Joanna Anastasia

Schedule for staying home with kids during the quarantaine

Depending where you live you might be either in full on quarantaine mood or like us, at the social distancing point. Either way, our schools and daycares are cancelled, and many of us are either not working at this point at all, or working from home with kids around.

Here where we are, in Montreal, we are still able to go for a walk around the neighborhood with kids, or play in the backyard, and while we make sure to keep our distance ( witch is easy in our residential area) , we definitely do take kids out to play a bit in fresh air.

However, your reality might be a bit different- and so of course we should all follow what our local health care providers direct us to do.

So this schedule for staying home with kids during the quarantaine is an reflection of how I spend days with my three kids- who are now eight, six and twenty months.

And why actually I want us to stick to a schedule? Well, let me explain:

  • My kids are used to a school schedule– and so without it, after two-three days they become whiny and really unorganized !
  • Without clear “screen time schedule” it becomes impossible to get them off the screens-they become the “Screen Gollums” and throw tantrums once I say it’s enough and we need to eat/go to sleep etc.
  • They don’t want to tidy/dress and follow any routine when there’s no real day plan.
  • It helps me to be the focused mom I need to be now– while keeping my time slots for my own breaks.

Now, it may be only my kids who thrive on planned days and who lose it with too many “do-whatever-you-want” days. But with all that is happening now, the last thing I need are whiny, grumpy and fighting kids. So my way to keep a relatively normal beat is by following our schedule.

Last thing to keep in mind- my plan is based on the time I have spend in the past with my kids ant home- as I used to send them to day care three times a week, and I used to keep them home twice a week so they would be bilingual and speak both the official language of our province- French- but also my mother tongue- Polish.

Also, I always kept them home during all the pedagogical days. So I know that this schedule works for us based on hundreds of days spent following this plan.

But maybe your kids need more active time, or maybe they nap more or wake up much earlier- you might need to adjust it for your own family needs. This is only how I do it.


And if you’d like to download it and print at home here is the pdf!

Also, when I say it’s clean up time- it means that it’s both adults as kids who tidy up- so this is the time when I ask kids to clean their toys, help to clean the table, help with laundry folding etc.

And, my backyard is completely closed, so I can send my older kids to play outside alone if I need to work. So for me this schedule works pretty well even on the days when I actually do need to work from home.

Now, as to all that craft time- we like crafting, I wrote a book on crafting with kids, and often through crafting time I will actually sneak in some homeschooling and reading and writing activities. Plus it’s a relatively quiet time so it’s a win-win in my books!

And a last thing to keep in mind- if you don’t follow a schedule it’s also ok. Whatever you do to pass through this difficult time is fine, and there’s no one way fits all. What’s important is that we go through this safe, healthy and sane- and without passing that virus to anyone on our way!

Eclectic spring home tour

It’s finally spring, and while the world is unstable, our homes are more than ever out safe and calm spaces- and so I think that decorating for spring is even more important than ever! So today I’m sharing my spring home tour in collaboration with some of my blogging friends ( make sure to check their homes!)

This year I decided to embrace my romantic decor affiliations, and add flowers literally everywhere- including on the furniture! While I know this is not for everyone, me and my kids we love being surrounded by colours and flowers!

When you’ll step inside our house you’ll be greeted buy our colorful entryway- I have recently painted these doors pink, and decided to add a wreath inside our entryway this year. Now every time I pass by I have something to smile about! I found these decorative surface tatoos in Dollar Store last week, and while I wasn’t sure at first what I’ll do with them, now I’m so happy I decided to get them. It took me thirty minutes and a total of 4$ to transform my entryway drawers chest for spring! Let me know what you think of this furniture!

In the living room I switched winter pillows for lighter pink spring onces and I added more flowers! Also, my mantel is now my favourite home vignette.

Then in my kitchen I have simply cleaned my open shelves, I added more tulips and a fresh new kitchen towel. I’m all about keeping things fresh, adding more pink accessories and keeping things simple in my kitchen this season!

I hope that my home tour can inspire you to decorate your home for spring too now! And please make sure to check my talented friends beautiful homes too!

This week I’m joined by some of my talented blogging friends who are also sharing their Spring Home Tours with you. Be sure to see what they are sharing by clinking the links below the images.

Also sharing with me today, are…

Wednesday

Amber Tysl
Life is a Party
Town and Country Living
Finding Silver Pennies
Joanna Anastasia

Sharing the rest of this week…

Monday

The Happy Housie
Grace in My Space
Life is Better at Home
She Gave it a Go
Amidst the Chaos

Tuesday

Cassie Bustamante
All Things With Purpose
Modern Glam
Lemon Thistle
Zevy Joy

Thursday

Cherished Bliss
Tatertots & Jello
Deeply Southern Home
Rambling Renovators
The DIY Mommy

Friday

Home Made Lovely
Willow Street Interiors
Sincerely, Marie Designs
Rooms FOR Rent
House by Hoff
The Tattered Pew

Toddler room update

This past weekend I decided that it’s time for a little toddler room update! We where all a bit tired with the blue mural that was on the wall and while I’m not ready to take Julien out of the crib- he’s a year an a half and I still need him contained in that crib – he does need more space for toys and play.

When I first design this room over a year ago, I wanted a statement wall that would set a tone for his room. But the thing is that sometimes statements are a bit too strong, and after awhile you get tired of them! 

So this past weekend, with a bit of help from my mother in law, we did a makeover in Julien’s nursery! 

 We painted the walls this fresh mint green, that funny enough was not my first colour choice! It’s actually a proof that sometimes design mistakes are positive coincidences! See, I was picking up paint on a whim, with 3 kids in tow, and was sure that the sample I choose was more blueish and greenish. I compared all the samples in pale natural light of my local Canadian Tire and decided that this should do. And while this is not the pale bluish green I was going for, and it’s definitely mint and nothing else, in end we all like it anyway !

Then we moved furniture around, and all of the sufdden the room feels much bugger!

And I added these rainbow decals from Rocky Mountain Decals! They where super easy to instal, and I think they look really cute in here! Best thing about these decals is that they are easy to take off and stick somewhere else, so for a serious redecorator like me they are the best option! ( plus, they don’t damage walls!)

 I’m really happy with those colourful rainbow decals and the half wall of colour – they’re fun together and add character to this room- but don’t overwhelm the space as the big mural did!

And now this room feels fresh, is more toddler friendly and definitely feels a bit bigger! ️And all it took was a bit of paint and fun decals!

Valentines day tablescape

Every year we do something fun with my girls for Valentine’s day- because why for many this is another made-up holiday, for me it’s a great opportunity to celebrate love and family in the midst of our cold canadian winter!

Now, if you prefer making gifts for your loved ones, or simply watch romantic movies and eat heart shaped cookies – you do you boo! I think all that really matters is to take this day as an opportunity to talk about why we love each other, what we appreciate about each other and how we should be grateful and appreciative of all the little things all year round.

However setting up a cute Valentines day table for breakfast or an afternoon tea is definitely something fun to do for/with kids! And for me, seeing my girls eyes getting big out of excitement when they see what I have prepared for them is what makes my heart full!

It doesn’t need to be expensive to be fun- here are my simple ideas for a Valentine’s day tablescape:

  • hand written paper table runner
  • paper heart hearts layered on the table
  • felt heart hearts spread around the table
  • heart shaped chocolates and cookies layered in a colorful mess
  • hot milk with marshmallow hearts
  • cake with marshmallow “cake toppers” ( store bought or baked- whatever works!)
  • valentines balloons
  • heart garland
  • ceramic lanterns
  • some fruits

And I found most of this set up in my local Dollar Store- it took me around 10 minutes to set it all up. And I had so much fun! Because celebrating doesn’t need to be over the top difficult to set up nor expensive!

Now I hope I inspired you to throw a simple Valentine’s day celebration in your home too! Happy Valentine’s day everyone!

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Printable Christmas gift tags & wrapping paper set

Christmas is only a month away and in my books it means that it’s about time to start the preparations! I know there’s still time for the cooking and baking, but when you’re an usually busy adult then during the holiday season ( full of activities, obligations, parties and extra magic- and much more parenting effort then usually!) then you’re basically on the edge of a breakdown! Unless of course your start early, get your gifts ahead of time, wrap them and tag them right away and hide away before the real holiday rush starts!

So this year I decided to make my own printable Christmas gift tags- and some wrapping paper that goes with it, in an effort to :

  • always be ready to wrap a gift ( just press print and voila)
  • be more eco friendly ( I already have lots of paper at home, and I don’t need to buy any new wrapping paper or tags!)

I couldn’t be happier with this little printable set I created- it’s cheerful, joyful and perfect to mix an match! I made two shapes of tags for you, 9 different designs of tags, and 4 different wrapping paper sheets!

I printed everything on regular paper, and I just love how it turned out! My girls where helping me cut out the gift tags, we have put on some holiday music and with the snow outside it felt like christmas is only days away!

Clearly I’m obsessed with red, white and blue this season- also, everything hand lettered and cute! I hope you’ll like my little wrapping set as much as me and my girls we love it!


You can get the PDF file HERE – simply download it, print at home, cut out the tags and get wrapping with the wrapping paper sheets!

And make sure to share with me how you wrapped your gifts with my set – just tag me on your Instagram photos ( @joanna.anastasia_ ) I can’t wait to see how you’ll be using them!


5 things that helped me with anxiety

For me the moment that changed it all was when I become a mother for the first time. Before that moment, I was a relaxed positive thinking person. Sometimes worried never anxious. And then, all of the sudden things weren’t simple anymore, there where no right answers and doubt became my new norm. My stress levels started to rise every time parenting would get difficult- and with the first baby almost everything can be difficult and stressful. 

After I had my second kid I thought I would got over the the parenting stress- I knew more what I was doing and what to expect, didn’t I? And yet, the stressful situations multiplied one after another. Taking care of two young kids was in a way easier, but every time they would both cry I would feel the stress rising and I’d feel my heart beating faster. I’d get headaches and shoulder tension pains at the end of the day. Almost every day really. I’d anticipate the stressful situations – long travel with kids, single parenting  nights, etc. Anxiety slowly started to creep in. 

By the time I had my third kid I looked like a mom pro- balancing the baby in baby carrier and two older kids, cooking dinner while managing homework and baby whining. I wouldn’t get stressed over the unknown parenting situations anymore but the overall stress just got bigger- I knew all the things I had to balance. I’m not sure at what time I started to wake up with anxiety, but at some point I realized that feeling anxious became my new norm. 

Now, the fact that I’m a blogger for sure added up to it all. It’s an unpredictable, unstable self employment job and so, can be quite stressful too!

Why am I sharing this all with you? Well, I was talking to couple of girlfriends lately about how we feel anxious a lot, and how it feels lonely and difficult to explain to others- and each time these friends of mine where surprised to learn that me too I live with anxiety! But it felt good to see that we’re not alone. To share our ways of dealing with it. To lift each other up.

So today I wanted to tell you- if you too live with anxiety- you’re not alone. You’re not weak. You’re not doing anything wrong. 

And while consulting and getting medication is always an option ( that I highly encourage!) there are still some ways that you can help yourself-

  1. Be gentle with yourself– know your limits and don’t take too much on yourself.
  2. Practice gratitude– it’ll lower your anxiety !
  3. Go outside – a walk in the forest may have the same effect as medication but is cheaper and more natural.
  4. Deep breath – every time you feel your chest is heavy and you can’t breathe – prace deep intentional breathing.
  5. Practice perspective- think about what will be important in 5-10 years- and does your current stress matters.

And lastly, I think the most important part in dealing with anxiety is understanding what anxiety is. Now, I know that when you feel anxious it feels like something really is wrong and it feels very real. But remember- the anxious feeling you have is NOT a valid information! Even though it feels like it is.

It’s just your body’s way of reacting to what your body perceived as danger. Now remember- this is most likely only a perception- it can be that you have live for years under pressure ( hello modern motherhood, hello modern work conditions and work culture) and so your body simply puts you in state of awareness of danger. But you know what, even if that feeling is unpleasant, it’s not a valid information.

So, let’s be open and talk about it. Let’s practice self respect, gratitude and perspective- let’s go outside often and breathe intentionally- and it will get better!

But also remember, if you feel anxiety is paralyzing you and none of these things is helping you anymore do consult and get medical care! Because you are not weak my friend and you’re not doing nothing wrong- you’re actually very strong and you can get help and will get better!

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