Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Overwhelmed to Organized - Spring Cleaning Series

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I'm going to switch it up a bit on Wednesdays. For the next few weeks I'm going to be doing a new series instead of Wednesday Yummies. It's called:

Maybe going back to work in a month has got me on an organizing frenzy but I think it's more that Spring is around the corner (fingers crossed) and we all get that organizing itch! So, every Wednesday I'm going to share tips and tricks for organizing your spaces to keep them fresh.fabulous.sophisticated. There is something cathartic about getting rid of the junk and seeing organized spaces. Next week we're going to start with the junk cupboard. Yup, it's not just a junk drawer, its a cupboard! Oh my!

Seeing how today is supposed to be Wednesday Yummies, I can't leave you with nothing. Here are a few ideas from Pinterest for this Sunday's upcoming Oscars. Are you having people over to watch them or hanging on your couch in your comfies as the stars strut their stuff and diamonds on the red carpet? I'll definitely be doing the latter but looking forward to having a yummy cocktail in hand and treating myself to something delish. Just click on my Pinterest Board and look around for some fab Oscars recipes.

Keep it Beautiful.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Let's Paint!

Hey everyone!

Long time no chat! We're back from our vacation to Mexico and it was oh-so-fabulous! We played, we swam, we drank, we ate, we were together! It was such a nice way to break up this crazy winter we've been having.

Now that we're back I have a few projects up my sleeve that I want to tackle. One of them is painting the playroom. You've seen our playroom before. I'm always on a mission trying to figure out how to re-organize it to make it more functional and less cluttered! Our playroom is at the back of the house. It is a tiny room that opens from the dining room and a good spot to keep the kids toys and play.
When we first painted the house, we painted the front hall, living room and playroom the same colour, Farrow & Ball Ringwold Ground. I've told you before that it just didn't work in the house. I felt like it looked dirty and didn't give the space any depth. You can see it here where it used to be in the front hall. It's the yellowy beige colour.

So...the only Ringwold Ground left in the house is in the playroom and it's time for it to go. Here is what the contrast looks like between the dining room and play room.

Here's my thought on paint colours. I'm thinking dark. The entire room is filled with windows so light isn't an issue and I love the dark navy colour in the boys room. Just because it's a playroom doesn't mean that it has to be covered in primary colours and decals. The living and dining room are Benjamin Moore - Stonington Grey:

so let's anchor the back of the house with something darker and stronger. Choosing the perfect grey can be tough. Greys can have blue, green, brown and purple undertones. If you're thinking about painting with grey make sure you try the colour in different lights. I find that the Stonington Grey looks much more blue in the house at night and more grey during the day.

Here are some options for the playroom (these are all Benjamin Moore colours):
Whatcha think? What's your pick? Have a fav? Have a definite "no way"? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Keep it Beautiful.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day my friends! We're celebrating this special day on the beach this year but wanted to send my love your way.

And maybe give you a laugh today.  My mum found this doozie of a picture, I had to share. Did we really wear those hats? Nice hair mum!
Love this!

Happy Love Day!

Keep it Beautiful.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Here Comes the Sun!

Hey everyone!

I'll be taking a bit of a break to head down to sunny Mexico with my kiddies and Mr. Fix-It. We're really excited to get away! I'm pumped for the sun, the delicious food, the mucho drinks and to be together. I hope you have a fantastic week my friends!



Keep it Beautiful.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What's Your Heart's Age?

Hey everyone,

I don’t have home design or recipe love to give you today. But, I do have something important to tell you. We all know that February is the month of…

But in order to use our heart to love, we need to take care of it!
I have something interesting to share with you. Do you know your heart’s age? You might think it’s the same age as you. Nope, maybe not.  Your heart may be aging faster than you.  Scary, but true.  Did you know that heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada? Ugh.
This is my Uncle Tommy. He died of a heart attack three years ago at the age of 53. Way too young!  It was such a sudden and tragic loss to our family.

We all know someone that has died from heart disease and many times knowledge is power.  There is an amazing online tool called the Heart Age Calculator. It’s a super easy and fast questionnaire that helps you calculate your cardiovascular age and assess risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years.   It’s the only scientifically validated online tool available that provides a personalized heart age and cardiovascular risk profile as recommended by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Guidelines.
I encourage you to do it! It might be a huge eye opener! Visit this link at Shoppers Drug Mart to do the test! 

So, I did the test and according to the Heart Age Calculator, my heart is 30 years old and I have a 1.2% risk of cardiovascular disease.  Not too shabby. My actual age is 34 so I was happy to see that my heart isn’t aging faster than me.   However, I would like to see that heart age lower.  Is it possible for it to be a teenager?!
There are lots of ways we can be more heart healthy by stopping smoking, monitoring our blood pressure, being active, regulating our cholesterol and taking control of our bodies.

As a woman, I know that heart disease is one of the leading killers amongst women. So, one way that I try to keep my ticker healthy is run.
On May 25th I will be running the Ottawa Marathon. Yup, it’s far. Nope you don’t have to run a marathon to be heart healthy but I encourage you to find something that will get your heart beating faster than it is reading this blog post. Whether it’s taking the dog for a brisk walk after dinner, walking/running up and down the stairs in your building at lunch or sitting on a stationary bike while you watch tv. Get out and get that heart going!

I would love to know if you are surprised at your heart’s age.  What have you decided to do to get your heart’s age lower? I know I’m going to check it again in a couple of months and hope that it gets younger!
Keep it Beautiful.


Disclosure - Although this post has been sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart Inc., the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect the views, opinions or positions of Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. or its affiliates or licensees. Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information within this blog post and will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information or for any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wednesday Yummies: Chocolate Chunk...Yum!

Hey everyone,

Happy Hump Day! Need a mid-week treat? I've got it for you. My little guy and I whipped up these Chocolate Chunk cookies yesterday and me-oh-my, they are delish!
Sometimes, a good old fashioned chocolate chip cookie is just what you need! I found this recipe in Curtis Stone's cookbook "What's for Dinner?". I've shared one of his recipes before here. It's a fabuloso cookbook.
Here's the love...
What You Need:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large eggs
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), very coarsely chopped into chunks
2 cups pecan halves, toasted

What You Do:
1. Position racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two large (18x13x1-inch) heavy rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour and baking soda together.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes, or until creamy. One at a time, add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the flour mixture just until combined. Add the chocolate chunks and pecans and mix just until the pecans break up a bit.

**So, I may have dropped half the shell of one egg into the bowl at which time the mixer whipped it up into tiny bits. Oopsie. I'm pretty sure I fished out most of it but a little shell never hurt anyone right?! Oh, and I didn't add the pecans because I didn't have any in the house but they would be oh-so-amazing in there!**
4. Using about 1/3 cup dough for each cookie, drop the dough, spacing it evenly and placing only 6 cookies on each sheet, onto the prepared baking sheets. These cookies will spread, so don’t place them too close together. (The shaped cookies can be frozen until firm, then stored in a freezer bag for up to 1 month. Bake the frozen cookies without thawing, but allow a few additional minutes of baking time.)

5. Bake the cookies, switching the positions of the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, for about 13 minutes (*I baked mine for 11 mins), or until the edges and tops are golden brown but the centers are still soft and moist. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks. Repeat with the remaining dough, being sure that the baking sheets are completely cooled before adding the dough. Serve the cookies warm.

Yup, they're amazing and half of them were gone after dinner. Likely due to the fact that they are oh so unhealthy but oh so healthy for the soul and warms my heart to see my kiddies dunk them with delight in a glass of milk. Try them!

Keep it Beautiful.

Monday, February 3, 2014

How To Choose the Perfect Rug Measurements

Hey everyone!

Have a good weekend? It was the first weekend of Winterlude here in Ottawa so we spent some time skating on the canal, did a little skiing and of course...the Superbowl. Well, Mr. Fix-It watched the game with his buddies and I of course, watched the half-time show. How awesome was Bruno Mars? I was doing some serious couch dancing!

So, do you have a rug in your house that's too small? Or looking for that perfect rug but not sure how big it should be? Shopping for a rug can be tough and overwhelming. It's hard to know what size to buy and often people end up buying the 4X6 or 5X7 because it's cheaper than the 6X8 or 8X10 that their space probably needs. In the end, you've spent less money BUT you're rug is too small for your space, your room looks like it's floating and you've wasted your moolah. No fun.

Here are some tips to follow when searching for that perfect rug:
  • Get that furniture on the rug!
When measuring for a rug, make sure your measurements account for the seating furniture to touch the rug. You don't want your rug to look like it's floating in the room. It will only make the space look smaller.
You can either have all the furniture fully on the rug...
OR have the front legs on and back legs off...
If the rug is going under the dining room table, all the chairs should still be on the rug even when they are pulled out to sit down. This way the chairs won't scratch the floor and your guests won't be half on the rug and half on the hardwood floor.

A good formula to follow is: measure the width and length of your table and add 18-24' to each of the four sides.

  • Go Custom BUT Custom Can Be on a Budget!
Sometimes the standard sizes of rugs just don't work for your room. You may have a long and narrow room where an 8X10 just won't work. Go to a carpet store and likely you can get them to cut a piece of carpet they have ( they will probably have a zillion different styles) to the size you want and have them serge the edges. That's what we did in our house. You could get them to add a fab trim...
You would be shocked at how inexpensive it actually is. Yup, I have dreams of having a pure white rug in our living room, but enter in our three kids which means 6 sticky-peanut-butter-filled hands = forget it!
  • Rug Shapes
Most standard rug sizes are rectangle and that's because they work in many spaces. Round rugs are cute for kids spaces, front halls etc. That's about it. If you have a round room, go for it but that doesn't happen too often. Square rugs, for square rooms only.

  • Under the Bed
Rugs can be pricey so putting an entire rug under the bed and only seeing a smidge of it is annoying. I get it. Measure your rug so that 2/3 is under the bed. It will look fab.

Create your own custom rug with The Perfect Rug. They'll even send you free samples and a measuring kit!

Keep it Beautiful.

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