Disclaimer: This post has been done in partnership with Kent Building Supplies

buying-light-fixture

Our kitchen is my least favourite part of our house. There, I said it. I spent the first four years of living in our home trying to determine what exactly the issue(s) were. I finally established that the main problems were the wall colour (yellow/beige… need I say more), orange/yellow undertone in both the cupboards and countertop) and the basic finishes that were used. We tackled the first issue this past fall by changing out the  original paint colour for Benjamin Moore’s Moonshine and it made a significant difference. In addressing the countertop/cupboard issue, I really think a bright, fresh subway tile backsplash will help to neutral out the tone, but that’s a ways off from happening (or is it? *hint* Rob). To remedy the last struggle of the basic, builder’s grade finishes, I decided the solution would be a noteworthy chandelier above the kitchen table.  (more…)

konmari toys
In the video above, I share my experience with toys pre and post KonMari Method. Since completing the process, the only real change has been the toys that I now invest in. Prior to the method we brought home new toys on impulse. Now we look for toys that meet certain criteria, to read more specifics on that, please click here.

Below are my six top choices for toys that are worth your money! Toys that are made to last, will grow with your child, encourage creative and active play and offer a variety of fun to any playroom!

konmari-toys

1. Plasmacar – A new addition to our toy collection, the Plasmacar has become a quick favourite. As a parent, I love that it gets my kids moving, will grow with all three children and is built to last. For my kids, they love that their own body weight is what gets them moving and the ability to easily steer in a glided motion. Check them out: Website, Website 2, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

2. Bilibo by Moluk – What’s not to love about this open-ended toy?! The Bilibo is a seat, a climbing structure, a water activity, a snow/sand shaper and more! The possibilities are endless and so is the age of play. This toy is being included in collaboration with QHouseKids. Check them out: Website, Instagram, YouTube channel, Twitter

3. Vertiplay Treetop Adventure by Oribel – A toy that virtually takes up no storage room, is well made, and definitely cute! The Treetop Adventure toy is wall-mounted yet can easily be repositioned. While it is is primarily played with by our two year old, our four and six year olds both enjoy this toy. There is something almost calming about watching the wooden caterpillar descend down the tree ramp (always a solid bonus). Check out Oribel here: Website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

4. GeoSmart – My boys simply cannot get enough of their Geosmart sets. With limitless possibilities for play, this toy is one that provides hours of entertainment. Geosmarts are small and portable enough to take just about anywhere. They are built with a patented double safety system so I never worry about them breaking or small hands getting ahold of one. Our oldest, Hudson has specifically enjoyed the Mars Explorer set and having the additional component of robotics.
Promo Code: 15% off Amazon store (good through May 7, 2017)
Check out Geosmart here: Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Purchase through Amazon

5. Lego – How could I not include this classic? Lego has not lost it’s hype since I played with it as a child. Seeing my children sit on the floor around their box of Lego makes my heart happy because I can see their creativity at work. Lego sets provide the opportunity to follow and build according to instructions, but also the ability to construct based on your imagination (win/win!). Lego is made to last; I know this because my kids play with pieces from the 80’s!
Check out Lego here: Website, Facebook, Instagram, Purchase through Amazon




6. Mio by Manhattan Toy Company – Aside from being downright adorable, these wooden sets have proven to be a go-to by all three of our children. The chunky construction is perfect for our two year old’s toddler hands and the solid construction has stood up to her not-so gentle play. The boys have enjoyed creating play scenarios and setting up the Food Truck at various locations around our house and backyard. Of all the wooden toys we’ve ever had, this line is by far our favourite.
Check out Mio here: Website, Purchase through Amazon

Enter to WIN a Plasmacar

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(Please note this Giveaway is open for residents of Canada & the USA only)

I’d love to hear what toys are your picks as worth the investment!

meal plan april 2017

I’m back sharing my Week at a Glance. If you’ve been out of the loop, I had to take a couple of weeks off of posting this series while we settled into our new schedule. Recently we joined our local YMCA and have been taking advantage of the awesome programs. With this, the kids are on the go a lot more than usual which has meant tweaking our meal plan. Instead of larger meals almost every night, we have been favouring lighter options that do not require a lot of prep time. If you can relate, this week’s meal plan may serve as inspiration!

Quick recap… Last week, while busy, was steady and productive. I managed to get some videos uploaded on my YouTube channel  and work on my first ad video (yay!). The boys had a great dentist appointment and I booked Mairi for her first check-up in May. My parents arrived home from Florida on Monday and the reunion could not have been sweeter. The kids missed their Meme and Boppy so much! We capped off the work week with a trip to Truro’s awesome library and got social on Saturday night with friends at a 90’s themed house party. As I write this all out, I’m realizing how awesome of a week it really was.

Admittedly, I have been a bit behind with my spring cleaning, but not enough to affect my timeline. If you haven’t had a chance to download my checklist, you can get it here. I really want to ensure by the end of April everything is finished, so that’s what I’ll be prioritizing this week. I plan to share this on my channel and on the blog – so stay tuned! We also have a fun overnight planned for Friday in Halifax, which is a little surprise for the kids. I’ll be vlogging this trip and uploading the footage early next week. Then of course, Easter!


 Weekly Meal Plan – April 9-15

Sunday – Baked ham, potatoes & root veggies
Monday – Chicken wild rice casserole
Tuesday – Baked spaghetti
Wednesday – Pork chops, side salad & oven roasted potatoes
Thursday – Pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches, apple slaw & sweet potato fries
Friday – Dining in Halifax
Saturday – Dining in Halifax


 Wishing you a wonderful, short week ahead!

april 2017 goals

 

Over the last few months, I got away from not only sharing my Monthly Goals on my YouTube channel, but also in actually creating them. Life got busy and I simply did not prioritize it. This past week, it occurred to me that I really need to come back to this routine because it is so beneficial. I find creating and working towards monthly goals not only keeps me feeling calm, but it also encourages me to focus on my personal growth. So I’m welcoming spring with new goals that I’m looking forward to working on.

 

April Goals

  1. Being patient with myself – I often get discouraged and frustrated when I’m not accomplishing as much as I would like. The reality is, I probably will never feel as though I am on top of my to do list. I am constantly adding new projects and ideas to my plate for things I would like to do which means the list is always growing. During this phase of life I’m in, there isn’t always the time to get everything done. I will be striving towards accepting this and instead of being disappointed in sometimes the lack of progress, I will focus instead I what I have completed.
  2. Turning off my phone and computer by 8pm every night – I created this goal in an effort to allow time for me and my husband, to unwind and decompress from the day and also to encourage me to rest more than I have been.
  3. Listing 5 things I am grateful for each night – This is a wonderful practice to implement and something I use to do for years (and again got away from). I want to get back to this as I find it is such a calming way to end my day.

 

If you will be working on your own goals for April and feel comfortable sharing, I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment  below.

Alright, friends. I am not going to win any awards with this post and I believe it’s abundantly obvious that I’ll never be a food blogger. However, this recipe has been requested and so I share…

I have spoken about this family favourite supper for the last couple of years, because it is definitely a go to and one that’s on constant rotation. It is ridiculous easy, requires minimal ingredients that are all very simple and everyone loves it. While it’s nothing fancy and definitely not something I’d serve the Queen, it’s a great hearty meal that usually yields leftovers (always bonus points).

Unfortunately, I cannot provide the original source of this recipe. I wrote it down on a piece of paper well over a decade ago and never considered I’d be publicly sharing it.

If you decide to give this a try, let me know what you think!

Recipe:

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spring cleaning free download 2017Despite the looming snowstorm warning we are under while I write this, I am still planning out my spring cleaning. Since completing the KonMari Method, I no longer include decluttering as part of this venture (one of the many advantages of the process). This year I am sharing my cleaning marathon in the form of a series, both on here and on my YouTube channel. If you’re up for a month of scrubbing, sudsing, and sweeping – join me! You can find all of the information below! (more…)

family meal planning 2017

As far as a recap for last week, I’ll keep things short and sweet, because truly it was a bit of a blur. We enjoyed March Break by way of movies, day trips, hang outs with friends and the kids partied at a sitter’s for two days while I worked. While it wasn’t Disney, it was still pretty nice.

This week, I am back into work mode (when am I not)? Business wise, I am really hoping to be able to launch my eBook for KonMari kids and secure a venue for my first workshop. The pressure is on, but it’s really positive and I’m excited. Around the house, I am in full planning mode these days. Since finishing Mairi’s room, I now want to take on the entire house. I have started brainstorming ideas for the boy’s bedroom decor update and I’m looking forward to diving in. Hopefully, I will be able to get up an inspiration board on the blog this week and share with you what I have been working on. I’ve also taken the plunge and committed myself to doing the ‘April One Room Challenge’ of overhauling our master bedroom. On a personal note, we signed our whole family up to our local wellness centre and I’m so excited to finally start making fitness a priority.

On the food front, here’s what we will be cookin’ up this week:


Weekly Meal Plan – March 19-25

Sunday – Baked salmon, oven roasted potatoes, spinach salad
Monday – Pasta with marinara sauce, side veggie salad
Tuesday – Slow-cooker Cranberry Pork Roast
Wednesday – Shepherd’s Pie (maybe this will be the week I share the recipe?!)
Thursday – Chicken Stir-fry, quinoa
Friday – Breakfast for supper
Saturday – TBD


I wish you all a wonderful week (and restful recovery from March Break)!

Family Disney Planning

Continuing with the “wish I was at Disney this year, but I’m not so I’ll blog about it” theme, I thought it would be fun to share how I plan for Disney.

On the off chance you’re not familiar, I’m a planner to a fault (if such a thing exists) and being able to plan for an upcoming Disney trip proves nearly as exciting for me as actually going on the trip (I know, I’m freak). However, all planner obsession aside, mapping out ones trip in terms of: a schedule (including dining options, entertainment, etc) really does make a significant difference. The reality is, you’re never going to be able to take it all in while at Disney (that’s why you go back!), but establishing a gameplan in advance of the trip, will at least ensure you are able to enjoy all of the must-do things on your family’s list!  (more…)

museum of industry

 

We had the wonderful opportunity on Saturday to kick off March break with a visit to our local museum, The Museum of Industry. We’re big fans of the museum and frequent it on almost a weekly basis for their Lego club (psst, it’s awesome and free!), but it was a real treat to be able to enjoy this outing as a family and take in their current event, “Parrots, Pirates & Plunder!”.  (more…)

meal plan 2017 family

 

Last week was a really good one; a perfect balance of work and fun! Loic and Mairi spent their first day at the new sitter’s and it went well, Mairi clung a lot to her brother but I know this will ease off in time as she becomes more comfortable (or so I tell myself). Having a day solely devoted to work, provided much more flexibility for the rest of the week in just being able to spend time focused on the kids – win/win! This new routine is going to really benefit everyone and I’m feeling really settled about the decision to have them in partial care. On the work front, I managed to complete my first eBook for families wanting to go through the KonMari Method (yay!) and had the lovely opportunity to finally meet up with two other local bloggers and brainstorm some awesome ideas! The last of Mairi’s bedroom makeover was finished yesterday and our little princess is loving her new bed and decorations; I can’t wait to share the reveal this week with you all. A roadtrip with friends to the Truro library made for a great way to wrap up the week on Friday (and everyone kept their pants on this time)! We also got out for a nice family afternoon to our local museum, it was such an awesome outing that the kids thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot from (blog post coming soon)!

This week coming is March break and I had been so looking forward to all the fun plans I made for the kids, until I learned we are expecting yet another snowstorm. Ho hum! We’ll see how it plays out and if traveling isn’t an option, we’ll make lots of blanket forts, have multiple movie dates and eat a lot of snow ice cream! Each day this week, I have at least one new upload coming on either my YouTube channel or blog – so if you’re into what I have to share… stay tuned!

Meal plan this week is a mix of comfort food (aka, stew again!) and fun treats to celebrate March Break!


Weekly Meal Plan – March 12-18
Sunday – Oven Stew
Monday – Oven Chicken Fajitas (kid favourite)
Tuesday – Baked Mac & Cheese, side Salad (another Pioneer Woman fav)
Wednesday – “Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes” (I’m doing it for the kids, ok? ha!)
Thursday – Slow-cooker Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sliders & Slaw (YUM!)
Friday – Homemade Pizza on Naan Bread
Saturday – Pork Satay, Mixed Veggies & Rice


(Next trip, I’ll be taking along the DSLR :P)

This month I have Disney on the brain. Okay, I always have Disney and Florida on the brain, but it’s exceptionally the case lately because it’s March and this is my favourite month and time of year to vacation. Since we’re stayin’ put this winter, I have been coping by way of reminiscing of our last few trips to the “happiest place of earth” and planning next year’s reunion (hey, it’s never too early).  (more…)

As they say, better late than never (or so I hope), in finally sharing my monthly favourites for the past month of February!

monthly favorites
T
hings I Loved in February
(Not shown above – whoops! Purlisse Daily Lip Moisturizer)
1. Essence Eye Pencil in Black Fever
2. Marcelle Ultra Gentle Cleanser
3. Macadamia Deep Repair Mask
4. INSPR Eyebrow Duo Powder
5. Essence Silky Touch Blush in #20 Babydoll
6. ZAQ Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser
7. Cuisinart Scrubber Cloth
8. Method Dish Soap Basic scented
9. Skin Lab Lift & Firm Sheet Mask
10. Totlogic Lavender Bubble Bath
11. Little Bea and the snowy day
12. Life in Pieces show
13. Nashville show
14. Martin’s Apple Chips

family meal plans
These last two weeks have been two of the busiest that I’ve ever had! Despite my best intentions, last week’s Week at a Glance just wasn’t in the cards, so here’s the highlight reel on what has been going on…


I launched my first KonMari Kids Virtual Group Tidying program last Sunday and it couldn’t be going better. This program is my baby; I created this entire approach to applying the KonMari Method to family life and so I’m especially proud that it is being so well received! I got a much needed girls shopping day in last weekend (that makes two weekends in a row shopping, I’m on a roll). Carla and I took a quick trip to Halifax to take advantage of a great sale at Gymboree and also squeezed in a yummy lunch, a Starbucks run and a great shop at the Gap Factory store. While I bought mostly for the kids, I did manage to buy some new pieces of clothing for myself – always a nice treat! This past week, I turned thirty-three and enjoyed a sweet day celebrating another year – I have big plans to make it the best one yet! I finally spent some time working on Mairi’s bedroom makeover. It felt good to make some headway, especially given it had been weeks of no progress. Mairi and Loic met their new babysitter on Wednesday and it went fantastically well; such a huge relief to know they’ll be in great hands and having fun. I am very much looking forward to having designated work days each week so that when the kids are home with me, my focus will be solely on them.  Work lately has been exciting and fun, I’ve been spending a lot of time concentrating on the backend of my business; really focusing on my programs and beginning to develop some new concepts. On Friday I attended my first East Coast Mommy Bloggers workshop in the city (yes, another excuse to get there)! It was such a great experience that it is worthy of a separate post (stay tuned!).

So far, this week coming is looking like a fairly relaxed one. I plan to finish up the last of the decorating in Mairi’s room and then really prioritize doing the same in my office space. I also plan on getting back into filming and hopefully post a bit more actively on here. Otherwise, I really want to keep things as low keyed as possible because it has been such a whirlwind lately and I’m feeling like some rest is definitely needed.

Last week’s Hello Fresh experience has inspired me to be a bit more creative with our meal planning and so I’ve spent nearly an hour poking around on Pinterest to come up with a few new ideas to change things up a bit. If you have any family favourite recipes, I’d love it if you’d share (in the form of a comment on here would be great).


Here’s what we’ll be whipping up this week:
Weekly Meal Plan – March 5-11
Sunday – Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti (love this recipe)
Monday – Stir Fried Vegetables and Toasted Cashews
Tuesday – Rachel Ray’s Balsamic Pork Tenderloin, Sweet potato, salad
Wednesday – Breakfast for supper
Thursday – Healthy Mexican Casserole
Friday – Ground pork tacos
Saturday – TBD