The Ultimate DREAM HOME

2020, what a year.

I’m taking a moment to share something about our home and a part of my life that I cautious to share on the blog.  However with recent events in our world, I’ve felt this intense pain from all over.

Knowing my personality (Highly Sensitive/Empathetic) I felt compelled to open up and share this.

The Ultimate DREAM HOME

What’s this about?  Just a disclaimer there’s no literal home and garden tips today. Read to the end to understand what I mean. I hope at the end you can understand how this fits with the ultimate dream home.

Here’s a fact about OUR home: It’s an OPEN DOOR!

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Our dream for our home was for it to be an open door to family and friends.  For our kids friends to come and be the HUB home. It’s something my husband family does and it’s a GIFT we wanted to carry out for others who come into our lives.

It’s been incredible journey opening our doors to international students for over 7 years. Hosting many friends and family visiting from out of town. Yes – It’s possible to fit a family of 6 in our basement. FYI we have one shower in this house.  We hope to change that.

Enough about our home. Let’s pause for a moment and think about the ultimate DREAM HOME.

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I made a vision board for my Arbonne business back in 2013. Little did I know most of the board is true today.

Here’s where things about my view have changed…

A DREAM home has nothing to do with how great the decor is or the latest Reno – it’s the PEOPLE that make a HOME.

I was brought up with this and never understood it until recently.

Also, another important fact is:

It’s the HEART of the individual and how they live out their lives that creates their own DREAM HOME.

Our heartbeat is what keeps us going everyday. Let me share something about my own life to see how my home/body was broken.

How I almost lost my life

I’ve personally had near death experience over the years.  Going through that was more then I could take which broke me to my core. Not to get into too much here, however pregnancy for me has either been staring death (severe preclampsia) in the face for myself or my future children. Laying frozen and unable to move in a Hospital bed with our first, going through our Pregnancy Loss  and almost loosing my third baby (pictured below) was more then enough. Being in full active labor I needed to go into surgery as my son almost had no heartbeat. I’ll never forget having a mask put over my face and crying out to God as everything blacked out. 

Back to this HEART of the individual, I’m not talking like a literal, physical heart surgery. I did NOT like the person I was and people could pick up on how BROKEN HEARTED I was. 

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I could try put on a mask and a ‘happy’ face, however people saw through me after a while. I was heavily watched and monitored through this pregnancy (pictured above) with deep concern from my doctors about my mental health. They could see and hear what was really in my heart with the words I spoke.

BROKEN HEART + BROKEN HOME = BROKEN WORLD

I don’t know how else to put it.  Can’t put it any other way, and trying to keep it simple.

I’m not perfect and my broken heart still needs HEALING.  Your a witness to this reading my blog to my healing process and you don’t even know it.

Here’s a picture of our daughter in the memorial garden for our little Gloria.  Our third (technically fourth) pregnancy I faced death yet again, this little girl is one whom we have longed for. When our first daughter died, I was coming to accept our boys whom I love, Someone was still missing.

In my next post I’ll share about how we almost lost her too.

IMG_0515We ALL have our own story of a broken home, or a broken heart which can lead to feeling like a dream home or a dream life isn’t possible.

So, I hope you can hear how the Ultimate DREAM HOME and what I’m talking about has nothing to do with a magazine worthy home that’s beautifully decorated.

Do you want the ultimate dream home? Healing from within needs to happen.

I’m surrounded ALL THE TIME, by those who are hurting and their homes/hearts are BROKEN.  People close to me are hurting and it’s so hard to watch/witness.  Wow 2020 is sure a raw reality of how hurt our world is.

Those who know they can come and talk to me, do.  It’s a gift I’ve fought and never understood until recently. Hears a truth I’ve come to know.

 The ultimate DREAM HOME, begins with YOU.

HEALED HEART + HEALED HOME = HEALED WORLD

If watching the news wasn’t painful enough before, it’s gut wrenching what’s happening. Pain on this earth and in our world has been around for years/centuries.

I’m so sorry to each and every person that’s enduring pain in their lives today. I truly am, this isn’t some FLUFF post to get views or recognition. I only can share my own personal pieces to share that you can overcome what your going through.

I’m truly SORRY that you are suffering. I’m sorry that through your struggle that an attempt to have a MOMENT to have any sort of DREAM life or HOME seems completely unreachable.

IMG_0844It’s my PRAY for YOU that your HEART starts healing, in the smallest way today. I PRAY that your HOME starts healing. May you and those in your home receive the same. One person at a time our world heals.

The ultimate dream home is possible.  Don’t give up hope.

My healing (still needs lots of work) heart is only made possible through my faith in my heavenly father.

Writing this blog is another form living out that OPEN DOOR dream that my husband and I have. I hope sharing this post gives you insight to where my hearts at.

img_9022I am today living in my ultimate dream home – because of the person I have become through my own healing. My ultimate dream home still needs work (both in my heart and in my actual home). There’s some GOOD transformation reno’s coming up on the blog!!

If anyone hasn’t told you today – You are LOVED. Don’t forget that, when we are hurting it’s easy to forget that people out there care for you.

I can only lift up this hurting world up in prayer and hope that people reading this post don’t give up hope on their ULTIMATE DREAM HOME.

MUCH LOVE,

Carrie

 

 

 

 

Earth Day 2020

2020 (1)It’s April 21st.  I don’t always keep up with all the “days” of the year where there’s something to celebrate. Earth Day seems like an important one to highlight this year.

Am I a big tree huger? Do I love the earth that we live on and thinks it’s important to take care of it, YES.

I’ve been a bit weighed down for a while about our earth and the major changes that are taking place.  Truth is, I see technology pushing natures boundaries in the coming years worse then ever for our convenience. Doesn’t take long to do some research and get annoyed at what’s coming in the next few years and even now.

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Take care of our Earth

I’ve been on a more ‘Eco’ friendly lifestyle for a while.  I’m not fully a granola crunchy person as people like to tease, but I’m close. My husband did a night over camping trip at a local lake in the mountains a few years ago and shared with me when he got back there were some women there that if ‘Carrie let herself go…I would look like that’.

Every small step makes a difference:

For money savings sake a long time ago I started hanging my laundry to dry. In turn I wasn’t running my energy draining dryer.

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Another way is hand washing dishes. I’m learning lots of minimalists who don’t have a dishwasher and only just enough plates and such for their families. That would sure make washing dishes a lot faster if there was less.

That’s just an example of 2 small steps. There’s so much more Eco living tips that I haven’t even attempted to try yet. If you look at my living on one income post you can see much more how we save.

I honestly see it as more going back to the old ways and less leaning on the conveniences of our modern ways of life.

“Electronics are expensive and convenience is costly”

Any way you can change the way you look at your everyday living and think more of an earthly mindset you can make a big difference.

How do we take care of our earth?

Making small steps in your home and lifestyle for one. Also, when shopping looking for products that either use environmental practices in their products or fund an organisation that helps the environment.

Most of my clothes is second hand or I bought on clearance.  Here’s a shirt I’ve had my eye on for a long time. It’s made by a local clothing company, literally 15 min from where I live.  Knowing that the fabric is made in North America and not from a sweat shop makes a difference.

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Taking care of our earth is buying local, sourcing out products that have the environment in mind. One of my planters I recently bought is made from recycled plastics collected from my local area.

How are YOU celebrating Earth Day?

This Earth Day we can’t go to any parades or host big celebrations. The kids and I painted a big earth on our window and talked about ways we can help save the earth.

Oh – They requested cupcakes too.

What are some Earth Friendly things you do to help the earth?

Buy Local Plants

Help your local communityIt’s April and planting season is here.  In the Fraser Valley it is anyways.

Here’s the deal, I’ll admit I have been just as stressed as everyone with this world wide pandemic with COVID 19.  I need to still keep myself in a place of balance and not get my mind stuck on what’s happening.

When life is stressful, I garden.

If I can help be of a voice on my small piece of the internet today is the day to do so.

Chatting with a friend a few weeks ago we talked about “what’s deemed essential”.

My friend and I agreed that we see Gardening as essential.

Buying Local

I stopped in a Tanglebank today as I needed to buy a gift for a friend. Don’t worry the kids were in the car with the windows open and they loved being goofy while mom shopped.

Support your local Garden Centers and buy some seeds and plants

If I think back on it, I don’t buy a ton of plants as I grow lots of my own stuff or save seeds or split plants when I can. My gardening goals are to grow a lot of my own food. I  would love to teach it to my kids.

That would include shopping the local garden centers to do it.

While at Tanglebank today another costumer showed up and they had his order all ready to go for PICKUP. Still available to serve their customers and the tired cooped up mom like me!

I have 2 other options if going to the stores isn’t an option.  I know lots of stores are hustling to get into online ordering.

Ordering Plants Online

I recently heard of this new website that’s exclusive to BC and Canada.  Buying Canadian helps boost our economy and I think it’s safe to say “GO BUY CANADIAN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN”.

Considering I want to add more to my plants into my home and I have a near finished patio I have my eye on a couple plants from this company.

Check out Curb Appeal Plants

I must admit I’m getting a little tired of my rescued plant that I combined from Christmas planters I was given one year. Plus I would rather have real lavender, not dollar store sprigs.  I kinda killed the lavender plant I have by moving it too much. Oops.

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Home and Garden Swap

Here’s another option. Over a week ago I asked on my Instagram and made a video asking “How can I help you?”  So many in my life right now are being affected by loss of job and so forth.  It’s very hard to sit back and watch this happening.

When looking at the world and living with a bigger picture, it would be WONDERFUL if I could help in a BIG way but at this time that isn’t possible.

 

With being a stay at home mom and having this blog as a creative outlet, my best way that I can serve my community and help is hosting a Home and Garden Swap.

Home and Garden swap is setting up a community drop box outside of your home.

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Members of your community can drop off seeds and plants they don’t need or have extra’s off. Others can come along and pick up plants to get their garden started. I see this as a way to help my community get gardening or grow their garden.

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This box can be made with anything your have in your home.  I used my stencils and paints from my crafting supplies and re-purposed an old garden planter.

How to start your own community box: It’s easy to host a Facebook event and let people know the location and just update the event as new plants arrive or leave. I started lots of my gardening by swapping.

Contact me if you want to get an event started in your community.  I have a graphic you can use and some helpful tips to got you started.

This post is written to my Canadian friends all over Canada.

Reading this and not Canadian?  I hope this encourages your to buy local in your community/country.

 

Living on One Income

One IncomeI cried today.

I need to pause my regular home/garden content and talk about something important. 

Real day in the Life post for you today. Since this outbreak here in Canada and the mad scramble for the grocery store, we’ve been OK.

  • Store was out of wipes – I told my husband to buy cloth ones. 
  • Store was out of bread – I baked a batch.
  • Just recently I pulled out and organized my “home school” supplies. No, we don’t home school. BUT my son has missed SO many WEEKS of school this year. Plus homeschooling has been heavy on my heart and mind this year, as of today, now I know why.

Uncertain times have been a reality for my Husband and I.  I would be lying if I said life was a breeze. I can share all the cute pictures I want of our home and make my blog seem super attractive but there the real life realities that our family faces ALL the time.

Living on ONE income and how we did it!

We are not alone with the worldly reality of what’s happening and not sure about our financial future.  Thing is, I feel like to some degree because of our past experience with uncertain times it’s not hitting us like walking into a brick wall like it used to.

In 2014 we came to the realization I needed to stay home.  Prior to this in 2012 BOTH my husband and I dealt with uncertain Job positions and felt the biggest blow when he learned the shop he was working for was closing and the job I had worked at prior to my mat leave didn’t have a position for me to go back to.

We have a saying in our family “God Provides”

I’ll share more about how that situation ended.

I’m not a financial guru, just sharing how we KEEP living on ONE income. Writing this in no particular order. This is my own personal experience.

1: Family Haircuts – YES I cut EVERYONE’S hair in our family of 5. Our guess was saving us $800 a year doing this.   That figure is based on the most basic/ cheapest haircut we could all get in town.

2: I DON’T spend money on is my nails done, hair dyed, wax, spray tan…Whatever it is that most women treat themselves on I see as a waste of money and just don’t spend money on it.  Remember this is my own personal opinion, comment isn’t meant to offend anyone.

3: Hang Dry laundry – I did the math, $500 in savings on my mat leave (2012)  for the entire year.

4: Cloth Diapers – Even if you’re doing this 50% of the time, your still saving money.  Worth the time and energy that goes into it.

5: Vegetable Gardening – More to share about this in the coming weeks. Still eating fresh/frozen food from last year.

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6: Take a vehicle OFF the road.  If one of you can walk or bike to work, sell a vehicle or take the vehicle off the road.

7: Sell stuff – This past Sept we sold over $1,000 of stuff we had laying around our home.

8: Baking – Have you seen how expensive packaged snacks are for school?? Between this and cloth diapering is a HUGE savings on our grocery bill.

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9: Accept hand me down clothes.  I grew up with this as a kid. I was blessed pretty early on with hand me downs for my kids.  I make sure to pay it forward once my kids grow out the clothes. Friends and I do clothing swaps all the time since our kids are close in size. Notice I said “Accept”. I don’t focus on fashion, it’s not worth the cost.  From what we get for our kids I think they look pretty good all things considered.

10: Buy Local food.  With doing most of the above buying local meat and produce is affordable. We buy a lot more higher quality food. It comes down to healthier choices with what we put in our bodies.  I’m someone who struggles with my gut health.  Making this switch, not so many flair ups anymore.

11: DIY – This applies to ALL areas of our home. Vehicles – My husband is a mechanic. Home Decor, Plumbing, Drywall, Painting a room for example. Almost all of our construction stuff in our house we do. With the exception of needing professionals when it’s above what we can do. 

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12: Gardening and Lawn Maintenance.  This seems like a common sense item to me.  BUT, with the amount of small lawn companies that frequent our neighborhood I know lots of people get their properties cared for.

13: Rent Equipment: If we don’t own the equipment to do a small job, instead of hiring we rent it.

14: Date Night in – PUT THE PHONES DOWN…Play a game, invite another couple over to play a game night for example. 

15: Shop clearance, deals, sales or always look second hand.  This has saved us tons of money. My husband actually can’t stand that I’m a roadside picker upper. Yup, if it’s worth it, then I stop.  FYI – A chunk of my gardening pots I acquired this way.

16: Side Hustles: Direct Sales with Arbonne and THIS BLOG! I recently made the change to have ads.

I could keep going or expand more on any of these topics.  I’m not a financial blogger and there’s many great blogs or books to read.  This is just a list of how we do it. It is still tight to live on one income. 

Seeing as how much people ask me to be a part of stuff that costs money to do, tells me they think we got it figured out. 

It takes lots of communication between my husband and I and not giving in to our kids.  At the end of the day we lean on our Faith. God Provides. Doesn’t mean we don’t need to spring into action and get creative when your income gets cut in half. 

It’s happened a few times to us. Each time we’ve just gotten smarter.

Back to our story: In 2012, my husband legit walked back into his old job.  I scrambled to find work in a different school district and found childcare.  Our story keeps working out again and again. 

Hope seeing our list of what we do with living on one income is helpful. 

Share in the comments of other tips that are helpful to you! 

Family trip to Mexico

MexicoIf it seems like I was on a Vacation from blogging.  That’s because I was just in Mexico with our whole family.  This time last week we were heading back to the airport in Cancun to come back home to our very cold northern home in the Fraser Valley in Canada. It so happened to snow the week we got back.

IMG_8836This trip was a big first for me, I was just as nervous and excited as the kids.

So…Traveling with our family to Mexico.  Well this actually included my husbands WHOLE family. Yup, it was a big trip. Lots of people.

Our family researched the trip from the beginning.  Once the resort was picked out we found travel vloggers videos and watched all what we could find out.  We were traveling with our kids and I wanted to be prepared.

The flight there was fine, getting to the resort was really good.  No crazy driving or people hounding us at the airport which was surprising.  We had lots of people warn us.

IMG_8873Getting to our room was good and even though there was a time difference we settled in pretty quickly. We got there in time for the buffet for dinner. We really tried not to buy the airplane bistro food, knowing we were headed to an all inclusive was worth the wait for food.

IMG_8897It’s pretty easy to fall in love with the atmosphere there.  I loved the scenery, the pools and especially the beach. We didn’t clue in to wake up in time to catch the sunrise until our last day there.  This was what we caught just before the sun broke through the clouds.

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The Gardner in me wants to find out what this plant is?  I absolutely LOVE the bright pink.  The grounds where something else with all the tropical plants everyone.  Plus the resident iguana that lived by our door.

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Our second child was quick to comment his friends needed to come to mexico and visit us here.  Although at the end of the week he was getting homesick.

IMG_8837Our family loved the ocean. Our boys were in and out of the water.  We got our oldest for his birthday an underwater camera and we got some neat video of the fish in the ocean. My husband went snorkeling and got some video of the fish at the reef.

Our youngest didn’t know any different.  It was challenging to deal with naps.  She lived off watermelon and french fries at the buffet. I was excited to get this sweet picture with her by the ocean.

IMG_8867I learned a lot about going on a trip like this. My husband and I haven’t ever saved to go on one like this.  We have focused and worked hard at buying a good family home in the Fraser Valley.  Luxury trips like this weren’t an option.

IMG_0557 (1)There’s many stories and much more that I would share.  There’s a more important post I will be doing about this trip once we get closer to summer.

Hope you enjoyed some of these shots of our trip.  The resort was definitely nice.  For me, it’s the scenery and the ocean that got me more excited then the luxury lifestyle the resort offered to give.

Yes, no cooking, cleaning, making beds for a week was nice, but it’s also great to be home.

Any suggestions as to where my husband and I should go for our 15th Wedding Anniversary?

 

 

 

Surviving a Pregnancy Loss

I need to pause my usual content and share something deeply personal today. Out of respect, care and concern for my kids I’ve changed how I post about them. In particular not sharing their faces for their privacy.

However, this child and sharing this story I have a few photos that are more open about who my kids are.

God was about to send our family a surprise.  Not one I was ever anticipating. It wasn’t a happy surprise that’s for sure. 

Our little Gloria was born too soon through a second trimester miscarriage. She is loved forever and not forgotten

So what happened 5 Years ago in January 2014?  

First off, we were celebrating our sons birthday.  Here in this photo you can see my already growing tummy.

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For 17 weeks I carried our little one. I honestly felt like I was walking on a cloud the whole time, or living an awful dream. I was working to get my “second mat leave”. I felt sick the whole time, plus had started spotting. 

Just to highlight something here. This month and today specifically October 15th at 7 pm is International Wave of Light.  This month is Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness month. There seems like so many days now in our culture are raising awareness for something.  Now there’s a day, that I never wanted to participate in and I now do.

I went to work after a busy weekend with my husband off for a retreat.  Here’s the part that’s going to sound funny. I emailed our midwife. Yes, e-mailed. Up until this point I was always spotting. Every trip to the ER or seeing our midwife we were reassured with a heart beat.

That email sparked a quick phone call back. “Carrie, I booked you into the hospital to see radiology, you need to go now”. In my email I shared that the spotting had changed color.

At the hospital I didn’t know what to expect. But that moment will stick with me forever. As the tech put it, “Your babies body is collapsed, there’s no heartbeat, they have been gone for a while, I’ll give you a few minutes so you can call your husband”.

Just like that the next hours where grueling. I bumped into a friend in the ER line who gave me a “why are you here?”. She opened up and shared losing a baby at 5 months many years ago. 

Then I had to sit through, “how to give birth to this baby whose gone”. That’s an awkward conversation to have with a Dr. 

I was brought up to the maternity ward.  Which I have learned is a blessing. Got a room and was induced to deliver. FYI, yes that maternity ward is a blessing but also SUCKS. Especially when the women beside me gave birth at the exact moment I did. What a contrast, one room is rejoicing and the other side of the wall has a baby that’s the size of our hands not supposed to be here yet.Grandpa Reitsema Funeral

Looking back there’s so many things that happened that I didn’t know how to deal with or handle. We said no to a photographer.  I was toooo angry at God that this happened. I couldn’t even hold her.

We said no to a support worker, we said we had a church community and we will be “fine”. Our pastor who was leaving to serve another congregation and asked if we wanted a memorial and I thought that it was odd to have one and said no. 

Then at my grandfathers funeral while placing a carnation with my son did I feel peace about not having our own service for her. It made me realize then that as a Christian I believe my grandfather is in heaven and had more peace that our little girl is with him.

I don’t know how different our story would be had we said yes to all those things. I do know when we got back to our everyday life, it was super hard.  I couldn’t go back to work. It was unbearable. I did try after 8 weeks, only to be faced with 2 pregnant co-workers. One was due 2 weeks after me. It was brutal. 

I still remember dropping my son off at daycare and the tears started and couldn’t stop.  My boss took one look at me and knew I wasn’t ready to come back.

I attempted a support group and walked out super heavy hearted. It wasn’t faith based and it actually scared me if I was ever going to get over it. Let alone as an empathetic person I can put myself in their shoes and hearing their stories was heart wrenching.

IMG_4150My husband and I on her due date went far away in the backside of Chilliwack Lake and picked wild flowers, prayed for our family and others who have been through this. Then we released the flowers one by one off the bridge we were standing on.

Almost 9 months after our loss I did find another support group.  A Faith Based Support Group. This time I didn’t say no. My husband pointed it out in church in the bulletin and recommended I reach out. 

I not only attended I got involved.  I had said no to all the other support but, yes to this group.  I had to pray about saying yes.  Not that this is a sure thing, We got pregnant a month after I stepped into ministry.IMG_5468

I look back after 5 years and wonder how different my life would be if I had continued saying no.   I quickly got into organizing and leading this group, I knew I was heard, felt valued and accepted. God has worked and called me to something I never felt qualified for.

The amount of times I got reminders of what I was apart of has been incredible stories with too many to share in one single blog post.  I’m going to put this out there. Please comment below if there’s interest in reading the FULL STORY. This has been an experience where tragedy and walking with God collide and my faith is beyond stronger for it.

IMG_5471If you follow my blog you know I have had 2 more children.  They are my rainbow babies. I walked through my next pregnancy and completely ignored the baby.  Let me be clear, getting pregnant again is not a happy answer to the grief I went through for my little girl.

Medically through many other complications I’m no longer medically able and have been instructed to no longer have children. From just this one experience I’m ok with that.

Tonight we light a candle for our Gloria Joy. 

It’s been a long journey to Peace. Triggers of grief still hit like waves, but they are much smaller waves now.

I’m not sure who this post will reach?  Again, I’m open to writing the full story, it might take a bit to put it all in words, but I feel I’m able and willing too.

Are you lighting a candle?  Do you know about lighting one?  I know I’m not alone.

Love to hear your thoughts on what I shared. Again, not my usual content, just needed to be written.

Gloria’s Mom (Carrie)

Buying Local

Buying LocalWe are becoming a locally based home.  Buying local meat, veggies/fruit I can’t grow and much more.  This is only the beginning of our journey. If this sounds like something you want to follow along with go ahead and subscribe to my blog.

 My husband and I have got lots of dreams for our family.  If you’ve been following along you might have noticed…country living is a big dream for the future. 

You do not have to live in the country to get the benefits of buying local food from the farmers.

You do not have to live in the country to get the benefits of buying local food from the farmers.

Something I’ve been growing to understand more and more is the importance of shopping/buying local food.  

This all flows with creating a homemade home. It’s a lifestyle choice and it’s about living a slower life and enjoying the life we create for our family. I binge watch people that post videos about homesteading. It has a big appeal to me.  Some of my friends are doing that and homeschooling their kids. I have huge respect for them. 

Here’s how we buy local:

Let me start with, why we started buying local? I’ve been on a health journey since college. I learned a long time ago how to shop smarter choices at the grocery store. It wasn’t enough, it was better, not enough. Now that we are passed having our children, which took a toll on my body, I can focus on my health. Not just my health but the health of my family as well.

I’m grateful we live in the abundant Fraser Valley.

From getting the harvest out of our garden this past summer and the changes I’m about to share, my health issues have drastically reduced. I’m having less “flair ups” as I call them. I’m still following up with my family Doctor.  All I’ve ever gotten in the past is “your healthy and everything is clear” on the tests I’ve had done.

It’s important to become your own health advocate and pursue a healthy life.

We started buying local meat. A good friend of mine raises animals for meat. Here’s the link to Fellings Family Farms Facebook Page. Chatting with my husband, we decided to put a deposit on ½ a pig from their farm.

I Just got a call a few weeks ago from Lepps Farm Market that the pig was ready for pick up. Pictured below is pork chops in a mushroom sauce with green beans from our garden.

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We have been loving making pork chops and ground pork for tacos. We ordered lots of bacon, what a difference in taste.  It wasn’t wimpy bacon, that’s for sure. We are going to stretch that bacon over the year if we can. Let’s see how long it lasts.

What a difference this has made in our family already. I’ve learned we need a bigger freezer!  It filled up our freezer. We will definitely be doing this again ordering meat from a local farm.

Tip: Make sure you save up for it and have room in your freezer!

IMG_0862I made homemade lard for the first time. I’m having fun experimenting with it. I saw that DIY Mommy Christina Dennis made this lovely fall snicker-doodles and it called for lard. I’m all for trying new things, so I made them! Here’s how they turned out.IMG_0874

I had fun setting up my serving tray with the Arbonne Detox tea, fall inspired mug and plating the snicker-doodles. FYI, this tea pot is made by a local pottery maker. I understand he doesn’t sell anymore but teaches now.

I always love to support local artisans and go to markets and browse the tables. 

My husband is looking forward to pulling out him smoking supplies and making snacking sticks with some of the meat.

I can’t wait to update our favorite recipes in my recipe binder with local food. Plus try new recipes in the near future.  It has to be local, homemade and farm fresh!IMG_0876

Again, this is only the beginning of our journey. 

How about you? 

Do you buy local? 

If you live in the Fraser Valley which farms do you buy from?

 

 

Taking Social Media Breaks

Taking Social Media Breaks 3It’s happening, I’m taking social media breaks. Boy is it worth it!

Here’s a look at the importance of social media breaks in our lives.

I noticed I was tired all the time. Plus I recently learned I have to have reading glasses now. As the eye doctor said, ‘just a normal sign of aging”. Ugh.  Thanks for the reminder.

If there is a message that I could get out there, this is definitely one of them.  The importance of self care and taking breaks. We all needs breaks. Isn’t that what vacation is about?  

Below is a picture from our Alberta vacation in summer of 2018

Summer 2018

This is a new topic I like to add to Notefull Living and that is Self Care.

I remember people getting annoyed over 10 years ago of noticing couples on their honeymoon on social media.  That just seems to be the norm now.

Recently I discovered I was super drained from everything. I shared on my music Instagram that life recently has been feeling like I’ve been faced with a difficult piece of sheet music to play.

When I’m drained and worn out, I’m not the person I want to be.

I took an evaluation of all that has been draining a lot of my energy.

Was it my kids? No, parenting has many things that come up and now having 3 I’m not surprised by what comes my way with the kids anymore.

Was it family? We all face life struggles and even though they look different we can still be there for each other.

Then I thought about how much I’m annoyed by my phone.  It’s not so smart considering it’s called a smart phone.  Seriously, it really isn’t.

I had already been deleting apps like YouTube.  That made a HUGE difference for me not wasting time. But something still wasn’t right.

That’s when I had enough and stopped going on social media.

I was in a blogging course and realized the lady I was taking the course with just took a 6 month break from Social Media. But, I noticed just like her business she runs online, as I took a break, my blog grew subscribers and so did my Instagram. It’s always running.

I can now understand and relate to Melissa Maker from Clean my Space when she says she hates cleaning. She has a YouTube channel, book, a cleaning cloth products she sells and owns a cleaning company, and hates cleaning.

I honestly hate being online, but I see the business potential that’s here and helping others online with stuff I’ve learned. It makes sense when she says she hates cleaning, in some weird backwards way.

I did a quick search on this topic and many many people recommend it. I didn’t even search if it was something I ‘should’ do, I just did it. I had a good gut feeling about it and it was worth it.

Have you taken a Social Media Break?Social Media Breaks

Did I get a lot done during that time? Yes, but not on the computer or my phone. I worked hard on the yard and in my house.  Made a flower garden. We got plans ready for another Reno we are doing. Made garden boxes and now have them mostly planted. Did lots of reading.

We just enjoyed life and family time.

Anyways, If you have been researching this topic and considering for yourself to take a social media break, do it. I just did a 3 weeks break on a whim and will definitely do it again.

I see taking a Social Media Break is much needed self care.

Self care is huge for YOU and everyone who comes into your life or is in your life will notice it.

Self care isn’t something I did very much in the past and oddly enough I sell Arbonne Products that’s a big part of self care. Selling the Product now gives me a whole different perspective with letting others know about it. You can find my link below.

As I shared before, if there is one message I could get out there is this one. Aside from my Faith Message, but I’m not here to be a bull horn Christian, just a witness.

I have a small handful of friends who don’t have social media at all. People look at them weird. They don’t care, they love every minute of not having the drama and emotional drain that comes with Social Media.

As of right now, I’m still going to stay on Social Media, but limit my time on it.  Or take the much needed breaks when I feel emotionally drained and overwhelmed.

You need to learn who your close ‘tribe’ is to help you out when you need it. I now use my e-mail list to reach out to close friends or just text them.  I’ve been making a big shift not to ‘lean’ on social media so much.

I want to make sure I can teach my kids how to be a good person and that will reflect that online in the future when they are connected to the internet.  

Hope this blog post was helpful.  

Love to hear your comments on this topic.

Definitely a conversation I think we should be having with ourselves and friends and family.

Carrie