It is the May long weekend here in Canada and I am excited for some REST and RELAXATION at home with my family! To do this, I have given my back deck a bit of a much needed makeover, and I am sharing some fun products that are going to help save me time and allow me to really relax (AND PUT MY VERY PREGNANT FEET UP, LOL) with my crew of 6 kids.
To watch the whole reveal (the before of my back deck was pretty sad looking) click below.
I've also summarized my long weekend family fun essentials below if you'd prefer to read!
1. TIDY UP YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE
We FINALLY have some beautiful weather in Toronto and all I want is to spend every single second of it outside. But my back deck was incredibly dirty and full of debris from the many trees on my property- so start with a good clean. Shake off all the dust from your patio furniture, wash cushion covers as needed, tighten any screws that may have come loose in your furniture and get ready to add the pretty.
2. SET A BUDGET FOR NEW OUTDOOR ITEMS AND BRING THE BEAUTY
I like picking up new outdoor entertaining items every season because I find parts of my sets inevitably get lost or damaged every year, and let's face it, outdoor stuff is just fun and whimsical. I find I am way more adventurous in my outdoor decor than I am for items inside- anyone else like me and are more brave in their decorating decisions as they seem more temporary?
I always look for on trend pillows (pom poms and tassels!), colourful planters (I find these ones sell out super fast), and cute glasses / food accessories. This year I SCORED the cutest outdoor food cover cage that is adorned with POM POMS. The cutest.
3. PLAN SIMPLE, FAST MEALS
I am no chef- I appreciate that some people LOVE to whip up elaborate meals made from scratch with ample chopping and preparation, but it is just not my idea of fun. I like my meals to be delicious, healthy, and convenient to prepare. So when the team at M&M Food Marketinvited me to try some of their prepared meals I jumped at the opportunity. The prepared meals make you look like a culinary genius, and it makes preparing a meal whether it be on a weekend when you want to put your feet up, or on a weeknight when time is at a premium, crazy easy. Plus with their real food promise, there are no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners so you know what you are feeding your family is good stuff.
4. SAVE TIME SO YOU CAN PLAY
For me, long weekends are for RELAXING and creating family memories. My impetus for saving time in meal planning, meal prep, and other areas of my life, is motivated by wanting to be available and attentive to the little people in my life and be able to get down on the ground and play.
Little Tikes sent over some fun toys as gifts for my kids recently, and we had a blast. We got sent the Fun Zone Fountain Factory Table which has provided HOURS of entertainment for my kiddos large and small. I love how my little guys get to play, imagine, and build their fine motor skills, and my bigger guys get to fill the toy with water and help my younger babies out. We also got to try the Fun Zone Dual Twister, which fits one or two children and can be played with inside, or hooked up to a hose and played with outside! Watch my video to watch my little guy spinning away : )
5. PUT YOUR FEET UP!
I know I talk about this all the time, but I am such a believer in REST FOR MOMS. Whatever adventures your family finds itself on this weekend, make sure there is a little bit of rest factored in there for both you and the kids.
So make sure there's time to put your feet up, and relax. You will 100% find me on my outdoor sofa this weekend with a (non-alchoholic) drink in my hands!!!
What are your essentials for a fun family long weekend? Love to know in the comments below : )
Special thanks to M&M Food Market and Little Tikes for partnering with me on this post.
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.