Friday, January 23, 2015

Fabulous Friday!

TGIF!! Glad it’s Friday? I am! If you can believe it, I’m still fighting this wicked virus. I’m back in the office but still waiting for this nasty bug to fully vacate! Eviction notice served.

Here are a few things I’m loving this week that I thought I would share…
Take me here now please!


Heard of this app? It’s called Waterlogue. Takes a photo and instantly turns it into a watercolour. Super cool.

How do you feel about Target leaving? I’m pretty bummed. I agree that the shelves weren’t always full and the prices might not have been as good as the States, but it still was pretty inexpensive and they had great home décor style for really good prices. I’m going to miss their Threshold line.

Disney on Ice is coming up in Ottawa on February 25th – March 1st .

We went last year and my kiddies loved it! This year it’s Disney on Ice – Worlds of Fantasy. All your kids’ fav Disney characters together on the ice with lights and music. Yup, they’ll love it. Here’s the link for tickets in Ottawa but it's a travelling show so check to see the other locations. A really great way to spend an afternoon with your little ones or even better if they go with their grandparents and you can put your feet up! Stay tuned next week, I’ll have a giveaway for a family pack of tix. Oh yeah!!

Loving this docking station

Well this is oh-so-pretty.
One of Keep It Beautiful’s loyal readers sent me an email asking how to hang three photos in a row as well as the ideal spacing. I wanted to share her end result with you. They’re perfectly straight and spaced! Great job Janet!!

Happy Weekend lovelies!

Keep it Beautiful.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday Yummies: Mac 'n Cheese

Happy hump day my friends! I wanted to share with you this DELICIOUS mac ‘n cheese recipe that my girlfriend Katey made for her daughter’s 1st birthday a couple of weekends ago.

Do you love homemade mac ‘n cheese? It’s one of my favs and I could have done a face plant right into this pot. I’ll tell you now, it’s not low fat…in fact it’s the opposite. Its full of cheesy amazingness and you’ll love it. I've made a very healthy mac 'n cheese that is also really yum if you are looking for something lighter.  It also feeds a crowd. Katey doubled the recipe and it made two huge pots. I present to you...
Creamy Bake Macaroni and Cheese - The Food Network
Food Network
Get the recipe here.
This is perfect to make on a weekend and then eat the leftovers for quick meals through the week. That’s my plan!

I’m always looking for recipes that I can either make on the weekend and freeze for quick weeknight dinners or a quick weeknight recipe. Please send me your fav quick meal ideas and I would be happy to share them here on Keep It Beautiful.

Keep It Beautiful.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Decorating for Winter

Have you put away all your holiday décor? Does it feel a little bare? Maybe you're loving the clean fresh look or maybe you're feeling like its looking a little empty?

I feel like the house always feels so bare once all the Christmas glam is gone. What’s a girl to do? My mantle still needs a little love. It’s time to do a little decorating for winter. Here’s what I did to keep it feeling winter-y and not Christmas-y.
I removed all the ornaments and left the pinecones in the candle holder, the birch logs in the centre of the mantle and just moved vases with greenery from the built-in shelves in the breakfast room to their new home on the mantle. Easy peasy. This way, it still feels like winter but allows the space to breathe after all the Christmas décor the mantle receives.
Here are a few other ways to cozy up your home for the winter season:
  • Layers – swap out your lighter throws for something warm and tactile. Or switch up your throw pillows with something knitted. I picked up this throw at Homesense. My kids call it the “cozy wozy” blankie.
  • Texture – baskets, pinecones, extra blankets and sheepskins at the foot of the beds and more area rugs. I added these pinecones and piece of birch in my silver tray that sits on the coffee table.

  • Candles – you can’t have enough of these babies in the winter. Line them up along your mantle or group 6-8 pillars together in the middle of your coffee or dining table.
I’m sorry I was MIA last week. I was hiding under my blankets fighting off strep throat and pink eye in both eyes! Yup, a whole lot of grossness and I'm still not feeling 100% but I'm definitely on the mend. I’ve had pink eye before (a for sure thing when you’ve got little ones) but not like this! Hope you’re staying well. Fill up on extra Vitamin C to keep those nasty colds and flu away.

Keep it Beautiful

Monday, January 12, 2015

Who Doesn't Have the Sickies These Days?

Hey everyone,

Has your house been blasted by this crazy flu virus or versions of it? Over Christmas our middle guy had double ear infections and last week it was our baby girl. As of yesterday, its me. The mother ship is going down! Ugh. I think mine is strep throat. Gross. It's aparently a really bad year for the flu. Gross again.

I'll be up and running again soon. Wanted to talk about winter decor this week, a little recipe deliciousness and more. Fingers crossed! For now, I'm going to the doc and then my bed!

Keep it Beautiful.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fabulous Friday!

Fabulous Friday!

How was the week? I’m not going to lie, it took the whole week to slowly get back into the groove and out of holiday time. We’ve had to really just go with the flow this week of getting up earlier, homework, lunches, getting out the door on time(ish!), after-school activities…you get it. With that...TGIF!
Wanted to share a few things that I saw this week that have caught my eye…

This video is amazing! Dread getting that duvet in the cover no more! Why hasn’t anyone shown me this before?

Need some organizing for 2015? I love whipping out the new calendar and agenda. I just ordered this fab set to organize myself.
Isn't this the coolest drawer?
Traditional Kitchen by Portland Kitchen & Bath Designers Kirstin Havnaer, Hearthstone Interior Design, LLC

This would totally be in Mr. Fix-It's dream world

OOOH I’m obsessed with this app called Flipp.  The girls at the office told me about it. I’ve never been a price matcher because I felt like it took too much time. Not with the Flipp app. Easy. Love it. Slightly addicted. (Nope, I haven’t been compensated by Flipp, I just love it and feel like you will too. You’re welcome Flipp!) If the link above doesn't work for you, head over to the AppStore and download away!

Keep It Beautiful.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Keep It Beautiful Gets A Makeover + Soups On!

Hey everyone! Wow it's chilly in Ottawa today. Super cold! Bring on the down coats and furry hats.

Soooo, whatcha think? Keep It Beautiful has had a makeover! Like it? I wanted something fresh and clean. A new start for the blog for a new year. It still has kinks that I'm working on but wanted to show you what it's looking like so that I can still do blog posts as I'm working on the site in the background. You'll see that I added a new menu bar at the top with drop down buttons. However, you'll also see that when you click on them...there's nothing there yet. This is what I'm working on. My total lack of techy knowledge is what's holding me back on how to get these links to work. I'll get it figured out but bear with me! BTW, if you have a website that needs an update, I would be happy to recommend the company I used.

In the meantime, it's Wednesday Yummies! Here is a yummy soup that is delish, super healthy, filling and you can double the recipe to make alot! Win! Win!

Lentil Tomato & Kale Soup

I've been making this soup for years but just recently decided to add chopped kale in there. I chopped it up oh-so-tiny.

Soups On!

Keep it Beautiful.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Looking Back & Ahead!

Happy New Year! Did you have a lovely holiday? We had a great Christmas and really tried to take it easy and chill with our family and friends. We had lots of jammie and hanging around days. I think we all really needed the time to decompress and be together. The kids were adorable at Christmas, I wish I could package up their excitement and pure belief in Santa on Christmas morning. Feeling their joy, filled our hearts with warmth. Total cuteness.

Before jumping into 2015, I thought I would take a look back at 2014 and the posts that you seemed to like the best (according to my bloggy stats).

January 2014
Valentine's Day Envelope & DIY Dry Erase Frame (this one went viral on Pinterest!)

February 2014
How To Choose the Right Rug Measurements

March 2014
10 Things You Need From the Dollar Store

The Overwhelmed to Organized Series was a popular one, especially the dreaded...linen closet!

April 2014
5 Ways to Welcome Spring to Your Front Steps

A Perfect Cupcake for a Perfect Baby Girl

May 2014
I'm a Mom...And A Runner!

A Beautiful Soul

June 2014
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Adding Texture To Your Space

July 2014
Chilli Coconut Chicken Salad

Mantle Goes Summer

August 2014
Cottage Living - Adirondack Chairs
DIY Refinishing A Hall Table With Chalk Paint

September 2014
Fall Mantle

A New Playroom For the Minis

October 2014
Mason Jar Series

Halloween Mantle

Fruit & Veggie Wash

Our Home Paint Colours

November 2014
Mason Jars Go Trendy!

December 2014
Christmas Home Tour

2014 has been an interesting year around here. I worked really hard to grow my blog and it has opened up many exciting doors that I never thought was possible the day I sat down and wrote my first blog post in 2012.

I returned to the office full time in April after my third maternity leave, which has been a big adjustment as I haven't been able to dedicate as much time to my blog as I was when I was home. However, I love being in the office and working hard on totally separate issues and files.

In May, I struggled deeply with losing my girlfriend Robyn. Losing her, hit me hard.  Two weeks after Robyn died, I ran the Ottawa marathon. It was that race where I hit bottom. Every step I took was an unraveling of my emotions about Robyn's death. It took me awhile to realize that it wasn't about my crappy race that day, it was about her and my anger at why such a beautiful woman was robbed of life.  Since that race, I ran a 5km with my Mum but haven't officially put my running shoes back on to hit the pavement. I'm just not ready. However, I'm determined that at some point in 2015...I will.
2014 has also been a huge year of opportunity. I was invited to be a guest on Daytime Ottawa and since that show, I've been asked to be a regular guest, appearing monthly. SO FUN! It's also been a fab year for my family which has been amazing.

Did you make resolutions for 2015? I don't typically decide on anything too serious, but I do have a few goals:
  1. Be Organized: I believe that you have to live in the present! But if I can do it being more organized it just may make it a little more sane...especially with three kids :)
  2. Be Realistic: I love a good challenge. LOVE IT! So, it's hard for me to say no. My goal is to be realistic and only (well try to) take on a realistic amount of stuff.
  3. Get Back the Bod: My bod is begging me to get back to the gym. I'm not ready to get back into running so I thought I would switch it up and try the gym. I haven't been a gym girl since University so I'm looking forward to a new workout. Mr. Fix-It and I have a little health challenge going on so I'm game!
I have lots of ideas for Keep It Beautiful Designs this year and I can't wait to share them with you. The first one is a little reno happening on the blog. Stay tuned for a new look :) Woot! Woot! I'm also going to be broadening my scope a little bit. While home design is my passion, I'm also a mummy, a wife and a lady who loves fashion and travel. I want to share these passions with you.

By the way. Want to know what the colour of 2015 is? According to Pantone, the 2015 colour is...
MARSALA - earthy wine, red. Like it? Get ready to see it everywhere in fashion and home design
I want to thank you for your loyal readership and supporting this little corner of the internet with me. Whether this is your first time here today or you've been reading since 2012...thank you. Without you, this blog wouldn't be here. I also want to thank my fabulous clients. I have loved creating beautiful spaces with you! I wish you all love and happiness in 2015. I'm always excited to hear your ideas and can't wait to share mine with you. xo

Keep it Beautiful.

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