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HI!

I'm Kristin.  I am a wife, aspiring designer, Christian and for now a SAHM.  My husband and I are parents to two darling little boys named Dylan Archer and Kyler Jude.  I created this space to document my family's adventures and lessons I've learned along the way.  The Mom Jungle is a modern interpretation of both the family newsletter and scrapbook.  

30 FOR 30

30 FOR 30

When I was in high school, I recall watching a romantic comedy called “13 Going on 30.”  The premise of the movie is about a 13 year-old girl named Jenna (played by Jennifer Garner) who wants to bypass the angst of teenage and college years and fast forward to adult life at age 30.  With a little magic she reemerges as a beautiful, über successful, Manhattan-dwelling magazine editor who's thirty years old.

I’ll be honest.  When I first saw the movie I questioned why would she want to be 30 of all ages?  That seemed so old and so far off in the distant future. Haha!  Well… in less than two months from now, I will hit that milestone. [Gulp].

I’m actually looking forward to the next decade and have decided to enter it enthusiastically.   As a personal project I have created a list called “30 to 30.”  These are goals and dreams I have set for this next season.  Some I can do right away, some will have to wait a few years.  Either way, I’m determined to make my 30's unforgettable!

In no particular order, here is my 30 for 30:

1.   HEALTHY EATING

I've always been blessed with a quick metabolism, but I can tell it is not what it once was.  More importantly, I need to prioritize my health and the health of my family.  To help with this I have joined THAT CLEAN LIFE.   It's a membership-based healthy eating program that you can customize with their recipes, create menus, and instantly generate ready-to-go grocery lists.  It's visually appealing with its streamline design and beautiful photography.  I'm not sponsored by them in anyway, but thought I'd share as it makes eating healthy easy and fun.

2.   SKIN CARE

This may sound silly, but now that I am almost 30 I feel like I should invest in anti-aging skincare.  Thankfully since my late teens I have been diligent with sunscreen thanks to living in Australia and #gingerproblems.  Recently I have hopped on the micellar water bandwagon as a makeup remover.  The holy grail of micellar water is a French brand called Bioderma, however; I use one from L'oreal at a fraction of the price and it works great.  I'm currently searching for a quality day cream and night cream.

3.   INVEST IN WARDROBE STAPLES

These past two and a half years I have been either been pregnant or nursing.  I do think motherhood has caused my wardrobe to take a back seat, but now I want to slowly integrate quality and classic pieces in my closet.  I want to be 30 and fab- not 30 and drab!

4.   STYLE MY HAIR

I know, another vanity based goal haha!  Since my late teens, I have usually kept my tresses long.  These days I want to switch it up for a lob.

5.   MANAGE MY TIME

"Time is what we want most, but use worst," William Penn.  Time management is not a strength of mine.  Hitting a milestone birthday serves as a reminder that time is fleeting.  It's precious and should be utilized well.

6.   USE MY PLANNER

To help accomplish my previous goal, I will utilize my planner.  I use my iPhone's "Calendar" and "Reminders" features, but I've come to realize that I miss taking a pen to paper.  I still will use technology as it's convenient, but I'm going to do this too.  I found the cutest printables via Pinterest.  They are free and available here.  Schedules and to-do lists work well for me and increase my productivity.

7.   PRIORITIZE SLEEP

Having a toddler and soon-to-arrive newborn makes sleep challenging, but I need it nonetheless.  Too often I find myself having late night Netflix marathons or mindlessly scrolling through my Instagram feed well past midnight.  There's always regret when I've stayed up too late, yet ironically I never regret it in the morning if I've gone to bed at a reasonable hour.  To help me get the shut-eye I need, I am recommitting to my "Bedtime Detox" plan that I posted last year here at TMJ.

8.   EMBRACE HOSPITALITY

I love to entertain and I enjoy having people over.  One thing that has held me back from hosting more often is insecurities about my cooking and baking.  I do those things just fine, but I'm not spectacular at it.  However; I have stepped up my game.  I have been enjoying cooking in my new kitchen, dabbled in baking and continue to transform my house into a home.  I realize it's not about the perfect spread, but spending time with friends.

9.   FINANCES

I am proud that in my 20's I paid off most of my student debt, paid for a car, and bought a house.  My husband and I are good with budgeting, balancing the cheque book and being transparent with our finances.  This next decade, I wish to focus on saving for retirement, make wise and intentional investments and philanthropy. 

10.  READ MORE BOOKS

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.  The man who never reads lives only one," George RR Martin.  As a child I was an avid reader.  Sadly post-college that hasn't been the case.  If you have any book suggestions I'd love to hear them.  I'm going to aim for one book per month.  

11.  TRY NEW RECIPES

When I first got married, I had a blog (now discontinued) that had a series called "Shake It Up" where I cooked a new dish each week.  This is something I want to try again as it's easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to family dinners.

12.  PLAN MORE FAMILY OUTINGS 

I love lounging around on the weekends, but if I'm not careful that is all we do besides church, unless we (I) make plans.  It doesn't have to be extravagant- a simply family picnic at the park is loads of fun!  I want to expand my children's world so come 2016 we'll go on more adventures together!

13. MAKE MY HOUSE A HOME

We recently bought a new home in July.  It's a midcentury modern two-storey home.  I've been pregnant and reeling with morning sickness so the decorating process has been slow.  I've curated some ideas that I look forward to implementing come the new year.  Thankfully our home was ready "as is," but we plan on doing a full kitchen/living room renovation in a few years.

14.  DEVELOP A GREEN THUMB

Now that I have a yard, I want to have a beautiful garden.  This is coming from a girl who historically cannot keep an aloe vera plant or cactus alive.  I'll be researching gardening tips this winter... wish me luck this spring!

15.  PURSUE FURTHER EDUCATION

Once my youngest is in school, I plan to go back to school.  I was an interior design student in fall 2013, before motherhood put the brakes on that. Don't get me wrong- best cause of delay ever!  I'm not sure if I will do it on campus or online, but I am still interested in pursuing this field.  I have all my options open and am doing a little soul searching as I ask myself- What do I really want to do?  I haven't got all the answers yet, but I do know that whatever I do has to be in the creative realm.

16.  LAUNCH BUSINESS

As I plan to launch into a second career as a designer, I plan to launch my own business.  I don't have it all figured out, and it may end up not being the best option for me.  Time will tell.  However; in the meantime, this is a long-term dream I am working towards.

17.  OVERCOME FEARS

I've written about fear before on TMJ as it's something I wrestle with.  I wrote an essay called "Fear Is A Hologram."  I remind myself that I don't have to believe everything I think.  I am adamant that I will not be ruled by fear.  Thankfully I don't have to conquer this giant alone. As Philippians 4:13 states, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Amen. 

18.  CREATE

My Pinterest page is full of DIYs, projects, recipes to try... etc.  Galatians 6 MSG, "Each of you must live the creative best you can with your own life."  I strive to live this way and want to intentionally carve out time to reconnect with my creative self.  I feel alive when I am in a creative state.  I crave it and thrive on it.

One specific goal I have is to learn how to do brush lettering and calligraphy.  Handwriting is a dying art, but I want to learn it and preserve it.

19.  TRAVEL MORE

In my late teens and early twenties, I was fortunate to extensively travel.  I lived abroad in sunny Sydney, Australia for three glorious years, have explored Europe (the fjõrds in Norway are breathtaking), seen L.A., the eastern states, deserts of Phoenix and gazed upon many of Canada's glorious treasures.  Then came adult life which has meant bills, responsibility and babies.  I'm okay with that.  As finances allow and our family grows, I look forward to jet-setting to both near and far destinations.

20.  GET INVOLVED IN MY COMMUNITY

Living in a new city, I see the importance of community involvement.  For now that looks like play groups and connecting with other moms and tots.  Later on, I plan on being involved in my children's' school and other community events.

21.  LISTEN TO GOOD MUSIC MORE

Any suggestions?

22.  KEEP MY CAR CLEAN

'Nuff said.

23.  SOCIALIZE MORE

Girls just wanna have fun!  This girl really needs to get out more.  Morning sickness has put a damper on that and my social life has been sidelined.  It's understandable, but an unfortunate consequence is that I haven't been investing in my friendships like I need to.  This needs to change.  I am going to take a greater interest in my relationships both with my local and faraway friends.  Everyone needs a friend.

24.  FIND BEAUTY IN THE DAILY GRIND 

On those hectic days in the mom jungle, it's important that I stop and smell the roses.  There is always something to be grateful for.  

25.  BE PRESENT

"Wherever you are, be all there," Jim Elliot.  As a worrier, I can fret about the future and I can dwell on the past.  As a Type A personality, I can become fixated on the details, the to-do lists, and the schedule.  However it is crucial that I learn to unwind, decompress, and to simply be.  We all need to shut out life's noises and learn to be still.

26.  GROW SPIRITUALLY

I love my SHE READS TRUTH devotional.  In addition to that, I want to be a woman of prayer and great faith.  I want to be planted in His Church and use my gifts to honour Him.   I want to help "the least of these" and speak for those who have no voice.  If faith isn't for you that's cool.  For me it is the foundation- the cornerstone which everything else is built upon in my life.  

27.  GET IN THE BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE

As soon as I am off my post-op restrictions, I can't wait to delve into Kayla Itstine's "Bikini Body Guide."  It is hardcore, yet so effective.  I want to value my body as the temple it is.

28.  WORK HARDER AT MY MARRIAGE

Neither my husband or I are perfect, but two imperfect people can come together to have an enriching marriage.  During our honeymoon phase we couldn't get enough of each other.  Bills, household chores, exhaustion, work, kids... etc, all can take its toll on a relationship.  Perhaps it's controversial or seemingly selfish but I believe that my marriage needs to come first- even before the kids.  My husband and I have declared our home a "No Screen Zone" past 9:30 PM.  The last hour before bed, we spend it together.

We are both passionate people which creates fireworks (both the bad and good kind).  One thing we are working on is learning to diffuse and resolve disagreements in a healthy fashion.  We don't clash often, but when we do... both our natural temperaments veer towards going nuclear!  That cannot happen. Having kids makes you more aware than ever of your behaviour.  I love my husband and am so blessed to be his!  Besides, isn't he so good to look at? #He'sAllMine

29.  BE THE BEST MOM I CAN BE

My kids deserve this.  I owe them this.  This is the most important task that I have been entrusted with.  No pressure thought, right....? #LawdHelpMe

30.  THINK POSITIVELY

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* BONUS- LEARN FRENCH

As Canada is bilingual with both English and French as our official languages- and the fact that we plan to enrol our children in French Immersion, I have decided to polish up en Français.  I've been loving this free app called "DUOLINGO."  C'est fantastique!

WHAT'S IN MY HOSPITAL BAG

WHAT'S IN MY HOSPITAL BAG

HAVE COURAGE & BE KIND

HAVE COURAGE & BE KIND