HouseBox Review - A great Subscription Box

House Box: A Subscription Box I Could Get In To!

House Box: A great solution for Canadian Homes!

I don’t know if you have noticed the trend but subscription boxes are big right now & I totally understand why. However, up until this point I hadn’t seen one that I thought I would really want to commit to that wouldn’t just add to the clutter of my closet, my desk, my house…

House Box is different & such a great idea, I absolutely love that the focus is household products, the products are mostly consumable and therefore because you will use them up, they won’t add clutter! I love this quote from the website and couldn’t put it better myself:

“We wanted to provide a service to customers who care about having safe, natural and lovely products in their home, and to companies who have not yet reached all Canadians with their product offerings.”

It’s a beautiful plan, matching Canadians up with unique products, and matching up these lesser known companies with their potential customers, seems like the perfect match to me! I think most people in general and definitely parents do not always take the time to find products that they absolutely love, and will keep using what they have always used just because it is easier, so this is a great way to discover those products you love without having to do the searching, House Box has done it for you!

I have felt the need for a while, I think since becoming a Mom, to at least try to remove unnecessary chemicals from our home so I especially love that the products in the box are natural and safe. I think a lot of people are making a shift in this direction if they aren’t already there, and House Box could definitely help introduce me to the products that I want to have more of in our home!

Here’s what was in December’s Box:

Essential 8 Organic All Purpose Cleaner:

This cleaner not only smells great but works really well & I don’t have to worry about where I use it because it is safe on all different surfaces and it is non toxic and not dangerous for my little guy.

HouseBox Review - Essential 8 Organic All Purpose Cleaner

Lunatec Odour Free Dishcloth:

This cloth is amazing, I conveniently had a pan leftover from last night’s appy supper that had baked on debris and it worked super well to scrub it off – great find! A huge bonus too is that it is odour free, I have been have a tough time with stinky cloths until I remembered the old trick of microwaving the damp cloth for a couple minutes to kill the stinky stuff! Either way I love that I won’t even have that issue with this cloth!

House Box Review - Lunatec Odour Free Dishcloth

Tupperware Citrus Peeler:

Did anyone else grow up with these? I love love love them and was so super excited to find one in my House Box! (more…)

Local Wanders: Pemberton

Pemberton

Oh Pemberton, it holds a very special place in my heart simply for the reason that it was here I laid eyes on my hubby for the first time in years which led to some extremely awkward non dates which led to real dates, falling in love and getting married – in Pemberton. Ah sweet sweet love! But alas this post is not about our pretty awesome love story but rather about Pemberton, or also affectionately known as Pemby. Look, the fungus even grows in a heart shape!!!

I love the idea of setting out somewhere familiar with the intent of enjoying it like you are just passing through and trying to take in all of its wonder as if you won’t see it again and I don’t do it nearly enough but today I did!

Local Wanders: Pemberton BC

Bryn’s parents live in Pemberton so we are up here a fair bit, but to be honest we usually settle in at their place and barely leave (something about it just feels like a retreat). But when we do that I always feel like I’ve missed out on something as we drive away because it is just so gorgeous and there are some many great spots to check out. It is a haven/heaven for outdoor enthusiasts from mountain bikers to sledders (not to be mistaken with toboggans, like snow mobiles), not to mention back country skiing and snowboarding.

At this stage in life we really aren’t any of those things, so I can’t give you the inside scoop on any secret spots but I can share some great places you should check out if you are in the area. Speaking of which Pemberton is a mere 30 minutes (or less depending on who is driving) from the famous Whistler.

Easy Family Friendly Walks

Two easily accessible and family friendly walks are One Mile Lake and Narin Falls. You can’t miss either of them if you are headed to Pemberton from Whistler.

Local Wanders: Pemberton @ One Mile Lake

Narin Falls is a fairly easy and super beautiful 1.5km walk along the Green River to a great view point for the falls. You can see more info about the park and campground on the BC Parks website here. I’ve seen families with kids of all ages on the trail right up to elderly people with canes just taking it easy down the trail! I haven’t taken or seen any strollers, I would recommend a carrier if you have little ones that can’t walk it (or at least at a reasonable pace – you know what I mean if you’ve tried to get a toddler to go the direction you want them to while also not stopping every three seconds).

Local Wanders: Pemberton BC Beautiful Forest Trails

Fun fact! There is a trail that actually goes from Narin Falls to One Mile Lake which is right in Pemberton, also very easy to drive to.  One Mile lake has a great loop trail around it which consists of some Boardwalk and some forest trail all right along the lake. It is absolutely gorgeous 100% stroller friendly and it’s nice to have the option to keep doing loops or just do one loop if you have a restless little one. There are also work out stations which are handy so you can do more of a fully body work out without having to think – I am a fan of not having to think.

Local Wanders: Pemberton BC

Good Eats

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Cranberry & Pear Smoothie - Be kind to Santa and give him (and the reindeer) the gift of health! Imaginary Sails Blog

Cranberry & Pear Smoothie

What could be more delightful than a Christmas themed smoothie? How about a beautiful Christmas themed smoothie that is not only a festive colour, is packed full of anti-oxidants, and tastes great?

I will cut right to the chase, cranberries are fabulous for your health, high in nutrients and mix well with other flavours. This is a great addition to your smoothie rotation and chances are at this time of year you will have the ingredients on hand.

Cranberry & Pear Smoothie, a great way to get some goodness into yourself in an indulgent time of year! Imaginary Sails Blog


Ingredients:

2 Cups of fresh or frozen cranberries

1 Whole Banana

1 Whole ripe Pear (or even two if they are on the small side)

1 1/2 Tbsp chopped Ginger (I am a huge ginger fan, if you are not, simply omit. If you are also a fan, check out some other gingery smoothies here and here)

1/2 Cup Cherries (optional: I added because my pear was not super ripe – see notes below)

2 Cups Liquid (I added one cup water, one cup coconut milk – if you prefer a sweeter smoothie I would recommend one cup of juice such as orange or apple. You could also add some yogurt if it tickles your fancy)

Cranberry & Pear Smoothie, a great way to get some goodness into yourself in an indulgent time of year, blend it up! Imaginary Sails Blog

Directions:

Toss it all in your blender and blend well! Pour and enjoy, if you have a festive straw – even better ;)

Cranberry & Pear Smoothie, a great way to get some goodness into yourself in an indulgent time of year, blend it up! Or leave it for Santa to give him a boost on his big night! Imaginary Sails Blog

Notes:

  • Although I had them for days fully expecting them to be quite ripe my pear was still on the firm side, so you may not need to add cherries, or you may need less liquid).
  • My hubby tried it with some black rum and said it tasted better without, so if you are opting to spike it maybe something more mild like white rum! (you are welcome)
  • Our little one loved it & I love adding new tastes and foods to the rotation as much as possible)

I hope you enjoy this so much & it makes you feel so great to get some extra goodness in! I’m all for cookies and milk, but I’m sure Santa gets tired eating his way around the world so you could leave one of these for him too!

Cranberry & Pear Smoothie - Be kind to Santa and give him (and the reindeer) the gift of antioxidants! Imaginary Sails Blog

Cranberry & Pear Smoothie Give yourself and Santa the gift of health this year. Imaginary Sails Blog

Why I am NOT Hibernating this December

So it’s December! How in the world did that happen? The last two months have been a complete blur, I think I have my baby (okay fine, he’s pretty much a toddler but I just can’t bring myself to say it yet) and my other baby – this blog to thank for that swift flight of time. There’s something that I tend to do at the beginning of December, and it has nothing and everything to do with the upcoming Christmas festivities. And winter. And Bears. I pretty much start preparing my body as if I am going to be hibernating, at whatever stage I am at with my fitness (or most often lack of), I pretty much just let it all go and figure that I will deal with it once it is all over in January which needless to say is not a great route. I always feel like a blob by January. So gross, and feeling guilty because I haven’t been taking care of myself and then it just takes that much longer to get motivated, the worse it is the longer it takes etc. etc. – you get the picture…

So I mentioned a few posts back that I had run a 5km fun run and it wasn’t as bad as I thought so I wanted to do a little more running. Well that was about two and a half weeks ago and although I’ve been for a few walks and have done one Barre workout via YouTube (if you haven’t heard of those they are pretty awesome and intense and not too loud if you have a sleeping little one you don’t want to alarm with a bunch of jumping around). No runs. Not that running is the be all end all of my fitness but it is such a good release!

I dragged myself out for a run tonight, checked the time and told myself I couldn’t go home for at least 20 minutes. It was pouring rain, cold, windy, dark, I was by myself – all of my least ideal scenarios when it comes to a run. Pretty much all of the excuses I usually use to talk myself out of a run. I considered finding a video on youtube, or sitting and writing a blog post but instead I put on bright turquoise pants and a neon pink jacket (that doesn’t currently zip without looking ridiculous thanks to not enough runs and too many chocolate breaks), and got my booty out that door. (more…)

What is Inspiration to You - Imaginary Sails Blog

What is Inspiration to You?

What is inspiration? To be honest this post came to me because this past week I’ve been waffling a bit in my blogging endeavour. At first my biggest fear with starting a blog was that no one would read it, and now that I’m two months in (well that absolutely flew by!) the fact that people actually are reading it was scaring me more! I’ve been shying away from conversations and questions about my blog, which is silly! I put time and effort and hope into this, I should be happy to talk about it. I want to push myself outside of my comfort zone because that is where growth happens. I want to challenge myself and reach goals and hopefully touch other people on my way there. I don’t want a fear of failure to keep me where I am…

So back to inspiration – to me inspiration is something that gets you excited, gets your creative juices flowing, and makes you want to do better! It makes you think big and dream big and puts your hopes that drive you above your fears that want to hold you back.

 

What is Inspiration to you? - Imaginary Sails

 

Here are a few things that have been inspiring me lately: (more…)

Imaginary Sails - the weird feeling of being a work at home mom.

Weird (non) Work Days

It’s been a weird day. I feel like I was just getting back into the swing of working when I stopped working – and by working I am referring to my paying job. I was acutely aware all day today that I should have been at work, even though I shouldn’t have been. I have taken a step back to casual from two days each week after a month back from maternity leave. I made this choice for lots of reasons but essentially childcare (or lack of) and barely bringing anything home when it was all said and done were the major factors. If I’m barely making anything doing something I am less than passionate about – I’d rather find ways to mostly be a work-at-home-mom for now, especially with all the changes in our lives lately including my hubby Bryn now being self-employed which means an all over the map and fairly unpredictable schedule.

Our work lives have changed drastically in the past couple of months not to mention all the work our energetic little bundle takes as well!

It feels like I’ve had a job forever, which isn’t quite accurate but very close to at least half my life so far, and definitely all of my adult life… so while technically I am still a casual employee all that means is I will work the odd day if I can when (and if) they call. I’m a bit worried about this new chapter.

Here’s why:

  • I’m not a routine person.
  • I am not a creature of habit or structure (in most ways).
  • I would like to think what money I do (or don’t) make doesn’t define me or give me value – but I am freaking out a little inside (and now publicly) about the fact that I will not be bringing in much (for now).
  • I am a master procrastinator, which equals me being adequate but maybe more often than not sub par in the all things domestic department.

 

Weird Work Days - Back to work then back home again after mat leave - my plan to get more organized in this unstructured life. (more…)

Thankful Thoughts

I wanted to write a Thanksgiving post, sharing the joy of the current season that I love so much. I know that I have so much to be thankful for and when I really really think about it, it overwhelms me in a good way, but overwhelmed is overwhelmed.

We had a very busy weekend and of course that comes with a busy week leading up to the said busy weekend, we hosted our sons first birthday party (and even though it was smallish it sure felt big!) and had another little family gathering a few days before that on his actual birthday, had family and friends come and stay to join us and celebrate, followed by a delicious Thanksgiving turkey dinner on Sunday as well and I really could not have asked for more!

Something was niggling at me though, as the thought of writing this post (or rather the ideas of what I thought this post should be) sat in the back of my mind it just didn’t feel right, like it would be a bit of a show and not quite genuine. Hmmm. That didn’t sit well so I waited a few days to try to process this. I think the catch was this: I was just plain tired and kind of grumpy, by Monday night (actual thanksgiving) I was feeling so run down and depleted and really could have cried, even though I had a ton of help with all of the busyness and didn’t even host the Thanksgiving meal! It is amazing (annoying) what lack of sleep can do to my emotions in a bad way. I felt guilty that I was so tired and blah when I thought I should be just grateful and happy and content.

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Kale Pineapple Smoothie

Here is a little dose of sunshine for you this morning! I absolutely love pineapple, it always puts a smile on my face and when it is blended up in a smoothie I can almost convince myself that I am in Hawaii, they were on for a smokin deal at the grocery store so I went for it.

Imaginary Sails - Kale Pineapple Smoothie2

Ingredients:

2C Kale
1 Pineapple
1/2 large Avocado (or a whole smaller one)
2TBSP Hemp Hearts
Water
Coconut Milk (optional, can use other type of milk if desired)
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A Few Small Tips on Dealing with Big Change

Sometimes life just coasts along, some things change but they are small and hardly noticed and don’t seem to disrupt a thing. Things are comfortable, safe and predictable like a well broken in pair of jeans BUT sometimes a slightly less comfy new pair of jeans gives you some extra swagger in your step and THAT is what I am trying to remember.

Aside from the small detail of becoming parents our life for the past couple of years has been chugging along smoothly, my hubby with a decent and steady job at a local mill (the reason we relocated here), me enjoying my year of mat leave and expecting to return to work full time (a bit begrudgingly of course), we bought a house, upgraded a vehicle and were relatively comfortable with most aspects of our life.

Then all of a sudden … SO. MUCH. CHANGE.

The hubby gets a lay-off notice.

I am told my position at the bank has been eliminated but they will probably have something for me at one of the two branches on the coast… Or they will have a severance package for me. Nbd.

My chronic procrastinator self actually starts looking for childcare and realizes there might be one option that will take our little guy and by the time we pay childcare more of my income will be going to that than I will bring home… I had been assuming that I would just simply go back to work and even though the thought of being away from our son broke my heart I was kind of just thinking that was the only option. Eyes. Opened.

Change is stressful, even good change. But it is also so good to shake things up sometimes and that is what I have learned in the past few months as we have navigated all of this (and still are navigating). We are fortunate that my husband has a trade and is taking the leap to self-employment. He just finished his first week working for himself and although that comes with its own set of headaches I think it will be more fulfilling In the long run. I am going back to work just two days each week and then providing a bit of childcare myself, as well as blogging!

So in short we have a lot of learning, adjusting, moving on and scheduling to do. Some days I forgot we even had anything to worry about but then some nights I couldn’t sleep because I was going over all the “what ifs” in my mind. Over and over. And over.

Here are a few things that helped and is helping me keep my head:

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Zesty Blueberry Bliss Smoothie

If you are just getting your feet wet with this whole green smoothie business, and don’t really want to taste any greens this is a perfect smoothie for you! It’s got delicious blueberries and banana then some added zing that will make your tastebuds smile.

Imaginary Sails - Zesty Blueberry Bliss Smoothie

An added bonus as cold season is upon us, not only is this smoothie packed with Vitamin C, but the wonderful and super healthy Ginger. Ginger is not only known for soothing a sore belly – as in gas and other digestive issues, it is also used as an anti-nauseant (BONUS: it is safe for pregnant women), it also has anti-inflammatory properties and will give your immune system a boost, so get that Ginger in with your greens and Vitamin C!

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