Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Our social media free cottage weekend and what I learned in the process.

When we booked our summer cottage weekend many months ago, it seemed like it would be forever until it would arrive.  But this past weekend, it finally arrived.  It was a bit bittersweet though.  We couldn’t wait for it to arrive but we knew once it did arrive, summer would soon be over.  This summer we’ve been in practically drought like conditions and what was the forecast for this weekend????  Rain and lots of it.  We weren’t going to let Mother Nature ruin our much anticipated weekend away.

One thing that I decided I would do as part of weekend was turn the data off of my phone for the weekend.  Facebook, Instagram and Twitter could survive without me for a few days.  I was still able to receive phone calls and text message in case of an emergency.  I am just too paranoid to completely unplug for a weekend but I am sure you get what I mean.  Enjoying my weekend and our beautiful surroundings were the only thing on our agenda!

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On Friday morning, we packed up the car and hit the road.  It was a sweltering hot day and so far the forecast seemed to be wrong as the sun was shining so my son was itching to get there so he could swim in the lake.  Luckily when we arrived the sun was still shining and we hit the lake the minute we got our suits on.

Beach

My son has improved his swimming skills significantly in the past year so he was thrilled at the thought of being able to swim in the lake without his life jacket.  At first I was a little skeptical, but he proved me wrong when he swam out to the floating dock without hesitation.  All weekend he kept saying that I should never underestimate him!!  LOL

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We had friends staying in the adjacent cottage so that evening we got together for a rousing game of Monopoly.  I swear my son is either going to be a high finance banker or a real estate mogul when he grows up.  He was a total shark!

And as the weather man predicted, Saturday morning we awoke to rain and lots of it.  I was not going to let that get me down.  My son and I had brought our fishing rods and I  had gotten a fishing license for that day and we were going fishing.  I grew up fishing in the creek on our country property with a stick, fishing line and a hook.  If we were really lucky, we’d get a bobber.  My son actually had to show me how to cast.   It was sooooooo much fun.  My inner tomboy came out and I was putting worms on the hooks and pulling fish off the hooks without hesitation.  In the end I only caught 1 little sunfish.  My son caught 5!   Fishing is something I plan to do a lot more of now that I know how much we both enjoy it.  I am a nature girl at heart!

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My itty bitty fish

We took advantage of getting outdoors when there was a break in the rain, taking a hike and swimming again and more fishing as much as we could.  The rest of that day we colored, did some reading and even enjoyed a lovely afternoon nap.  I don’t think we’ve done that in years!  That evening it was storming quite a bit so we did cuddle into bed early and watched a movie on our tablet (ok, so not completely unplugged but given the circumstances of the storm, I don’t really think it counts.)

Sunday came so quickly and unfortunately we had to pack up and head back home.  We will surely be looking forward to returning for another great weekend next summer!  A big thank you to Mary and Tim at Woodland Park for such a great weekend!

Us on the dock

I learned a lot from my little social media break.  I learned that I have way too many email subscriptions that I don’t actually read.  When I turned my data back on my email box got flooded with tons of emails that I literally deleted without a need to read.  Time to do some Unsubscribing.

But most importantly I learned how much time I was taking away from my son.  I learned that I don’t need to be checking my social media constantly during the day.  When I have my son, I can turn the data off and devote my time strictly to him.  We will enjoy what little time we get to spend together totally focused on each other.  I can scroll thru Facebook when he goes to bed and catch up on everyone else’s lives then.  I can make memories with him in the moment and share these moment on Instagram when he’s gone to school or back to his Dad’s.  I need to live in the now and not in everyone else’s now.  It was a huge eye opener and making changes going forward  My son is so much more important to me!

Getting Fit · Uncategorized

Fitness Friday – It’s ok to enjoy vacation time

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I have been enjoying another week off from work this week.  Since it is my last full week of vacation time this summer, I am doing my best to enjoy every minute of it.  And if that means not giving my fitness goals and diet 100% of my attention, I am ok with that.  It doesn’t mean that I am not cognizant of what I am eating and doing, but I am not letting it get in the way of enjoying what little time I have off.  I have committed to get right back on track come Monday morning, but until them I am in total vacation mode.

I had actually even thought about skipping my Fitness Friday posting this week as well, but I thought I better keep myself somewhat accountable and not go too crazy.  LOL

One thing I am doing as part of my vacation is doing some new “fitnessy” kind of things.  This past weekend, I ventured into the city to visit my BFF.  We hopped on bikes and made our way down to the waterfront beach area.  I never thought I would have the courage to ride a bike in the heart of the city but thankfully there were beautiful bike paths away from the crazy city traffic.

Bike

My bff had rented stand up paddle boards for us to use that afternoon.  She had taken a lesson before and told me she would just show me how it was done.  Truth be told, I was a little worried about not taking a formal lesson but trusted her instinct.  I was so glad I did.  I was up on the board first try.   It was so much fun and I didn’t end up in the lake once.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone and want to do it again soon.

Paddle Board

Mary and I

The next day we decided to continue the outdoorsy theme and headed to a local conservation area/ski hill to do some hiking.  The scenery was gorgeous.  It was quite hot so we didn’t venture too far up the hills but still got a good long hike in.  Afterwards we splashed in the lake for a bit to cool off.

Ski hill2We’ve been under a bit of a heat wave the rest of the week so I was more than happy to sit on the deck along side a friend’s pool and just enjoy the remaining days of my vacation.    We’re heading up to cottage country this weekend and of course after an almost drought like summer, it is supposed to pour rain ALL weekend.  It’s ok, my son and I can fish off the dock in the rain and as long as it doesn’t thunder and lightning, I am sure my son will be wanting to swim in the lake anyways.

I am not going to feel guilty about not going to the gym this week at all, I am not even going to post my accountability like I normally do.  Only thing I will account for is I have continued to ensure I get a minimum of my 10K steps in each day.  I don’t believe that one should feel forced into going to the gym or watching their diet every single second and enjoying a cheat day every one in a while.  It’s only going to make someone hate it and not get back on track as soon as they have a bad day.  I treat it like a lifestyle instead of a diet and every lifestyle gets a vacation everyone in a while.

Enjoy your week and Monday……back on track!!!

 

 

Travel

Our Treewalk Village Adventure

Have a little one that loves adventure?  Love getting out into nature and enjoying the warm weather and fresh air?  Head on over to TreeWalk Village located Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area in Stouffville.

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TreeWalk Village is an amazing playground of tree-houses connected by rope bridges and hammock net pathways.

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My son is a bit of adventurer and can’t wait until he is old enough to do the Treetop Trekking and zip lining, which is also available at this location.  But until then, this is a great option.

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I am sure some parents are thinking this isn’t a great option if there children are of the younger crowd.  Let me reassure you, when I was there, there were children as young as 2 years old there and they were having a ton of fun too.  In addition to the rope bridges, there is a group of tunnels for the kids to the walk/crawl through which would be ideal for the younger crowd.

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There is also a small rock wall for the kids to take a turn climbing on.

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Reservations are required and are for 2 hours at a time.  This is a perfect amount of time to enjoy the entire park area.

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There are picnic tables located throughout the park, so be sure to bring along snacks and lots of water.  Even though the area is shaded, it is a bit of a workout maneuvering the bridges between each of the tree-houses.

We both thoroughly enjoyed our adventure and will be returning soon.  It is a great day out for families of all ages.

You can get more information about TreeWalk Village but visiting their website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

**Although admission was provided to me, all comments, opinions and pictures are mine.**

Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Get out and enjoy the spring weather!

This past weekend, we got a glimmer of hope that the spring weather was coming and I used this to our advantage to get outside and soak up the Vitamin D. With friends one day and family another, we visited 2 of our local conservation areas; Heber Downs and Lynde Shores. If you are in the area, I totally recommend you make a day of it and visit one of these locations. Both are extremely scenic but very different from one another.

Heber Downs is quite hilly and in my opinion, more of a forested area.  I have been several times in the past and haven’t run into much wildlife, if any.

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Lynde Shores is more of a flat lands but tons of wildlife. The chickadees will come and eat seeds right out of your hands. It is amazing.  Be sure to bring bird seed (especially sunflower seeds) with you!

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Both of these are part of the Central Lake Ontario Conservation.  Parking is $2/hour or $5/day.  You can purchase a parking pass that works for all CLOCA locations for $60/year.    So it is a great day and not hard on the pocket book.

I am seriously considering purchasing one of these as my son has recently discovered Geocaching.  If you don’t know what Geocaching is, it is basically a scavenger hunt using GPS.  There is an app that you can use on your phone and it helps you locate hidden objects within nature.  Some contain little “treasures” that you can trade out.  My son loved the idea of this.  We were able to locate our first “cache” which was quite small but exciting nonetheless.

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Even if you don’t live in our area, get out and visit your local conversation areas with you kids.  It’s a great way to get them out in the fresh air and away from the electronics and who knows what you will find there!

 

Thanks,