BEHIND THE SCENES OF HOME AND FAMILY

BEHIND THE SCENES OF HOME AND FAMILY

 

Earlier this month I had the amazing opportunity to appear on Hallmark’s daytime show Home and Family. This is a channel we don’t get up here in Canada, but it is a wildly popular one in the US- and it was amazing to spend time with the hosts Cameron and Debbi and oh my word was it great fun.

For a little behind the scenes look at my experience, check out this video below!

TIME MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR BUSY MOMS

TIME MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR BUSY MOMS

A few weeks ago, I was so fortunate to speak at The BabyTime Show (now called The Baby and Toddler Show) here in Toronto. It was so much fun. I had an amazing weekend where I partnered with a few brands for my booth / live stage presentation, and I connected with several moms in one-on-one time management strategy consultations. So incase you missed it, I wanted to share with you some of the tips that I shared in my talk: Time Management Strategies for Busy Moms. 

Here's the thing about time: we all have the exact same amount of it, and how we use it will determine the happiness level of our lives. And while we cannot control how much time we have, we can control how we spend it. Here are my essential tips for managing time well in the business of motherhood:

1. CAST VISION FOR THE FUTURE

My first time management strategy is to cast vision of where you want to go in life. If we don't know where we're going, it doesn't matter to me how many time management strategies you use. You might be using them in the wrong places. The question you want to ask yourself is if you could live life like the most ideal version of yourself, what would that look like? And there are a couple ways that you can do this. One way I love is the rocking chair test that Tony Robbins offers at a lot of his seminars. Picture yourself at the age of 80, sitting in a rocking chair, reviewing your past 80 years.

What are you proud of? What did you do that you feel so incredibly grateful that you did? What regrets do you have if you had any? What do you wish you could have told your younger self?

Another exercise I really like is one that I found in the book Living Forward by Daniel Harkavy and Michael Hyatt. It's the exercise of writing your own obituary, looking at the end of your life, and reflecting upon how you are going to be remembered. 

These exercises can help us to have a more clear, and intentional way of living. I really believe in my heart of hearts that a mom will be most happy if she can have a stance of where she is going.

2. WHAT CAN YOU DELEGATE?

We cannot do it all. And we definitely cannot do it all at the same time, and do it well. So I believe that a really important skill for a mom to learn is how to delegate. There are so many things in a mom's life that can be delegated. Can you break up who does school drop off and pick up? Could you delegate cleaning of your house to a cleaning service? Can you delegate who plans and prepares meals?

One of the ways I do this for my little guys is with Love Child Organics prepared pouches. These pouches are so convenient. Especially with the holidays approaching, it's so easy for me to be entertaining guests and conveniently give my children organic and nutritious snacks and meals without me preparing it myself. 

The Simple Firsts (available in apple, pear and prune for babies just starting solids) and Super Blends (available in 15 flavours, my kids are currently obsessed with the Banana, Carrot, Mangoe + Coconut blend) are all in convenient, resealable pouches that are perfect for small appetites. They can be safely closed back up again, popped in the fridge, and used later for the next meal or snack.

While I would love to say I had time to make my own organic baby food, these prepared pouches help me feed my kids in a really convenient way.

3. WHAT CAN YOU AUTOMATE?

This is a little bit different than delegation, but also along the same lines. For example, if you do something the same, or similar every week, how can you automate that so that you're not working so hard every time? The way I do it for grocery shopping is through a click and collect service where via an online platform you're able to literally use the exact same shopping list and with one button simply schedule when you pick up your groceries. It takes so much effort out of that exercise. Additionally, there are a ton of ways I use automation in my business. I use an email automation platform that allows me to collect emails, bill clients, even schedule appointments, all without me having to give any attention to it.
 

And have I ever told you about my obsession with Uber Eats?! Sometimes, a mom needs an extra pair (or a hundred pair) of hands to get life done. When I want a night off from cooking, Uber Eats delivers food from all my favourite neighbourhood restaurants- and there's no searching for where my kids placed my wallet, or where I stashed my purse when the delivery person arrives at the door- payment is completely automated via PayPal, including the tip!

With online shopping, and the holidays approaching, I have to be honest, sometimes I am doing it with a baby on my hip, a computer on my lap, my phone in my hand, and my wallet no where within arm's reach. So one of the ways I automate my online purchases is using Paypal. With Paypal, you have your credit card number saved within its online platform and it makes your online purchases literally reduced to a simple swipe and click. It's a way that you can automate your online purchases, all from the palm of your hand, often without having the leave the house!

Paying with PayPal saves on time and lets me get back to enjoying my family. Many of my favourite apps (Starbucks!) offer PayPal as a payment option which I love because it makes it easy to pay, it’s secure and I can do it right from my mobile phone.

For the full run down on how PayPal can help automate your holiday errands easily and conveniently, click here.

4. WHAT CAN YOU BATCH?

My next tip for time management is what in your life can you batch? So batching is a description for essentially taking similar activities and doing them all at the same time. So for example, I used to record one YouTube video a week and I would set up the camera on Thursday, get it all worked out, figure out my lighting, figure out my technology, often fail at some aspect of the technology, record my video, and then do it all again the next week. And it was always taking so much time because I would have to set everything up every single time. Now, I batch shoot several videos in one day.

Another example of batch creating is cooking all your meals on Sunday evening for example. You can create so many meals, and stick them in your freezer, and when you think about it, you've already got all the utensils out, you are already chopping, you're already dirtying your pots and bowls, and the process is so much more streamlined.

5. WHAT CAN YOU DELETE?

Another really important time management saving tip is what in your life can you delete? This is a hard one for me. I really hate disappointing people. I really hate saying no, especially to things that I care about. But what I think is really important to remember, and this is very much in Greg Mckeown's book Essentialism, is saying no to something is actually saying yes to something else. Saying no to something is actually saying yes to something else. It can be really hard to draw hard boundaries, but I believe if a mom wants to live her most fulfilled life, she can't do it all. She definitely can't do it all at the same time. So we have to have the courage and the strategy to say no to certain things so we can say yes to other things like our families, our own personal goals and dreams.

The show was so much fun, and if you go onto my instagram, check out the highlight from the show. I've got lots more things on there including products that I bought at the show, sneak peaks of the other vendors, as well as a full tour of my booth. My booth was outfitted by Buy Buy Baby and I had this really cool electric fireplace with Dimplex's Opti-myst technology. And I am grateful to The Electric Fireplace Shop who came and set the unit up for me. And you can see all of that by watching the highlight in my instagram.

So tell me, which of these tips resonates most with you, and which of these tips do you think that you could implement today? Let me know in the comments below!

Special thanks to Love Child Organics and PayPal for partnering with me on this blog post. I work hard to ensure the brands I represent help to make a mom's life easier, and enjoyable, and I make it a policy to work with brands that I personally use and enjoy myself.

 

HOW TO BE A GREAT MOM AND FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS

HOW TO BE A GREAT MOM AND FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS

The juggle, that is motherhood, is real. Between laundry, dishes, diapers and nap times, how do you fit in a date night, exercise, or anything else without losing your mind?!? We as moms juggle so much!

But what I have learned in almost 11 years of business, and seven children later, is that it is 100% possible to be a great mom AND follow your dreams at the same time. It takes planning, strategy, and a hard look at your priorities, but in the end it is so possible to do well.

I’m excited to once again to be speaking about the topic of work-life balance and how to design your life so you can be a great mom and follow your dreams at Toronto’s BabyTime Show! 

Come hear me share my Time Saving Strategies for Busy Moms on Friday November 16 at 2:30pm, and Saturday November 17 at 11:30am at Toronto’s BabyTime Show.

In addition to speaking, I am again going to be offering FREE STRATEGY SESSIONS FOR MOMS. Whether you are pregnant, or juggling life with little ones in tow, join me at the original baby show for everything prenatal to preschool. We can chat all things strategy, from time management, home management, ideas for a new business, or how to have a business or a blog with small kids in the mix, come join me at booth 268. Book your time with me here!

And you know it’s going to be the coziest booth at the show, right? Seriously. It’s going to have the most modern electric fireplace with the Opti-Myst technology I showed you before in this project, cozy gliders from buybuybaby, tasty and nutritious organic puree samples from my sponsor Love Child Organics, and we’ll chat how to save time this holiday season with my sponsor PayPal.

Plus, we can work through where you might currently be stuck in the areas of:

  • time management
  • work-life balance
  • balancing work and babies
  • how to start a blog with small kids at home
  • how to work during nap time
  • how to go on a regular date night
  • how to finally make progress on goals
  • how to not lose yourself in motherhood
  • how to feel like a confident mom

I cannot wait to see you.

The BabyTime Show runs from Friday November 16-Sunday November 18 at the International Centre in Mississauga. Book your strategy session with me here.

HOW TO NAVIGATE THROUGH LIFE AS A WORKING MOM

HOW TO NAVIGATE THROUGH LIFE AS A WORKING MOM

Hello my friends! I feel like it’s been a while since I have shared what is going on in my family, so today I am sharing an update on what it is like to be a working mom of 6, and share a tool that has been really helpful in navigating through life as a mom on the go [and today I am on the go with my youngest son in our new Bugaboo Bee⁵]!

Working mom of six… even when I read that I feel tired! But as I share often on my Instagram and my YouTube channel, navigating life with my large crew has been equal parts enjoyable, equal parts challenging, but most of all really, really fulfilling.

Lisa Canning Bugaboo Bee

Motherhood, like anything, is a skill. It has a learning curve. You can feel like you have it all together one minute, and then feel like you are going to lose your mind the next moment. Add on to that the very real pressures that come with a job outside of the home, and it can all be a difficult space to navigate. As I have told many of my first time mom friends, I think having your first child is harder than having six children in a lot of ways! There is such a steep learning curve with your first child, and such a drastic change in your identity, your regular schedule and your body!

But with eight years of this motherhood gig now under my belt, and six gorgeous humans who I get to call my children, I have a little more confidence, I am way less hard on myself, and I have learned strategies that help me to persevere through the challenging parts of motherhood.

Lisa Canning Bugaboo Bee Self Care
When people ask me, “how do you do it?” I honestly don’t always know what to say. But I will share this: one strategy that I have learned is an absolute necessity to thrive in motherhood is self care. And let’s just say I have failed pretty epically at it over the years. But what I have learned is that if we want to be good moms, good contributors to society, and generally nice people to be around [lol] we have to listen to our bodies, listen to our emotions, and take care of ourselves so we can take care of others.

This weekend I spoke at event [a really fun ladies tea event in Oakville on the topic of creating family memories at home] and I knew that I would be pretty tired after it. So I booked a babysitter, and made sure I would have enough time on the way home to do something I LOVE- which is to spend time on the waterfront in my home of Toronto, Canada.

Lisa Canning Bugaboo Bee CN Tower

 

We only hung out for about thirty minutes- but boy was it restorative. There is something so soothing to me about water. I love how peaceful it is, how vast it is, and for me it is just so restorative. I live in a really busy city- and I just love how even in my urban dwelling I can escape to a scene like this for a moment of rest. [It doesn’t hurt that there was a pierogi food truck nearby- so yummy]

Lisa Canning Bugaboo Bee Dreamer

It can be really challenging to make rest a priority. For many years, I didn’t think rest was important enough to hire a babysitter for, and spend money on to achieve. But what I find is when I rest, I dream. I am a dreamer. I love having the space to just think. To listen. To recalibrate. And my spouse, my kids, and myself are all better off as a result.

Lisa Canning Bugaboo Bee

With my large family of six kids ages eight and under, one of the ways we make our family work, and make it easier for me to have this self-care time, is to have more than one stroller. This way, if I am doing something on my own with the baby, and my husband or a babysitter is taking care of the rest, whoever is taking care of my other children has the flexibility to take my older kids out on their own adventure.

The Bugaboo Bee⁵ stroller makes traveling with my infant on my own really simple. It’s compact design makes it ideal for my urban neighbourhood- it’s narrow width is easy to navigate around crowds and shops and the suspension design makes for a smooth ride on my self-care trips to the water (or the mall, lol). 

It’s also incredibly flexible- it has integrated attachment points for things like coffee cups and a comfort wheeled board [no need for adapters], customizable colours on the faux leather handle bar grips and changeable wheel caps, and my favourite, the Bugaboo Bee⁵ has 700 possible design configurations- so you can customize your stroller to your heart’s content.

And speaking of heart’s content- how much fun is this bassinet fabric design? I love the denim and the butterflies (my three year old is a big fan of the pinks ones)! In my work as an interior designer I just love to have beauty all around me- and this stroller is no exception.

To learn more about Bugaboo and dream up your own design, learn more here.  And for more self-care strategies for busy moms, watch here

How do you take care of yourself as a busy mom? What tools help your family make this possible? Love to know in the comments below.

Cheers to designing your beautiful life,

xo Lisa

Special thanks to Bugaboo Strollers for partnering with me on this blog post. 

WHAT NEW MOMS REALLY NEED TO KNOW

WHAT NEW MOMS REALLY NEED TO KNOW

She's here! She's here! 

I am so excited to share with you all that 2 weeks ago, we had our 7th baby, Phoebe Margaret! She is incredibly sweet, and so far the adjustment has been pretty amazing. The older kids have been champion helpers and my little guys adorably help in their own way (which means trying to feed their newborn sister their milk bottles and kissing her with open mouth kisses on her head, lol).

But even though I'm a mom with a fair bit of experience, let's just say the last two weeks have been filled with EVERY SINGLE EMOTION POSSIBLE. I have felt peaceful, elated, exhausted, inadequate, powerful, depleted, and on and on and on. 

And even though I have LITERALLY written a book on motherhood, and have worked hard at being self-aware, I found myself being INCREDIBLY hard on myself for things like the kitchen being messy, and then I found myself being hard on myself FOR BEING HARD ON MYSELF. LOL #thestruggleisreal 

So I created this YouTube video for all you new moms, soon-to-be moms, and new-again moms, who might need these reminders- because I need them myself! If you prefer to watch, press play below, otherwise read on below : ) 

When you are discharged from hospital after having a new baby, they have you fill out a form acknowledging that you will call your doctor for a 6-week appointment, that you have read the Caring for Baby information booklet, that you will call Public Health if you have more questions, etc etc etc. Well… that form isn't really going to help you friends once you are home and on your own. THESE ARE THE THINGS that a mom should really have to check the boxes on when she has a baby:

1. I UNDERSTAND THAT SPENDING EXCESSIVE TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA MIGHT LEAD TO ME FEELING SUPER CRAPPY ABOUT MYSELF.

2. I will not go on Pinterest for nursery decor ideas because it might make me feel crappy about how messy my house is.

3. I acknowledge, that if I spend time looking at skinny Instagram fitness models, I might feel crappy about my flabby, post-partum belly.

4. I acknowledge, there might be days I do not shower, do not brush my teeth, and all I accomplish is keepinbg my baby alive and myself alive- and I am OK with that! 

5. I WILL NOT EQUATE MY SELF-WORTH WITH HOW CLEAN MY KITCHEN IS.

6. I will not scream at my husband because I think he's not "doing" anything. (Side note, I legitimately told my husband in the middle of the night once "I wish you would grow a pair…" as in a pair of breasts LOL)

7. I acknowledge that I may want to eat an entire box of Oreos and that is OK (Nutrition experts, I am sorry. I think in the first 2 weeks a new mom has enough to worry about that they get a bit of grace when it comes to food. Healthy food is SUPER important for the record, but so is being not hard on oneself).

8. I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THERE WILL BE LOTS OF PEOPLE OFFERING ME ADVICE, AND I WILL ONLY LISTEN TO THE ADVICE OF PEOPLE I WOULD BE WILLING TO SWITCH PLACES WITH.

9. I acknowledge, that coming home from hospital everyone has different energy and I won't compare myself. If I feel like taking a walk, I will. If I feel like lying down all day, I will.

10. I understand that I have nothing to prove during this time. The most important thing is taking care of me, and taking care of baby. Anything else I accomplish on top of that is a bonus.

11. I acknowledge there will be things that will make me cry. Like literally, anything. And that is OK.
 

12. I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT JUST BECAUSE I HAVE BIRTHED A CHILD, ALL MY INTERESTS I HAD BEFORE HAVING A BABY HAVE NOT VANISHED.  I WILL NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR WANTING TO DO THOSE THINGS.

13. I acknowledge that I will receive unsolicited advice from strangers, and I will simply say thank you, and have a nice day. 

14. I acknowledge that this is an amazing time in my life, and I am going to try and enjoy it as much as I can be journaling, taking photos, and savouring quiet moments. 

15. I PROMISE TO NOT PUT SO MUCH PRESSURE ON MYSELF EVERY GOSH DARN DAY, AND NOT BE ANYTHING, OTHER THAN THE MOM OF THIS NEW BABY.

Was this helpful? Can you relate to any of the points? Let me know in the comments below : ) 

WHAT I WISH ALL MOMS KNEW

WHAT I WISH ALL MOMS KNEW

It's Mother's Day, and I have been reflecting a lot on my journey as a mom. Oh my word, it has been a journey full of ups, downs, pivots, spins. There are so many things that I know now, after 9 years of experience, and almost 7 babies later, that I wish every mom knew. Click below to watch the video, or read on below:

I wish all moms knew that children are not a burden. There are things about motherhood and raising kids that are inconvenient, for sure. The amount of pee and poop I have cleaned from all kinds of surfaces, let me tell you. But these things, these things that might not be pleasant, might require us to give and give of ourselves make us better people. Children are not an inconvenience.

I wish all moms knew we could beat to our own drums. It is so OK if you want to do life differently than your mom, your sister, your best friend, your work colleague, that girl on instagram, that's alright. You want to know why? Because your life is yours. It's YOUR LIFE!!!

I wish every mom knew that if you want to quit your job and be with your kids more full time YOU SHOULD DO IT. Don't just go back to work because a bunch of people are telling you you should. Don't go back because you are afraid that you won't have a job if you take some time off to be at home- heck, you are probably GOSH DARN TALENTED and can get a job again regardless of how much time you invest in being home. 

I wish all moms knew that making decisions from a place of fear is usually not the best approach. It might provide a solution for your family, but it probably isn't the best solution for your family.

I wish all moms knew that success as a mom is so possible, but that success just might look different than how you originally pictured it.

I wish all moms knew that it is a far better strategy to measure success by looking inward, rather than looking sideways and comparing yourself to others.

I wish all moms knew that becoming a mom does not mean you sacrifice your dreams. You can be a great mom and follow your passions. YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO SQUASH ALL YOUR DREAMS AND TELL THEM TO BE QUIET JUST BECAUSE YOU BECAME A MOM. I believe that ALL MOMS CAN DESIGN THEIR LIVES SO THEY CAN PURSUE THEIR PASSIONS AND GOALS BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF THEIR FAMILIES. It is possible. 

I wish all moms knew that your life is yours, and yours alone to live. Which means that sometimes when people give you advice, you need to nod and smile, but not take that advice. 

I wish all moms knew that motherhood does not have to be lonely. You're not in it alone. If you are feeling sad, insecure, or no one is experiencing what you are experiencing, that is a lie. Talk about it, ask for support. We are not meant to do this alone.

I wish all moms knew that motherhood is hard sometimes, but it does not have to be hard ALL THE TIME. We can design our lives so that our schedules include time for friends, time for self care, time for hobbies- it does not need to be hard all the time.

I wish all moms knew that kids will fail- and that is ok. Let them fail.

I wish all moms knew that when kids don't excel the way you pictured it, THAT IS OK. IT IS NOT A REFLECTION OF YOU AND YOUR ABILITY TO PARENT. It is simply a reality that we all have different gifts and talents. AND THAT IS A-OK.

I wish all oms knew that you don't have to enroll your child in multiple activities for them to become a great person. If they have an interest, foster it. But it should not be at the expense of your sanity, or your child's sanity.

I wish all moms knew that motherhood is not a competition. Who cares whose kid is the smartest, whose house is the nicest, who can bake the best cake. WE DON'T HAVE TO DO IT ALL. THERE IS ROOM FOR EVERYONE TO EXCEL. 

I wish all moms knew what a joyful noise the sound of small children can be.

I wish all moms knew that motherhood can be fun! You get to revisit your own childhood in so many ways, you get to play, your get to become a kid again. It can be so much fun.

I wish all moms knew that the toddler phase is kind of like a choose your own adventure book- and they choose the adventure, you don't, by the way!

I wish all moms knew that giving your child a sibling is an incredible gift. It might seem like there is no way you can give anymore of yourself, but the gift of a sibling IS A GIFT TO EVERYONE.

I wish all moms knew that sometimes motherhood can make you feel like YOU ARE LOSING YOUR MIND. But THAT YOU ALWAYS GET IT BACK, I PROMISE.

Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow mamas who are working hard, sacrificing lots and following their dreams at the same time.

Cheers to designing your beautiful life.