Saturday, July 9

10 ways to add cactus to your décor

I always feel like I'm a year too late when it comes to design trends, so forgive me if this is old news to you. I loved the pineapple trend boom, and am still finding spots to squeeze it my home décor, but it now seems that the pineapple's prickly friend has stolen the show. You can see the cactus craze trending in various versions, from the real thing, to prints, to clothing and beyond. I have been searching for some ways to integrate it into my home and closet. Here are 10 ideas to integrate the cactus into your décor. Thanks for reading!

 







 


Sunday, July 3

Book Review: #GIRLBOSS


 


 
I've been dying to read this book for months. while browsing the bookstore shelves, I was automatically drawn in by the title and the cool girl on the cover. I have a whole pile of books that I'm supposed to be reading; however, I couldn't resist. Here's my review of #Girlboss
I would describe #Girlboss as a sort of autobiography/instruction manual/women empowerment script. The author, Sophia Amoruso, is the founder and CEO of the wildly successful company, Nasty gal. Nasty Gal started out as an ebay store that Amoruso created out of boredom when she was working as gate attendant at an art school in San Francisco. It's really amazing how she describes the gradual, yet incredibly fast rate at which her company grew. She had the drive and determination to develop her brand exactly how she wanted it. The main theme that seems to find it's way throughout the book is that you need hard work and determination to be successful and it's up to you to make it work. No one is going to do it for you.
I have to say that what I particularly liked about the book is the Amoruso's voice. She writes in a way that makes you feel like you're sitting in a cool little café with her in San Francisco listening to her chat about her life story and giving you advice about starting and succeeding in business. I appreciate how Amoruso is so candid about her difficult childhood. She describes how she felt like an outcast, not quite able to figure out where she fit. She got in trouble a lot, mainly for shoplifting. It's inspiring to  read about how she turned things around for herself on her terms with very little to support herself, yet she had determination and a work ethic that would put any CEO to shame. She describes it all in much less cheesy terms, of course.
There were times I was reading and wished she was talking more about her life than giving a pep talk about making your business work, but it was minimal. So, overall, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in women and business, fashion, or anyone who enjoys stories of overcoming the odds, not only to bounce back stronger, but kick some serious ass! 

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 2

Patio lanterns



Patio lanterns

Happy weekend,

I'm writing this as I'm waiting for my flight to board. I am going to Montreal for four whole days on my own to visit my sister! While I'm there, I'm definitely hoping to visit some home decor stores and check out some things we may not have at home. I'm hoping to find some items that might tie in nicely to my latest project. The redo I've had on my mind lately, mostly due to the oncoming of nice weather (finally) is a mini deck facelift fit for days to play with the kids and lounge with a cup of coffee or nights to host low key gatherings with friends.

One key player in this decor DIY is the seating. I've decided to go for an eclectic, laid back and lightly boho look (if that is actually a thing) so I've gathered up an arsenal of pallets and am going to make a sectional couch. Duncan has been trying to get a sense of what I'm thinking as far as dimensions go, but I'm content to just pick out the prettiest pallets, slap on a coat of paint and see where it takes me. I've been scanning Pinterest for ideas and have found some gorgeous inspiration so here are a few that are on my vision board, including other accessories such as lighting, plants and accessories.
What are your plans this summer? Any DIY happening around your place? 

Thanks for reading!



Tuesday, June 21

Eclectic mix 'n' match dining chair challenge

I recently got an email from Holly Hughes, the community manager at Chairish, a  great online marketplace devoted to vintage furnishings and accessories. She invited bloggers to write about their take on the mix ‘n’ match dining chairs design trend use items from the Chairish site and elsewhere. This challenge gave me the opportunity to give my spin on this fantastic trend.

Eclectic mix 'n' match dining chair challenge


Crystorama alabaster chandelier, 1,280 CAD / Multi colored rug, 480 CAD / UGG Australia sheep skin rug, 1,145 CAD / Anthropologie bent wood chair, 255 CAD / Tom Dixon pink accent chair, 7,435 CAD / Zuo cream dining chair, 330 CAD / Flash Furniture industrial chair, 66 CAD

I tend to be drawn toward a more eclectic look (this is what I call it, but really it's slight confusion from liking everything and not knowing what to choose). So, I decided to start with this dining table from Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic couture. This was the real inspiration for whole room.

Next, I always like a comfy chair when I'm sitting at the table, so I added this Tom DixonPink Wingback Chair for both ends of the table. As I was perusing the dining chairs collection on the Chairish website, I got some great inspiration for the look I was going for. Then I spotted this Scrolled Bentwood Dining Chair from Anthropologie. As far as I'm concerned, if it's mix 'n' match, there are no rules. I just put things together and if I like them, good enough! However, I did decide to keep it simple with the colors and focus on including various design styles. the final chair I added was the metal industrial stackable side chair. I included this chair in gold and white to give it a little more of a luxe look.

To tie everything together, I added a few accents, including layering a sheep skin rug and boho vintage rug from Chairish. Then I topped it off with this chandelier.

Thanks to Chairish.com for inviting me to participate in this Challenge!

Wednesday, April 29

A special gift for Mother's day


I wrote about The Honest Company a little while ago to tell you how much I love their diapers here. I am also a big fan of their healing balm since Sophie is constantly drooling and has a rash on her chin and neck as a result. 

With Mother's day just around the corner, The Honest Company is recognizing all the little and big things moms do, from wiping tears and runny noses to giving cuddles before bedtime and everything else in between. From April 27th and May 10th, celebrate the moms in your life with one of these Aromatic Soy candles (a $19.95 value) Free with every first bundle purchase


Be sure to use code CANDLE4MOM at checkout.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Vanessa

Tuesday, April 28

Motherhood: kissing your little ones on the lips

Kissing your little one on the lips; yes or no? 
I couldn't manage to get a photo with the other littles, but I caught this one since she can't walk yet! (Sorry it's so blurry)

This is something that I never thought about until recently. I love giving kisses to my littles on the lips. There is nothing better than seeing them as they wake up or after they have been at school/pre-school all day and snuggling in to their soft little faces. However, now that Annabelle is school-aged, we have decided to address kissing on the lips. Especially after seeing her give her teacher a kiss on the cheek. I didn't make a big deal about it, but didn't want her to do it again. Some of you may think: "what's the big deal?" But as a teacher, I feel like this is just something that should be avoided. Having said that, I say yes to kissing your own little ones on the lips. I used to almost hesitate to do it in public for fear of what some people may think. Even writing this and reading it back, I'm thinking "who cares what anyone else thinks!?" Now, I say that while my kids are still so young, I will take advantage of every snuggle and little peck on the lips (usually wet and snotty) because they will be too old to kiss their poor mama on the lips in the blink of an eye.  

What are your thoughts on this topic? I'd love to hear your opinion!

Thanks for reading,

Vanessa


Wednesday, April 22

Best green smoothie




I know there are a million different green smoothie recipes out there. I even blogged about it here. Since then, I have modified the ingredients so that it is not only nutritious, but is really tasty. My kids even love it! I think smoothies in general have exploded in popularity because they are a quick way to get a ton of nutrients in a super convenient way. For me, whether I am on maternity leave or teaching full-time, eating properly falls to the wayside so this delicious detoxing drink helps to give me a boost. I especially like to drink mine in the afternoon around the 3 o'clock lull.  Here is my recipe. I don't measure exactly, but here are the approximate measurements.

In a blender, combine:

-1 cup english cucumber (peeled and diced)
-1 green apple (peeled and cored)
-juice from one lemon or lime
-2 cups baby spinach
-2 Tbsp minced ginger
-1 cup cilantro
-2 cups filtered water

Blend until smooth

**I add hemp hearts and chia seeds to give a protein boost, but the hemp hearts make it creamier

Enjoy!

Vanessa

Tuesday, April 21

Kate Spade for Indigo



Kate Spade drinkware, 22 CAD / Kate Spade bar tool, 20 CAD / Kate Spade paper cocktail napkin, 17 CAD / Office accessory, 47 CAD / Spiral Notebook Curious, 18 CAD / Kate Spade paper clip, 15 CAD / 2015 Gold Dots 17-Month Weekly Agenda by Kate Spade New York, 33 CAD / Party | Kate Spade | chapters.indigo.ca, 22 CAD / kate spade new york All Occasion Card Set, 37 CAD


Some people are gym rats. I'm a Chapters/Indigo rat. I have to purposely avoid the place because I can't stop buying coffee table books, like this onebaby products, and as of late, Kate Spade swag. I think my obsession with gold and white started with Kate Spade New York stationary and I'm driving Duncan crazy because I tell him about my design ideas for each room and they always include, you guessed it, gold and white. or black and white accessories. Every time I walk in (to Indigo) I spot a few gems to add to my list of wants. Here are a few favorites that I've got my eye on these days (mainly for my office).

Thanks for reading!


Vanessa

Friday, April 17

Honestly speaking: body after baby

When I went to get the mail today, I was almost, I don't want to say shocked, but I was definitely surprised by the cover as I pulled the latest copy of Today's Parent out of the mailbox. This beautiful mother and her two littles were on the cover:


I was just so surprised to see a woman on the cover who wasn't afraid to display her imperfections. She really just put it all out there. It came at the right time as I am almost 6 months in with my post-baby body and, although I have lost most of the baby weight (mostly because I have been on a heavily-restricted diet since I am nursing and Sophie has shown signs of sensitivity to all the "good stuff") I certainly feel the aftershock of gaining and losing 40+ pounds 3 times! Similarly to some of the women in the article, I suffered from an eating disorder for a long time (along with anxiety and depression, which is a story for another time). So my body image hasn't always been the healthiest. Since our culture has a specific idea of what is deemed beautiful, it is difficult to alter how I perceive myself physically, but I am working hard to see my stretch marks and soft belly as a badge of honour for having carried and birthed 3 tiny humans. Even if I don't view myself in a positive light, I am becoming hyper-aware of how important it is for me to be a good example for my kids, especially Annabelle who is 5 years old and very in-tune with her surroundings. I am determined to help her, as well as Sophie and Olivier have the healthiest possible body image and understanding of what is truly important and beautiful. One day at a time...

Thanks for reading,

Vanessa

p.s. Sorry for being Queen of the run on sentences today!






Thursday, April 16

Starting out as a Stella & Dot stylist

If you follow me on Instagramyou probably know that I have recently become a stella & dot stylist. This all sort of happened out of the blue. I went to a trunk show at a friend's place before Christmas, more to get out of the house than anything since Sophie was only 2 weeks old at the time. I really loved the jewelry and bags! Then, a few months later, I was talking about some of the jewelry I was wearing with my hairstylist and mentioned that I was toying with the idea of becoming a stylist. A couple days later, I was contacted by her cousin who has been a stylist for a while now. We met for coffee and she told me all about it. I was hesitant at this point since it is essentially a pyramid business model, meaning that the more you sell, the more you move up in the ranks. What made me trust in this company is the fact that there are no minimum sale requirements. I can do as much or as little as I want. What made me decide to ignore my reservations and just go for it was when I met with other stylists in my area for our monthly meet up. It was really inspiring and motivating to be around a group of women who truly love being a stylist, whether it is for fun, as a full-time career or somewhere in between. 

So far, I have only had one trunk show, but I do have a couple more booked and I am learning that I need to hustle and put some work into making contacts if I want results. Otherwise, I'll end up with a pretty snazzy jewelry collection and a pretty sweet discount (but don't tell my husband!)

With the snow finally melting and the thought that Summer may be somewhere in the semi-near future, I have been checking out the Stella & Dot summer collection. Below are a few of my favorite pieces. You can shop the collection here.

Thanks for reading!

Vanessa


Starting out as a Stella & Dot stylist