2019-2020 PLANNER GUIDE

Every year, around the end of April I start my search for the perfect Planner/Agenda for the coming year. It might seem a bit early, but most Agendas start in August; so if you buy it later you’re technically loosing out on a few months of use.

I’d say I start this early because I want to get to know what to expect from the selection, and what choices I’ll have – brands, locations to buy, opinions of others if I’m going for something I’ve never used before, etc.

Usually around the end of June my mind is made up and I know what I want. Then the waiting game begins. Usually around mid-end July stores such as Chapters-Indigo hold a promotion on calendars and agenda (based on the agenda start time, this is genius and perfect for people like me), and this is the perfect time to pick up your chosen planner/agenda. This year, Indigo offered 30% off all Calendars, Agendas, and Planners for about a week.

Clearly, I jumped on this offer, picked out my top three favorites, and waited patiently for them to arrive in my mailbox. I really couldn’t make my mind up on which one I wanted this year so I purchased three different ones and decided I’d sit down at home and make my decision then.

My top three choices for the 2019-2020 year were:1. Fringe Studio 2019-2020 17 month pocket planner rose gold – $12.95

This planner made my top three list mainly because of its simplicity and size. The pages are clean, grey/white, and the layout is practical. Each new month starts with a summary page that includes a goals, birthdays, anniversary’s, and to-do section. The weekly day by day layout is minimalistic, clean, and each days spot is lined for good organization.

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2. Ban.Do 2019-2020 17 month large classic planner – $26.00

Photo Credit: @shopbando Instagram
Photo Credit: @shopbando Instagram

The Ban.Do planner has been my go-to planner for many years now so naturally it was added to my top list. The Ban.Do planners are so much more than a planner – they have stickers, coloring pages, quotes, fun holiday reminders, and so much more. This year, you can even find a pair of 3D glasses in the back pocket. This planner is a bit larger than the other two, and is hardcover (as opposed to the other two which are softcover), but it’s still a small enough size to throw into a tote and carry with you anywhere you go.

Another great thing about these Ban.Do Planners is that they come in three different sizes and different cover designs! So many options to choose from and you really can’t go wrong with any of them!

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3. Studio Oh! 2019-2020 17 month stay magical planner – $16.99

This planner seemed to have it all – good sizing and lots of fun pretty designs! Every single page of this planner has a different color theme and design; each one suited for that time of the year. The planner has a spot for jotting down a list of books to read, movies to watch, and other notes needed.

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So, I’m still not decided on which planner I will keep for the year, but I am leaning towards the Ban.Do – it just seems to be a yearly tradition now and I don’t think I can break it. Although it’s a bit bigger than what I was hoping for, for this year, the design and extras are so tempting and I don’t think I can resist!

Happy Shopping!

Pregnancy Update: Gender Reveal and 20 Weeks

Hello 20 Weeks! I can’t believe we are at the halfway point already! I feel like my belly has just popped, and I’m just now starting to get my appetite back (although still not entirely)! We also got some very exciting news!

Time has been flying for us lately, mainly because we are both so busy with setting up our new home, working full time, and having company over (summer time is THE time to visit us – maybe everyone is scared of the Ottawa Winter?)

Even though we are overwhelmed with all the other things happening in life right now; Baby is growing healthy and happy and that’s my priority right!

Last week we reached a very exciting milestone and we were able to find out the gender of our little one! As I mentioned in an earlier update, deciding if we wanted to find out the gender now was a tough decision for us because from the beginning we were planning on not finding out till birth!

Well, we went in for a routine ultrasound, and I told the technician that we aren’t sure if we want to know, and asked her to write on a piece of paper the gender of our baby. I brought in two envelopes with a piece of paper inside, as I didn’t want this life changing word to be on some plain scrap paper! I knew I’d have to keep it as a memory!

Right after the ultrasound, my husband turned to me and said “okay, let’s open the envelope now!”. I was actually shocked because he was the one that was set in NOT finding out till birth; and now this man towering over me was basically begging to know the gender of his baby. I cried a bit, because that’s what I do a lot now – they are all tears of joy – it’s just how I show my happiness.

So, we didn’t find out right there and then because now I had my mind set on having some sort of surprise for us too. So the next day, the secret envelope and I walked into the nearest Party City and asked for a gender reveal balloon. The entire way home I was worrying that the balloon would pop (there’s been a massive heat wave in Ottawa and apparently the balloon is like a human; can’t be too hot, can’t be too cold). Anyways, I made it home, placed the balloons in the middle of the living room and waited for my hubby to get home.

FINALLY he got home. Out of all days, this had to be the day he needed to work late. It was time to pop the balloon!

Since our family is all over the globe, we decided to share the moment live with our family through WhatsApp. We had both phones going at once; one was on WhatsApp and the other was filming us and the balloon!

Ah, it makes me so nervous and excited to share this news! So hubby did a little countdown from 3, and both of us pin in hand we popped the balloon together!

Out came flying PINK confetti!!! We are having a BABY GIRL!!!! My hubby was right, because from the very beginning he told me he thought we were having a girl! Daddy’s intuition or what? We feel so blessed and excited, and can’t wait to meet our daughter. {it feels so amazing saying “daughter” especially now that we know we are having a girl for sure!}.

In terms of names, I think we have her name picked out, but I’m not sure that I’m ready to share it yet {sorry}. We have 4 names that we love so we are still working through deciding on one!

All in all, what a wonderful experience. Although we were not sure if we wanted to go through with a reveal now or find out at birth, I am happy we did it. But, I also would be okay to find out at birth. One of my friends told me that we don’t get many surprises in life and what a great surprise it would be to find out at birth. That really stuck with me, and even though we decided to go ahead with the reveal now, I think this is a great thing to say to someone who is also debating a reveal.

No matter what, when, or how you find out, it’s a purely magical and special moment!

MY ADVENTURES WITH PRENATAL VITAMINS

Before I jump in to the main topic here, I thought I’d give you a little background on my first months of pregnancy, because i think this also affected the vitamins and how I was feeling.

The first few months of my pregnancy were not easy – nausea and extreme exhaustion were the worst. Mornings lasted forever, it was impossible to get out of bed and get my day going; especially when I knew I had to go somewhere that day. I have a fear of throwing up, so each morning I sat in a comfy chair in my living room and took deep breaths in and out, praying that I can keep it together. Relaxing my body and mind helped sometimes. Finally a few weeks in I had to make the call, see my doctor, and start taking anti-nausea medication.

Generally, I try to stay away from pills the best I can because I like to think I have a high pain tolerance and “things will pass”. I had to give in this time and take something because I literally could not function or go to work. I admit that although I do feel a bit guilty for taking something (I wanted to have a completely natural pregnancy) I now know that it was actually a smart decision. I took the smallest dosage possible; the nausea didn’t completely subside, but it became manageable enough to slowly go on with my day.

Then the topic of food came along and the stress that because I felt sick and couldn’t really eat too much, I wasn’t getting all my vitamins and nutrients in. Let’s also keep in mind that my relationship with food isn’t the best. I’m not a big eater, and I’m fairly picky. I’m one of those people that would literally “prefer not to eat if they didn’t have to”. I know that doesn’t sound healthy, but it’s the reality and I don’t feel like I need to hide that. Being pregnant for the first time, I really didn’t know that the golden rule in this stage is “don’t force yourself”. Well, I forced myself on a few things, thinking it might actually help me. I don’t think it did, and now I cannot take the look, smell, or thought of a few items (which I’m still not ready to talk about…) So ladies, don’t force yourself, eat whatever works and don’t worry about it too much in the beginning. Baby is getting his/her vitamins through your prenatal vitamins and your body in general.

So now the main topic of discussion here: P R E N A T A L V I T A M I N S

Along with this stress of “not getting enough nutrients”, came the priority of prenatal vitamins. I did research above research on this topic even before I became pregnant and thought I had it all figured out. Well, I did – to a point. I had a plan. The plan was to start with the vitamin that had the most and was the best rated (over the longest time period). I found this one to be Materna. So, because I got pregnant a bit quicker than expected (not that it was a surprise, I just didn’t think it would happen THAT quickly), I didn’t have time to try out Materna before actually HAVING to take it. We found out I was pregnant in the morning, and I attempted to take my first materna that night. I broke it in half, because I can’t for the life of me swallow pills bigger than an allergy pill. I thought that would be good enough and I could do it. *positive mindset*. BIG MISTAKE. It got stuck in my throat, running to the bathroom I wasn’t sure if I was going to throw up or stop breathing. Neither happened (probably because of my fear) and I stood there for a good 10 minutes in shock; sweating and panting. Not understanding how I was still breathing with this thing lodged in my throat. I had hot tea handy and crackers so I started dropping crackers into the tea and once they soaked in the tea I started eating them to help push down the pill. THIRTY minutes later I had calmed down enough to tell my husband I will never put that thing, or any other hard pill in my mouth again. My husband was already taking in his newfound happiness of becoming a “father to be” to argue with me and just offered to go to the nearest pharmacy to get me something else. We left it at that for the night and decided we’d go the next day. I was desperate just to get in to bed and forget what had just happened.

The next prenatal vitamin on my list was the Jamieson Chewables. Chewing is fine, what could go wrong with this one? WELL, these upset my stomach to an extent I couldn’t live with anymore. The taste was bearable; like an apple cranberry mix that’s slightly sour. I maybe could have tried taking half of these instead of a whole, but instead my doctor and I decided to set aside the vitamins and give my body a rest for a minute. Keep in mind I was eating strawberries and crackers at this point – nothing else tasted or smelt even decently okay to have in my vicinity. I had lost weight, and feeling like a bad mother already. My doctor suggested I just try to focus on eating more healthy options and that we would revisit the vitamin topic at our next visit.

FINALLY, once the nausea ceased, I went for a third prenatal vitamin option – Nature’s Bounty Prenatal Gummies. I figured dummies were my last and best option, and so I researched and researched and finally found one I thought I could settle on. I’ve now been taking these for about 2 months; 3 gummies right before bed, and it’s looking good. First of all, they are delicious! For me they taste like some type of tropical drink I would order on a vacation in Mexico (while lounging by the pool). The fact that they are chewable gummies makes my life SO much easier and better. Some days I pop three in my mouth at a time, and some days it’s a one by one process. No matter what though, they are the answer to my prenatal vitamin adventure. 

I decided to share this story because I think it’s so important to share with other mama-to-be’s these “adventures”. Although we all go through things differently, and have different tolerances, I think it’s great to read other people’s stories. Especially for first time pregnancy’s when everything is so new and you really don’t know what to expect.

I’m curious to know, what kind of experience did you have with your prenatal vitamins? Which ones worked best for you?

PREGNANCY UPDATE: 18 WEEKS

My pregnancy journey has been a truly unique and personal one – that’s how it is for all of us though, isn’t it? We all experience this amazing time a little bit differently. Now that we are in the 18th week and getting closer to the mid point, things are really starting to hit me – the entire reality of being pregnant. 

The main exciting thing that happened this week is that MY BELLY FINALLY POPPED – a little bit, but enough for me to notice. Not to brag or anything, but I’ve always had a flat stomach, so for the first little bit I just felt like I was gaining weight. But, now the belly is a real thing; it’s there constantly and I am in love with it.

Along with this beautiful belly popping, I now am not comfortable in my high waisted jeans, and just find it hard having anything tighter on my waist. I guess I’m lucky it’s summer and I can wear flowy dresses because I just can’t bring myself to buy maternity clothes. So last Friday I took a trip to the mall and picked up a few cute flowy summer dresses – not from the maternity section!

The next thing coming up this week; we are going for an ultrasound and can find out the gender of Baby Wiercinski – BUT we still can’t make up our minds if we want to know or if we want it to be a surprise! My husband is pretty set on wanting it to be a surprise; I’m on the fence still but starting to feel stronger about finding out the gender. What to do? What to do?