Happy Grey Lucky by Sina who is a minimalist loving mom of two shares bits and pieces of her life in Toronto with her husband and two small kids. she loves all things Scandinavian, minimalist monochrome and finding the beauty in the everyday
If there’s something that has drastically changed for me from my 20s to 30s (and if we ignore the effects of gravity for a moment :P), it’s my focus on health. It started with having kids and wanting them to grow up in a healthy household but also, with age, I’ve noticed my body is not as tolerant as it used to be. The food I eat affects me so much more (for better or worse), lack of sleep is a brain (and mood) killer these days, and when I don’t exercise semi-regularly, I can really feel that legarthy seeping in so much quicker and more powerfully then a decade ago. And that’s the thing – most of us think of our health in conjunction with our bodies – what we’re putting into it, how we’re moving it, and so forth. Which is important of course! But we don’t often think about our environment and what a huge impact it has on our overall health as well. Our homes is where we spend most of our time (unless you’re the Bucket List Family traipsing around the world) so it stands to reason that we should think about how we can make our homes more healthy – cleaner, safer, healthier. And that’s where Dyson comes in and truly makes a difference.
If you’ve been following my Instagram for a little while you know what a big Dyson fan I am and all that they’re doing to make our homes cleaner and all-around better. I really fell in love with the Dyson brand a little over a year ago, when I learned all about the amazing engineering that goes into each and every product. How much thought and time they put in to make something as functional and helpful as possible. I’m really drawn to how things work (my background is in computer science for that very reason) and I’m fascinated by companies who work hard to make their products work really well. And, with having used Dyson products in our home for the past year and a half, you can really feel that difference in engineering. It’s crazy how before you learn all the things that Dyson has taken into account to engineer their products, you probably wouldn’t think about most of them. But then when you learn about it it’s like this huge “ah-hah!” moment and then you’re left wondering why no one else has thought about this because, duh, it’s absolutely necessary! That’s how I feel about all the amazing little details that are in every Dyson product (which makes them well worth the higher price point).
The first thing that I’m sure most people think of when it comes to having a clean and healthy home is vacuuming. And it’s definitely a very important part! Dyson has been revolutionizing the vacuum market for 27 years and their latest vacuum – the cordless V11 – is no exception. I’ve owned cordless vacuums on-and-off for a half dozen years but it wasn’t until I got my first Dyson cordless last year (the V10) that I actually started really using a cordless. Everything I had tried before was just loud and not effective at all at vacuuming up basically anything so I always reverted back to my trusted (but heavy, bulky and awkward) corded vacuum. But the Dyson cordless vacuums have amazing suction and – being cordless – are so much easier to use! Super easy to grab and quickly vacuum up the mess under the dining table after dinner. Or in the car. Or all that dust above the doorframe that’s been collecting for years (gross). And the new V11 takes it one step further! It has an auto mode that intelligently optimizes suction power (aka more suction for carpet, less suction for hardwood) to maximize battery life. I’m a put-it-in-one-setting-and-never-touch-it-again girl so this is sooo key for me. It also intelligently reports in real time via the new LCD screen (so how much clean time you have left, what to do if there’s a clog, when you should change the filter, etc.). Yep, I’m obsessed.
If you had asked me before my introduction to Dyson over a year ago (at their 2018 launch event in NYC), I would have said a clean home involves cleaning your home and that’s about it. But what I learned that day in New York is that it doesn’t stop there. It’s not just surfaces in our home that need cleaning, but also the air. We spend so much time in our homes so it makes sense that we should focus on cleaning the air we breathe so much. Having long, cold winters and hot, humid summers means – realistically – windows are just not opened as much as they should be. And, even when they are, living in the city means there are also lots of pollutants in the air outside that comes into our homes. And that’s where Dyson air purifiers come in. They automatically detect and report air quality levels in real time and with their 360° sealed HEPA and activated carbon filters, they remove gases and 99.97% of microscopic allergens and pollutants. All with a powerful airflow that circulates the whole room. We’ve had Dyson purifiers for almost a year now and it’s been really eye opening when and how often we’re bringing pollutants into the air (spraying hair products, cooking, just opening the door, and so on) and it’s really satisfying to see the purifiers kick into gear and clean the air.
One of the newest Dyson products to hit shelves (and our home :D) is the 360 Heurist robot vaccum. This is our very first robot vacuum! And one I’ve been sooo excited to try out. I mean, getting a clean floor without any actual effort – does it get any better than that?? (The answer is nope, it does not.) I’ve only used this little guy for a couple of weeks but I have to say I’m super impressed. It has an intelligent vision system to help it navigate and it also continually builds and refines a map of your home. If you saw my stories from the Dyson launch event last month you’ll have seen how impressively it will navigate (nice and tightly) around obstacles. You can also use the Dyson Link app to schedule your cleans and control it from anywhere. Seriously cool.
Let’s go back to the air in our home again. We live in Toronto and our winters are brutal. Not just with how cold it gets (it gets seriously cold) but also with how dry the air is. I vividly remember Chris once taking a knit sweater off in the dark (minds out of the gutter, k thanks :P) and he looked like a crazy lightning storm, I kid you not. The static shock is unreal during our winters. So having a humidifier is key (also for my croup-prone kids). Did you know that dry air reduces our respiratory system’s natural defences? Getting all scientific for a second (this stuff fascinates me), we need mucus to trap viruses and other not-so-fun stuff that we breathe in and mucus needs moisture to stay, well, mucus-y. (Not a word but hey.) So this is where the Dyson humidifier comes in. And, whilst we’re talking about clean air, you want your humidifier to blow out, well, clean air and that comes about by cleaning the water before circulating it into the room. And the Dyson humidifier is the most hygienic humidifier out there – killing 99.9% of bacteria in the water. It also never gets hot, doesn’t use dangerous blades or anything else that makes them unsafe for young kids to be around (major bonus).
Another new release is this Dyson Pure Cool Me – which is a personal purifying fan. This is great for purifying and cooling the air directly around you in places you’re spending lots of time – think desk or next to your bed. The larger purifiers are meant to clean an entire room but this is just for your personal space where you’re sitting or lying. We have ours in the bedroom and it feels soooo refreshing (and will be amazing come the summer as well when our bedroom gets uncomfortable hot).
And, last but not least, let’s chat about the light in our homes. Whilst light isn’t affecting the cleanliness of our homes, it does very much affect our health (our eyes) and well being. Our bodies are influenced by daylight’s changing spectrum of colour and brightness and the unchanging artificial light we are constantly exposed to when indoors can be hard on our eyes and internal clocks. So Dyson created their new Lightcycle to change with daylight. It tracks colour temperature and brightness where you live and adjusts the light output accordingly. It also adapts to you using your age (older folks need brighter light) and can be used as a light alarm to slowly and gently wake you up in the morning (switching from a sound to light alarm has been the best thing I’ve done for my morning routine in years). Not only that, but it adapts to the light around you (if you have more ambiant light, the Lightcycle will use less light and vice versa) and it uses heat pipe technology to protect light quality (and the light bulb) for 60 years. Yep, you read that right – not days, not months, but 60 YEARS. I really hope I’m around in 60 years just so I can say: “see look at my light that I’ve been using for 60 YEARS people.” I mean, the features on this light are seemingly endless and just so cool when you think about it and think, well ya – lights really should be this intelligent.
Do you own any Dyson products in your home? And what are some of the things you do to make your home environment cleaner and healthier?
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Dyson. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Decorating a new space makes me so happy. I’d go so far as to say it’s up there in my top 3, along with my family and travel, in terms of what makes me the most happy in life. And not just the final result but I absolutely love the process. The hours upon hours spent perusing Pinterest for inspiration, scouring the internet for the pieces I want to fill the space with, unpacking the boxes when they finally arrive, and then of course seeing it all come together just as I had envisioned in my head. So taking our old condo and turning it into a fully decorated space we can use (and rent out on a short-term basis) has been amazing. And today I’m sharing the second room that is (more-or-less) finished! The living room. (If you want to check out the first room I shared – our master bedroom – click here.) Lots more photos below and everything is sourced at the bottom of the post!
The living room was the first room I started planning and it all started with this Karlstad sofa from IKEA. I’ve been obsessed with this sofa for years thanks to my endless Pinterest searches for “Scandinavian interiors” and loving the minimalist, clean lines for such a good price. I actually had it earmarked for our house (when we moved in 4 years ago) but that was the exact time IKEA decided to discontinue it (I was heartbroken :P). But they brought it back about a year later and I’ve been trying to find a use for it ever since! Haha. Condo living room it is. I swapped out the square legs for these from Pretty Pegs (in natural ash) and I absolutely love how they elevate the look of the sofa and make it look like it’s more expensive than it actually is!
For almost everything else in the space I looked to my new favourite online furniture shop – Wayfair. I honestly cannot believe I didn’t know about Wayfair when I furnished our first house 4 years ago. No matter what I search for these days I inevitably end up on Wayfair because they have sooooo many amazing pieces! And – my favourite part – you can filter by style (with “Scandinavian” and “mid-century modern” being the two styles I am constantly searching through) and their picks are so spot-on. I have a very particular style (makes life difficult sometimes because I have exactly one very specific thing in my head and I must find this one thing) but if you’re way more easy going (it’s not hard lol) then these filters can also really help make your look super cohesive without a lot of effort. I sourced this gorgeous Moroccan-inspired rug from Wayfair, along with the mid-century modern coffee table, the super-comfy tripod armchair, that gorgeous black cage side table (from one of my all-time fave brands), and the swing arm lamp.
That grey Arne Jacobsen-inspired egg chair is from Mobilia and is the perfect “curl up with a good book” chair. And the round side table is from EQ3.
In this day and age, with the belief that “we can do it all” running so rampant, it’s super easy to feel overwhelmed and burned out. I constantly feeling like I have too much on my plate and often feel like I don’t know where to start to make life a little more manageable. But contrary to popular belief, you really don’t have to make drastic changes in order to notice an improvement in the quality of life. And you don’t need to wait a really long time to see that change. So many times, adding a small change (or, better yet, “upgrade”) to your day can make so much of a difference already. So here are 10 little life upgrades that have helped my sanity and made my day calmer, happier, and just all around better – some tangible and some more-focused on state of mind. Would also love to hear any little upgrades that have helped you in the comments below! I’m always up for learning new little tricks.
[ 1 ] Wake up to light rather than sound . I’ve been using a light alarm clock for about a year now. Before, I was using a regular ol’ alarm clock but, no matter how “calming” of a sound I used, I would start my day slightly agitated from being startled awake. Now my alarm uses light that slowly brightens to wake you up from a sleep cycle much more gently (which gets me in a much better mood in the morning). Such a simple upgrade that has made a huge impact on each and every day!
[ 2 ] Follow the 1-minute rule . I try to follow the 1-minute-rule throughout my day. Aka if it can be done in a minute or less, do it right then and there. It’s made my house way less messy and my day feel so much less cluttered. It’s crazy how many times we just put things down somewhere when putting them away would have actually been super quick. Following the 1-minute rule doesn’t actually make me feel like I’m busier, it actually makes my day feel so much less stressful.
[ 3 ] Upgrade my laundry routine with Tide PODS . For at-home laundry, pods have made each load so much simpler since everything is pre-measured and the all in one laundry pac has everything you need in it! No more multiple bottles, messes when measuring, etc. I also love that I know exactly how many loads I can still do and when I need to order a new package (online of course haha). Plus I love that the new, improved Tide PODS Free and Gentle are hypoallergenic and free of dyes and perfumes so I know they’ll be gentle on our skin. Same clean, less worry about my kids’ sensitive skin!
[ 4 ] Splurge on a cute doormat . Your front door is the first thing you or anyone else sees when they enter your home. Make it a happy first impression with a doormat that has a sweet welcome message. It’ll put a smile on anyone’s face coming in and what’s better than that?
[ 5 ] Less screen time by turning off phone notifications . It’s so easy to waste time on your phone – make it just a little bit harder by turning off your phone notifications. The little chime or flashing of the screen is distracting and always makes me so much more likely to pick up my phone (and then waste precious time on there). With notifications off and my phone in one designated spot in the house (by the chargers, of course :P), I feel like I can focus so much better on whatever I’m doing in that moment.
[ 6 ] Pack Tide pods in your suitcase . Travelling is stressful enough as it is, and having to schlepp around a ton of luggage makes it even more so. I try and travel carry on only whenever I can and what really helps me is packing only about 4-5 days worth of clothes and bringing a small bag of Tide pods with me to do laundry while away. I usually book vacation rentals when I travel with kids (and those usually have laundry facilities) but if we’re booking a hotel, I make sure to book one with a laundry room that guests can use. For me, this is a very simple travel upgrade that gives me peace of mind when we’re going on vacation.
[ 7 ] Use packing cubes . Speaking of carry-on only travel, packing cubes are hands down the biggest reason I can do it with kids (slash even by myself for that matter). I can get two to three times as many clothes into a packing cube then I can if I just loosely put it into a suitcase. Check out the photo below – On the right I put enough clothes for a 5-day trip. On the right, I put the same amount of clothing into a packing cube (I could stuff a bit more in there in fact) and still have room for two pairs of shoes, a book, a packable backpack, and my toiletries (under the book).
[ 8 ] Do a power hour . I read about this concept a few months back and I think it’s brilliant! Dedicate one hour a week to get all of those things done that aren’t urgent enough to deal with right away. Like changing a light bulb or going through your kitchen cupboards to get rid of expired food. Things that you know you want to get done, but constantly ignore in favour of more pertinent things.
[ 9 ] Start a gratitude journal . I recently started writing down 3 things that I’m grateful for every morning. And I end the day with 3 things that made me happy that day. It only takes a couple minutes out of my day but it is oh so worth it for an instant mood booster.
[ 10 ] Set a bedtime alarm . Setting an alarm to force myself to go to bed (not just an alarm to wake up in the morning) has helped soooo much to have more consistent sleep. And getting consistently enough sleep each night (when babies and toddlers aren’t keep you up, of course) really helps the following day feel so much more productive, less stressful, and all around more enjoyable.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Tide. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
You guys, it’s been almost four months since I last blogged. FOUR MONTHS. That’s definitely the longest I’ve ever gone without getting a post up. But! For good reason. We’ve been busy renovating not one but two places. The first being our old condo that we’re turning into a part-time office and photo studio for me as well as a short-term rental of sorts (still figuring that all out). And the second is our new house!! That we more or less gutted and built back up from scratch (okay not quite but almost). We underpinned the basement, new electrical and ductwork, new kitchen and bathrooms, new floors, removing a few walls, etc. etc. Basically 6 months of constant work and constant surprises means very little time for anything else. But we’re almost done the condo and we’re getting close to finishing the house as well so it’s time to start sharing! Starting with the master bedroom in our updated condo!
I wanted to keep everything in the condo minimalist and bright to match the gorgeous light that comes in through the floor to ceiling windows and also because we don’t actually need to store a lot of stuff in there so I actually can keep things really minimalist (dream come true). Lots of whites, light greys and light wood tones, contrasted with some black and dark greys to bring in just a touch of moodiness.
The first thing I spent hours and hours searching for is a bed frame. We’ve never had a king bed and this room actually fits one so I knew I wanted to make one work. A simple, no-headboard, airy-looking (aka off the floor) but still super sturdy bed frame that didn’t have a million support legs (I hate the look of support legs). Apparently it’s really hard to find! I actually gave up searching and decided I’ll just get a mattress for now until I find the perfect bed. We decided on Casper because we’ve heard nothing but good things about them (more on that in a minute) and then, when I popped over to their website I saw the most beautiful bed frame with an optional headboard. Yassss! Two birds with one stone, as they say. It comes in two frame colours and three headboard colours (I really like it with the headboard as well but all my years of Pinteresting Scandinavian interiors has me now firmly on the no-headboard bandwagon). And it’s insanely sturdy (made of powder-coated aircraft-grade aluminum) and took us just minutes to put together. Chris and I are so used to IKEA beds that our jaws basically dropped to the floor when we were done after maybe 5 minutes.
For our mattress, we went with the Casper Wave mattress (it’s their newest addition). And it’s a-m-a-z-i-n-g. 5 layers of premium, ultra-breathable foam with a humidity fighting cover and 33 points of support. Which is what I like to call technical speak for an über-comfy night of sleep. It’s so much better than the mattress we have at home right now that we already ordered one for the new house (upgraded from a Queen to a King there as well!).
I’m not completely done with the room – especially that TV / wall cabinet side (I want to do a wooden frame around those floating cabinets and do away with the cables) but I figured if I don’t start sharing and wait until I feel “100% done” it’ll basically never happen. Lots more photos below!
In this post:
Casperplatform bed frame + Wave mattress | IKEA floating cabinets, linen bed sheets, oversized pillows, magazine shelves + mirror | Samsung The Frame TV | Menu side table | Nichba floating side table | Mobilia carpet | Eames coat rack | Muuto hanging lighbulb | EQ3 hook for lamp
10 days until Christmas, can you believe it?! December has just zoomed by! If you’re like me then you’re only just starting to think seriously about what to gift everyone (the frantic stressing will come towards the end of next week when I realize that Amazon prime-ing is basically my only option :P). Each year people ask me what I want for Christmas and each year I honestly don’t know what to put on my list. I feel like that’s probably a pretty common predicament amongst moms. We’re always so busy thinking about everyone but ourselves, so why would Christmas gifts be any different? Well, I’m here to help a fellow gift-giver out if you’ve got one of those moms in your life that says she has nothing on her list but you really want to spoil her with this year’s gift. (Also helpful if you’re a mom who doesn’t know what to put on your list. Just send this post to your hubby etc. Easy easy!)
P.S. I created those labels and the tree wrapping paper in Photoshop and printed them out. Sooo easy! I’ve put the download links at the end of this post, if you’re interested.
[ 1 ] Luxurious sheets . Every mom is some level of sleep deprived. That’s just a guaranteed fact of motherhood, amiright?! Make the little sleep she does get extra luxurious with hotel-quality sheets. I love Brooklinen not only for the buttery-soft feel but also for their beautiful, minimalist prints!
[ 2 ] Personalized jewelry . This one’s a tried and true gift ideas for a reason! Personalized jewelry starts to have such a huge meaning once you have kids and want to have a little piece of them with you at all time. Usually people go for necklaces but I actually love rings the best because it’s baby and toddler proof (aka no tugging!) and super easy to slip on every morning without much thought to outfit planning. Love these solid gold rings from Etsy!
[ 3 ] A time-saving (and hair-protecting!) blow dryer . Moms are always behind on life and the first thing to get pushed back on the todo list? Personal care. Yet, take a few minutes every day to get ready is really such a mood booster. I love love love the Dyson Supersonic blow dryer for not only protecting my hair (it never gets hot enough to cause damage!) but also for speeding up my morning blow dry when I do get a shower in (I can dry all of my super thick, long hair in about 7 minutes!!!).
[ 4 ] Cozy + stylish slippers . Slipping into cozy slippers after time spent in the cold running after tiny humans is the best feeling (combined with a hot cup of coffee, of course). Birdie’s slippers are THE comfiest slippers I’ve ever worn (for indoor or outdoor!) and they’re fun and stylish to boot!
[ 5 ] A mirrorless camera . Whilst phone cameras are super handy because you always have a camera with you, sometimes it’s nice to get better quality photos. But schlepping around a big and heavy DSLR is not usually doable with all the other stuff moms have in their bags. That’s why I love a small and lightweight mirrorless camera! Great pictures, but so much smaller and lighter! My favourite is the Sony (I have the A6300 but I love the A6000 and A51000 as entry level cameras).
[ 6 ] A cordless vacuum . You might be thinking – how is buying a mom a vacuum spoiling her? But hear me out. With a cordless vacuum it’s soooo much easier to quickly vacuum up those crumbs under the table or that glitter her 2-year-old decided to dump all over the floor. And the Dyson V10 is powerful enough to handle pretty much anything! Plus it’s so lightweight that you can clean high and low and really anywhere. Which makes getting a little cleaning done when you have, oh, 2.5 minutes of free time, soooo much easier. And the feeling of a cleaner home when you have young kids is a feeling worth splurging on.
[ 7 ] Light therapy lamp . Sunlight makes people happy and the lack of sunlight in the winter (thanks to those super short, gloomy days) makes people, well, unhappy. The Scandinavians have long discovered light therapy lamps to simulate real sunlight exposure (and get those moods boosted). I love this Verilux one because it’s small and sleek and can go everywhere with you!
[ 8 ] Luxury beauty products . All that lack of sleep and stress will put a toll on anyone’s skin. Add to the fact that mom’s usually skip the self-care department to make time for other things (like their kiddos or the household). Spoil her with a little skincare TLC. I loooove the Omorovicza skincare line, especially their facial mist (feels like a refreshing wake-up call each morning!).
[ 9 ] Apple watch . In today’s world of social media, it’s hard to stay off your phone. Whenever I’m with the kids, I want to leave my phone elsewhere to avoid the mindless checking and re-checking of Instagram, my e-mails, etc. I want to be more present for my kids but, at the same time, I need to be reachable especially when we leave the house. With the Apple watch (and some wireless headphones!), leaving the house without your phone is entirely possible and you can still call your hubby to tell him to pick up some groceries on the way home.
[ 10 ] Spa visit . If you’re short on time, a gift card for a spa treatment is definitely always a winner. Better yet – send her off for the whole day with her bestie while you take care of the kiddos.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Dyson. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I think it’s safe to say that we all know how important fresh air is for everyone year round, but those long cold winter months can oftentimes make it hard to find the motivation to get out the door when indoors is so warm and cozy and outside is, well, flippin’ cold. A couple weeks back I wrote about 5 tips for getting kids outdoors more (like having the right gear to keep warm! sooo important) and, today, I want to share some fun ideas of what exactly to do when you are outdoors. Because I find that having an actual activity planned is really helpful in making any cold-weather outing successful. And trying something new adds to the fun.
[ 1 ] Head to the playground . This might be an obvious first activity but playgrounds are fun year-round and are probably a lot less busy in the cold-weather months. Plus sliding snowballs down the slide is loads of fun.
[ 2 ] Go on a scavenger hunt . Make a list of items for your kids to collect – pine cones, rocks, seeds, etc. It doesn’t have to be “things” – you can also make a list of descriptors – smooth, rough, brown, etc.
[ 3 ] Jump up and down in muddy puddles . If it’s cold but not yet cold enough for snow, grab those rain boots, rain jackets and rain pants, and go out in search of the biggest, muddiest puddle that would make Peppa Pig proud.
[ 4 ]Make ice art . Use ice cube trays, muffin tins or old plastic containers to freeze water dyed with food colouring into different shapes. Then bring them outside and create snow sculptures decorated with the various coloured shapes.
[ 5 ] Collect rocks . Head down to the beach and collect rocks to create rock art when you get back home (all you need is a little paint and paint brush and you’re good to go).
[ 6 ] Break out the binoculars . Since leaves have fallen from the trees, it’s a lot easier to spot birds and other creatures on the branches. Go from tree to tree and see what you can find.
[ 7 ] Make snow angels . If it snows a lot where you live than this classic is a must. Have them lie down in the snow and wave their arms and legs to make snow angels.
[ 8 ] Build a snow fort . Pack snow into plastic bins to turn it into “bricks”. And then have your kiddos decorate their fort with pinecones, sticks, and other things they find.
[ 9 ] Go on a lantern walk . Have your kids make lanterns out of old 2L pop bottles and tissue paper pieces glued to them (paper maché style), drop in a battery-operated candle and go for a night time walk around your neighbourhood. Perfect for those dark-so-early winter days.
[ 10 ] Go sledding on the nearest hill . Fresh snow is the perfect excuse to find a hill (any hill) and go for a little toboggan ride. Have kids pull their sleds back up the hill themselves to tire them out even more.
[ 11 ] Make s’mores . Build a campfire, bring out hot chocolate to keep warm and roast s’mores like the good ol’ summer cottage days.
[ 12 ] Create a treasure hunt . Give your kids a treasure map and have them search for clues you’ve left around your backyard. Write clues on pieces of wood or drop them into freezer-safe tupperware to make them cold-weather friendly.
[ 13 ] Give tracking a go . Find a fresh patch of snow in your local park or forest and have your kids look for animal tracks.
[ 14 ] Have a snowball-throwing contest . Create a target out of a tree trunk and see who has the best aim.
[ 15 ] Play the tourist . Okay, this one isn’t specifically for kids but travelling to nearby cities or tourist attractions that you’ve been meaning to check out is great in the winter because you won’t be inundated with other tourists. Having the place to yourself and seeing it covered in snow is pretty magical.
[ 16 ] Find as many conifers as you can . Pine cones aren’t the only conifers to fall from evergreen trees. Go out in search of as many different varieties as you can.
[ 17 ] Go on a colour hunt . Grab some paint swatches from your local paint shop and head out in search of those colours in nature or around your neighbourhood. Make sure to pick lots of neutrals for the winter (although finding colours in signs and store fronts works just as well).
[ 18 ] Teach your kids to skate . It’s basically a rite of passage here in Canada to learn to skate. We have skating rinks
[ 19 ] Play I spy . If you want to go on a simple walk and need to make it a little more fun for younger kids, play I spy while you walk.
[ 20 ] Make sugar snow . No kids can resist a sweet treat. Make sugar snow by first heating up maple syrup (to 115C) then head straight outside and drizzle over packed snow. Press a popsicle stick into the syrup and roll it into a candy pop.
Speaking of sweet treats, we’re also big fans of TruMoo chocolate milk at our house, a great way for active kids to refuel. Bring it along as is or heat it up at home for an easy (and delicious!) hot chocolate. They only use real cocoa (no artificial flavours!) and it’s packed with protein, calcium, and vitamins, plus no GMO ingredients or high fructose corn syrup. And their Kid Harder campaign, which is all about getting kids outdoors, really speaks to my heart. TruMoo talked to moms about their childhoods, their kids and play and what stood out most was that what moms wanted more than anything was for their kids to spend less time looking at a screen and more time being outside, playing and exploring. Moms felt fulfilled when they could help their kids grow, learn and discover – without their phones, tablets and devices – in addition to satisfying their nutritional needs. I feel absolutely the same way! My number one goal over the cold winter months is to spend more time outdoors as a family.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by TruMoo. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Yesterday I shared lots of photos of our magical stay in the Santa Suite at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and today it’s all about the rest of the amazing Christmas at the Princess experience. If narrowing down photos from the Santa Suite was hard, today’s post was even harder! The entire hotel grounds were covered in twinkle lights (I’m talking more than 4 million lights!) that turned on once the sun started to set and turned the beautiful Fairmont grounds into an enchanting Christmas wonderland! We spent hours walking around, looking at all the lights and shapes and colours – truly magical. And if that wasn’t enough, there are so many fun activities at night to add to the entire Christmas experience. There was a Christmas train that drove around the resort to look at all the twinkle lights, a skating rink (skating when it’s not cold is my new favourite experience!!), a mini theme park with three super fun rides (ferris wheel, carousel, and an ice slide – THE best), roasting marshmallows by the fire, a Build-a-Bear workshop, a Santa meet-and-greet, Christmas characters, and so much more! We also got to experience the tree lighting ceremony to kick off the 6 weeks of Christmas at the Princess, which had live music, dancing and of course Mr. and Mrs. Clause! Watching my kids eyes light up and take in all of the Christmas magic was my absolute favourite thing and made our three days at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess one of my favourite experiences of 2018! Truly magical. I’m crossing my fingers that we can make this a yearly family tradition! That would be beyond amazing. Okay I’ll stop the rambling now and instead let you scroll through all the photos to get a glimpse of the Christmas magic.
And, let’s not forget about the daytime! When we weren’t enjoying our time in the Santa Suite, we got to experience winter in Arizona which basically meant the perfect temperature weather (low to mid 20s) and lots of time spent by the pool (or I should say “pools” because the Fairmont has six). And once the sun started to set we’d run outside onto the grounds and enjoy the stunning desert sunsets. Such gorgeous colours!!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Fairmont. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
You know those moments when you realize, in a single instance, that you’re about to experience something so incredible that you will remember every little detail perfectly until you’re old and grey? Our recent trip to Arizona was one of those moments for me. We had the opportunity to stay at the incredible Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale Arizona a few weeks back to experience their Christmas at the Princess. And not only that, but to enjoy a few nights in their Santa Suite. Words (and honestly, even pictures) cannot explain how absolutely amazing the experience was. It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime, will-tell-all-the-grandkids-one-day experience. Everywhere you looked, it was decorated so beautifully in Christmas decor. We were there for three days and honestly every hour (and probably every minute the first day!) I discovered something new that I hadn’t noticed before. The attention to detail is absolutely incredible! From our names written on the shampoo bottles, to vintage Christmas records, to sweet treats everywhere. And to watch my kids eyes light up so many times over the course of the week? Just absolutely magical. Honestly? It brought tears to my eyes numerous times and I’m not really a big cryer at all. Plus I got to bring my mom with me (Chris had a work trip) and having both my mom and my kids there to experience the magic was so so special (brought out the kid in me for sure). Okay, I’m done with the rambling. Mainly because I’ve run out descriptor words. I don’t think photos quite do it justice either, but I sure did try! Scroll through to get a sense of the magic of the Santa Suite (I’ll be doing a separate post on the rest of the Christmas at the Princess experience tomorrow). The fact that I narrowed it down to 40 photos is big, you guys. I think I had about 500 photos. Just from the suite.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Fairmont. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Happy first of December! Can you believe it’s already the last month of the year?! 2018 flew by for me at lighting speed. I’m honestly so excited it’s December, though, because that means one thing: Christmas!! And ‘tis the season for gift guides and I’m jumping right on that bandwagon. Starting with a gift guide for the homebody on your list (which is basically everyone past their mid-20s isn’t it?). This guide is all about staying cozy at home, pampering yourself, and having a little fun along the way.
If you’re like me, you’re doing all of your Christmas shopping online so it’s the perfect time to sign up for Ebates and earn yourself a little cash back. They have so many amazing shops – over 750!!! – where you’re probably already doing your Christmas shopping anyways, and you can earn up to 30% cash back! Just by hopping to your favourite sites through the Ebates portal. Hello, cash back for a little Christmas gift for yourself! Watch out for flash sales and weekly promos, for the best possible cash back on your favourite stores that week! Currently my favourites (which are all part of this week’s promos!) are Indigo, amazon.ca,Hudson’s Bay, dyson, and Joe Fresh – all of these shops have everything I need to get all of my Christmas shopping done! Below are some of my favourite gifts this year – all perfect for enjoying being at home even more over the cold winter months.
For a little pampering . Who can say no to a little pampering session in the comfort of their own home? Perfect for making those cold days at home a little more luxurious.
For a cozy home . This time of year is all about getting cozy indoors. Reading a book by the fire, sipping a cup of hot chocolate in bed, or just enveloping yourself in quality wool, these gifts are perfect to enjoy the colder months from the comfort of your own home.
For a little fun . Everyone could use a little more fun in our lives. And if it brings us back to our youth, then all the better. A card or board game, a magic 8 ball, or a lipgloss that comes out of a confetti popper – all bound to bring a smile to the gift receiver’s face.