Tuesday, August 23, 2016

End of Summer Love

Oh HI! Remember me? Hope you all have had a fabulous summer! It's not over yet but I think we can all feel that it's starting to wind down with the mentions of "back to school". Gasp!

I typically take most of the summer off at Keep It Beautiful Designs. To me, summer is a time of unplugging from the routine of the year, playing, taking random adventures and enjoying the long summer days.

We've had a wonderful summer. Mr. Fix-It and I kicked off our holidays in Prince Edward County with another bestie couple. We drank, ate and relaxed. I love this crew and we all love wine. 

We even rented a limo that most definitely was designed in the 90s to drive us around :)
I've shared my love of Prince Edward County here before. This time we stayed at The Angeline's Inn. We stayed in The Walter where they have recently renovated and the rooms are adorable and right on trend. The owner's couldn't be nicer and it's right in the heart of Bloomfield. Some of our fav wineries are Norman Hardie (don't miss their delish lunch: pizza!), Hinterland (delicious bubbles and a fab new brewery). We found two new places that all round were our favs. Trail Estate Winery - super tiny but the wine is delicious and the County Cider Company - I don't even like cider but the lunch and the view is spectacular!

We then piled the kids in the SUV and made the two-day drive to Nova Scotia. GULP! With a binder of activities, iPads and surprise bags, the kids were awesome. Thank God! In the early days of this blog, I shared a few tips on road tripping with kiddies. I most definitely used the binder again! We spent about 10 days down there, swimming, beaching and seeing family and friends. Good times.

I literally met Mr. Fix-It when we were 12 years old in this very spot. We both swam for the same summer swim team and I'll never forget seeing him walk through the gate onto the pool deck. He was a lanky 12 year-old wearing a Michigan jersey. This girl was most definitely not into the home-boy look but I couldn't resist his gorgeous smile and wildness. We were instant friends and through teenage romances, break-ups and teenage drama, the rest is history :)

Mr. Fix-It's brother got married so here we are. Our clean clothes lasted enough for the wedding ceremony. Super fun wedding! 
We spent the last week of our vacation at the cottage with friends. I love how kids feel so free and wild in the summer. The dirtier at the end of the day the better. A sign of a good one.

We've done zero renos or DIYs this summer. Not so good as a home design blogger, BUT I can't remember the last time we did any in the summer. Even though we reno'd our basement last summer, we hired someone to do it so that's different ;) Have you been busy? Would love to hear!

With the fall around the corner, I've got some ideas and plans up my sleeve. First, I need to get on the meal planning and back-to-school shopping. I'm trying out a delish menu plan this week that I'll be sharing with you soon. Activities start up for the kids and as two working parents, it's tough trying to balance it. But balance we need. That most definitely includes getting back to the gym! This mama is feeling the beer slug ;) 

For the house, this fall, we need to finish the stairs to the basement, the counter tops in the basement, the basement desk and we really need to re-paint the inside of our house. After 6 years, there are rooms that need a fresh coat of paint. Fun :) Ooh, and it's time make our baby girl's room into a big girl bedroom. She's not so baby anymore. Pass me the tissue!

----------------------------------------------BREAKING NEWS-------------------------------------------------

SOOOO I wrote this post Sunday morning to post for you all on Monday but just as I was about to close it, I noticed water coming down from the boys ceiling. Ugh, a leak!! You've got to be kidding me! So my happy end-of-summer post turned into holy-crap-do-we-need-a-new-roof?
This is Mr. Fix-It taking out part of the ceiling. The picture is so grainy bc it was pouring rain outside...all day. 

Love these old homes, but man they can be a pain in the a!@. Three caulking canisters (up on the roof around the chimney) we're hoping we have stopped the leak. We're not really sure where the leak is from but have a feeling it might be from the chimney flashing. Fingers crossed. We need another rainstorm to test it out! I'll keep you posted. For now, we're having family sleepovers in our bedroom while the boys' room is airing out! Ugh!

So here we go my lovelies. Enjoy the rest of the summer days and warm nights. Life is going to get busier in a few weeks but let's try to hold on to the calm and zen for as long as we can. K? 

Keep it Beautiful.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Wave Your Flag, Eh!

Hey guys!

Happy summer! Hard to believe it's already mid July?! Why can't winter fly by so quickly? The weather has been amazing eh? Although our poor boat at the cottage is floating in the bare minimum level of water because of the lack of rain, they (although I'm not exactly sure who "they" are) just keep draining our lake to feed the other lakes. So, while I'm not hoping for rain, I kind of am...well at least for the nights. It can rain all night if it wants, with gorgeous blue skies for the day :)

What did you guys do for Canada Day? Most of you know that Mr. Fix-It and I got married on Canada Day and this year we celebrated 11 years :) Feels like yesterday. I always wear my veil on our anni ;)
We usually celebrate our anniversary up at the cottage with lots of family and friends around us and of course, fireworks :) This year we had a weekend of Canada Day fun with a day of red and white
and a day of party hopping...actually it was called a "cottage crawl". Super fun! Each cottage had to have a theme and a theme drink. We cottage hopped and ended at our cottage for dinner, music and fun. 



All I know is that Canada Day weekend is about being with people you love to celebrate our fabulous country. Along with the weekend-long parties came very happy but over-tired kiddies. They definitely needed downtime from all the busyness and so, of course, Netflix to the rescue!! 

Seeing how everyone thinks of Canada Day during the month of July, I thought I would share a few awesome shows that have Canadian linkages. Along with maple syrup and Canadian back bacon, we have some incredible talent in front and behind the camera. These are some Netflix shows that were either created in, or feature talent from the Great White North.

The Magic School Bus is one of our kids' fav shows. They have learned so much from this show!!


Super Why encourages your kids to read. WIN WIN


If you haven't seen this movie yet, it's REALLY good! And has some gorg eye candy in it ;)

This show is HILARIOUS! H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S!

So that's that. Canadian talent streamed into your living room. Summer is all about enjoying the gorgeous weather but we all need downtime. Sometimes on the hottest days its best to head down to the basement, cool off and chillax with a little screen love.

Oh and one more awesome thing. Star Wars: The Fore Awakens is now on Netflix. So cool. My kids are pumped! I'm not sure for certain who the Canadian connection is BUT I'm sure one of the million people that have probably worked on this show is Canadian ;) and I just thought you want to know that it's available on Netflix now. Plus, here's a cute recipe to make these adorable "Wookiee" cookies!

You know me, I'm here and there in the summer. Catch you guys soon. I've got some great ideas coming your way. But first, I'm going on vacation!

Keep it Beautiful.

*Disclosure: Again, you all know that I'm part of the Netflix Stream Team and every month I share my fav shows with you. Netflix is awesome and I know you love it too, so I'm just spreading the love  in my own words with you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

DIY GARDEN STONES

Hey everyone!

It's been a little "here and there" the past few weeks. Isn't the end of the school year bananas? Every year I seem to forget that June is just crazy busy. The kids have been busy with spring activities, school is ending, I'm in a new job and it's been busy with figuring out vacation plans, camps for the kids etc. Yup, first world problems. However, it still makes things a whole lotta crazy. 

Oh and wanna hear something fun? On Wednesday, at the crack of dawn...literally! I'm going to be on CTV Morning Live, here in Ottawa as a hair model. FUN! If you're up at 6:50, my locks will be getting styled for the summer with KerMax products. Then, I'll be on again, sharing some fabuloso ideas for your summer entertaining with Sabra hummus. Double tv fun!!

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you a really cute and easy DIY for your garden. My kids did these cement patio stones for their Poppa for Father's Day. They're easy, inexpensive and adorable. Promise.

WHAT YOU NEED:

- Mixing cement (we had some down in the basement but you can purchase it at your local hardware store. You buy it in powder and just add water).
- Duct tape
- Pizza boxes...we always have those in our recycling box ;)
- Plastic Wrap
- Anything you want to add to your stones (i.e. trinkets)

WHAT TO DO:

- Duct tape the corners of your pizza box. You're going to pour your cement in there so you need to make sure that the corners are strong. Lay plastic wrap along the bottom and sides of your pizza box (this will help you lift out your cement when you're done).

 Mix your cement. Honestly, there isn't a magical formula for this. The kids and I found a bucket in the shed, a random piece of wood (a paint mixing stick would work great) and just added water to the cement until you get a toothpaste consistency. 

Pour your cement in each of the boxes (one box of cement got us two big stones and a small stone). Let it set enough that your trinkets won't sink. Then just place them in your stones as you want. You can also draw anything you want in them. 

Let it dry and the just peel off the sides of the box and the plastic wrap.

Cute eh? My dad secured them to one of the trees at the cottage. They're easy, adorable and made with love. Try it out.

Keep it Beautiful.

Friday, June 10, 2016

DIY: PAINTING PLASTIC FURNITURE

TGIF!! Hope you all had a great week! I have an easy DIY this week that can totally transform your outdoor space.
Do you have plastic chairs that are similar? I bought these "adirondack" chairs a couple of years ago for the front porch. They were inexpensive and Mr. Fix-It and I have spent many summer nights chatting over drinks in these chairs. However, I never really loved the red. The look I had in mind when I bought them, just didn't wow me on the porch. So, you know how much I love spray paint...enter in a DIY!

Honestly, this project can't get much easier. Pick up a spray paint that is designed for covering plastic. A key tip to remember is to wash your furniture. The furniture needs to be squeaky clean because any dirt that gets covered in paint will just flake off.  The kids created a "chair wash" and a "bike wash" in the driveway and scrubbed the chairs down.

While this project is easy peasy, it takes a bit of time. Remember...thin, even coats and allow about an hour to dry/coat. I left the chairs in the driveway to dry in the sun.

Voila...


A fresh coat of spray paint on these candle holders that my girlfriend was going to sell at the garage sale, as well as, a spray of our side table that's been kickin' around (it used to be in my parents' backyard) and we have a fresh.fabulous.sophisticated "new" porch setting for the win!!
Have a fabulous weekend my friends. Get out your spray paint!

Oh, and don't forget to visit my new Etsy store. You need one of these pillows :)

Keep it Beautiful.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

BIZ LAUNCH! THE KEEP IT BEAUTIFUL SHOP!

Hey guys!

FINALLY! The time has come to let you all know about my little love nest that I've been working on. I'm thrilled to announce my new biz...

The KEEP IT BEAUTIFUL SHOP...
Keep It Beautiful Shop
Obviously, you know how much I love textiles and my ultimate favourite home decor accessory is the throw pillow. I've created high quality, 100% Canadian made throw pillows for your home. I believe all spaces should be beautiful because who doesn't feel fabulous in a gorgeous room. I've spent a long time researching the perfect manufacturer to make my pillows because, as you know, I believe in quality, well made, gorgeous products. 

The pillows are fun, cheeky, make your heart smile and will look gorgeous on your bed, in your living room or your favourite chair. 

I design all the pillows and they're custom made to order in Montreal. 100% Canadian made! The fabric is either high end canvas and or super soft velveteen fabric. Major snuggling power.

I'm also always open to custom designing the pillow just for you. If you have a particular saying or colour of pillow, I can do that.
Just so you know, the pillow cases do not come with the inserts.  BUT, my fav inserts that fit amazing in these cases are the 20X20 from Ikea. You can either go with the down filled or the polyester but for $6.99 the Ikea down are my fav! They fill out the pillow amazingly!




How do you get your hands on these fab pillows? 
Just head over to my Etsy shop. I've officially launched it today so please feel free to visit the shop anytime :) 


or you can type in "keepitbeautifulshop" in the Etsy search bar

I would love to see these pillows in your home. I know you'll love them. These ones have been huge hits with my kids...
and I have the love pillow on my bed and the "hello gorgeous" on the chair that I usually write all my blog posts in.  

So that's it. I'm really excited to start this up and will probably sell some of the pillows in a few local stores here in Ottawa. I love these pillows and I know you will too. Contact me anytime if you have any questions - keepitbeautifultoday1@gmail.com

Thank you so much for waiting so patiently for this launch. Love you all. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. 
fresh.fabulous.sophisticated.

Keep it Beautiful.

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