Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cottage Love + Yum Snack!


Hey peeps!

How was your weekend? For us Canadians, it was a nice long one. Amazing what having an extra day does to the weekend! On Friday, I headed to the cottage with the kids while Mr. Fix-It stayed back to finish getting the basement ready for the reno to begin June 1. Holy cow, it’s been quite the process getting it emptied and cleaned! We’re getting really excited for it all to officially begin. While Mr. Fix-it was slaving away, I was doing the opposite at the cottage. The kids, my brother and my parents chilled at the cottage. The weather was beauty so the kids were in the water all weekend! Brrr…apparently you don’t feel the cold when you’re mini.
I love the May 24 weekend. It’s the official kick-off to summer and the weather truly helped to make it feel like a hot summer weekend.  

I did try to squeeze in some time in the kitchen to do some food prep for the week. Honestly, I feel so much calmer when I know what’s for dinner through the week and can eat healthy at the office. Otherwise, we’re eating last minute randomness at dinner and my lunch consists of a handful of crackers and cheese with no snacks. This lunch combo often leaves me sneaking down tothe cafeteria around 3pm for a chocolate bar which is not so good for trying to get into my summer pants! So, I didn’t have time to do a whole lot of cooking but I cut up all of our veggies and fruit. This way, I can throw some in a Tupperware with some hummus for a 3pm snack, instead of digging through my purse for a loonie to find a cafeteria treat!
I also made up the Pit Stop Peanut Butter Bites that I told you about a couple of weeks ago.

They’re really delish, easy to make, a great activity to do with your minis because all they need to do is stir and roll…so they feel like they have fully made something AND it’s a good snack for the kids to have when they get home for school or at 3pm when the chocolate bar is calling my name. You can use my recipe or one directly from the Kraft site or, I found this one “Awake Peanut Butter Snack Bites” made with ground coffee and chunks of white and semi-sweet chocolate.

Don't they look yum? The ingredients had me at coffee! You can find a bunch more fab recipes at www.sticktogether.ca

Did you enter into the Kraft contest? Congrats to the winners:

Maria Medeiros, Debbie Flynn, Rebecca Hart and Shanaz Allia.
Is one of them you? You can see the Make It Yours photo contest entries and more recipes here
Looking to join the conversation? Follow #MyKPBsnackbite on Twitter!
The rest of the week, is a busy one for us. Our good friend, Craig is visiting us from Halifax and it’s one of my favourite weekends of the year. Saturday is the Great Glebe Garage Sale…oh mama we have a mountain to sell…and Sunday is Ottawa Race Weekend. I’m not running this year but Craig is, so we’ll be cheering him on! Also, I’m almost finished a little gallery wall in our living room and want to share more basement updates and my barnboard idea. Hope to share both projects with you soon.
Talk soon.
Keep it Beautiful.

Although this post has been generously sponsored by Kraft Canada, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Kraft Canada.




Friday, May 8, 2015

Basement Bathroom Inspiration + Giveaway Winner!

Happy Fabulous Friday my friends!

A few things to share...

First things first, the winner of the Lampe Berger starter kit! Congratulations to...
Florence C in Newfoundland!!
Fun giveaway, would love to hear your thoughts on the kit :)
 
We're moving full steam ahead with clearing out the basement. Mr. Fix-It and I have been hanging out down there clearing out ALL.THE.STUFF! It feels good to get rid of things and it's been a walk down memory lane finding things down there. However, I'm ready for the "cleaning out" period to be over! Over! Over! All the stuff can feel overwhelming sometimes and we're really trying to reduce what we need to store. Mr. Fix-It has also been busy taking out the beams, random insulation that someone added before us and turning the basement into an empty shell for our contractor. Here is where we started...
Here's where we are right now. Slow and steady.

Between boxes, I've started to think about the end result and started with the bathroom.
You know my love of white and grey but want the bathroom not to feel so formal. I found these fab tiles and I can't get them out of my head. It's tile that looks like barnboard and some of the tiles have writing that makes them look like shipping crates. Some say "FRAGILE", "LONDON", "NEW YORK' etc. I'm diggin' it.
 
As for the vanity, I like the Hemnes vanity at Ikea. The price is right and the storage drawers are great. This week, I bought a toilet online at Lowes. I ordered it on the last day of the sale...why do I feel so victorious? Is it the fact that it was over $100 off? Or is it because I'm thrilled about ordering a new toilet? Maybe a little bit of both. Yikes.
 
I also want to share a fantastic built-in that one of Keep it Beautiful Designs readers sent to me after the post looking for your advice on the basement built-ins.
BEFORE
She and her hubby are DIYers and doesn't the end result look so great? Fresh, clean & a much greater use of space.
AFTER

What a great job. I love how the tv sits in the framing. Gorg! Christine said she will send along a final, final photo when the bookshelves are all styled oh-so-pretty. I love seeing your renos as they develop. If you have a project you want to share, send them my way. I would be happy to feature you :)
 
Happy Mother's Day to all you mamas!
 
Happy weekend :)
 
Keep it Beautiful.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Give Your Home A Lift

Throw-pillow switch up

Mix up your pillows and move them around your house. Why not try to move the pillows you have on your couch, up in your bedroom or in the tv room? They may give another room a whole new look. Or pick up a few new ones, a very inexpensive way to give your couches and chairs an update.
 

When looking for pillows, you can't go wrong by choosing: a bold pattern, a subtle pattern (small stripes, geometric) and a solid colour. Choose all three in similar colours and it will look great!

Clean out your front hall closet

I did this a couple of weekends ago and it felt so good to get rid of all the hats and coats! You can actually see the closet floor now! I took my kids' old baby clothes dividers, gave them a spray and now they separate all our jackets in the closet. Use what you have!




Switch up your bedding

Getting into crisp fresh sheets has got to be one of the best feelings after a long day. I found this bedding at HomeSense. It feels like summer to me! So long winter blankets!

Paint

Easy, peasy way to give your room a boost. I noticed that our baseboards and walls have taken a beating this winter. The winter was so brutal this year that a lot more inside hockey and car racing happened inside which led to the baseboards taking a beating!

Flowers
Instant prettyness.

I'm going to be off the radar for a few days, but I might be back here on Friday and for sure Monday. Don't forget to enter into the Lampe Berger contest. It closes Thursday!

Keep it Beautiful.



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lampe Berger = Fresh.Fabulous.Sophisticated Home + Giveaway!

Hi guys,

I can’t remember the last time I said, “I’m loving the rain this week”! However, with all the rain the past few days, the grass is getting greener, the buds are poking out and the birds are singing. Amen to spring!

Of course, with the days getting longer…the kids are staying up later…I’ve started making dinner later…which means I’m often scrambling for quick weeknight meals. Hands down, a favourite in our house is “breakfast for dinner”. We switch it up between eggs, omelettes or pancakes but the constant is always…bacon! It’s a no-brainer. Bacon.is.just.delicious. Bacon is #trending! Crazy. Like who ever thought of these?  Or you can even give someone a Bacon of the Month wedding present Yikes. No for real, I feel like Mr. Fix-It would think this is an amazing idea!? I digress.

In any event, this week it was pancakes and bacon for dinner. Yum.
 
BUT, here’s my issue with bacon. Yes it’s yummy, yes I love the smell of it cooking but no, I don’t like it when my house smells like bacon two days later. I just don’t. I’ve enjoyed the meal but I don’t need the stale bacon scent in my house all week. Enter in…the Lampe Berger.
Heard of them? I hadn’t, until my Aunt Mary lit hers after she had cooked some fish and bam! Lingering fish smell in the house…gone!
Here’s the details….
They’re not new. They were created in 1898 in France to purify air. In the 1930s they were all the rage and became a collector’s item. Over 5 million litres of fragrances and 800,000 lamps sold every year around the world. Crazy eh!

I really like that you can choose from a large selection of lamps that will fit your home d├ęcor. This is mine.
 
Simple, clean lines and can go from room to room. Pretty. You can choose from various scents. I’ve been using the neutral scent a lot but my other fav right now is Soap Memories. It smells clean, fresh…really exactly what you would expect from its name.
Here’s how you do it.
It’s amazing how it quickly removed the smell of the bacon…sorry Mr. Fix-It, your love for the perma bacon smell is no longer.  This works wonders when cooking strong food such as fish. I also light it after the house has been cleaned. It gets rid of the bleachy, vinegar smell and neutralizes the space.
Overall, I’m loving my pretty little lamp. I want one of you to have one too. Enter to win a Lampe Berger starter kit. The kit includes: a lamp, burner 180ml home fragrance + 180ml of the exclusive Neutral.Woot! Woot! You can’t win if you don’t enter.  Contest closes in a week.
Lampe Berger


Keep it Beautiful.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pit-Stop Peanut Butter Snack Bites!



The snow has officially gone and it finally feels like spring. Amen! This weekend I replaced the snowsuits and hats in the hall cupboard with sunglasses, sneakers, sunscreen and bike helmets!  With this fabulous weather, the kids were outside all day! They zoomed around on their bikes, got out the sidewalk chalk and got their “bike legs” back. When the weather gets warm, it’s hard to get my kids to come inside to get anything in their tummies. We often have lunch outside so that they get a good meal in them, but I’m always looking for a quick snack that they can take on the go as they play. Here’s my new fav…and theirs!

I call them, Pit-Stop Peanut Butter Snack Bites!
 
I’ve been eyeing the new line of Kraft Peanut Butter and picked up the Kraft Peanut Butter with Honey. Peanut butter + honey = has to be yum!



My middle guy and I mixed up some of our favourite ingredients and in minutes, our hands were rolling a healthy snack that is perfect for the kids to have a quick pit stop off their bikes to get refueled.
 

Suggested serving size is 2 to 3 of the bites represented in the above photo 
 
This was a great way to get one of my minis in the kitchen with me. My kids love to be in the kitchen and creating healthy, fresh food allows them to see what ingredients go into food, how food is prepared and, in this case, an opportunity to let them pick and choose their favourite foods to mix into the peanut butter.
Next weekend when your family is on the go and nobody wants to sit down for a snack, whip these babies up and your kids can have a quick pit stop for a healthy and delish refuel before they go go go!
A cool photo contest is going on over at sheblogs Canada. You can share a photo of your Peanut Butter Snack Bites recipe in the Make It Yours Contest and you could win 1 of 4 Kraft Peanut Butter prize packs. Here are some recipe ideas to get you started.
Follow the hashtag #MyKPBsnackbite to join the conversation and for more Peanut Butter Snack Bites recipes visit www.sticktogether.com
Keep it Beautiful.
*Although this post as been generously sponsored by Kraft Canada, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Kraft Canada.
 

 


Monday, April 13, 2015

Terrys Fabrics Designer Insights!

Hey guys!

Hope you had a nice weekend! The weather was really gorgeous in Ottawa. There is only a teeny tiny patch of snow left in the shady part of the yard and I did see a few tulips poking out their little heads. SPRING! I celebrated my birthday this weekend and thanks to Mr. Fix-It, I spent the entire Saturday at Nordik Spa...I've told you about my love for this gem before. I went with my mum, who treated me to lunch and it was all so relaxing and wonderful. Then Mr. Fix-It and I hit the town to my new fav restaurant...I'll tell you more about what and where it is soon and fingers crossed I will have a giveaway to it. It's AMAZING!!

Seeing how I was a party girl this weekend, I don't have much to share with you decor wise. It was a great feeling getting the patio set out this weekend but other than that my house was pretty neglected. Too much outside weather love. However, I do have this really fun thing to share with you today that has added to a fab birthday.

I was featured in the UK company Terrys Fabrics Designer Insights:
"Our designer insights section enables us to profile prestigious designers and design enthuisiasts, gaining a keen understanding of their creative process, their background and what they use for inspiration. They aim to profile not just interior designers but anyone working within the field that has an expertise in design, crafts, home improvements and interiors. These magazine layout interviews also give readers top furniture picks for the season from experts working in the field".

I'm pretty thrilled about it. Thought I would share because I wouldn't have be interviewed if it wasn't for you, my readers. Thank you.

Courtesy of: Terrys Fabrics

And be sure to check out their site for fabric, bedding, drapery hardware...you name it!

Keep it Beautiful.




Friday, April 10, 2015

Fabulous Friday! My favourite things + giveaways!

Hi guys!

Long time no chat. It's been a super busy week here both in the office and at home. I always find the week before and after a long weekend are always bananas. The first week is getting ready for the long weekend and the second is recovering from it. Hope you all had a nice Easter or Passover. We were here in the city for a bit and at the cottage. The egg hunt was a big success and of course our big guy 100% claims that he saw the bunny! He went to sleep on his top bunk, staring out the window into the cottage dark, with binoculars and a flashlight ready for the big moment. I wish I could package the cuteness and keep them believing forever.

After all the chocolate, food & vino last weekend I felt the need to detox. I tried something new this week. Instead of just writing down our dinners for the week, I also made Mr. Fix-It and my lunches for the week and cut up all the veggies and meat for our dinners.

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