5 activities I enjoyed during pregnancy

Monday, 27 October 2014

activites to enjoy during pregnancy swimming prenatal yoga walking

I've always heard you should keep doing the same physical activities you're used to during pregnancy. For me though, that would have meant sitting in front of my computer screen all day long. No way that was going to happen. I wanted to take good care of the little one growing inside me, and of myself, to prepare for delivery. I wanted light activities, that I could easily build up and maybe even continue after giving birth.

prenatal yoga
I remember thinking I would never EVER do yoga, it was much too weird, those positions, the heavy breathing, why would anyone like that? I had no idea how amazing it actually is. When my masseuse suggested it to me I kind of laughed in my head. On my way back home though, I figured why not? She'd always given me very good advice and I trusted her. This was BY FAR the best activity I did for myself; I even returned during my 2nd pregnancy. I have to be honest though, it really depends on the teacher, and how serious you are about it.

My first teacher was awesome, she showed us basic positions and encouraged us to try harder variations depending on our capacities. The cat/cow pose did wonders for my lower back pains (it was also the most amazing way to push during the last phase of labor!). The child's pose helped me a lot with relaxation and deep breathing (even during labor!). The butterfly pose was great for helping widen my hip bones and the goddess pose allowed me to practice muscular endurance combined with breathing exercises (which helped prepare me for dealing with the pain of labor).

The most important thing I learned though, was how to breathe and not feel stupid about doing it loudly. We worked on vocal ohms during most poses (my second teacher didn't do this and I was quite disappointed). What is ohm you ask? It's a deep breathing sound that comes from deep within. The weirdest thing ever, seriously, I felt like I was mooing like a cow. You know what though? This was probably THE BEST thing to practice for delivery. During labor, this is one of the only things that helped me stay focused and relaxed. Instead of thinking about the pain, I would thing about those very long deep sounds I was making. Magic.

prenatal swimming
I've always loved water so naturally, I had to inquire at the pool if they had prenatal programs and they did! So I registered. I remember thinking I looked pretty silly jumping up and down in the water and walking around waving my arms. At first I didn't think it was helping me much, but after a while, I discovered that the intensity of the workout depends on how much energy you put into it. I pushed a little bit harder every class. I'm not sure how much this activity actually helped me physically, but it was nice to think about something else for a while and get out of the house. I didn't end up doing this activity for my second pregnancy but I'm glad I tried it out.

By the way, this is probably one of the times you'll be wanting to wear a bikini. I've always been shy about my body, but being pregnant is just so beautiful that I felt super comfortable showing off my new curves. Which worked out well because I didn't have to buy a completely new bathing suit. Although I did have to change the top because my breasts engorged so much that my existing one ended up looking like tiny little triangles. Lol.

I really enjoyed walking during my pregnancy. It was a nice way to get some fresh air, spend some quality time with my husband, and get moving. This is an activity that I continued doing with my children once they were born. It's good for everyone, forces us to spend some time together, and it's a great activity to give you a break from entertaining your kids (especially if you don't want to use the television as a distraction).

professional massages
If you don't already do this on a semi-regular basis I strongly suggest it. Even if it's just once a month, it's totally worth it. Getting all those tensions out of your muscles is a must, especially during pregnancy. All the changes going on in my body caused me discomfort, and this was an amazing way to ease my body into accepting these changes. I did this for both of my pregnancies and continue to do so when I need some "me" time. 

going out
Restaurants, operas, plays, weekend escapades, or even just to the movies. I tried to go out as much as I could before I had my first child because I knew it would be a while before I would be able to do so again. I'm glad that I did and would most likely do it WAY MORE than I did because now I know how much "no time for myself" actually means "no time for myself". I figured I'd have at least an hour to myself every day. Nu-hun. Nope. Nada. Even when/if I can find a little time to go out, I either end up feeling guilty or thinking about my kids the entire time. I'm sure this is something that will fade over time, but for now, it's a little bit overwhelming. In any case, I quite enjoyed taking the opportunity to go to the movies and eat out during my pregnancy.

The most important thing I got from doing these activities though, is some time to reflect on my pregnancy; what I wanted to get out of it, what I hoped for my little one, how I wanted my delivery to go and what role I wanted my husband to have in the process. It also gave me the opportunity to make friends with other women that were going through the same thing as me.

Disclaimer: I am not a health professional, I am simply sharing my personal experience hoping to encourage future mothers. What worked for me may not work for you. Always consult your obstetrician with questions concerning your pregnancy.

Cucumber cream cheese bites

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

I'm all about fast, delicious and healthy bites when it comes to party food. For M's second birthday I wanted to make a veggie platter, but it was just too boring for me. So I decided to turn the veggies into simple and original bites sized snacks! Meet the cucumber cream cheese bites. c:

The best thing though is that you don't even have to prepare them ahead of time. All you have to do is slice up some cucumber and put everything in a platter with a knife to spread the cream cheese and let your guests make their own! You could even get creative and offer different toppings. It's almost like a cracker bar but with cucumbers instead. (:

Cream cheese
Dried cranberries

Seriously though, these are delicious. Do you have any quick snacks that you prepare for guests at special events?

On another note, I started to think about Christmas gifts. I know, kind of early, but I'm always late, and this year I promised myself I'd be early! As I was writing this post, I found out that Blurb is offering Canadians an exclusive 25% off photo books until October 31 (using code CANADA25). So I thought I'd turn my recipes into a book and give them away as presents. Good idea no?

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Blurb. All opinions are my own.

Life lately

Monday, 6 October 2014

What have you been up to lately?

Lately... I visited Michael's. I swear to god, every time I go in there I come out with 10 times as much stuff as I originally went to buy. I guess I'm just an impulsive craft buyer. I try to stay away from craft stores as much as possible for that reason.

Lately... World of Warcraft baby! I actually don't play that much anymore, but I'm kind of excited for the new expansion coming! Like, really excited.

Lately... I bought myself some super cute notebooks in an attempt to get my home organized. That has yet to happen.

Lately... My family and I went apple picking. So. Much. Fun. We're planning on making this a yearly fall activity. I've been creating apple recipes so stay tuned!

Lately... Just a selfie, 'cause ya know...

Lately... Gosh I love snuggling with my newborn. I just can't get enough of that new baby smell and super soft skin. Can he stay like this forever pwease? Those adorably pure smiles just melt my heart.

Lately... Baby color stimulation. Have to get those little brain cells warmed up!

Lately... I started a mini series over on my Instagram about similar colored items in my home. I get bored sometimes.

Lately... My 2 year old son just can't get enough of his little brother. He always wants to be close to him. It's just so adorable and he's so gentle with him. He has such a beautiful soul.

For more daily updates, you can follow me on Instagram.

recent favorites

1. This chocolate oatmeal crepe cake by Oatgasm looks devilishly delicious.
2. This home looks too perfectly style to be real. I wish I could keep mine that tidy for more than 2 seconds.
3. Brainstorming Halloween costumes. White buck maybe?

random facts about me

1. I'm starting to have so much white hair that it's getting impossible to hide.
2. I finally mastered the cat eye liner! Or almost.
3. I absolutely adore children and being a mom, but sometimes having no time for myself gets the best of me.

DIY: Make your own wall stencil

Sunday, 28 September 2014

easy white cloud stencil wall

Ever since we bought our first home 2 years ago, I've been wanting to decorate. DECORATE! Every time I run ideas by my husband though, more often than not, I'm faced with rejection. At first I wanted to try a false brick wall. He said no because he was worried that if we didn't like it, we wouldn't be able to remove it. Ok, I agree. On to the next idea; wallpaper. That got the same response. A white trim at 1/3 of the wall got a maybe.

Then I saw this super cute wall on Mer Mag and the stencil idea got a yes because it could easily be painted over. Oh my god a YES! After that, I just knew I had to try to make my own. I wanted to paint clouds on my son's wall so bad that I was dreaming about it every night. Ok, maybe not that much, but I just couldn't shake the idea. I'm glad I ended up doing it because it makes the room look so much brighter.

I haven't finished decorating yet but the new accent wall is one step closer to making the room complete. I've been trying to make it a bit of a Montessori style and I'm really glad I did. My son just loves having everything at his level. He does belly flaps on his bed and takes pride in aligning his book neatly on the little shelves. He's just too adorable this one.

Sponge roller
Paint dispenser (or whatever that black thing you pour the paint into is called, lol)
Painter's tape
Clear paper
X-Acto Knife

materials for stencil wall

1. To start, I drew the shape I wanted on a piece of paper. It took me a few tries to get exactly what I wanted but it turned out super cute. At this point you can draw pretty much anything you want. You could even do geometric shapes.

draw your stencil shape on a piece of paper

2. Using an X-Acto (and a piece of cardboard to protect my surface), I cut out the shape.

cut your wall stencil shape with an x-acto

3. I stuck a grid on the wall using painter's tape. Each square is the same size as the piece of clear paper I cut my stencil out of.

make a grid on the wall with painter's tape

4. I taped the stencil in one of the squares and painted the shape with the roller. At first, I thought if I used a tiny bit of paint, that it wouldn't go under the stencil and ruin the shape, but it did because I had to go over it so many times. I then tried by rolling an ample amount of paint on right away and it was much better. I also tried to roll the paint from the outside in as much as possible. Every time I moved my stencil to another square, I made sure to wipe any excess paint off from the under side. Oh, and please don't laugh at my funky hairdo. It was one of those days. ;)

using a sponge roller paint the stencil on your wall

5. I painted a cloud in every other square on the grid and did opposing squares in the next row.

make your own white cloud stencil wall decor

Overall, this project took about 2 hours but I went back over the shapes the next day just to make sure they were well painted so it took me just over 3 hours total.

When my 2 year old son saw me painting clouds on his wall his initial reaction was: "Waaaoooow"... and he just kept repeating it every time he entered his room. I'm pretty sure that means I won. God I love that little mister.

montessori kid's room with cloud stencil wall

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