I Tell Ya!


Sweater - Smart Set
Top - F21
Jeans - Gap
Boots - Locale
Necklace - Ruche

Ever have those days where you hate everything you put on?  I did.  So after over an hour of trying clothes on I finally settled on jeans and this sweater.  Then I felt really crappy 'cause I had wasted over an hour to put on what was essentially jeans and a top.  Needless to say I was not a happy camper.  This winter, combined with my mood have conspired to keep me in jeans and a sweater for far too long and I'm sick of it I tell ya!  Sick of it! 

True Story:
Baby washed her own hair. 
With the dog's water bowl.

Mamahood Exposed: She Saved My Life


You fall in love, get married and have babies, and everything is perfectly arranged like that right?  Wrong, things don't ever go as we planned, but that doesn't mean things can't be amazing...

Hi, I’m Liz. I blog over at, The Blue Eyed Owl, about all things vintage, handmade and my life as mom, wife and indie business owner. Since my blog is more business centered I have yet to tell the story of my journey to motherhood with any of my readers. It was very therapeutic to write about this and I have a feeling I'll be sharing more of my life on my blog as a result. Here is my story...
My daughter saved my life.
I was quiet in high school, introverted. I had extremely low self-esteem. I had popular friends and was with that crowd, but never really in it. I tested my limits. I did everything I could to escape. I had a supportive, loving family, but I pushed them away. My parents did their best with me, but it was clear I needed to figure life out on my own. 

I was smart, in AP and honors classes, but I far from reached my potential. I “Cliff Notes'd” my way through those classes and was the Queen of BS essays. By some miracle, I managed to graduate with honors and a scholastic diploma and was accepted to every university I applied to. I chose Arizona State. It was close to home. I wanted a new beginning, but was terrified to leave my comfort zone.
I thought graduation was a fresh start. I was going to take control of my life and do something great, the new me. Enter...the boy.

The summer before I started at ASU, I was introduced to a boy who would end up being the best and worst thing that ever happened to me. He had a cool car, cool friends and was a master manipulator. I was hooked. He had never had a girlfriend before. I thought I was special. It turns out I was just the only girl who had ever fallen for his act. I was putty in his hands. 

To this day I don't understand how I stayed with someone so emotionally abusive, controlling, jealous, and terrifying. My friends tried to talk sense into me. They went to my parents and asked them to forbid me from seeing him. My parents knew better. I was 18 and I was rebelling and had blinders on when it came to this boy. They needed to stay close, so they could protect me. I cried more tears my freshman year of college than I had my whole life prior. I drowned my sorrows and escaped with alcohol and partying. I was on a fast track to nowhere. I should have been in jail or even dead. It was the darkest time in my life and there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
In the fall of my sophomore year, I found out I was pregnant. The boy accused me of cheating and said it wasn't his. He left and went out with his friends and didn't come back for days. I was on my own.
I made a decision right there and then that I was better than this. This baby, no bigger than an apple seed, saved me. I stopped drinking and smoking and lived a healthy lifestyle. I chose a major, elementary education. I reconnected with my family and eventually moved back home. I worked full time waiting tables, went to school full time and was pregnant. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
The boy went to jail. He had been hiding several arrests from me and was gone. 

On July 15, 2004 my Bailey was born. She almost died. God still wasn't sure if I deserved her. Her heart stopped, and she was ripped from me via emergency c-section. The prayers that came from that OR and that waiting room convinced Him. This child was needed more on Earth than in Heaven. 

She was healthy and happy. I was even more determined to be good for her. After a rocky year of trying to involve the boy in her life and have a "real" family, I gave up. We had my family and his family, but he would never change. 

Bailey was raised by a village. I went back to school a month after my c-section with a handicapped parking pass and a breast pump. Grandmas, grandpas, aunts, and friends gave Bailey more love than any traditional family could have. It turned out she didn't only save me, but my whole family.

For 18 months I didn't even consider another relationship. It wasn't until I was okay with myself that I could even fathom it. One day I realized, I was a great person. I was proud of myself for the first time of my life. This child made me see that I deserved to be happy.

Enter...the man. I met Matt when Bailey was two. I'll spare you the details but trust me when I say he is OUR soul mate. I was so worried that Bailey would never have a "real" family. She has so much more. 
 I continue to live every day for her and my future children, but more importantly, for myself.
 My daughter saved my life.

Are you a Mama with a story to tell?  
Send in your submission to joanna.haughton@hotail.com. 

Random Sundays: Games


Games night with friends is possibly one of my favorite things to do.  You've got a trifecta of fun - good people, good activity, and good food.  We played Twilight Imperium - a game that takes upwards of one hour per player - so this game would've taken over five hours to play except that since we started late I had to leave and we had to end before it was finished.  But it was still a great night except for one thing.  Halfway through I started having stomach troubles - I didn't know it then but I had been poisoned by the salad I had bought and eaten just before the start of the game.

That night and the following day were not at all fun to say the least.  It was a different trifecta, but let's not go there shall we?

Hope you had a great weekend!

Saturday Smiles: Little Miss Smarty Pants


 Sweater - Smart Set
Jeans - Gap
Boots - Locale
Hair bow - F21
Necklace - gift from my Babcia

This week was a challenge I tell you because I've been in a bit of a funk, but here's what I'm thankful for:

1. Games night with friends - more on that tomorrow.
2. Comfy jeans *pictured above* for weeks like this where I hate most of the things in  my closet.
3. Red wine - so delicious and comforting after a long, long cold and wet day.
4. My smarty-pants little girl - she's a hoot! *see below*
5. All of you - the best readers a girl could ever have!

True Story:
Andrew gets up with Baby and starts our morning routine.  
At one point, she asks for a cookie and Daddy tells her no.  
Several minutes later Mama comes downstairs, gets her coffee and joins the family.  
Daddy then says he's going to take a shower and leaves the room.  
As soon as he leaves, Baby gets up and goes to the fridge and asks for a cookie.  
Mama, thinking nothing of it, says, "Ok" and gives her one.  
Then Daddy comes in the room because he forgot something and notices the cookie, "Where did you get that miss?"  Baby's hands with the cookie immediately drop into her lap and her head drops down *what she does when she's guilty, embarrased or been disciplined*  
Mommy asks, "What's going on?"  
We realize it's the first time she consciously played one of us against the other.  
Smarty pants.

Guilty Confessions


Sweater - Esprit
Dress - Trollied Dolly from Ruche
Tights - Hue
Boots - Locale

I'm going to confess something that I'm not sure I should confess but I kind of need to because it's weighing on me and I need absolution. Here goes:

Andrew often snores, and so I have to wear earplugs because I can't sleep through it.  He was going to be leaving for work at 7am, so he told me he would get up with Baby and wake me just before he left.  But at 7am she still wasn't sleeping and he wondered if he should go up and take my earplugs out, but he decided that he didn't want to wake me.  Not a big deal since I usually hear her crying through the plugs anyway.  But I didn't this time.

I woke up at 8:45am...and panicked!  My first thought was irrational - that he had left for work and left her unattended alone downstairs.  My second thought was fearful - that something happened to her and she's not breathing in her crib.  I ran into the room and found her lying there wide awake sucking her thumb.  That's when the panic and fear were replaced by sheer, unadulterated guilt.  I had neglected her.  She might have been there crying awake for an hour and half and no one came for her!  Yes, she was safe and could not come to any physical harm in her crib, but the thought that she might have felt neglected or abandoned for so long sent me into a downward spiral of guilt.

I hugged her and apologized to her three times and explained what happened *though she probably didn't understand*  My guilt let her watch two shows that morning and have a cookie as part of breakfast in the living room.

Mother's guilt!

I felt better the next morning when she slept in until 8:30am - that means I might not have ignored her or if so then perhaps only for 15 minutes.  Phew!

Outside The Box


Cardi - Old Navy
Pant - Le Chateau
Boots - Feet First
Ring & Earrings - F21

I've been thinking about my sartorial attitude and I love that I'm really coming out of my own box when it comes to what I buy and wear.  I'm no longer afraid of being "cute" with dresses or sweater with penguins on them, and I'm trying things out I wouldn't have tried before.  This top is a case in point. I really liked it when I saw it on the website but I wondered how in the world I would ever wear it, and whether I would actually wear it.  But I liked it so much I thought, "I'll do it.  I'll figure it out when it comes."  And I'm so glad I took a chance because this asymmetrical chiffon top is wonderful, unique and feminine.  I'm so glad I took a risk and went outside my comfort zone to try something new.

True Story:
While sitting on the couch and reading an animal book, Baby takes my index finger and uses it to point at the animals asking, "What's this?"  She continues to use my finger as her pointer, with her chubby fingers wrapped around it, for the duration of the exercise.
At which point I could retrieve my finger.

Mamahood Exposed: Regrets


Hey guys, my Mamahood Exposed series - the good, the bad, the hilarious - continues today with a fabulous post from Michelle of The Momma Bird.  She's absolutely wonderful, and I especially like how open she is about her regrets and choices.  Enjoy!

Before my 1st was born I made sure I read ALL the books. BabyWise, What To Expect During the First Year, Baby Whisperer...and the list goes on. I had been around kids my entire life but I didn't have a clue about schedules, growth spurts, eating habits, nursing problems, baby blues. I was excited and nervous about having this baby. cohen 
When little C was born nothing went how I thought it would. While in the hospital I made sure to let him sleep in the nursery at night in-between feedings. When we got home I made sure to follow those books to a 'T'. I didn't hold him all the time. I kept him on a strict schedule. I documented all of his pees & poos. I timed his feedings. I timed the time in-between his feedings. I didn't nap with him. I made sure he had lots of tummy time. I put him to sleep without rocking. I swaddled him up. I didn't give him a paci. I was doing what I thought was best for him..... cohen 
Week 2 of little C's life was hard for him & me. I had some slight baby blues, he HATED being swaddled, nursing was really hard for both of us (he would only nurse with a shield) and he was already in his own room. (we slept on the floor of his room during this wk bc family was in town and had our room) I remember one day during a late night feeding just crying, silently as to not wake my sleeping husband next to us, because it felt like the whole world was my responsibility now. After a few days that weight was lifted a little bit, but those first few months were hard. cohen
I was able to be home with little C until he was 4.5 months old. I kept with my rules. No napping together unless sick. No holding all the time. Practice independent play. I did break on some of them - he hated to be swaddled and wanted rocked & nursed to sleep. I figured it was okay to do since it was the only way he'd sleep. I did break this habit at 6 months and he would only get rocked to sleep on rare occasions after that. cohen
I regret so much of my parenting during that time with C. I look back and feel like I was so distant. Not that I didn't cuddle & snuggle with him - or love him to pieces - I absolutely did! I just wish I would have taken naps with him. I wish I would have held him close as much as I possible. I wish I would have snuck him into bed with us on random nights to hold him close and smell his sweet baby-ness. I wish I could have stayed home with him & not gone back to work. I wish I knew how fast they grow up and that every moment is so special. cohen
So now when C wants to 'lay with me mommy" before he falls asleep, I gladly climb in next to him. When C wants to "sit with me mommy" while watching his favorite cartoons, I smile and plop him in my lap. I steal cuddles every chance I get, I swap eskimo & butterfly kisses when he lets me, and I praise God that I still get these little moments with him before he gets old enough to not want them anymore.

What is your biggest regret in parenting? 

Are you an Mama with  a story to tell?  
Send in your submission to joanna.haughton{at}hotmail{dot}com. 

Social Media Rant


Top - Freeloader from Body Blue in Toronto; Jeans - Gap; Boots - Locale.

I have two social media pet peeves *read: huge rage inducing irritants*
Commence rant.

The first is Four Square - just checked in at the McDonalds on so and so street. To the people who use it: I don't care.  I don't care where you are at every moment of the day.  My universe does not revolve around your day.  I am not your stalker, nor do I want the position.  Honey, I hate to break it to you, but you're not that important and this is making you think you are...which is not becoming.  More so, it's making you think that you're entitled to things like jumping the line, getting free stuff, and not paying cover fees/tickets prices.  Guess what?  The line starts back there around the corner, pay for your own crap, and fork over the entrance fees like every other regular person.  You are not Brangelina, no one cares that you're at Starbucks.  I don't even care if Brangelina were at Starbucks.  Get off Four Square.

The second thing is posting pictures of your food/drink. I'm not talking about the exotic stuff.  If you're eating monkey brains where ever in the world it is that they eat monkey brains, yes post that please! Or if you're giving me a recipe along with it, sure, show me a picture of what it's supposed to look like.  But I honestly don't care about seeing a picture of your cereal, granola, or your first cup of coffee.  And that roast chicken, yeah I've seen a chicken before, your point is?  Again, it's giving you a false sense of self-importance and entitlement.

Thank you.
End rant.

True Story:
Rants must run in the family because Baby stands on her stool in the sun room heckling and talking at the people walking by.



Headband - F21; Sweater - hand me down; Jeans - AE; Shoes - Payless; Socks - Hue.
Some days are slow.
Sometimes I just want big boyfriends jeans and nothing else. 
Sometimes that's all you really need.

Quote of Today:
"How do you kill that big zombie with the little one on it's back?"

Random Sundays: Office Space


The wicker baskets are from Walmart, and the rest is Goodwill and DIY restored.

I tweeted a while back that I was working on creating a new home office space for myself.  I was desperately lacking storage and and my tiny one drawer desk just wasn't cutting it.  So armed with very little cash and a fierce determination I set to task.

First, I found a used desk off Kijiji, where someone was selling it off for super cheap ($130).  It came with two large storage areas and a hutch.  Then I set about creating a fun storage space.  Choosing a white, blue, and silver color scheme I set off to Goodwill *a second hand store* to pick up some things I could turn into creative storage areas.  I picked up mugs, glasses, wicker things, and large bins - and all of it came to about $15.  

Then came the DIY part.  One can of white primer and one can of silver paint, and a lot of taping.

Some items primed.

Before: a box taped up and ready to be primed.

After - silver and I decided to keep the gold.

Before - plain wicker kitchy duck

After - silver and fun.

Before: old rusty and wicker mail sorter.
After: sparkly!

Before - three simple mason jars.

After - silver and shiny!

Bought a new fun mousepad off ebay for $7.

Here's the complete desk and storage creation.

I decided to use an old canvas above the desk as a corkboard type thing where I can display some of my favorite pics from shoots I've been in and shoots I've shot.  As well as my recent amazing showing my first time learning to shoot a gun.

I'm pretty happy with it, and I like the whole shabby chic look of everything.  It's really cool that everything was used and re-used and nothing is new, but it feels new to me!

Saturday Smiles: Good Stuff!


Hat & Leggings- F21; Arm Warmers - Ruche; Top - Trixie in Toronto; Dress - H&M; Leg Warmers - ?; Shoes - Thrifted.
Chocolate is officially off the list!  Only because I'm banning it, not because it doesn't make me smile.

  1. The commercial shoot I did earlier this week - felt good to be on set, and felt great to book the first audition my new agent sent me on. 
  2. Red Earmuffs!
  3. Grandparents - thanks to which I could go to auditions, callbacks and shoots! 
  4. Foot massages - with the whiny baby I've had this week these have been a lifesaver.
  5. Days spent bumming around in slubby sweatshirts *see picture above*

True Story:
Baby and I both have tea *mint tea* in the afternoon, me in my mug and her in her antique china teacup. 

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