Confessions of a Serial “Fresh Starter”

Hi, my name is Tanitha and I am addicted to making life changing goals that I never follow through on. I have seriously lost count of how many times I have wanted to revamp my house, my body, my health, my filing system, my routine, my blog, my organization skills, how I run my business etc etc etc…

Anyone with me on this?  Here’s the problem though, I almost always bite off more than I can chew or try to do everything at once, which inevitably leads to ‘failure’, and me getting down on myself and then often reverting further away from where I wanted to be than before, it is a vicious cycle and has not served me thus far so I am re-assessing and looking for better ways to go about things.

The first thing that I know is a problem for me is a serious case of impatience, like I start working out and if three days in I haven’t lost 15 lbs I feel discouraged which I realize is insane (and a huge exaggeration), but I have a hard time focusing on the good (like how positive I feel after a work out regardless of any instant-success that doesn’t actually exist for anyone). Same thing with organization, last week I was super lucky to have Bryn’s Mom here for a day and a bit and she played with Hudson while I got some de cluttering done, but I only got half way through the miscellaneous papers everywhere so the mess just feels like it has increased and I haven’t touched them since even though I know if I just took 20 minutes a few times a week I could easily stay on top of it all.

What is 20 minutes though? That’s 1/3rd of an hour! It doesn’t seem like much but really, my one year old will rarely happily play by himself for that long and loves getting into whatever I am up to, especially neatly piled and organized papers and there aren’t enough sets of 20 minutes in my world where he is sleeping… so again, I must be looking at it all wrong…

All this being said I am working on shifting my overall mindset and I know as I make small changes in that, I will be honing the tools I need to be more successful in making other shifts in my life. Here are the best of the best things I have learned lately that I am working on integrating into my life (slowly and patiently of course haha)…

DO NOT MAKE A TO DO LIST… what?! Yes, you read that right. IF you are all about the lists and do well with that all the power to you, but when I write a to do list it is more like setting myself up for failure because I try to cram too many things into it and cannot possibly make a go of completing it. A great tip I just recently heard, and this could pertain more to working from home but I think blog and business aside just as a Mom at home this is a great tool…

Check-in with yourself on the hour and do the one thing that is most important thing for you to accomplish within that hour. This can be business related or not. So sometimes it might be taking your little one outside for a little walk or play before you both lose it. It could be as simple as filling your water bottle up and ensuring you finish all that water within the hour, it can be sending that email you have been putting off, emptying the dishwasher, doing your social media post. Simple, attainable, small tasks. Bam, all of a sudden you feel more successful! I will be continuing to implement this one, I have started with every two hours and will work my way to hourly – and this doesn’t need to be all waking hours it can be set hours like 9-5 or something – make it work for you!

Be both disciplined & gracious with yourself. I know, like really really KNOW that as much as I am generally a positive person and up beat I treat myself in a way I would never treat anyone else ever. Blech, I hate to even announce that but I know there are lots of us out there that need to be more kind to ourselves and it is a hard thing to change! First off being disciplined – a concept I have been trying to wrap my head around when it comes to my business is would I hire/fire myself? I have an amazing opportunity to work for myself but that being said WORK still needs to get done and so I have been working on ways to be working hard for myself and making the time I spend count! As far as being gracious towards myself – one thing – I have been trying to do that has helped is waking up and smiling at myself in the mirror – messy hair, dark circles, perfectly rested – however you roll out of bed in the morning give yourself a smile – even do a Joey “Hey, how you doin?” if you dare. Silly, uncomfortable, life changing. I admit I don’t always remember to do this depending on how my day starts but it helps me so much to start my day off by being kind to myself.

Those are my little simple things I am doing – and no my life is not suddenly going to be transformed top to bottom but I am learning patience and allowing myself to learn and grow and head steadily in the right direction even if it is in a one step forward and two steps back sort of way – that is still an improvement to a few steps forward followed by an about face and sprint in the opposite direction – right?!

Hiatus Over - some thoughts on blogging, priorities, blogger burnout and time management!

Peeking Out from Behind my Blogging Hiatus…

Since it has been a while I should begin with, Hello!

There are a few reasons I decided to take a break and to be honest it started accidentally and continued on purpose! Life is busy and full and stressful at times and I just didn’t make it a priority! I needed a break to re-assess. I’ve seen that quote on several instagram accounts lately floating around about (and I’m going to paraphrase here so don’t quote me) just saying something isn’t a priority right now rather than I don’t have time and see how that feels. So here I am admitting that I have the same 24 hours in the day as all the amazingly productive and consistent Mama Bloggers out there and I just haven’t been using those hours to spend on my blog. Is that okay? Yes.

Something I read a lot about when I was getting ready to launch my blog was “new blogger burnout” and also high stats on new blogs not making it past the three month mark and if you make it past three months, chances are you won’t make it past six – crazy! I can totally see why now – the truth is that blogging is really fun and a wonderful outlet but also that they can be a whole pile of work, the social media and numbers can be overwhelming and it all can be super time consuming depending on your style, subject and how often you post. I was finding even posts that flowed easily out of me would take me hours (like 4+ at least) until I was satisfied enough to post them between re-wording and figuring out photos (and photography is not a strength for me yet), and then spending an hour on even the most simple graphic, basically felt like a chore that is not my intention for this blog.

It’s been weird at times beginning blogging, some things feel a bit like high school and I will say that I have not had any negative experiences, just my own insecurities, not quite being as cool as the super awesome Vancouver blogger circle and silly issues spending way too much time checking my stats and page views rather than finding ways to offer value and connect. SO I am over all of that now – it is out of my system, I have been loving instagram even more lately and realized how much truth there is in that old quote about not comparing your first chapter to someone else’s 12th, or 200th for that matter – duh. Also realizing that I don’t love Twitter so maybe that means that I just don’t really use it – who cares? This is my blog and why not run it accordingly since I get to be my own boss in this scenario – I might as well be a cool boss that doesn’t make me do stuff I don’t want to… I admit this post is getting weird but I shall proceed anyway.

I just made it past the 6 month mark a few days ago (if the last month of not posting on the blo counts teehee) and the break I took made it clear that I do want to keep blogging, just that I need to adjust my expectations of what that looks like for me! So maybe that means not spending an hour (in the middle of the night often) being a weird finicky perfectionist because that is sooo not me in real life!

I am turning 30 this year and have spent a lot of time thinking about how I want my life to look going forward I have been spending a lot of time trying to work on myself and develop and figure out both my strengths and weaknesses. I have also been working on self-care and learning to let go of things that cause unnecessary stress and take away from quality time with my family because that is just plain the stage I am in and I want to be as present and healthy as possible in that!

So this is me, peeking out from behind my blog break, super happy to be back! I’m going to go set a 20 minute timer and not spend a second longer making  title graphic, cool? Cool! See you sooner next time & thanks for popping back in to check out my blog again!

xo Tani

Essential OilsAnd Oral Health

Essential Oils and Oral Health

Welcome to Friday Essentials! … Saturday Night Edition :D

Okay so I knew I needed a pretty graphic for such a random seeming post, because I know Oral Health is not exactly riveting and throw in the Essential Oils and it might seem really out there but I think this is an important topic and hey I get to run this little corner of the internet so here we go!

So I mentioned a few months ago that the dentist finally convinced me about the importance of flossing and taking better care of my teeth (they weren’t rotting out of my mouth or anything, I just wasn’t flossing very often, or really at all), and I was super excited to learn how helpful essential oils can be to help with this. (yes, I meant excited!!!)…

Here are a few things that your oral health can impact:

– Gum disease/inflammation
– Self-esteem (I feel wayyyy better after I clean my teeth!)
– Appearance
– People with pre-existing diabetes are more susceptible to complications.
– Respiratory Health
– Bad Breath
– Infections in the mouth & body
– Tooth loss (not the kind where another one is on it’s way heehee)
– Digestive health
– They are still exploring links between oral health & cardiovascular health

My Top Essential Oils for Oral Health (I would probably add Spearmint too but I don’t have it yet & want to share my own experiences):

Using Essential Oils for your Oral Health

*these oils have a ton of other uses, but these are how they apply to oral care*

***As always I am talking about essential oils that are organic and truly pure & if an EO advises on the bottle to not to use internally they shouldn’t be used as I am suggesting below***

Clove: This oil is an antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, analgesic, antiseptic, nervine, regenerative, immune stimulant. So everyone needs some clove in their lives, it has been used historically for toothaches & bad breath. It is a hot oil and so should always be used diluted on the skin so it does not cause irritation but is okay to use undiluted on a sore tooth in an adults mouth, I would always dilute for children.

Peppermint: Some relevant properties: Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral. I would venture to say most people are familiar with peppermint in their toothpaste, mouthwash, gum, and floss because it is wonderful for freshening your breath & tastes so good! It is good for so much more than that though, kills germs and a whole lot more!

Melaleuca a.k.a. Tea Tree: Antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, analgesic. Helps with cavities and gum disease! To be honest I haven’t tried this one yet, I just came across this as I was firming up my research for this post but I like the taste & can’t wait to add it to our next mouth wash!

Here are some easy, all natural & inexpensive ways to re-vamp your Oral health regimen:

Mouthwash: I used a recycled glass kombucha bottle, filled it with previously boiled & then cooled water (leftover from the kettle) & added 8 drops of peppermint EO and 2 drops of clove. Oil & water don’t mix (duh) so you have to shake well before you take a swig & then swish and you have the choice to swallow or spit it out. It is also awesome to gargle with if you are feeling a sore throat coming on.

Using Essential Oils for your Oral Health - Mouth Wash

Breath Freshening Spray: A one or two oz little glass spray bottle is perfect for this, just add water and 2-4 drops of your EOs of choice, and just shake it up and spray when your breath needs a boost! Perfect when you are on the go, you can play around with what taste you prefer!

Teeth Whitening: Activated Charcoal!!! This works so well, I have done it twice now and there is a visible difference in how white my teeth are each time! This is recommended to do weekly, not more often. You can buy capsules at the health food store, they are pretty cheap so you are literally whitening your teeth for a teeny tiny fraction of the price of conventional whitening strips & without all the crazy chemicals, so a total win win! You can choose to bring essential oils into this if you want, it’s actually okay without but way better with.

Activated Charcoal - Essential Oils for Oral Health

Here’s what you do: wet your toothbrush, break open an activated charcoal capsule and dump it on your toothbrush (I find with the ones we buy are good for both me and my husband so we split one) add a drop of clove, peppermint, protective blend, or spearmint. Brush for 2-3 minutes, it is messy, your mouth will be black but once you rinse a few times you will have whiter teeth!

It’s this cute:

Activated Charcoal Brushing

Brushing with Clove: If you just want to give your mouth a little overhaul, add a drop of clove with your toothpaste, it is a bit of a shock but my mouth feels oh so clean after!

Natural Toothpaste: I have a lovely friend that sometimes brushes with just baking soda, but I just can’t hack it – it makes me gag… So do your own research about fluoride, I never had a problem with it before, but I have come to question if it is really necessary… SO we are using an all natural toothpaste that contains EOs and I am obsessed, I will never go back, if you want a suggestion shoot me a message! I also love that it is safe for little Huddy to use as well!

Clean your toothbrushes: I think everyone has heard the gross studies about what can lurk on our toothbrushes, so what I have begun to do is throw our toothbrushes in a glass with two drops of clove while I am cleaning the bathroom to give them a good cleaning as well! Doesn’t get any easier than that!

That wraps up my super awesome ideas on re-vamping your oral care & I promise it is all really easy and way cheaper than other oral health products out there! So now you know!

xo Tani


It’s All an Illusion: My First Video Blog

Hello & welcome to my first Video Blog!

I’m chatting about the illusion and misconception we can create whether it’s social media or the state of our home ;)

I’ve had lots on my mind that I’ve wanted to share but I just haven’t made time to write much lately so I thought I would integrate videos on my blog from time to time in order to be more efficient! Let me know what you think of this way of blogging & also your thoughts on the topic!

xo tani

Im Opting Out of Mommy Guilt

I’m Opting Out of Mommy Guilt

… And Guilt in General

Maybe it’s a cultural thing, being Canadian and apologetic or regretful, if you haven’t heard jokes to that effect you really haven’t lived… but it’s been kind of a problem for me.

Something I immediately noticed when I became a Mom was the term ‘Mom Guilt’ dun dun dun… and to be truthful I dove head first in to major guilt with having to supplement my son with formula (you can read about that here) and it took me almost the first year of his life to get past it. That guilt took away from a lot of joy I was feeling, and let me tell you it was just the first of just so many things to beat myself up about.

Love Yourself!

So I’ve decided to stop. Just like that. Who has time for guilt? Before you know it, you could be beneath a huge mountain of guilt & the guilt can turn to anxiety, fear of doing anything in case you do it “wrong” and it can kind of incapacitate you. Blah. No thank you. Not that anything is quite that simple when it comes to changing the way you think, but once I came to the realization that I was sick and tired of feeling badly about so many little things, I knew something needed to shift in the way I was thinking.

I am not saying that if something big and life altering happened I wouldn’t feel bad, I’ve just tried to shift my thinking  about the “little things”, and if I do feel bad about something, I have been making a concerted effort to change it. My son fell going up the stairs on the slide at swimming lessons, it was 100% my fault for not helping him all the way up and I felt awful, but he was okay so rather than dwelling on how badly I felt, I will just make sure to not put him or me in the position for it to happen again.

Don't look back

This seems to be such a common thing, for Mom’s especially – and I was doing it all the time myself, standing around talking about how bad we feel about so many things pertaining to our kids, and almost each and every thing discussed is something within our control to change. I was feeling guilty about all of the screen time our little guy got when he was sick a couple weeks ago, but now I see that as an option – 1) stop doing it or 2) accept that screen time is inevitable and let it go. Feeling bad about unhealthy food options for you or your kiddos? Same thing, either make a change or let it go because there is no point beating yourself up over something you aren’t willing to change, in fact feeling badly about it for me only causes me to eat even more unhealthy foods – it is a weird negative cycle.

How about this one? I see it all. the. time. Moms feeling badly for having time to themselves, whether it’s a night out with friends or…  even, wait for it, a hair appointment. (I’m not saying this can’t apply to Dads too by the way) I know I am a much better Mom when I have had some time to do things I enjoy with people that I enjoy. This one was really hard for me for a long time even when I knew he was being left in great hands I would want to hurry back. That isn’t even about my son though, that’s some weird need to be needed that I know most people feel but guess what, your child is fine without you while you are gone (9 times out of 10), and will still love and need you just as much when you get home. I know for me, 5 minutes back in the door and he is whining and trying to climb my leg and I wonder what the rush was to get home ;)…

Little Monkey

So the moral of my little rant is to go easy on yourself, or make a change. For me it has been, and will be, a work in progress but I knew that I needed to make a change and work on focusing on the positive, the things I am good at both as a Mom and as just me, and I have felt a huge shift in my thinking and the way I feel about myself.

I would love if you would comment below about some of things in life you have let go of, or are changing whether it is a parenting thing or just life thing!

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…)