True crime tv…

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Lately I just cannot get enough of true crime tv shows on Netflix. This started last year and I can still watch hours and hours of them. In addition to Forensic Files and FBI Criminal Pursuit, I have been watching series after series. Not sure what the fascination is but I definitely know there is no point in committing crimes! Not sure how it is possible for anyone to get away with anything these days (thank goodness for us!).

Anyway, last night my husband watched a few episodes of Encounters with Evil with me and was horrified. Since he grew up in Eastern Europe in a non-English speaking country he had not heard much about old cases of cannibalistic serial killers, crazies who abduct and hold women hostage in their basements for decades, and spree killers. It can be a terrifying world. Now that we have a baby it is good for him to know we have to be careful as you never know what kind of creepos are out there. Of course, we also have to keep in mind this is not the norm and need not get too paranoid. I am dreading the day we need to get into stranger danger etc.

Anyway, for now, am just enjoying these real life shows. It can get a bit tiring watching over the top shows and unrealistic characters. When on parental leave, you have a lot of time for tv!! Seems to be a common theme with me! When I was commuting for work I got sick of regular radio and began to listen to news radio and AM talk shows as well. Ha ha ha.

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Flower bed!

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This was a herb garden bed. It gets full sun.

It has been raining endlessly. Not just a light misty rain but a constant downpour. They say monsoon time takes place in tropical countries. Last year I was in India during their monsoon. It did rain, and heavily at times, but not like this. Not days of rain all day every day for weeks! But, I guess the pacific coast of North America is called the Pacific Temperate Rainforest for a reason!

Fragrant hybrid wallflowers that are already flowering.

Anyway, all this rain has been getting me down lately BUT there were a few days of sunshine here and there. I took full advantage of them and did some gardening. I had 3 raised garden beds in my yard that I have been using for veggies and herbs. I decided to convert one into a fragrant flower bed to attract bees and as something nice for my baby to enjoy in the future. I will tell him it is his garden! So, I pulled out the wood frame around this bed and dug up the existing dirt to loosen it up.

Moroccan Daisies in white to tone down all the bright colours to come…plus they flower spring and autumn which will mean something is always in bloom. You can just see the grassy Torchlily in the back which will spread out and give bright flowers later.

I did not want grass to eventually take over the area so lined the edges with some brick we had lying about. Then I mapped out the perfect flower garden. I knew I wanted fragrant flowers and things that would bloom from spring to autumn. I also knew I would need some hardy plants as the weather can vary and we can get occasional cold winters…though generally it is quite mild. I also took some time to heap the soil up high as I know we get a lot of rain and the flowers would all drown if there was not good drainage.

Fun Hen and Chicks! These will spread out and adds some different texture. Plus they are low growing.

The first thing I knew I wanted was roses. I decided on 4 rosebushes in beautiful colours as I wanted the garden to be fragrant AND bright. I chose the MOST fragrant tea roses I could find in yellow, oranges, and pinks. I also put in 3 lavender plants as they will smell lovely and the silver anouk lavender has a different colour foliage which will add some diversity. I included two white Moroccan Daisies to give some balance to all the bright colours and because they flower from late March to May and again from August to late autumn. I planted 4 Torch-lilies between the roses as they will have some green grassy clumps but also flower in bright yellow, orange, and red in the summer. Last I added a hybrid wallflower that is very fragrant and flowers spring to summer. These are bright red and purple. All the flowers have varying heights which will balance nicely, I hope, once the garden fills out. Right now it looks a bit bare but each plant will spread quite a bit. In the very front I added some fun cobweb style hens and chicks I think my baby will like when he gets old enough to appreciate these kinds of things.

It was a fun project and I look forward to seeing how the flower bed turns out in a few months and over the next few years. I hope it will be as fragrant and beautiful as I imagine in my head! Right now I would love some sun to help this new garden along as I worry all this rain is not good for plants that have not yet established themselves! Hopefully the sunshine is just around the corner…although the weather forecast is not looking good for the next few days. Once the sun does come out, though, I am ready for the next garden project!

The finished flower bed…which will look better once the plants grow, spread, and establish themselves. I am looking forward to posting an update photo in a few months! It will be a world of difference (I hope!). 

The apathy is real…

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I have seen many bloggers disappear from their sites when they have a baby. I have not disappeared but have been writing WAY less. The truth is that you get kind of apathetic. This is, in part, because you are busy in some ways (and in some ways have a heap of extra time), you have nothing to say that is interesting to the general public (although the baby is very interesting to you), and all your plans seem uncertain…even your plan for the day can be up in the air as the baby can change everything…so you do not bother writing about things coming up since they may or may not happen.

For me, I had some goals and plans I wrote about in the recent past and now…only weeks later…have no idea if I will be following through on any of them! So…no more writing about that. Instead I will write about what already happened I have decided.

So, this last while not much has been going on other than spending time with my baby and family. I love my little guy but have also been going a bit stir crazy. I considered going back to work early and letting my husband take over my parental leave BUT my position has been back-filled and the new person has a contract so I cannot take up my job until at least September. Now that this is firm, I REALLY need to find some things to do or I think I will go crazy!

Other than that I have been cooking a bit, taking care of myself as I outlined, and watching a lot of Netflix. I am looking forward to more sunny spring days so I can be outdoors more. Ahh…definitely know for sure now that I do not do well being idle!

3 Goals update!

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The last while has been filled with everyday things. My baby is doing well and gaining weight normally-thank goodness! I have been cooking more often-everything from sandwiches to pastas to salads to burgers-but I have not been very good at taking care of myself in other ways. So, today, I am going to get back on the health and fitness wagon. To stay on it, I need some clear guidelines for myself. So, here they are:

  1. Take a multivitamin and iron pill regularly plus increase protein intake- I had a bit of a scare when I started losing hair like crazy recently. Of course, post pregnancy this is normal but I have lost a lot. So, I went and did a blood test. Generally my iron levels are okay and my thyroid is fine, thankfully. But, I went out and bought some multivitamins to keep everything in order. I also picked up some protein powder as I struggle with getting enough protein as a vegetarian. I am also going to take some iron supplements a few times a week as my iron levels could use some improvement.
  2. Start tracking food intake and weight- I stopped tracking for a few weeks but am starting again today. Keeping an eye on weight as well as calories/carb/protein/fat levels helps me make better choices. I noticed I already gained a few pounds since my giving birth weight and I want to go the other way! The goal is go get to my wedding weight which is about 18lbs away.
  3. Get more active- It has been hard with winter and baby to get out much so I want to make sure I do more getting out and about. I hope to see an increase in my daily steps on my phone plus want to make an effort to do some more physical things. These include home projects, gardening, etc.

So, focusing on the above should get my health and wellness goal back on track. My other goal was work and play. The play part will be taken care of when we move to Eastern Europe for some family and travel time. Now, the work part I have been thinking about quite a bit. I had an opportunity to do a consultancy for a reputable NGO but had to withdraw as my poor baby seemed so unwell then. It turns out that was for the best.

But, I have realized I want to focus on my dreams rather than just the normal stuff so decided I should use this time to do that instead of something more traditional in the work department. After all, I have enough experience to get a job in my industry but little time to follow my dreams while working. One of my dreams has been to start my own business. So, I am looking into that right now. Already I have approached my sister who I would like to be my partner. Next steps are in order and will be happening soon. I will share more at a later time but am very excited!

Happy March 1st…and yahoo due to our international plans…

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March 1st is here and the sun is shining. This is very different from last week. So are many other things. Last week I was thinking about how to enjoy my time off with my baby. A summer garden came to mind. Now, however, after a good hard look at our lives and thinking about what we want the most, we have decided we may move to Eastern Europe for a time.

My husband immigrated here 6 years ago and has only been back home once. We are at a point in our lives where we are debt free, have money saved, and I am off work with some regular income (more than enough to sustain us there without dipping into savings), so we decided why not take the opportunity to spend some time with his side of the family. It will be a beautiful time for us to spend together, take a break from working and the hustle and bustle of western life, do some travelling, get inspired, and raise our baby.

My husband was a bit reluctant at first but I reminded him we have our whole lives to work the 9-5 and, looking back at our lives, we won’t focus on how much we worked but on how much quality time we enjoyed. He agreed. I also reminded him we bought a flat in his country-not only as an investment-but to use so there is no better time to use it than now. He agreed. I told him everyone needs periods in life to refresh, relax, get inspired, and live a life of joy. This year is the best time for us as we can afford it without having to work. He agreed.

So, it is likely we will spend the next months preparing and then make our move late summer. We will stay until my maternity leave comes to an end and I have to return to work. Late summer is a perfect time for us to go as the weather will be better, our flat will be 100% ready, our son will be all caught up on his vaccinations, and he will be eating some solid food. So, it seems like a no-brainer for us to go for it. There are so few times in life one can do such things!

At this point we are in agreement and preparing for the move. Hopefully things will not change and we get to go. I am definitely excited!

Dreaming of spring…

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Winter feels like it is going on FOREVER! I cannot wait until spring. I am really excited about experiencing good weather again. Due to the baby as well, I feel as if I have been stuck inside for a long time. It will be great to get outside more often.

I also looking very forward to starting my garden again. Last year I was away and did not have access to land so it did not happen but this year I am on maternity leave and plan to really enjoy it as I may not get to do so again for some time.

Once, a few years ago, I planted seedlings in February but learned quickly it was too early for them. This year it seems much colder than that year. So, for now, I just have to dream of spring and the garden instead of doing anything. I can come up with some general ideas and plans. Here are a few things to note:

  1. Herbs to plant: oregano, basil, dill, fenugreek, cilantro
  2. Veggies to plant: peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, corn, potatoes
  3. Other things to plant: strawberries, pumpkins, flowers
  4. Things to buy: new lawnmower!!, fairy/garden lights, outdoor furniture

2018 Goal 3-Health and Fitness!

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Okay, so my third goal for this year is to improve my health and fitness. I want to feel better this year! I will give more details on exactly how I will do so as I go but am going to kick things off Monday, February 19th, by doing a mini-challenge for the rest of February. The main parts of my goal are to:

  1. Build muscle
  2. Improve cardio vascular health
  3. Eat healthier
  4. Drop some pounds!

Today is Lunar New Year and the Year of the Dog…which is MY YEAR! 12 years ago I made a significant difference in my health and wellness during the last Year of the Dog and plan to do so again! This time, though, I want to maintain that progress. Wish me luck 🙂