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A day in the life: 5 minutes with Bethany Menzel

I hope I look back and say, “We had a lot of fun.” I hope that stands out over memories of being tired or busy.

A day in the life: 5 minutes with Bethany Menzel

We love following Bethany's blog and following her and her family on Instagram, so we reached out


to her and asked for a little glimpse into her day-to-day life as a mama in Vancouver.

Here's what she shared with Motherly:

My

mothering mantra can be summed up as:

Something along the lines of 'do what works for you.' I don't like when people push their ways on new moms, compare themselves, or judge each other's parenting styles. Family life should be loving, peaceful, and

enjoyable. Whatever things you might need to compromise on to achieve that,

that's alright by me.

On a normal day, our

home life looks like:

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7am

Sleeping!

9am

Poppy's eating

yogurt & blueberries, I'm drinking tea and getting our house going for the

day.

12pm

Poppy goes down for a nap around noon while I clean, blog,

read, take a bath.

3pm

Usually running errands, at a friend's house,

playing at the toy store, walking along the beach, or baking something from

Pinterest while Poppy mimics me stirring pieces of Play-Doh in her saucepan on

the floor, and of course emptying everything out of the baking cupboard.

6pm

Poppy is watching her

episode of Peppa Pig while I make her dinner. She eats her dinner before going

to bed at 7, and David and I usually wait until after she's asleep to enjoy our

dinner just the two of us.


9pm

David and I are most likely drinking wine, eating popcorn, and playing

our favourite German board game; Malefiz.

If there's one

thing I make sure I do every day, it's:

Remember to feed Poppy. Just

kidding. We try to get outside everyday. The weather here isn't always the best

but even just a quick walk around the neighbourhood or watching the sunset for

a few minutes at the beach. It always feels good to get out of the house, even if

we spend more time getting ourselves ready to leave than we actually do

outside, it's worth it.

My go-to outfit that

makes me feel amazing:

My favourite thing to wear is high-waisted black

skinny jeans and a tank top – I used to wear this all year long. But I have

finally (reluctantly) accepted the fact that I live in Canada and started to grow

a sweater collection.

My trick to

keeping the house somewhat clean while raising kids is:

During nap time & bedtime, I usually force

myself to spend the first 15 or 30 minutes (depending how messy it is) tidying.

I enjoy my relaxing time much more when it's tidy around me. Every morning I

vacuum while Poppy is in her highchair eating breakfast, it has just become

routine now. As soon as I put her in there she says “Vacuum!" and

points to the closet.

On the hard days

I remember:

That there's wine on bar. AND that everything is

temporary. Whenever I have felt afraid that my sweet girl has officially become

a monster, the next day a tooth breaks through, or her sore throat goes away,

or she takes the 3 hour nap she's been needing. Nothing has lasted, every phase

goes so quick.

When I look back on

this time in my life, I hope to say:

I recently watched an awesome video

called “Relax, Breathe,

& #LetGo" where

older women talk about the moments they wished they embraced in their past.

Putting emphasis on “Being" over “Doing,"

I hope I look

back and remember the times we were late because Poppy and I sat on the shower

floor playing together too long, or let the house get destroyed while making

forts. I hope I look back and say, “We had a lot of fun." I hope that

stands out over memories of being tired or busy.

For more from Bethany Menzel, visit her blog here. Cover image: Gillian Stevens

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

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Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

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Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

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Wooden doll stroller

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Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

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Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

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Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

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Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

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$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

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$45

Wooden digital camera

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Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

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There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

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Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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