This and That and The Other Thing

I’m not sure why but the baby has started to take a nap on the couch. What I mean is that if I nurse him, he will fall asleep and then if I put him on the couch….he will stay asleep. If I put him into his crib….not so much. This makes no sense to me but if I can have a few minutes without someone whining and clinging to my pants legs…..then I’m just going to go with it.



I’m EXHAUSTED. I’ve been on the go since November the 13th because I’ve had one thing or another planned. First I was trying to get ready for the Craft Fair, and then I needed to get ready for a Christmas Party/Cookie Swap and I also was feeling quite a bit of stress about doing the whole Hospital/Chemo thing by myself….

Today is more or less a down day except I have to pile ALL the kids into the car and take Geli and Jeremy to see our Family Dr. later this afternoon. It always feels stressful when I have to take all of the kids somewhere especially when there is a fairly good opportunity to act out or misbehave.


I’m trying to figure out what we are going to do about Christmas this year. With Jon being laid off from work and the lag in getting his next paycheck, things are tight. I’m trying to figure out what I can make – as in homemade gifts – but there is always this guilt that the kids are going to be disappointed. I know that in the grand scheme of things that life and love and togetherness are the most important, but as parents we want to give our children special things, right? I have been talking with the kids about “giving” as opposed to receiving and I do know that things will work out okay. I just seem to do really well when I have a plan; when I know exactly what I’m going to do or what to expect….I’m still trying to figure things out and to be able to do it without feeling frazzled or stressed.


I’m really trying to eliminate stressors from my life. I want to be able to enjoy life and to not be stressing about too many things on my plate or about all the things that I could or should be doing. It’s not so easy to find the balance and yet I’m really working on it. I’m trying to live within my capabilities and to be able to really enjoy “living” life and not just existing. I’m trying to be present for my family and with my kids. This is also not as easy as it sounds like it could be and yet…I believe it’s doable. I’m also trying to embrace the season that I’m in.

I’m a mom. I have two little boys. I remember how much work it was when I had three little ones (Geli, Xani and Jeremy) because I’m right back in the thick of those early days. Siah is 4 and Judah is 1 and it’s not an easy phase. What I have going for me is that I know that it won’t last forever and that I want to really enjoy this time with them. It’s tough. It’s exhausting. It’s messy. There is a lot of whining and diaper changing and wiping runny noses and cleaning and tidying and doing the same things (like rescuing a child from on top of the table, building block towers, or reading the same 2 books) over and over and over again. There is little sleep and even less “me” time, and yet, when I look at these little boys….at all of my kids, I’m so thrilled that they are mine and I’m awed with the responsibility of raising them. I believe in them and will try my best to raise them to be amazing men and women. It’s a lot of work, but they are worth every bit of time and energy.


We had our day at the hospital yesterday and for whatever reason, the Oncology clinic was PACKED with kids and parents. At one point every seat was taken, inside and outside of the clinic and there were a TON of parents and kids standing. This meant that the 1 hour appt took 4 hours. Which SUCKS SO BAD! And, the whole deal with Angelica and the itching that she’s been experiencing…..nothing. They don’t believe that it has anything to do with the chemo or anything Oncology related and so we are just to Monitor it. That’s not so cool as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know what to do exactly and I’m just hoping that things will get better and not worse. I’m hoping that Geli will “test the waters” so to speak, tonight and we will see whether or not things are improving, holding steady or getting worse.

Aside from the itching, Angelica is doing okay. She is on the mend, but it taking longer than is normal or expected…..Normal is really not a good term for it….because really, what is normal?


I’d love it if you’d check out my shop. There are some great products, in there.

Simple Choices

I think the favorite products right now are tied between:

the Lotion Bar – EVERYONE who has tried it has RAVED about it.
the Calm Room Spray – it can be sprayed in kids bedrooms to help settle them down
the Breathe Cream – to help with congestion, due to coughs and colds
the Refresh Cream – to help with headaches, digestive issues, sore muscles and for a general “pick-me-up”

And everyone seems to LOVE the lip balms….the peppermint seems to be the winner right now.


I’m hoping to be able to make a gluten-free Gingerbread house with the kids in the next few weeks. We’ve been talking about making small ones. I hope it works out. You can get the MOST AMAZING gingerbread recipe over at Gluten-Free Girl’s website. I made a batch which makes around 72 cookies and my kids have DEVOURED them. I have less than 2 dozen left….they are just that good.



Do you have a favorite Christmas Cookie?

I love Whipped Shortbread, and those Gingerbread Cookies up above.

And, the baby just woke up and so I’m done for now…..

An Invite

I just wanted to let you all know that I’m going to be selling the Simple Choices products at a Craft/Small Business Fair this weekend.

Lotion Bar

Here is a list of the different products that I have available:

– Diaper Powder
– Cloth Wipe Solution
– Diaper Cream

– Breathe (Eucalyptus) Cream
– Refresh (Peppermint) Cream
– Calm (Lavender) Cream

– Bath Salts
– Body Scrub
– Body Butter
– Lotion Bars
– Lip Balm

– All Purpose Cleaner
– Room Spray

These products are natural alternatives to everyday products that we use. They are non-toxic and work wonderfully.

I use all of these products in our house and on my family and I stand behind them 100%.

Calm Cream

Years ago, I started on a journey to a healthier me and I realized that there are so many chemicals and unnecessary ingredients in our food and especially in our beauty products and cleaners. Seeing as our skin is our biggest organ, I wanted to be able to be confident with the product that I use, both on our bodies and in our home.

I began to search out alternatives for the products that I was using and was frustrated to find that the more natural alternatives were SO MUCH MORE expensive. I began looking into the different ingredients and started to make my own products.

It was exciting to be able to create products that were natural and that actually worked.

If you are looking for more natural options for yourself, your family and your home…..I’d love for you to come and see these products. I hope that you will love them as much as I do.

Stop by and see me on

9:30am – 3pm
Alex Hope Elementary School
21150 85th Avenue
Langley, BC

I’d love to meet you, and I hope to see you there.

So Many Thoughts, Not Enough Time to Think

I have so many things that I’m trying to think through and I just wish that I could just “sort” a few of them out so that I could “file them and put them away” if you know what I mean.

There are things that we are working through and trying and wondering about and it’s all complicated and messy and well….there are a whole bunch of “adult decisions” that we need to make right now.

Well okay, we don’t have to make any decisions at this exact moment and some things we cannot make decisions about right now, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t think things through so that we can at least make well thought out decisions if and/or when the time does come right.

One of the things that it taking up WAY TOO MUCH mental space inside of me is the whole “store” deal.

I love to create! I love creating things and I have for as long as I can remember. I feel like it’s something that I’m supposed to do and yet I don’t know “what” it is that I’m supposed to do with that creativity. I could just create for pure enjoyment purposes, but I keep feeling like I am capable of doing more with my creativity and yet……I don’t know what.

I’m beaten and battered by insecurity and fear when it comes to putting myself out there to see if anyone would be interested in purchasing the things that I create because, for whatever twisted reason, I equate lack of purchases with personal rejection.

See, these things that I create….I put a little bit of myself into each one, so when I try to sell things (and I’m not even talking just about right now, this is right now and in the recent past and in the far distant past) if they are not wildly received and purchased in a mad flurry of excitement and energy – then I feel like “I’m” not good enough….

Messed up, eh?

I know it is. I don’t want to live like that and so I keep trying. Often I try badly, with only a half attempt so that no one knows or guesses how much I care. Often I throw it off like a passing interest so that I don’t seem that invested in it, all in an attempt to fool myself into not caring and then not getting hurt.

I can tell myself that I love to create. I can tell myself that regardless of what happens – I will continue to create and give things away because I FEED and THRIVE ON CREATIVITY.

Even saying that, I plagued by thoughts. Comparisons, insecurities, criticism….so many thoughts and yet…


I think I’m saying that in an effort to personally grab a hold of that concept and embrace it as truth.

“I” am creative!

I “AM” creative!



All I know is that I love to create….

I bought a small watercolor journal in the summer and told myself that I was going to paint. Just…..PAINT! If it was crap – well then it was my crap! I painted my feelings and paired them with words and inspirations that mirror those feelings. I can see the difference between my first painting in that book and the most recent ones. I’m a bit more comfortable. I’m a bit more confident. And that’s only in the last 4 months….

I’m going to continue to create.

Intentionally! I can only get better. It doesn’t matter what it is – I need to create, even if it is only for me.

And I’ve decided that I’m going to give the whole store a go. I’ve been waffling so badly on it and every day the mental anguish has been worse than the day before….the thoughts and fears and insecurities swirl round and round and round until I’m dizzy and sick because of it all. And because I do not want to live that way, nor model that for my children, I’m just going to say it out loud here (more for myself than for any of you)…

I’m going give the whole “store” a real go..I’m gonna try. I’m going to CREATE things and stock a store and attempt to sell things and I will attempt to NOT find my worth in the things that I create. I’m so much more than that….

Currently my store is on Etsy, but we are working on a better one….Whether anyone buys or not – I’m going to work as hard as I can at creating beautiful things to stock the store with. Things that I love! At the very least, I will have amazing gifts to give away whenever I want to….I don’t even have to wait for a special occasion. I will not judge my worth by whether or not people buy. This is a tough time in the economy – we understand that and regardless…..I’m going to create.

I hope you understand that I’m not saying this in an attempt to manipulate you. I needed to put this out there for myself. I need to face these thoughts, these Worry Dragons and tell them to “Be Still” or better yet to “Be Gone!”. I need to remind myself that I am loved and not rejected. I need to remind myself that people are out there ready to accept me and not waiting and searching for an opportunity to reject me. People are not looking for something to knock me down with but they are there to encourage and support me and life me up.

I choose to accept those as truths in my life. I am worth being accepted. I am worth being loved.

This past year has played a big number on me and while I accept and appreciate all your support and love….my life has been so insular and I’ve not had a lot of personal, face-to-face, human contact; and so many of the fears and worry dragons that I had faced, beaten back or even beaten down have slowly crept back up and are trying to get back into my life and I don’t want to let them in.

And so, I make no bones about it…..I have a store. Currently it’s over here (click to go through to Etsy)… will be here for now and I’ll continue to add more things to it, until the new store (yes, we are working on a different store option and it’s going to be amazing when it’s done) is finished being set up.

That being said, the name of my store is “Simple Choices“…..I’d love it if you would check it out. I’ll be adding more and more items to the store in teh coming days, so keep checking back.

I am passionate about living simply. I’m passionate about having healthy, natural alternatives to the chemicals that we so often use without even realizing; whether it be on our babies or on our bodies or in our homes. I’m passionate about simple toys that won’t harm our children (with chemicals in the plastic) and that will stimulate creativity and imagination. I’m passionate about learning about healthy and natural living and sharing that knowledge with others who want to learn about it. I’m so excited to share how small simple choices can make such a HUGE difference.

My life has been radically changed (for the better) by a whole bunch of small, simple choices. It didn’t happen overnight and I have so many more choices that I could make to be healthier, but like the name of the store, “Simple Choices”… Life is all about the simple choices. You might be surprised at how those simple choices add up…. That doesn’t mean that it’s always the easiest choice, but there are a lot of times in life where the harder, more difficult things are often appreciated more because of the effort that we must put in to them.

Simple Choices can make a huge difference in your life…I know they have in mine. I know that as I continue to make simple choices, I’ll continue to see the benefits in my life and in the lives of those around me….

“There may be a thousand little choices in a day. All of them count.”

Dr. Shad Helmstetter

I’d love it if you would take a look at my new Website….it’s still under construction, so you might want your hard hat and your steel toed boots, but I promise that we’ll be up and running smoothly in no time.

Come on over and join in on the fun…..

ps….you can also check out the Simple Choices blog. It was supposed to be a little readier than it is, BUT…we’ve had some fun this morning. Check back tomorrow for all the CRAZY Drama from this morning…..

New York, T-Shirts and Spending Cash

The Sunshine Kids take several trips per year with kids that are dealing with cancer. Angelica has been chosen to go to New York for the “Summer Broadway Break”, July 17-23 this year.


Everything is covered for the trip (transportation, food, lodging, admissions, etc) and the kids are treated like royalty. The kids only need to bring their own spending cash for shopping in Times Square and the like.

So, Angelica is looking for ways to raise some money for that spending cash, and seeing as the traditional methods like babysitting are out for her (with her low counts) Angelica has been thinking about putting some of her artistic abilities to work. She’s thrown around the idea of designing t-shirts a few times over the years and so we decided to try to make this happen. Here is the first design…


(depending on interest, she has a lot more ideas)

the t-shirts are available in three styles and two colours each, and there is a hoody. Here they are:

Shirt Style Sizing Chart

straight cut in white with black image or charcoal with silver image

Click for larger image

Ladies cut in white with black image or dark heather with silver image

Click for larger image

Youth fitted cut in white with black image or charcoal with silver image

Click for larger image

Hoody in white with black image or dark heather with silver image

Click for larger image

Click Here to order

Please note that we are not starting with inventory, and so we will be compiling the first weeks orders, then getting them printed, then shipping. Please allow 3 weeks for delivery (5 weeks for international). Also, please let us know if there are any issues with the PayPal shopping cart.

A “No ‘Poo” Update

There are some out there who will understand my title and others who won’t, and that’s okay…it’ll all become clear very quickly.

I got an e-mail today from someone who came across my blog because she was looking into something that I was looking into over a year ago.

There are a few things that we started over a year ago and I’ve actually been thinking about the fact that we’ve made some pretty radical changes in our life style over the past few years and really…’s all been good. I’ll try and update on a few more things in some upcoming posts.

But, to talk about the whole no shampoo deal……

Just over a year ago, we ditched shampoo and really have never looked back.

The whole baking soda thing really actually does work.

I still don’t use the apple cider vinegar to rinse with, but from time to time Jon will. The difference between the two of us is that I have absolutely straight thin hair and Jon has thick and amazing curly hair. He figures that it helps him and I really don’t think it does anything for me.

In the past year, I did buy one bottle of some all natural non SLS shampoo, but other than that…it has been baking soda and water.

Even the kids have adapted and they would probably be my only gripe, and really – it’s not the baking soda as much as it is a “user error.” The 12 year old has hit puberty and has the nasty greasy hair to show for it. When she does a crap job of scrubbing then she walks outta the shower with hair that is just as greasy as when she waltzed in. The other gripe, is that the 10 year old has sometimes come out of the shower with a HUGE clump of the baking soda that was not scrubbed in properly and never got rinsed out well and so it’s just sitting in her hair and if left there, it can be quite irritating – not to mention terribly ugly.

For the 8 year old boy and the baby, mostly we just use water on their hair…and the 8 year old probably gets his hair scrubbed with the baking soda about once a month.

I believe that the scrubbing is the kicker. You’ve got to scrub the baking soda in and around very well in order for it to do a good job of cleaning.

We are still using this method a year later and I don’t see us quitting anytime soon.

But, how is my hair – you ask???

It’s fabulous. Really. Not that I’m bragging, but I feel like my hair is WAY healthier that it was before. I can go longer in between shampoos. I probably wash my hair twice a week. It just doesn’t get as greasy. It feels soft and is manageable, and I think that it has more body because there is less “gunk” weighing it down.

I am thrilled that I gave this method a shot. It has been SO worth it for us. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s healthy and it’s amazingly cost effective.

One thing that I haven’t totally figured out is how to store it and use it in the bathroom, in a pretty way. Right now the box sits on our counter or in our vanity and we bring out a small measuring cup and take some into the shower with us. I am looking for a nice container that I’d be able to leave sitting on the edge of the tub and just be able to either spoon out or shake out or………..I dunno something.

We actually left a box sitting just outside the shower, but it got some moisture in it and the baking soda got clumpy. So, I’m just gonna just throw it out there and ask if anyone has any ideas of what I could use to store the baking soda in the bathroom and preferably in the shower but that would still look nice.


Anyone out there tried this? What were/are your thoughts? Did it work for you? Lemme know.

ps….I have a 40% off sale on all the jewelery in my store and it’s on until the end of May – just in case you were interested in picking up a little something for a little less.

What A Deal!

So, I saw a sale at Michaels int he newspaper for one 7ft Christmas tree and the kicker….it was pre-lit.

See, I’m one of “those” anal people who wrap each individual branch of their Christmas tree starting at the top and working from the centre, winding up each individual branch, and winding back down the branch….all the way through the whole freakin’ tree.

I LOVE the way it looks, and ABOSLUTELY HATE the amount of time that it takes to accomplish this….BUT….there really is no other “correct” way to put the lights on a tree. At least as far as I’m concerned. If you just throw your lights on to your tree, NO JUDGEMENT from me – I just can’t do it. I think this is how my mom did it, and to me it just looks so nice.

Anyway, back to my story…..I saw this tree in the flyer – 7ft, pre-lit (really, once I saw that it was pre-lit nothing else really mattered except the 7 ft was a bonus) and $150.00 – YES! One Hundred and fifty dollars….that’s right. Everything else in the store was $200+.

Now, I figured that is must be one of the thinner trees, not a HUGE FAT FLUFFY one, but I actually prefer that. If you saw my tree that I’ve had for the past 8 years, you’d know why this new one is a deluxe model for me.

I bought the last one for $10 at Value Village, and you know those apartment trees that are all the rage right now…they are only half a tree so you can back them up against a wall…well, I’m sure that I had the ORIGINAL Half tree. Only mine wasn’t supposed to be like that…it was just so freaking sparse that I had to bend all the branches at the back around to the front and even then….my little beauty was the sweetest Charlie Brown Christmas tree you ever did see.

I love this tree, and am going to put it up outside our front door….or maybe in my Front Foyer.

So you see, I’m not used to the great big huge fluffy trees…there is no where to “hang” your ornaments…they all just drap sideways on the flat layer of the tree…..I don’t like that.

So, we go to Michaels to get this tree, and there are NONE. I’m very surprised that they have none because it’s still early in the day, so chicken that I am “bwak, bwak” I tell Jon to ask the sales person to go and check in the back. They do…..and they have one.

So, I got a brand new Christmas tree.

They best part was bringing it home….opening the box and attaching the three pieces, and plugging it in. I just saved myself HOURS of stupid light wrapping and it feels SOOOOOO good.

I think we are going to decorate it tonight.

It’s my “incentive” to get the kids homework done and the house tidy when the kids get home from school. YAH!

Well, I gotta get busy on my Christmas Baking, but…

If you’ve not signed up for the giveaway, go here and enter your name in the comments….there are only 2 days left before some lucky person wins the item of their choosing.

It might as well be you!

ps…how do you put the lights on the Christmas Tree?