Why Do We Say That Blood Is Thicker Than Water?

I know we’ve all heard it a hundred times in our lives and it’s usually meant to imply that our blood bonds are stronger than anything. That our loyalty to them is deeper and forever and those relationships are worth saving at all costs.

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While I believe relationships take effort, I don’t believe they should take work, at least not on a long term, ongoing basis. I do believe certain relationships warrant more effort or possibly work based on their origin, but I understand more than ever, the value of surrounding yourself and filing your life with *your people*.

And I don’t believe *your people* has to only or always mean those who share your blood. And here’s why:

I was adopted and so was my brother. As a result, I am blood related to exactly 2 people.

TWO PEOPLE.

Only two that, based on this statement, I should feel a sense of loyalty and lifelong obligation to. And I do, believe me I do, but it’s only because I chose and was able to have biological children (and has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that we are biologically related, just to be clear). 

 

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{Photo Credit: Eternal Reflections Photography}

You might understand why such a statement would rub me the wrong way. My cousin has 2 biological children and 2 adopted children (who are also biological siblings), but at the end of the day she has 4 children. Period. And they love and protect each other with the same fierceness, regardless of their *blood status* within the family. Her and I have spoken often of this, particularly when certain issues have come up in our own lives and extended families. Or in the lives of our friends. We have to stop this….

Blood is NOT thicker than water.

Love your families and do what you can to keep those relationships strong and positive – because in many ways, those SHOULD be your people. Or a good foundation of people, at the very least. But let’s not do it because they share blood and instead because we value their existence and role in our lives.

How about love is love. Loyalty is loyalty. The people who matter to you are the people who matter to you. Period.

Because I’ve got friends who are like sisters and cousins who are like strangers, children of friends who are no different than my nieces and nephews (who I love like my own) and adults who are like extensions of parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles – to me and my children. There is no definitive blood line I need to follow and maybe it’s because I just simply don’t have one I could follow.

But please just think next time you consider using such a phrase. I know you likely mean well and I understand the point you might be trying to illustrate. But how about next time when you want a relationship to work out, you simply say:

You matter to me.

 

 

 

Gingerbread Mini Village

Flashback to 2010 when I bought this awesome Gingerbread Mini Village Kit from Target

And we created the cutest village there ever was

Now I wish I had bought a few of them. LOL

Not so bad I’d say…and it was a really fun way to spend a couple of hours. I love making memories!

My Favourite Cheeseball Recipe of All Time

I know I’ve mentioned it before – but I’m a complete cheese addict. I really do think it just makes everything taste better.

So when my sister in law made this cheeseball for Christmas several years ago, I was a little embarrassed how much I ate (good thing she brought a few of them). It is SO good…and a perfect little appetizer/snack to take to a get together…or on a plate surrounded by Wheat Thins {or my new favourite, Breton White Bean crackers} for neighbour/friend gifts. Quick and easy to make…with only a few ingredients….it’s awesome. And instead of using the recipe to make one giant cheeseball, I usually make several small ones…easier to justify pulling one out and eating it in one sitting (oh yes I have!). They freeze well which is even better….and boy oh boy are they yummy!

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How ca-ute is this pumpkin shaped cheeseball a friend of mine made!!! {she used elastics around the saran wrap while it chilled in the fridge!!}

8oz McLaren’s Cheese – softened at room temperature (Costco has the best price)

8oz Cream Cheese – softened at room temperature

Blend (I use beaters) well and add:

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1/3 cup chopped pecans

dash of garlic powder (maybe 1/4 tsp)

Chill, then shape into a ball (or however many you want) and roll in mixture of:

2 Tbsp chopped pecans (I pre-chop them with my handy chopper thing – I know, so technical)

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp paprika

 

Three Tiered Skirts

Way back in 2010, my cousin, Laura gave me a huge sewing bug after she made some adorable skirts for her girls. I had to follow suit, and soon found myself knee deep in fabric and multiple patterns. lol

sewing-making-memories-with-kids-these-are-your-days-skirts-eternal-reflections-photography-bI decided to start small/basic with this Three Tiered skirt pattern which I LOVED! And so did Brooklyn, PLUS they were really easy to make.

{Photo Credit: Eternal Reflections Photography – except the photo above, taken by me and edited by ERP}

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And the best part? The skirts live on with my other cousins’ young girls.

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My heart swoons

The Polka Dot Chair

I WANT TO MAKE THIS!!! Another blog found from aimless internet wandering 🙂 As we all know I’m on a bit of a skirt sewing kick – and now that the weather is turning (much to my dismay – I’m so not ready to say goodbye to the summer sunshine) I know I’ll be spending a whole lot more time at my sewing machine! This has promptly been added to my list – a fantastic tutorial from The Polka Dot Chair!


In addition, I want to make this completely adorable matching skirt for a doll :


I absolutely love both skirts (though personally prefer the fabric on the doll version) and can’t wait to try them out.








Rocky Mountain Soap Company

It has been almost 3 years since we’ve had a tub in our house, but finally the kids’ bathroom is complete and we have a BEAUTIFUL tub that I relax in at least 3 times a week. As such, I wanted to really enjoy a pampering experience.

Last year my cousin gifted me some natural soaps from the Rocky Mountain Soap Co. AND one of my coworkers is also a huge fan – in fact, she recently purchased some items and the very next day had THREE baths. THREE.

So it seemed like an obvious first choice in my natural bath products search.

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I started small, wanting to try a few things and not go overboard {as is my natural tendency haha}. I got 1 bubble bath and 3 of their small trial size bath salts {I LOVE that they offer small ones}

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Sweet Dreams * Vanilla & Coconut * Rescue

And a couple of bath bombs, one of which was the awesome Minty Eucalyptus

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I enjoyed the bath salts for sure, but my preference is hands down with the bath bombs. They are so nice and my skin came out feeling so amazing and soft. Be aware that the flakes of this particular bath bomb make it look like you took a bath with oreos. haha

I wasted no time and put it another small order.

Okay, I ordered 18. EIGHTEEN.

Ha! I’m set up through the winter! 😉

I love them all…Even Jonah made us all feel his skin after his bath because it was so smooth.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I have not been compensated in any way.

 

Spinach Salad with Raspberry-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

I’m a sucker for a good homemade salad dressing, and am always looking for a new recipe. This fits the bill completely. And soooo easy (they often are) and seriously scrumptious.

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For the salad:

Spinach

a bunch of fruit cut up into bite sized pieces (apples, grapes, mandarins, strawberries, raspberries, melon, etc.)

sliced almonds or pecans (I like to sugar mine – equal parts margarine and sugar….melt and mix together in pan, add nuts and stir. watch carefully so they don’t burn)

Feta, Goat, or blue cheese….or asiago, swiss emmental, etc.

Raspberry-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup canola/vegatable oil

2 Tbsp raspberry jam

2 Tbsp poppy seeds

1 tsp salt (optional)

3/4 tsp. dried mustard

Drizzle over salad, toss, and ENJOY!

 

Fun and Delicious Kool-Aid Popcorn

This is a great treat to make with the kids and it’s so delicious too! Years ago, when one of Jonah’s preschool classmates handed out baggies to everyone, I may or may not have eaten the entre thing. *oops*

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2 cups sugar

1 cup white corn syrup

2/3 cups margarine

2 packages of Kool-aid

1 tsp baking soda

Boil the sugar, syrup, and margarine together for 3 minutes. Stir in baking soda and Kool-aid and pour over 6 quarts of popcorn.

Bake at 225 for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and break up immediately.

ENJOY!!! (Make two batches and add the festive flair – red/green. orange/black, red/pink, or perhaps just a few random colours for fun!)

Be Scared and Do it Anyway

Last summer, in a gutsy move, Jonah agreed to try kneeboarding. He was a little nervous but my cousin reassured him he would be okay and showed him what to do.

He only tried once but that was enough. The rope came off and he flipped over, but his knees didn’t pop out of the straps like he expected. So while his head was never under the water, he was certain he was drowning and just moments from death.

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He was completely traumatized and unwilling to try again, which broke my heart. I just really wanted it for him, knowing he would love it and feel so proud of himself. But there’s a fine balance in knowing when to push and when to trust. I chose to trust his choice to wait.

Fast forward to this summer at the same lake, with our same cousins. We spent a good part of time boating and tubing. When some of their other cousins went out on the kneeboard, I could tell Jonah was waging an inner battle.

He told me he wanted to try it again, but that he was scared.

I shared with him a story I had read earlier this year, of a young girl standing on the edge of the pool, wanting to jump in. An older lady noticed her hesitation and asked what was wrong. When she replied that she was scared, this older lady said simply,

Well, be scared and do it anyway

And just like that, it became one of my favourite lines, a motto of sorts. And the opportunity to pass it on to Jonah was a shining parenting moment for me. Better yet was that he took it…he believed it….he was scared to kneeboard again, but he did it anyways.

And you guys, he rocked it!

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Not only did he love it {minus a scary bumpy part in the middle}, but the impact on his confidence and pride in himself is irreplaceable. And he saw that he can do hard things….he can make things happen…he can be scared and do it anyway!

 

Start Your Watch Collection With A Jord Giveaway ~ Everybody Wins!

I could not be any more excited to feature Jord Wood Watches again. And not just because I’ve finally started my own watch collection with this beauty:

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Cora Series – Purpleheart & Mother of Pearl

But because I seriously love this company and their watches. The Captain received one for review, then I bought him one, and now I’ve received this one. They are such unique and cool watches, and the quality is really quite amazing. I seriously can’t get enough – don’t be surprised if I continue the trend and buy myself another one next.

Seriously.

Also, can I just take a minute to tell you how much I love the new packaging? These boxes are gorgeous, with a magnetic lid and a cute little drawer at the bottom. Sigh – All the heart eyes.

Okay, so here’s the deal: Jord is giving away a $100 gift code to one lucky winner AND a $20 gift code to EVERYONE who enters! EVERYONE!

You get a gift code. You get a gift code. Everyone gets a gift code!!!!

Enter the giveway HERE and then head over to find your favourite Women’s Watch or Men’s Watch

But can you choose just one?

**Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Jord Wood Watches,

but as always, ALL opinions are my own. I seriously love these watches! **

**Photo Credit: Huge thanks to Micah Maria Photography**