Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My New Reality

I've been a stay at home mom for two months now!  Seriously - ALREADY!  How did that happen?  I realized I never really did a post on how things have been going in my new reality and that it was about time I did.

Well, in a nutshell:  It's been DIFFERENT.  And it's been VERY, VERY busy!

When the girls were first born, I stayed home with them for nearly 2 years.  I even started this blog during that time and my life then was so much different than it is this time around.  Back then, Langdon was quite different.  There wasn't a doctor or a grocery store or even a good coffee shop.  And with two babies/toddlers and no car during the week, I was fairly restricted on my interactions with other people.  So we stayed at home...all the time.

Now - Langdon is almost a stand alone town.  We have a grocery and a decent pharmacy.  There is a doctors office (about to be 2 doctor offices), a pretty coffee house, a Tim Hortons...and most of all - two girls who ride two wheelers and have friends from school.  I am meeting moms and getting to know them...and trying to convince them that I am not some glamourous trophy wife who could afford to abandon her job to stay home at a time when they are all facing having to go back to work.  It's take two months, but I think they are starting to understand that when I bring the girls to school - it is the start of my work day.

Work is going well.  I enjoy being able to set my own hours and the company I am working for is fantastic.  They understand my time constraints and that my kiddos come first.  They know I will get my hours in even if it means an hour a day.  I couldn't ask for a better situation there.  That's not to say it isn't hectic.  There are only so many ways to talk about on hold messaging...but I'd like to think I'm doing pretty well :)  

And running my own business has been fun as well.  Though when it comes time to produce product for my shop - my days get VERY long.  There is only so much I can do around the girls when they are in a mood to "help".  I am looking forward to Fall when they are in school full time and I will have all that much more time to create products and market my shop.

Life as a stay at home mom in a small town is interesting right now.  We are establishing routines that don't involve the television being on for most of the day.  The girls are loving the warmer weather and spend a lot of time outside.  Doodle recently tore a ligament in her right knee falling off her bike so she's had to slow down a fair bit while it heals, but it doesn't stop us from strapping on her knee brace and going for walks and bike rides.  The kids are great pace bikes as I am working my way back to a regular running habit.  One of the other moms on my block has been my accountability partner since she wants to learn to we go a few mornings a week.  There's more walking than running right now, but that will change.  Right now, we're building the habit.

Walking the girls to school has given me an automatic 4k of walking everyday so I am definitely more active than I have been in a while and the walking has been great rehab for my tibia.  Much of the tenderness is gone now.  It is rare that I feel a tweak at the break site.  It's nice to be pain free.

So time has been flying by in my new reality.  I am really liking it.  Much of the anxiety I was having in my old job has melted away (probably since I am not in the worst desk in the office anymore) and I am able to concentrate on my kids.  I had my first reward for this decision at the end of the first month when Doodle's report card came back saying "(Doodle) has shown considerable restraint over the past month in controlling her emotions".  That is a huge win that goes to show what a couple extra hours of sleep can do for a kid and the impact that more parent time can inspire.   I think the girls are thriving and that this really was the best decision for our family.  I know it makes it much harder for hubby to leave us in the mornings to go to work, but with the shortened commute - even he gets more time in with us in the evenings.  It's like a win-win all around.

I'm so happy we could make this new reality.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: SHP Planners

Anyone who follows me on Instagram or Pinterest knows I have a slight thing for notebooks and planners.  Heck - I even started a company to sell them!   For the past year, I have been using a paper planner again to keep my mind in the game and make sure nothing gets missed.   My discbound system has been awesome, but it hasn't stopped me from drooling over a couple of different coil bound systems - the Erin Condren Life Planner and the Plum Paper Planner.   Sad thing is, though, that shipping from the US is PROHIBITIVELY expensive.  Sure - I know people down there who would be happy to order and ship for me at a much cheaper price...but the planners themseves are still expensive too.  Now that I am a Stay at home mom - it is part of my job to make sure I don't bankrupt us.

But then an Instagram friend shared a new Canadian Etsy store with me - SHPPlanners.   Oh my gosh.  They make coil bound planners that are very similar to the two I have been drooling over...but for MUCH cheaper and with $6 shipping (to me anyway - I'm in Alberta, they are in might be more expensive to ship further east).  All of my reservations melted away and the order was placed in seconds!

It shipped the day after I ordered it, which amazed me!  I expect that may slow down a bit as they get busier - they are a fairly new Etsy seller.  And then it got here in about a week.  I loved that I could specify the start month.  But what I really loved was having the opportunity to support a small Canadian seller.  THAT is super important in this age of online shopping.

So - I'm pretty happy with it...and I'm not sure when I became this person...but I did my first video review...I may do more going forward if this is well here goes.

Meet My Little Free Library!

I'm done with apologizing for not posting more.  Let's just say I went on sabbatical for a while to live in the real world.   From now on - I'm not going to focus on how little or how much I post. Or whether I am appealing to one group or another...this blog is me and I just want to write be prepared for a bunch of random crap to come down the chute :P

Ok - now for the real reason for the post.  This weekend - our family's little free library went up!  I have been collaborating with Calgary Reads to bring a Little Free Library to Langdon.  They set me up with a reasonably priced carpenter who built the book house for me and were happy to provide answers to any questions I might have...but ultimately - this library is from my family to the families of Langdon.  I had really hoped to be the first in town, but someone else beat me to the punch so this is Langdon's SECOND LFL.  And the first one on the west side of town.

Here it is.  I decorated it myself (the munchkins may have helped with a couple of the drawings)
A video posted by Cori Nicholls (@khourianya) on

If you ever find yourself in Langdon, I hope you'll drop by Bishop Crescent and check it out! And maybe make sure you have a couple of books to donate in your car. You just never know what might be in there for you to discover!

And, if you are on FB - the Little Free Libraries of Langdon has it's own page.  Please like it ;)