from Halloween so I’ll have to do it up and schedule a post for a whole year from now! Here’s hopin’ I am still “Dishing” by that time.

        What I’m wearing; 

        • A lot of black items, including this one by Alkemie Apparel that I recently reviewed. The weather has been darker and I think my wardrobe may be influenced by the dreary days. I also lost another family member this week, which came as quite a shock, so I dug out all of my black clothing to find a respectable outfit that would work for services. 
        What I’m doing; 
        • Spending a lot more one-on-one time with each of my children. I always make sure to do things with my babies, as a family, but I have been devoting more of my day to each child as an individual and have found that it has greatly helped improve the attitude of my oldest. He’s an excellent, little boy and very easy to deal with (for the most part) but he was getting a bit mouthy, sulky and snarky. I realized that I have been curbing our activities more towards the littler ones and our “date night” wasn’t cutting it. I am pleased with the results so far and have been enjoying spending more time with each of my children on their own, instead of primarily as a collective.
        • Playing catch up. I have fallen down on the job recently, in the cyber world, and have been trying to get back on track with photo editing, posts and creating content. I overhauled the blog, changed the layout, theme and colours and have been working on some other things recently but it’s time to get back down to business.

        What I’m listening to;

        • The Very Best Of Rod Stewart. I was cleaning out a shelf in the basement and came across my old CD case, finding some classics in there and this was one of them. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy always makes me laugh, as I think of the old, drunk Scotsman singing it in So I Married An Axe Murderer. Hilarious movie. 

        Making me happy this month;

        • My oldest, Thing 1! He just brought home an absolutely fantastic report card and the only real area of improvement that was noted was the fact that he needs to learn to be a little less like his mother was in class…he needs to zip it. His grades are fantastic, he’s now attending classes in French and is picking up a second language quite well. I was so nervous about him attending Immersion, as he was not keen on it to begin with, but it has worked out incredibly well. I am so proud of him. He’s pictured below while playing dress up with his overly bossy sister, who demanded he be a “pwincess” too. She does this to everyone in our home nearly every day but, lucky for me, Ben is a great sport about it and is the best big brother. He may very well murder me for posting this but, knowing him, he’ll probably think it’s hilarious and just wonder about the comments.

        • Which brings me to my next thing that makes me happy- the princess fad, as there is nothing more adorable than two tiny ladies in gowns and tiaras. Here’s Charlii, dressing her sister up and waving like the queen; 

        • Sewing! I have taken up sewing and even started a little beginners class. I am presently working on a hideous, although fairly well-crafted, quilt made from scrap fabric. I love the hobby but need to build up some supplies before I can do much from home.

        My goals for LAST month;

        • Bake breads or snacks twice a week. Try new recipes as well. Not done as much as I had hoped. I broke my fantastic measuring cup and need to replace it 🙁
        • Find a weight loss routine/workout/diet that is obtainable and stick to it. Done! I lost 9lbs thus far.
        • Get out more. Done!

        My goals for this month;

        • Lose more weight, even after eating cette weight in Halloween candy.
        • Finish my quilt.
        • Devote some time to the hubbs, as I have been doing with the children…At least once a week, without any other distractions.

        A moment in me-time….

        Being inspired by a fellow Blogger’s “Ahora” series, I’ve decided to start A Moment in Me-time and give readers a glimpse into what is going on in my own personal life at this point. These entries will also serve as a great way to look back on my own views, or activities, as the years go by and I plan to do one each month.

        Thank you to Kelly from A Lovely Life Indeed for the push, as I’ve wanted to do something a bit like this for a while and didn’t know where to begin but your suggestion that you would like to see some of these was just the prompt that I required.

        October is my favourite month;

        • I love the seasonal changes to the temperature and to the trees. 
        • Halloween is THE holiday- forget all of this Christmas junk. 
        • I can incorporate pumpkin into pretty much anything- and will! 
        • Apple cider’s back and we can resume our love affair. 
        • Barring no mishaps, this month marks only one year until Bryan and I officially tie the knot. 

        What I’m reading; 

        • I just finished By The Light Of The Moon, by Dean Koontz. I’ve been reading a lot of his work, as I received a box of them recently, and I am getting progressively more tired of it. Nearly every novel is the same and many characters have identical traits, professions or hidden talents. I did find this one to be one of his better books though and quite enjoyed it overall. It will, however, be the last of his that I pick up for a while. 

        My favorite blogs this month;

        • Mommypotamus; Heather is the Mommypotamus and I love her work, her ideas and the way in which she writes. Her blog is what helped mine to get started and she does it all…or at least the things that I find worth doing. Her blog covers healthy eating, DIY projects, health, beauty, crafts, natural remedies and it provides me with a great deal of inspiration, as a blogger and a Mum, on a regular basis. 
        • Mamapedia Although this isn’t exactly a typical blog, I still subscribe to it like one and check in with it on a regular basis. It’s a collective of Mommy wisdom and, of course, there’s no better kind than that. You can find nearly every topic imagineable here and it makes the world feel like a much smaller place, knowing that someone else is dealing with the exact same thing you are at any given point in time. 
        • Glamour-zine I love this blog, especially on a day when I don’t have the time to read a heck of a lot but still want some fashion inspiration and some ideas for prettying up the hair. Her photos are gorgeous, her style is impeccable and she’s a cutiepie Mama of two that, like myself, describes her age as “twenty something”- I hear ya sister! 😉 

        What I’m watching;
        Hell On Wheels. This AMC show is about the lawless town from which the title is derived. The citizens of this railroad city, travelling with the western side of the Union Pacific Railroad, make for a compelling cast of miscreants and I am completely addicted to this series, which follows the formation of the transcontinental railroad after the Civil War and the emancipation of the slaves. Cullen Bohannon, the lead character, is a rough, haunted and obscenely handsome cowboy that fills a weekly need to witness a gentleman give someone hell. If ever given the opportunity, I might give serious consideration to leaving my husband for this fictional character- my husband would, likewise, do the very same- he’s just that good!
        (Case in point; My husband just read what I had written and said, “Obscenely handsome, eh?”, to which I replied, “Well, he’s very good looking and I say it when a woman is too. Don’t worry hun, you’re more handsome.” My husband answered with, “No one is more handsome than he is. No one.”)


        What I’m eating or drinking; 

        • Pumpernickel bread. I can’t help myself- it’s what I am eating at this point in time and I have had a slice already tonight. 
        • I’ve been making a lot of cherry bombs lately, which are little, spicy red peppers that I put prosciutto and provolone into. I roast them with the seeds in first so as to make sure they’re super hot, then slice the tops off, scoop some of the seeds out (take them all out if you’re a sissy) put in your filling and broil them for a few minutes until everything is melty and delicious. Amazing, although you may want to be sure you have a cup of milk on hand.
        • And drinking- apple cider, of course! 
        • I have also been into Frisky Zebras more than any other wine lately, as it fits within our terrible budget constraints at this time of year but still gives me a special treat after a particularly hard day. Megalomaniac’s Homegrown Reisling is always a favourite.

        What I’m wearing; 

        • Echo Verde has been a fall fashion find for me, which you can read about by that first link or this one here
        • I have been sporting a lot of leggings lately and a variety of boots- heeled or flat, in varying lengths. Like this

        What I’m doing; 

        • I started attending a women’s group. There’s a Lifetree Cafe gathering around the corner from my house and I decided to start going once a week, in order to get out and mingle with some other mothers. There are uninteresting topics once in a while, or things that I have already covered in my decade plus of living on my own and by raising children in a healthy household, but it is geared towards a larger group and covers something for everyone. My girls are always so excited to go and play with “friends” each Thursday now and Peanut counts down the days of the week.
        • Crafting! I have been making things a lot since the start of the month with little pumpkins, wine bottles (which I will post about soon) or I recently posted about a craft using mason jars. I also love using burlap, especially at this time of year, and will show you my wreath this next coming week so stay tuned!

        What I’m listening to;

        • Xprime is played daily when my alarm goes off. 
        • That song “All About That Bass” is my favourite feel-good new release and I’ve discovered that I love Meghan Trainor’s voice. I’ve been listening to more pop than usual, which I hate myself for, but I’ve been needing some energy and find it helps. 
        • The Rumours album by Fleetwood Mac has also made my playlist as of late.

        Making me happy this month;

        • My husband has been far more helpful at home than usual. He’s making a daily effort to ease some of my burden and it’s made a great deal of difference to how overwhelmed I have been feeling. 
        • We have been going to the Farmer’s Market each week, making room for family time and teaching the boys about supporting the local economy. They have been exceptionally well-behaved during each outing. I look forward to these trips a great deal. 
        • My girls, while I get to spend every day with them at home and count myself lucky no matter what they’re getting into. They have also been getting along much better than usual, with Peanut learning to share nicely. In this photo, they are both fresh out of the bath and were choosing their own attire- Chicky opted for a necklace and the nudist approach, while Peanut used her dress to make a poncho like mine and they both dressed up in my boots. 

        My goals for LAST month;

        • Get back into the swing of things with baking, on top of daily cooking. I have been doing more, only not as much as I would like so I am keeping it as a goal and adding specifics this time around. 
        • Start working out daily…. eugh, still working on this one. 
        • Fix my sleep cycle, going to bed at the same time each night and waking at the same time each day. Done! 

        My goals for this month;

        • Bake breads or snacks twice a week. Try new recipes as well. 
        • Find a weight loss routine/workout/diet that is obtainable and stick to it. 
        • Get out more.