Tuesday, 30 September 2014

My Dental Hygienist Blew My Mind

I was at the dentist for my regular cleaning recently, and I decided to ask my hygienist about the article that was floating around the internet saying that chemicals in Colgate were carcinogenic (insert me freaking out here). She said that yes, she had seen the article and that most toothpastes are the same; they all contain chemicals (I guess I should have known that). Then she told me something that blew me away. She said that you don't really need to use toothpaste, period.

I'm sorry, whaaaaa? I've been living a lie my entire life, religiously brushing my teeth with toothpaste twice a day. Turns out, unless you have a condition like sensitive teeth where toothpaste might help, all you need is to brush with water and floss each day. Yep that's it. Apparently, toothpaste simply enhances the teeth-brushing experience. If you want to freshen your breath, you can just use a rinse.

Am I the last person to know about this? I actually tried it for a few days and it really was fine. My mouth still felt so fresh and so clean clean. Don't judge, my mouth is chemical free :)

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

I'm a Mom, but it doesn't end there

I am now a mother. This is something I have thought about for a long time and was absolutely ready for. I am sure that being a mom to Ruby will be one of the most amazing and challenging roles I will have in my life. But, and yes, there's a but, I'm not just a mom.

A little while ago, I went out to some events for moms/babies. I was looking to get out of the house, find some activities for Ruby and myself, you get the idea. One thing I was disturbed by was that the identity of the moms as these events was virtually non-existent. Almost no one introduced themselves, and in the more structured events, only the names of the babies mattered. In hindsight, I realize that I was going to a moms group and first thing we would all have in common was our babies, but I guess I expected to learn some more about the other mothers. Not so much.

I found it so disheartening that one day Nick came home and found me almost in tears. All of a sudden it felt like my former identity was stripped from me. The next day I came to my senses and realized that I am in control of who I am. Not only am I a mom, but I am a wife, daughter, sister, friend. An advice-giver, an HR Manager, a blogger. I have interests in things other than parenting and I believe that not only will that make me a better mom to Ruby, but it will make me a better role model to her as well.

Every mom had an identity before her children were born, and I don't think having a baby means you have to put that aside. Too many times I hear "well, I'm a mom now" like that somehow erases who you used to be. There are some clear lifestyle changes that moms tend to make, for example, no longer can I drink a bottle of wine and sleep the entire next day away). However, I will still make sure I get nights with my girlfriends and I will at least have a glass! Just as people don't define themselves only by their career choice, nor should mothers define themselves by motherhood alone.

My purpose for writing this isn't to criticize any mother and the choices she's made, it is simply to point out that there's no reason to lose yourself in motherhood.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Fall To Do List

Fall us upon us. Even though I love the laid-back vibe of summer, once the cooler weather sets in I'm always excited about getting back into a bit of a routine and getting all cozy. I've made a little list of things that I'd like to do this fall:

What's on your list?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Nighttime Thoughts

Lately I've been finding it much more difficult to fall back asleep after getting up with little Miss Tuesday during the night. What does that result in? Thoughts. Thoughts after thoughts after thoughts. And here's the other night:

Ok, back to sleep.
It's almost 5am. What time is Nick getting up?
Must fall asleep before his alarm.
Don't look at the baby monitor, she's fine.
Deep soothing breath. Sleeeeep.
Don't think of anything scary. *Immediately think of the scary face at the end of the Annabelle (new scary movie) preview.* Yikes!
It's probably all that sugar I had before bed that is making this worse. Those squares were yummy.
I wonder what was in them...was there margarine in the base?
Do any of my friends still eat margarine?
I should talk to them about that.
Ok try again. Free your mind of thoughts.
Free your mind. Wasn't that an En Vogue song?
How you pronounce it? En Vogue or On Vogue?
Clearly On Vogue would be the right pronunciation, although it sounds a bit pretentious.
Resist the urge to look at that baby monitor. *looks at it anyway*
Baby is asleep.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014


I am a cereal monster. I love it and would eat it every day (in fact, at some point in each day I do eat a bowl of cereal). However, despite Kellogg's new jingle making it seem like milk and cereal is the perfect breakfast, it's really not. There's not much in the protein department there and that's what you need to fuel your day. So sometimes I switch it up. A Greek yogurt, apple and granola parfait is my ideal breaky.

All you need is plain Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey (seriously just a little bit), half an apple chopped into little cubes and granola (I'd suggest making it yourself so you can control the ingredients and sugar content). Layer it in a bowl (or in a parfait glass if you're feeling fancy) and you've got yourself a lovely little breakfast that should keep you feeling fuller for longer.

What's your go-to breakfast?

Sunday, 14 September 2014

A Cool Thing My Dad Did

My Granddad passed away a couple of years ago at the age of 94. Yep, the Walker genes are strong. Years before he died, he would tell us stories, often of things from his past. The older he got the more the stories were repeated. One particular story was how he and my grandma used to ride their bikes from  Liverpool to Chester. He would always say, "it's sixteen miles from Liverpool to Chester". We would smile and nod after hearing that fact over and over, but it's something that stuck with us. Turns out it was more like 32 miles, but anyway...

About a week ago, my parents went to England (four days after we got home actually) and went to stay with Nick's parents for the weekend. They had decided that my dad and Nick's dad would cycle from Liverpool to Chester. They even dubbed it the Frank Walker Memorial Cycle. How sweet is that? Luckily, my father-in-law also documented the ride with some photos. Don't tell me their selfie isn't one of the cutest you've ever seen.

{the start} 


{the dads/ granddad & grandpa - perfecting selfies since 2014}

It's my dad's birthday today, so happy birthday dad! I think it's so cool that you were able to do that ride. xo

Friday, 12 September 2014

100 Day Challenge

The other day, I was watching morning talk shows (as I do) and the subject at hand was the 100 Day Challenge. The idea is that although people say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, it's more like 100. So now that I've made it through the so-called 100 days of hell (ie. the first three months of having a new baby at home) it seems appropriate to start a new 100 days of something. For the record, although it was difficult at first, I wouldn't consider life with Ruby hell at all :)

Anyway, I've decided to add walking back in to my life. BB (before baby), I used to take Rocky for a walk every.single.morning. Then I got pregnant and slowed down a bit, especially after all the snow and ice this past winter (taken from my book of excuses). I'm now committing myself to walk at least 5 times per week for the next 100 days. Putting it here on the internet only makes me more accountable.

Anyone else up for a challenge? It can be anything (eating more veggies, cutting out caffeine - ya right, working on a project, writing a book, you name it). If so, let me know what you're doing and we can hold each other accountable. Sound good? Good.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Flying with a Baby

I obviously can't pretend to be an expert on travelling with a baby when I've only ever flown with her twice, but I thought I'd share the things I learned and found helpful. I have to say, we were lucky that Ruby slept for the entire time on our way to England and at least for half of the flight on our way home.

{happy parents, sleeping baby}

Some of this advice depends on which airline you're flying with. As we were briefed on flying with an infant, the flight attended told us that during takeoff and landing, the baby had to be upright in the burping position (facing backwards, over a shoulder). Well, there went my plans to nurse her on takeoff/landing. On our flight to the UK, I nodded but since she didn't come back, I still nursed her on take off. On our returning flight, I listened and nursed her until we were taxiing, then moved her into position for take-off and she was A-OK. Just be ready to nurse the baby or give them a soother once you're in the air in case their ears did pop.

Since there was a chance I couldn't nurse her upon landing (let me tell ya, it's difficult to time that out when your baby wakes up hungry and it isn't quite time to descend), we brought out the soother. Ruby is funny with soothers and sometimes she wants nothing to do with it. But, ya know what? Even if she's playing with it in her mouth, it still makes her swallow and it helped her little ears from popping. So even if your baby won't take the soother, bring one and just hold it in while they move it around. It works :)

{unimpressed with the soother, but hey, no ears popping!}

Make sure to have diapers and wipes within reach so you don't have to do too much juggling when the baby needs a change. Again, depending on your airline and plane, some (like the one we were in) have one larger washroom that makes things a lot easier for changing a baby. Also, get your spouse to do it (I'm too nervous about hitting turbulence with the baby while in the washroom, so Nick did all the diaper changes - lucky me).

Last tip (advice from my lovely cousin) is to bring your breastfeeding pillow. Yes, you have to drag it around the airport, but once you're seated, the baby is comfy and it leaves your hands free so that you can eat, read a book, etc. I can't imagine having to just hold the baby in my arms for a 7 hour flight! The pillow was definitely worth it and even the flight attendants were impressed.

Hopefully some of these tips are helpful for anyone ready to travel with an infant. The anticipation of the flight was much worse than actually living it :)

Monday, 8 September 2014

Weekend Bits

How was your weekend? Mine was jam packed with celebrations. While we were away in England, friends of ours had a surprise wedding!! We were so sad that we missed it, but we had a lovely night catching up with them, hearing all about it and watching the video over pizza and drinks. We also may have dug in to the leftover ice cream from their sundae bar. Saturday, our friends' little guy turned one - that year certainly went by quickly! So we spent the afternoon celebrating him (and really, his mom and dad for making it through a year). Following that I was off to the city to my friend's wedding shower. Sadly, I couldn't continue on to the night out for her bachelorette (having a 3 month old will do that), but it was a lovely shower and it was so nice to see some of my Toronto friends. Sunday, we were off to a baby shower. Friends of ours had a baby at the end of July (he came much earlier than expected!) but the shower was set for September. As a special treat, we even got to meet the little dude at the very end. He's the teeniest, sweetest little man!

{individual ice cream jars}

 {finishing the sundae bar stuff from the surprise wedding}

{the cute set up and time capsule from the first birthday party}

{the beautiful bride-to-be} 

{cute jars for punch, oh and a baby on a blanket}

{the new momma opening up some gifts}

Needless to say, after all that celebrating, I was exhausted. Hope you had a weekend full of happy stuff too :)

Friday, 5 September 2014

Ruby's First Trip to England

{four generations} 

We are back from England! Actually, we've been home for a few days but the jet lag was a killer so I couldn't bring myself to do much until now.

We had such a lovely time introducing Ruby to her aunties, uncles, cousins and especially to her great grandmother. Her granny and grandpa were also very excited to see her again. Every morning we would wake up, stumble downstairs, I would drink I giant French Press of coffee (all to myself) while Ruby was enveloped in cuddles.

We had lots of time to catch up, as well as do some sight-seeing and tourist activities. We had family dinners, trips to the pub, sing-alongs, walks around town, a trip to Liverpool to see my cousins, a trip into Chester for shopping, we visited a beautiful garden that had a monkey forest, took a trip to the beach in Wales, and we even got a night out with friends while granny and grandpa looked after Ruby.

Here are some pictures of the trip...

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