2020, A Year for the Books

What a year 2020 has been, not just for a few of us but the whole world.

We were hit with so much this year, so many changes and learning.

In the beginning and let’s be real I still have hard days, but in the beginning my anxiety and mental health was greatly affected. My sleep changed and became so poorly as well. I was glued to the news and when not watching on TV, I was reading up on Twitter.
2020 has made me appreciate so much more about life.

Holiday celebrations this year has been so bitter sweet. My kids social life (in person) has been put on hold including mine. I have weeks were I have my shit together and emotions are not running thru my head and heart, then I have days where I don’t know how much longer I can take this. I want to be with family and friends, I want my kids to return to in school learning, to playdates, to go on trips, on trips to local attractions, etc…. I know that it has been hard for so many people and much harder for others. I am so lucky to be able to stay at home with my kids and have them do online learning. I have learned on those hard days to just let myself feel all the feels, if I need a good cry, I let myself have it, because when I use to fight them, those sad hard days lasted much longer.

Things that have helped me feel better and getting thru these times;

-Getting ready in the mornings, (some days makeup and all) but everyday out of pjs and get ready for the day.
-A good daily routine (having this makes days feel some what normal)
-Remind myself that it could be much harder, more positive thoughts
-Give myself down time (read, watch Netflix, YouTube, a long shower, or even a simple coffee alone in quite)
-Appreciate the slowness of life (no over packed schedules, no rushing)

-Getting back into an old hobby, trying a new ones
-Once a week (or every other week, depends how long my polish lasts)do my nails (at home)
-FaceTime with family and friends more often (FaceTime dates with friends)

-Going for a walk
-Letting things slide more
-Letting the kids pick out what we will do
-A nice drive with a Tim Hortons coffee and loud music


Do you have any tips to share with us?

Even though I can’t wait for regular life to return there are some things I have learned &/or enjoyed and will continue with once life is back to normal. Some of these things are, enjoy the little things more, no more over booking for all of us, having an off day is ok and to allow myself to feel all the feels, to never take gatherings, social events, even simple trips to the park for granted. The appreciation for the simple things in life, and so much more.
Do you have certain things you want to continue with even when life gets back to normal?
This time has taught me a lot of things, and when you learn from things that is a positive thing so not everything that has happened this year is all bad. 2020 has been the year I really learned we have a lot and really we only need a little. Things have really took the meaning of stuff/extras and a bonus to have but difinitley don’t need, I now realize we don’t really need. My biggest takeaway from 2020 is being thankful for the little things, I have learned that the little things are what means the most and the most important.

I am really loving all the extra slow family time we have together as a family of six and two fur babies. Love creating fun moments with my kids like, pj day during the week, even movie night during the week (we start it earlier in the evening) which never happened unless we were on holiday (ex: Chrismtas Break, summer break), all the time we have for so many extra crafts, how we transformed our backyard to a fun place to be, just a few things/examples to share with you. 2020 will definitely be a year we will never forget. A year for the books, a year our kids will tell their kids about.

When your feeling like you can’t, take a deep breath & remind yourself how far you have come.

Instead of only thinking how hard 2020 is/was, think of the good things that came out of it.
For me I started getting back into baking (which is something I loved, but didn’t always have the time for), For the slow mornings without having to rush out the door, I have made it thru online learning with the kids (which was hard to get into to at first), I also learned a lot about online learning to be able to support the kids, we started a new routine since we are all home now, I got to learn new things, I started new hobbies that who knows might become more then a hobby one day and if not I still learned and enjoyed, I got to try new recipes that I never would have the extra time to spare in the event it didn’t turn out and would have to make something else, more time for selfcare,I got to cuddle more with my babies, and all the times I could actully join in with my kids doing crafts. There is so much that is also positive about this time and when I have my down days I try to remind myself of the positive too. We had some many great bonding moments.

I also wanted to thank my online community for engaging, for sharing, for starting a new friendships, for following along, and all the support. I love sharing, blogging, making new connections, and I am so thankful for my online community.

What has been the best part of 2020 for you?

Before I end this post I would like to reach out to anyone needing a friend, going though a hard time and needing someone to talk to please feel free to contact me at isho.sandy@gmail.com.

This post also marks the last post for 2020, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and just know tho that even though this may continue into 2021 we can cheers to making it thru 2020 and are ready to continue pushing thru in 2021 and hoping for the best. Wishing you all and your families a Happy New Year filled with peace, love, & good health.

Remember be nice to everyone, please don’t judge anyone on their choices. We are all in this together, we are all trying to get through this the best way we know how.

Christmas Gift Guide 2020: For Him

Of course I had to include a Christmas Gift Guide for Him after doing one for Her. I also have a Gift Guide for Kids . These gift guides are a lot of work, but I love doing them and sharing my personal picks for you all. Let me know how you are like these gift guides. As I said in my last post, this year I feel it’s important to support local, more now than ever. Let’s jump right in.

  1. Sandy Vieira Avon Rep– This men’s sporty watch is a great affordable gift. It’s a great everyday watch and looks great on.

2. Treat a great Italian lunch &/or dinner from Antica Osteria, they offer dine in and take out options. A great date idea while enjoying great food and drinks. We love this restaurant.

3. Sockfootageco– These are great quality socks. They have fun patterns and your simple regular colors, so many to choose from. My hubby and son both love fun dress socks.

4. Urbrandapperman– Tie & Pocket square sets. There are so many different options to choose from. A great addition to any mans wardrobe. A great way to build up his section.

5. Ultimate Cards– For the sports lover in your life, what a great idea to get their picture on an Ultimate Sports card with their favourite sports team. Great for men caves or desk spaces, etc.. ULTIMATE cards are the most unique and premium gift for sports fans of all ages! It’s as easy as picking your favourite sport and customizing your favourite design from their online store. Check out their Instagram for more ideas.

6.The Balanced Company– I love a good Subscription box, this Men’s Balanced Lifestyle Box is the perfect gift for him. Filled with luxury products catered specifically for men. This is a great option for the men who have everything and want nothing.

7. Marion House– Beer Opener Wall Mount- great addition to the bar or outdoor space. Love the tin that hangs to collect all those beer/bottle caps.

8. Crated Designs Barrie- My husband loves personal custom gifts from his kids. This custom wood sign is a great piece for his workspace/shop/garage. These are custom so if you prefer something different, definitely check out their Instagram page for more ideas.

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are of my own.

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This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are of my own.

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Organizing & Decluttering

Hello friends,

On today’s post I will be sharing some organizing and decluttering tips that I use and it helps me get to it done.

I love to use bins and laundry baskets to sort piles out like relocate, toss, donate. Relocate can be something found out of place or I would like to use it in another part of the house, I also use that if I am going to hand it down to one of the kids.

Start small, you don’t want to feel overwhelmed, especially if you are dreading to even start. Also, getting those smaller areas done makes me feel accomplished, giving me that feeling to tackle another area.

Before you start on any room or/& space, visualize how you want the room/space to look like. Then you can choose a category on what to tackle first ex; supplies, books, papers, pictures, knick-knacks, etc… When it comes to your clothing and shoes, if there is a lot to go thru split the task. For example, tackle all your sweaters, then t-shirts and so forth. Making it less stressful and getting one category done will lead you to want to continue either at that same moment, if you have time, or on your next decluttering/organizing slot. You can apply that method to shoes too, do sandals first, the running shoes, etc…. I don’t mean all the shoes in your house. For me, we are a family of six, so I declutter by person. So, if I am doing my shoes and clothes I am only doing mine not anyone else. At this time in my life I only declutter clothing, shoes, bedrooms for myself and my two younger kids, ages 8 and 9 years old. My two older kids do their own and so does hubby.

I also answer these questions when decluttering:
1. Does it fit?
2. Do I still like this style?
3. When is the last time it was woren?

For home decor or/& knick-knacks I also ask myself questions, does this still go with our home decor? and is there too much stuff in this area? If it does not belong in that space I move it to where it should be.

If it doesn’t have a home it’s time to go.

I love decluttering and organizing, but I have to admit sometimes when I started full in I use to get overwhelmed, the amount to go thru when decluttering or even with organizing. I use to pull out my entire closet and then half way thru feel overwhelmed and leaving it for later, which later turned into some other time because then I would dread doing it. Or with kids I would have to stop to make snacks, lunch, or attend to them and that gives me less time. With time, I learned a better way, I would try ways to help these tasks become enjoyable and not stress me out. The most rewarding part of decluttering and organizing is having a space you love where your items have a home and you are able to find whatever you are looking for. Also, having a decluttered and organized kitchen, closet, bathroom, makes getting ready and looking for something so much easier with less time spent. I love reaching into my kitchen cupboard and being able to get what I need without having to search for it or take half of the cupboard out to get it. Same applies to my clothing and shoes so much easier to get dressed and know where everything is.

It gives me such peace of mind when I know where everything is. It also helps the whole family be able to get things on their own with simple or no direction.

I keep this up thru out the year. I usually do clothing, shoes, jackets before each change of season. I plan ahead to insure I start earlier, giving me the time to separate by category and family member.
For house decor and knicks-knacks, I do not need to go over so much anymore, as I have been keeping it down to what I like. If I deicide to redecorate or change up some decor, I deicide right there if I want the orginal decor for another spot in the house or it gets donated.

For my kitchen and bathroom cupboards & drawers, I don’t set certain seasons to do it, as these are well used parts in our home, I do those as I see necessary. Leaving it easier to up keep.

Now, onto the last category Seasonal Decor. A great idea is get rid of what you do not use once you have finished decorating for that season. I love Christmas decorations and found it so hard to get rid of any of it at one point in my life, but I changed that. Thanks to one year when my husband bought up every bin and box labeled Christmas and I saw the amount of bins and boxes with decor that I was holding onto for that what if moment which didn’t happen in years. That was when I really went thru everything and got rid of everything I wasn’t using. I also promised myself to not let it get that bad again, so every year what doesn’t get used gets donated &/or tossed. With that experience, I do that method to all my seasonal decor. Not only does this save you time when changing out your seasonal decor, it clears room in your storage space making everything else accessible and neat.

Remember just start some where. You don’t have to do everything in a day, week, or/& month. Plan your days as you go and see when you have time for it. Even with a small grab of time one of the smaller areas or things can get done and marked off your list. The first go at it, you may not let go of much or organize as much, but that’s ok. Once you get into a habit and do it more often thru out the year, the easier it will be and the more change you will see. Organize spaces to best work with you and your family. I learned over time as well that not every way others organize will work. Create organization for you, how you see and feel that it will work. If it doesn’t at the first go you can learn from it and change it to what will work. That’s how I got better at it, trail and error. In one of my previous post, I share my Top Productivity tips and that too was learned as I tried to come up with what works for me.

Do you have tips or advise on decluttering and organizing to share with our community? Comment below. I love hearing new ideas and methods that work with others and I can try. How often do you declutter and organize?

Have you checked out our Home School Room?

Covid-19 Emotions& Struggles

Hello my friends,

It’s been a while since I have posted on the blog, I hope this post finds you well. I have to admit that my moods have been up and down. I thought I would share some of my struggles and my emotional rollercoaster during this time. There is no right or wrong way on how we are dealing with life right now, everyone’s decision on what they do is what is right for them and their family.

In the beginning of all this, (back in March & beginning of April) I thought I was ok, but as we got more into April, l  realized I was a mess. Consuming way too much news and social media regarding Covid-19. It was affecting my mental health, having a hard time sleeping, and not wanting to do much other then what needed to be done for my family. Anyone else go thru it? I do suffer from Anxiety, which I believe made it easy for me to fall in this hole. I know there are much worse types of Anxiety out there, but just sharing mine. It felt that once Covid hit, so much more happened in our world that is very emotional changeling, we also became aware of so much more, and wanting to learn about it all. That can take a toll on our mental health, so much devastating news on top of a Global Pandemic.

 Once I realized how this was really affecting me, I decided to limit all news (social media & tv) to once a day, usually being around later in the mornings or late afternoon. I started filling up my day with things that took up my time and made me tired so I could get some kind of back to normal sleep. Yup, I started deep cleaning areas that I never had time for, organizing, and looking for new recipes, etc.. on top of trying to keep the kids entertained safe at home.  It took a few days, but it worked and just getting more sleep helped a whole lot. Once that came into place I was able to come up with a new routine and planning more fun things we could do at home and in our neighbourhood. Now, being honest here, we don’t always follow our routine or go by it 100%, but it did help with getting some normal back into our lives. I also experience days were I have it all together and do not feel the impact and then all of a sudden I am not on my game anymore and have those blah day(s) and that’s ok. It’s ok to slow down and let our bodies feel all emotions, get it all out and then get back up again. 

 In realizing that I was not the same person and losing interest in all regular things made me not want to continue in that path. I was feeling miserable no matter what I did. I knew I needed to take control before I couldn’t or get too lost in it where the problem controls you. Don’t get me wrong, everything isn’t great and smooth sailing everyday, but it has improved so much. It was a lot to handle and it was completely normal to go thru these feelings and moods. I do have these nights every so often where I am so tired but can’t sleep, of course with everything happening in the world, not just with Covid-19, also the unknown of things at times,  it is completely normal for that to happen. That fog brain feeling was the worst, couldn’t focus on things, feeling drained, etc… I am glad that I was able to make it happen less. I say less because yes it does happen here and there but at least it wasn’t going on for many days and very often. Did you get fog brain?

Just in case you think I have it all together, I am here to share I don’t. Some days are great and we go with the routine, other days are just go with the flow. I am totally off my blog content game. When I launched this year, I had so many great ideas, events, and content, and was all in.  Then Covid hit and everything was put on hold. I had to work, be a teacher, and everything else. It was a lot and I had to slow down on something. From all this I have learned it’s ok to fall off the line and that we are all in this together. It’s ok to think of the unknown, but to not let it consume my day. Many people that I have come in contacted with on Instagram dm’s or in person are going thru similar up and downs. This is a time for us to deal with each situation as best we can and allow us to step back too. We can plan our days, but we need to know it’s ok if the day doesn’t go as planned or if we end up doing nothing at all. We also need to support each other’s ways or the path others are taking. Everyone is dealing with this the best way they know how and no one’s ways are the same, each family knows what is best for them and their families.

As I wrap this up, I would like you to know if you need to talk to someone I am here. Please feel free to reach out to me by contacting me at ishosandy@gmail.com 

We are all in this together and we will all make it out together. 

Be kind to everyone, you never know what battle they are struggling with.

If you would like to share how this difficult time has been effecting you, or would like to share fun ideas to do during this time I would love to hear them, comment below.

March Break Family Fun 2020

March break is coming up, are you staying home with your kids & looking for some activities to do with them? I will list some places and links for you to check out for your March Break fun.

CREATIVE FAMILY FUN TIME
Starts February 22nd, 2020 @ Chris Gibson Recreation Centre (Variety of dates to choose from, see website)
Brampton

Family Fun In Toronto
March 9th-17th
The Art Gallery Toronto, ON
Nine days of drop in fun

March 11th-17th
Black Creek Pioneer Village-Take a trip back in time

Until March 17th
Winter fun at Ontario Place

Glama Gal
Offering different fun pkgs for each day of the March Break

Medieval Times
Toronto, ON

Skating Brampton, ON

Cineplex
4 Movies a day playing for only $2.99 each

Top 10 March Break Activities
Brampton, ON
Variety of options and ideas