Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 New Years Resolutions (with updates)

Happy New Years Eve! I love new years resolutions and making lists of things I want to do...I am only mildly type A.

Here are my lists for this year....what are your resolutions?

New Years Resolutions:

1. Enjoy the moment

2. Less Swearing

3. More exercising

4. Less clean...Pack lunches

5. Plan less...enjoy more

6. Have patience for life's timeline

7. Laugh and find the joy in the little things

2016 To Do List - A work in progress, to be added to as I think of them  

1. Re do blog design and BLOG. (DONE)

2. Cook all the recipes in the Detox cook book (argh, why did I say this one?)

3. Do a 5km run this summer (Have started the C25K training again, this year it will happen!)

4. Finish a knitting project (of the 5 I have on the go) DONE, a dish cloth

5. Learn to do something new

6. Go on a Champagne 30th Birthday Trip (Planned, Traveled, DONE :( - NYC in May 2016)

7. Plan another summer camping trip (Planned-ish lol)

8. Re do upstairs bathroom (DONE, see pictures here)

9. Complete full house organization/dump/donate/organize (work in progress)

10. Do something with all the pictures I have taken in the last 2 years (Work in progress done a 2015 photo book, now I need to do a 2014 and will keep an ongoing one for 2016 to make life easier! - TG for Iphoto!)

                                Wishing you and your family a wonderful NEW YEARS EVE!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

So long 2015...looking forward to a brighter, better 2016!

Well this has been a year...

One that tested our patience, faith, relationship and personal strength. In this previous post I filled you in on our journey to babies, and unfortunately the update is not what I hoped it would be.

In July, I had my 3rd miscarriage and as I write this I am waiting to schedule our 4th pregnancy to end. To face 2 miscarriages on Christmas, 2 years in a row, has been very difficult, especially when you add in our wedding anniversary on Dec 28th. Overall we have been trying for a year and a half with 4 m.c in the last year.

We have been seeing a fertility specialist for a year, and have done some testing that has revealed nothing. This current pregnancy has gone the furthest, I should be 9 weeks, although the baby has not developed to that level and while we had a heart beat last week, today there was not one. We see the Dr. tomorrow (NYE lol) to find out what we do to end this pregnancy - D and C or the pills.

I have felt numb, detached, and nearly inconsolable. 2015 should have been sponsored by Kleenex.

This should have been our announcement in January....
Pregnancy Annoucement winter

I share this because infertility and miscarriage loss is a lonely, lonely place. I have found a few bloggers who have shared their journey and I have found that the most comforting of all. (If you are interested check out A Slice of Style.) Although, we are also very lucky to have many amazing friends and family who have been very supportive. I believe the only way to survive such a trying experience is to be open, because this is not something you can get through on your own. Thank you to my family and friends who have been there for us this last year. I am sure they may have had no idea what to say, but you didn't need to,  just being there, giving a hug is all that we have needed. what? At our last appointment with the specialist we asked, if this doesn't work - then what? As the planner in me needed Plan B. He suggested that we move straight to IVF to ensure they can select an egg and sperm with the best chance at surviving. So I guess petrie dish baby or babies lol it is! I will update this blog with our IVF journey and possibly our road to adoption. Whatever it takes, we are in!

In the mean time we have something VERY exciting to look forward to! In 2 weeks we will be travelling to Singapore for the wedding of our very dear friends Shalini and Zee, followed by a whirlwind trip of Thailand, Cambodia and Hong Kong. This will be the perfect getaway and I cannot tell you how excited we are to visit with these dear friends and see them get married!

Goodbye piece of sh*t lol...we welcome 2016 with open arms!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Australian Pavlova! Nom Nom Nom

While living in Australia I was introduced to Pavlova and since then it has been one of my favourite desserts! It's so light, easy, beautiful and most importantly incredibly delicious! You can change it up depending on the season and what type of fruit you would like. I have made it into individual size ones for wedding showers, a multi layer chocolate one in the winter and all kinds of fruit deliciousness in the summers.

I have been asked a few times for the recipe so I thought I would share, I got it from an Australian cooking magazine. Here are some picture of the process and some I have made:

Beat Egg whites until stiff
You can tell if the egg whites are "stiff" when you can lift it up and it makes a nice peak

On parchment paper draw a circle and flip over. On the other side spread egg white mixture in the circle then use remaining to drop spoon-fulls and make peaks around the diameter. 

cooked egg white meringue
What it looks like after baking. Leave in the over to cool completely. You can even do this the day before and leave it in the oven over night.

Fill the center with whip cream, but be gentle so not to push down and break the meringue, next top with your favourite fruit. I also like to add shaved chocolate. 

Vanilla Pavlova with fruit and chocolate

2 Tier Chocolate Pavlova
2 Tier Chocolate Pavlova

2 Tier Chocolate Pavlova

Berry Australian Pavlova

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour


6 egg whites (at room temperature)
1 1/2 cups of caster sugar
1 tbsp of cornflour (cornstarch)
2 tsp of white vinegar
300ml of whipping cream
Berries, cut of fruit as desired

1. Preheat oven to 230'F (convection oven) and line a baking tray with parchment paper marked with the circle as noted in picture.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a large, clean, dry bowl until foamy. Add sugar, sifted cornflour and vinegar. Mix on high speed for 8-10mins or until sugar has dissolved and mixture is stiff and glossy (see pic above)

3. Spread half of the mixture on the circle of the parchment paper and smooth. Next drop spoonfulls of the mixture around the perimter of the circle to create a nest of deliciousness and to hold your whip cream and toppings in place. Bake for 1 hour or until it feels hard and dry to the touch. Turn oven off and let cool completely in the oven (even overnight is fine).

4. Place meringue on large cake stand, fill with your whipped whipping cream and top with fruit and chocolate. Serve immediately. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer 2015 Bucket List!

Summer has officially been under way for a week now and with our limited warm weather we have to pack in as much in as we can, as quickly as we can...this is my summer list.

1. Quetico Canoe Trip (have been itching to do this for years) - planned for mid July (Favourite weekend of summer  - planning another for 2016)

2. Go fishing a couple times (I love fishing...and by this I mean drinking something delicious, eating snacks, getting some sun, and catching some delicious pickerel!) (Done - so much pickerel!)

3. Have a rollerblading/bike adventure

4. Learn to run (this is under works, my goal is to do a 5km in early fall. This is only impressive if you know how much I could not run prior. High five to my running buds - Jessica and Finnegan!) (Done, but didn't do 5km race yet)

5. Road trip (Halifax, Digby, PEI in August) Pretty friggin excited for this (done)

6. House project stuff... Get a new front door and paint the outside of the house (new door is in, need to finalize house paint colours) (done! and loving it...still need to paint front door)

7. Quality time with the Huz, golf dates, Sunday Sunday adventures whatever. So far this is not going well, as he works 6.5 days a week and seems to hang out with my father golfing the rest of the time lol (Done - work in progress)

8. Learn to make bread. This has been on my list for ages, but it needs to happen! (I did it...I mastered Rosemary Focacia)

9. Book trip to Singapore & Bali for Shalini's wedding. This is going to be the most amazing trip and experience, can't wait to see these love birds get married! Anyone been to Bali or Singapore and have travel tips? (DONE, although Bali was traded for Thailand, Cambodia and Hong Kong)

10. BONUS...have one your bff's move home (DONE! Nike is finally back in tbay)

A couple summer pics so far...

My Running Buddy! 

Golf Trip 

I have decided Finnegan is my spirit animal. 

Monday, May 25, 2015


Time for a serious topic...Babies...or in my case lack there of. Before I start my story, I am going to preface it with why I am sharing. I am sharing because what I found during our journey is that the challenge of getting pregnant, the pain of miscarriage, and the entire process seems to be hush hush. In talking with friends, I know I am not alone and I hope by sharing my story it brings comfort or perhaps even support for anyone else in a similar situation.

This goes without saying, but I am not an expert, this is just my experience...(It may be TMI so beware).

I have always wanted to be a mother, I hated Barbies, I wanted to play with baby dolls! I also knew I wanted to enjoy married life for a little while before trying...this bring us to last September, when we starting "trying."

It all seemed really straight forward to me... remove the goalie and go for it...several months later with no luck and lots of research I started to realize exactly how little I know about how fertility really works and really how perfect the timing must be to become pregnant. (Things they don't tell you and probably for the best when growing up).

I have many lucky friends who became pregnant as soon as they started trying, even my mom warned of getting pregnant as soon as we started. However this was not our story. #fuck lol

Months of wasting money on pregnancy tests later, I was baking with my Grandmother and I thought hey...why not waste another $15 and take a test (can anyone relate to the money wasted on these? argh lol). I was expecting a negative result so I took it mid baking to get it over with, but as I looked over I saw the faintest line and I ran out of the bathroom yelling "holy sh*t Grandma Max I think I'm pregnant!" We laughed and cried and ran out to buy an expensive test, the one that tells you the weeks. I came home excitedly and took it to find a result I could not argue "Pregnant 5 weeks."

I was over the moon. Anyways who knows me, knows that Christmas is my favourite time of year so this was just the icing on the cake. I decided since it was only 5 days before Christmas that I would wait to surprise Jeff with the news as his present. I kept the news between me and Grandma, as I began googling, predicting the date, booking midwife appointments and planning all relevant dates and most of 2015. (I guess this is why I am a event planner...I can't turn off the planning). I joined website groups and looked at maternity stuff  - I was all over that pregnancy shit.

I already had Jeff's gifts, so I thought this would be an extra little gift at the end to surprise him with, I bought him a few books "So you are going to be a dad," a baby name book (to have fun with on our trip for our 1st anniversary) and a dad's guide to surviving pregnancy.

It was so tough to hold this secret in, especially because I was feeling tired and nauseous, but I did it! Christmas eve came and went and since Christmas day was full of 5 trips back and forth to different family events Jeff and I decided to open our presents that night. After he was done opening his gifts, I  grabbed the books all wrapped up and said "opps here is one more thing I forgot" - I played it so cool. He opened it up and was in total shock. It was such a special moment, such excitement and happiness. We went to sleep in utter bliss.

Christmas morning we made breakfast and Jeff took some cheesy Christmas belly bump photos to start my journaling of the pregnancy. Sometime in the afternoon horrific cramping began...and then a little bleeding. Unfortunately, I had to attend 3 more family parties and act like everything was fine while in pure fear of what might be happening. The midwives were closed, so I could only speak to Telehealth that night and the nurse seemed to think it would be all fine. I knew in my heart it was not right and the cramping and bleeding continued. On boxing day we were leaving for our 1st Anniversary trip up the North Shore to go off we went as I bled and cramped and turned down a dark hole of raging hormones and terrible cramping pain. I was miserable. Happy Anniversary #not

It was truly crushing. The timing of Christmas only built it up further and made it more depressing especially when you add in our Anniversary trip. Needless to say January was a dark month...those hormones are no joke. I honestly did not feel like myself at all. I was also truly grieving and fixated on our loss and surrounded by reminders and haunted by the first belly pics and baby books. I know it was early and I have come to learn it is common, however this does not take away the sadness of going through it. I am so thankful for my gem of a husband who held my hand every step of the way. We made it to the end of February, when on a whim I took another pregnancy test and found out we were expecting again! I told Jeff right away this time, but this time I was leery. This time I vowed to go slow. This time I did not take any pictures.

I have been seeing a fertility specialist so we went to visit him to confirm things and I had blood work and was scheduled for my first ultrasound at 8 weeks. Once again we were overjoyed. Good friends of ours told us they were expecting so my husband got excited and shared our news...this led to lots of plotting and planning and eventually my planner filled up with all the important dates and milestones and I even ordered a few baby outfits and maternity clothing items.

A few weeks later I started bleeding a little bit... after having one miscarriage you automatically go to worse case scenario so I was really worried. A few days later I was told to go to emerge where they did blood work and an ultrasound and the ultrasound tech said growth was behind but okay. After meeting with the doctor later he said it wasn't looking good and to expect that the pregnancy would terminate. I made it to the car ride home before breaking down into a total mess.

A week and a half later nothing had happened, we saw the specialist again and he confirmed hcg levels were not growing like they should so I should prepare myself for the pregnancy to end. It was especially hard because it wasn't ending itself and I was trying to stay positive just in case, plus at 8 weeks it was hard to let go. However, at this point I had the option of having a D and C or taking pills...I opted for pills. If only to control that I could do it on the weekend and be at home with Jeff.

The hormones really throw you for a loop and again it was over a month before I began to feel like myself again. The sadness of loosing 2 pregnancies was/is a lot to hold on to. Appologies to the person who said sometime during this mess "so when you are guys going to have a baby?!"-  hormones + pain let her face the wrath of my honesty over what had happened lol, but really she learned the hard way why you don't ask people this question.

This time I told my family what happened as I needed the support. I had to return maternity clothes, erase all the dates in my calendar and let it all go. I am so thankful for all of our friends and family that were there to support us and again to my husband, without which I would not have made it through this. I also had a wonderful friend who had experienced a miscarriage herself and was an amazing support. It was hard for friends and family who had not experienced a miscarriage to know what to say, and honestly there is not much to say. Its hard to describe if you haven't been through it.

I know people go through worse and I know compared to others my experience may be nothing, but for us it was awful, but we are stronger for it and I hope and pray I am able to get pregnant and stay pregnant again soon.

For anyone going through anything like this I send you love and hugs and if I can help or be there for a chat please feel free to message me. I truly believe that if more woman talked about this and shared their experiences - the good, the bad and the ugly it would be easier for us all.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Introducing Finnegan Jones

goldendoodle puppy mini

I have been asking begging Jeff to let me get a puppy since early in our marriage. I ain't no fool...I laid the ground work well before we were married so it was no surprise to him when the pleading began. Every time he would travel for work, with friends etc., I would spend hours googling puppies close to our area. I have always wanted an Old English Sheepdog, but they have so many health issues and they are big, too big for our current house. Then I thought cockapoo, then sheepadoodle, then I was thinking anything hypoallergenic, closely, fairly small...this is when I hit the googling jackpot.

You know when you are so deep in googling - traveling from one site to another you don't even know what you were originally looking for? That happened to me when I came across "mini golden doodles." I had never heard of this breed, but it was love at first site (get it "site" haha) and the breeder I stumbled upon was close by and had 1 male available the weekend we were headed to the area for a trip was fate right?

When Jeff returned from a bachelor party weekend away I hit him with every argument for why we  I needed a dog that I could think of. There were tears, yells, walk aways, hands in the air and within 2 hours of the best begging I could muster - he agreed! I emailed the breeder the next day and 4 weeks later we drove down to pick up our pup - a pup I didn't know existed until 4 weeks before.

Mini golden doodles are the result of a toy poodle crossed with a golden basically makes a real life teddy bear.

The moment the breeder walked out holding him, I was totally in love.  He was actually supposed to be a petit (15-25lbs), but he was the biggest guy in the litter so they figure he is more like a mini (25-30lbs) and this somehow got us a discount on him.

Jeff came up with the name on the car ride from getting him to back to our trailer. I loved it, he was a little bugger and Finnegan seemed like the perfect name.

Here are some pictures of him...(boy did he grow big fast)

First Family Photo

F1b Mini goldendoodle puppy
Riding back to our campsite

Ceasr Milan puppy
I wish he could stay that size forever!

F1b Mini goldendoodle puppy
Exploring the yard 
Finnegan - mini goldendoodle
With my Mom and Joey (he was only smaller then him for a couple weeks)

bad puppy goldendoodle
That time he had 3 baths in one morning...having a real good time in my tomato plant.

puppy picture

dog shaming goldendoodle

puppy stealing
He took $40 out of my mom's purse and was running around with it - smart dog ;)

family fall picture with puppy
Fall hike - I love his crazy hair

dog cone of shame
Cone of shame after getting fixed.

WORST haircut ever! He looks like Fozy Bear - poor guy

puppy pictures with santa
First Christmas

Playing in the snow is his favourite thing in the world!

dog best friends
Best buds...only 18 years apart

The time he ate 4 holes in my favourite sweater...dammit!

He is the most entertaining dog. He LOVES everyone and has to meet everyone he sees. He loves his toys - has destroyed about 10 stuffies, loves balls, being outside, rolling in snow or any water source and treats. In the mornings he loves to cuddle and sleep in, but then he is pretty crazy all day.  Finnegan is sweet, playful and hilarious. Right now he is 9 months old and weighs 27lbs, we are not really sure how large he will be, hopefully this is about it. I love his hair long and crazy, it suits his personality. I cannot recommend this breed or his breeder enough, I know I am totally bias but he really is the best dog!

If you have any questions about the breed or Finnegan let me know!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Family Pets

When I was in grade 5 we got a Bichon Frise that we named Joey...Joey was or I should is -  a spunky, pain in the ass, perfect family dog. He is 18.5 years old and has been in more family photos then my father. He has lived a really good life, unfortunately tomorrow he will be put down.

This breaks my heart, but the poor guy has lived a long, wonderful life. He is mostly blind and can barely get around and finally it is to the point that it is no longer fair. So, before I get into the story of our puppy, I have to give props to Joey who has been around most of my life.

Dogs are amazing animals, they become part of your family in a way you never thought could be possible. They love unconditionally and bring so much joy to a household.

Love you Jo Jo! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ohh Snap...I'm back!

So I got married and I disappeared. Oopsies! My list of excuses includes...

1. I was adjusting to married life?
2. I got busy?!
3. I got lazy?!
4. I got a puppy?!
5. I was learning how to cook for a man?!
6. I got a new job?!
7. My computer took a turn for the worst!

A combination of all of the above occurred, but here I am! Brand new Mac and Mrs. Jones is back in action!

I guess I owe an update on the last year and 3 months. When I was looking over my blog the other day I realized I really did do a good job of updating it for a while - I hope to get back to that. Not that anyone reads this, but for my own sake.

I guess I will start with our wedding. It was a magical winter wonderland, surrounded by friends and family, and I got to marry the man of my dreams and - Thank God Its Over! #anyonelse? I'm not.

As an event planner that reaction may make no sense, but let's cut the shit on the whole wedding spectacle. It's an overwhelming shit load of decisions on things that don't really matter. The man matters, your friends and family matter and sharing your unity with them is wonderful - it is the hours of choosing the perfect invite and font and days I won't get back from pinning DIY projects that I don't have the time or talent to complete I have a problem with. I am not a patient person and wedding decisions are not quickly made. I drank a lot of wine during my year of planning haha seriously though it all paid off.

The best decisions I made regarding our wedding:

1. Doing a first look (as recommended by our photographers). It allowed Jeff and I to share our first moment seeing each other privately (minus the photographers, videographers, my hair dresser and my mother and 15 of our closest friends hiding the background haha). The pictures from our first look are some of my favourite and I treasured that moment of seeing him. For us the pressure left at this moment and when we reunited an hour later at the church it was STILL magical but without the nerves of seeing each other while 200 other people looked at us. I recommend this for everyone!

2. Doing a winter wedding. I always dreamed of a winter wedding and it could not have turned out more beautiful  - the weather even held up lightly snowing.

3. Getting a wedding cape. It was like being 5 and playing dress up - only better! I almost loved it more then my dress, and that is saying a lot!

4. Going on a honeymoon 5 days post wedding. This allowed us time to hang out with our family and friends (some of whom travelled from Australia), celebrate new years with everyone, have time to relax and pack and then leave winter in the dust for Antigua - so amazing!

5. Hiring 2 photographers. Ours were a young husband wife team(Ilo Photography) that were the perfect people to have around all day. Dana felt like another bridesmaid and was such a calming influence on our long crazy day. They got so many amazing pictures - captured everything we wanted  and more. Having them both there helped speed up picture taking time and get more in. I cannot say enough good things about them!

6. Hiring a videographer. I have heard not getting one is the #1 regret of brides and I can see why. The day passes in a flash and in watching our video I got to see so many moments I missed or forgot about during the day and it is a timeless keepsake with our friends and family included. Our video was magical I watch the highlight reel often, like just now haha. Gino Mancusa from Zoom HD is a wedding video wizard.   Here is a link to our highlight reel:

7. My bridesmaids. I was surrounded by the most amazing woman I know, I felt so lucky to have them by side (all year and always but on our special day day). Getting ready with them and my mom in the morning was such a fun part of the day!

Bad decisions I made regarding our wedding:

1. Ordering my cake decorations (beautiful edible snowflakes) from someone on Etsy. I ordered them a month before our wedding after speaking with the lady an ensuring she could make them and ship them on time. Day before our wedding they had not arrived and the lady was a total so-and-so about it. They ended up arriving a week after our wedding. I was not impressed, her business is cake decorations all of which have deadlines. This was upsetting although our decorator decorated the cake and looked just fine to me! so it all worked out

2. Not getting a wedding planner (not that they exist in our city but still). Being the bride is awesome... having staff run up to you in a panic about where so-and-so is sitting is not. It would have been amazing to dedicate someone to being in charge of everything all night including things like getting your great-grandmothers wedding cake cutting knife back and ensuring your wedding envelopes are packed away safely. I found being the planner took away from the enjoyment of being the bride.

3. Not having enough time for family photos. *cue the stress* You want mama to get her photos (trust me) but you have to corral your father and brother-law-in and uncles and people loose their shoes and forget their jackets and go to the bathroom lol so allow more time then needed and if you can do these before wedding party it!

That's it really, no real complaints. Your wedding is just a day, (a day you plan for a whole friggin' year lol) so don't worry too much about it and enjoy it...but most importantly remember the day after the wedding that's when it all really begins!

Okay enough of the are some pictures from the day from our photographer's website

Some of my favourites...

At our first look

Be back real much to cover!