Travel

Ste Anne’s Spa showed me true relaxation

Disclosure:  Although items in this post were provided to me, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

As much as I like to relax, I am not very good at it.  My mind races, I think about things that I have no business thinking about and just generally don’t relax well.  However, recently I spent the day at Ste Anne’s spa with a couple of my blogging friends, Stephanie from Bawlers and Crawlers and Kait from Teacups and Things  and learned the true meaning of relaxation.

ste annes grounds

I didn’t think it was possible to turn my brain off of the outside world and just be able to focus on being at Ste Anne’s and enjoying being in the moment.  But when on site at Ste Anne’s it’s easy to understand how you can take in all the beauty and serenity and just focus on the now.

Nestled in the countryside just off the 401 in Grafton is where you will find this gem of a getaway.  It’s less than an hour from the Durham region so spending a day there is an easy drive.  From the moment you arrive, you are greeted with gorgeous gardens, rustic buildings and overall beauty of the area.

ste annes ground

Upon check in, you are handed a robe and your day of total relaxation begins.  In addition to scheduled spa treatments and wellness classes, there are quiet rooms, hot tubs and a pool for you to just move at your own pace and relax as you wish.  The quiet room is filled with the most amazing massage chairs to massage away all your aches and pains.   I could have sat in those all days.

I started my day with a yoga class which was great to start out with and stretch away some tension in the body and soul.  I then met up with my friends for an amazing lunch on the patio that overlooked the grounds.  We couldn’t have asked for a better day weather wise and we able to enjoy all the different areas of the resort.

We were given so many options for our 3 course lunch, it was very hard to choose. Everything looked so delicious.  I ended up deciding on the crab cakes for my appetizer, the hamburger with a cold, avocado soup as my side and then a strawberry rhubarb ice cream for dessert.   So delicious, I could happily have that every day.

After lunch, it was time for me to enjoy a seaweed wrap.  I had never had one before and was excited to see what it actually involved.  For some reason, I envisioned being wrapped up in those seaweed papers they use for sushi.  However, I started my treatment with a seaweed mud being applied to my body and then covered in warm hot towels and wrapped up like a cocoon.   I was then treated to an incredible head massage.  I swear I almost fell asleep I was so relaxed.  After I showered off the mud concoction, I then received a full moisturizing body massage.  Truly heavenly.  I felt like all my aches and pains were massaged out of me.

ste anne girls

I then met up with my friends to spend some time enjoying the pool and the outdoor area.  Aside from the pool, there are Adirondack chairs, hammocks set up for you to just sit and enjoy.

We then went inside to enjoy the high tea.  Little sandwiches, cheeses, cookies and treats and of course tea rounded out this amazing snack time.

I couldn’t believe how fast the day was going and we soon would have to hand in our robes and say goodbye.  We decided to enjoy and the Fieldstone Grotto which houses a hot tub, a plunge pool for cooling down after and a lap pool.  I was surprised how refreshing the plunge pool was after heating up in the hot tub.

After getting back into our everyday clothes, we took a meander through the gift shop which is filled with all types of unique gift ideas and the Ste Anne signature spa product line.

It was definitely hard to leave and definitely hope to return again soon.  Next time I would like to be able to in their overnight experience and stay for the evening in one of their quaint rooms in their Main Inn or one of their Spa cottages that they have available.

It was such a relaxing day.  I didn’t know I could actually allow myself to relax that much but it was definitely something this Mom needed and thank the Spa for such a great experience.  If you are looking for a getaway that isn’t too far from home but gives you the ultimate in relaxation and comfort, Ste Anne’s is your place to go.

Parenting/Life

5 Things Not to Say to a Single Mom

I am not going to lie and say that being a single Mom is the worst thing ever…it’s not.  It does have it’s perks, sometimes.  But there are definitely more times than other that I struggle and it’s hard.  Having a partner there that it there to help me through the tough times would be a blessing.  So needless to say, when some of my fellow Mom’s with partner’s make comments about how hard they have it, it doesn’t always sit well with me.   Sometimes it is me being oversensitive but sometimes it’s they really don’t think about it from my perspective.  I am not trying to be over critical of 2 parent families, nor am I saying “oh woe is me”.  Things are just different and not always in a good way when your a single parent.

So, here is my list of 5 things you really shouldn’t say to a single Mom.

  1.  Must be nice to have all that free time when you child is at his Father’s.  – Sure, there are times when having that bit of break is nice.  I will not deny that.    But it’s not like we are off partying the whole time and living it up.  No, it means coming home to an empty house, and having to do everything on your own to maintain the household and being alone most of the time. I totally understand that families don’t get the luxury of having that break to catch up on chores, but there are 2 instead of one to get things done and they have each other to count on.  And truth be told, I would give up that free time in a heartbeat given the opportunity.
  2. My husband is away for the weekend, so I am “single Momming it”.  No, you are not a single Mom.  Not even close.  At the end of that weekend, your husband will return and so will his help, his companionship, his help making ends meet and his support.  So for 2 days, you will have to do it all on your own but that is it…2 days.  This one really frustrates me.   If I can full time single Mom it, you can do it for 2 days.  It won’t be sunshine and unicorns the whole time but you can do it.
  3. My husband is being a pain in the ass , you’re lucky to be single.  Really, I am lucky?  Not quite sure I see it that way.  Being single, means coming home to an empty house some days, no adult to talk to after the kids are put to bed, no shoulder to cry on when having a bad day, no one to help pay the mortgage, the bills and put food on the table or clothing on your kids back.  It’s just me.  Sure I have friends, but trust me, it’s not the same.
  4. Why don’t you go out more?  I guess this really depends on the context of this statement.  If it means dating, well, when you are a 40 something Mom looking to date a 40 something man, a lot of the time said man comes with children of his own.  That means a virtual scheduling nightmare.  I am not about to give up time with my child for a person I have just met and I don’t expect them to do that either.  And if they do, is that the type of person I want to be with? No.  And if they mean just going out for the evening, again most times it is a scheduling nightmare. Most of my friends are married with kids and that involves arranging babysitters or convincing their hubby to stay home with the kids and truth be told, at this age, we aren’t partying until all hours of the night people.
  5. My kids are with me 24/7 and it drives me crazy.  This is the one that drives me the most crazy.  Anyone who know me, knows I never signed up to be a “part time parent”.  When I had my son, I never thought I would only see him 50% of his life.  I miss his kisses, his hugs, certain holidays,  some milestones and it kills me.  I would give my right arm to have my child with me 24/7 but I don’t get that luxury.  So when I hear other Moms’ complain about it, I want them to take a step or 2 in my shoes and see if that is really the life they want.

I am sure some of you will read this and roll your eyes and think that I am just whining about my bad luck.  That is not it at all.  Being a single Mom is tough but when I do have my son, I get quality one on one time that I don’t think I would be able to cherish and enjoy as much as I do if I was in a different situation. But I don`t get to choose what time I get to spend with him and what event/milestones, etc that I get to be present for, that has been chosen for me.  It’s hard but I know this has made me a much stronger, independent woman.  But what bothers me is when people see single parenting as somewhat of a luxury or treat or when they complain about being able to be in every part of their children’s’ lives.  It’s just my 2 cents.

DIY

Inspire My Creativity – Fall Themed Garland

Summer is over and the fall weather is upon us.  And it also means that it’s that time again to co-host our link up party with my favorite crafty ladies  If this is the first time you’ve visited, on the 2nd Wednesday of each month we will be bringing you our latest DIY creations.  This month’s theme is quite simply “Fall”. so I am excited to see what all the others come up with.  For my DIY project I decided on a fall themed garland.

I have a huge fireplace in my home and up until now, aside from holding my TV, I hadn’t done a whole lot with the space.  The fireplace itself doesn’t actually work so I will need to come up with something to create a pleasant visual in area where he fire goes, but that will be another project on it’s own.  (If you have any ideas, please send them my way.)  So after scouring Pinterest for ideas, I decided that I would create a garland to spruce it up for the upcoming fall season.

Wanting something that would be suitable for the entire fall season, which includes both Halloween and Thanksgiving, I decided on this pumpkin/fall leaf garland.  It’s a fairly simple piece that gives the fall feeling but also with additional decorations, can be make to feel more on the Halloween or Thanksgiving side.

This quick and easy garland takes no time at all to make and you only need a few supplies to go from start to finish.  To create the garland, you will need:

  1.  Orange Wool (similar here)
  2. Fake Fall Leaves (similar here)
  3. Twine (similar here)
  4. Green pipe cleaners (similar here)
  5. Glue Gun (similar here)

To make the little wool pumpkins, I just started by winding the wool around my fingers until it was the size that I wanted.  This is a bit of a trial and error but once you have enough wool to make the pumpkin, carefully pull the wool off and tie a short piece of wool around the middle.  Once you had knotted it, you will need to “fluff” out the wool to give it a more pumpkin shape.

I then took a small piece of pipe cleaner and slid it under the knotted area.  I then folded it in half and twisted it to make the stem.  Be sure the stem is long enough as you will use it to attach it to the garland.

After you have made your pumpkins.  You can make as many or as few as you want to string along the twine.  The attach the twine to your mantle area.  I just used duct tape at the beginning until I could get some permanent hooks as I plan to make more garlands in the future.  Twist the pipe cleaner stem around the twine to attach each pumpkin.

You then can add the leaves by using a tiny bit of hot glue on the back of each and pressing it on to the twine.  Be careful not to burn yourself.

Once you have added leaves to fill in the spaces between each of the pumpkins, you are finished.  An easy, but festive looking garland that will be suitable for the entire fall season.  I plan to make it a little more festive for Halloween by incorporating next month’s craft into the mantle.  Our theme next month is “Embroidery Hoops”, so stay tuned.

Do you have a fall themed craft that you would like to share?  Join our Link Party below!

Join myself and the following host for the September Link up Party!

Meredith  |  The Designer DIY
Missy  |  Gypsy Magpie
Meg  |  The Kusi Life
Kim  |  Creigh-ations
Candice  |  She’s Crafty

https://static.inlinkz.com/cs2.js

Parenting/Life

Not your average Mommy blogger

The other day I was with a group of people and somehow the topic of my blog came up. When one of them asked what kind of blogger I was.  Of course, I gave the standard, “I am a Mommy blogger.”  At that point, they gave me the most puzzled look, as if I had said something wrong.  When I questioned them, they said they were shocked as I was the stereotypical Mommy blogger.  This peaked my curiosity as to what their definition of a Mommy blogger was.

They proceeded with their list of so-called Mommy blogger traits:

  1.  Married
  2. Under the age of 35
  3. Either pregnant or a newborn at home
  4. Usually more than one child
  5. Usually a stay at home Mom
  6. Feeds are filled with pictures of them with their kids

After pondering the above list, I realized that according to the apparent Mommy blogger standards, I didn’t fit one single item in the mold.  I am single, over 40, I have only one child that is 9, I work full-time.  I also don’t post pictures of my son’s face out of respect of an agreement I have with his father.  Yup, not one typical trait.  So what does that tell me about my ability to be a Mommy blogger?  Absolutely nothing.

Just because I don’t fit the mold, doesn’t mean I don’t know what it is to be a Mom.  I am just different than the average Mom.  I don’t even like saying that.  Average Mom….what does that even mean?  No Mom is average, we all do things differently and we all do some things the same.  I don’t understand how they can say there is a “typical” type of Mommy blogger.  The only true trait that we all share is that we have a child, hence making us a “Mom”.  Am I wrong here?

Did I somehow miss the meeting in the 4th grade where all the girls get pulled into the bathroom and taught what a real Mom blogger was?  The last I checked being a Mommy blogger meant that we had found an outlet to express ourselves and find others that were in similar situations to connect with. When I look a some of my favorite Mommy bloggers that I follow and have amazing blogs, they don’t always fit the mold either.  They may only have 1 child, they may work full time, they even may be single but they are Mom’s and kicking butt at the Mommy blog thing just as well as the others.

And do I want to be normal?  I thought we all strived to be different, individuals, our own person.  In the words of Maya Angelou, “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”