Mile Markers

As someone who grew up in a world as competitive and challenging as ballet I developed some skills pretty early on in life that help you overcome that mental block that can be so intimidating. This skill has transferred well into other situations in life like learning to run, meeting fitness goals, meeting difficult savings goals and getting through the day during a pregnancy after a delivery than ended in the NICU.

The skill I have found most affective for me is the mile marker. When I was dancing I always pushed to hold a position for one more count than the class before, when I was running it was one more telephone pole than the run before, and more often than not having several mile markers places close together I saw more success than failure and that made it earlier to try a little harder next time. When it comes to pregnancy, as I learner so clearly last time you don’t have any control of when baby comes and when you have had experiences like we had you really want to grasp onto any bit of control or power you can over when baby arrives.

How I have used this skill to help move along the pregnancy is first by educating myself and learning at what point do things change baby enough to survive.

The first mile marker I set was at 25 weeks. I knew that at that point our chances of survival was 70%, its not great, but I could take a breath and know that we made it that far. My next marker was 27 weeks; only because for some reason I will never understand an unbelievable amount of women I know in the last few years have had babies that have survived and thrived when born during this week. Having just crossed that threshold I can now set my sights on my final mile marker week 34+2, when Monkey was born.

I am hoping that when I reach week 34+3 that I will be able to have a huge sigh of relief as at that point I know what will happen if baby comes. It will be a shorter stay in NICU than when Monkey was there, or maybe if we are lucky a discharge home. At this point all I can hope for is one more day than before and take each one as it comes.

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26 Week Bumpdate🤰🏻

This week flew by like a vacation, I took a sick day to rest, Michael came home and Monkey had his 18 month immunizations. We were busy and I felt pretty good after a day at home with some books, tea and a lot of YouTube.

Baby is moving lots, and their favourite time to dance is around 2am, but waking to those kicks is actually a lot of fun so I don’t mind one bit!

And bonus I realized as of today I only have 13 work days left until I am finished work and maternity leave begins!

Which motivated me to get one annoying chore off my list… an oil change… with a toddler. Thank goodness for animal crackers and Thomas! How did out parent s ever manage without this technology?

This Week’s Stats:

Weight Gained: 2kg (ie down 3kg)

Cravings: none!

Favourite Products: Happy Hippo Bath Bombs (I used like 3 this week)

Energy Level: Much closer to regular old me than I have seen in a while

25 Week Bumpdate 🤰🏻

Back to the grind! Day one of week 25 I headed back to work after an amazing 2 weeks off, that was desperately needed. Monkey slept in every day allowing me to wake up and relax with a cup of tea and a book every morning which I am hoping will continue when I am home for leave until baby comes… because we all know there will be no reading once I am back on the diaper change and feed every 3 hours schedule again.

Looking back on the week I realized how exhausting sitting can be. At this moment my job is definitely not physical and by the end of the day I am wiped! I have never been so thankful for meal planning and choosing only slow cooker meals.

The round ligament discomfort is in full swing and baby is beyond active! I went for my blood glucose level testing this week and after drinking that “wonderful” orange drink baby danced up a storm. A worry I had was that in my last pregnancy I had undiagnosed gestational diabetes and that was what brought on my premature labour because we were doing quite a few tests around my sugars as they kept coming back “strange”. Right now I am hoping no news in good news seeing that we are a week post test as of tomorrow.

I am also inclined to believe that baby had a huge growth spurt this week because I finished my lunch kit by 10:30 every day, which lead me into local coffee shops and restaurants a few times. One day while waiting for my far too expensive tuna sand which and chocolate cake to be ready to-go I over heard another patron ask “what is underground soup?” To which the waitress replied “a soup made from only things that grow underground”. This statement made my way too expensive lunch a little more worth it. This lead to me spending a few evenings with my feet elevated, while I looked through Pinterest in order to inspire a recipe for something I have never tried before. On Saturday Monkey and I ventured to the grocery store picked up our favourite root vegetables and made my first attempt at “underground soup”. I am not going to lie it was pretty awesome! (Recipe soon to come 😉)

TThis week’s stats:

Weight Gain: holding on at 5kgs

Cravings: chocolate cake

Favourite products: Brazil nut butter and Vichy BB Cream (the secret to my glow)

Energy level: beyond exhausted

24 Week Bumpdate 🤰🏻

As week 24 draws to a close, I have to say that I am finally feeling like a normal person again. I have managed to catch every flu and cold going and ended up bed rested by the doctor or my husband because I felt so terrible. This is so different than my experience with Monkey.

For my second trimester the first time around I was traveling to the other side of the country, hanging out with friends and family and had that second trimester energy everyone always tells you about during the first trimester fog. This time around, I was tired, short and done with being done. Thankfully I was on an extended Christmas break because Monkey’s day home was closed, so we got to have lots of bonding time and fun along with mid day naps which really helped me get back into the groove of life.

24+6 weeks

I was also able to get a lot done this week, because I am all too aware that although one premature delivery does not guarantee another it does mean that I am at a much higher risk of having it happen again. Because of this I took the week to start getting the house organized and completed tasks like dismantling the guest room, ordering the crib and organizing my breast pump bag in order to see what needs replacing. Now I can go back to work knowing that the house is in a state of organization that if baby comes hickey after I start my leave (in 21 work days but who’s counting) I will not feel completely out of sorts!

This Weeks Stats:

Weight Gain: 5kgs (Finally!)
Cravings: crab dip
Favourite Products: Brazil nut body butter from the Body Shop
Energy Level: High

New Year New Goals

At 24 weeks pregnant and with only 22 working days left (woohoo) many would think that my goals for 2018 would include a lot of sleeping while Monkey is at day care and making it to 40 + 1 weeks. Which is 100% correct, but that that doesn’t meant that I don’t want to challenge myself. And like most of you I didn’t actually decide on a “resolution” or goal until December 31.

While frying up some onions and carrots to turn the rest of my left over Christmas turkey into a turkey pot pies for the freezer and discussing my cooking and food budgeting plans with Michael, the idea for this years resolution came to me; Seasonal Eating. Now this way of thinking goes against all the usual resolutions people make because it’s not about loosing weight and getting “beach body ready” for June, because you eat what it available to you that is locally grown, and I know a lot more cows and potatoes that are available for eating this time of year than heads of lettuce. This works great for me because I really do believe in supporting local growers and growing/storing my own food. Plus I am going to be 4 weeks postpartum when it beach season begins so whatever body I have at that time will be my beach body.

Staring on this journey I know very little about seasonal eating. I know there is a cycle of weight gain and loss because you eat higher fat and starchy food in the winters and fresh beautiful fruits and vegetables in the summer. My goal for this year is to start off the year by researching the topic (Pinterest and YouTube will be my new best friends) and starting out by doing the things I know to be true about this way of living; like making my own bread and eating more root vegetables.

This week I plan on looking through a cookbook I bought way back in university called “Vegetable Love” and planning out which recipes will suite my family and see how I can substitute them in for old favourites.

What I am hoping to gain from this year (or as long as I can hold out) is new recipes to feed my growing family, and finding a natural way to reduce food waste and decrease our food budget… because this family loves them some expensive food items like organic bananas (guilty) and fancy cheese boards. I am also hoping that it will help me plan my garden appropriately for the coming spring so I know what to grow to store and what to grow to eat throughout the growing season. 24 tomato plants, although they filled our pantry with amazing salsa will not sustain us through next winter unless we are living on chips and queso!

I have a second goal that I am trying out for this year, I am tackling the bullet journal (aka the BuJo)!

While on maternity leave with Monkey my Erin Condrine Life Planner was my ride or die. With weekly medical appointments, Michael’s work schedule and getting into a diaper washing routine I needed something to keep things straight in my mind and this planner did it for me. But when I went back to work with still far too many medical appointments to manage and my work schedule on top of that I found myself so disorganized because the life planner was too big to just toss in my purse so I never wrote anything in it and therefore never really even checked it either. Before I knew it I was always second guessing where I needed to be and when, so I needed something to keep me on track but was more compact than the life planner so I didn’t just leave it at the coffee bar in the kitchen every morning.

Thankfully one day last fall while Monkey was napping I stumbled upon the bullet journal. I started pinning and watching videos and getting inspiration about how to design my own journal that would fit my needs, every day, no matter what. The next thing I knew I was at indigo picking the perfect notebook and hanging out in the pen aisles at Michaels and Walmart looking for the right shades of blue, red, and green that would work for my sketches but also not bleed through the paper (this is still a work in progress). Once I had the things I needed to start my BuJo journey I set up my journal and decided I would start January 1, 2018. I am only a few days in and feel much less disorganized and overwhelmed with life, I hope it keeps up!

What do your New Years goals look like? How long do you think you can keep them going? Leave your answer in the comments below!

The First Trimester

How do I describe my first trimester? EXHAUSTING!

I am beyond fortunate that I am not one of those women who experiences morning sickness, but what I do have is unimaginable exhaustion… like instantly. That was my first clue that there may be a little on the way when I no longer had the energy to even marathon Netflix let alone think about blogging, along with maintaining any level of parenting. The exhaustion was so much stronger this time around, mostly because unlike during my pregnancy with Monkey I am not really able to sleep until noon on the weekends and nap after work, because my toddler is more into play time than nap time.

Adding to the exhaustion was the INSANE number of appointments. Due to Monkey’s prematurity and the complications that arose after his birth my medical team wanted to be sure of our dating to make sure if we are faced with a premature birth again that baby will receive all the medical care they need. As frustrating as it was going to so many appointments and having so many ultrasounds in the first trimester, I am thankful to know exactly how far along our little one is. According to the dates the majority of doctors use I am 3 weeks further along than what I actually am. As a Mama practicing NFP I was off by a single day… but we all know what it can be like talking to doctors about something that they don’t always understand or doesn’t fall into a textbook situation. But in the end I was right and I am glad that baby will get what they need in the end if necessary.

So for those of you who are wondering my first trimester was full of napping when Monkey was napping, heading to bed early and getting myself organized so that life will run a little smoother.

First Trimester Details:
Loves: Naps
Hates: Rotisserie Chicken and Bulk Olives in the deli section of the grocery stores
Favourite products: Vichy Normaderm 3 in 1 Scrub + Cleanser + Mask
Cravings: Tomato soup and Vanilla milkshakes
Weight Change: 0kgs
Baby Size: Size of a lime
Exciting Moment: At 12 weeks I felt baby move for the first time. It was slight and fast and only felt it a few times, but now that I know what a rolling baby feels like I know that’s what I felt.

Fall Project

I know I know, I have been away for a while and I probably owe a little bit of an explanation. Things have been a little crazy around here for the last few weeks (or month) and taking a little time for me and writing was not in the cards. With the three of us adjusting to Michael’s new work schedule and a family vacation where really no one slept for 2 weeks it took a little time to get my footing back. But not it’s back and I’m ready to tackle my new Fall Project!

I know in a lot of the world people are still heading to the beach, and soaking up some rays and not ready to hear that dreaded four letter word F-A-L-L. But here in Canada, the leaves are starting to change, the light footie pyjamas are out and cups of morning tea are just a little bit yummier.

For me the best time of year is right now, late August to early October, when the days are still fairly warm and the mornings are cool enough to excuse and extra push of the snooze button. I love the colours and the smells of early fall, especially around the harvest. As a big believer of self sustainability and buying local fall is the best time of year to put my values to work by heading to the markets and food stands to buy my produce for the now and the winter months. And that my friends is where we will start my fall project.

In March I began my Spring Project where I planted far too many tomato plants and a few peppers in the hopes of canning salsa and tomatoes for the winter…. well we are still waiting for them to turn red but I think I did a pretty good job considering the closest thing to gardening i had ever done before was buy a tomato plan with fruit already on it and put it on my patio in university…. So in the coming weeks I will be canning tomatoes that will hopefully sustain us the winter.

But this week while perusing Facebook I found this add for a local food stand :

Moo at the Zoo: In The Land of the Lemurs

This is not a sponsored post, the thoughts and opinions written here are my own. See disclaimer.

Friday officially marked the beginning of my summer vacation for this year, and yes I am well aware that I have only been back in the office for about 3.5 months but I worked a ton of overtime during my pregnancy and before the wedding to make sure I had vacation when I came back. It’s tough adjusting from Lululemon and mommy and me yoga to blazers and meeting with clients daily, so this Mama needs a break. So on Friday at about 2:30pm I cleaned up my desk and headed home for 2 weeks of playtime with my Monkey.

To kick off our vacation we decided to head to Calgary for another fun day at the Zoo. We are definitely putting Taunte Elizabeth’s birthday gift to good use this summer!During our first visit to the Zoo in May we learned that the Calgary Zoo would soon be home to Canada’s largest lemur exhibit, opening summer 2017. Well It’s summer and the exhibit is now open and we were excited to stand in line to get a glimpse of these amazing creatures that are sadly so close to extinction.


The exhibit is in three parts with homes for the critically endangered black and while ruffed lemurs, the ring-tailed lemur (the Zoboomafu classic), and the red-fronted lemur.

You can see the lemurs from a platform giving you an unobstructed option which is great for photographers and lemur lovers alike, but the best part of the experience is taking the walk through and actually entering the enclosure and getting a up close experience with these beautiful creatures. It was well wroth the 15 minute wait to enter the walk through.


One of Monkey’s favourite features of the walk through was the rope bridge that allows for a little monkeying or more like “lemuring around”.

Because we travel during morning naptime we arrived at about 10:30am which was a great time to arrive. Even though the lemurs were sleeping when we arrived by the time we got through the line and into the enclosure they were starting to get active.


On our way out of the exhibit we were lucky enough to find the red-fronted lemurs awake and ready for lunch


After visiting the lemurs we had a chance to catch the giraffes (my favourites) enjoying a little lunch as well.


Aren’t they amazing creatures!

Our visit to the zoo was a perfect way to kick off two weeks of Monkey time, and I think Monkey would say the same 

He played himself out

What is your favourite exhibit at the zoo? Let me know in the comments below!

A Fresh Take on Meal Planning

This post contains affiliated links please see my disclaimer.

One of the things I have always taken pride in is what I manage to create in the kitchen.  Coming home at the end of a long day at the office one of the most relaxing things for me to do was scrole through Pinterest while digging in my crisper drawer and pantry to find the perfect combination of fresh local foods to make something incredibly delicious. 

But now that I am back to work and my time with Monkey is so precious I can’t possible spend that kind of time every evening unwinding at the stove when there are Beat Bugs to sing along with and bath time to enjoy. Even though I may not have the time (or enegery) to think up creative meals, it doesn’t mean that my family doesn’t deserve amazing dinners. This is where my friends at Hello Fresh come to save the day.

I was sent a Family Plan Box which included 3 perfectly proportioned meals for a family of 4 with kid friendly recipes to review with my little family. 

The food arrives packed in a thermal box to keep everything fresh on its travels. Inside the thermal box you will find recipe cards, and 3 boxes containing everything you need for each recipe making meal prep a breeze! No more rooting through the pantry or fridge only to find out you are out of one essential ingredient.

Even Monkey was excited to get in on the action!

Our first night we had Seared Italian Sausages with Veggoe Succotash and Tomato-et Orzo.

This was awesome meal, everyone loved it and it was very filling. I had alway seen orzo in the grocery store but thought it was more of a soup pasta it is was amazing in the sauce!

The next day we had Pulled Chicken Sliders with Tangy Cabbage Slaw for lunch after a long morning at the Market.


This made a great lunch that we ate over 2 days. 

The last meal we had was a Seared Steak and Crispy Potato Salad with Tomatoes, Green Beans and Shallot pan Sauce.


I was excited to take the left over to work the next day for lunch!

I love how all the ingredients are pre measured so there is zero food waste. All the recipes took about a half hour to prepare and were enjoyed by everyone. 

I can see myself ordering again when things get busy during the holidays or when I just need some new ideas for my repertoire. One of the things I loved about Hello Fresh is that you are not only provided with the ingredients pre measured but the recipes so you can repeat the meals you love again and again… You should see the huge bag of orzo we bought this week, we will be repeating one of these sometime soon!

Hello Fresh is not only for the culinary inclined, it is a great way for those who are a little intimidated by more complex recipes to try something a little out of their comfort zone with little chance of failure. 

If you are interested in trying Hello Fresh they have given me a promo code to pass along to all of you just use MCGILLS60 at the check out and you will receive $30 off your first and second box!! That’s a total of $60!



What ways do you try and save on meal prep time? If you have tried Hello Fresh, let me know about your experience!