Chai Chat: Being a Mom Entrepreneur

chai chatThe last few weeks I’ve been feeling like my kids are growing up way too fast, and this has me analyzing all the decisions I’ve made as a mom (even though I’m painfully aware that there is no changing them now). As I was packing for a quick business trip last night, I could sense Zara’s mood dropping (as it always does when I travel), and I started to feel my least favourite feeling; mom-guilt. That got me thinking about my choice to start my own business when my kids were born instead of going back to work. 

Being a self-employed mom is not really what I expected it would be like. The reason I pursued entrepreneurship was so that I could stay home with my kids, and have a flexible schedule. Instead for almost 13 years I’ve been battling mom guilt, and missing bedtimes. In the last 5 years, our family business has grown exponentially, and that has meant more and more time away from the kids.
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Host a Holiday Chai Party

With the holiday season in full swing and invitations coming in daily, some of us (not me of course) might have just realized we forgot to plan a holiday get together. Thankfully, like always, chai can save the day.

hosting a chai party

hosting a chai party[You can easily find letters like this at your local Michael’s]

Without too much prep work or planning, you can throw together a holiday chai party, the only caveat; you’ll have to figure out a date when most of your friends are still available in December.  hosting a chai party

We recently hosted a media chai tasting for our client Harris 120. It was a larger scale event, but some of the same ideas could easily be applied to a quick holiday get together.  Keep reading for my simple ‘chai hacks’, and a few tips for hosting your on holiday chai party. Continue reading

Persian Inspired Jewelled Rice From the Pantry

A few weeks back I shared my plans to go on a 4 week pantry cleanse, and did a horrible job of posting updates – shocking! I’m happy to report that although I didn’t stick to the rigid grocery shopping rules I originally set, we have been making our way through our pantry the last month and a half.

persian inspired jewelled rice

persian inspired jewelled rice
Some things got incorporated into meals, some are in a box for the food bank, and sadly others have been tossed. I hate throwing out food, but I love going to my pantry and actually being able to see what I have in it. In fact, during one purging session I found some amazing things shoved in the back; saffron from Kashmir that I bought in India, Berberis berries from a Middle Eastern grocery store, and California figs, almonds, and pistachios I picked up at the Food Bloggers Conference in Sacramento. I had forgotten about all of them!

persian inspired jewelled rice Continue reading

Friday Vibes

Okay, I know I said it was going to be 5 on Friday, but guys, sometimes I don’t have 5 things to share, and sometimes I have more. So after much debate between Friday Feels & Friday Vibes….I went with the later.

[I got a small portable laptop this week. I’ve been wanting a mini computer to carry between meetings/appointments for a while and finally bit the bullet.]

So this week’s vibe – it was all about organizing and minimizing. I generally don’t think of myself as a hoarder, but my closet and pantry have been telling a different story. I’ve spent some time everyday this week walking around the house with trash bags and just tossing (or adding to a donate pile) things that aren’t all that useful or important to me anymore. Purging is hard – because I really like my stuff – but it’s also strangely freeing. The hard part is going to be not buying more stuff to fill the empty space! Continue reading

Making Your Partner a Priority in Your Marriage

Remember how I told you last week that marriage shouldn’t be hard work. Well it is. #hypocritedsc_1766pinkchai[Me, the Mr, and the World’s Largest Carrot Cake at a work event recently]

Mr. T & I have been married for 15 years, and I think years 10-15 have been the hardest work. Don’t get me wrong, years 1-3 were hard, but in a different way. When you are first married, you have lots of fights [sorry, it’s true], and you feel like you married this total stranger, but it’s easy to reconnect after those fights. Maybe it’s because you are younger and don’t have kids that cause extreme exhaustion, but in the early days I just felt like ‘making up’ was easier.

As time goes on and you start a family, buy a house (experience the joy of mortgage payments), and you become accustomed to each other, it can be easy to lose each other in the shuffle. The Mr and I have gone through phases where for days on end all we talk about is; school lunches, field trips, putting gas in the car, and paying bills. We let everything but each other be the priority. Continue reading

What I Wore: All Dressed Up

pink chai living what i woreRecently a client (Guildford Town Centre) celebrated their 50th Anniversary and held some pretty special events to celebrate. One of those events was a VIP reception to kick off their attempt at setting a Guinness World Record for World’s Largest Carrot Cake.

The reception was kind of formal and dressing up was required. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I don’t really own any dresses that fit me at the moment so I had to buy something new. I wasn’t really keen on shopping for a new piece because I’m between sizes and hoping my current clothes won’t fit me soon. But there was no avoiding a purchase, so I settled on this dress from H&M. Continue reading

The Weight of Grief

running shoesMost of my life I’ve been on the small/skinny side of the scale. Even after having kids my weight stayed around the comfortable space of about 120-125 pounds. (I’m 5’4″ tall, and according to Health Canada my idea weight is 124-138). I honestly don’t know exactly how much I weighed because I haven’t owned a scale in years.

It’s not surprising then that I was completely shocked (and a bit traumatized) when all my clothes ‘shrunk’ this year. They weren’t just a little snug or uncomfortable, but too tight to wear. Somewhere around April/May this year I outgrew pretty much my whole wardrobe. I’d go to my closet to pick out a dress and it wouldn’t zip up. Or, I’d pull a skirt off a hanger only to realize it wouldn’t make it past my hips. I was depressed, angry, and frustrated – how had I gained so much weight in such a short period of time? Continue reading

Establishing Honesty and Intimacy in a New Marriage

We’ve all heard the expression ‘marriage is hard work’. I’ve never felt right about that saying – yes, it takes work to keep a marriage healthy, strong, and happy, but it’s not ‘hard’ work. To me it’s important work. And more than work it’s about discovery, exploration, and a building something together. pink chai living[Blast from the past]

I’ve been married 15 years (to the same guy, yay!), but it wasn’t always easy, and in the beginning it did feel like work. Sometimes it felt like going to a job I hated, and I think that had to do with my age (I was 20 when I got married) and some personal insecurities, and mostly because I had such a hard time talking to the Mr. in an open and honest way. 

Recently I had the opportunity to connect with relationship coach Tara Caffelle and ask her some questions about keeping my marriage happy and healthy. Of course my first instinct was to talk to her about my marriage today, but I thought there may be some readers that are earlier on in their married life/relationships, and my want some tips too. With that in mind I’ve turned this into a 2 part series. Today we are taking about newbies – you gals that are planning a wedding, or are newly married perhaps, and next week we’ll discuss the later years. Continue reading

Quitting Shellac Nails

quitting shellac nails
For the last two years I’ve been visiting my nail place almost bi-weekly for a shellac manicure. There were a couple of times I let the time between visits extend to three weeks, and I might have taken a one month break last December, but otherwise it’s been pretty consistent. 

Truth be told, I love my nail lady, and my salon is dirt cheap, so there was no real desire to quit until a few months ago. Earlier this year Zara really got into doing nail art. She slowly moved all of my old nail polishes into her room and set up a little station to conduct experiments. Over the summer she spent hours practicing and perfecting her skills, and it was adorable. Sadly, every time she offered to do my nails I had to decline – because it would mess up the shellac.  Continue reading

Feeling Inspired By: 3/4 Painted Walls

partially-painted-walls-trendOver the last few months we’ve been making some slow but steady progress on our place. The living room finally has some curtains, I painted the bedroom, and the entry room got some art work. There’s one room that has been sorely neglected though, our dining room. Even though we bought a beautiful wooden harvest style table, we’ve pretty much left the walls blank. But, I’ve finally got a plan! Continue reading

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