Monday, December 4, 2017

Holiday Survival - Checking Off the List!

Happy first week of December! How are you feeling? Stressed? Ready? Honestly, this year, I'm determined to experience this month with as little stress as possible. Well, that's my goal. Have you seen Bad Moms Christmas movie yet? The original Bad Moms was better but honestly, I laughed out loud a lot watching this one. I saw it in the theatre a couple weeks ago with some girlfriends, wine in our travel mugs and it was great. What mom doesn't stress at the holidays? But really, we put this unrealistic pressure on ourselves. So, this year, I've done a few things differently.
 

The first one, I decorated early. Obviously as a home design blogger, I love to decorate for the holidays. Its my favourite. But I know you know, hauling out the Christmas boxes is an event in itself. Honestly, our house lacks storage space and Mr. Fix-It's workroom is filled with bins FULL of Christmas stuff. It's amazing how much we all store to celebrate such a short season. But, it's worth it...totally worth it. So a couple of weeks ago, mid November we brought up all the boxes, and the decorating began. It's one of those things that seems like a great idea when you start and halfway through, when the garland greenery is all over the floor and the decorations are strewn throughout the house, it seems never ending. However, the carols were on, I had my wine in hand, the kids loved decorating their faux tree in the basement with all their special ornaments and I'm a happy girl because it's one thing checked off the list of "to-dos". Now, its the first week of December and the house is shimmering and glowing with Christmas beauty. Only thing left is the tree, but we can't get it until this week or we'll be left with a naked dead tree by Christmas. Our old house is so dry, the tree would self-combust from the dry air.

I've also ordered a few more decor items online that I'm waiting to arrive to finish it all off. I'll share that post soon :) Here's a look back at the last couple of years herehere and here

So, decor done. Check. Mr. Fix-It, aka "Clark Griswald" worked on the outside last weekend with the kids. He's training them;) A few trips to the big box stores, and oh Lord, our house could be a runway for Santa's sleigh. Thank God he doesn't do the inside decor. But, the kids love it, it was great to get done before the snow hit the ground and it's another thing off the list. Check. We're waiting for one more online order to arrive and I'll share the over-the-top exterior decor in another post to come. Stay tuned.

So, on this "stress free" list, we've checked off a few things. For the bakers, have you done your baking yet? I'm not really a holiday baker but I do love the Christmas smell. 

I always do the "stove top" Christmas smell each year and only requires...easy. Let's keep it easy and simple, shall we?!

Who's travelling this year? We're staying put for Christmas but will travel to the cottage at some point. Honestly, how on earth did anyone travel with kids without Netflix? I know we didn't have it as kids but how long can you keep a kid occupied at the airport or on the road, colouring? For us, we use Netflix to save our sanity when we're driving to Toronto or at the airport. Well, let's be real, our kids watch Netflix all the time but when we're travelling...its a necessity for all involved. Did you know that 1 in 5 Canadian parents say one of their main concerns when travelling is keeping their kids entertained.



The best part is that you don't only need wifi to watch Netflix. You can download your family's fav shows. Netflix at home, becomes Netflix on the go. Amen! It's available for "Netflix originals" and you can click on "available for download" menu on the Netflix app on your phone or tablet and browse all the titles available to take with you whenever and wherever you want.

You don't need to feel like you're stuck in Litchfield from Orange is the New Black while being on a family road trip again. So, if you know you're going to be travelling with the kids this month, download all their fav shows now and it's another thing off your "to-dos". So, go decorate, get your baking done (or just create that delicious smell on the stove), download your shows and you're already ahead of the game.

Good luck guys! And when that stress level feels like it's rising, when in doubt, always have wine on hand.

Keep it Beautiful.
xo Alicia

Disclosure: Christmas is busy and can be over -the-top stressful. I'm sharing a few tips from Netflix because we all love Netflix and we all need survival during  the holidays. I'm part of the Netflix Stream Team and get perks to share ideas with you. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.








Tuesday, November 7, 2017

JUST GOOGLE IT!

Is it me, or have you noticed yourself telling your kids to "just Google it" when they have a question that you don't have the answer to. Long gone are the days that you would wander upstairs to pull out the encyclopedia (not even sure my kids know what that is) to find the answer to your detailed curiosity. In University, if someone on ICQ didn't know the answer, then you knew your answer would be found at the library- but who are we kidding...I didn't spend too much time there ;)

All the Netflix binge watching that we do has left my fam looking for answers to our questions about our favourite Netflix shows. Turns out we're not the only ones. More than ever, viewers are turning to Google to answer their kids questions that have stemmed from their fav shows. "Mummy, how far away is the moon?" This is a question I got from my baby girl while she was watching Justin Time. Ummm....well, let's Google.

I have totally gotten sucked into The Crown (ah-mazing...did you know the new season is out?). Watching it spurs so many questions about the Royal Family that honestly, I didn't care much about before. Enter in Google. The answer to all our detailed Netflix show questions. 

Does this look like your house?
What are your kids asking you when they watch shows? Have you had to Google your way through wowing them with answers?

Keep it Beautiful.
Alicia

Disclosure: I love Netflix. I love sharing all the  latest shows with you that Netflix  releases and I am part of the Netflix #StreamTeam.  Everything here are my opinions. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

Friday, September 29, 2017

KIDS BIRTHDAY HACKS MADE EASY!





Since I've been a little girl my parents always made birthdays feel special. You're supposed to feel like it's your day - your day to eat whatever you want, your day to feel showered with birthday surprises and make big wishes. I have vivid memories of many of the birthday parties my parents had for me, from decorating t-shirts, to popcorn cake, all the way up to spin the bottle in grade 7 - yikes!


Mr. Fix-It and I try our best to make our kids feel special on their big day. In the last 9 years, we've thrown our share of birthday parties. Of course when our oldest was born we threw a big afternoon garden party with everything matching and a whole lot of stress. I love having a matchy party but over the years I've learned that you don't need everything to match for your kids to love their party. You're kids aren't stressed about their party, why should you be? 

Netflix sent me a really cool idea that they've come up with to share with all of you. They've created 14 Birthday On-Demand Videos to surprise your little one on their birthday. You can choose from your kids' favourite characters to sing them a birthday song. I tried it out on our middle guy for his birthday and he loved it. 


Enter in stress free birthday party idea! 

Kids love tv. Kids love movies. Kids love Netflix. Honestly, they've got it right having kids' fav characters sing them "happy birthday" on their special day. Enter in stress-free for you, happy child and best parent ever!

Let me know if you wish your little one happy birthday from Netflix!

Keep it Beautiful.
Alicia
Disclosure:  I'm a proud member of the Netflix #StreamTeam.  All opinions are my own.






Friday, July 21, 2017

DESIGNING FOR THE FUTURE: TRENDS WE NEED TO CONSIDER NOW


I remember when I was shopping for my wedding dress, I kept asking myself, Is this dress timeless? Will it hold up in twenty, thirty or forty years? I thought for sure when I bought my dress, it would stand the test of time – I would look back on the photos and be able to say that my dress would still be in style if I wore it years later.

The reality is that fashion styles come and go and the basics of timeless classics will continue to be modified decade after decade. The same is for design and décor.

Often when we take on large home design projects, we ask ourselves what the impact of the space will be down the road. Will the kitchen you put in today feel dated and old in ten or twenty years? Will someone walk into your house forty years from now and wonder where your head was when you chose your stainless steel appliances?

Here’s my thoughts. Design trends are changing faster than the average person looking to renovate their living room. Design firms are working with the latest technology to advance how we decorate our homes, new furniture styles and materials we use.

A few things we need to consider now for future design:

1.      Clean Lines
Clearly, the lines of decorating are getting cleaner and finer. Does anyone buy overstuffed couches anymore? Does anyone want billowing valances and drapes? Clean living, fresh and bright rooms marry our thoughts on how people want to live. People are looking to minimize the fillers in our food, and the same is with home design. Designing for the future is about creating spaces that allow us to breathe.  Designing a room with “clean lines” is a trend that I believe we need to hold on to and continue to push the envelope as other areas of our lives seek to that clean living also.

2.      Black and White


To me, black and white have stood the test of time. As a decorator and home design blogger, I always encourage my clients and readers to make sure they have something in each room that is black. Black is grounding. It balances a room.  Black and white décor has continued to thrive when home design and decorating surged. Today we see more people painting their walls white than we ever have. Designing for the future needs to carry the black and white trend as our rooms don’t always need splashes of colour. Some of the most peaceful and gorgeous spaces I’ve seen, showcase black and white and allows for the personal touches to shine.

3.      Personal Touches


Speaking of personal touches. The trend of showcasing our family, friends and places we love has always been. We want to personalize our home and create a space where we shine. We can’t lose site of personalizing our spaces in the future. In fact, I think it will continue to grow as our obsession with social media and seeing into eachother’s lives continues. However we showcase our personal touches in the future, we need to ensure the element remains.

4.      Technology


Obviously, technology has changed the way we design homes, rooms and live in our spaces. Even now you can buy a refrigerator that can schedule your day, talk to you, remind you and tell you that you’re out of milk. These advances are amazing. They are where we are going in design. We just need to remember that when designing for the future that we keep in mind the users. How will their lifestyle be affected? Families gathered around the kitchen island sharing a feast or snuggled up on a couch watching a movie. Let’s make sure that when we design spaces and products we create them for people. Not robots. Let’s continue to encourage families gathering, being together and loving the spaces they are in.

 As for whether my wedding dress will stand the test of time? It was gorgeous, it had elements of tradition and “classic” style. However, it also followed a trend that many brides were wearing when I got married 12 years ago.  The reality is that in 40 years, brides will be wearing a different style but elements of that dress will be found in the future of wedding gowns. The same is in design. Stainless steel appliances might not be what we put in our homes in 40 years, but elements of them will still remain.

This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader".

Keep it Beautiful.

Alicia


Thursday, July 13, 2017

WHAT'S YOUR MOM SNEAK?

Hey lovelies,


We all do it. #momsneak

Did you know that 58% of moms admit to sneaking in TV "me-time"? I'm shocked it isn't more?!??! Seems too low of a stat for me. Im all about the Netflix Mom Sneak. How else are you going to get in your fav shows? Honestly!

My fav #momsneak is while making dinner. Love it. Or, I've also sat in the car after getting groceries and watch a little on my phone. When you find that show you love, its addictive!

Here's what I'm sneaking right now-
Orange is the New Black (I'm almost done....so good!)
Pretty Little Liars
Chef's Table
Hoarders - I'm addicted. I just am.

Leave me a comment and let me know what your #momsneak is

Keep it Beautiful.

Alicia
Disclosure: I'm a #momsneak addict and love Netflix. Just like you do too!  I'm part of the Netflix #StreamTeam and happy to share the Netflix love with you each month.



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