Wedding Gift Ideas

This year has been full of love – and by love I mean weddings. We were invited to 8 weddings this year – is everyone getting married? We went to 6 of them, and had a blast. It is always so great to watch two people declare their love in front of family and friends, and to watch them start this new chapter of life together.

With all of these weddings obviously comes a lot of shower and wedding gifts. A lot of couples decide to have wedding registries that give a great outline of what kind of items they are looking for, and it’s easy to just pick something that way. Sometimes couples don’t register anywhere, or there may be nothing left on the registry by them time you decide to shop (which, if you’re like me, is always last minute).

It can be hard to find a gift that is timeless, memorable, original and something hopefully the couple will love for years to come. I still think of the people who gave us specific gifts for our wedding when I am using them, or see them in my house – I love how special that is!

I have created a sampling of the items we have purchased this year for gifts, and they are usually my go-to when I am unsure what to buy or the registry is a bit sparse. The items are useful, beautiful (I think), and I believe anyone would be happy to receive one of these items. Of course, it depends on the couple and their taste, but hopefully this list will help you a bit!

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Alessi Cactus Photo Frame
This photo frame is so beautiful for the couple to put a wedding photo in – we received one as a gift at our wedding, and it’s a go-to for me every time. Made in Italy, stunning stainless with a cactus cutout.

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Le Creuset Round French Oven
I believe every kitchen needs one of these – we use ours every week and it is so versatile. If you have a bit of a bigger budget, or can split this gift with another couple or two, do it – the couple will thank you! And it comes in a variety of beautiful colors to suit anyones taste.

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Peugeot Salt & Pepper Mills
A beautiful set of Salt & Pepper Mills makes a great gift – there are so many styles, colors and options that you can really personalize a set to the couple. The Peugeot mills have a lifetime guarantee on their mechanism, so that makes the quality so great.

 

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Vietri Serving Pieces
These handmade and hand-painted Italian pieces are beautiful and original. Getting someone a beautiful serving dish that is unique is always a great choice.

Of course I could go on forever, but these are my favourites! What are your favourite wedding gifts you have given or received?

Brianna

A Mom’s Balancing Act

Being a good, attentive mom is hard. Being a good wife is hard. Being good to yourself is hard. Keeping your house clean is hard. Being a working mom is hard. I’m about to throw in taking a class into this mix…hard! Trying to do all of these things all at once…how do all of you super moms do it?!

After a busy summer of weddings, bridal showers, weekends at the lake, travelling, going back to work and spending time with family, I am happy to finally have some time at home on weekends to get back in a routine. To me, that means getting back to being active, spending quality time with my boys, eating healthy and staying sane.

Here are a few ways that I am planning to do it all – maybe some of this will help you new moms who are struggling to create balance in this new crazy life we call motherhood.

  1. Make a list!
    I love to make lists, and just this past year have become a day-timer addict. I cannot function without having things laid out for me (can you say mom-brain?). I have all of my activities (work, school, etc), my husbands activities, and my sons activities logged into my day-timer and my cell phone calendar in hopes that I won’t forget something. This also allows me to see where I have some free time for family, friends, and of course myself.I also like to make a list of all the things I *hope* to get done the upcoming week – cleaning, laundry, cooking, blog posts, small projects, etc. I LOVE being able to cross things off that list as the week progresses. If i don’t get it done, it becomes top priority the week after.
  2. Meal Plan & Prep
    I like to sit down on Sunday mornings and make a weekly meal plan. Then I hit the grocery store to get what I need for the week, and try to prep anything I can Sunday afternoons while Rory is napping.  Since I work until 6 pm 3 days a week, by the time I pick up Rory from day care and get home, I need to have a dinner that’s fast (less than 30 minutes) to whip together, or already have it cooked as he goes to bed at 7:15. Meal planning also saves me a ton of money because I’m not running to the grocery store every day, getting things I really don’t need in the end. What are your favourite quick weeknight meals?
  3. Schedule a workout
    This is something I have been seriously lacking in. I did great in the spring and was able to lose about 10 pounds from meal planning, working out 30 minutes a day and just being active. I had more energy and felt great about myself. I am making this a priority in October to be active 30 minutes a day, as I am a better wife and mom when I take this time for myself.
  4. Book Date Night/Day
    My husband and I have tried to make a monthly date night or day a priority since having Rory last August. We have been pretty good about it, but this summer we really had a hard time doing this with all of the summer weddings and activities we had. I really believe that making time for your marriage is so important, even if its just 1 hour at a pub having a cold beer, or if it’s a full blow night out, make it happen!

Tell me – what are some ways you have found balance with your work life, school life, family life?

Brianna

 

 

A new found love – hiking!

Here in Alberta (and British Columbia), there are so many places that you can explore within a few hours of home, and my husband and I decided we want to start doing more of this. Not only is camping and hiking fun, but it’s inexpensive – when you’re on a new family budget, that is important!

This past month we’ve done two hikes and have loved it. We weren’t sure how Rory would do in the hiking backpack, as he hates to sit still or be contained for long, but to be honest he was a champ! Obviously we took a few more breaks than if it was just us so we could feed him snacks and drinks, but that is part of the fun.

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The first hike we did was up to the Lake Agnes Tea House, in Lake Louise, Alberta. It was 3.5 km up to the tea house through the forest, a very busy trail, but beautiful views on the way up. Once at the top, you can order yourself some tea, sandwiches, and snacks (if you didn’t pack your own), and enjoy the view and take a rest. Rory slept the whole way down in the backpack!

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This past weekend on our way to our condo in BC, we stopped for a hike at Stanley Glacier in Kootenay National Park. This hike was about 8.5 km round trip, so a bit longer than our first. Again, we were testing Rory to see how he did with a bit of a longer hike. He rocked it! We sang songs, he danced away, pointed at everything he saw. The view at the top was amazing! It is September and the weather was a bit cooler, so we had a quick lunch and boogied back down to our car so we could all warm up and get on our way.

We’ve been renting a backpack from Mountain Equipment Co-op and have quite enjoyed the process, being able to test out the hiking backpack before spending a fortune on one. If you haven’t tried renting equipment from them, I’d highly suggest it!

What are some of your favourite trails and hikes to do with kids?

 

First Mother’s Day

This past year has been pretty amazing as a new mom, and having my first Mother’s Day definitely topped the charts! It is pretty amazing to grow a small human inside you for 9 months, watch them grow and have a special day to celebrate that love you have for your children, and they have for you. There is nothing greater in this world than being a mom and making your children smile.

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For Mother’s Day, we decided to host a brunch for both of our families – 13 people, including both our parents, 3 grandmas (great-grandma’s to Rory), my brother and his girlfriend, and my sister, her husband and her new son Arthur. We love cooking and entertaining, so it was a no brainer to get the family together to celebrate our moms, and for my sister and I, our first year of being moms. Seeing the smiles on everyones faces, spending time with family and cooking for them is such a pleasure.

On the menu was pancakes! We made our classic buttermilk pancake recipe, and tried our hands at lemon ricotta pancakes, which were delicious. I will need to make them again and take some photos to blog them, as I was enjoying my time with family too much to take even one photo of them!

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day! What are some of your favourite traditions on Mothers Day, or what are some new traditions you hope to keep moving forward?

Brianna

 

Nice to meet you!

Hi there! I’m so happy you stopped by and I’d love to start my blog off by telling you a bit more about myself, and my family!

My name is Brianna, and I’m a new mom and food lover living in Canada. I’ve been married to my husband, Patrick, for 5 years and we’ve had our fur baby, Winston, for 8 years. You will see Winston in a lot of my pictures as he loves to photo bomb our sweet baby boy Rory, and is always by his side. He is a great big brother! Rory was born in August 2015 and has been the most amazing addition to our lives. He is a busy little boy and keeps me on my toes daily. I can’t wait to share some of his favourite things to do and to share some milestones as he grows.

We love skiing, golfing, swimming, spending time in the mountains or at the lake, and enjoying time with our families. Luckily our families live close by, so we definitely take advantage of that. One of our favourite things to do as a couple is to cook – you will get to know that with this blog! I will be posting some of our favourite recipes, as well as trying out new recipes and letting you know if they were awesome, or a total fail and we can laugh together!

xo

Brianna