This post is sponsored by Johnson’s Baby, all opinions are my own.
Disney family vacations are my ultimate happy place. I’ve shared before that I find the planning is almost as much fun as being there! Enjoyment aside, planning and being prepared ahead of your trip has major advantages for allowing you to make the most of your Disney experience. Below are my top tips for planning, preparing and enjoying your vacation, especially with young children!
In preparation for our upcoming family vacation, I have been chatting a lot lately about my favourite travel products, including my ORGO Lite. The ORGO is the perfect toiletry case as it provides an appropriate amount of storage, built-in organization and expands to provide additional counter/prep space. This is one product that absolutely makes my little KonMari heart joyful.
Check out an in-depth review of the ORGO in my YouTube video.
I was recently interviewed by ORGO’s own organizational guru, Olga. I had a blast sharing my answers to her fun questions and thought you all may enjoy hearing my thoughts on thoughts on the KonMari Method, general travel advice and how to take kids on vacation.
Well Janine, I’m a young mom myself that loves to stay organized. What is the greatest organizing tip you could give someone?
Keep it simple! Organization is best achieved and maintained, when storage and systems are kept simple. While we all love a good Pinterest idea, some can be so complicated in their execution that they are simply not effective.
Here are some suggestions for keeping organization simple:
- Use what you have on hand first (repurpose boxes, bins, trays)
- Label contents
- Be intentional about storing like items together in efficient places in your home
You’re a KonMari Consultant which has everything to do with organizing once and never having to do it again. TELL US MORE! I love to get the latest scoop to my fabulous followers!
The KonMari Method is a truly transformative process and a game changer for organization! Once you complete the first phase of the process, which is to declutter all contents of your home, organizing is so easy. This is because it does not require a lot of effort to organize when the only contents that you have in your home are those that you love and use. I have had a lot of clients tell me that they’ve tried to organize their home for years with no success because they just had way too much to contend with. A minimal amount of belongings to organize and following the advice in question one is what the KonMari Method is all about!
Life is busy hunny, you know this. How do you balance your Young Mum Vlog, KonMari Consulting and a family of your own? What advice can you give to all the other hard workin’ momma’s out there that feel like they might lose their minds?
I think losing your mind once in awhile comes with the territory of being a Mom! However I’ve definitely found a way to curb it! My planner is my saving grace for keeping everything in check. I sit down to schedule my week ahead each Sunday. Doing this ensures that everything gets done… without the burnout! Print out a simple calendar online, use your phone’s calendar or download an APP to keep track of everything you need to do now, but also account for what is coming up. I can’t recommend implementing this enough!
I love traveling with my “mini-ME’s” and my following enjoys a good family trip too, let us in on how you travel efficiently with your little one.
My motto is, “a good family trip is only as good as the prep work that goes into it”! Most can relate to the meltdowns that happen, by kids and parents equally, when you don’t have the essentials with you! I learned early on with my children that packing checklists are an absolute must. Over the years I have refined our essentials down to what works best for us according to the type of travel (car rides, day trip, plane travel) and have a coordinating packing list for each on my computer that I can just conveniently print off. Taking the guess work out of what to bring and trying to remember if those things actually made it into the travel bag keeps traveling efficient for us!
Let’s say you’re on a deserted island with your family, and you were only allowed to take your ORGO and the contents in it. What would you have in your ORGO? (If you say wine none of us will judge)
- All-in-one body wash/shampoo (cuts down on the amount of bottles and can be shared by all family members)
- Face wipes (for an instant refresh)
- Travel size toothbrush/toothpaste
- Sunscreen stick (more portable than lotion)
- CC cream (moisturizer and light coverage – fav!)
- Small first-aid kit (because kids…)
- Wine (because kids…)
My Thoughts on Kroma
I went years without using a phone case. Seriously. However, all it took for this unwise decision to be corrected, was an unforgiving drop. One massive bill and a new iPhone later, I don’t mess around when it comes to phone cases. I now view cases as a solid investment on a device that I use constantly. I’ve also become a tad obsessed with finding a solid option.
When Kroma reached out wondering if I would try their cases, I was certainly open to the opportunity. Upon checking out their website, I was impressed with their clean designs, BPA free(click for video) and recyclable construction, 11 foot drop protection and pricing.
Now that I’ve been using the case for a few days, I am equally impressed with the ease of putting the bumper and backplate on, the solid feel of the case and the overall quality. I’m a fan!
Here’s a look at the backplate designs I picked out:
The backplate design is on the interior of the plate, so no concerns that it will wear over time. I love that the bumper options (white, black and coral/pink) all coordinate with the backplate designs.
Another notable observation is how easy the buttons work with the bumper on (the best I’ve found) and all ports are easy to access.
I genuinely love my Kroma cases and already have my eye on a few new backplates!
I had every intention to share my thoughts on this new year in a video. The plan was to sit down and chat through my 2017 reflections and goals for the next 364 days, but as we know with plans, sometimes they change. I’m actually writing this in the wee hours of the morning (like 5am, friends) because I seemingly have come down with something. Normally, this would be cause for stress and disappointment, but not this year. I’m turning a corner. Instead of being frustrated that a video isn’t likely to happen, I’m going to seize this quiet, calm opportunity to share in written form.
So while it’s not the same as perhaps propping up your phone to watch me while you do dishes, let’s both grab a cup of something warm and relax for a little candid sharing.
Admittedly, I’ve been struggling to summarize the last year. Normally, this isn’t the case. Usually for me, it’s quite easy to pinpoint at least a few key highlights and/or takeaways from the past year, but for 2018 it’s not so obvious. I think this is because 2017 was, simply put, a lot.
Upon reflection the one thing that really stands out the most from last year, is work. I got swooped up in the whirlwind of entrepreneurship, with my newly launched KonMari consulting business, and balanced as best I could my online content. I won’t say it was easy. The more I unpack this thought the more I realize just how challenging things often were and how tested I constantly felt – both with work and on the home-front. While this may read in a negative tone, I’m not looking back with the same. Instead, I feel (albeit, tired) accomplished. I learned firsthand how truly unbelievable it feels to create something and then have it stand on its own. Opportunities came my way that I never imagined being offered and through that I found tremendous validation.
I’m thankful for the last year, I was pushed in ways I’ve never been and feel stronger and more focused because of it. If it weren’t for the hard work 2017 required, I know I wouldn’t be ready or prepared for all that I hope to accomplish during the year ahead.
New Year – 2018
Oh, the excitement of a shiny new year! Tell me, you get excited when January 1st rolls around, too? As cliche as it may be, I love the feeling of starting anew and focusing rather not on what didn’t happen, but instead what can. Whether you call them resolutions, goals or aspirations, establishing some objectives for the new year feels good. It provides focus, a sense of motivation and direction.
To keep things simple, I have established goals for each of the three main areas of my life: family, personal growth and work (in order of importance).
Below is what I will be working hard to achieve over the next year.
Presence. This is the one thing I want to focus on above all else. These treasured years are going by faster than I ever imagined. I don’t want to look back with regret that I was distracted from the most previous work I’ll ever do, mothering. I want the time I have with my children and as a family to count. For me, contending with “all I have to do” often compromises just being in the now. It is increasingly becoming more obvious to me, how unfair to everyone this is. When I’m with my children and we’re doing something as a family, I want 2018 to be the year that I really learn to just savour this blessing. In an effort to make this a reality, I am going to set aside my phone, turn away from housework and say “yes” to more play, fun and spontaneous adventures. I’m going to consciously take note of the little moments more: bedtime, little chats, sing-songs and the like. I also plan on using my “real” camera more to take intentionally planned photos of each child and schedule a family photo session.
Where to begin with this one! I’m no stranger to freely chatting about my personal growth journey in my content. For me, this is one of the most important aspects of my life and living. It’s also an area that I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself – some warranted, some not. Unfortunately, it has become routine for me to self-evaluate and be disheartened. I focus only on my struggles and never even consider my triumphs. This often leaves me feeling depleted. For 2018, I want to be kinder and more patient toward myself. I want to work at being more realistic in my aspirations and listen to my body and my heart when they tell me to rest. Equally, this year will be the one where I finally start to prioritize my health and wellness (for real).
Step it up. It has become really clear to me over the last while, that I can and want to do more than I presently am with my online content. This labour of love area of my life, took a backseat to my consulting last year. It simply wasn’t feasible to give 100% to my YouTube channel and this blog while giving all that is required to starting a new business. While I know this to be true, I would be lying to say my absence bothered me. I love, love, love sharing with you all. Creating content really brings me joy and serves as a wonderful creative outlet. I have so much that I want to show, make and experience with you all and I can’t wait to get back into sharing things on a consistent basis. I have a lot planned for this coming year that includes home projects/care, travel, wellness, beauty and likely a whole lot in-between.
I’m looking forward to everything planned and unplanned that will make up 2018. I hope this time next year, I’m feeling fulfilled and productive. I hope the same for you! Let’s make this a good one…
Great Stocking Ideas for His & Her
I have been working on this list for a long time. As in, since really, last Christmas. I wanted to create a well balanced list of gift suggestions that met the criteria of: unique, serviceable and budget-friendly. With the final selections made, I couldn’t be more pleased with how this came together!
I’m doing a bit of blog hopping with this post! Over on my KonMari consulting blog, I recently shared how I have adapted a simple rhyme to make buying Christmas gifts for my children really easy and meaningful. A lot of you really liked this concept and so I wanted to create a coordinating checklist to make things just that much easier.
For your reference, here is the rhyme. You can also read more on each of the categories with examples here.
I hope this helps to make this year the simplest yet; so you can spend more time with those that make the holiday season as special as it is!
*This post is sponsored by Johnson’s Baby. All opinions are my own.
My family’s evening routine is something I rely heavily on to maintain balance between what needs to happen and spending time together each night. It can be really hectic trying to juggle schoolwork, extracurricular, supper prep/cleanup, housework, bath and the wind-down for bedtime. Thankfully, with a well established evening routine everything manages to get done because we are all so accustom to the order of our evenings.
If you haven’t yet implemented an evening routine, I strongly encourage it!
Here are some considerations for creating your own routine:
- After school fun! – Allowing children time to disengage from school and enjoy play proves so useful during the later part of the evening as they’re able to focus on schoolwork and chores.
- Fit in family time throughout the evening – Visit while supper is being made, have a dance party after supper, read a family story after bedtime. Little moments together as a family keep everyone feeling connected even when time isn’t plentiful.
- Keep suppers simple! – A quick search on Google and you will be able to find lots of nutritious, but also easy and fast to prepare meal options. Time saved on meal prep allows for more to get done in the evenings.
- Delegating tasks – Establish jobs and give responsibility to each family member. For example, in our home my husband and I make supper together and he handles cleanup while I focus on the bath routine.
An important component of our evening is winding our children down for the day through their bath time routine. Since our first baby, we’ve always used the JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® line of bath products. I have found they work so well to create a calm environment, the scent is soothing and has such a relaxing affect. Equally as special, is the assurance of Johnson’s® gentle and tear free formula.
- JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® baby bubble bath– A treat that I enjoy just as much as my children! Just 2-3 capfuls under running water and it’s bubble heaven!
- JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® baby bath– Such a wonderfully lathering wash with the signature calming scent of the Bedtime line.
- JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® baby lotion– The perfect way to complete a relaxing bath routine. This lotion works wonderfully for massaging babies and children; preparing them for a sound sleep.
Check out my Morning Routine here
*Please note this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.
I recently had the opportunity to work with Canadian Tire in using their Premier Paint for updating my home office. Not only did this project provide a much needed refresh for the room, but I learned a great deal on how to make sure you choose the right colour. See the thing is, while a colour may look fabulous and like the perfect fit on a swatch, in actuality it may show entirely different on your wall. There are lots of factors that play into this, but some of the main ones are: age of the home, amount of natural light in the particular room and decor choice.
For this particular project, I knew I wanted a bright, neutral and fresh shade to offset the size of the room and it being in the basement. After receiving my Premier kit of products, including the entire catalogue of Premier paint colours, I picked my new colour. I held up the swatch against all walls of the room during different times of the day.
However, this all changed once I got to Canadian Tire. For the first time in my career of buying paint, the sales associate asked all kinds of questions to better help me. Through conversation, she told me that the colour I thought I wanted, was actually a “warm” shade. Going with this color would have created the yellow tone I was desperate to avoid. From there I had a mini lesson on how to avoid taking home the wrong paint colour.
The takeaway tips are:
- ,Predetermine: The amount of natural light the room has, the tone/decor of the space and whether you want the feel to be more cool or warm.
- If you are unsure of any of the above, discuss this with a knowledgable paint sales person.
- Ask for a colour breakdown of the shade you are interested in. This will ensure there are no undertones that will affect the appearance of the paint. For example, the initial colour I picked, which I thought was a cool tone, has browns and reds in it which are actually warm.
The most important lesson I learned, was to have a conversation with the sales associate. This way, you can be sure that what you think you are choosing for your paint colour is actually the correct shade for the project and/or room.
Once I had the colour right, the actual painting was a breeze. We are now self-proclaimed (major) fans of Premier paint. The formula is beautiful, application was the best we’ve ever experienced and the colour is rich. I’ve even put it to the ultimate test of having to wash the newly painted wall with no issues! Simply put, I can’t recommend the brand enough.
While we still have a fair bit to do in the way of finishing my home office, I have to share the before/after of the paint job. The shade I used is ‘Snowy Night’. Changing the colour alone has made such an amazing difference!
I am so in love with this gorgeous paint colour that I painted our ensuite bath with it, too! ‘Snowy Night’ is such a neutral shade that it transitions equally well no matter the light situation. It also provides a fresh backdrop to easily compliment any decor.
Big thank you to Canadian Tire for allowing me the pleasure of trying their Premier Paint. This has come as a much needed update!
Last week was a busy one with squeezing in the last bit of summer fun before both boys went back to school on Thursday. We enjoyed a lazy long weekend Monday, managed one last trip to Halifax with our best buds and spent time with the grandparents! Hudson started grade two and Loic begun his school school career in primary (aka. kindergarten). We were also treated to an awesome meal at our local Boston Pizza ahead of their grand opening on Monday.
Admittedly, as much as I would have liked or benefited from, I wasn’t able to fully switch over my brain from summer to school between Wednesday and Thursday. I forgot to pack the boy’s lunches the night before, no meal plan in place for supper, behind on laundry, half a days worth of filming deleted… you get the idea (#reallife)!
Now, moving into our first full week back into normal routine, I am getting myself sorted today so things run smoothly come Monday. Meal planning, prepping clothing and lunches, having all the food we need on hand and a tidy house all contribute to helping things run smoothly.
If you’re new to my Week at a Glance posts or forget what they’re about (since I totally dropped this over the summer), welcome/welcome back! I share photos from the week before and the meal plan and project goals for the week ahead.
- Finish what I can in our master bedroom. I’ve already painted, but have the wallhangings and curtains to go up.
- Paint my home office. I’m really looking forward to making some good headway in this area. Stay tuned!
Monday – Spaghetti & Salad
Tuesday – Slow cooker Pork Tenderloin (credit: East Coast Mommy)
Wednesday – Sweet & Sour Citrus Chick Stir-fry
Thursday – BBQ chicken, grilled veggie packets
Friday – Baked fajitas
Saturday – Homemade grilled chicken pizza
I’m working on incorporating new recipes into our weekly meal plan and am always looking for recommendations! If you have a favourite go-to meal, please let me know – I’d love some new meal options.
Wishing you all a wonderful, easy week ahead!
After a whirlwind summer… I’m back on the blog! My plan is to resume regular posting moving into the fall, but I’ll share that plan in another post. For now, let’s talk about back to school. I’m feeling quite ahead of myself this year having everything bought and ready to go – and it’s still a week before school lets in (I’m not naive enough to think this will be the standard for the rest of the year). In the video below, I go into full detail with each of the items shown – check it out!
- EcoVessel – I love the practical size and durability of this BPA free Scout water bottle. The convenient handle and no-tilt design will serve the boys well as they use these in school.
- Skechers – We are huge fans of Skechers footwear; good quality sneakers are well worth the investment. The boys love that their styles light up and I love the convenience of velcro. Loic’s sneakers. Hudson’s sneakers.
- Wildkin – Both boys will be heading back to school with Wildkin backpacks. I opted for these based on their solid construction and practical design. The wide openings, padded straps, bottle holders and front porches are solid wins!
- Mabel’s Labels – Investing in well-made, durable labels is an absolute must for me. Losing and mixing-up belongs at school is almost inevitable, but with everything labeled it makes it so easy to identify what belongs to your child. I ordered the Ultimate Back to School Combo and the Little Kid School Combo for each of the boys.
- Re-play Snack Stacks – These aren’t just cute, they’re beyond convenient! Being able to use individually or connect multiple containers means I will be able to easily put together veggies/dip and yogurt/granola.
- Mi-fold – This is such a neat concept that really warrants a full review (coming soon). Suffice is to say for now, that being able to send the boys to school with a safe and portable booster is going to make a huge difference for us. After school change of plans where the grandparents are on pick-up duty will no longer mean a shuffle around of booster seats.
Enter below to win a $35 store credit to Re-Play (perfect timing to take advantage of their free shipping over $35 too!)