Mama | Wife | Minimalist

Raising tiny humans one cup at a time

Oh hey, and welcome!

Mom life. What does that even mean? For me it means real life. It’s not cuddles, kisses, and peaceful nature walks. Mom life is real life and that’s what this is all about.

Here you’ll find little snippets of my life as a working mom. I’ll be sharing all my favourite recipes, activities, shops, brands, and products.

Now grab yourself a cup (or pot) of coffee and join me as I navigate the rough waters of motherhood.

•Keisha

Strawberry Bananza Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients/amounts can be adjusted according to your personal tastes and preferences. If you like a thicker smoothie bowl use less liquid, if you like a thinner smoothie bowl use more liquid.

Blend together:
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 frozen or fresh banana
1/2 cup almond milk or your preferred milk
1tbsp vanilla protein powder

Transfer to bowl and add toppings. Some of my favourites are:
-granola
-chia seeds
-shredded coconut
-honey
-fresh berries
-banana slices
-yogurt

Once you’ve chosen your toppings, mix and enjoy!

A Tubie Mamas Words

It’s great tubie loved

Feeding and weight gain have been a struggle since day one. There was a time at which I would look at my beautiful baby girl and think to myself “at least she doesn’t need a feeding tube”. All I thought was how much worse things would be if she needed tube feeding. Boy was I wrong!

We spent months fighting to get her to eat. So many hours were spent crying and begging my baby to eat. We’ve spent more days and nights in numerous hospitals than I can remember. We’ve heard countless times the phrase “she will eat when she’s hungry” and been told many times that it’s just a temporary phase that will pass. We’ve had a doctor walk into our room only to say “she looks fine to me” and walk out. We’ve had people ask us questions that we don’t even have answers to. There have been an unspeakable amount of NG tube insertions, all of which were meant to be temporary because “she will be eating in no time!”. There came a point in which we realized that this isn’t going to be a short term thing and at which point a gastronomy tube was brought up. A G-tube, the one thing we feared most has now become our best friend. No more fighting to get food into her. No more screaming at the sight of a bottle. No more traumatic NG tube insertions. Just a happy, comfortable, fed baby who is now thriving!

Having a G-tube has allowed Briellas relationship with food to heal and grow. At almost 2 years old she loves to eat! She will likely have her tube for many more years for supplemental purposes as she is very petite and still struggles to gain weight. It has been such a relief being able to live a somewhat normal life. As a mom; her first year of life felt somewhat empty. I still feel as though I was robbed of the precious newborn baby days and the excitement of each transition from bottle to sippy to solids and so on. However with that said I am so thankful for the things that the G-tube has given us. Sure her belly looks different but that doesn’t make her weird. Yes she’s got a hole in her stomach but that doesn’t make her gross. Her belly has two buttons and in absolutely no way does that make her any less beautiful!! My girl is strong, healthy, and beautiful and I hope that she grows to love herself as much as we love her.

Open-ended Play

What is open-ended play and why is it so important?

Open ended play essentially has no limits. It is fuelled by imagination and child led. Open-ended play is so incredibly important for the development of a child’s imagination. It sparks creativity and allows children’s cognitive skills to stretch to the best of their ability.

An open-ended toy is not easily outgrown. The uses of an open-ended toy grow with a child. Put simply; a child should play with a toy, the toy shouldn’t play with the child.

Do you feel like your house is overflowing with toys that aren’t being played with? Chances are most of those toys are not open-ended. Your child has likely mastered the intended form of play and is no longer interested in the toy.

Read on to see some of our favourite open-ended toys.

Sensory Bins

Sensory bins are perfect for open-ended play and the best part is you probably already have everything needed to make one!

Dried rice, beans, lentils, and pasta are great fillers for sensory bins. Throw in some cups and spoons and there you have it! To step it up a notch, you can make themed sensory bins. I like to dye our rice or pasta and provide some similar coloured pipe cleaners, pom poms, and muffin cups.

Sensory bins often keep my daughter occupied for an hour at the least. I love setting her up in the kitchen while I cook dinner or wash the dishes. It’s a win-win!

Playhouses and Climbing Structures

Playhouses are fantastic for open-ended play. Whether it be inside or outside I can confidently say it will provide endless hours of entertainment for your child. I’m sure many of us can remember playing “house” daily growing up.

Climbing structures are another great investment when it comes to play equipment. Not only will it improve their problem solving skills it will develop their gross motor skills tremendously!

Loose Parts

Loose parts are materials that can be moved, combined, carried, arranged, lined up and taken apart and put back together in many ways. As an adult, we look at these and think “what is my kid going to do with these other than make a mess!?” . However, when given loose parts children will see endless possibilities and use them in more ways than you could even imagine.

Loose parts can be anything. There are numerous companies that make some beautiful loose parts such as Grapat and Grimms but they can be very costly. It’s just as easy to make your own!

It’s important to note that loose parts should be chosen according to age. Generally anything that can fit through a toilet paper roll should not be given to young children who still mouth everything.

**Be sure to supervise young children and toddlers when playing with loose parts.

Arts and Crafts

Drawing, colouring, painting, making, cutting, gluing. Kids love arts and crafts! Enough said!

“Build a life that you love and you will never need a vacation”

Weekend Floor Remodel

I installed ceramic tile for the first time—here’s how!

That’s right! This mama ceramic tiled her entryway all by herself! Now I must say it’s not perfect but I’m pretty damn proud of it nonetheless.

You see; I’ve been whining about the floors to my husband for nearly 3 years. Three years ago we got Blaze. Although Blaze is a smart, handsome, and well behaved border collie, he wasn’t always. As a puppy Blaze liked to pass his time by chewing the floor instead of shoes— go figure eh? For a quick fix we glued some rugs down to cover all the horrendously chewed up floor boards. It worked great but what wasn’t so great is the amount of fur that damn rug collected.

Fast forward. We’re now 2 years into the floor being destroyed. Not only do we have a dog and a cat contributing to the never ending pile of fur on the rug, we now also have a toddler terrorizing the place and boy does she love peeling up that rug and the remaining flooring underneath.

Now, there comes a time when you just stop waiting and decide to just do things yourself. For me, that time was now.

Supplies

Saturday morning I packed up Briella and sent her to Nana and Papas house for the night. There was no way I was getting this job done with her here.

With free rein I headed to Home Depot. I got:
-ceramic tile
-pre mixed thinset
-pre mixed grout

On my way home I stopped by my moms place to grab the rest of what I needed:
-trowel
-tile spacers
-grout float
-grout sponge
-tile cutter and nippers

With everything I needed I headed home and started tearing up the laminate flooring by our main door.

Preparation

Since this was my first time dealing with a ceramic tile (okay, any flooring) project I decided to just do the small rectangle by our door. Ideally I wanted the small area by the entrance tiled, hallway left alone, and then the kitchen tiled however the kitchen can wait a few more weeks while I recover from this ordeal.

I ripped up all the laminate up until the hall wall started. Any long pieces that extended into the hall were marked and cut where needed. Once all the laminate was up I cut and discarded the foam lining that laid beneath it and swept all the dirt off the concrete.

Let the Fun Begin

With clean concrete and everything in hand I was ready to start. Typically for a tile job you would find the centre of the floor and work from there out so all your small cut tiles end up on the edges where it’s less noticeable. Since this area is so small and awkward I decided to work from the right wall toward the left wall under the shelving. I figured any small cut tile pieces would end up under the shelving where it can’t be seen anyway.

The first few tiles were a little shaky. Let’s be real, I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t about to let that stop me though! I spread a thin layer of my pre mixed thinset with the trowel and used the notches to create the raised lines for better contact with the tile. With each tile I laid I made sure to place one or two tile spaces in between to keep my spacing even.

When I got to the end of the first row I had to make my first cut. This was by far the hardest part of the entire project. Cutting tiles is like pulling teeth—you need to be careful not to break it but forceful enough to get the job done.

Wait

Now that all the tiles were laid I had to wait at least 24 hours for the adhesive to dry before grouting. I cleaned up the mess I had made and blocked the hall so the dog couldn’t get into any trouble. I spent the rest of the night hobbling around complaining about how bad my back and knees hurt.

Time to Grout!

When Sunday afternoon rolled around it was time to grout! This was a surprisingly quick process. I grabbed my container of grout, the float and the sponge with a clean bowl of water. Holding the float on an angle I forced the grout into all the spaces and joints between each tile. To remove excess and even it out I simply scraped the float over it making sure it was perpendicular to the floor. After applying all the grout I used the dampened sponge to wipe the tiles clean.

Then it was time to wait... again.

Finished!

I let the grout dry overnight and gave the floor a good wipe down again. That was it. I stood there and stared. I couldn’t believe what I had accomplished. I do still have to instal the transition strip that I picked up today. Other than that and maybe some grout sealant, this project is as good as done!

Next up— the kitchen!!

OH HEY, FOR BEST VIEWING, YOU'LL NEED TO TURN YOUR PHONE