Quick and Easy Breakfast and Lunch Meal Prep

This week, I hurt my tailbone, so Sunday I did some meal prep knowing my husband would be taking care of my son and I for most meals, lunches have never been his specialty so I wanted to do some meal prepping to help ease this responsibility for him. Since standing was easy just bending and sitting were hard, this was an easier task.

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First I made a breakfast burritos, it’s a quick easy breakfast that can be made in advance and heater at work in the microwave or toaster oven. This recipe makes approx 10.

 

Breakfast burritos 

You will need: 

2 frying pans, 1 spatula, 1 whisk, a knife and a cutting board, tinfoil

Ingredients:

1 package of natural selections bacon
10 – 12 brown eggs – we also enjoy a free range in my household
1 cup of grated cheese – I really enjoy tex mex cheese.
1 pepper of your choice – I chose an orange bell pepper
2 cups of fresh spinach chopped
Hot sauce
Mustard – I am a big lover of mustard so I always have mustard with eggs – totally preference
salt and pepper to taste
10 whole wheat tortilla shells

Steps:

  1. Step one, fry up the whole package of bacon. Keep it as a strip.
  2. Scramble your eggs, once to the preference you like, add spinach, cheese and peppers.
  3. Once all ingredients are cooked, lay out your tortilla, add ingredients as follows: Bacon, Eggs, Salt and pepper, Sauce. Then fold, bottom up and over your ingredients then sides in and roll!
  4. This should make enough for 10 burritos. I wrap mine in Tinfoil and then place in a Ziploc, if you plan to use a microwave you can always put these in a microwave friendly container.

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My Go To Filling Salad. 

I am not a salad person, nor have I ever been. Salads are not my idea of fun, but this salad fills me up and it tastes delicious!!

This recipe will make 1 salad to pack. You can multiply this recipe depending on how many you make in advance.

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You will need: 

A knife, cutting board, container for dressing, container for salad.

Ingredients:

1 hard-boiled egg – peeled and chopped
2 hand fulls of spring mix salad greens
1 cooked chicken breast chopped – depending on the size sometimes I only use half.
6 grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons of pecans
2 tablespoons of feta
2 tablespoons of chopped red onions
1/4 cup of chopped cucumber
1/2 a bell pepper – color to your choosing
1 tablespoon of President Choice’s Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

Steps: 

  1. Mix all ingredients into your container. Put the dressing in a separate container, I like to pack this in a big enough container that I can add the dressing and shake it at work. This salad stores really easy so making a few a couple days early is okay!

Enjoy!! 

FullSizeRenderxOx Chelsea 

Fathers Day

When I think about Father’s Day, I think how incredibly blessed I am to have 3 amazing Fathers in my life. My own Dad, My father in law, and my husband. All of these men teach me lessons daily, support me in many different ways as well as give me so much to be thankful for.

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When I think about my Dad the thought crosses my mind – Where do I begin? For Dad and I, it hasn’t always been an easy road. My stubborn independence was always a challenge for us. But eventually we found our groove, he understood that I was always going to do things my way, but found a way to teach me the lesson without me knowing. He let me do things the hard way even though he knew it was the hard way, he knew I didn’t want to hear the easy way.

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I have 1 distinct memory with my Dad, he had taken me to his soccer game – just me. In a family of four children you rarely went anywhere on your own with your parent, so these times were always a blessing. We had taken my Dad’s pride possession, his second wife, the spitfire, his beautiful convertible that all us kids had helped him restore. In his car there was only a radio, well in this particular memory we had it blasted. On the radio – Reba Mcentire – Why haven’t I heard from you! To this day, I think of this memory fondly, for many reasons, I had Dad to myself, I was in the spit, and we were having fun. At this age a lot of life had gotten stressful and Dad could never hide his stress but in this moment he was completely stress free.

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This year my father suffered a heart attack and it was the scariest moment in my life. Thinking the last time I saw him would be my last was heartbreaking. All your memories from childhood to adulthood run through your mind. Someone who spent their life taking care of you now needs your love and support and you to be there for them. The heart attack shook our family hard, it reminded all of us how fragile life is and making an effort to be in each other’s life is so much more important. I love you Dad for all that you taught me, and continue to teach me each day. You’re a great Father and I am blessed to have had you as my Dad.

Craig, thank you for all that you have done for Chris and myself. Your not a man of many words but the few words you give us are always meaningful. You have always had an open heart and open mind. You gave me a home and a family a girl can only dream of. But most of all thank you for raising an incredibly strong, independent loving man. Chris is so much of you, so determined, kind-hearted and a lover of hockey.

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I’ve known you now for about 8-9 years, and have shared many good memories with you. From being room mates to your daughter in law it’s been a great ride. We have shared a ton of laughs, sometimes at the expense of Chris falling in the ditch. You put up with me like I was your own and accepted me with open arms. Thank you for being an incredible father to Colette and  Chris, great father in law to me and a wonderful Grandpa to Pearce. We are so thankful to have you and look forward to many fun trips to the island to visit.

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Chris, 10 years ago I met you, it has been a crazy rollercoaster ride since we met and parenthood has been just another loop on the coaster. You’re the kinda Dad Pearce can be thankful to have. It’s been nearly 2 years with our crazy child and you get him like nobody else. Maybe cause he’s crazy wild like you? Watching you with our son has been the best, I have seen a side of you I never knew existed, and I am incredibly thankful to be able to give Pearce the life we have thanks to your hard work and passion for life.

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Each time I see you with our son I fall more and more in love with you. Not only are you a great dad but your also a great husband reminding me to have patience and stay grounded. Helping me cheer on Pearce’s victories and work with him together to parent as a team on the hard stuff. I like to say I could do it without you but I know I could never. You make being a mom all worth it, because your such an awesome Dad. Beyonce said it best when she sang “‘Cause darling I wake up just to sleep with you,I open my eyes so I can see with you, And I live so I can die with you. And I don’t really need these fingers, if I don’t get to touch your spine. No I don’t need these legs, if I ain’t walkin’ by your side. And I don’t really need to be, if I can’t be with you.”

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The moment I heard this Beyonce song it spoke volumes to me, it is truly the way I feel about Chris, I love my guys to pieces.. ❤ 

To all the other Fathers out there I hope you have an amazing Day with your family. One day to appreciate all you do for us moms seems so unfair! We are grateful for you everyday!!

 

xOx Chelsea 

 

Family Vacation: Kelowna 2017

This May Long was our first family vacation of 2017. We went to Kelowna for my husband’s hockey tournament. I absolutely love getting away with our little family, something about being just us warms my heart. This trip had a ton of first for us, one of which was the way we chose to stay! When you’re traveling with a little one you have so many more things to think about, to bring, and to plan for. This trip we decided to try out air b&b. We will definitely be using it again. I plan on sharing all about the air b&b experience with you, as well as some tips on traveling with a 1.5 year old, and a little bit about what we did around Kelowna. Keep in mind I have a real lack of pictures as I totally unplugged for most the trip.

west kelowna

We decided to go air b and b because we were bringing Pearce and going out for every meal would get costly, staying in a hotel with a suite was also an option but being that it was the long weekend in Kelowna we knew we would have a better time in a air b and b away from the busy downtown core. We chose a cute basement suite in West Kelowna, and boy did we luck out! Our hostess was amazing, we got up pretty late Friday night as we had an emergency plumbing situation at home right before we left. Our host had a playpen set up for us already made so literally we arrived and plunked him into bed. In the morning we woke up to find that we were staying in the cutest little house, with a huge backyard and our host had put some toys in the basement for Pearce to play with. The basement was a great choice it was so nice and cool and with temperatures above 25 it was much-needed!

Saturday morning was the first game of the tournament for my husband’s team, so we were up and out of the house early. I had gone grocery shopping before we left and bought snacks for Pearce and some breakfast goodies, our host made us scones and provided us with some fruit which was nice! After the first game, which they won; we went for lunch at Joey’s with Chris’s god mother who lives in Kelowna. It was a great lunch, Pearce loved the venue, on the balcony is a huge water feature which Pearce couldn’t get enough of. We also love Joeys the food is amazing and the service is always great!

lunch with aunty

After lunch it was nap time till the second game. Then we went and had pizza at our friends place with Pearce. Pearce had nearly the whole Hockey team watching his favorite movie Moana. They all seemed to really enjoy it, so if you’re looking for a good family movie it is definitely worth checking out.

Sunday we had another 2 games, to which my best friend and her man came to help me cheer on the boys. We ended up going to lunch at the Indigenous World Winery, the food was absolutely delicious and the wine was amazing. Not to mention the venue is in a spectacular little spot with breath-taking views. I highly recommend checking this place out if you’re in the Kelowna area. I am told the dinner is even better, and when it gets dark they have giant teepees that light up.

winery

Sunday night was the final game and we ended up losing but it was an awesome game to watch! Dinner was pretty low-key at the rink and then back to our air b and b to rest up before our long and exhausting drive home! When we woke up Monday morning we found out there was a bad accident on the Coquihalla and that it would be closed. We ended up having a LONG detour and the drive took about 7 hours for us to get from West bank Kelowna to Mission. We made a few stops on the way for food. But the drive was definitely not ideal. Moana saved our lives with Pearce. As well as snacks!!

I have a list of some tips that really helped me get through the weekend:

  1. Ipad with his favorite movie to watch in the car
  2. Coloring for at the rink and peas favorite books
  3. a variety of snacks : Yogurt, Squishees, gold fish, cheerios, and LOTS of fruit.
  4. toys – bring a variety so when your child gets fussy you can take a different toy out
  5. try to plan so their schedule can still be maintained a bit it will make for a kid in better moods
  6. The car is extremely hot for a child in a car seat so plan a few stops for them to get out.
  7. having someone in the back seat to entertain your child when they get fussy is a huge bonus!
  8. Because we had to pack for cold rink and hot weather it was essential we brought a change of clothes, our SUV was our changing ground for Pearce before we went in the rink.
  9. be patient. Traveling is new for a little one so be patient because it’s a LOT of change for them all at once
  10. Packing their blanket or pillow from home helps for better sleeping at night-time.
  11. PLAN FOR PLAY! it’s a vacation remember

Overall our first vacation was a huge learning experience, packing should never be done last-minute as I forgot to pack myself knickers and my husband forgot to grab shoes. Thankfully we traveled somewhere where we could have all of those things. Air b and b was a great experience, it’s also so much more affordable for small families. Being able to have breakfast everyday and snacks and everything in our place just like we were at home was a huge plus. We will definitely be staying air b and b again! Hopefully we will be at the winery again soon as well!

family

xOx Chelsea

 

Crib to Toddler Bed

From the moment I felt the first movements of Pearce inside my belly, I knew I was going to have a child as wild and crazy as his father. He was always moving and super crazy when I was pregnant. Once Pearce was born and we had discovered that we had a boy, I knew he was going to be just like his Dad. This is where my story will begin.

When I started dating Chris his mother, father and grandparents had told me a bunch of stories about how he was an escape artist, always getting out of bed and going outside to play in the middle of the night, or having to be tied to the tree when camping because he would run away. Well when Pearce was born he was just as eager to get on the move. He rolled over at 7 weeks, started crawling and 5 months and walking at 10 months. Basically since he could walk he could climb, it has been many months of owies, bruises, and little cuts all because our son is always moving faster than he can prepare for.

A little over a month ago it was nap time and Daddy had a few of Pearce’s favorite friends over and Pearce didn’t want to nap, I put him in his crib and he climbed out immediately. This happened about 4 times before we decided okay its time to change his crib into the toddler bed. Pearce had escaped once or twice before this when he had woken from a nap but never like this. So Daddy and his friends adjusted his crib into the toddler bed. We attempted nap time again by putting Pearce in his bed and he climbed out and cried by the door, he ended up falling asleep by the door after about 20 mins and then I went in and moved him into his bed.

For the rest of the week we kept Pearce up a little later at night so that when we would put him in his bed he would be tired. Bed time was a success and nap times got much better. After a month I can gladly say we have only had him fall asleep by the door 2 maybe 3 times and he has gotten into a few things. Yesterday he woke up from his nap while I was in the shower and when I grabbed him all of the diapers were all over his room, he sat there pulling them out individually from the plastic.

For being so good at sleeping in his bed for the month I took Pearce to the book store, for him this is much more exciting than the toy store. Pearce picked out 1 book, much to my surprise he picked out a paper back book, it was the a golden book version of Moana, and for the last few weeks he has slept every night cuddling his Moana book. While we were away in Kelowna Moana hugely helped us get through our 7.5 hour drive home while the Coquihalla was closed.


I have a few tips for parents transferring to toddler bed:

  1. Make the bedroom safe, if your child can get out of their bed they can also touch everything in their bedroom so do a quick check to ensure its all safe!
  2. Be prepared to have them sleep by the door a few times to get the hang of things
  3. Putting your kid to bed when they are more tired will keep them from getting out of their bed.
  4. Ensure you have a guard rail, if your waiting for one to come in the mail, grab a large pillow and place it under a blanket and lay your child on top of the blanket.
  5. You may also find them sitting in their bed while you make dinner reading a book — this will melt your heart!

I promise to share all the details of Kelowna, our Air B and B stay, the winery, the restaurants and all about Chris’s hockey tournament on an upcoming blog!

Happy Mothers Day

I knew for Mother’s Day I wanted to write a special blog. In my life I am surrounded by many amazing mothers. I have my own mother who is my best friend, my rock – basically my first call for everything. Then I have my mother in law, an amazing woman who I have gotten to know over the 10 years I have been with her son and whom has taught me many important things; how to love her son, how to knit (I am not very good), and how to show unconditional love from a distant place. Then I have my Step Mom, who is a strong, caring woman who takes very good care of my dad, and who brought with her 2 amazing men with their own families. Most recently we also had Chris’s dad re-marry and I was given a Step-Mother in law, who brought with her a son and who has helped my father in law make more time for himself and his family (He has always been a crazy workaholic). Plus I have a sister and sister-in-law who are amazing mothers, grand mothers, grandmother in-laws and many friends who are also great moms!

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I am truly blessed by my surroundings, all the mothers in my life are strong, caring, and who are always there to lend an ear, to share some advice and to simply let me vent. This blog is going to be all about the mom’s who influence me the most – my moms. I will start with my own Mother — Felisa Craig, known to most as Lisa. For as long as I can remember I wanted to be my Mom. I would have all my friends over and play “office” and I was Lisa the Successful real estate agent who had 4 kids and who could do it all. That’s who my mom is, the one who does it all; She puts food on the table, she worked long hours, made sure all the bills were paid and that we all had new clothes, shoes that fit and all the permission slips were signed. Four kids is no easy task, I struggle daily with just 1. There were so many things I wanted to ask my Mom about being a mother, So here goes :

  1. What were your biggest fears when you were about to become a mom?
    Whether I would do a good job, having all the little voices in the background telling me how I should do it — if I didn’t listen would it be okay?
  2. What was the biggest challenge for you being a mom?
    Having enough time for each kid. 
  3. If you could freeze time and go back to an age with each of your children what age would you choose?
    Under 3, best time, best giggles. 
  4. While raising your children what was your favourite thing to do in our absence?
    Enjoy the silence – it was rare. 
  5. What advice do you give expecting mothers?
    Do not wish for the milestones, they will come, just enjoy each day. Don’t compare your children to others or books, no 2 children are the same. 
  6. If you could go back and change anything what would it be?
    Allow my children to follow their passions and not what we wanted of them
  7. What was the experience like becoming Nana?
    Amazing, overwhelming, gratifying that one of your children gave you a precious gift to share with you.
  8. What is the best part about being Nana?
    Love the hugs, the kisses, the giggles, each one is a gift from someone who you love, who gave you something new to love back.

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When I was a kid, my favorite memories are of all my family together, whether it be sitting at the table on Sunday with our friends who had slept over, or just the family. Mom making her special pancakes, Dad entertaining everyone with the story of how they met. Or going to Stanley park, and Gastown, walking around going to the old spaghetti factory, and going to the CD shop and getting a new CD. My parents always did their best to give us their full attention, they didn’t talk about work or talk about politics, they talked to us about our week, or our challenges. This is something that I know is a struggle for my husband and I as there is so many more distractions now than there was then. I am thankful for the childhood to which my parents gave me. I am thankful for the memories. It’s funny because reading my Mom’s answers I really feel like her struggles like having enough time are what holds me back most about having more, Will there be enough time for more? But my parents always gave us time and though the time alone with our parents wasn’t as often it was deeply cherished. I am so thankful for my Mom, I can’t imagine my life without her. She is truly the strongest woman I know, determined and methodical, with always more to give.

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Next Mrs Laura Vaughn, My mother in law. Where do I begin? Laura lives in Ontario so we do not see each other too often but we talk at least a few times a week. I think seeing my husband and my mother in law together is what made me know I would love being a mother to a boy. The bond seems to never go away. My husband and is mother have a strange bond and I am sure it leads back to the hockey rink, he has an intense desire to not let his mother down and to make her proud. Each thing he does he calls his mom to tell her about. At first I didn’t understand their bond, I often thought maybe it’s because she’s far away. Then Pearce was born and I understood it, he’s her little boy, her first-born. I imagine I will be the same, always holding on to my little boy.  Laura is a strong woman who works incredibly hard, her two children live in BC so she is constantly making trips out here, or bringing us out there, spoiling us with presents and sending a card for each occasion. She never forgets a birthday, a housewarming, an anniversary, there is always a card in the mail. Laura and I are very alike in that way, very thoughtful. When I married her son this summer, Laura was meticulous about the details, she made our invitations, our programs, our wine labels. She kept me on track with all of the tasks sending me reminders. Then when she came to town, she took me to a florist and she bought me the flowers for my bouquet. When your planning a small wedding these things seem pointless or they did to me, I thought why waste money on flowers, they just die. But the truth is I will probably keep my bouquet forever and Laura knew this. Laura is like me in that all the small details matter, when you go to visit you have a basket of toiletries, from the luffa, to the travel deodorant. I asked Laura the same questions I asked my mom knowing that these questions would bring us closer and give others some understanding of what the mom’s before us thought.

  1. What were your biggest fears when you were about to become a mom?
    I never feared becoming a mother, I feared doing the job properly and childbirth. 
  2. What has been the biggest challenge being a mother?
    I was extremely lucky when I had both my children that I could either take them to work or stay home with them till they went to school. When my son was born I had to balance keeping him quiet and entertained as my husband was a short-haul truck driver and worked odd hours. When my daughter was born my biggest challenge was trying to juggle my time and love between the two  of them.
  3. If you could freeze time at any age for your little ones which age would you choose?
    Frozen 4 and 2 and living in Ontario surrounded by love of a very large extended family. I still look back at this time and consider it the best time of my life. 
  4. What challenges have you encountered while raising your children?
    My biggest challenge raising my kids was being in BC away from my family. In a time with no social media, crazy long distance prices. This was a very hard adjustment. 
  5. If your children were to name something you say often what would it be?
    I need a coffee
  6. When raising your children what was your favorite thing to do in their absence?
    reading a novel or a good soak in the tub
  7. What advice do you give expecting mothers?
    Read everything you can, take advice as it is given and forget it all. No one person is right, no one is wrong. Only you know your child, Trusts your instincts but remember the advice givers mean well. 
  8. Seeing your children now as adults what things are you most proud of that you did to help them become the person they are today?
    I am very proud of how strong and independent my children are. When they were growing up we allowed them to make decisions for themselves. We felt we provided them with the tools to make the right decisions. They did make some wrong decisions along the way and we never punished them per say, but gave them support they needed to turn things around. 
  9. What was the experience like becoming Grandma?
    I have never in my lifer been so emotional as I was when my grandchildren were born. Each experience very different. I refused to leave my Daughter when she was in labor and spent every minute waiting and worrying. When young Sawyer debuted I was overcome with tears of joy and exhaustion. Worried for Colette, There is nothing more upsetting than knowing your child is in pain and you can do nothing to help. When my son’s son was born earlier than planned I missed all the text messages because of the time difference. I woke up to 30+ messages and I cried my eyes out for the fact that I wasn’t there when he needed me to be. And also for missing one of the biggest moments of his life. My daughter is due with her second and I am sure it will be very different as well 
    ** since this was written Sadie May Clarke was born and was 3 days early, Laura also  missed the birth of Miss Sadie who came very quickly. Colette did an amazing job giving birth after arriving at the hospital only 1 hour before. We couldn’t be happier to have our first niece** 
  10. How do you feel about being a grandma?
    I love being a Grandma almost as much as being a mom. My children and grandchildren are my world. I love watching them grow before my eyes and I see so much of my children in my grandchildren. I wish I was closer so I could be more involved. Maybe one day!

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When I first met Laura, She called me and told me she had searched my entire Facebook page, (I will probably do the same to any girl in Pearce’s life) and that she wanted to meet me. It wouldn’t be for a few years till we met. But Laura was very welcoming of me, we have shared many memories over the years, from me helping Laura get dressed in her wedding dress at her wedding, to decorating the hall for Chris and My wedding. Laura’s is a loving and expressive mother. I see so much of me in Laura and I know that’s why Chris loves me. I know that Laura is always only a call away for us and I know we are incredibly blessed to have such amazing mothers in our life.

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Our two steps mom are also amazing mothers, amazing cooks, and always make us feel very welcome in their home. They take the time to stay up to date on our life, and to make our dad’s extremely happy. Chris and I are blessed to have so many people in our lives who love us and love our children as their own grandchildren. Mother’s day isn’t just for our moms, it’s for our step moms, for our all the other moms.

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I want to take a moment to tell all the mothers who have lost a child, no matter the circumstances that just because your child is no longer with us, doesn’t mean you should not celebrate today, You were a mother the day your child was conceived, whether you never met your child, you spent a few days together or you had years. You were a mother, you are a mother, and your incredibly strong, empowering and I have so much respect and admiration for you and all that you have gone through. Remember that we think about you, we celebrate you as well today. Happy Mother’s day. This video was shared by Today’s Parent, I urge you to watch it so that you can better understand what these mothers go through.

 

To lighten the mood, I will also share a video about what us mothers are looking for this Mother’s Day. I hope you all have a fantastic day, remember that today is all about your love for your child and the incredible things you do for them. May today be a day for you. Video By Whats Up Mom’s

xOx Chelsea

The All Time Low.

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, why did I eat that last donut? How does my husband even love me? Don’t get me wrong I love my body I am incredibly blessed to have an amazing body which has given me so much! But man I looked in the mirror and I just thought where the hell did you let yourself go… If you’ve been here this blog is probably for you. Its going to get personal, it’s going to get super ugly, and its going to be 100% raw.

Cancun November 2013
In 2013, My husband and I had our first big vacation together, a trip to Cancun for our friends wedding. All of my husbands friends and their wives are extremely good-looking people, who are fit and take good care of the body. I at the time was very uncomfortable in my body and wanted to look good in Cancun as they would be memories for us to share forever, I wanted to be able to look back on our pictures together and be proud. I hired a personal trainer/nutritionist and changed my body for the better. I took up a paleo diet as I had painful digestive issues at the time. Going paleo helped so much, I no longer had pain during digestion, I also noticed improvements in my mood, my skin and my overall attitude was much better when I wasn’t eating all the carbs. Working with the trainer allowed me to stay motivated, hold myself accountable and see improvements faster. I went from 158 lbs, on September 1st, 2013 to 145lbs, November 14, 2013 – i lost 13 lbs and 13 inches. I had never felt so incredible in my life, the confidence I had gained along with the knowledge was overwhelming.

Fast forward to now and here I am, 3 and a half years later, a mom of a beautiful baby boy, who got pregnant after putting all that weight back on. My starting pregnancy weight was 154 lbs – aka my winter 10 (I always seem to fluctuate between 10lbs heavier in the winter). Before returning to work I had gotten back down to 159 – which was a huge accomplishment for me. But at work I sit at a desk, So I am not nearly as active as I was on Matt-leave. Since returning to work I have put on another 9 lbs. So here I am.. 168 lbs and completely bare to you all. Something I have struggled with discussing my whole life is my weight. Being a tall individual people generally don’t understand the placement of my weight, so telling you my weight makes me feel incredibly vulnerable.

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145 lbs – goal weight reach November 2013
I asked my husband how much he thought I weight in the above picture, he said “120lbs”. This is a huge indicator that so many people have such a misconception on weight and body type. In the above picture, I weighed 145lbs. But I felt the best I had ever felt. My confidence was amazing and I felt healthy and fit, I went on to drop to 140 which for me was a healthy weight I could maintain. Getting pregnant is different for everyone, each person carries their baby different and therefore also carries their weight different. Some women can have a baby and only gain 2 lbs, and some woman get pregnant and gain 70 lbs. For me it was important to not gain too much weight, but it was also important that I didn’t stress over weight gain. I put on 34 lbs during my pregnancy, which was just within the healthy range for my body type (my body type should gain approx 25 – 35lbs during pregnancy). It was a huge accomplishment for me. I was able to continue my work out routine during pregnancy, I went to the gym until I was 7.5 months pregnant and then I signed up for fit for two prenatal work out. This was similar to an aerobics class that I would walk to and from. I also walked my dogs 3-4 times a day at the time as we lived in our condo. My diet was also 60% paleo at this time, I had started to consume carbs again as it was all that would hold off the nausea and my body was able to digest them again except for corn. When I first started eating carbs again this caused me to have a little carb overdose and I gained 8 lbs in 1 week. Which was extremely hard to swallow.

So here I am 168 lbs, 20 months post baby and at a point in my life when I need to make this change to better my life. I had been wanting to start at the gym for a while but was used the excuse that I didn’t want to take time away from my son. Being a working mom it is always a struggle to find time for things for yourself without giving up that special time with your child. How do you balance motherhood and being happy in your own skin. This was/is my goal.
Going to the gym gives me so much relief for my stress, my anxiety, it also gives me more confidence. So I decided to complete a 2 week trial at a local gym, I found a work out program that I used to do which is Jamie Eason’s live fit trainer – completed through http://www.bodybuilding.com. I have successfully completed my two-week trial and am ready to commit to this lifestyle change. Which means balance – making better choices but not giving my up my sanity. There will be days when I eat pizza pops because I don’t have food in my house. Or days when I am so exhausted that we may eat macaroni. I am not going to put pressure on myself or my family rather I want to just create a healthier routine for my family.

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Weekly recap from Body Building .com
So here is where this all plays into the blog. I am giving my commitment to change to all of you! I am ready to change my life and get healthy and start trying to get back to the old Chelsea. And I am going to share the challenges of this and the excitements with all of you, I am going to get really raw. I will not be making this a major focus of my blog rather I will post a check up of how I am doing and what changes I have made every few weeks.

I wrote the majority of this blog, when I started my plan 2 weeks ago, But I have now finished my two weeks and am doing 4 lbs. By just exercising more, I plan to do some measurements this week so I can keep track of loss in inches as I build muscle I know that muscle weighs more so I may not lose a lot of weight but lose more inches! That is the goal, I will not let the scale control me rather I will use it as one part of this journey.

I have yet to decide if my family will go back paleo or not, I would really like to however our little guy really enjoy his carbs and being paleo requires a lot more work in the kitchen.. I do hope to return to Paleo, but think we will wait till I am done breastfeeding. But again its all about finding a good balance. Follow my fitness Journal for updates and pictures on the progress!

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A side note I missed writing my blog last week, Life has gotten so crazy! With getting up at 4am and I am going to bed ALOT earlier. As well we have started our first BIG renovation, we are renovating our basement “rec room”. The people who lived here previously had allowed for this room to take on some tough times so we are re-vamping as well as fixing some wiring issues that our place had. I will be sure to keep you posted on the challenges we encounter and share some pictures along the way. I know one challenge will be keeping my husband focused on sticking to 1 Reno, he’s much like his dad and wants to take on multiple projects when we should do 1 at a time!

 

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Thank you all for reading about my commitment and I hope that sharing this with you keeps me more committed to my goal! If you want to make a commitment to a change in your life and want some support I would love to help you with this!

xOx Chelsea  

Easter Weekend Recap!

Something about Holidays always gets me really excited to make the experience great for Pearce. I remember being a child and my parents hiding our baskets and little eggs all over the house for us to find. We would have breakfast, get dressed in cute little dresses and go searching all over the house to find our Easter treats.

Easter weekend was nothing short of memories for us. On Thursday night Chris had to work late so it was just Pearce and I. These moments when I get him all to myself for a night are always very enjoyable for me as I have never liked sharing. Pearce was pretty tired from Daycare on Friday, so I made one of his favorite meals – Spaghetti with red sauce. After we both enjoyed dinner we played for a bit then it was time for bath. Pearce has loved playing in the bath the last few weeks – most parents know children go through phases of loving bath time and hating it. Lately we have been playing a new game during bath time, our bathroom has a dimmer so we dim the lights, and I crack open a few glow sticks, the tub is filled with bubbles and I toss the glow sticks in. Once all the glow sticks have been thrown in Pearce digs through the bubbles and finds the glow sticks. After bath we got in our jammies and Chris asked if I could keep Pearce up to see him, So we went downstairs and cuddled on the couch and watched Beauty and the beast, both of us fell asleep before Daddy got home and this moment for me I will cherish for 2 reasons. 1. Pearce has never fallen asleep with me since he was 6 months old. 2. This was my favorite childhood movie and I absolutely love that he enjoys it and we can watch it together like I had with my mom.


Friday Morning we took Pearce to Maan Farms, it was an amazing time!! We had our friends the Emersons meet us and my sister Laken and nephew Declan. Maan Farms was an absolute hit! The kids loved it, from the super fast slides, to the petting zoo, the Easter egg hunt, the giant bouncing pillow (I think this was all their favorite), to the pedal car races. We all had a great time, looking for the golden egg and feeding the goats, Pea absolutely loved the tiny chickens they had in the pen above the rabbits. Maan Farms put together a great Easter Weekend package. They had continuous easter egg hunts going from 11 – 3pm all 4 days. Each child had to find 5 different colored eggs and then they got a bag of candy with a discounted admission pass for their next visit! Watching Pearce experience the farm was a ton of fun! It will definitely be a stop for us again in the future, maybe even a birthday party?


After the farm we went for lunch at our favorite pizza place in Abbotsford, Famoso Pizza. Each time we go we like to order a few different flavors and then share them with the crowd. Each time we have been whether they are really busy or steady we always receive amazing service and the food and drinks are delicious. I highly recommend the korean BBQ pizza.  Then we got home and mom picked up Pearce for their sleepover and Mommy and Daddy went out for a night on the town. Eating at a great little restaurant downtown called the Union – I recommend trying their wings, street hawker that were amazing! Then off to a concert with friends.


Saturday was super mellow, we were all so tired from the busy Friday. Pearce even had a 4 hour nap, too much for that little guy! I ended up staying up really late and finishing 13 reasons why – what an amazing show. For so many reasons I really enjoyed this show, I think this was the first show to really show what highschool can really be like. I mean this in the interactions between kids, the interactions between faculty and kids and the interaction between parents and kids. Some parents have so much love and faith in their children being good people, they stop interacting with their child – to the point where some kids don’t know what their children are capable of. BUT boy does this show end with a TON of questions. Hopefully netflix can take this project on past what the author has been willing to do and create a second season.


Sunday was another very busy day, we ended up sleeping in till 9:30!!! Which is pretty amazing in parent life. We waited for Daddy to wake up then we took Pearce downstairs for a little Easter Egg hunt around the house leading him to his Easter basket, filled with books, coloring books, a few little toys and play dough. Then it was time to get ready and go meet My husband’s family for lunch. My father in law took the ferry over to meet us for Easter Lunch. So it was My father in law, his wife, her son, my husbands sisters, her husband, my nephew and the three of us! We ended up going to the Tsawwassen mills mall to meet as my father in law forget we only have a 5 seater! So we checked out the Bass Pro shop which we have been wanting to do for a while. Pearce absolutely lovesssssss all the taxidermy animals and the huge fish tank. We even got a free picture with the Easter Bunny, whom gave us a free kids meal to the restaurant Uncle Bucks. After cruising around bass pro shop we went to Uncle Buck’s fish bowl and grill, everyone loved their food mine was sub par and the waitress was strangely uninterested in doing anything extra for me such as making a weak chocolate milk for Pearce, or making any changes to my burger and actually told me to pick off what I didn’t like. I have never had that happen before – it was still a very fun lunch. My husband recommends trying the fish and chips as you get four LARGE pieces which is uncommon.


After lunch we said our goodbyes to Chris’s family and stopped at Pearce’s Nonna and Nonnos aka Chris’s good friend Natalino’s parents place we try to stop and see them whenever we are in New West as they are very dear to us and we consider them Pearce’s other grandparents. They spoiled us with chocolates and we got to catch up and see everyone, Pearce was spoilt with chocolate and grapes which he likes more than chocolate. Then it was off to my moms for a nice Easter dinner of delicious Ham, and all the desired fixings. After dinner we played board games with Declan and Pearce and nanna watched storks. After which I was very exhausted and came home to prepare for work. Unlike most other BC residents I had to work the Monday because in my job I actually work for our Alberta part of the company out of our Coquitlam office, therefor i have to take their holidays. Chris and Pearce had a fun day together on Monday and got in some extra bonding time.


When I think about the age of which I have really enjoyed Pearce, I think right now is my favorite, he is so fun and adventurous. He loves looking at books and playing in puddles, brushing his teeth and playing in mommy and daddy’s room. This age is so fun and so busy it almost takes away any baby fever I may have. This Easter I think was as fun as it was because of the age that Pearce is, able to participate and still be young enough that I could fill his Easter basket in front of him.


Now what you have all been waiting for the winner of Uprise Coffee Company basket,
SAMANTHA GURNEY!!
Congratulations Samantha, Please contact chasingmyminimonsterblog@outlook.com to arrange pick up for your basket! thank you to everyone who participated, keep following us for more exclusive offers, and give aways!!

xOx Chelsea

Uprise Coffee Company

Whenever I write about a vendor I send over a list of questions that I use to build my blog off of. When I received the questions back from Nicki and Kris, I had 2 thoughts.

  1.  Who knew roasting coffee by hand was so much work – Kris gave me a very detailed look at the whole process.
  2. Where do I begin. Kris’s passion left me with so much information I struggled a bit to figure out how I would share it all.

So let me begin here; I am not a regular coffee drinker – I drink coffee regularly BUT I usually have mochas, latte’s, french vanillas, anything that isn’t straight coffee so I knew I would need the help of my husband – the Coffee expert.  I WILL drink regular coffee it just must have sugar.

I knew that this blog would be a challenge for me and it was why I wanted it to so bad! First, I wanted to challenge my taste buds, maybe I have just been drinking SHIT coffee – we all know its out there. Second, how do I – someone who doesn’t drink regular coffee relate to coffee lovers.

Here goes everyone: Uprise Coffee Company is made in my home town, of Mission, BC. Finding a coffee company that is local was extremely exciting. Not only do I love supporting local, but I love supporting local FAMILIES. Its one thing for a person who has no dependents to start their own business and work their ass off their time is theirs. It’s a whole other thing for a parent to start their business – please do not take that offensively I recognize all struggles – but their time is mostly their childrens. We live in era where affording daycare, groceries, and your mortgage is a daily struggle for the middle/lower class families. Uprise Coffee Company is that a family business, 2 people, husband and wife, mom and dad who started their business in their kitchen, while raising their 2 beautiful little boys (trust me they are).

Now you may be wondering, what makes Uprise Coffee better than your convenient Tim Hortons, Mc Donalds or Starbucks. Well Uprise coffee roasts small batches of coffee, what I recently learned is that large companies don’t have the time to roast small batches. They need to get the fresh roast beans to their customers as quickly as possible – this means roasting in large batches. So why is small batch roasting better? Coffee beans come from the coffee tree, and after being process it is called a green bean. These are the beans a roaster will receive. Kris made sure to tell me that anyone can roast a coffee bean, but the trick is to get to know the coffee bean. Getting to know the beans and it’s defining characteristics allows you to understand how it will react during the roasting process. Differing characteristics of a coffee bean depend on region, elevation, process used to achieve the green bean, size and its ability to endure heat.


Now I will tell you why large batches are so hard to make a great cup of coffee from. When a company roasts their coffee in large batches they must find the optimal heat for the majority of their beans.  Not all beans will roast well at the same temp, some may burn, some may not be roasted long enough. So by roasting small batches more attention can be paid to the beans needs and better coffee can be made. Uprise coffee roasts their coffee in a roaster made for small batches with minimal bells and whistles it relies on the roaster to guide it through the process making the roaster in total control of the outcome of each roasted bean.

I had no idea what any of this meant the first time I read it. It took reading it a second time and pausing to digest it. Kris told me that he got involved in the coffee business by accidentally drinking his wife’s coffee and noticing it tasted exactly like his and they had ordered different roasts. AKA The standardized temperature at which large companies use to brew doesn’t make any large noticeable difference in coffee.

So where did they get the name from well Kris thought while he drank his coffee there must be an Uprise of mom and pop roasters and coffee shops to show people there is a difference in how each roast is should taste. That is how the Uprise Coffee Company began.

Coffee Roaster

My favorite question to ask vendors is what is your favorite part of owning your own business; You can tell their passion when they simply reply – we love our coffee, coffee lovers are the most passionate people around – this fact I have found true. They also really enjoy when they have someone swear off their loved chain brand and commit to Uprise. On the flip side it is also really interesting to hear what they find the most challenging. Time  – Small batches equals copious amounts of time spent in front of the roaster, they may own their own company but they still work full-time and have 2 children.

I found that like all my vendors I have featured Nicki and Kris were passionate about their business. When I ask people what is something you want your customer to know, they said “that we take pride”. When I met them in person they had their two small boys with them and their son told me he helped packaged my coffee. They had just finished roasting it that week for me. When you see the hands of a product and you taste it knowing that this small family made it, I think it makes it taste just a little bit better. So whats their goal for their company? Maybe a coffee-house one day, as the numbers grow each year. They don’t keep large amounts of coffee on hand and mostly roast to order so you truly get the freshest coffee. That being said you can find Uprise Coffee Company at Mossy Creek & Co , a local boutique on Main Street in Mission, BC (previously featured) for $13 or you can email them or contact them via Facebook to arrange shipping or drop off for $10 a bag.

Kris started the questions by telling me he was no coffee snob, that he would drink any coffee, he takes it by the gallon. Anything black and caffeinated he will have, but why not offer a great product and show people how love and passion make a cup.

Above I described that I wasn’t much of a coffee drinker, one thing I found is that I didn’t need to add much as it was so flavorful, something I hadn’t really experienced before. My husband liked it so much he took it to work to give the guys a cup and show them the exciting thing I was working on. Chris said “the aroma of the coffee filled our house and smelt delicious, even though it was a Dark roast, it was still light and flavorful” – and he is a coffee snob!  He takes his coffee black, me I take it 1 milk 3 sugars – don’t get me wrong I don’t think I will ever stop drinking my white chocolate mochas or chai lattes but it’s nice that I found a coffee I actually enjoy and don’t need to leave home for. Their company has now been open for 4-5 years and I have a feeling they may have gotten me to put away the Keurig and enjoy a real cup of coffee. I remember working at Mc Donalds for the first free coffee week and they told me, you give away 1 great cup, you get a customer for life.

On that note, Uprise Coffee Company has put together a basket for 1 lucky Blog reader, all you have to do, is comment on the picture of the basket on our Facebook page, follow our Facebook and Uprise Coffee Company’s  Facebook page and you will be entered. Winner will be announced Next week on the blog April 22nd 2017.

I hope you all order a bag, or stop by Mossy Creek and pick one up, remember supporting local mom and pop shops supports a family!

Good Luck

xOx Chelsea 

Some Tips for the fruit lovers mom

I have spent the last 20 months raising my son, one of his favorite things is fruit. We always seem to have a ton of fruit on hand and I have spent the last year trying to figure out how to serve it and keep it fresh and when is best to eat it. Here’s a few tips I have discovered! 

A few of our Daily Staples:

Apples – When I was pregnant all I would eat was BAGS of cut up Golden Delicious apples – my personal favorite type of apple! I have found that the best kind to buy to ensure they last long is Golden Delicious or Ambrosia. These two I have found last the longest AND my little one doesn’t mind the skin! Other flavors of apples Pearce MUST have pealed which can lead to a lot of work! When you bring these BC treats home soak for 15 mins minimum in a bath of 8 cups water 1 cup vinegar then let dry on the counter before putting in the crisper in the fridge loose.
– the best way to prepare for kids with fewer teeth is peeled with small cubes, 1 apple – 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice to keep from browning in a sealed container.
– kids with lots of teeth (like Pearce) for day care we cut as above for their guidelines, for home we slice the apple into thin slices and leave the skin on
– we also do apple sauce as a night-time snack when purchasing make sure you read the ingredients and that you don’t buy anything with more than 2 ingredients : apples and ascorbic acid everything else is extra or sweetened which kids don’t need!

Strawberries – I don’t know a single person who doesn’t love STRAWBERRIES! This info was actually very easy for me to find as my mom works for the Strawberry Council. These berries are usually super easy for kids with teeth or no teeth, so if your little one is teething, try giving them a soft whole strawberry and be sure to supervise, otherwise cubed is perfect. To keep strawberries fresh longer store as per below:
1. Wash ONLY before eating
2. Leave the stem on as LONG as possible
3. Don’t let one berry ruin the bunch – check daily for berries going bad and remove from the bunch
4. Store in the fridge if not using same day – store in a partially closed contained, line with paper towel (putting between layers if stacking),  and if using original container wash thoroughly.

Blueberries – In BC these are a staple, come August it’s all about buying as many as you can to eat, freeze and save to enjoy all year! When Pearce was about 3 months he started teeth, so we put frozen blueberries in the mesh teethers and he fell in love!! Blueberries have so many options, smoothies, yogurt, or just on their own. Keep in mind if your little one eats too many you will have dark poop, don’t worry its just the berries!  The best way to store them is:
1. SORT – remove all the bad ones!
2. Pull of the stems
3. Soak for min 5 mins in a vinegar bath 1 part vinegar 3 parts water – after be sure to rinse the vinegar off
4. DRY! – best way lay a dish towel down and let them dry for an hour on the counter
5. store in a breathable non-metal container with paper towel on the bottom and between the rows.

Bananas – These gems are amazing for little ones, an awesome night-time snack to get baby to sleep longer – or so a few mom friends have said. Bananas are good because they are EXTREMELY safe, just be sure that if your little one is a new eater you don’t give them to big of a piece for them to shove down their throat. Bananas are best stored at room temperature.

Kiwis – When I was a kid my older sister taught me to cut a kiwi and I never thought much of it until my little sister was over and I told her to cut a kiwi and she didn’t know how! the best way to cut a kiwi IMO is to cut the kiwi in half, then take a spoon and scoop it out. Then cut the two halves into cubes. I suggest only cutting night before or day of eating. Kiwi’s are best stored at room temp until ripe then put them in the fridge in a bag.

Dried fruit are also great treat for little ones so if you have a dehydrator start experimenting for delicious treats,  my favorite is definitely pineapple and mango! You can also buy these in a store but they can get a little pricey. Pearce is a huge fan of raisins and pineapple.

Here is a Breakdown of where to store your fruit: 

Apples – washed than loose in the fridge in a crisper
Bananas – on the counter
Stone fruit (peaches, plums etc) – on the counter until ripe then in a bag in the fridge.
Berries – Fridge
Citrus – on the counter
Grapes – in the fridge in a bag – we do off the vine in an open container
Kiwis – on the counter till ripe then in a bag on the counter
Mangos and Melons – Store on the counter until ripe and then in the fridge in a bag
Tomatoes – on the counter, uncovered or if very ripe in the fridge

Best Time of Day to eat Certain Foods – this is more for us adults but can also effect our little ones.

Cheese 
– best eaten for breakfast in moderation helps to prevent weight gain and bloating
– worst time eaten for dinner – cheese is heavy to digest eating for dinner can lead to indigestion and weight gain.

Figs & Apricots
– best eaten for breakfast to boost metabolism and warm up the digestive system
– eating for dinner can lead to indigestion and gas troubles

Dark Chocolate 
– Best eaten for breakfast giving you anti-oxidants which reduces aging and lowers risk of heart disease
– worst eaten as a snack, can increase body fat

Rice
– Best eaten for lunch as metabolism is higher during the day, giving you lots of time to use up the carbohydrates
– eating rice for dinner can lead to weight gain

Tomatoes
– Best eaten for breakfast will improve digestion and increase metabolism
– Eating tomatoes for dinner can cause stomach swelling

Oranges
– Best eaten for a snack to improve digestion and increase metabolism
– Eating oranges for breakfast can cause stomach irritation and gastritis

Nuts
– Eating nuts at lunch time can lower your risk of blood pressure
– eating nuts at dinner can lead to weight gain

Milk
– Best when enjoyed at night slightly warmed will help get a good nights sleep
– worst when had for breakfast – unless followed by increased physical activity as milk can be hard to digest

Potatoes
– Best eaten for breakfast to lower cholesterol and because it is rich in minerals
– Eating potatoes for dinner can lead to increased weight gain

Apples
– Best eaten for breakfast, because apples contain pectin it helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels
– When eating pectin for dinner it is harder to digest at night it also increases stomach acid.

Bananas
– Are best eaten at Lunch time, to strengthen immune system and improve skin
– Eating bananas for dinner can lead to mucus formation and disturbed digestion

 

I hope you guys found this helpful, I am always looking up how to keep things lasting longer. If you have any tips please share!!

xOx Chelsea