Social Media To My Social Circle: Bonds That Mean More Then A Like

We live in a society where we are constantly comparing ourselves to others and basing our self worth on the amount of likes and followers we have on social media. I’ll admit, I have fallen victim to this exact thing. Watching my number rise and decrease as though it actually has an impact on how I live my life… when in reality it means absolutely nothing.

I’ve been in the media and freelance world for almost a decade and jumping into the “blogger” world was something so foreign and unfamiliar to me. I had always written for pleasure, and kept a handful of journals/diaries. But I had never given it a ton of thought that my writing would be put on the internet for other’s to read. So how, and where did I start?

Networking!

The first thing I did was look on my social media channels and analyzed what I thought was “real” and “honest”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard to know who is genuine and authentic – but you’ll be able to catch on real quick. I’ve been ghosted by other bloggers and met some who have been less then who they portray themselves to be. I’m here to tell you they aren’t all like that. Especially the lovely lady you see in these pictures with me.

Heydy Lopez from Raising Jay & Abel was the first person I reached out to when wanting to take the leap into blogging… and guess what?! Over a year and a half later we’ve become extremely close friends. When we first met it was a brief meeting at Subway. I asked her a handful of questions (I took notes… laugh all you want), and we simply kept in touch after that.

Now you may be thinking, well that’s simple. Yes, and no. Fortunately for me, Heydy and I had a lot in common and were able to relate to each other far beyond a surface level friendship. She has always been someone I look up to and someone who genuinely cares about her family, friends, and the community around her; what you see is what you get!

Collaboration Over Competition

Over the past year, it’s definitely taken me some time to realize and know who exactly is in “my tribe”. The blogger world is cut throat and fierce. At the end of the day it’s nice to be able to rely on those with whom you trust and look up too. I have never felt like lesser of a person because my Instagram following is far more minimal then hers. She is the first one to give me advice, critique me, and offer support where I need it.

At the end of the day I am far more grateful for the friendships I have formed through blogging then anything else. Social media has its ups and downs but the connections that can be made are so valuable and some I’d never thought I’d make if I didn’t venture on this journey.

Photography by: Diana of Happy Bees Events & Studios 

{A big thank you to Hunni’s in Langley for providing mine and Heydy’s outfits!}

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are solely my own. Head to my disclaimer page for more information.

Fresh Prep Review: Making Life Easier for This Single Valley Mom

As a mom, yet alone a single, work-from-home mom; meals can be challenging. Especially when you have an almost two year old who is a super picky eater. With there just being the two of us (me not being a great or big eater myself), meal-time is extremely frustrating and painful! Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook. But when it’s just for myself and a little one, what’s the point?

Here’s how it works.

Jump on over to Freshprep.ca, create an account and you’re ready to place your order. You will first select whether you’d like the meals to provide two or four servings and how many you’d like for the week (two, three or four different meals). They also ask for your dietary preference: gluten free, vegetarian, etc. At this point you can have them select the meals for you if you don’t want to sort through the options, or you can modify the order to your specific choices.

When it comes time to cook, everything was washed, prepped, cut up and labeled with directions to follow and a promise (with minute by minute instructions) on how to get the meal on the table within 30 minutes. And sure enough it did. I was amazing at how fresh everything still was – considering I waited a few days to make the first meal.

It was simple and hassle free!

One of the things I really like about this service is that you don’t have to be home to receive the order and you get a notification where the driver is. Is it creepy for me to note, you are actually able to track his driving status? Once they arrive you receive another notice that they’ve delivered your food. The food comes in cooler bags with ice packs allowing it to be left at your doorstep. I loved the fact they were able to communicate exactly where they were and when they left. I didn’t have to be concerned that I was going to miss them or my food never showed up.

Convenience at its finest!

I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed receiving these meals and cooking them! I tried out the chickpea curry as well as the cauliflower detox bowl. My vegetarian choice was not planned, and I was so surprised how much I enjoyed them. It was nice making something I wouldn’t normally, and not having to waste money on ingredients I wouldn’t normally buy or have too much leftover. Plus you can somewhat tack credit for “making” your meals, right?

It was so much fun being able to have Ry help me out in the kitchen, watch me cook – and not be stressed about it, and if he didn’t eat a ton of his dinner, I wasn’t overly concerned. He tried it and for that, I will call it a win!

If you’d like to try them out, you can use this special link (click here) to get 3 FREE plates with your first order!

Have you tried Fresh Prep or any other meal delivery services? What did you think?

Thank you Fresh Prep for providing the delicious meals featured in this post! All opinions expressed are my own.

Central Park Farms – Long Table Dinner

central park farms

Last month I had the pleasure of attending my first Farm-to-Plate Longtable Dinner; which took place at Central Park Farms in Langley. I had no idea what to expect when pulling up their gravel driveway… but my goodness was I ever in aw.

Upon arrival we were greeted and given a spiked lemon-aid to sip on by Kendall Ballantine, who along with her partner, own and run Central Park Farms. Ballantine opened up and shared a little about how she got into farming and why she decided to specialize in non-GMO fed pasture raised animals. “Ultimately it came down to making sure the animals were raised in a positive environment”.

The evening consisted of a tour of the grounds, backyard games, and of course indulging in a family-style meal prepared by Chef Adrian Beaty. The menu consisted of pork and herb biscuits, fresh farm salad, BC Buzz Honey-glazed chicken, and one killer lard-crusted fruit pies with candied bacon ice cream. Yes, I said bacon ice cream!

All in all the evening was fantastic. I was able to reconnect with other bloggers I have met along my professional career and meet others whom I have admired for some time. If every week consisted of evenings like this one – I’d be one happy camper.

Other amazing people and vendors involved that evening:

Table decor and set up done by Valley Wedding
Farm Fresh Salad – True Grit Farms
Wine – Backyard Vineyards
Vodka – Roots and Wings Distillery
Trading Post Brewing
Musical talents – Ryan McAllister
BC Buzz Honey

Photography by the lovely: Olivia Loney – oliviaannphotography

Thank you again to Central Farm Park for hosting this magical event along with all the other amazing vendors! Also, thanks to Summer from Slap Communications for the invite! xx

It’s My Birthday!

Photography done by the lovely: Amber Leigh Photography

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to… wait… me! (Well a belated, since I am posting this late – my birthday was actually on the 25th of May). I seriously need a good kick in the butt to post things like this on-time!

Yes, you’re reading this correctly, I am indeed another year older today (as of 3:14 pm). How old might you ask? Old enough where I am starting to cringe and not wanting to tell people my age. Many of you will think I am being silly for freaking out about turning 26 – but honestly, I am. It’s partly due to the fact I had hoped I would be married or in a serious relationship by now, possibly having accomplished some big career milestone, or just wanting to have done ‘more’.

Then again, as I reflect back on what this last year has brought and taught me I feel a sense of ease knowing that there are some bigger and better things ahead… or so I’d like to think.

So this time last year I wrote a piece about 25 Dating Do’s & Don’ts I learned by 25, however this year I decided to go a different route. Without further ado – here is my list of 26 things I have learned this past year!

1. Coffee is good all hours of the day.
2. Tea isn’t a replacement for coffee.
3. I really need to start drinking more water.
4. 1 a.m. is a great time to get work done.
5. Trying to eat healthier isn’t as hard as it seems.
6. A good set of nails will class you right up.
7. Eyelash extensions are where it’s at.
8. Throw away your clothes from highschool – they’re not cute anymore, even if they still fit.
9. Having purple hair is awesome – but boy does upkeep suck.
10. Just because I am a mom doesn’t mean I can’t put myself first sometimes.
11. Being sober isn’t uncool.
12. I really don’t see the need to drink alcohol anymore… (I am sure any other mom reading this is going to think I am insane for not wanting a glass of wine when the kid goes to bed).
13. Once you have kids you really see who your true friends are.
14. Everyone is going to have an opinion… take it with a grain of salt.
15. The mom world is way clickier then the “popular” girls in highschool.
16. Tinder sucks.
17. Know how to properly budget and write down your expenses!
18. Comparison is healthy – don’t get caught up in it though.
19. Forgive others on your own time.
20. You’re still going to make huge mistakes.
21. Learn when to disconnect.
22. Continue to ask “why”?
23. A booty call isn’t fun anymore…
24. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
25. Parts of life aren’t that exciting anymore (yay for motherhood!)
26. Just be you!

 

My Semi-Sweet Valentine

If you’re looking for some sappy, mushy post about how much I love Valentines Day, well you’re reading the wrong post…

Some may call me cynical, others may use the word pessimist. I on the other hand like to use the word “realistic”. To me Valentine’s was never something super special or romantic (however I could be a tad biased since I’m single… and slightly bitter). Regardless this Hallmark holiday puts too much pressure on people to live up to unrealistic expectations of love and how one should show that love.

Growing up Valentine’s Day wasn’t something that was overly celebrated in my household – besides giving out cards in class and my mom leaving a special treat on my chair to find when I sat down for dinner, that was the extent of it. I’ve had relationships where I’ve gotten roses and love letters, one year I was dumped, and the rest are a vague memory that I choose not to fixate on.

However, with the birth of my son I knew I was going to have to set some better examples and make sure this day was a special reminder of the love I have for him – the number one guy in my life! Don’t worry, I still plan on expressing and showing him that love all the other 364 days of the year.

Special thanks to everyone who came together to collaborate on this shoot (especially it being my first one)!

All photos taken by: Captured by Marcedys 
Styled by: Chaos + Creative
Location: Highstreet – Community Room
Makeup: Rose Quartz Makeup
Flowers: Sequel Events
Banners: Little Sprout Creations
Cupcakes & Cookies: Sugar Flour Bake Shoppe
Wood Signs: Pacific Coast DIY  
 

All About That Mom-Hustle!

Back in late 2016 I was graciously asked and invited to be part of my very first ‘blogger’ photo shoot with another mama and baby duo. The whole theme was around ‘Moms who Hustle’, and being a single mom who works from home, I could definitely relate with the concept behind this shoot.

I will admit I was extremely nervous arriving for hair and makeup the day of. For one, I am far from a model, I have no idea what to do when you say pose (Amber did an amazing job trying to get me to loosen up), and I’m bringing my unpredictable baby (who was just around a year at the time). Sounds like the perfect combination right?

Sure enough the day went a lot better then I had imagined. Not to mention there were a few hiccups and uncooperative moments – but you just go with it, or better yet hand your baby off to the makeup artist – Shayla!

Looking back on this shoot I’ve had a chance to really reflect on what it truly means to hustle. Being a stay at home, single, working parent my days are all over the place. I try and keep my days strictly to Ry and focusing on him and being the best mom I can be. Not to mention how hard it is to type or answer an email when your child is constantly grabbing at the screen! Once Ry is down for the night I am usually able to get some work done. I will admit some nights I don’t get much accomplished. Raising a very active toddler is no easy task and once he’s asleep, sorry, sometimes this mom wants to get some shut eye as well.

For all the moms who work full-time, raise a family, and maintain an active blog – my hats off to you! I’m still trying to find that balance. None the less I am proud to be a hustling mom!

Photos by: Amber Leigh Photography

Vendors:

Shirts – Leo and Jude
Clothing – Jax & Lennon Clothing Co. & Humble Humans Apparel
Jewlery – Mint & Birch 
Makeup – Shayla: Rose Quartz Makeup Services
Hair – Stephanie: Mobile Session Stylist
Sign – Pacific Coast DIY
Coffee Cups – Hand Lettered By Bev