Thursday, 7 December 2017

Busy Mama Outfit Combo: Gray, Burgundy & Leopard

Yikes.  It's been BUSY!  I love this time of year but I feel like I am just moving from one event/task to another.  Busy at work with leading and learning from first notch professional development, to doing kids birthday parties, hosting friends, shopping for the Christmas, dealing with daily mishaps, and doing a ton of gluten free baking for our first GF Christmas.  I love it all but it's been difficult to care about getting dresses so as a result I tend to resort to basic outfit combos that still look polished for the daily events and the office.   My go to combo's are always basic bottoms, fun/colorful top, one accessory that makes a statement and heels, because I love heels. 
This outfit was inspired by Allison from GYPO post on IG.  I loved it but flipped the look and rocked my favorite pair of  Lord & Taylor pants (which come in tons of colors for only $39) and my burgundy bell sleeved top that I purchased last year from ON (similar here and here).  I love adding a little bling with  my newish statement necklace (I wear it ALL the time, which is good because it was an investment piece) and who doesn't love a little leopard booties  for fun.  

Just for fun the very next day I wore the exact same color formula to work but flipped and it worked perfectly and no one noticed that it was extremely similar to the previous days outfit.  

If you are into easy outfit formulas check out the GYPO Winter Style Challenge.  The winter 2017 style challenge is bigger than ever with 34 outfit formulas, a complete shopping list and the best part hands down is the FB group of women.  It's a really nice treat for any woman that needs a little fashion inspiration or really just wants to put herself first for only $39.  If interested use the link below to find out more. 

Easy peasy is the way to go when life is just a little crazy.  

Monday, 4 December 2017

Tween Gift Giving Guide

Last Friday I provided you a gift guide for 6-8 year old girls here, and today I am sharing with you a 'tween' guide.  Halie is turning 11 shortly and really struggled to find something 'realistic' to wish for this year.  Her top two wishes were a set of guinea pigs, we have a dog that we can barely spend time with, and a real gymnastics bar for our home, which is like $600 not to mention we don't have space for it.  Sigh.  We've always been able to deliver on the girls 'wants' but this year I was really struggling with what to get Halie.  Halie is  taking  horse riding lessons si we were tossing around the idea of getting her horse riding equipment for Christmas.  In the end I just felt like it wouldn't really be a surprise, especially since we have to take her to get fitted for everything.  I decided to go all TWEEN girl on her.  She is getting a chair, caboodle, make-up (blush, eye shadow, brush set) and a nail kit from Santa, all listed below.   I am pretty sure she is going to be thrilled and the more practical stuff will come from other family members for  Christmas and/or her birthday.  

1.  Funky Chair $40. Santa Gift!   Super comfortable and sturdy.  I am thinking she is going to love it!

2.  Manic Panic $13.  No bleaching.  Washes out within 3-6 weeks.  Perfect stocking stuffer.

3.  Glamour Girl Makeup  $25.  I am a big believer of facing change head on, so when Halie began expressing interest in makeup, and I wasn't ready, after a few days of watching from the sidelines, I decided to show/teach her how to make a more natural look rather then telling her not to wear it.  She only has a few items, mostly Claire's kids make-up,so she is some more appropriate separate pieces to fill her caboodle with.

4  Caboodle $40.  Santa Gift!!! I think this is awesome for any girl, really any age, that loves to play with make-up.  

5.  Onesie $35.  These onesie and the bunnyhugs from Urban Planet are extremely popular here and Halie loves how cozy they are.  

6.  Clue  $18.  Halie got this last year for her birthday and we play it all the time.  It's a great game to teach strategy and the importance of following along in the game to help you eliminate various possibilities.  

7.  Canterwood Crest books.  If you have a horse lover get them these books.  Perfect for stronger readers, 9+, with extensive vocabulary,  an interesting story line and approximately 200 pages in length.  Halie has read  the first ten and continues to want more.

7.  Nail Spa Kit $20 (similar). I am hopefully the nail dryer will eliminate some of the wait time.  

8.  Duffel Bag  $27.  Every girl needs one for the sleepover parties as well activities.


There you have it!  Hope you've enjoyed the kids gift guide ideas for this season.  Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Gift Giving for 6-8 Year Old Girls

For the first time in years I think we have the kids pretty much completely shopped for already!  YIPEEE!!!  One difficulty we have around this time of year is that the girls not only receive gifts for Christmas from EVERYONE in our family, but they also have birthdays in December and January.  It's always difficult to keep  a lid on the toys around this time of year so we try to stick to fun gift at Christmas and something more practical, or money towards activities for birthdays.   This year we've kind of turned a corner because Anya is still into toys, whereas Halie is in new territory for us and thus, I 've created two separate gift giving guides.  Today I am showcasing one for 6-8 year olds and on Monday I will release the tween guide.    

This year Anya is receiving a new Descendants birthday bedroom, bedding and new stickers, from Santa.  She LOVES all things Descendants but the items below are also on her wish list or she has received the last few years.

1.  Project MC2 Ultimate Spy Kit $65 (they also have a perfume making kit and a science kit).  This high on Anya's wishlist.  It's a new show on Netflicks and she is obsessed with all of their products.  Needless to say she is getting it from one set of grandparents.

2.  Journey Girl Doll $40.  Any of the 18" dolls are super popular for little girls and the best part is they have endless accessories for them, bed, clothing, pet, etc.   

3.  Unicorn Surprise $40  This is a twist on a stuffy.  We got the puppy surprise last year and it's pretty cute.
5.  Horse Club Advent Calendar $30 - Our Elf is switching things up this year from the classic chocolate Advent calendar to this one we found at Indigo.  Both girls are receiving it because Halie is horse obsessed.

6.  Keva Planks $65 - Perfect for any little builder in your home.  Honestly this is in the top 5 of gifts we have ever purchased.  Completely open ended and provides endless hours of fun.  It's worth the price tag.

7.  Princess Posey books.  Perfect for girls that are just getting into chapter books and practicing their fluency.  

8.  Cook by Colours $45.  Another top 5 of all time gifts.  You guys, both girls love this gift.  The cookbook is real food, like meatballs, smoothies, pizza dough, etc.  It teaches kids step by step instructions using real ingredients and measurement.  All the recipes are delicious and mostly food that you cook as a mom.  I highly recommend this!

I hope you enjoyed this addition and hopefully it helped find something for that special girl in your life.  I'd love to hear any other suggestions you might have.  Don't forget to come back on Monday to see the Tween Girl Gift Giving Guide.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Red Velvet Crush: Holiday Outfits for Mommy and Me

Oh La La velvet.  I’ve been searching for a velvet piece to add to my close without much success  until I saw this on my Just Fab monthly boutique.  It took less than two minutes to click and purchase this lush, holiday perfect, bold red, slouchy sweater.  I have learned to size down in their clothing line so I went with an XS.  When it arrived and I rushed to put it on, even though it was freezing from being outside all day in the mailbox.  As I slipped it on , I felt instant relief wash over me because it was PERFECT!  It’s so soft on the outside and the inside is lined so it slips onto the body just right.  I wore it for our first family holiday outing ,to watch the production of Little Women the Musical.  I paired it up with my basic black skinny pants, black booties and my bold H & B necklace, also styled here.  Oh, and I let my hair go all natural with just a good blow drying and hairspray. 

The girls also got all dressed up in their newly purchased holiday dresses but weren’t too keen on taking pictures in the brisk, like -15 C, weather.  I took them shopping last week to the Bay, during their Bay Day’s sale, and Halie picked out a lacy velvet, midnight blue dress and Anya went with a bold red one (sold out but similar here and here).  Recently someone told me that I was going to be broke with two girls but I do love shopping with them.  Hahaha. 

We enjoyed a special lunch at a local crepe café that has GF crepes and then we went to the show.  What a truly magical way to kick off the holiday season.  If you missed my post on Wednesday and do the Elf on the Shelf gig with your little ones make sure you check it out for some ideas and a couple of pintables here.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend and thanks for swinging by.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Elf on the Shelf Printables and Ideas


I don’t know about you but there are many evenings  that Logan and I look at each other and say, “what were we thinking bringing Elf of the Shelf into our home?!?”  LOL.  But we continue to do it year after year because our girls begin to anticipate his arrival on Nov. 1st, as soon as Halloween is behind them.  He brings them so much joy and seeing their little eyes light up like a Christmas tree  is totally worth it in the end.  Halie doesn’t really buy it anymore but also isn’t ready to let all her childish whims go, and I want to hold on to these magical moments in their lives forever and ever.  Call me crazy but it makes me sad, and almost teary,  to think that childish magic will be gone in such a short time.  So each year Buddy promptly arrives on December 1st, special delivery from the North Pole and is accompanied by a letter from Santa (which you can download and edit HERE).    From that day forth he creates fun and chaos around the house.  We choose not to follow the rule of no touching, instead the girls take him along and play with him.  Over the years he has become their little buddy,  his name is also Buddy.  They have both taken him for show and tell in their younger years, and he has flown to Mexico and Cuba with us over the past few years.  He reads and crafts with us.  He also makes many, many, messes and when Logan and I have had enough of him, we send him to the North Pole to " report to Santa” while we give our creative brains a little break.  Hahaha.


Here are some fun and super simple things for him to do:


1.      Have him eat a bunch of your Xmas baking or treats and leave crumbs all over the place.


2.       Build a wall using wooden blocks, or cardboard ones like these and have him drive a car into it.




3.       Have him write an invitation for your kids to cook, do a science experiment or a craft project by having him lay out all the supplies and a note out for your kids.


4.       Go fishing in your toilet.


5.       Decorate your Xmas tree with dirty laundry or with toilet paper. 


6.        Have your elf write down a Christmas countdown using your lipstick on a mirror, with chocolate chips or on a toilet paper roll.


     7.  Take a marshmallow bath.


     8.       Bring your kids treats or a little gift (smackers lipstick, Pokémon cards, a book, etc.).

     9.  Make a swing for your elf using an empty toilet paper roll, string and hang him off  of a

          light fixture.


10.   Make a toilet paper snowman. 


11.  Have him watch a favorite Christmas movie on your tablet while eating popcorn.


On Christmas Eve the girls spend the evening taking turns holding Buddy and saying their goodbyes.  Budd  always writes them a  letter them for taking such good care of him and wishing them a happy New Year.  Download and edit our version HERE. 

Please share your own ideas because we have 24 days of creativity to come up with this year and we can always use some help in that department. 








Thursday, 9 November 2017

From Day to Night: Olive Jeans and Three More Outfit Ideas


I'm back.  Last week I took a little break, basically I just couldn't get everything done and the blog had to take a backseat.  Honestly, it's getting easier to accept that and I don't stress about as much these days. Life is full of choices and priorities, so I make them and I have to live with them.   Maybe it's the fact that I am getting older or maybe I am less motivated, either way, I am here and happy to be here this week! 

I finally jumped on the olive jeans bandwagon this fall.  I have always liked them but everything I add into my closet pretty much has to have multiple purposes and ways to be worn.  When I discovered these Design Lab Lord and Taylor pants at the Bay, I quickly realized they can work as casual pants as well as work attire.  These pants aren't "jeans" and I find they can be dressed up so that they appear more like a casual pair of dress pants.   I literally went from office TO life as "mommy" in one day with these pants.  I quickly swapped out the blazer for a cozy cardigan, my new H&B Vega statement necklace for my owl  chain, and heels for riding boots.  Done!   







Below are three more ways that I would style these pants casually or for work.


#1 Chunky sweater ( cold shoulders ), olive pants, leopard print booties/flats, chunky statement necklace & a tote


#2 Olive pants, stripped shirt, denim jacket/navy blazer, black booties & bling, bling (stacked bracelets and statement necklace)


#3 Olive pants, chambray top, brown belt, brown riding boots & blanket scarf to keep you cozy


Share other ways you style your olive pants in the comments below.  Have a great long weekend and remember to wear your poppy.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Just In Time and Momster


Some days, weeks, or months are just busy.  It's not a bad busy but it's the kind that you keep chugging along feeling good and all of a sudden BAM you feel like you need to come up for air because you are drowning.  For me, October, and maybe September, have felt that way.  Most of the time I love running in the fast lane, with deadlines, commitments, events, but by the middle of last week the high was no longer there and I felt like quick sand was trying to take  me down.  Alas, we had a free weekend just in time and I declared that we needed to get away to the lake. 


Friday finally arrived and after a bad  Thursday night, with Anya waking up off and on in the night,  and an 6 am run, I was completely exhausted by the time evening rolled around .  The kids went to bed and so did I.  Halie wasn't feeling well and started hacking but I gave her some Tylenol and reassured her, and myself, that it would be fine.   Just as Logan and I laid down to watch a show, Anya started crying again and saying her tummy was hurting.  Off she wen to the bathroom and.....PINWORMS.  That was the breaking point.  I am not proud of it but I didn't handle it like a loving mother, it was more like a MOMSTER.  (not happy or proud of it but sometimes we have to admit we make mistakes and we are not perfect).  I said things like, "I keep telling you to wash your hands... keep your fingers out of your've had this happen before, when will you learn."  Yes, I said all the wrong things and it really isn't a big deal but when you are running on empty these little bumps can appear like boulders.  Anyway we dealt with it, got the pills, had a shower, washed the sheets, clothes and towels, etc.


We pondered whether to go to the lake with one sick and one wormy kid, but I was adamant that we needed to get away.  It was raining all day on Saturday and it was the perfect.  There was no TO DO list, no playdates, no cleaning, no laundry, no phone calls, no 'just one more thing' to get done.  We had  nothing but time and boredom to help us be creative. We played Clue, Monopoly and Trouble.  We cooked supper together.  We watched The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and two Gilmore Girls.  We read.  The girls played.  We hiked.  I ran.  Logan and I talked.  We drank wine. 




We connected.  We felt like a family.  24 hours away from the fast lane was exactly what we needed.  We drove away and I felt like the mom I wanted to be, was meant to be, but I also felt human.  I felt ready for another week ahead and so did my little family.  As we drove away my 10 year old said, "I love the cabin.  I am glad we bought it."  And what I interpret that to mean is, "I love the cabin because I love the family time we get there."


What do you do to getaway from life's daily demands?