Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Old School Record Stories

Iris is starting to give up her afternoon nap (a sad time in every parents life) so I've been trying to find things to entertain her quietly for the 2-3 hours in the afternoon when the other three boys are sleeping. Although it's really really tempting to just put Frozen on every afternoon so I can get a few minutes peace to myself I don't want to get into the habit of it. Recently Iris was looking through our record collection and found some old kids ones that I had originally bought to use as art. I hadn't even thought about putting them on for her before! And wouldn't you know it she actually sits and listens to it!

I'm kinda embarrassed to admit this, but I just assumed that listening to record stories would be boring for her, that since it wasn't a screen it wouldn't hold her attention. But she happily pulls out her toys, sits on the floor and quietly plays while she listens, "Mama, that's the wolf talking! He a bad guy!". Love it!  And really, I remember listening to stories like this that were my mums when I was a kid too and loving it. I'll have to look out for more the next time I'm out thrifting :)

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

I Made a Quilt!

Remember way back when we I said I was making a quilt for Iris? Well I wasn't lying, it just took forever to finish! I actually had finished this a few weeks before Harvey arrived but have just gotten around to taking some photos of it now. It looks pretty legit right? I'm in love! It's kinda hard to see the colours in the top photo but I went with a pastel theme.

Some Things I Learned About Quilting...

Things can get pricey pretty fast. I thrifted the backing which was an old (in great condition) vintage sheet. And my MIL (who is a master quilter) had a large stash of fabric that she kindly shared with me. I still bought some small pieces of new fabric and just those alone added up so quickly. I can't even imagine how much this quilt would have cost me if I had to buy all the fabric brand new- yikes! I would totally recommend repurposing any fabric you have first and checking through the sheets and pillow cases section of thrifts stores before you go to Lens Mills or Fabricland.

Only work on it when you're feeling it. There were a few times where I would see the half finished quilt sitting on my craft table calling to me "finish meeeeee!" and I would grudgingly sit down to get some more done. Don't do this! I almost always made silly mistakes or rushed through when I wasn't in the mood. When the creative feeling hit me I could put in a good hour or two happily.

It's SUPER satisfying to make your own quilt. And totally addictive. Sure, it took forever but when I finished it? DANG. It felt good. I was, and still am super proud of it. I'm slowly collecting scrap fabric to make one for our bedroom now but I'm in no rush.

I am by no means skilled in sewing but I somehow made a quilt! If it's something you've thought about trying, totally do it! Here are some links I found helpful...

Making a triangle quilt (this girl makes a lot quilts, and is really inspiring!)
How to make a star pinwheel (the style I made)

Wednesday, 21 September 2016


Making: a crochet rag rug out of t-shirts. I learned how to make it at the Mendfulness Retreat and now I'm hooked (pun totally intended)

Reading:  How to Party with an Infant by Kaui Hart Hemming

Eating:  so many crockpot meals. My mum made us about 15 frozen meals right before Harvey arrived that we just have to dump in the crockpot with some water. It's been a lifesaver especially on those days where we haven't managed to get groceries and you know, still need to feed Iris dinner. Thanks Mum! 

Going:  to the library at least once a week with the whole fam. I still get excited every time we leave, "I can just take these books home for free?!"

Listening: to Stuart Maclean stories while we hang out in the kitchen

Hoping:  it starts to cool off soon outside. I don't want to rush the passing of time but GEEZ! I am so done with this hot weather and humidity!

Planning to start up my monthly craft night with friends again! I organize it and had put it on hold for the summer for obvious reasons but am itching to get back to it! 

Trying:  to be more patient with Iris. Since Harvey's been born she's been more prone to temper tantrums and going as Dave and I fondly refer to it, "full on crazy", especially in the evenings. It's hard to stay cool and not snap! 

Enjoying:  getting out of the house by myself and biking to a yoga class a few times a week

Excited: for the living room to be DONE. We're almost there! 

Grateful:  for Dave holding down the fort (happily!) so I can leave for said yoga classes

Feeling: tired. But happy :)

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Mendfulness Retreat

Today I went to a crafting retreat! An eco craft retreat! Or as I fondly referred to it, the "hippie dippie crafty retreat"! A few months ago I had signed up for Little City Farm's Mendfulness Retreat. I was very pregnant at the time and knew I would have to bring the new baby with me, but I was really hoping I would get one of those easy babies that I could wear all day and still participate. Well, lucky for me, I did get one of those babies so today went really well! 

The day consisted of a whole bunch of workshops you could sign up for ranging from how to mend clothes in cool ways to making rag rugs out of old t-shirts. Halfway through the day they laid out a huge feast of homemade food, including flatbreads made in the outdoor wood burning oven, a bunch of dips, veggies and some really funky (but amazing!) fermented things. There was also a swap table where you could leave or take any fabric, yarn, or crafting supplies too. 

Harvey was so so great the whole day! I was a bit nervous taking him. Would he cry the whole time? Would it be weird to take a baby to this thing? Would I be able to participate? But the owner kindly told me I could use the on-site B&B to feed him or just go to if I needed a break with him. So every 2 hours or so when he would start to get restless I'd go on up to the B&B, pop him out of the wrap, feed him, change him and let him kick around on the futon couch for a bit. Then I'd re-wrap him and join the workshops again. Having him there was honestly so easy, definitely not what I expected. And I still was able to participate in most of the workshops too!

I'm so glad I got the chance to go to this! I feel like my mental wellness got a huge boost by getting out, being creative, and socializing with new people.

You can check out Little City Farm's website HERE

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Baby Harvey!

Well my due date came and went and I felt like I had missed my chance at having this baby and was destined to be pregnant forever. But obviously that didn't happen and I had me a baby boy! Harvey Dean Nunn :) Look at that hair!

The past month with him around has flown by. I find myself feeling both so busy with two kids and at the same time wondering what I did all day. The great thing about having your second baby (for me at least) is that I'm way more chilled out. I'm not anxious about how much sleep he's getting, letting him cry while I run to the bathroom, or if the heat rash on rash on his face could be something really serious.  It seems a lot easier this time around. I'm also used to not having large chunks of sleep at night too so that helps.

I can't believe I have two kids now. It's crazy! 

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Local Love: Steckle Heritage Farm

We had been meaning to check out Steckle Heritage Farm for awhile now so after daycare one day last month we finally went! It's a real operating farm but on Tuesdays after school they open up the farm for people to come and explore. What a great idea! It's only $5 per family and we spent just under 2 hours there exploring and getting a tour from one of the owners. We got to pet the old turkey who roams the property, watch some baby pigs dig in the mud, see a bin of baby chickens eating and wander around to check out all the other animals they had. Iris was in heaven. Total heaven! I think her favourite part was by far the goats. Here are a few photos if you wanna take a look...

We had such a great time! It was pretty quiet on the day we went so we spent a lot of time chatting with the owner and talking to him about chickens (haha we're obsessed!) and all the things they do there. The place even has bathrooms and an indoor play area for kids in one of the barns so you could really spend the whole evening there if you wanted to. Next time we'll make use of the picnic area and pack our dinner to eat there.

One of the cool things about having kids is finding all these awesome family friendly places I never knew existed right in town. KW is so great :)

You can check out their website HERE

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Great Books Lately

I always like to see what other people are reading so I thought I'd share some really great books I've read in the past few weeks :)

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

This book was a real eye-opener for me. As a woman you kinda already know that there are many things you have to worry about/deal with in everyday life that guys just don't have to think about (like walking by yourself at night or having guys yell things at you as they drive by- this even happened to me this past weekend!) but I never realized how ingrained it is in our society.

One point I found very interesting was about how we focus on telling women how their bodies can be "dangerous" and that you shouldn't dress in a scandalous way/walk by yourself drunk at night when really shouldn't we be focusing on teaching boys about consent and you know, how it's not ok to assault a woman even if she's drunk or isn't wearing a lot of clothes?

Dave and I also got a kick out of the "how men feel everyday sexism" section too, especially as fathers who stay home and raise their kids. We were joking how when people find out that I stay home with Iris and don't work a traditional job out of the house it's seen as a normal thing for a woman to do, nothing special. But as soon as they find out Dave is taking paternity leave to be home with us everyone says "Oh wow! Good for you Dave! That's so great you'll be spending all that quality time with your kids!" and they tell me how lucky I am to have a guy like Dave lol. What?! No one ever said that to him about me while I was at home the past two years! We now joke about how lucky I am every time Dave does something like change a diaper or stay up late with Iris when she's having a meltdown ;)

The Woefield Poulty Collective by Susan Juby
I've read this book so many times. It's just so great. I probably laughed out loud every 4 pages and you feel really good about life after reading it. Read it!

Little House in the Suburbs
This book has definitely changed our lives. Which is kinda a lame thing to proclaim but it's true! Dave and I have always had these hippy-dippy homestead dreams and this book made us realize those dreams are so attainable in the house we live in! It feels like it's written by normal people, who still watch TV, eat takeout and have kids who play with plastic toys, but want to grow their own food, keep some chickens and make their own soap. Since reading it front to back twice, we've (ok mostly Dave) built a fenced in vegetable garden, made plans for a chicken coop, built a composter, and made a batch of homemade soap. All without spending a lot and using a lot of found materials.

A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens
We're planning on getting some chicks next spring! And this kids book is way better at laying out the main points without over-explaining every detail. Plus lots of pictures!

Other mentions...

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney- wowowowow I inhaled this book in 2 days, it was really great.
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Have you read any great books lately?

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Documenting the Everyday + and my favourite ways to do so

I don't know about you, but I really love documenting things, always have. Making lists of books I read, recipes I love, writing in journals, taking photos, even tried my hand at scrapbooking for a while. My hope chest is already half packed with these things starting from around age 11.

My brother, who was a very cynical young man, always scoffed at me when I brought my camera anywhere, or took photos of random things while out and about. He would always say something along the lines of "Well if Nat doesn't take a photo of it, then it never happened!" But it's kinda true right? I mean, if you don't document the little everyday things that seem kinda boring or trivial in the moment, those are the types of things your brain just doesn't hold on to. Like the photo I have of when I took Iris to the grocery store by myself when she was really little. I mean at the time it was just a everyday thing, and I felt a little silly having my good camera out in the grocery store, but looking back now, it's crazy! She's so little there! Grocery shopping was so easy when she would just sit and chew on her hand in the cart! So I'm always super thankful to "Past Natalie" for taking the time to document those little things.

Here are my four favourite ways to document the everyday...

1. My "Big" Camera
Honestly, my big camera is one the best investments I've ever made. Maybe even the best, ever. I bought it about 3 or 4 years ago and had to save for months to get it. And then I had to save again for a long time to buy a decent lens but it's just so awesome having good quality photos of our life. When I had a regular digital camera I never really did anything with the photos. But good quality photos you want to print, put into albums, blow up and put on the wall.

2. My Phone + Instagram
You can say what you want about Instagram but I love it for documenting the little everyday moments. I keep mine private as 99% of the photos are of Iris and are kinda personal, which I realize isn't how most people use it. I don't follow many real life friends just because I found before I would always get sucked into that "their life looks so cool and mine is so boring" hole so I follow accounts that I find inspiring. At the end of the year I use THIS to download and print my Instagram photos.

3. Journal
I don't write everyday but I probably write a few times a week. I stick receipts from certain purchases and date nights (hey one day I will marvel at how cheap everything was!), Instax photos, business cards from restaurants we went to, that kind of thing in there. I always try to remember to take a selfie once a year and stick it in there too. Whenever I start to feel uninspired to write in a specific journal, I throw it in my hope chest and start a new one. Yes, I have never filled an entire journal. Ever! Not in the 16 years I've been journaling! I've stopped feeling bad about this lol.

4. Instax Mini
This one is great for adding photos to my journal, sticking on the fridge, giving to people, and generally just having a tangible photo right away. I'll bring this when I'm out and about when I don't want to lug my big camera around, especially when we go out with Iris and my bag is already kinda full with her stuff.

Now that I write it all out, man, it looks like a lot of work doesn't it?! I swear it's not! It's totally become ingrained into my everyday life at this point. Documenting isn't for everyone, but I look at all the family history stuff Dave has from so many generations back, and when I go through my mum's old teenage scrapbook, I just know I'm not going to regret having this kind of stuff years from now. And by capturing the everyday little things that make me happy I'm in a way making the moment more important than if I didn't take the second to recognize it and take a picture. Does that make sense?

Anyway, do you do anything to document your everyday life? Did you find it was more important to you once you had kids?

Tuesday, 24 May 2016


Making:  a small garden out back. We had to reign in our dream of three large in ground garden plots to just one this summer. I'm thinking a new baby and continuing with daycare may be a lot to take on already for this summer, even with Dave home too. 
Eating:   a lot of this amazing one-pot pasta. I'm addicted. 
Going:   to a lot of photoshoots! Trying to get as many in before I am so huge and can't bop around taking photos of small kids. I'm still going strong so far! 
Listening:  to Oh Pep! "Doctor Doctor" is my jam right now
Hoping:  the whole second birth thing is a little less crazy than last time. It's kinda stressing me out! I feel like I have a huge test coming up that I have yet to study for or something. 
Planning:  some small main floor renovations before the baby comes.  Our house has so many walls where there need not be walls so we're planning on removing a few non-structural ones to open up the main floor a bit. 
Trying:   to finish my quilt. I ran into some issues when I went to quilt it and now have to unstitch what I did and try again. Kinda frustrating but I'm so close to being done! 
Enjoying:  the weather. Omg the weather! I love having all the windows open and being outside all day
Excited: for Dave to be done work soon! Can't wait to be able to hang out with him all day and have an extra set of hands around here with the kids. Plus, adult conversation during the day! Totally took this for granted before! 
Grateful:  for afternoon naps and a job where I can actually take afternoon naps (most days at least!) 
Feeling: very content and excited for a whole bunch of things to come :) 

Saturday, 7 May 2016

My Favourite Everyday Granola

Not gonna lie, I never used to be a big fan of granola. But lately I just can't seem to get enough of it. Granola can be pretty pricey to buy especially from the market or at the store, and I find it's way cheaper (and tastes better!) when I make it at home. I tend to make a big batch on the weekend and it makes the house smell all cozy and delicious. Here's a general "recipe" of what I put in mine...

In a big bowl mix together:
3-4 handfuls of rolled oats
1 handful of quinoa flakes
1 handful of nuts (sliced almonds, cashews)
1 handful unsalted raw pumpkin seeds
1 handful shelled unsalted sunflower seeds
1 handful unsweetened shredded coconut
zest of one lemon or orange (this makes the granola in my opinion!)
a pinch or two of salt
a little shake of cinnamon (optional)
about a 1/4 to 1/3 cup of maple syrup or honey
a few tablespoons of olive oil

Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 stirring every 10 minutes until nice and brown and golden.

Let cool and then add:
1 handful of raisons
1 handful of chopped soft medjool dates

**everything can be easily found at Bulk Barn

I store mine in a giant mason jar on the counter. During the week we'll eat it for breakfast with plain greek yogurt, honey and fruit, or just have a little bowl to snack on and hold us over until the next meal. My dad eats it like cereal with milk.

So good!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016


Whoa. That happened fast! Iris turned two on Monday so the weekend was spent doing many birthday things with family. Partying at two is so much cooler than one! This year she was so excited about cake and blowing out candles, opening presents and perhaps her favourite part was having everyone sing for her.

Here are a few photos from our celebration with Dave's family if you want to take a peek....

I know most of the time as a mama it's kinda bittersweet when your baby gets a year older, and even though I totally feel that way sometimes I can honestly say I'm loving the age she's at now. I love that we can actually talk to each other (kind of lol), that she loves to do the dishes with us, how her imagination is just off the charts all of a sudden, she has music preferences (Sia, Taylor Swift and "Marry Me Archie" by Alvvays) and how even though she's not a baby anymore, she still loves a good cuddle before bed. I just think this kid is the coolest!

Happy Birthday my darling! I can't wait to see how you take on life this year :)

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

I'm Making a Quilt!

What feels like forever ago (I think back in the fall) I finally asked Dave's mom to teach me how to make a quilt. Robin is one of those crazy talented crafty ladies who can knit the entire family sets of mittens and hats, make multiple quilts a year, and even make Ukranian easter eggs but when you exclaim how amazing this all is she'll just brush it off and say something like "Oh, I just followed a pattern!" or "It's really not that difficult".  Psssht! That woman is a handicrafts master.

Quilts are a big thing in Daves family. They have quilts from generations ago that were all hand stitched and made out of old sheets. We were given a quilt for our wedding (that Robin made). And Iris was given a baby one when she was born too. I pretty much married into the family for the quilts. Obviously. 

When I had first started making my own I had visions of having it done in a few weeks. Heck, I was planning all the quilts I would make for Christmas gifts! Well, the great (and kinda bummer) thing about making a quilt is that you can't rush it. I wouldn't say it's hard to make one, but it sure takes a lot of time. It's been one of those projects I pick up and do a little bit of here and there. Right now I have about 10 more pinwheel squares to make before I can move on to sewing them all together.

My favourite part about making a quilt? Picking out all the fabric for sure. Fabric can get pricey so I thrifted as much as I could, plus Robin gave me lots from her stash and then I filled in the rest with fabric from a store.

My least favourite part? Cutting the fabric. Bah! So much precision is needed! I've never been one of those "measure twice, cut once" people so I've struggled with all the cutting that is initially involved.

Now that it's really starting to come together I'm getting more excited to finish it. I've found myself sneaking downstairs during nap time to sew a few squares here and there. I'm looking forward to sharing the finished product :)

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Let's Call This a Hygge Moment

Last night I came home from yoga and found this. Iris fast asleep snuggling up with a semi-deflated balloon (or "baboon" as she calls it) with my sweat pants as a blanket and Gus cozied up with her. Doesn't this just perfectly sum up the awesomeness of tiny humans? It's messy, chaotic, but at the end of the day you just have to sigh a heavy happy sigh because it's all totally worth it.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Growing Things

Our motto these past few hard weeks after my brother's sudden death has probably been "keep on keeping on." As tragic as it's been, life still keeps going, especially with a little kid running around and another one on the way this summer. We've been finding peace of mind by looking forward to the many things in the future and the day-to-day things that still make us very happy, at a time where it feels almost wrong to feel happy.

One of those things has been our garden plans. Last fall my mum picked us up a giant pack of fancy non-gmo, heirloom, organic (the whole shebang!) vegetable seeds. This was the first time we've tried to grow things from seed. Usually we buy seedlings from the market in the spring but Dave was very intent on trying it from scratch, so he gave it a go!

Well, about 4 weeks later our spare bedroom has turned into a bit of a greenhouse and the entire sunny area in our laundry room is covered in green things popping up all over the place! It's crazy! Dave went to a local nursery where an associate whispered to him to check out their recycling in the back where he could find tons of small pots perfect for starting seeds, all for free! Score!

So far, it looks like most things will make it to the big garden out back when it gets a bit warmer. Or really, just when it stops snowing, whenever that will be!

We've been going a bit hippy-dippy round here and growing some of our own food is sounding so so good to us. We're super pumped to see how they turn out.  Fingers crossed!

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Around Here

Things have been feeling pretty good around here. I'm at that point in the pregnancy where I feel amazing and apart from my rapidly expanding body and alien like movements in my belly, I forget I'm pregnant most of the time. I know this will soon change so I'm holding on to this phase as long as I can. This ain't my first rodeo, I'm no fool!

We recently had a bit of a scare with the baby. There was an abnormality found on my 20 week ultrasound and I knew as soon as I saw my midwife calling a few hours after the appointment something was up. Long story (kinda) short we had to get an appointment at McMaster asap and spend a week totally rethinking our expectations of what "healthy" could mean for this baby. Oh man. You take it for granted when the people in your little gang are healthy and life goes on pretty normally, this whole thing really threw us for a loop. But after all that, the ultrasound at McMaster came back as totally normal! So it was most likely a fluke with the first ultrasound or there is a very very slight risk our baby could have Down Syndrome. But honestly, after all the other terrible things they were telling us it could be, Down Syndrome was the least of our worries! We'll just have to wait and see now.

Other than that craziness we are spending as much time outside as we can now that the weather is above freezing and are drawing up backyard plans for gardens, fruit trees and rain barrels. Maybe even some chickens down the line (hopefully they won't still be illegal when we want to get some!).

I have so much I'm looking forward to in the coming weeks and months and it makes life feel good.

Monday, 4 January 2016

And then there were 4!

You may have noticed I haven't been writing much lately. Well that's because I've been busy cooking baby number two, woop! We're super pumped very deep down inside but on the surface have barely made it through the past month and a half, it's been rough! My hormones were all kinds of crazy high and low which meant I've spent the last month pretty much in bed, trying to eat something, and crying. So much crying. I love babies. But I really hate pregnancy UGH. I hate how it takes over my entire being making my body feel like crap, turning my mind into a sorry, sad, mean thing and makes me a lame mama to Iris and partner to Dave. UGH UGH UGH. I'm happy to say that I can feel myself getting past the dreaded first trimester and we are all relieved that I am back making food, not crying (as much) and can actually contribute to our little household (Dave does happy dance now). 

Side note: OMG Dave has been such a trooper the past month and a half. Literally became both parents, helped out with daycare, did all the chores, hugged me when I cried and let me sleep whenever I needed it (which was SO MUCH). Love that dude. Also shoutout to my mum who let me complain endlessly about being pregnant, rubbed my back while I cried on her couch feeling sorry for myself, would go through her entire fridge and pantry trying to find something I could stomach, and my dad who came over to do our never ending dishes when Dave got sick and helped out with Iris. LIFESAVERS.

It's kinda funny having your second baby. I mean when we found out, we were excited but then after the intial "Yay!" we were just like "ok....well....let's go make Iris breakfast then." And when I got the first ultrasound it was exciting and everything but I almost forgot to show it to our parents! I guess it's just not as life changing the second time around? I mean we're already parents, I know what having a newborn is like, and honestly I'm so consumed with Iris and daycare I barely have time to daydream about this next baby! This sounds terrible! Please tell me this is what it's supposed to be like! 

Anyway this baby is due in July and Dave will be off for the summer which is great and he's planning to take 8-12 months paternity leave too! So all 4 of us (plus Henry and Des with daycare) will have lots of time together which I'm excited about :) 
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