Week 2 #BBK Get Fit Challenge

healthy salad recipe bbk get fit challenge week 2 iPhone photo @bluebirdkisses

Salads, this week is about salads.  But first a recap.

I was…correction, I AM so blown away by the response I got to this challenge.  I thought maybe one or two of you maximum, would want to follow along and help me on my way, but it seems I am so not alone on this journey and that in itself is inspiring me.  It also holds me accountable because I can’t just very well quit something that I said I was going to do now can I?! So how did you do?

Me?  Well to be honest I think this challenged actually made my week easier in some ways.  It helped to have the oatmeal made ahead of time, giant thank you to my husband for making a big batch on Sunday for me.  Instead of having to think about what sort of toast I wanted for breakfast and make it, I knew I had a batch of oatmeal ready to go so I could easily spoon out a bit of it, heat it up, throw cinnamon, crushed nuts, and berries with it and have that along with my giant glass of water and coffee for breakfast.  Johannes even wanted the same thing so it made breakfast a no brainer.  For next week I’m going to try my friend Julie’s recommendation and boil some eggs that I can easily mash up with avocado or even eat along side my oatmeal.

Water…I think I did ok, but not amazing.  I could do better.  I will do better.  I’m going to make sure every day that there’s a bottle of water in the car so when I’m driving the kids around I can sip as I go.

Now before I explain next week’s challenge I just want to say that the next challenge is meant to build on this week’s not replace it.  So keep drinking the water and keep making healthy breakfast choices.  I’d also love to hear how you did, what breakfast choices did you make?  any tips that can help me, and anyone else who reads this blog?

roasted-butternut-squash-and-chickepea-salad-3 roasted squash and chickpea salad


Week 2 challenge – SALADS.  I don’t eat enough salads generally opting for the sandwich at lunch or the pasta/pizza dinner.  So for the next week the challenge is to have one salad a day.  Small or large.  As a side or as a main course.  For lunch or dinner, it’s yours and my choice (for now).  But just get some healthy greens and antioxidants in.  And if you happen to order the salad while out for a meal, ask for the dressing on the side so you can regulate what and how much you put on.  Personally I’m going to stick to vinegrettes for the dressings, and as often as possible I will make it myself.  Dressing can sometimes contain more sugar and more fat than a Big Mac…this is legit I promise.

So how does this sound?  Doable?

Here are some healthy hearty salads I pinned on Pinterest.  And also one that I made myself a while back (above), to get you inspired and started with this week’s Get Fit Challenge.


lentil and goat cheese salad


butternut squash and barley salad w/ poached egg

b903be38ac19428579847004e56d899a avocado salad with kick-ass dressing

my baby has bronchitis

my 2 month old has bronchitis

It would seem that second born babies catch all the colds their siblings bring home and worse!  Now poor Magnus has bronchitis.  He’s not even three months yet.  Thankfully its a mild case, no hospitalization required and he’s eating and sleeping decently well.  But seeing his sweet smile fade just breaks my heart.

What I didn’t realize is that bronchitis is a viral infection, so usually no antibiotics are given, just lots of rest, keeping babies elevated with a humidifier on.  This article is super informative if your little one has this, or if you think your little one might.


Santa Babies

how to take your own holiday photos how to take your own holiday photos how to take your own holiday photos how to take your own holiday photos how to take your own holiday photos

I can’t believe there are only five weeks left until Christmas!  How did that happen?  Christmas?  Already???  Maybe its because I was pregnant for 80% of the year, and spent the remainder adjusting to life with two children.

Regardless, we have to print and send out our Christmas cards, and in true Klizs fashion we decided to completely extract ourselves from the annual Christmas picture and instead focused on the cutest members of our family.  Because really…who wants to see Michael and I anyways.

I remembered that the Canon Baby Moments Facebook app had a really great step by step guide to taking seasonal photos of the kids and in this case, the Santa Baby tutorial worked best even though technically Magnus is no longer a newborn.  I again used my bed as the backdrop for the pictures, mostly because it is soft and cozy but also because our master bedroom sheds the most light.

Santa hats are pretty cute on babies, so I put both boys in Santa hats and pjs.  For the photos I used my Canon SL1 and the 50mm lens instead of the 40mm the Baby Moments app suggests, but I still think the results were pretty good.  My biggest challenge is that the boys were older and awake!  It would be so much easier to take these shots with a little baby who is fast asleep.  Trying to capture both boys perfectly was a feat in itself.  But nevertheless, I made sure they were positioned just so on the bed face the light, I put my SL1 camera on “portrait mode” and took a bunch of shots and angles.  The top down didn’t work well for me simply because Magnus and Johannes were awake and squirmy.  But some of the side shots gave me a bit of a wider angle and made it easier to capture them and their silly faces.  Have you seen such a grumpy two month old baby?! sheesh!  At the end of the day the photos were not one hundred percent perfect but the Canon Baby Moments app did provide me some great tips but mostly a whole lot of inspiration.

Are you planning on taking your own photos for the holiday cards this year?

IMG_4749 IMG_4721

You can also check out some of my previous photography posts here, here AND here.

This post was created in partnership with Canon.  As always a huge thank you for supporting our sponsors!

BBK Get Fit Challenge

I just had a baby, well two months ago I had a baby.  Don’t ask me how much weight I gained during the pregnancy because I don’t know.  I didn’t keep track.  I don’t own a scale, never did and never will.  What I know for sure is that I don’t fit my old clothes, I’m still rocking the maternity jeans, I feel tired and sluggish and I know I’m not eating well.  I want to be healthy.  I want to make better choices and fit back into my old jeans.

I am not a skinny person.  I never was.  I have curves.  I have hips and I’m comfortable with them.  I have stretch-marks on my stomach, sagging in places that weren’t saggy before, and I’m comfortable with those too.  I am a mom and that’s what it took to get me here.  I’m proud of all that.  But I don’t like feeling out of breath when I run up the stairs to Magnus’ room, or the fact that I can only wear stretchy pants.

With Magnus being two months old I am still recovering from the pregnancy and the c-section. I am breastfeeding and that makes me crave food all the time.  But did I need to eat a couple of kilos of Halloween chocolate?  Probably not.  Do I have to order a croissant every single time I order a coffee?  Or rely on pizza as my only go-to take out meal?  Its about the choices, I make the choice that’s easiest or the one that I crave.  I shovel food into my mouth in between school runs, laundry and diaper blow-outs.  I have very little time, I’m constantly exhausted and I am not a priority for myself.

It would be easy to keep doing what I’m doing, except that I remember how I felt when I was healthier.  When I ate better and worked out. I felt amazing, lighter, slept better.  I didn’t have stomach pain, or headaches and I was in a better mood.  I was a better mom, more patient and more playful.  I want to have “me” back.

A few weeks ago someone suggested that I create a challenge, for myself and to inspire other moms like me.  Mom’s don’t have a lot of free time, a workout and diet are sometimes impossible and definitely daunting.  So here’s what I’ve come up with:

A 4 week challenge. A challenge that focuses on one thing at a time, small changes towards feeling better and hopefully, looking better too.  From past experience  its better not to be overwhelmed by making complete lifestyle overhaul right from the get go, although ultimately that is the goal.  And for those of you, like me, who are breastfeeding, we don’t want to affect the milk supply.  So here’s how it will work.

(1) Every week on Friday I will post the new challenge here on the blog, along with how my week went, tips, and a healthy recipe for something relevant to the challenge ahead.

(2) Those of you with blogs feel free to create your own Friday post on the previous week and how things went for you, your own tips etc…  Come back here and leave a comment with your link to your blog if you so wish.

(3) Those who don’t have blogs don’t worry, you can comment or not, totally up to you.

(4) Those of you who have Instagram and want to post any pictures during the week, you can hash tag them #bbkgetfitchallenge so we can connect and see how we’re all doing.

(5) Lastly sign up to my newsletter in the sidebar.  I will send out a biweekly newsletter with the meal plans I create for my own family, along with extra recipe (s) and the usual blog post recap.  The first one goes out next week.

I know myself.  If I break this down into small chunks, I will be able to achieve my goals.  I am a mom first and foremost, I don’t have time for complicated meals or even multiple meals for that matter.  Everything I do needs to work for the whole family, myself and the boys.  My first focus is on nutrition and the exercise will follow.

So here goes!


(1) More water.  I am notorious for never drinking enough water.  I will fill up on coffee, tea, juice… but water I don’t drink nearly enough, and its a KEY component to being healthier and losing the weight.  So for this week I will fill up my reusable water bottle and take it with me in the diaper bag.

(2) Healthy breakfast.  I love all things carbs…bagels, croissants, english muffins.  This week I’m going to switch the bread carbs for healthy carbs like steel cut oats with berries, greek yogurt, and eggs.  My plan is to make a large batch of oatmeal on sunday and keep it in a sealed container in the fridge.  I’ll take out small amounts for each breakfast.  And the eggs, those I’m planning on making on the go. I make them for Johannes’ breakfasts too so I should be able to make eggs for myself at the same time.  I don’t plan on cutting calories, since I don’t want to affect my milk supply for Magnus, but I plan on swapping the bad for the good.

For this week’s recipe I’m digging up an old recipe I used to make when I was working out regularly and more careful with my food intake. They’re mini quiches you can make ahead of time and refrigerate for the week in a sealable container.  Recipe found here.

the best mini quiche you will ever have

So what do you think?  What are your personal goals?

Also, here is my before picture… fully clothed but of course.


I don’t want to raise a bully

i don't want to raise a bully

Something happened yesterday.  I found out that Johannes played a game he was not allowed to play and hurt the feelings of a little boy he considers his friend.  What’s worse, he lied to me about it.  The lying I expected would come some day, the not being nice part I did not.

I thought I raised my son to be nice to everyone, to stand up for those littles who get bullied, and to respect his friends.  I specifically don’t allow violent shows, cartoons, movies or games to be played or watched in our house for fear that he might learn these behaviours without understanding them completely.  I know he’s 3, maybe he is still figuring things out, maybe he does not quite understand how his actions affect others. Maybe, maybe, maybe.  There are a million and one possible “maybes”.  But I believe that if he lied to me about it, its because he knows he did something wrong.  So what do I do next?  I do not want to raise a bully.

Research shows that even children as young as three can engage in bullying behaviour, and that early intervention is the best tool to end it.

I thought that whatever punishment he received needed to hurt.  I cancelled a play-date he was eager to have.  I took away all of his toys for the next four days.  I sat him down and explained what he did and how it made his friend feel.  At the end of it all I asked Johannes how he can make things better with his friend.  He wanted to call and apologize and to write him a card.  I suppose these are small steps towards making things better for this situation.  But what about next time?

Will there be a next time?

Raising another human is hard.  Raising a compassionate, caring yet confident human is even harder and I hope I’m doing the right things to get him there.  Today was the first day since I became a mom that I felt ashamed of my son’s behaviour and worse, my own, because I ultimately feel like I failed in some way.

Winnie the Magnus…ahem Pooh

creative monthly photos of new baby IMG_0600

Magnus Valentin Klizs

lover of milk, silly faces, his big brother and the rocking seat

hater of … well, nothing yet

able to give us goofy smiles and funny little coos

teacher to us all that what we thought was a complete family, was never quite complete

2 months, 2 days yet we’ve known you for a lifetime because you’re us, and we are you.