I almost got caught trying to steal a board game yesterday…

but it was a risk I was willing to take!

Oh covid… the monkey wrench you threw into my life. For those who know me, know that having a weekend at home with nothing to do rarely happens. If I am not working on an event, I am usually attending one, or travelling to new city or town to play.

I won’t lie the first 2 weeks back in March were great; I caught up on sleep, my husband remembered my name, and my dog realized two people actually do live at home! Ok – it wasn’t that bad – but you get the picture…

Fast forward 10 months, our province is on lockdown, so only essential trips to the grocery store is allowed, and obviously my industry is at a standstill. Finding things to occupy my time have been key to not completely losing my mind! All of our DIY projects around the house are completed, the weather has turned a tad colder, my bookshelf is getting bare, and if my husband gives me “that look” if I say I am bored one more time… things may get hairy

Enter in BOARD GAMES! Jesse (the aforementioned husband) and I have always been fans of board games. Fair warning – it gets competitive – not going to lie – but there have been “minor” fights about who won, “minor” disagreements how the other gloats when she always wins but overall it’s a common love for the two of us. We bring board games to my brother and sister in law’s place in Ottawa every time we visit (again gets competitive to the point we need to have a tally board), we invite friends over for dinner and game nights – but with Covid now reducing our circle to just your household – we have been having to find games that are fun just for the two of us (did anyone else’s head have Will Smith’s “Just the two of us” play in your mind…no?? How about now?)

I tend to support local rather than Amazon when we purchase our board games – I highly recommend Gaming Kingdom. They are located in Kanata, Ontario but they have a great online store and shipping is quick and seamless! They really know their stuff and have a huge catalogue of board games, video games, trading card games and more!

Ok I’ll stop talking. Here are my current 3 recommendations for games for two people (and a pooch).

Disney Villainous

Villainous allows players to take control of one of six Disney Villains, each one from a different movie. Each player has their own villain deck, fate deck, player board, and 3D character.

Each villain has their own devious objective to complete, and have unique abilities, as well as different strategies to twist and thwart your opponent’s objectives.

On each turn, the active player will move their character to a different location on their own player board, that location will dictate what type of actions can happen, they then refill their hand to four cards. Cards are allies, items, effects, conditions, and sometimes curses. Your cards will be key to fulfilling your evil plans.

The great thing about this game, is your strategy changes each time you play and your objective depends on the villain you choose. This game is great for two players – but can be played up to six.

Oh and the best part. They already have two expansions pack that allow for more characters to choose from (three per pack)

Order Disney Villainous here , and the expansion packs here

New York 1901

Who wants to time travel back in time, and build up New York City? Welcome to 1901 – a board game where you are commissioned to start building skyscrapers thought the financial district. This game reminds me of Ticket to Ride (train routes are replaced by skyscrapers, and the color of train is replaced with color of tile that you can build upon) Not only is it a fun game of strategy, but its fun to try and block your opponent from building or scoring additional points.

You first build bronze level buildings and then later in the game those buildings can be replaced by silver level and gold level buildings.

This is a game that keeps you on your toes, which street do I want to build upon, what shapes do I have left to use, how can I upgrade for my points, did I secure any extra points?

Catan – Rivals for Catan

We are huge fans of Catan, we have all the expansion packs, and it is always in our top 3 games to play with friends, so when we found out about this two player game we were excited to test it out.

In “Rivals for Catan” you are using cards – there are no longer tiles, houses and roads. Each player starts with two settlement cards connected by a road card, as well as your 4 region cards + 1 gold region card.

The region cards – lumber, brick, wheat, ore and gold all have dice rolls located in the middle, these will rotate should the dice roll result be favorable.

Each settlement is worth 1 victory point, and if you upgrade a settlement to a city, you receive another victory point.

The first player to have 7 (or more) victory points wins the basic game.

Just using settlements, and cities won’t be enough to win this version of Catan, it is also important to place heroes, build buildings and trade ships!

Start with the introductory game – it takes approx. 30 minutes to play, and will help provide the basics. Then you can move onto the challenges of the three theme sets (included), “The Era of Gold”, “Era of Turmoil”, and the “Era of Progress”. The winner gets to 12 victory points first.

Then once you have mastered the three theme sets, there is an expansion called the “Age of Darkness”, this will give you three new theme sets “Era of Intrigue”, “Era of Merchant Princes”, and “The Era of Barbarians”.

Well I hope you like today’s choices! There are a ton more in store, if there is a game you want some more info on – or that you like! Drop me a line below!

“Own your morning. Elevate your life”

It has been 11 days – 11 days of waking up at the crack of dawn – actually before the crack of dawn – at 5am. 11 days of trying to maximize my productivity. 11 days of trying to break my addiction to distraction.

My husband is thinking of switching careers, which I am in full support of, but he has some fear of the “what ifs”, so I dragged him to the book store to help find some books to help the psyche. While he perused the business, and self help section – I ran my fingers along a table with some “must read” books – I picked them up, read the back, put them back down – none of them really held my interest. Then there it was – just sitting there – the 5 am club. On the front; Own your morning – elevate your life and on the back it spoke about how this man Robin Sharma introduced this concept over 20 years ago, and it has helped clients maximize their productivity, upgraded their happiness and accomplished epic results. I put it back down – I was here to help the husband. I went over and asked how I could help – he was nose deep in a bunch of books and I don’t even think he heard me.

Ok – fine, fine – I went back over to the book. I read the message from the author. The last sentence has me hooked. “The world needs more heroes and why wait for them – when you have it in you to become one. Starting today”. I quickly added the book to his pile as we made our way to the check out.

I was excited – first off I love books – LOVE books! Fiction, non fiction, biographies, how to, cookbooks.. the list goes on.. basically throw a bunch of words on a piece of paper and hand it to me! The next day, I settled onto my couch, poured myself a glass of wine, and got ready to fully immerse myself into the 5am and prepare myself for the changes to come.

I finished the first couple of chapters – to say I felt inspired and invigorated would be a lie. I hated it. This book was not what I was expecting. This was a story of two people on a journey to the 5am club. What the heck – how did I pass over that in the description on the back – a story?! I wanted the information, I wanted to the secrets of the 5am club, and wanted to know how now. I put the book down, disappointed.

Another couple of days passed – the book was staring at me on my coffee table. Read me. Do it. Give me a chance. Nope. Just wasn’t there yet. My phone rang, and it was the MIL; she asked what I was up to – I gave her a glimpse into what I was feeling. How I was so excited for this book – but felt so let down that it wasn’t the self help book I originally thought it was. She said just try to read it again with an open mind. She said maybe you will finish and maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll find something in one chapter that resonates and that’s all you need… Yes mom….

I told myself – 3 more chapters… That would bring me to 5 chapters in total. The book was $21.00 – so that works out to $5.25 a chapter. That wasn’t too bad – I have spent more on less.

By Chapter 4 I was hooked. I was invested. This IS exactly what I needed. I resonated with the painter and the entrepreneur – I read page after page, writing notes feverishly. I read the entire book – all 311 pages and 17 chapters in 2 days. I do not want to spoil this entire book in one blog – but the 5am club really does provide a formula that you can use to wake up early, be inspired, focus, and rid yourself from distraction.

I will share my journey – not frequently – but enough to let you know how this plays throughout my day to day and work life. Just know “mastery is not a sudden event” it is going to be journey; some days are going to be easier than others. My first 11 days have been a freakin’ roller coaster. Up, down, sideways, a few tears and a heckuva lot of smiles.

I will leave a little tidbit – the 3 step success formula – and we can discuss it a little later …..

Are you a member of the 5am club? Share your thoughts below…

Want to purchase you own copy? Click here

I was alone in the bath…

Imagine my surprise when I felt a tap on my shoulder! Get it?

In a previous post I mentioned that I was currently going through fertility treatments in hopes that one day – we will have an adorable mini-me or mini-him that we can love, take to Disney and call our own.

I went through so many blood tests – I am surprised I still have blood left in me to give. The doctor’s tested for everything; hematology, thyroid function, pituitary function – nothing came back glaringly off – my FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) levels were where they needed to be, no issues with my LH (Luteinizing Hormone).

We decided the next course of action would be TIC (Timed intercourse) along with Prometrium which is a progesterone hormone. It will help prepare the lining of the uterus to protect and nourish a growing baby during pregnancy. I was to take 2 pills a day.

However – this post isn’t about our first attempt – this is about one of the horrible side effects of Prometrium. Depression. The depression impact is hard. It causes anxiety, restlessness and at times thoughts of despair. Being new to asking for help when I was originally prescribed I didn’t ask many questions; if at all. My job was simple. Take the pills. Hope for the best. I was not prepared for the flooding of emotions and feelings that would come along for the ride. By the time I gained enough courage to reach out and ask for help, and perhaps answer my questions – my period came – I was to stop immediately. Spoiler alert – attempt 1 was not successful.

We are now attempt 2 – and I am being proactive – I am acknowledging what my body and my mind is going through and I am finding and asking for ways to help myself.

I found reading, getting out for a daily walk with my pooch, talking with the babe, and getting on a sleep schedule helps but what I found works the best – a bath. I know, I know what you’re thinking. Finally the blog title makes sense.

I did a little research for things I can do to help with what I was going through – and it kept bringing me to baths.

In a German study, participants with depression reported a boost in mood after soaking in a 40C bath for 30 minutes. In fact, in this experiment, regular baths proved to be more effective in aiding depression than aerobic exercise.

A Japanese study also looked into the mental health benefits of bathing, this time, in comparison to showering. They found that bathing resulted in less stress, tension – anxiety, anger-hostility, and depression, in the people who took part.

It’s believed that hot baths are particularly transformative because they warm us up. Increased body temperature at night helps synchronize our natural circadian rhythms, leading to better sleep patterns, along with improved quality of sleep and overall wellbeing.

You can read more about the above here

I started taking baths – I would fill up the tub, turn on netflix, and just chill… I found myself bored after the first 7 minutes, and often found myself more irritated than I was before the bath.

I started to change the way I took a bath. No technology. I would read instead. The bathroom light was off and instead surrounded myself with candles. I had water nearby for when I started to feel a little too warm. I began to finally relax. Enjoy the time in the tub.

I then started kicking it up a notch. Epson Salts, Essential Oils, Flowers, Milk, Honey. Here are some of the my favorites that hopefully will work for you:

Lavender – this floral scent is often known for its calming effects. Research also suggests that lavender may also help relieve anxiety, reduce stress, and promote relaxation

Milk Bath – milk baths are super easy – just choose your type of milk and pour into your warm bath water and begin to relax. Usually I add 1 to 2 cups at a time.

Honey – honey has skin-smoothing benefits thanks to its amino acids and antioxidants. I recommend mixing in about 1 cup of honey with some hot water, then pour into your bath tub. This can also be combined with the milk bath.

Lemon/Citrus  Squeeze and drop 5-6 lemons into your warm bath water. Slicing and placing them to float above the water will make a beautiful photo for the ‘gram but it won’t provide any benefits! It’s the juice of the lemons that will help refresh your tired skin.

Have another DIY bath tip or know any other surprising things to add to your bath – let me know below!

Infertility – When you want to slap the shit out of the person who says, “Oh it will happen, JUST RELAX”….

The girl on the left is confident, has found the love of her life, has an amazing pooch and is happy. She is a successful woman in an industry she loves. She has travelled and been able to partake in so many amazing events that it’s hard to keep track of. She has amazing friends, lives life to the fullest and you cannot tempt her with a good time.

She is loved. She is successful. She is happy.

The girl on the right is falling apart. She is continuously wondering what she has done wrong. She is wondering why she feels like a failure. She is a woman that wants nothing to be a mom, provide her loving husband a child. She feels alone. Every month of disappointment bring anxiety and depression that can last days or weeks. It comes at random minutes of the day but can feel like an eternity.

She is still loved. She is still successful. She is happy at times but know that it’s hard to be “on” all the time, it’s hard to be hopeful. It’s just hard.

In the past month I have been asked by my co-workers, spa aesthetician, grocery clerk, a server at a restaurant, and a random person at a convenience store if I have kids.

Please. Just stop asking.

You don’t know what my situation is, or anyone’s situation is for that matter. You don’t know that we went through a miscarriage, you don’t know that we have been trying ever since. You don’t know that I sat in my car and cried after that simple question.

Just please think about that the next time – you may think it’s harmless but it can in actuality cause more harm than you’ll ever know.

I know this has been a mouthful but it’s been a hard day, and this well it’s made me feel better. So I am ok with that.

I wrote the above, and posted to my Instagram back in August – I was at an all time low – didn’t know who to confide in – so I wrote to the world. Immediately comments and DM’s start flooding in, so quickly I actually had to turn my phone off because it all become to overwhelming too quickly.

After a day or so – I started to read through the messages, the support from everyone – including strangers I have never met was like a huge hug that just kept getting warmer and warmer as the messages went on. There are so many people out there coping, realizing and trying to navigate their way through their own fertility issues.

I could tell you that my husband and I have tried everything in the book up into that point when I posted my breakdown – but that would have been a lie. Before this day – I was too ashamed to go and get professional help. I was stubborn – I could do it if I tried harder. I don’t want to see a doctor – they are going to tell me I’m too old and there’s no point – I missed my chance to be a mom. All of these things I would blurt and blubber when the husband suggested maybe it’s time we get some help.

Then finally – that day in August; after 100’s of messages and stories – something inside me popped. Like a balloon in a big room. The pop was loud, and echoed through me. I need to ask for help. We couldn’t do this alone. There are reasons why there are doctor’s who specialize in this field, modern medicine have come leaps and bounds, and the support that is out there make this whole process no longer taboo like it was years ago.

The next day – we made the call and started the process with Omega Fertility… it wouldn’t start the next day or even the next week – of course we are in the middle of a pandemic!

I will continue posting my journey here as I navigate my way through fertility forums (TTC, BFN and FTTA ?!??!?!?!), testing, and of course the dreaded 2WW…..