Surviving (trying to, at least) Parenthood

The moment that little boy came into our lives, life as we knew it was changed forever. I instantly knew I was exactly where I was suppose to be in life. It was an amazing feeling that I have been striving to find for a long time.

Of course there are moments when my sanity is being tested. I knew being a mom wasn’t going to be a cake walk. I’ve had to really pay attention to myself and my needs because those days I spend alone with baby while daddies at work I can easily forget to eat or even go to the bathroom(!).

For my healths sake, I need to take time for me. Becoming a mommy means I make sacrifices but my health can’t ever be one of them. On the days I know I will be alone I wake up an hour before my husband and shower, throw on a load of laundry, have my coffee, shower and do my hair. When I feel prepared and ready to take on the day, everything just goes smoother.

I know baby Oliver feeds off my moods or at the very least when he’s fussy and my patients is running thin, it just make things that much more difficult. Babies moods depends on my moods.




Body Anxiety: My Changing Pregnant Body


There’s a lot other women and doctors don’t tell you about pregnancy. I think if they did tell women all the gory details, no one would dare have a baby. Also the list of unpleasant body changes and emotional turmoil a woman experiences is far too long.

By far the most challenging thing I’ve had to endure so far is weight gain. I’m sure it makes me sound like a terrible mom and an awful woman but the weight gain has got to be the most depressing thing on the planet. I understand it’s for a good cause, but it’s still painful. I’ve lived my whole life trying to stave off weight gain and in one fell swoop I’m supposed to just embrace my ever-expanding waistline.

Within the first two months of pregnancy, I ballooned like a damn beached whale and I was getting comments like, “I’ve never seen someone show so soon” and “You must be having twins”, but then my waistline miraculously shrunk back down. After much googling, I realized it was completely normal for bloating within the first trimester and then for it to subside.

As of now though, none of my pre-pregnancy jeans fit and any tight t-shirts are insanely mid-drift barring. OH, and all my workout clothes look like sausage casings, so that makes it challenging to look at myself in the mirror at the gym. But it’s all for a good cause, right?

Not to mention the fact that in 2 weeks, I’m suppose to fit into my WEDDING DRESS for our second wedding party in Cuba this Christmas. All the while my mom is in my ear about her vegan, clean-eating, challenge and all the weight she’s loosing. I told her how it must being coming off her and on to me and she lectured me about how it’s going to be hard to lose the baby weight once junior is born.

When I first began this beautiful pregnancy journey, I was constantly nauseous and couldn’t stomach being in the kitchen, eating vegetables, or eating anything other than carbs without dry heaving. Now that I’m able to stomach a wider variety of things, I’m actually doing a lot better with the weight gain and I’m starting to feel it even out a bit more and stabilize. For a few weeks there I could only stomach bagels and cream cheese, popcorn, eggs on toast, and salt and vinegar chips but now my day looks like: Eggs on toast, frozen fruit and soy milk smoothies and stir fries and veggie filled pastas. I’m still not able to stomach too much meat which is fine by me. I’m taking lots of vitamins to supplement the lack of protein in my diet.

All these feelings I’ve been having have been teaching me about selflessness. This is the first time in my life I’ve been making major sacrifices for someone else. I’m very much ready for all these changes but it still doesn’t make the blow any less shocking and depressing.

PS: if I didn’t make it absolutely clear, I’m very much in love with my beautiful bundle of baby love and I wouldn’t change any of this for the world.

Dear plum sized baby



Dear baby,

When I first found out you were leeching life off of me, you were the size of a poppy seed and now you are a plum! Your hands are now big enough to hold and your face is looking more life-like every day. I find every step of your development so fascinating. For the amount of manual labour going on inside of me, I sure don’t notice you very often. Actually, let’s be clear… The last three months I knew you were there every time I hung my head over the toilet, dry heaving away or every time I felt I was “so hungry I could puke”. But other than the odd cramp, you’re a pretty quiet house guest.

Now I feel better. I feel happy and healthy again. Hurrah for the second trimester! What’s really got me excited right now is feeling those little legs and arms thrashing around. For a while it will be just between you and me. I reckon we will share a quite a few things that are just between you and me. I feel like we already have a bond.

Just like I was for my mom, you little wee one are my source of inspiration. You have already made me a better person than I ever could have imagined. Baby, because I wanted you to have a happy and healthy mommy, I got help. I knew several years ago you were a not so distant dream and I wanted to heal my brain so I could soak you in and love every minute of our life together. You make me realize how precious life is….how fragile we are.

I already feel like I’ve made a huge mistake as a mother. In order for me to function and not be a complete emotional wreck for these nine months, I had to continue with my medication. I’m only on .5 mg a day and my doctor says she’s delivered hundreds of babies who’s moms were on much higher doses and the baby was perfectly happy and healthy… But I can’t help but worry. Like I said, you’re so fragile. Whenever I sense a possible threat, I play my fight song in my head and get all maternal.

So baby, you see I’ve weighed my options and you having a mom that can’t function is not in the cards for us. Happy moms make happy babies and I can’t wait to see your tiny little smile and hear that infectious little laugh.

Love from an extremely happy little momma

Money money money…


I’ve posted before about finances. Money is such a huge source of stress for so many people and I think it’s important to talk about. I’ll tell you a secret: I wasn’t always on top of my finances and budgeting like I am now. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will share a few valuable things I’ve learned through trial and error.


If you aren’t constantly watching your bank account, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Back in the old days when we carried cash around and lived on cash diets, it was easier to be accountable. But with all the plastic in our lives, it can be way too easy to over-spend. There was a time when I would avoid opening up my online banking because I would rather not admit to myself that I had over spent that month.


Set yourself up with a budget in order to manage your cash flow. If you bring in $2000 a month but you spend $2001, you’re over budget and it’s a slippery slope form there to debt city.


In my opinion, it is NOT realistic to set aside $50 a month for shopping or extras, if you know you enjoy shopping. There’s no need to lie to yourself…believe me, you’ll only let your self down!


First thing’s first, deposit money into your savings! It may sting in the beginning, but you’ll get used to living without that money after a while. What not to do: tell yourself you’ll put anything left over at the end of the month in savings. Believe me, it wont be there! You’ll find something better to do with that money.


If you have an Apple or Android computer or phone, you have the ability to stay on the good-finances track at your finger tips. Mint does everything you’ll need: set budgets, manage cash flow, and alert you if you’ve over spent in certain categories or are getting dangerously low on money. Mint will help you stay accountable and not have any nasty surprises when you go to pay a bill!

I hope these tips help you get on track to financial freedom! It really can be this simple.

Happy saving!

Got any penny-pinching tips? Share ’em!


announcing…..Mrs. McDougall

Where have I been? You know… just off getting married.

I feel terrible about my lack of blogging but please please please forgive me.

On May 25th I married my best friend and partner in crime. He’s my guardian angel and it breaks my heart to think of where my mental health would be if he hadn’t come along and showed me how my life can change in such a dramatic and positive way. Life together is just so effortlessly easy.

Steph Wed day 003

Today my co-worker asked me if Reid and I fight and I was honest and said no. We don’t fight. It’s a difficult concept for so many people. Growing up, I thought love was disagreeing. Love was challenging each other. But I got a little older and I realized that wasn’t the case.

Here’s a list compiled by Reid and I about how we make it work

1. Discuss VS Fight

We share our points of view, we explain our reasoning, and then we come to a compromise that’s either  a blend of  the two points of view or sometimes we just agree that one of us has a better idea. It’s not an insult if one of us doesn’t like the others idea. It’s nothing personal, at all.

2. Genuine Interest

He takes such an interest in the stories I report on at work, the mental health causes I’m interested in and the workout regime or race I’m training for. And the same goes for him. I love it when he teaches me about what he does at work or when he shares childhood memories with me.

3. Align our Goals

We are constantly talking about what we want out of life financially, for our retirement, for our children, for our investments, and our careers. We’ve already talked about what we want for our kids and when we plan to retire. Talking about our goals also reassures me that we’re on the right path.

4. Take Turns

Reid is an amazing cook and I wouldn’t gladly let him cook every night but I also love to cook so we take turns. But if Reid cooks I will gladly clean up and vice versa. It’s not something we’ve ever talked about and we don’t have a schedule. We just kind of go with the flow. If I’m not feeling up to cooking, NO SWEAT! He’s got my back. Also I’m really bad at remembering to do laundry and I know he’s always willing to pick up the slack.

5. Have Fun!

We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We are always joking and having fun. Laughter is the best medicine, remember! We are constantly making new memories and reminiscing about old ones.  It just comes naturally when you’re best friends. In my opinion, it’s not something you can force.

These are not hard and fast rules to follow but this is how we have made it work. It’s not always sunshine and roses, but we always look on the bright side and enjoy each moment together that we get. With Reid’s career with the military, we know it’s possible that he could be deployed for any number of months so we try to take advantage of what time we have together. He’s my rock and he’s so important to my mental health! He’s taught me so much about life, love, and my self.

Steph Wed day 001

Where have I been?

When I started as a Community Correspondent, I was un-employed. I spent my days at home in bed looking for work and blogging about mental health. Just over a month ago I started my first ever big girl job. I’m full time and I work 10 – 6, Monday to Friday. A dream come true! But by the time I get home from work, I am too exhausted to blog. My after-work time is very precious. It’s usually filled with eating, exercising, and chatting with my boyfriend. and SLEEPING! My job can be pretty emotionally exhausting. But having that stability in my life has been such a fantastic form of therapy. 

I want to apologize for not blogging more. It’s been a crazy time for me but I promise I will set aside time in the week to blog. I’m realizing how precious time really is! 

I have a massive idea.

Something so big and such a huge undertaking but something that will equal so much good for my community and beyond. 

My brother is helping me out so much with it. He is a brand strategist and is helping me develop my ideas. He’s an amazing person and has helped me out so much in life. Once again, he’s right here beside me every step of the way. 

I am filled with so much hope and joy right now that I just had to share it. 

Watch out for some big things coming your way this year. STAY TUNED


Lykke Li – Breaking it up

I am feeling super nostalgic today.

I am actually feeling really proud of myself and Reid and all we’ve been through over the last four years. This song was my favourite song when I met the love of my life. I played it on repeat on my way to and from our first date!

That’s the day my life changed forever.

It was a hot, breezy, Victoria afternoon. I went hung out with my best friend that night and I said to her, “I am going to marry him someday” and we laughed.

Wellness Wednesday: Money Woes

A huge source of anxiety for me is finances. Until today I haven’t been able to even open up my bank account to see the post-christmas damage. I’m awful, I know.

Being financially stable and secure is so important to me. It’s something my mom always prided herself on and she passed it along to me. She taught me the joys of saving and keeping a nest egg for those rainy days and even the sunny days.

You’ve probably seen this photo in the last week and a half — it’s been floating around the internet.


I proposed to my boyfriend that we try and do this but in reverse so it gets easier as the year goes on and it grows some interest (not much, but it’s better than nothing!).

So far we have $206 in our trip fund thanks to this little challenge! It’s even helped me get through some impulse shopping…impulses! I saw a Keurig on sale for $80 and I thought… that’s two weeks of trip money I wouldn’t have to worry about… So I didn’t buy it! HUZZUH.

For me, money stresses me out. The more saving I can do now, the more fun it will be to fork over thousands of dollars for a vacation to a sunny tropical destination next winter!

Oh money…

Do you have a similar type of challenge for yourself? How do you talk yourself out of impulse buys? Share it!