*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 routine

  1. 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!
  2. JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME® baby bath– Such a wonderfully lathering wash with the signature calming scent of the Bedtime line.
  3. 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.

You can learn more via Johnson’s Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Check out my Morning Routine here

*Please note this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.
how to pick paint colour

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:

  1. ,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.
  2. If you are unsure of any of the above, discuss this with a knowledgable paint sales person.
  3. 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.

Project Goals

  1. Finish what I can in our master bedroom. I’ve already painted, but have the wallhangings and curtains to go up.
  2. Paint my home office. I’m really looking forward to making some good headway in this area. Stay tuned!

Meal Plan

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!

Hi friends,
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!

PRODUCTS

back-to-school

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.




GIVEAWAY

Enter below to win a $35 store credit to Re-Play (perfect timing to take advantage of their free shipping over $35 too!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I recently discovered the online organizational company called, Tidy Living and I am in love with their website, products and prices! It makes it so convenient, especially living in an area with limited shopping options, to be able to order everything from one site.

To remedy several areas of organizational issue in our home, I ordered five different products and each worked perfectly in correcting the issue. For the full reveal, please see the above video.

 

TIDY LIVING ORGANIZATIONAL PRODUCTS

  1. Under the Bed Storage Bag  I used this storage bag to house off-season linen. Being able to tuck away our large duvet and winter coverlet under the bed frees up significant room in our master closet.
  2. Utility Tote The best pool/beach tote ever! This trendy printed, sturdy, 3-pouch tote is the perfect size for family outings. We can comfortably fit towels, swimming gear, supplies and our cooler all in this one easy to carry option.
  3. Round Basket The look of this basket is what got me first – it is so trendy and in keeping with the existing style of our home. Given it’s roomy size, it serves as the perfect solution for our kid’s blankets, stuffs and books in our family room.
  4. Small Woven Basket I’m not sure who loves these woven baskets more, me or Rob! They are trendy, sturdy, well made and roomy. We decided they were too attractive for our back closet storage. Better choice is to use them for house outdoor accessories in the front closet.
  5. Rolling Wire Under Bed Rack This rolling wire under the bed rack is the perfect storage solution for really anything, but to remedy the issue of clutter on my bedside table, I opted to create a mini office. I use this rack for storing my laptop, planners and accessories. This makes it so easy to work from the comfort of my bed and freed up so much space.
  6. Removable Liner Hamper Such a practical investment! This standard size hamper removed the need of two separate ones in the kid’s bedrooms. Creating one easy to use system for our children to put away their dirty clothes and for me to transport the laundry to the washer is a game changer. The removable liner means there will always be the main portion of the hamper in place. No more dirty clothes on the floors!

    MORE INFO.

Follow Tidy Living on YouTubeInstagram, Facebook, Pinterest

organizational supplies cheap

a young mum favourites

TOP PICKS FOR SUMMER 2017

 

1. Tiny Twirl Skirt: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTwirlShop 2. OshKosh Rashguard Swimsuits: http://www.oshkosh.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Carters-Site/default/Search-Show?q=rash+guard&prefn1=brand&prefv1=oshkosh 3. Kamik RainPlayLo Boots: https://www.kamik.com/b2c_ca_en/toddlers/toddlers-shoes/toddlers-rain-boots-s17/rainplaylo.html#color=blu 4. Crocs: http://www.crocs.com 5. Kamik Rainboots: https://www.kamik.com/b2c_ca_en/toddlers/toddlers-shoes/toddlers-rain-boots-s17/stomp-62866-3.html#color=bka 6. Skechers: -Twinkle Toes: https://www.skechers.com/en-ca/girls/all?brand=/twinkle-toes -S Lights: https://www.skechers.com/en-ca/style/90293/s-lights-flashpod-scoria/bklm   1. Hasbro Perfection Game: http://amzn.to/2rA6H2o 2. Summer Scrapbook (Idea): http://amzn.to/2sHG2jX 3. Beaver Books Exercise Books: http://amzn.to/2tbvyH0 4. Body Doodlers: http://amzn.to/2rF2aa6 5. Catch and Learn Game: http://amzn.to/2tb3hAj     1. TeaMoy Wetbag: http://amzn.to/2rAaMnl 2. Brita Filter Kids Waterbottle: http://amzn.to/2rAg7eq 3. Reusable Snack Bags: http://amzn.to/2rF2W70 4. TotLogic Natural Sunscreen: http://amzn.to/2roKEHY 5. Croc Bloc Insect Repellent Towelette: https://www.staples.ca/en/Croc-Bloc-6-Hourr-Insect-Repellent-Towelettes/product_1942089_1-CA_1_20001 6. Peapod Mat: http://www.peapodmats.com 7. Logan and Lenora Daytripper Bag: http://amzn.to/2tb7sfF 8. Mabels Labels: http://mabelslabels.com

GIVEAWAYS

Please note: Contests are open internationally. Please be over the age of 18 to enter or have parental consent. Contest runs for one week and winners will be emailed directly by me. a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway
(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:

[amd-yrecipe-recipe:1]

 

 

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)!