Sunday, December 30, 2012

Practical and Portable

Yules was spoiled with a Toys R Us gift card (amongst many many other thing this Holiday season) so I thought we would spend it on something practical! Haha ME?? PRACTICAL??? I know, I'm like a different person! Motherhood is changing me! Anyways, we picked up a new diaper bag! Okay, so we already have two diaper bags, why do we need another one?... I'm getting to the practical part I promise!
I had a play date recently and my girlfriend showed me the best diaper bag ever! It wasn't particularly pretty or designer but it had a little extra feature that I've never seen before. It's called the SootheTIME Good-To-Go Tote!

Tucked away in the little compartment at the bottom is a portable rest area!

You can whip that sucker out anytime you need to put your child down somewhere safe!
I think it will be awesome to take along on our upcoming trip! It will gives Yules a safe place to nap or sleep. It will also be convenient on little trips like visiting the grandparents for the day!

I do find that this bag is slightly heavy though. So if you are going somewhere where the bassinet thingy isn't needed, I would recommend leaving it behind. The bag is also quite shallow but you can still fit LOTS of stuff in there. And when the kid outgrows the portable rest area, you can use it to store things in.
What do you think? Practical and portable! What more could you ask for?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy Holidays

Husband pointed out that I didn't wish my loyal readers a Merry Christmas! Oops my bad!! Well better late than never! Hope you are all having a fabulous holiday season! All the best from Kalbs and Yules!
Ps. Husband didn't want to be part of my blog, so my other hubbie had to step in!!
Pps. Looks like a lovely family pic but it was quite the ordeal to get Kalbs, Yules and Husband to cooperate! Husband and Kalbs didn't want to wear their dumb hats. Kalbs didn't want to sit still after eating his treat. Yules refused to look at the camera. Husband complained that Kalbs was getting fur all over his sweater! I was seriously sweating from pressing the button on the camera, running like mad to pick up the kid and get in the frame, fix Yules' dress so her crotch wasn't showing, fix my hair, put on my hat (which fell off) and SMILE all before the timer ran out! Oh so much Christmas JOY!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Week in Review

Here's what we've been up to!

1) New neighbour informed me the other day that I'm FAMOUS!! Yup, you heard right... ME... FAMOUS! She was perusing the pages of Facebook and came across a page that had a link to this blog!! OMG, who would have ever thunk (yes, I'm super cool and use made-up words like thunk)? I promise I won't let the fame get to my head! Get my autograph while you still have the chance peeps!! Hahaha

2) Hubby and I watched The Next All-American HandyMan on TV. The Canadian version is much better in my opinion! Anyways, it left Husband itching to build or fix something! I have lots of projects in the pipeline, but nothing big at the moment. I gave him the mini task of installing a dimmer in the sitting area in our bedroom. When you build a home, you try to envision yourself living there but you really don't know how it will function until you are actually living there. When we had chairs in the sitting area, we found the lights were too bright for watching TV. We should have put a dimmer on this set of lights I thought! Woulda Coulda Shoulda!!! We shoulda and woulda if we had the foresight. Well we still coulda... how hard could it be? Apparently very easy!

Did you notice the sexy screw-less cover plates? It's the little details that make get me excited! Oh yah baby!!
3) We've had lots of Christmas merrydom lately! Many great get-togethers and dinners with friends and family! When it comes to potlucks I have a couple go-to recipes. One crowd-pleaser is this Skor Dip recipe. Pretty much a brick of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of white sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar and a dash of vanilla. Mix it all together and then add 1/2 a bag of Skor toffee bits. That's it! DONE! Cut up some Granny Smith apples to go with it and there you have it! I like to put the dip in little plastic shot cups so you can double dip to your heart's content. Who am I kidding? I'm classy and like to lick the whole cup clean!

4) Want to make your dinner party just a little bit fancier? Well here is a simple little DIY for you! Use an ornament that matches your holiday decor as a place card holder. Simply attach a little paper clip to the ornament and a slip of paper with the names! You know I'm all about Easy Peasy while still being fancy schmancy!! Haha

Looks like a fancy dinner party for adults but look closely!  You will see that I look disheveled and the colorful baby swing is a more accurate portrayal of our daily life! Haha

What have you been up to??

Friday, December 14, 2012

Yulli's Christmas Picks

Okay here are a few of Yulli's picks for Christmas books!

The first book is called Why I Love Christmas Illustrated by Daniel Howard and written by children. 

A large part of my job is documenting what children say, so I love that the words are from children. I definitely will be documenting the things that Yules says, so I think this would be a great Christmas tradition to start. I think if I asked her why she loves Christmas, her response this year would probably be
"ahhh... uh uhhh... burp!". Next year might be "toy" or "tree", and then as she grows hopefully her responses will become a little more sophisticated! One of the kids in the book said "I love Christmas because... everyone takes naps!" Haha I can just imagine that his family had a big meal and then they all had food comas! It's a simple book, but sometimes simple is all you need, especially with the little ones! There is also super cute animal illustrations that kids love!

The next book is called Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
This is a beautiful book... the words and the paintings are so amazing! It's a children's book but I think anyone young or old would enjoy it! This story shows the anticipation of baby Jesus through the perspective of animals, nature and all of God's creations. Very poetic and lyrical... guess that's why the title says song DUH! Anyways, love the book and you will too!
Yulli's last pick is A Porcupine in a Pine Tree: A Canadian 12 Days of Christmas by Helaine Becker.

This book is based on the classic song The 12 days of Christmas but with a Canadian spin. You pretty much have to sing the words as you read the book! I love the illustrations of Mounties eating donuts which I'll assume is Timmies! It's super cute! I think this book would have been better if it included poutine and Oilers!
Okay there you have it! Go read a book!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mini Rave

So yesterday Husband was outside shovelling the snow when our neighbour across the street came over for a chat! They did the usual small talk and then neighbour asked him an interesting question. "Do you guys have strobe lights in your house?" Apparently every time he looked over he would see flashes of light coming from the windows. Husband apologized for not inviting him to our daily Electric Dance Parties and said it must be the flash from my camera! He told him that I like taking pictures of our daughter. He figured that sounded better than my wife is snapping pictures of her new chairs!! Haha!

My New Love

*SWOON!* I think I'm in love! It was love at first sight! I can't stop thinking about my new love when we are apart! And when we are together, I can't take my eyes off of them! Who or what is the object of my affection you ask! Well the new apple of my eye is a pair of chairs! Not just any old chairs! These babies are French inspired with a sleek curved silhouette! The high back is elegantly upholstered in soft velvety fabric with beautiful diamond tufting. The back side kicks it up a notch with a subtle but impactful Greek key pattern! The legs are perfectly tapered with just a gentle arch on the back legs. And then the icing on the cake is the gorgeous nail head detailing! *SIGH* Melts my heart!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Week(s) in Review

It's been another busy couple weeks!

1) Yules got her ears pierced! (at Merle Norman in case you are wondering) She did great! A couple tears, a hug and then all was forgiven! I would recommend them if it's something you are considering!

2) Monster also got her photo taken for her passport! She wouldn't stop smiling! You're not allowed to smile... I wonder why? Anyone know?

3) Kalbs and I tried a new recipe we found on Pinterest! The little monster has the biggest sweet tooth! You can find the recipe here! It is chocolate chip cookies with Rice Krispies! Sounded intriguing... so we gave it a try! We changed the chocolate chips to peanut butter chips so Kalbs could have some! Kalbs loved them... but they weren't WOW enough for me to make again! Weird texture from the Rice Krispies, but maybe you're into that!

4) Picked up this fabulous toy basket for the monster! She only has like two toys, but I have a feeling it won't be long before her stuff takes over the house! (Look how cute Mr. Elephant looks! Admit it, he is growing on you guys!)

5) Yules and I left the house this week by ourselves... 3 whole times!! YUP Pat on the back for us! We had an impromptu play-date, a planned play-date and even made it to a Mom's group!

6) I went to the happiest place on earth... HomeSense! Picked up these super awesome lamps for the foyer! My lamp criteria list was pretty specific! I was looking for something really tall, slim, clear glass, sparkly and of course cheap! Well 4 out of 5 isn't bad! No sparkly hanging jewels but I'll live! Maybe that will be my next DIY! These beauties will look good there all year long!

7) Also picked up the mini pine tree for the Foyer! My father will be proud of me for finally getting a living plant! It's from good ol' Walmart for only 12 bucks! I wanted the house to smell like Christmas... but sadly for 12 bucks it doesn't smell like Christmas or much of anything! :( I like the simplicity of it but am debating whether or not to adorn it with a few ornaments! What do you think?

8) Snipped off a few branches from my scent-free tree and made a little festive arrangement! It's beginning to look like Christmas around here!
9) Was checking out one of my favourite blogs Centsational Girl... and was reminded that you can never have too many ornaments! A big vessel of ornaments is an easy and inexpensive way to make your home look more Christmassy!
10) I`ve been in a little baking mood... so NOT normal! Those who know me, know I don`t bake! And when I bake, I don`t bake well! Something about not following directions well! Anyways, Yules and I baked up some ginger cookies we found here... and surprisingly they weren`t too shabby! They even look legit! Now the house smells like Christmas!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mini Ikea Hack

What did the world do before Ikea? I do love me some Ikea!
And do you know what I love almost as much? Ikea Hackers! If you've never been to the website, check it out! It's a great mash of Ikea and creativity all in one! I love it and am totally amazed at how much creativity and ingenuity people have! My Ikea hack is just a mini one and doesn't even compare with the other ones, but I thought I'd share anyways!

We have been looking for some chaise lounge chairs for the sitting area in our bedroom with little luck. We finally decided to buy arm chairs with matching ottomans instead. I figured it would give us options in case I wanted to move furniture around (which I have been doing a lot lately)! Ikea had a promotion going on so we picked up the Karlstad armchair and footstool.
Nice looking chair with clean lines, nice fabric and color (good for concealing Kalbi hair), and at a good price! I liked everything about it... except for the skinny, dinky, light-colored, long legs!
I thought about painting the legs dark grey or staining it dark brown to match our furniture. But I knew I would still be unhappy with the size! Yes, size does matter people! Haha! Anyways, I knew the legs would have to be changed! Easy fix and relatively cheap too! So I started looking for different legs. I found some good options for about $40 for 4. Sounds not too bad, until I realized I needed 4 sets... 4 times $40 is $160 (I know you guys are impressed with my math skills). Ughhh are you kidding me? There is no way on earth I would spend that much! My well-priced chair would no longer be well-priced! Eeek you know what that means... I would have to go the good ol' DIY route!

So after a few weeks of having legless furniture, I decided how to attack the situation! We started with a giant fence post!
Husband had the privilege of cutting the post into 5 inch pieces (1 inch shorter then the original legs) and then staining them dark brown!
After some drilling and attaching, we now have chair legs!! Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!
Husband also had the privilege of carrying these chairs downstairs (again) into the living room! I was bummed when I found out the chairs we ordered for our living room wouldn't be here until early in the new year! I didn't want the room to look so empty for the Holidays, so they will stay here until the real furniture arrives! And then Husband gets the privilege of moving them back upstairs!
So for a fraction of the cost, I'd say these legs look pretty good! I'm much happier with the look and Husband got to play with power tools! It's a win win for everyone!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Embracing wrinkled sheets!

I know each and every single one of you irons your sheets to meticulously remove every single darn wrinkle. I know you all make your bed neatly, fluff the pillows and rearrange the cushions til they are perfect every morning! Right? Right! I'm the only lazy person that doesn't do that right? Right! So of course your sheets don't look like this:
D Sharon Pruitt
Arghhh I hate it when our sheets look like this! It looks so nappy! Even the expensive high thread count sheets look like this! I refuse to waste precious time ironing sheets! I have better things to do... like sleeping in my wrinkled sheets! Hehe! But I came up with a new plan to tackle wrinkles... embrace them! Duvet covers that have the wrinkly, crinkly textured look is IN! Yup, you heard me right! Wrinkled sheets are trendy! Haha this is my type of trend! This is what our new duvet cover looks like!

Looks good enough to sleep in!

Boo on you The Bay

Today's rant is courtesy of The Bay!

I used to shop at The Bay because department stores are your one stop shop for everything and it was a Canadian company... which it no longer is! Ever since they got bought out, The Bay has really made an effort to be trendier and more competitive! They have introduced new brands, online shopping, a mobile app and even offer daily deals! It is a shame that (aside from their Southgate location) their stores look so visually unappealing! They can be selling the same merchandise as other stores but when I walk through, I don't want to buy anything! I can't even pinpoint what it is but I don't have an uncontrollable urge to spend money there... and trust me, I get that urge a lot!!
I recently watched a piece on Sunday Morning about how department stores are dying and are trying to reinvent themselves! You can watch it here! Pretty interesting! Remember how we used to go to department stores with our parents to buy pretty much everything? Remember Eatons and Woodwards? Haha I'm old! Now when you hit up WEM, do you guys even step into The Bay or Sears? Don't even get me started on Zellers! Thank goodness that store is so done with!
Anyways, back to me ranting about The Bay! In trying to get my business, they usually offer these $25 savings cards if you spend $75. Sounds like a good deal, except in the tiny print at the bottom, it says you have to use that $25 savings card on another purchase of $100 and only on a certain day and only on certain items! A good deal is no longer a good deal when you put so many restrictions on it! Their second attempt at gaining my business is through daily deals! I love me some daily deals! I'll have to admit that their daily deals are pretty sweet! The other day they had 50% off ladies boots, or 75% off nice pots and pans! Today was $315 off of a nice suit Husband might have liked! Only problem is that every single time I've tried to score one of these awesome deals, it is sold out! They must have like ONE of each item on sale! Obviously, they are luring me to their website with these daily deals, but I'm never going to come back if you have nothing left for me to buy! Sheesh!
You and I are OVER The Bay! Well that is until you send me another one of those $20 vouchers to spend on almost anything for being such a loyal customer!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Easy Gift wrap

I am just about done my Christmas shopping this year! Normally I am pretty efficient and would already be done but since I have this new thing where I don't leave the house much, it makes it kinda hard! (total run-on sentence?) Anyways, now I have to wrap all the presents! I usually love wrapping presents and taking the time to make sure it looks special! There is something about a visually appealing present that just makes what's inside even better! But there are so many at Christmas time and I'm lazy! I have to be like an efficient wrapping machine and get 'er done! That doesn't mean that they are going to look nappy though! I still have standards people! (Although I will admit the last few gifts I cranked out were kinda sad looking! Shoved in a gift bag and stuffed with tissue paper! Whatever, I had a baby... that`s my excuse and I`m going to use it as long as I can!)

So here is my first tip to share with you! I buy lots of stuff at H&M through-out the year! I like their clothes, so does husband and Yules and I take my nephew there lots too! Anyways, every time I buy something there, I always ask for a box! If I buy 5 items, I ask for 5 boxes! The boxes are FREE and nice too! They always have boxes and they always have different styles! Sometimes they have gift bags instead of boxes... which I actually like better! So how does that save you time you ask? Well the boxes/bags have designs on them, so it looks like it is already wrapped! Genius I tell you! So pretty much all you have to do is tie on some nice ribbon and voila you saved trees and time!
My second tip is use NICE ribbon! Don't cheap out on the ribbon! You already saved money from not having to buy the box, wrapping paper and tape... so splurge a little and get the nice ribbon! Trust me, it makes a big difference!

These gifts are in H&M boxes/bags! They have lots of different designs, shapes and sizes depending on which store you hit up! Minimal effort, but I think they look really good!
Kalbs even helped out with the Christmas wrapping! He helped tie the ribbon on this gift for his BFF!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Keeping Busy!

Hey all! It's been a busy couple of weeks, so no time to really blog! Boo... I suck! Here's a little bit of what we've been up to!

1. I made some yummy treats with the girls! I wanted to make these easy holiday treats that I found on Pinterest:
But round pretzels were no where to be found! Mini pretzels were also sold out! Hmmm just my luck of course! So I bought pretzel sticks, but we ended up using shreddies!
Line 'em up and pop them into the oven! These take like 2 minutes in the oven or else they burn! We learned that the hard way! Hmmm... you would think chocolate would just melt if it was in the oven too long!
This was our first FAIL batch! Seriously this was supposed to be EASY! And it actually was, once we figured it out and got a system going!
Pop these suckers in a cute bag (from Dollarama if you're wondering), throw in a few pretzels and extra m&ms for good measure and there you have it!
I tested these on an EMO teenage boy and he ate three bags! So they must be good or he was just really hungry!
2. Also did a sewing craft with the gals! Apparently sewing is for old ladies! What Evs! We made some heat packs using scented rice!
We also made these cute mini ones for your pocket! Handy if you are going outside for a walk or whatever it is that you do outside!
Pop these babies in a cute container (also from Dollarama) and it makes a cute handmade gift!

3. Put up my Christmas tree! Yippee I heart Christmas! Now I just need to start wrapping presents to put under the tree! I heart wrapping presents too... just not at Christmas time! :(

4. I was on a DIY kick and made a wreath! I wanted a gigantic faux boxwood wreath and I wanted it cheap! That combo doesn't exist, so I had to make it myself!
I started with a frame that I made by bending wire hangers (thanks Santos). This is way harder than it should be! I recommend using a hula hoop if you're going to be making a big one!
Then I wrapped it with the cheapy garland stuff! I was going to hang it on a window and wanted it to be green on the back not ghetto unfabulous wire!
Next I added the boxwood! I love the simplicity and organic natural look of this wreath! Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

5. Made the best discovery ever!! Did you know that you can use bounce dryer sheets to clean soap scum! Yuppers, it works! If you're gross like me, you probably don't clean your shower every single day! So of course scuzzy soap scum builds up and it looks very unpleasant, especially on a glass shower! It is also a B to get rid of! Not anymore! Seriously all you have to do is gently rub a wet used dryer sheet all over, rinse, squeegee and ta-da it's CLEAN! O.M.G why didn't anyone tell me about this before?

6. Finally got the rugs we ordered! Check it out!
The first one we got was for Yulli's room! Super cute! It even makes Mr. Elephant look less creepy! I still think he's cute no matter what you haters think!
The other monstrous one we got was for the living room! It was so big, not even sure how Husband got it home in my little car! Anyways, I was so excited I dragged furniture from various parts of our home to visualize what it would look like once we did actually have furniture! Makes the space look sooooo different! Can't wait for our real furniture! Kalbs seems to like the new rug!
Look at the cutest puppy in the whole world!! How could you not love that face?
So there you have it... a little bit of what the gang and I have been up to!
PS. A "celebrity" commented on my blog! OMG *shriek like a little school girl* Someone else other than Husband reads my blog! I'm HAPPY!