What is a Successful Marriage?

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I remember growing up as a kid and wondering how 2 people could be married.  Thinking that it must get boring talking to the same person everyday for the rest of your life.  Oh how I was naive at that age.

Fast forward 20 years and I have been married for over 10 of them.  I was sitting in the car the other day driving Annie to school when a commercial came on the radio talking about what makes a marriage successful.

Now being a mom to 3 kids, I have learned along the way that there is no specific way to be a successful mother.  Every family and child is different and what works for one doesn’t work for another.  Does that same concept apply to marriage?

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I truly don’t believe that 1 person can make a list for what makes a successful marriage.  I think there are so many variables included.  I also don’t believe every marriage is suppose to work out.  I think that many out there get married for the wrong reasons or too soon and it just isn’t meant to be.

Now with that being said, I believe that in order to be successful in your marriage you need to be 100% committed.  There are no real secrets to marriage.  I will share with you my tips.  No marriage is going to be happy 100%.  Couples have ups and downs and tough times.  That is what makes you grow as a couple and that is where the 100% commitment comes into play.

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I am NO marriage expert and there are days that I ask friends what to do in my marriage.  I think having a support system is so important as long as you are not only going to them but also your spouse.  Here are the tips that I have learned through the 10 years of marriage!!!

1. Say I love you every day.  To be honest, this doesn’t always happen in my house between Richard and myself.  I make the kids say it every night before bed but I don’t always do it.  There is so much uncertainty that you need to remind your spouse daily what they mean to you.

2. Have sex often!  Again, coming from experience, sex is a huge factor in any relationship even though we may not want to admit it.  There was a time that I struggled with my body image and our sex life was nonexistent.  It affected every other aspect of our relationship.  I was miserable.  He was miserable.  Even our communication suffered.

3. Support each other in everything you do.  I have tried a few different businesses before and none of them worked out.  I didn’t fail at them but they weren’t what I was passionate about.  Richard didn’t always agree with me but he always supported me.  It is so important to tell the other that they are supported.

4. Kiss often!  Such a small gesture but it can turn a bad day into a good day.

5. Talk about your day to each other.  We do this over the dinner table.  I love hearing about how Richard’s day went even though there are days I have no idea what he is talking about.  (I really don’t understand what he does at work all the time even though he explains it!)  Ask question and be truly interested in each other.

6. Go on date nights!  Remember that giddy feeling you used to get when you were dating.  Bring that back into your marriage.  Yes kids get in the way and life happens.  I get it!!!  You don’t need to pay for a date night.  Wait until the kids are in bed.  A couple ideas for a romantic evening are…

* Go outside with a blanket and look at the stars.

* Curl up on the couch together, put a movie on Netflix, make some popcorn, and pretend you are at the movie theater.

* Make some little appetizers, watch a movie, and eat.

* Put on some lingerie and make out.

* Turn on the WII, Playstation, or any other video game device you have and have a friendly tournament.  Make sure you place your bets and make it well worth your time!!!!

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SEE!!  There truly is no secret to a happy marriage.  All the advice I can give to you is common sense.  Treat your spouse the way that you want him to treat you.  Make your marriage fun again!Take that extra step and do small gestures to remind each other how you felt when you first met.  Leave notes in their lunch, send a text asking how their day is going, bring flowers home just because, leave a handwritten note on their pillow.

How do you show your spouse that you love them?  What advice do you have for marriage?  I’d love to hear what everyone has to say!!

Finding My Original

I am so excited that my ebook is finally available to purchase on my blog!!!  It has always been a dream of mine to write a book.

I had already started writing the book last year and then lost the focus and stopped writing.  It wasn’t until I went and spoke to a life coach did I realize how important that book was to who I wanted to become, after all it is my story.

I wrote this book to share my story and to help women on their journey to helping them rediscover who they are and begin to love themselves.

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know that I struggled for years with negative body image.  To be honest, it was more like self hate!!

Finding My Original walks you through step by step on how I overcame my past and truly began to realize that loving myself was the best thing I could do for myself and my family.

So here it is…. the link for you to purchase my book!!!  Buy it now and tell me what you think!!!

http://www.beyoutifulrewritten.com/ebook/

 

Art of Food: Baked Peaches

I love to cook and bake and well, let’s be honest, I just love being in the kitchen.  I haven’t posted many recipes lately as I haven’t been too exciting in the kitchen.

However, today I have a treat for you.  DESSERT!!  There is nothing better than dessert and it is even better when it is healthy, super simple to make, and delicious!!

I have done baked pears before and this time I decided to do it using peaches and it was so AMAZING!!!!  It took me 5 minutes to prep and I baked them for about 10 minutes.  My peaches were super ripe so they didn’t need long to bake.  If they aren’t as ripe, cook them for between 20-30 minutes until they are soft when pierced with a fork.

Now I will make you wait no more, here is how I made my baked peaches!!

BAKED PEACHES 

Ingredients:

Peaches

Butter

Cinnamon

Brown Sugar

Cut the peaches in half and take the pit out.  This was a bit difficult as my peaches were ripe so they did squish a little bit but didn’t affect the final product.

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Cut some butter into squares and place on top of the peach.  Take the brown sugar (about 1 tablespoon) and sprinkle over the butter and the peach.  Do the same with the cinnamon.

Depending on how sweet you want them, you can always add more brown sugar and cinnamon but I found a tablespoon of each was perfect.

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Spray a baking dish with a bit of cooking spray and place the peaches inside.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees.  Anywhere from 10-30 minutes depending on ripeness of peaches.  They will be done when a fork pierces them and they are soft.

Now serve them hot with a little bit of whipped cream and you have the most amazing dessert ever!!!!

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Once you try them, you will want them often!!!  Even the kids will love this dessert!!

Tell me what you thought of the baked peaches.  Can’t wait to hear everyone’s opinions.

 

It was only Jello

There is so much that our children have to worry about these days and I don’t want my children to worry about being themselves.  It is very important to me that they are comfortable with who they are and not afraid to be themselves.  I don’t want them to feel as if they have to change for anyone!

This is Annie’s first year in school.  She started kindergarden last week and was so beyond excited to start.  She has had a great first few days and is really enjoying going.  She is making friends and talks about them all of the time.  I really didn’t think I had to worry about her being scared to be herself until…..

Annie came home from school yesterday and told me that she no longer wanted me to pack Jello in her snack bag.  I thought this was an extremely strange request as she loves Jello and she loves how I currently have started to make it.  (in individual containers.)

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I asked her nonchalantly why she didn’t want it in her lunch anymore and she wouldn’t tell me.  After prying for a few minutes, she looked at me with these sad eyes and said that the kids were making fun of her for brining Jello in her lunch.  She continued to tell me that no one in her class likes Jello except for 1 other boy and was adament about me not putting it in her snack bag.

At this point, the only thought in my head was, it’s only Jello.  What is the big deal??  I then realized that this was my teaching moment.  A moment for me to explain to her that being herself is ok.

We sat at the kitchen table and I told her that it didn’t matter if no one else likes Jello.  She enjoys eating it and that is all that matters.  She shouldn’t change things about herself just because someone else doesn’t approve.  She listened and took it all in but after our conversation, she still said she no longer wants Jello in her snack.

This makes me extremely sad.  Not the fact that she doesn’t want my Jello because she eats it when she gets home but that kids that are ages 4 & 5 are already starting to point out differences in other children and make them feel out of place.

Maybe I am reading too much into this whole incident but I am sad.  I am sad as a mom, wife, and woman in general.  Sad that my daughter now feels because she is one of the few that enjoy this snack, it somehow makes her completely different from everyone else in her class.

I truly hope that our talk got through to her and that she realizes that she is no different then anyone else in her class.  I hope she realizes that her food choices and likes have nothing to do with her classmates and who she is to them.

My wish for her is that she will realize that being different is the best thing she can be!!!  I love her the way she is and I hope she never changes herself to make other people happy.  After all, I’ve done it and it made me miserable for far too long!!!

A Day in the Life of Me

As I am writing this, I have been up since 5am.  To some of you, that may not seem super early.  However, I was also up at 2:30 to feed baby Izzy and didn’t fall back to sleep until around 3:30am.  That is the start of my day.

I do not lead an exciting life but it is a crazy, hectic mom of 3, business owner, blog writer, and wife day.  (I know we all have a million roles to play!)

The night before, I always fill out my planner so that I know what I have and want to accomplish for that day.

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My day starts off with Iliza feeding between 5 and 7am.  Followed by waking Quinton up at 7am to get ready for school including breakfast and getting his lunch made.  I also prep Richard’s lunch in the morning.  (What a lucky guy!!!)

By 7:30, Quinton is off to the school bus stop and it is quiet in my house.  Iliza normally falls back asleep and Annie isn’t a morning person so she normally sleeps for another hour or 2.  At this point in my day, I journal which includes writing down my goals for the next 3 months and my top 3 to do list.

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We use cloth diapers so I wash them every other day and hang them out to dry outside.  By 9am, I have a little girl come that I watch until 4:15pm.  She gets to play with Annie until it is time to leave for kindergarden.

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I try to do something business related from 9:30-10:30 in the morning and then I start to get lunch ready.  Annie doesn’t eat lunch at school since she is only half day so I feed her prior to taking her.

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At 11:30, we are all packed up and getting into the car to take Annie to school.  On really nice days, we leave at 11am so we can walk there and stop at the park on the way.

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We come back and the little girl I watch will play for a little bit before we do some writing and craft time.  While she is playing, I will again attempt to do some business things including writing blog posts, contacting vendors, posting on social media, and so on.

We will then get the stroller ready for 3pm and walk to the bus stop to pick up both kids and go for a walk around.  Once the kids are home, we do homework, practice writing, and have an afternoon snack.

Once, the little girl is picked up around 4:15, it is time to start making dinner and getting ready for any events that we may have that evening.  Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays we have BMX for Q.  Soon we will be adding ballet to our crazy schedule.  Luckily Q has asked to take the year off of basketball so he is instead doing archery but it is only on Sunday mornings.

Dinner time has been insane because lately Izzy wants to be fed at the same time.  Richard isn’t home from work yet so trying to get dinner done without burning it is getting more difficult.

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After dinner, we will get bath time in as Annie enjoys sitting in the tub for hours until the water is ice cold.  While she is in the tub, I will clean the upstairs or do some more business planning with ideas that I come up with.

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Bedtime is at 8pm for both kids.  Quinton will sit and read for 30 minutes while I get Annie to bed.  Bedtime is not enjoyable in our house because it is normally a massive fight to get done.  That can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours with Annie.

Once bedtime is done, my work is not finished.  I will then put laundry away and tidy up toys that haven’t been picked up.  If Izzy isn’t sleeping, she is the next one to be put to sleep and hopefully she stays asleep.

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I also get a small workout in at this time including a plank, inversion, using the thigh master, and a wall squat.  Not doing too much as I am 3 weeks postpartum but as of next week, I will be doing Pilates every Monday evening at 8pm.

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When I climb into bed, I grab my journal again and write about my day and then write my 5 things I am grateful for that day.  After all of this is complete, I hope that I can fall asleep because I will be awake anywhere from 2-5 hours later to feed Izzy and start the whole process all over again.

I didn’t add in when I feed Izzy or change her diaper.  That is anywhere from every 3-4 hours during the day.

Life is crazy and hectic but I thrive better that way!!!  I love being a work at home mama!!

What does your day look like from start to finish??

My Most Embarrassing Childhood Moment

Now most of us ladies remember the first time that our monthly cycle started.  It was a  thing nightmares are made of!!!  I remember worrying about where I would be when it started.  If it was going to be as awful as it started!!

Well my most embarrassing moment has to do with this time of life.  When you go from being a child to a woman.  For me, it has 2 parts.

PART 1:

I of course, had my cycle come at the most awkward time that it could have.  Not only that, it was for the world to see!!!  I was one of the first of my friends to get it.  I was in grade 6 and in gym class.  I was wearing a dress that day.  Of course, I noticed that it was on the back of my dress.  (Every woman’s fear!!!!)  I went into the bathroom and bawled.  I really had no idea what was going on.  Eventually I figured it out but was too embarrassed to say anything to anyone so I stuck toilet paper in my underwear and knew that my mom had pads at home.  (I had seen them many times in the cupboard at home!)  For the rest of the day, I wore my sweater wrapped around my waist so no one would see the back of my dress!

PART 2:

Now if that wasn’t embarrassing enough.  I got home and found the pads and put on in my underwear.  I went about my day and didn’t tell my parents.  It wasn’t really something that we spoke about.  It wasn’t until later that night after my dad had been home for awhile that the most truly embarrassing part of this whole story happened.  (At least for me!!!)

I was walking in the kitchen and as my dad was walking past me, he stopped and said to me, “I hear you became a woman today!!”  I was instantly embarrassed and ran to my room.  How did he know!?!?!?!  I hadn’t told a soul.

Well come to find out, my mom saw the garbage in the bathroom garbage can and put 2 and 2 together.  Safe to say, I stayed in my bedroom for the rest of the night!!!

Was your first time as embarrassing as mine??  I’d love to hear that I wasn’t the only 1 to experience first time womanhood with extreme embarrassment!!!!

My Local Shout Out: Mini Me Babies

If you know me or have read any of my blog posts before, you know that I love to support local businesses.  In Airdrie, there are so many moms who run their own business and they all make such amazing products.

Today’s shout out is for a mom who made Iliza’s gender reveal outfit.  I contacted her to see if she could make me some reusable feminine pads for afterthe baby was born.

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I had done some reading and everyone recommended using them so I took the chance and contacted her.  She created a product for me that was beyond what I expected.  I will NEVER go back to throw away products.

The level of comfort that these pads offer is amazing!!  They are much more form fitting and comfortable.

Now I know you are probably wondering how they are to wash.  NO it isn’t disgusting to wash them.  I already do cloth diapers with Baby Izzy so I just throw them in when I do her load.  I dry them outside in the sun.

I will say, when I buy more from  her, that I may do another color other than white.  They did stain a little bit but I have read that soaking them in baking soda and water will help with the staining so that I will be trying.

Now for after delivery, I sprayed Witch Hazel and Eucalyptus on the pads to help with healing.  It worked great.  I didn’t try to freeze these so I’m not sure how well they will freeze but it’s worth a try.

If you need anything made for your little one or even a reusable pad for yourself, contact Mini Me Babies!!!!  She is amazing to deal with and the product is amazing!!!

Check out her Facebook page and message her today!!!!

https://www.facebook.com/Likklewone/?ref=br_rs

 

 

 

 

Welcome Baby Girl

It is with great joy that I get to announce the arrival of baby Laycock #3.  On August 18 @ 2:45am, Iliza Helen Laycock was born.  (Pronounced ill eye za)

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She came very quickly and before her due date.  Earlier that day, I had a midwife appointment and asked if they would do a stretch and sweep for me.  She said yes because my due date was only a few days away.

At that time (3pm), I was not dialated at all and she told me that the S & S probably wouldn’t work.  I told her that it was worth a shot because I was feeling miserable.  I immediately started spotting which is completely normal.

That night, Annie was able to go on her first bus ride program.  I was having off and on contractions throughout the presentation and I was still spotting.  Afterwards, I told Richard to fill the car up with gas because I think tonight is the night afterall.  I called my mom and dad and let them know what was going on.

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It was a restless night and once the kids were in bed, we relaxed in bed.  Contractions were 10 minutes apart around 11:30pm.  By 12am, I had to call the midwives and let them know that the contractions were 5 minutes apart.  However, by the time, I got through to them a little after 12, my contractions were only 2 minutes apart.  They told me to leave immediately and get to the hospital.  (It was at least a 20 minute drive)  The babysitter arrived as we were leaving and we were on our way.

We arrived at the hospital and parked in the wrong area and had to make a long walk stopping along the way for the contractions.  We arrived around 1:20 and had to go and be admitted to the hospital.  I was checked and was already at 7cms.

I was sent into the labor and delivery room around 1:45 and stepped into a nice hot bath.  My contractions were hard and fast getting to about a minute apart when I said that I had to get up.  By 2:20, I was on my knees on the bed and having contractions. The need to push was starting to come but not super strong at that point.  I was having extreme back pain and the midwife was pushing on my back trying to alleviate it.

This is the point where Richard said I got mean.  I started bawling.  I don’t remember what I said but it was obviously not the nicest I was all night.  By 2:42 (I looked at my hospital records and am still in shock!!), I was fully dialated and ready to push.  By 2:45, she was fully delivered!!!  Yup you read that correctly, she was out in 3 minutes.  It was so fast, the midwives were yelling at me to stop pushing because they didn’t have their gloves on and weren’t ready to catch her.

Iliza didn’t start crying right away.  I was still on my knees as I couldn’t move because my pelvis and back were in such pain.  I kept asking if she was ok and they told me that her color was good and her heart rate was good but she still wasn’t making a sound.  A minute later, which felt like forever, they told me they were going to have to clamp and get Richard to cut the cord right away.  Iliza still wasn’t crying.

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Richard cut the cord and they carried her over to the little machine that they have to clean her up.  Beeping started going off and I kept asking if she was ok.  I told Richard to go and watch her as I couldn’t.

They were saying that her oxygen level was low and that they just needed to bring it up but that her color and heart rate were good.  Richard said they grabbed a tube and shoved it (he thinks down the throat) and started sucking up fluid.  Finally she started to cry.  They took the oxygen mask and blew oxygen at her.  At her 10 minute check up point, she was finally up to where she needed to be and Richard was able to hold her!!!

I was being looked after so he took off his shirt and did some skin to skin with her since I couldn’t.  Eventually, they had to give me a bit of gas because I couldn’t stop shaking or relax enough to get them to check me.

The rest of the night went well.  I was able to get up and have a bath to clean up and then we were released to go home.  We were home by 5:20am!!!

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Her birth was extremely fast and quite emotional but I am so glad that she is here and is healthy!!!!  Iliza weighed 6 pounds 12 ounces and was 19.5″ long.  She is so far our smallest baby and nothing fits her!!!!!

That is our birth story!!!  Baby Izzy made quite the appearance but she is already so loved and cherished in this family!!!  She fits in perfectly with our family!!!

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Flaws and Bras Girlfriend’s Getaway

I just realized that with all the excitement of everything that I am working on, that I forgot to post about my workshop that is coming up in October.

Over the 2 years since I have moved to Airdrie, I have realized the importance of girlfriends.  They have the ability to make you feel human.  Make you feel like you are more than a mom and a wife.  They bring fun into your life and allow you to enjoy yourself and be yourself.

I wanted to take these traits and combine them with an amazing workshop.  Women struggle so much with their identity after becoming a mother.  The changes that our body goes through.  The new responsibilities that we have.  They can and will be very overwhelming somedays.

That is part of the reason I started BeYOUtiful Life Services.  I was lost for years after becoming a mom.  This workshop is dedicated to teaching you self love, confidence, and empowerment all while being surrounded by beautiful mountains in Kananaskis.

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FLAWS AND BRAS GIRLFRIEND’S WEEKEND

Saturday October 15, 2016:

11am: Pilates outside  (included)

1-3:30: Lunch at a restaurant.  Getting goody bags, intros, journaling, and more.

4pm: Hotel check in. Delta Lodge in Kananaskis  (included)

4:30pm: Importance of loving yourself. Mindset Reset worksheets.

5pm: Guest speaker

6pm: Dinner (included)

7:30pm: Massages and facials begin (included)

Sunday October 16, 2016

Breakfast is included

8:30 am: Forgiveness work

9:15 am: Guest speaker with demonstration

10:45 am: Check out of hotel

11:00am: Trail hike and picnic.  Talking hobbies and me time.

I am beyond excited to be hosting this workshop.  It’s a great getaway!!!  Bring a girlfriend or two and work together to begin feeling amazing in your own skin!!!!!!

Don’t forget about Project BeYOUtiful Photo Challenge that is beginning on Monday, August 22.  The link below has all the details!

Project BeYOUtiful: Photo Challenge

 

Project BeYOUtiful: Photo Challenge

I have been hard at work on the creative side to get my business back up and running as I haven’t done too much the past month due to not feeling well.

I am super excited to announce my photo challenge that will be starting on Monday August 22, 2016.  It’s called Project BeYOUtiful and it is a 7 day photo challenge.

I am looking forward to seeing all the beautiful women that will be participating in this challenge!!  The winner will be showcased on my blog with a little 1 on 1 interview with me and all their pictures!!!!

So you are wondering what the photo challenge willconsist of.  Well here it is…..

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PROJECT BEYOUTIFUL: 7 DAY PHOTO CHALLENGE

DAY 1: Who am I?

DAY 2: Photo of a flaw

DAY 3: Your favorite outfit.

DAY 4: Favorite feature

DAY 5: Favorite indulgence

DAY 6: Living in the moment

DAY 7: Doing a good deed.

You can submit your photos daily by going to my Facebook page and submitting them.

https://www.facebook.com/liveyourbeyoutifillife/

I will also be participating in the challenge.  Please go to my page and give it a like so you don’t miss out on all the other ladies participating in the challenge!!!!  Let’s showcase to the world that all women are beautiful!!!!!