Friday, April 25, 2014

Fresh.Fabulous.Sophisticated for Spring!

Hey everyone,
TGIF!  Spring is here.! I’m declaring it. I’ve been browsing through the Wicker Emporium website and looking for some great ways to freshen up my house. I’m a guest blogger Wicker Emporium and have created a post on ways to freshen up your home. Adding touches here and there is a great way to get rid of the winter blues and add some oh-so fabulous looks.

All the items that you see here on my mood board are from the Wicker Emporium and you can find them on their website or by heading into their stores.

1.      Baskets
Baskets are one of my go-to items for not only keeping things organized but I also use them to finish off a space in a room that needs “something”. For example, the space underneath a hall table is fabulous for baskets. It allows you to store items such as hats and the dog leash, as well as, gives the space dimension and texture. 

Baskets also work beautifully in your linen closet. Instead of stacking your folded sheet sets on top of one another, place them in a basket. They’ll stay organized and the clean lines of the basket will make your drab linen closet look great.

I also love using baskets in kids’ rooms for storage. Often times there is a lot going on in kids’ rooms so if you want to use multi-coloured baskets, I suggest staying with the same textures. This will create cohesion.

2.     Mirrors
Mirror, mirror on the wall. Mirrors aren’t just for checking out your outfit before you leave the door. Mirrors are a great way to freshen up your space, create depth and bring light in.  Oversized mirrors in a small space are one of my favourite ways to freshen a space….total impact!  Grouping a number of small mirrors on a wall is also a great way to add character to a space.

3.     Rugs
Rugs are a great way to freshen a space.  It is amazing what a fresh new rug can do to a room when you’re used to looking at a wooden floor. Rugs add depth and when done properly, can make your room look larger. Tip: if you are looking for an area rug, make sure all your furniture is touching a piece of it.

Rugs can also add impact in small spaces.  Try adding a bright new rug to your front hallway or in the kitchen under the sink area. This is a great way to add colour and bring spring indoors.
4.     Lighting
One of the things I tell my clients, is to plan for fabulous lighting. Lighting is like jewelry on a fabulous outfit. The jewelry either makes the outfit stand out or ties it all together. Your lighting can define and set the stage for the room or it can bring the elements of décor together. 

5.     Trays
I love a beautiful tray. Gone are the days where trays were only used for serving your guests or if you’re really lucky, getting breakfast-in-bed. Think about placing a gorgeous tray on your coffee table and stacking a few fabulous “coffee table” books and a small bud vase filled with tulips. Trays also look really great for creating a “coffee bar”. Keep your sugar and mugs on a tray. I guarantee you’ll love the extra dimension.

Spring is here and it’s time to open those windows and add some easy, fresh dimensions to your home to create a fresh.fabulous.sophisticated space.
Keep it Beautiful.

**Yes, this post has been sponsored, but as you know, I only talk about things I love and think you would love to**

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

5 Ways to Welcome Spring To Your Front Steps

Hey everyone,

So just when we thought Spring was here, Mother Nature decided to throw us another wintery blast. What? How can it be mid-April and snowing? Total craziness. Fingers crossed that my kids will be hunting for their Easter eggs in short sleeves this weekend, not snow suits!!

Even if there is a bit of white stuff on the ground I’m ready to ditch the winter décor and bring out the colour and lighter textures.  Here are 5 ways to welcome Spring to your door step.

1.       Replace your winter urn décor with fresh new love
I really like the layers of this urn

Serendipity Refined

2.       Good bye winter wreath, hello Spring cheer

3.       Decorate your front hall.
Common Ground
4.       Tulips.Tulips.Tulips.
Censational Girl

5.       Clear out the winter boot tray.
April showers, brings May flowers. Put away those winter, salty boots and get out those Wellys. I love this river rock boot tray. I'm thinking a DIY is on the radar.
Have you decorated your entry way for Spring yet?

Keep it Beautiful.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Kidoodle.TV is awesome, fun & safe!

Hey everyone!
I don’t know about you, but when my kids are getting a little “harry” and need some down time, I either turn on the TV or whip out the iPad to let them play games. I know, I know, it’s an easy fix but honestly, sometimes it just needs to happen.  For example, the weekend before I had to go back to work, Mr. Fix-It had a wicked flu bug so I had to hold down the fort solo. With three little ones, a sick hubby and lots on my list to get done I needed the kids to have some down time.  Kidoodle.TV saved the day!
Heard of Kidoodle.TV? Essentially, it’s a website filled with shows that kids love and parents have control over. There are kids’ sitcoms, nature and wildlife shows and an educational series from a variety of sources.  The parents create a profile for each child and can select which shows their children can watch or not watch. Another thing that I really liked was zero ads. No commercials telling my kids that they need every toy under the sun!  You can also determine the length of viewing time. So, if 45 mins is all you want them to have, then you can set it at the limit. Pretty cool eh?

My kids love to use the iPad, so this way I know they are watching appropriate shows and they can work it themselves.  Oh, and not only do they have some of my kids’ fav shows but there are some retro shows on there too. Remember Inspector Gadget? Jem?

You can sign up for free to try it for 14 days. Wouldn’t this be great for travelling? Yes please! If you like it, you can enter in this promo code MCC25 and get 25% off a year subscription (offer expires June 30, 2014).

Ooh, and Kidoodle.TV is giving away a tablet and a 1 year subscription on their Facebook page this month. Woot! Woot! Check it out via the link.

And, I wouldn’t leave you without the chance to...
- To enter, leave me a comment below why you would love to win-
Contest closes April 20, 2014
Keep it Beautiful.

“Disclosure: I am part of the Kidoodle.TV blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday Yummies: Spring Into Food!

Hey guys!

How’s the week going? It’s day 3 of being back to the office and so far so good. We’re all still transitioning into the new routine but it’s going to take some time. One of the hardest things has been getting dinner on the table before the kids melt! Meal planning and having food ready to go is definitely key to keeping everyone smiling. Need to put my thinking cap on. Have any suggestions?
In the meantime, I’ve been on the lookout for Spring recipes. The snow is melting (thank God!) and soon the tulips will be peaking out, so I’m feeling the need to find some new recipes and feel refreshed. Seeing how it’s Wednesday Yummies today I thought I would share some that I definitely want to try:

 Is your mouth watering? Here is where you can find them all…
Honey Balsamic Ham

Rack of Lamb with Mustard Sauce

Roasted Beets & Pearl Onions with Pistachio Vinaigrette
Let me know if you make any of these! That roasted beets recipe is sounding like a fresh.fabulous.sophisticated side dish at Easter! Delish.
Also want to say a Happy Birthday to my gorgeous girlfriend Robyn! XO you!
Keep it Beautiful.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Back to Work...Here We Go!

Hey everyone,

This morning is my first day back to work. Thirteen months ago, I left the office feeling like my return date was eons away.  Well, here I am and my third maternity leave has flown by in a blink of an eye. What an incredible year it has been.  With our two little ones being so close in age, I've really been home for almost two years in a row. 

Last week, we started to practice our new routine of getting ready in the morning, pick ups at night. It's hard. Yup, it's really hard. I love being an at-home mummy. I really do. Not only do I love being with our babies but it's allowed me to talk to you so often and not only grow my blog but my Interior Decorating business.

Yes, I feel mummy guilt, leaving my babies all day. However, I know they are in loving arms and learning so much. To be honest, they learn more at daycare then they learn with me at home ;) They sing, they play, they dance, they colour, they learn their numbers/letters, to be independent, socialize and learn how to share from an early age. While these are all things that I teach my children at home, being at daycare immerses them in it all. I have wonderful memories of my mum staying home with my brother and I, but I also believe, from being an at-home mummy and a working mummy, that children end up at the same place and perfectly well adjusted whether they are home or in a loving daycare.

So, as I trade in my lululemons and flats for pantyhose and heels this morning, I will definitely have a few tears and the ache for my babies will stay in my gut all day. But, I'm looking forward to seeing my co-workers, doing a job that I studied years to get, sitting down to eating lunch, leaning into the board room table, having the financial resources to buy pretty things and take fabulous family vacations and most definitely seeing my babies' infectious smiles at the end of the work day.

So, please bear with me. As a working mama, it's going to take a little while to juggle all the balls. Blogging to all of you is one of my greatest passions and working with fabulous clients keep my desire to create beautiful spaces alive. 

Hi Ho, Hi's off to work I go! Wish me luck.

Keep it Beautiful.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Perfect Cupcake Recipe for A Perfect Baby Girl

Hey everyone,

Today is a special day in our house. Our baby girl is one! How did that happen? How did a whole year go by in a blink of an eye? She is beautiful, delicious, happy, snuggly, feisty, soulful, feminine, loves her brothers, attached to my hip and melts her Daddy's heart. She is perfect.

To celebrate her big day, I made these cupcakes. They are easy as 1 2 3!  If you are looking for the easiest cupcake and icing recipe, then tuck this in your recipe book!
What You Need
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cold coffee or water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
What You Do:
In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk in coffee, oil and vanilla; stir in vinegar. Spoon into paper-lined or greased muffin cups.

Bake in 350ºF (180ºC) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool on rack. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 24 hours.)
Vanilla Buttercream Icing:

What You Need:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 5 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
What You Do:

In large bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Alternately beat in sugar and cream, making 2 additions of sugar. Beat in vanilla. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours; let come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Beat slightly before using.)

Isn't she a beauty?

Keep it Beautiful.

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