Saturday 24 December 2016

Casual Christmas Day Outfit

It's Christmas Eve already!  How did that happen so quickly?  Honestly, this year I just never really had the time to get into the Christmas spirit and I was literally still shopping/wrapping presents yesterday.  The last couple of days, since being on holidays, I have gotten into the holiday spirit more by spending time with the kids, being outdoors, touring the city Christmas light displays, playing Christmas music and enjoying friends and family.  


A couple of days ago I put this little outfit together for a casual day of running errands and ice skating, and I loved it so much that I've decided to repeat it tomorrow for my casual Christmas outfit.  I love the bright red color of this cable knit sweater and how the statement necklace dresses it up just the right amount.  I also styled my hair in a side messy bun which requires no hair brushing/straightening/curling, bonus for Christmas morning.  My brown fringe booties were a favorite of mine last year but haven't been utilized hardly at all this fall/winter :(  Since it was a super nice day around here, like 0C, I pulled out my puffer vest and skated around in that.  All in all, I just love how this look came together.


I will be hosting my family over for gift opening, everyone wants to see the kids, and a brunch.  My mom will do a small supper in the evening for us, and our big Christmas dinner will be hosted by my aunt on Boxing Day (I have a couple outfits in mind but will probably repeat this one).  Our group will be small this year, my parents, my two grandma's, a family friend, and our family.  I will be making Croissant Make Ahead Sandwiches, hash browns with mushrooms, red peppers and sausages, turkey breakfast sausages and a fruit platter.  

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday 18 December 2016

All Dressed Up: Holiday Outfit

Last night Logan and I finally had a date night.  It's been a while since we've gone out but more concerning than that is that we are finding it difficult to spend quality time together lately = not connecting in the way we like.  I don't mean to complain but I will for just a minute.  I find that we are so exhausted by the time we have gone to work, gotten the kids to their activities (and our kids aren't even super busy), helped them with their homework, made supper for the next day, and  cleaned up that by the time we finally sit down at 9:30 or 10:00 we just passively watch TV and go to bed.  I know that we aren't the only ones so I am looking for some advice,  how do you and your significant other take the time to connect during the week?  


Anyway, as I was saying we went out to watch a Christmas Carol at our local theater and though it's not my favorite Christmas story, the show was amazing and we went with friends which made it even more special.  My parents couldn't babysit, so my 84 year old grandma came over to watch the girls.  I am beyond blessed to have lots of family around who love spending time with our girls, but I feel most blessed about having not one but two grandmas that are still alive.  


 This sweater dress is a definite go-to in my closet.  First off, I love the color.  Second, it's perfect with tights and booties, and the main reason for loving it is that  it's super comfortable of course!  I am pretty sure that this will be my holiday outfit for our family dinner.  Shhh, the vest works miracles to hide your belly when you've had a bit too much.    I've had it for a couple of seasons and am looking for a replacement as it's gotten a tad bit too clingy too my body :(  and it's beginning to pill from washing it so much (as mentioned above I wear it a LOT).  I am also getting a ton of wear out of my new fur vest featured   HERE and on my INSTAGRAM.  I paired it up with my H & B rose gold jewelry which I also wear all the time so it was well worth the investment, especially since some of pieces were gifts :) 

Sweater Dress Replacement Options:

Chickwish Cable Knit, Bell Sleeve Sweater Dress

Dex Cold-Shoulder Sweater Dress

RW & Co Cold Shoulder Sweater Dress

Sunday 11 December 2016

Anya's Harry Potter Birthday Party

Last weekend we celebrated Anya's 7th birthday by having a Harry Potter Themed party!  Anya LOVES Harry Potter!!!  She was Hermione Granger this year for Halloween and is so excited about our trip to Florida in the Spring of 2017.  She wanted to have a Harry Potter movie theater birthday, that's what we did last year, but we explained to her that most of her peers had probably not been introduced to all of the movies and might find it too scary.  We settled on having a Harry Potter theme instead and she had a blast planning this party and getting all the materials together for it.  



Here is what we did (check out the video of all the fun at the end)!


Food:  We created the  Honeydukes candy store using all of our Halloween candy.  We also had butter beer and a Harry Potter ice cream cake from DQ.


Activities:  We had a report card, made by Halie and Anya, full of classes that one might find at Hogwarts. 

1.  Potions Class:  I used flasks, borrowed from a science lab at my school, and filled them with vinegar, food coloring and then each child mixed them with baking soda.  I also let them explore with mixing water color containers in their own beakers.  I think this was their favorite class!

2.  Transfiguration: Each team of children worked together to create structures using a variety of blocks.


3.   Charms:  They each picked a homemade wand from Ollivanders, and then used their wands to keep a balloon up while saying "Wingardium Leviosa"!

4.  Care of Magical Creatures: Each child picked a special stuffed animal as their magical creature.  We put them all on a large parachute (borrowed form school) and their job was to make sure their animal didn't get thrown off the parachute. 

5.  Quidditch:  This was interesting to say the least.  

Materials: 2 brooms, 2 laundry baskets, 2 balloons, 1 golden snitch (Ferro Rocher) & 2 stuffed animals.  

Two teams of three kids. Two kids were the seekers and they went off to find the golden snitch, which my husband hid in the house.  Two kids rode the brooms and tried to get the balloons into the opposite laundry basket for 10 points (we didn't keep score, they didn't care); the snitch was worth 150 points.  While the kids rode/ran on the brooms, two kids  had to throw a small stuffed animal at the opposing team member on the broom.  If the child on the broom was  hit, they had to restart running from their laundry basket towards the opponents basket.  Honestly this was a gong show but the kids loved running around, screaming/cheering each other on, and taking on the different roles int he game.  

6.  Owl Mail:  Each child could write Anya a letter, draw a picture, and mail it through OWL mail.  She loved reading all the messages the day after.

7.  Photo Booth:  We just printed a bunch of "wanted" posters from the various characters for the background and had a couple of robes for the children to wear.  We used these write thank you notes after the birthday party.  


Harry Potter Class Labels, Honeydukes Banner & Report Cards (PDF)

Harry Potter Pinterest Board (I love Pinterest and other peoples ideas so check it out!!!)

All in all a wonderful way to celebrate with her friends from school.  It's a birthday party she will remember for a LONG time!

Thursday 1 December 2016

My November Shopping List in Review

Hello friends!!!!  I took almost a month hiatus and though I wish I could say that I was away enjoying a fabulous vacation, I was not.  Honestly, life just got way too busy and I was feeling absolutely overwhelmed trying to keep all the balls in the air. First thing that went was blogging, next reading my favorite blogs, then my running, which led to me being pretty much unbearable to live with.  All is well, this is just what life is like sometimes, and I know most of you mommies out there totally get that. 


Now it's Dec. 1st and I am back and feeling great.  Today I had a big day, two presentations to approximately 150 people and though I was extremely anxious leading up to it, everything went so well and I am so happy to have it behind me.  I feel like I am back in control of my life and I am liking it. 


In October and November I had a list of the following three items, over the knee boots, a faux-fur vest and faux leather pants, that I wanted to purchase.  I have been practicing being on a strict budget, $100/month, and have been sticking to it. So in early November I scored these amazing, suede boots at the Bay for half price!!!!  Then in November, sometimes waiting really pays off, I got the faux-fur vest at Old Navy for $20 and the jeggings for $40 at the Bay.  For the two months I saved a total of $40!!!!!  Woohoo for me!

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of combining all of my new pieces into one outfit and I felt like a trendy mommy.  :) 


Shop This Post:


EXPRESSION Fifi Over-The-Knee Boots

VERO MODA Coated Super-Slim Jeggings

 Faux-Fur Vest for Women


Monday 7 November 2016

What WE Wore: Boho Lace Top & Pretty Little Dresses


This past weekend the weather was record breaking, warm here in Saskatchewan and we all took advantage of dressing like spring had arrived (here in Sk. we've already had a dump of snow and a cold snap, so this is crazy unusual and we must take advantage).  We strolled around downtown, caught up on some much needed vitamin D and hit the mall for a little bit to do some Xmas window shopping. 


I snagged this top last spring at H & M, which is not online so I've linked some other options below, and every time I wear it I get complements on it.  It's got all the essentials rolled into one top, lace, embroidery, feminine/vintage feel, and a little skin can be shown (not for work). 







Now check out my little ones that decided to dress in their matching dresses, GUSH .   I am not sure about other 'tween' moms but I find shopping for Halie's age group (soon to be 10) extremely difficult.  She is particular about how the clothes feel, she has sensory issues, and she wants them to be "trendy".  We both love the Jessica Simpson and Material Girl line for kids at the Bay and both lines are  reasonably priced;  I watch for 30- 40% off sales which happen regularly.  If you have other places that are a must please share!!!

The little fashionistas hit Triple Flip and the Bay to add a few items to their Christmas/birthday wish lists. 



Shop this post:

H & M top not available (Option 1; Option 2; Option 3; Option 4 )

Material Girl Dress


Let's stay connected with Instagram and Bloglovin'.


Tuesday 1 November 2016

Book Review: The Whole Brain Child

​Last spring I read the book, The Whole-Braine Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina P. Bryson, and recently I gave a talk, based on the book, on how to deal with young children (ages 2-6) when they are exhibiting challenging behaviours.   I flew through the 149 pages of text within three days and was able to connect to the content as a teacher and as a parent.   Frequently, I found myself nodding my head, agreeing with the author, and experiencing waves  of relief and understanding. 


The authors connect their work to  research on brain development from birth to mid-twenties, while maintaining the reader's interest by providing real-life examples, funny analogies, cartoon like diagrams and charts.  I appreciated that the authors acknowledged that there are various ways to deal with any one situation and that sometimes parents/teachers don't have to, and shouldn't, negotiate with their child. 

A  new piece of learning for me was observing, understanding and identifying the types of tantrum a child is having.  The author explains two different types of tantrums,  downstairs and upstairs tantrums (Siegel & Bryson, 2012, p. 44-46).  In a nutshell the downstairs tantrum, which we often witness from young children, is a tantrum that is consumed by emotion.  During this type of tantrum a child needs an adult to sooth them, calm them with gentleness, and generally let it run its course.  An upstairs tantrum is calculated and used specifically to gain something.  The person throwing the tantrum is in control of this type of tantrum.  The quote below is one of my favorites from the book:

An upstairs tantrum occurs when a child essentially decides to throw a fit….She is able to control her emotions and body, to be logical and make good decisions.  A parent who recognizes an upstairs tantrum is left with one clear response:  never negotiate with a terrorist.  (Siegel & Bryson, 2012, p.45)


The authors provide twelve different strategies for helping children develop their brains to their full potential, especially when dealing with strong emotions.  The strategies vary from connecting the left-right brain, upstairs-downstairs brain, memory recollection to gain understanding, and building positive relationships.   The book provides  ideas that parents/teachers can use to discuss brain development  with the children at various levels and stages of life.  They also have a quick guide at the back of the book on how to incorporate each strategy at various ages, 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12.   I created the Printable Infographic below that compiles  six strategies that may help specifically really young children, which I presented to our early learning educators, but I have used the some of the other strategies with my 9 year old. 



This  book is an excellent resource and a quick read - a resource worth having!!!



A follow-up to this book that I am currently diving into, and loving for my preteen daughter, is How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk.  Lots of good ideas in the first three chapters. 

What's on your book shelf?

Saturday 29 October 2016

What I Wore: Blush Pink & Burgundy

A couple of weeks ago I decided to photograph a weeks worth of flat lays.  I love planning my outfits for the week ahead of time and not being overwhelmed by my closet in the morning while trying to get myself, 2 kids, a dog and lunches all out the door by 7:30 a.m.  To be honest my husband helps out a TON and actually does most of the lunches and bags for the kids, and the girls can dress themselves but need a lot of reminders, etc.  Anyway,  the point is that there is no time for my indecisiveness.   I really appreciated having these outfits all ready to go this week as I was really sick and feverish and it took all my energy just to get dressed and go to work.    I was signed up for an important three day training session on language development and acquisition for children ages 0-7 years of age, so I really couldn't stay home. 



Flat Lay #1 OTK boots, dark skinny jeans, crop top blush blazer

I absolutely didn't get enough wear out of this crop top at the end of summer so I knew I wasn't ready to place it in my "spring/summer" wardrobe bin, and instead I paired it up with a blazer, and a camisole underneath, for a casual day in the office.   I swapped out the OTK boots for my burgundy pumps for two reasons, I had been wearing them a LOT and I love how blush pink and burgundy go together.   Head over to my INSTAGRAM to see all the flat lays for the week. 


Crop Top: Topshop

Blush Pink Blazer: Just Fab

Jessica Simpson Kiss Me Skinny Jeans:The Bay

Burgandy Pumps (old): Option 1; Option 2

Linking Up With: Style Nudge; More Pieces of Me; GYPO; The Blended Blog; Elegance and Mommyhood; Threads for Thomas

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Yummy Green Smoothies

I've been meaning to share our families favorite green smoothie recipes for a while.  I was introduced to green smoothies by my friend Amber who loves them and was doing a smoothie challenge at the time.  I was intrigued but knew with certainty that I was not a person who could replace a meal with a smoothie for two reasons. 

 #1 I absolutely LOVE eating  food and I don't enjoy drinking my meals. 

#2 I would be hungry within a few hours. 

That being said I liked the idea of packing in some extra veggies and fruits into my children's diet and my own.   I started using them instead of a snack once a day over the summer months and over the school year we use them if  we are running to an activity but haven't had supper yet.  Our smoothie recipes make 4 smaller sized cups, like water glasses, and that's enough for us.  The girls love the smoothies and even my nephew, who cringes at the sight of vegetables asked me to share the recipes with his mom.  WIN!

Spinach, Carrot, Banana & Berry Smoothie
1 carrot
1 Banana
1 C spinach
1 C berries
1/2 C oats (optional)
1tsp flaxseed/wheat germ (optional)
1/2 Greek yogurt (optional)
1 1/2- 2 C coconut milk

Dinosaur Smoothie
2 C of spinach
3/4 vanilla Greek yogurt
1 C mango
1 banana
2 C pineapple Juice
1 C water
1 tsp flaxseed/wheat germ (optional)
1 tsp coconut oil (optional)


Mango/Berry Smoothie
1 C spinach
1 C mango
1 C berries/we often like to just use blueberries it's our favorite combo
1/2 Greek yogurt (optional)
1 tsp flaxseed/wheat germ (optional)
1 tsp coconut oil (optional)
1 1/2 - 2 C coconut milk


I usually go into a large production on the smoothie bags by buying everything I need at Costco and then making several (20) Ziploc bags to freeze at a time.  I label them with the name of the smoothie and it usually lasts us  a month or so in the summer, and for at least 2 to 3 months during the school year. 


In an attempt to keep myself from seeking sugar during the 2:30 p.m. slump at work, I've actually invested in a Magic Bullet.  I make single serving packs, spinach, 1/2 berries, 1/2 banana, to keep in the freezer at work!  It gets me through the afternoon and I don't come home at 5:30 wanting to eat the whole pantry while prepping supper. 

What are your favorite, healthier, snacks?

Thursday 20 October 2016

The Fuzzy Cardigan

Last winter I splurged on this Pink Martini cardigan from a local boutique in the city.  When I saw it I was initially drawn to it's fuzzy but  classy look. I know, fuzzy and classy just don't make sense in the same sentence but they do in this cardigan.  I remember showing my best friend, she gushed and said, "Bo, this is exactly like the carpet that I want for my new house!"  Now you might think I would be offended but Amber loves interior design like I love running, so it was a huge complement actually. 


I kept the outfit really simple because I knew the sweater is a draw on it's own and people always want to touch it.  I did throw on a fall, floral scarf to do a bit of pattern mixing but kept everything else simple. 


Shop this post:

Sweater from Pink Martini (Similar/Wish List)

Maroon Pants (Banana Republic)

Nine West booties old (Similar)


Stay connected by following me on Instagram and Bloglovin


Linking Up With:

Monday- More Pieces of Me

Wednesday- Blended Blog & Get Your Pretty On

Thursday- Elegance and Mommyhood

Friday- Threads for Thomas


Thursday 13 October 2016

Strappy Heels and Bell Sleeves

Oh la la.  That's what went through my head when my eyes fell upon these beautiful strappy heels and it couldn't have been better timing, as I was looking to purchase a new pair of black pumps.  Love at first sight!  Bonus, they are super comfortable.   I spent all day in them today and my feet didn't feel a thing. 


A bell sleeve top was on my "must get" list for the fall but after searching high and low here in the city I was out of luck.  UNTIL, I stumbled upon this little top at Old Navy.  Often when I venture to Old Navy, I try on a bunch of things and most of the time I walk away with nothing, but not last week.  I love the burgundy color, flowy design,  and the 3/4 length bell sleeves (the price was a bonus because I had money left to splurge on something else that's coming in the mail any day now ).


One more thing!!!  I am now on Instagram and Bloglovin so be sure to follow me there.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Shop this post:
Swing Blouse (Old Navy)
Strappy Suede Pumps (The Bay)