If you follow me on social media, I have been spamming your feed with sneak peeks of these photos – if I wasn’t so over the moon with these pictures, and the shoot experience as a whole, I might apologize. haha!

The truth is, aside from one extended family photo shoot we had with Rob’s side of the family, we’ve never had our immediate family pictures taken. I’ve always wanted to and believe in the value of photography; but just never made the time to make the arrangements. That was until I discovered the work of Morgan Webb Photography. As you can see from the pictures above, her work is simply incredible. Morgan’s attention to emotion, to candid moments, to capturing the essence of her subject(s) is such a gift of hers. I was honoured that she was able to document this time in our life, these images are a treasure I will cherish far beyond the mayhem of this stage in raising our children.

If you’re handy to the East Coast of Canada, I encourage you to consider in the investment of having Morgan capture your family. You can find all her information here.

If booking with Morgan Webb Photography isn’t an option for you, but you’re considering a shoot with a photographer, I’ve included a simple list of suggestions to make your shoot as easy as possible (even with children, it can be done – I promise!). These tips were kindly provided to me by Morgan Webb in preparation for our shoot, and they made such a difference. I should note, since Morgan wouldn’t have written this about herself, ensure that you’re booking your session with a photographer whom you feel relaxed and comfortable with. I had a few interactions with Morgan prior to our pictures and I felt like I instantly knew her. I shared with her that I’m not really comfortable having my picture taken and was a bit nervous this would show in our photos. She offered me reassurance that my insecurities wouldn’t be an issue and she built me up to actually look forward to the experience. During the shoot, she was patient, easy to talk to, she communicated well, and throughout nothing felt rushed or forced. When you find  a photographer that is truly passionate about their work and clients, you know you’re in good hands. Establishing a good rapport with your photographer is the first step towards the perfect shoot.

Five Simple (but effective) Family Photography Shoot Tips:

  1. Choose a time of day with good lighting, don’t be afraid of overcast! It’s always the best natural diffuser.
  2. Wear statement pieces and things that make you feel great! Don’t match, but coordinate outfits. My go to is two neutrals and a pop of colour.
  3. Ensure young children are fed and make sure they are prepared with what to expect (if they can understand). Have fun with it . Natural photos are the best!
  4. Don’t stress about the perfect shot.. .that ‘exact’ Pinterest photo is just going to drive you nuts and won’t help you relax.
  5. If you are self conscious about a part of your body, try not to dwell on it. Remember, it is so important to capture memories with you and your family on film. Your kids won’t look at it that way! They will look at that time you guys all had fun together.

**My sincerest thank you to Morgan Webb for this opportunity to work together. I also wish to extend my gratitude to my aunt and uncle, who graciously allowed us to have our photos taken on their beautiful property – such a wonderful compliment to our photos was having them taken at a place that is especially meaningful.




easy cheesecakes mini cheesecake cheesecake bites

 

WEEK ONE – CHRISTMAS BAKE WITH ME SERIES

Easy. Quick to prepare. Downright delicious. SIX ingredients… I doubt you need more convincing! These two-bite cheesecakes will have you secretly chuckling when everyone raves over them because as yummy as they are, they’re equally simple to make!

Recipe:

*Yields 24 mini cheesecakes
24 Cadbury Milk Chocolate Buttons (preferred, though Hershey drops do work as seen in my picture)
24 Mini Chips-Ahoy chocolate chip cookies
1 Package Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1/4 cup White Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
24 Mini Cupcake Paper Liners

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 350 (325 for confection)
-Line each baking tray with paper liners
-Place one mini chocolate chip cookie in the bottom of each liner
-Mix cream cheese in medium size bowl
-Incorporate the egg, sugar, and vanilla – mix to runny consistency
-Fill each cup almost to the top

**Tip: Pour cream cheese mixture into a medium size freezer bag, remove air, and snip one corner of the bag to pour easier
-Bake for approx. 12-14 minutes
-Once removed from oven, immediately place one button on each cheesecake (with Hershey drops, after one minute, gently push down on the chocolate to spread)
-Let sit for an hour at either room-temperature or in refrigerator

Now, before you devour them all (as my family did with the first batch), place them in a sealed container in your freezer and give yourself a nice big pat on the back, first baked good… done (and it’s not even December)!




Elf on the Shelf 2015

 

Oh, the great ‘Elf on the Shelf’ debate… Prior to last year, we were undecided on whether we were going to join the craze and buy an Elf. We knew full well that it was a decision which would commit us to the annual tradition so long as our children were into it; and judging by our friends, who took the plunge with their children, we knew it would be for at least a few years. After some discussion on what our new holiday guest would be observing from his daily perch, and deciding that we would make it about our family being festive and not the suggested naughty/nice – we introduced the Elf, whom Hudson named Chrissy, on December 1st of 2014. He was instantly a beloved favourite, and truly the first Christmas tradition that Hudson really got into… and so did his parents! From Rob and I trying to one up each other on a nightly basis, to Hudson’s frantic searching and insatiable squeals of delight from the morning hunt to find Chrissy, we all got in on the fun. Having our ‘Elf on the Shelf’ started our Christmas off on the best note I could ever hope for, and this year I’m likely more excited than Hudson for the anticipated return of our beloved Elf.

Rob and I have been discussing all kinds of fun things for Chrissy to get up to this year and I look so forward to being able to share them all in weekly blog and vlog posts. As part of my mini “Elf on the Shelf series”, I’ve partnered the business, Wall Design Studio No 142. They’ve kindly given me one their, adorable, personalized Elf door and mat sets. The  door itself adorns a really cute wreath with the name of your family’s Elf on it. The decals are made of durable vinyl that’s reusable, so they can be enjoyed for years to come! Check out the video for more on the set:

In addition to kindly providing my family with our own set, they’ve kindly offered to provide a giveaway for one! Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The giveaway is open internationally, the winner will be contacted via email by me.


I’ve been mothering for five years now, and my Mama to Baby nursing scarf is a tried and true favourite for so many reasons that I’m excited to share with you. I don’t leave the house without it and it has saved me from many a faux-pas moments of having to get practically naked to nurse a hungry babe because my outfit was less than ideal for the task.

The scarf itself is simple in concept; a larger than normal, looped infinity scarf. Specifically it measures 60″ in circumference and 36″ in width. If you’re not good with visualization (like me), it’s big enough to provide ample coverage worn draped over the shoulder, looped around the neck and hung over one shoulder, or (my personal favourite) around the torso for full back coverage (hurrah!).

The material is light-weight and breathable; which prevents baby from overheating. I love that the scarf provides discretion in public, but also keeps baby focused and not distracted by what’s going on around them (even as wee ones my babies would prefer socialization over eating). I’ve even been known to sport my nursing scarf sans baby – they’re stylish even when not in use. Oh, and you can also wear it as a dress!

Of all the products I’ve purchased for my babies, my nursing scarf is the only one I know I’ll still be using longer after my nursing days are over.

Many thanks to Mama to Baby for providing one of their wonderful scarves as a giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
**My apologies, due to Mama to Baby business insurance reasons, the giveaway is only open to Canadian residents.

Christmas Planner Planning

Happy November! I hope October treated you well and that you’re anticipating a lovely month ahead. For us, October proved to be every bit as busy as I anticipated, possibly even more. There’s something to be said for having full and productive days; and I felt overall successful in what I hoped to accomplish over the last thirty-one days. That’s a nice way to end a month and look ahead to a new one!

November always feels like the calm or lull before the Holiday frenzy. In the past, I’ve always slowed down and allowed myself too much of a breather before December, only to consistently find the build up to Christmas near unmanageable, because I didn’t pace myself. Not this year, friends! This year, I’m going to hustle so that come December I can actually enjoy the lead-up to Christmas (what a novel idea)! I have taken some serious time out of my schedule to get a schedule and plan for the coming weeks. I’m not only feeling like this plan of attack is going to keep me focused, it has allowed me to actually get really excited for all the fun that is this joyous time of year. I’d love for you to join me!

This month is going to be focused on preparing. I’ve started by brainstorming how I want to decorate this year, so that come the third week in November, it’ll all be ready to go! I have my holiday baking planned and I’m going to pace myself by doing one recipe a week (which of course, I’ll be sharing with you). The plan is also to have the large majority of our presents, especially the little ones like stocking stuffers bought. Loic and Rob’s birthdays are also in December; so I’m going to start planning for those special celebrations as well. See, lots to be excited for knowing it’s all doable and that’s the nice (for a change) part. The key will be to stay focused and keep things simple!

In addition to planning and preparing, here are my other monthly goals:

Monthly Goal List for November:

  1. Walk! I know, this goal also made the top of the list for October, but it’s something I slack on and I really want to get myself in the routine of. So, here’s hoping this is the month I pull up my socks and get into it (wish me luck, k?).
  2. Say “no”! This sounds harsh, doesn’t it? However, I’m learning as the busier my life becomes and my priority, as always, is at home first, it’s important to implement the tactful art of saying “no”. I am too much of a guilt-ridden, people pleaser… work in progress.
  3. Make hearty meals in advance to help in keeping from feeling overwhelmed as the month goes on (hello soup, casseroles, chilli, and stew… yum!)
  4. One weekly ME evening. As is likely the norm for most busy Mums/wives/working women, I fall last on the priority list for carving out some time to just do the simple things that pamper and renew my calm. Bathes! Tea! Nail painting!
  5. Take more photos. With my DSLR. My iPhone is wonderful for quick snaps on the go, but I’ve really slacked with capturing photos of our family life. Its always been important to me to document our family life in photographs and I need/want to get back into it.

So, on the whole, simple but productive goals that I’ll be focusing on. As always, I’d love to know what your monthly goals are? Share, please!?

How do your Novembers usually shape up?

Last Friday was a difficult, emotionally heavy day. As per the request, among a sea of vibrant colours, Rob and I attended the celebration of life for his cousin. Another precious victim whose time on earth was ended far too soon by the ugly disease we’re all too familiar with, cancer. The impact the day had on us was too significant for me not to share with you and so in my own, simple, way this is my tribute to her living legacy.

What would they say?

Obit

I have included the above obituary so you can start to feel and gain a sense of the beautiful woman I want you to picture. I will add, of my own experience, that she was funny in an unassuming way, she made time for you even when she likely didn’t have it to spare, she was encouraging and supportive, and left an impression on me that I only wish I had shared with her. When her loved ones got up to speak, they had us all laughing and simultaneously tearing up. Collectively, their memories and testimonies were what you would want said about you. Such love and admiration for the genuine spirit she possessed and graciously shared with everyone. She was taken too soon, there’s no way to eloquently state it. However, in her 49 years, I can say with full confidence, she lived life fully – embraced it all and delighted in the most simple of blessings we’re all afforded. Nature, a cozy afternoon, putting talents to good use, family, art, photos.
Hearing such pure, heartfelt accounts of a life fully experienced, had me questioning my own. That in itself should convey to you how wonderful she was. If I died tomorrow, what would be said of me? Would I be content with what would be shared? Am I living today in a way that would make my children, family, friends thankful they had the pleasure to know me, even if it wasn’t as long as they would have liked? Would I pack a church full of people all of whom I influenced and in some way, made their lives richer? Am I putting more of myself in the things that matter, or am I allowing them to be overshadowed by the trivial ambitions of today? These are big questions, the answers of which are a constant work in progress.
If people gathered for your celebration of life, what would you want them to say? Are you living a life that is reflective of what you would wish to be recounted? If not, why?

What should you say?

On almost every subject, I have more questions than answers. I do however know that there are no guarantees for our time on earth. Death is not prejudice. None of us know more than the day we have at hand, and even then, in a blink tragedy can strike. I share this because though we assume we may have time, we cannot be so arrogant to think sharing the important things can wait. They can’t. Life is frail. I know from personal experience, the haunt of things left unsaid.  We are all connected through our impressions, impacts, and insight that we share with one another – that’s the sum of our humanity; as equal to our individual need “to love and be loved” . Sometimes our words are all we can offer, but they often times hold the most amount of weight and are the greatest gift we can give. Be simple, but be intentional about letting every person that means something to you, know that they do. If you have a friend that you know will always be your listening ear, thank them for that blessing and acknowledge the gift they possess of empathy. Thank your partner for the little things that don’t actually go unnoticed; these little things often make the most difference. Thank your parents for the selfless love they afford you. Let the neighbour who means more to you than they likely know, know that they do… Life is just too precious to wait for tomorrow. What are some of the things you should say?

And with that said, thank you for reading this.

 

sunflower

Hello, Friends!

This post has been a work in progress for the last couple of weeks. I have been writing and rewriting this checklist; trying to get it as basic, simple to follow, and yet inclusive as possible to suit the needs of our home and family. Check out, below, what I’ll be following as a roadmap to organize our entire home. Please feel free to ‘pin’ the image to Pinterest or ‘save the image’ for your reference. Oh, and let me know what you think!

KMOrganizeChecklist

outdoor

 

I love seasonal decor, but there’s something about putting together an outdoor look for Fall and Christmas that I especially love! However, before I get into sharing the details of my Thanksgiving/Fall decor, I want to first acknowledge a somewhat sad truth… I don’t really like the look of the outside of our home. There, I said it. Our home is a regular ranch-style bungalow with a front veranda; which when I describe it as such, doesn’t sound so bad. In actuality though, I find it to be quite boring with very little curb appeal; which is why I always make the effort to have things on the veranda. Filling in the emptiness with permanent fixtures that I add to seasonal, creates visual interest and gives me platforms to build on and work from. As a side note, we also have some major landscaping to do, which in time will add to the overall look of our property, but that’s on hold until Spring.

So, now that I’ve had my moment of truth, let’s talk about how I created this outdoor look on a pretty friendly budget; buying minimal items and using things I already owned. First, here’s a tip I’ve learned, invest in purchasing things that can work year round and be embellished or changed depending on the season. For example, the two lanterns you see (one on the top stair, the other on the dresser) are always used, I simply change up where I have them displayed and swap out the candle in the black one to suit the current colour scheme. This keeps the cost down, while still allowing me to play around and create different looks. A lot of what I used to decorate was bought on clearance over the last five or so years, at the end of every season and added to my collection. I frequent the Dollarstore for artificial foliage and other embellishments. We love pumpkins, for decoration and then closer to Halloween for decorating, but man oh man they can be expensive to buy at the grocery store or other commercial places; so we go to a local farm to buy ours. For the last several years, we have made an outing of going to the same place to pick up the lot, but this year the farmer had a bad crop and we had to buy from another farm that was a bit pricer than we’ve previously paid. Ah well, $25 for about 15 pumpkins is still more than reasonable, considering the size and variety! Otherwise, I only bought a few things that I didn’t have or couldn’t borrow from Mum and made my own ‘Y” pumpkin from a faux one purchased at Michael’s (on sale and with a coupon, of course) that I just hand painted.

For all the specifics, including individual costs, check out the gallery below:

Total Cost of this Project: $57 

 

Hope you enjoyed the look!

unnamed

Before starting my own YouTube channel, I followed several channels that were all pretty common in content. All women, all wives, and some were also mothers. I never really understood why I was so captivated by their videos, until I started ‘A Young Mum’. When I began putting together my own videos, I struggled with my background – there wasn’t a single spot in the house that was attractive enough to sit in front of, or seemingly a square inch of space that was free of toys, piles of paper, or a mountain of laundry. Psst, I still film with a mess around my feet, I just clear the line of focus so it doesn’t look like the hot mess it is (no one needs to have a panic attack from mess overload on my watch). It was during the struggle of trying to make my videos and content appealing, that it dawned on me why I was watching these other channels, for escapism. Watching a DITL (day in the life) video of a mother whose children and home are perfectly kept, going on fun errands, spending tons of money at Target and fancy Starbucks drinks, and ending the day with take-away supper is so far from my reality, that it was fun to fantasize about living in someone else’s world… even for 12 minutes in a vlog. Whether these women have lives as amazing as it appears, isn’t really the point and it doesn’t take away from their channel or content. I enjoy what they share, because it’s fun and sometimes that’s all entertainment needs to be. But, it’s easy to see where reality doesn’t always translate in true form through video and I have been guilty of this.

Here’s where my truth comes in and why I feel so compelled to share. I receive praise, multiple times, every single day for what I’ve started and what I’ve accomplished. The value and boost to my confidence (which FYI, wasn’t exactly stellar prior to all of this) is truly immeasurable. It doesn’t go to my head; it goes to my heart and moves me to tears daily. I’ve worked really, really hard on turning things around in our home and family, and in doing so have created a job from sharing my experience (I’m still amazed by this). However, I’ve realized that I too have only been showing one view of the entire picture. Not intentionally, but nonetheless, I haven’t been fully forthcoming with my reality. While it may seem, based on what I share, that I “effortlessly flew through the KonMari method” or am able “to do it all”, that’s just not the case. I struggle daily, at everything.

Today is an especially demanding day in which I feel like if I make it to my head hitting the pillow at a decent hour, I’ve been successful… except, I won’t fall asleep feeling that way. The baby has been teething on what is going on two weeks (she’s cutting SIX teeth), Loic is bucking me on potty training which is frustrating and even embarrassing given he’ll be three in December, I worry I’m not giving Hudson enough one on one academic time and because he’s in French immersion that’s a very real concern, I am behind in posting videos and won’t even mention how far gone things seem in terms of replying to emails/texts/comments/messages, my house is a m.e.s.s, and just as I’m writing this the boys are fighting over a sippy cup of sour chocolate milk that one of them found under the couch. Seriously, this is my life and what I’m sharing is only the tip of the iceberg, people! Scary, right? haha I’m not telling you this, for any other reason than to put some truth out there. To let you know, that it is not easy and I’m far from having it all together. Quite the opposite. The idea that anyone would ever watch a video and be discouraged or feel what I’m accomplishing is unattainable, because it appears that I somehow just have it easy, deeply saddens me. It’s the opposite of what I want to convey.

Aren’t we all a bit tired, stressed, overwhelmed, and in need of some R&R? I think that’s what sums up the journey of life and I’m not sure too many people are excempt from this reality. Life is always evolving and the struggles of today, or this phase, won’t last forever, we’ll just trade them in for new ones. Your personal hurtle(s), the things that keep you from easily and quickly doing whatever it is you’d like, may differ from mine, but the experience is likely similar. So with this said, please know I’m no exception to the chaos and the craziness.

What I’m working towards is not easy, it likely never will be… but, I believe it will be worth it!

Have a great weekend!

IMG_5301   We’re friends, so I’ll call a spade a spade with you; when it comes to baking, I have high expectations, with minimal ability. Great combination, right? I plan on recruiting the talents (and patience) of my Mum, in learning to bake (and share with you), but for now… let’s keep things simple. I wanted something that was easy, quick, and yummy. I had been noting this three ingredient muffin recipe all over the internet, which appeared to offer full-on fall flavour; combining pure pumpkin, spice cake mix, and chocolate chips… what more could I ask for?! I couldn’t wait to try it, so I took a dreary Saturday morning and whipped up these bad boys.    They were definitely easy and super quick! The kids loved them (huge bonus, because pumpkin is the new “super food” full of antioxidants) and they definitely gave me the pumpkin-spice fix I was needing. I’ll be candid, they’re not “from scratch” tasting, but pretty close. Oh, and they don’t come out overly cute – more of the lumpy look (so perhaps, not what you’ll be bringing to the next bake sale). However, I would definitely make them again. Next time, I might get a little adventurous (ha)!) and opt for walnuts instead of the chocolate chips. The recipe does say you can switch the spice cake mix for chocolate, but I think I’d keep that the same as I really enjoy the combination of pumpkin and spice. Here is the recipe should you wish to try it for yourself (and you should): IMG_5283   Ingredients: -1 Box of Cake Mix (Chocolate or Spice) -1 15oz Can (or 1 3/4 cups) of Pure Pumpkin (I couldn’t buy a smaller can, so I used half of a larger one) -1/2 Cup of Chocolate Chips Directions: -Preheat oven to 350 F -Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl -Grease or paper line muffin tins -Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick poked into the middle comes out clean Yields: 12 muffins What are some of your favourite fall baked goods? Do share!

 

Is it just me, or do you too find it hard to believe we’re on the doorstep of yet another month? September was, simply put, lovely. We were treated to an extension of summer with warm weather lasting almost the entire month; there were only a few cooler days letting us know that autumn is right around the corner. Though the dog days were nice, I am totally ready to trade my shorts and flip-flops in for boots, chunky sweaters, and hot drinks!

Fall is my favourite season – I love everything about it. The crisp air, the leaves, the smells (hello pumpkin spice everything!), Halloween and long trail walks and drives to admire the colours.

October always proves to be a busy month for us, but it’s filled with all wonderful and exciting things. Our calendar is penned in with Hudson’s 5th birthday party, a family photoshoot, Thanksgiving, a family weekend getaway with Rob’s side of the family, me shooting my last ever wedding (gulp!), Halloween, and lots of DIY and home organization projects. I for one, am truly excited and looking forward to sharing these all with you!

If you follow me on my Young Mum Facebook page you may already be familiar with my monthly goals. I simply think of five or so beneficial, but equally obtainable, things that I am going to work towards achieving. It’s a simple way to ensure I focus on carving out some time for me and the things I want to work on for myself and family.

Here is my monthly goal list for October:
1. Evening walks. If I’m not mistaken, this was also included in last month’s list as well, but a brand new double stroller just arrived on my doorstep an hour ago, and now there are no excuse!
2. Family drives. These use to be a weekend staple in our home, and they were the first to go when I started my KonMari process because I needed the time. We all miss them, so a concerted effort to bring them back into our routine will be made.
3. Bake! Yes, bake. This is a skill I am definitely lacking in, but thankfully my Mum is not and she’s prepared to help teach me (she’s a brave soul). Bonus, I’ll be sharing all the yummy recipes of the things we whip up!
4. Drink more water. I add this to every monthly goal list, and will likely continue to do so until I am able to achieve my daily water intake without conscious and concerted effort (five months in, one would think I’d be there by now… but nope!).
5. Date night. We managed to squeeze in a dinner date a couple of weeks ago, and it was so nice! Prior to that it was likely eight months since we had one (terrible, I know)!

So that’s it friends, I am anticipating great things for October and look so forward to bringing you along. What are some of your monthly goals? I’d love to hear and be inspired by what you’re working on, feel free to share them below in the comment section.

Happy October!

It’s a pretty big statement to say something, “changed your life”, but I’m saying, with full confidence, that the KonMari method did just that for me. The process created a 180 change in areas of my life that I’m still processing, that are still coming into fruition. I can also say, that in my 31 years, very few of the things I’ve experienced have had such a direct and significant impact in my life and that of my family’s. So, let me share with you…

If you haven’t seen my journey, which I started documenting from day one through my YouTube channel, I’ll link the introduction video below and from there you can find the rest of my KonMari series (all 45 videos… ha!):

I found the book, ‘The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up’, when I most needed it most. It’s funny how things come together in a way that sometimes seems and feels bigger than yourself. The book spoke to my struggle and promised to remedy my issues, I was sold. When I started reading, I was immediately captivated by how much I was able to relate to what the author, Marie Kondo, was describing; all her examples, seemed like direct references from my life and struggles! I shared in my introduction video, how truly frustrated I was by the lack of enjoyment and love I had for my home. I couldn’t name a single space within our house that I was proud of, that felt together, or even in the least, had potential. I was truly at my wits end and felt that in committing to this method, the worst that could happen, was it didn’t work and perhaps maybe I got rid of some things. The best that could happen, is that it would finally make my house feel like a home and create contentment and order within it. So I started.

Within the first category, of sorting through all the clothing related items in our home, I was hooked. I easily got rid of more than 3/4 of my personal wardrobe, and almost six months later, have yet to miss a single article. Purging so much freed up half of our closet space, I found more enjoyment in choosing my daily outfits because everything was an option, spending time in my closet felt nice which was a feeling I hadn’t ever experienced, and it completely changed the way I shopped for clothing moving forward. Pretty impressive, right? Having such immediate success with the method, had me 100% committed. Ms Kondo is a smart lady, and looking back it makes complete sense as to why she starts the process with this category. It creates a sense of accomplishment and hope for all the other areas that are to come (and there’s a lot)!

In total the method took longer than I expected. I was anticipating it would take only a couple of months, especially given how quickly I was moving through the categories, but in total it was five and a half months of completing minimally one task a week. I should also note that I added tasks that were not included in the book’s outline to suit the needs of my home, such as toys and seasonal decor items. Some tasks were mentally more exhausting, such as going through sentimental items or things that belonged to my children. Working through other categories left me physically exhausted; like when I went through everything in our shed and outdoor storage spaces in one morning (really, what was I thinking?!). I went through two different bouts of sickness during the almost six months, but did recall this being something Ms Kondo mentioned in her book as a common experience for those working through the process. I share these points, because I wouldn’t want to give the impression that the process was always easy, it wasn’t. It didn’t go without sacrifice, which for me, was mainly time taken away from spending as a family.

For the sacrifice and commitment involved, which is fairly substantial, it still seems so minimal in comparison to all I, and we as a family, have gained. It has been a full week since I’ve completed the purging and still managed to fill another full bag of “stuff” to get rid of over the last few days.  You see, I no longer want to have anything in our home that doesn’t “spark joy”. There is no room for items that don’t fit; either because of their lack of purposefulness or decoratively in adding to the cohesive look and feel of our home. I hardly shop anymore, which I couldn’t have ever imagined saying six months ago. It no longer is something I enjoy doing; and when I do shop, it’s with intention to pick-up the things we need. This has made our bank account happier! We have space, we have areas in our home that are… empty! As in, they’re not cluttered with things that we think we might need at some point in the future, items we meant to find a better spot for, or were too lazy to discard. I feel a renewed sense of excitement and gratitude for the house we’re blessed to call home. I see potential where it never existed before. These are the things I was hopeful would be the result of taking the plunge in completing the KonMari method. Now here’s what I didn’t expect. I didn’t think it would change, me… and it did. I feel more settled in myself, I’m calmer and more content. I don’t have the internal struggle that I use to in trying so desperately to pull together areas of my life that, despite my best efforts, just couldn’t come together. I am happy. I am hopeful and I am grateful for this process and the immeasurable impact it has made.

If you’re on the fence, if you’re wondering if this method is for you, or if it’s something you’re capable of doing, let me offer you reassurance. You can, you will, and you’ll have every bit of the success I’ve had. I can confidently offer this, because I’ve seen it not only do wonders for my own life, but I’ve seen it work for so many others. In sharing my journey through my YouTube channel, I’ve had the fortune of being part of a large community of people all implementing this method and have yet to hear of one person not finding the joy within it. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!

I’ve compiled a list of all the tips I’ve acquired, in the hope that it may be useful to anyone starting out. You’re welcome to save and share it (you can also pin it!):

KM Tips

Easy Reference – Save Image or Pin

 

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Hello! Here I am finally linking my blog with my YouTube channel (took me long enough – ha!). However, it’s like the universe knew I wasn’t ready to launch just then, because of all the posts that could be my first, I’m most proud of this one. I have always been drawn to things considered unique and crafty – I like things that stand out among the common, but which equally prove functional and are made of quality. I’m also a deep believer in supporting the community of people who are brave enough (yes, brave – it takes courage, in my humble opinion, to sell things made by your own hands) to venture into the business of producing such things. The idea occurred to me that I could share some of my favourite Mompreneur products that are made by women and fellow mothers from my corner of the world… and so here I am, not only showcasing their amazing talent and items, but I’m also offering YOU the chance to win two groupings of these products.
Watch the video below for more on the thought behind this collaboration, see the items and hear my review of each. More information on both the businesses and the products can be found in this write-up, you’ll note the business links and make sure you enter to win (you’re more than welcome to enter both giveaways)! Oh! and thank you for finding your way to my blog, I’m happy to have you and hope you frequent often!

 

 

Mairi’s Must Haves:

Named after my own daughter, this pretty little collection of girly items is sure to delight any little lady! They’re all unique, whimsical, and of course adorable!

 

bellasophia

Chunky Bubblegum Necklace by Bella Sophia
As I mentioned in my video, when I opened the package containing LeeAnn of Bella Sophia’s Bubblegum Necklace, I let out a genuine squeal of excitement (my Mum was there, she’ll totally support this claim).
The Rainbow pattern easily matches any outfit and is a combination of chunky solid and rhinestone beads – sure to be an instant accessory favourite of any little girl. Lee-Ann, who sweetly named her business after her own daughter, got her start over three years ago and quickly became a success with her line of accessories that include: hair items, bracelets, loopy bows, and of course her signature bubblegum necklaces. Lee-Ann pays considerable attention towards ensuring her necklaces are made with the highest quality jewelry wire and silver-plated toggles. She also uses a special technique to assemble the necklaces, but does suggest that any child under the age of four be supervised while wearing the accessory.

Bella Sophia – Facebook


spoiledsoother Custom Designed Onesie & Hair Clip Set by The Spoiled Soother

It doesn’t get much more unique than owning a custom designed onesie by Abbey from The Spoiled Soother (Fun Fact: She has made approx. 700 custom Birthday shirts so far). Abbey is a creative Mom of three and a teacher by profession. Her “I’m the Fairest of Them All” infant shirt is sure to be a wonderful addition to any little princess’ wardrobe. The clip set, which has has an inner foam strip is not only very trendy and makes for a cute everyday accessory, but it’s gentle on sensitive heads! Win-Win!
Abbey has been running her mom-powered business for five years and it was born out of wanting to buy a soother clip, but living in a remote area of the time and not being able to purchase one locally, she got crafty and DIH (Did It Herself). From a handy soother clip Abbey’s business has grown to include a full line of accessories for both little girls and boys, offering such items as hair accessories, clip-on shirt ties, toddler belts and more!

The Spoiled Soother – Facebook


osweetmadeline

Peasant Dress by O Sweet Madeline
Tanya, the Mompreneur behind her business, O Sweet Madeline, is a stay-at-home Mom of two who turned her love of sewing into a very popular business which features lots of handmade sewn items including hair accessories, bibs, bunting, dresses, bonnets (they’re beyond adorable), hats and more. She loves mixing fabrics and matching patterns and it’s easy to tell she has a talent for both. Tanya’s peasant dress was truly my go-to summer outfit of choice for Mairi. They’re a classic design that is functional and feminine. I also love that it’s a piece that can transition well between the seasons and, bonus, grow with her from a dress to a tunic as she gets bigger.
O Sweet Madeline – Facebook


SugarBee

Reusable Snack Bag Set by SugarBee Baby & Kids

Rebecca, along with being a busy Mom of two elementary school aged daughters, and a part-time Dental Hygienist can quite confidientally add “innovator” to her list of credentials
Rebecca is the brain behind SugarBee Baby & Kids, a business whose foundation is built on the idea of creating handmade products that are “functional, fun, and useful for moms and kids on the go”. Her reusable snack bags are a wonderful example of Rebecca’s desire to produce items that are made well and from top materials as they are constructed with a linking that is waterproof, food safe and also CPISA compliant. SugarBee Baby & Kids has a wonderful range of goods including: PocketDoodlers (as shown in my video), take-along art kits and more recently custom made dolls and stuffies (they’re amazing).
SugarBee Baby & Kids – Facebook
SugarBee Baby & Kids – Made Urban

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


Mummy’s Must Haves

A great opportunity to spoil yourself and your home, this collection featuring some of my favourite handmade Momprenurial items is such a treat to be able to share with you!





 

teebags

Ruffle Clutch Purse by Teebags
Sewing since the age of 13, Tracy of Teebags has definitely perfected her craft. As a busy wife and mother, Tracy, has found fulfilment in pursuing her entrepreneurial endeavour of really “putting herself out there” and working hard on something she loves, her business. She has been designing amazing sewn products since 2010 with one of her most popular ones being her Ruffle Clutch purse. I was so excited to be able to share one of these wristlet-style pieces as part of this collaboration, they’re functional, stylish and a stand-out accessory. I love that it’s small enough for a night on the town, and yet still roomy enough to contain everything I need (the built in card slots are definitely a plus!). Tracy is also very welcoming to custom design requests.
Teebags – Facebook
Teebags – Etsy


harbourside

White Clay Tag Set by Harbourside Designs
Erin’s work stands on its own for creativity and uniqueness. Her business began three years ago, innocently enough, while experimenting with clay and her own handmade rubber stamps in pursuit of adding embellishments to gifts. What started as a hobby, has now afforded Erin the blessing of being able able to work creatively and stay at home with her family. Her pieces are reflective of and inspired by the East Coast, all with a whimsical, nautical feel and have been sent to customers around the world. While wonderful as a gift tag, among other options, these pieces can also be enjoyed as a decorative home decor item or a special Christmas tree ornament.
Harbourside Designs – Facebook
Harbourside Designs – Etsy


rusticmountain

Reclaimed Wood Signs by Rustic Mountain Designs

Sarah’s story of how her business came to be is one of those that many Mompreneurs are all to excited to share; hobby, turned side job, turned full-time job that now allows her to be home for her two school-aged children. Sarah’s business, Rustic Mountain Designs, has become a go-to for home decor signs that include her own creations as well as custom requested pieces. Sarah works with all reclaimed wood and uses paint distressing methods to create the rustic look for which she’s well known. The piece that was sent to me, is a daily reminder of a lot of important things – it causes me to reflect on what matters most and not to lose sight of the blessing of every day. The ‘All is Well’ sign was actually inspired by a poem that a friend of Sarah had shared with her, I have included it below:
deathisnothingRustic Moutain Designs – Facebook


AshleyMac

Chalkboard Wall Art by Ashley MacLennan Designs
I recently discovered Ashley’s work via Facebook and became an instant ‘like’ to her page. I fell in love with this Mom’s creative style, the trendy chalkboard look of her pieces, but moreover the messages she chooses to design around. Ashley pays incredibly close attention to craftsmanship of her canvases and stained wood frames. Equally, her artist talent is beyond impressive and a talent all on its own. The piece I showed in my video, is a favourite in our kitchen that I’m always being asked about. The chalkboard art included in the giveaway can be seen above in the photo and a great compliment to any kitchen or cozy spot in your home.
Ashley MacLennan Designs – Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway