How to Halloween With a Toddler

Halloween for me always seems to be the hardest to do with a toddler. So many activities are too scary for them, and my son’s legs are too small for him to gather all the candy I need. So I decide to research some Toddler/Preschool age activities to do in the Fraser Valley for those parents who also find this season to be hard!

You may or may not have seen my previous post about the MUST DO toddler friendly fall activities, so I will not go into much detail about the pumpkin patches or corn maze. Feel free to see that post here.  

Mini Monster Approved Halloween Activities :

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  1. Pumpkin Express: Bear Creek Park – Surrey, BC
    The Pumpkin Express is a family friendly event in Surrey, where every kid gets a treat for the ride and a child sized pumpkin! With tons of activities and food under the tent at the train platform it makes sure to check all the boxes for everyone in  your family! This event runs from October 9 to October 31; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  2. Castle Fun Park: Abbotsford, BC
    This free event will provide trick or treaters to come in costume for a special candy! They will also have an artist on site for free face painting for the kids and you can enter their pumpkin carving contest by bringing your pumpkin in from October 25 – 31st (if you enter you get a $5 gift card as well as a ballot for the draw on Halloween night). Guests also receive 20% off arcade games.

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  3. Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver, BC
    Celebrate Halloween a little early with a family sleep over at the Aquarium on October 28th, from 9pm – 9am. Enjoy a spooky, fun, educational celebration. Ending the evening of safe trick or treating fun in a bed in one of living galleries. Snacks and Breakfast included.
  4. Spooktacular Newton, Surrey, BC
    On October 22nd from Noon – 4pm, enjoy a free event of trick-or-treating, petting zoo, free food, a photo booth, Haunted train and a mini movie theater with lots of crafts and pumpkins by donation.

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  5. Pumpkin Power, Surrey, BC
    Check out the Surrey Museum on October 28th from 1:00-4:00pm and create your own take-home Pumpkin, enjoy a spooky scavenger hut through the exhibit galleries and compete for best costume!
  6. Halloween Spooktacular – Laughing Stock Ranch, Langley, BC
    On October 27th to 29th check out the ranch for pony rides through haunted trails, bouncy castles, Petting zoo, Crafts, Coloring contest and more!!

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  7. Halloween Hoot at the Fort, Langley, BC
    Trick-or-Treat at the fort, discover surprises along the way, face painting, craft making, October 31 12:00pm – 5:00pm
  8. Celebrate the Night, Maple Ridge, BC
    On October 28th from 5pm – 8pm check out Memorial Peace Park for Halloween fun! Crafts, Spooky Story time, Costume Parade, Food trucks and Fireworks!!
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  9. Trick Or Treat At the Museum, Mission, BC
    Check out the Museum from 3pm-5pm on October 31st for Scavenger hunts, Safe Candy, see their Halloween exhibits and get your picture on the green screen!!

 

Wishing Everyone a Happy and Safe Hallowe’en! Hopefully you get to check out one of these fun events near you!!

xOx Chelsea 

Toddler Friendly Fall Activities in the Fraser Valley

One of my favorite seasons is Fall, I absolutely love the colder nights, the falling leaves and all the family time. Something we try to do each year with Pearce is the Pumpkin Patch – but we have a few must haves when we are planning on where to go! I have put together a few of our favorite places to go during the fall season for fun activities and of course everything is toddler friendly!! I hope your all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, with the world events I feel there is so much more to be thankful for this year.

I will start by sharing Pearce’s must haves:
1. a playground – our little monster has a TON of energy so he loves a good playground to burn it out on

2. Farm Animals – Pearce absolutely loves animals and farm animals are his favorite!

3. Lots to do – We all know toddlers get bored easy so having lots to do in 1 place is another key thing we look for when planning an excursion.

Now here are the activities to do around the Fraser valley this fall, all Pearce Approved!

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  1. One of our absolute favorite farms to visit is Maan Farms    Abbotsford, BC
    Maan Farms truly checks off every box on our list, they have tons of activities, lots of space and all the animals Pearce could dream of seeing at the farm, not to mention its pretty close for us to visit. We have gone for Birthdays, Easter and now we will be going for their Halloween activities. Our favorite part of the Maan Farms fall experiences is their HUGE pumpkin patch and their haunted corn maze – going during the day is much easier on our monster loving toddler. Not to mention they also have all the rest of the farms great activities: Zip Lines, 2 play grounds, jumping pillow, climbing spider web, Pedal car races, Petting zoo, and for the adults they have wine tasting!! If your interested in checking them out, they are located in Abbotsford, and you can find out all your info here: Maan Farms

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  2. A Childhood favorite of mine is Chilliwack Corn maze   – Chilliwack, BC
    When I was a kid my family would go to Chilliwack corn maze and it was the best time, with four kids to entertain this place truly had it all! This season they have got tons going on and although they are little further out I can ensure you it is worth the drive! They of course have the huge Corn maze, a pumpkin patch, giant jumping pillow, Pedal Carts, Duck Races, Indoor Haze maze (for the younger kids or a rainy day activity), Corn train, Hay Rides, Climbing Spider Web, playground, and Farm animals of course! To plan your family trip here:  Chilliwack Corn maze 

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  3. Laity Pumpkin Patch – Maple Ridge, BC
    This particular farm has 2 Venues, there is Laity Pumpkin Patch South and Laity Pumpkin patch North, on their site they have clear attractions for each. Both sides, have a play area for the kids, you pick pumpkins, corn mazes, Hay rides, and farm animals!! This farm is definitely worth the trip, and very affordable costing only $5 for 3 and up! If you check out the north side you can explore the woods or pan for gold. The South side has some fun family games to entertain everyone! Check their site out to plan your trip! Laity Pumpkin Patch 

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  4. Taves Family Farm Aka Apple Barn – Abbotsford, BC
    Last year on thanksgiving I got SO SICK!! It was awful, So my husband took my son, and my sister and headed out to Taves Family farm. He said it was the best experience for Pearce and him. They got a pumpkin, played on the playground and spent a lot of time petting the animals. This year I hope I can make it out to Taves Farm as it sounds like an awesome experiences. During the week they have: Pedal Karts, Corn Quest Maze, Bunny Town, Hay Rides, Pumpkin Patch, Jumping Pillow AND Pumpkin, Tractor Trail, Zip Line, Playground, Petting Barn, Farmville, Bee hive Viewing, Cider Press Demonstration, U-Pick Apples. On the weekend they add more activities: On top of all the activities above you can also, Go for Pony Rides from 10am – 4;30, try out the corn gun, Check out the concession Stand, See the pumpkin Cannon, and Check out the Corn and Potato Roaster. Check out this link to plan your trip: Taves Family Farm Aka Apple Barn

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  5. Ghost Train – Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC
    This one is definitely on our list to try to check out this year. Our son has a MASS obsession with trains. This year’s theme, Alien Invasion! The train runs during: Friday, October 13 to Tuesday October 31; Monday to Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday to Sunday,  11 a.m. to 10 p.m ** There are NO live performances during the matinee trains. For More info and to plan your trip: Ghost Train

I hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving with your family – May your tummies be as full as your hearts! As well I hope you get to check out one of the 5 local events listed above with your family! Happy Fall Days!

xOx Chelsea

Raw 

 in·se·cu·ri·ty
ˌinsəˈkyo͝orədē
noun
uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence
.

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I woke up over a month ago, feeling no different physically but knowing that where I had been a year ago to this moment was miles away from today. When I think back on my 20s I am so incredibly glad for 3 things,

1. I spent them with my husband

2. That I have grown up

3. That I no longer feel the desire to be someone I am not.

I use meeting my husband as a changing point in my life. It was a critical time in my life I had just exited a 5 year-long emotionally damaging relationship, which had given me little faith in men or relationships. It was also 1 month after losing a father figure in my life – Uncle Dave. – looking back at the girl my husband met I see a truly lost, insecure and damaged young girl. Without my husband and the people he has brought into my life I don’t think that I would be the more confident, self loving, self-aware woman I am today.

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When I met Chris the insecurities were by the dozen. I hated so many parts of myself, there were so many things I wished away that were a part of me, the years that it took for me to even be comfortable in my own skin is strange to most. I am truly eternally grateful for my husband; for saving me, for loving me and for showing me that I am worth far more than any man before him ever let me be. I like to think we both taught each other a lot.

I wanted to write a blog about my insecurities as a woman because a long time ago someone used social media to break me down, to make me feel small and the things said really made me second guess my life for many years. I now feel confident enough that I know social media is everyone’s highlight real and that it is totally okay to post only the good things in life – Why dwell on the bad? The other reason I wanted to write this is because I think more women should feel like they can own their insecurities, we are only as good as today – So own it.

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I would say there are 3 main insecurities right now that really bring me down. I am at a place now where I own these insecurities and remind myself that it is just me being insecure.

1. Friendship: 
I have always met new people and tried to see the good. Opened my home, and invited them into my bubble. But over and over again I have found that this didn’t work for me I am constantly left feeling hurt by friends. Maybe it was my choice of people, or maybe it was my expectations. Either or, I feel that friendship is a huge insecurity of mine because I often think the worst that people aren’t genuinely my friend, or that they don’t like me for me? Maybe they are just being my friend for something I have? I’ve never felt truly accepted by any friend or known that the friendship was unbreakable and that they liked me for me. I second guess even my oldest friendships always wondering if they will last? Or as I have less to offer they will go away.

2. My appearance. 

For as long as I can remember I have changed always covering and hiding, never truly feeling comfortable in the skin I was given. Always longing to be shorter, have a smaller nose, hide the cold sores, and the scars. Wish that I could be sexy without trying so hard. That I was photogenic, that I didn’t get cold sores, or zits, that I didn’t have eczema on my arms. It wasn’t until I had my son that I truly began to love my body. That I appreciated all the amazing things it did for me, for my son and for all that it gives me each day. To where I could feel comfortable positing a picture of my progress or even to just be okay with the girl looking back at me in a selfie. I still feel insecure about my appearance, and find a lot of the things above present but now I just try to remind myself that My opinion of myself is the only one that matters


3. Social anxiety

For as long as I can remember I felt like I didn’t fit in. Like I was staring at the bubble always looking in never feeling really comfortable but always trying to be a part of it. As I got older things got worse. I started to Long for alone time. Where it was quiet and I felt comfortable. Where the claustrophobia of group settings didn’t make me feel overwhelmed. Still now I think this issue is my biggest insecurity that I struggle with the most probably because my husband is a social butterfly with so many different groups of friends. When I do go in social settings where I am not comfortable I almost always want to put my foot in my mouth because silence in group settings has always made this worse where I feel there needs to be NO silence – which leads to foot in mouth!

 

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I can remember a time when each of these things didn’t exist. At different times, when All these insecurities were gone. When making friends was easy. When relationships hadn’t made me lose myself. Slowly but surely as the 20s end, (I’m 29 now) I know it’s just going to get better, I am just going to love myself more and get more comfortable I only hope that this means slowly these will fall away. That being in something healthy and not toxic, by leaving the things that make me upset behind and by simply stepping outside the comfort zone – it can only get better. 29 has brought so much to me, and the main thing is that I am me – I no longer have any desire to be anyone else, because I am extremely grateful for all I have, insecurities or not.


I hope by me being open and letting you in, you see that it is totally okay to be insecure and that all it does is make us human. Maybe it even helps you better understand me if you know me. I love all of my readers and appreciate your support, May you always love yourself!

xOx Chelsea

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Big Changes for the Helm Family

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The for sale sign when we purchased our home

The last few months have been an insane time for my family. My husband forced me into a renovation of our basement which turned into a much bigger project than we originally anticipated.

We bought our first home together back in September 2015. It was a beautiful 3 bed 2.5 bath town house in our home town. I remember walking into our town house and knowing that it was the place I wanted. Some of the things I fell in love with in our place was our REAL entry way, the privately fenced back yard and the mass amounts of storage!! I am not afraid to say that I have hording habits as I hate to throw things away – I am working on this. We moved in November 1st 2015, with our beautiful little baby, our dog and us! The place was perfect. We had enough room to live here for 10+ years! The previous owners had lived in the home for 10+ years so it needed work. The bedrooms had been rooms their children had grown up in and made wonderful memories – We had the pen on the walls and the wall stickers to prove it. After moving in I still felt this home had everything I could ever want.

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Nearly finished basement

Starting this renovation in the basement, we had no plans, it was just spur of the moment, Chris and his buddy just tearing out the drywall holding layers of peeled paint and memories. The renovation dragged on as my husband increasing work load grew. Soon we were quickly approaching our sons Second Birthday party to which we planned to have a party at the house. My husband got to work, we picked up our supplies and him and his friend started on the job – quickly realizing they were in over their head! We ended up hiring out the work to some local guys to help us with the drywall. We painted the basement ourselves and Chris and his friend did our flooring. It was starting to look beautiful! We hired a painted to paint our main living areas as this was a large job we would not have the time for. Slowly we painted the spare room and our bedroom, and both bathrooms so everything looked fresh! The basement quickly came together. But something was missing.

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Backyard at Townhouse

In the last few years we have watched many of our friends buy houses and have bonfires and get together’s and we wanted a yard we could enjoy with our son and our friends. The yard at our town house just wasn’t big enough for our growing boys desire to be outside. So as the renovation came to a close and we discussed things with many friends, family and each other, we decided it was time to move on to our next chapter. Moving is never an easy decision, we have created so many precious memories in this home. A home we would never have been able to get without the love and support of my in-laws. But as we close this chapter and list our home, we know that we take a HUGE risk in this market. We know that nothing will ever change the memories we have made and the family we grew in this home. I am so excited for someone to buy our home and love it as much we did. I know that it will be the perfect home for someone and that all the love and SWEAT we put into it will be appreciated.

Thank you all for bearing with my absence as we did these renovations as a family. I promise to spend the fall bringing as much as I can to all of you!

xOx Chelsea

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playtime with Daddy
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Christmas 2015 in our new home!
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Pearce in his Castle we set up in the living room

 

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Playing in the backyard
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Pearce’s Nursery
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Painted the fireplace!

Inspirational People of Instagram

So Today I started a new segment on my Instagram account (@monsterzmama) and I thought I would write a blog about why this segment is so important to me.

The last few weeks I have watched so many women I follow, who inspire me be attacked about things they post or say. Its getting ridiculous, how much people attack others behind a computer screen. So I have decided to start a Spread Love Not Hate Campaign, on Tuesday I will spread love to the People who inspire me, and hopefully this will increase the amount of positivity on instagram!

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On Social Media Platforms so many people feel that they can say whatever they want to people without thinking of how those words effect that person. When I was in high school we talked a lot about bullying in schools. But what about online bullying? I am 29 years old, and I still see Bullying everyday on social media. When will it stop? What will it take? In a world filled with so much hate, countries fighting, why can’t we stand together and bring an end to spreading hatred to others.

Today I have shared 3 Women who inspire me on Instagram through the realness of their Instagram Stories. #spreadlovenothate

xOx Chelsea 

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