Blog Archives

Lego Decor

Lego is a big part of my life. Namely, my kids are obsessed with it. I love Lego. I love the creatively it inspires. I love how well my kids play together when they are building a city or staging some kind of battle.

The dark side of Lego is that I regularly injure myself on small pieces lying on the floor and I seem to have random mini-figures scattered in every purse and coat pocket.

Check out a couple of ways I could make Lego an even bigger part of the decor in my house:

I could have an entire wall dedicated to Lego:

as seen on Design Milk via HGTV

Or, I could create a key holder out of Lego.

as seen on Design Milk via Felix Grauer

Kind of fun don’t you think?

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Going Home … What it Means to Me

One of my blogger friends Lisa writes a fantastic blog called Wicked & Weird. She has been away this month visiting her parents in New Brunswick and asked me to write a guest post on what Going Home means to me. Take a minute to check it out!

What does Going Home mean to you?

New Blinds for the Kids – Finally!

Remember ages ago when I posted about fabrics I was considering for the my kids rooms? Well, I finally made a decision and lordy-be – installed the blinds! I had Roman blinds made because I like how they sit flush with the window. I also had blackout lining added to darken the room (as they get the bright morning sun) and to prevent damage to the fabric from harmful UV rays.

I’m not sure it’s helping the kids sleep any later in the morning but they sure do look pretty!

Here is room #1:

and up close!

And in room #2 …

I love how well they turned out! They were made by Tonic Living and were super easy to install too!

I’m a huge fan of Roman blinds. What about you?

Summer Holidays

I know summer holidays are the best thing ever … or so I keep hearing from everyone. Truth be told, I’ve been a little anxious about the idea of the kids being out of school for summer. You see, I like routine, I like having a few hours kid-free during the day and I generally like the structure that the school year provides. When school is out I stress about how I am going to get things done for work and how to keep the kids occupied.

Instead of being anxious or complaining I decided to plan the summer to try to keep me sane! The kids are in a few camps, I’ve slowed my work schedule down (an advantage to being self-employed) and I’ve got a list of activities for us to do. I’m finding the household routine I crave by setting structure for the kids. They still have to make their beds and get dressed right after breakfast and each day they are keeping a daily journal. Getting the kids into the new routine seems to be working.

With that being said there is something magical about summer holidays. It’s a time to hang out and be silly, it’s a time to try new things and it’s a time to visit with friends. My kids are at a great age for doing things together in the summer – they still want to do things with me and they aren’t off at camp or working all summer yet.

Ever had a photoshoot doing shadow dancing? I have. You should try it sometime …

I had a reminder this morning of just how special this time is as I hairsprayed three mohawks for crazy hair day at the camp they are all attending this week. We were all giggling and laughing and taking turns spiking each other’s hair up.

We took a family holiday last week and spent time with friends and family up at cottages and shared special time in Ottawa just the five of us. As my Papa always like to say “These are the good times!”. Here are some pictures from our holiday.

What do you have planned for the summer?

Kids Play: A New Piece of Art

I am on a mission to lighten up our front room in our house. I love the wall colour (Benjamin Moore Davenport Tan), I love our couch but I wanted to inject some new colour in the space. It just felt too dark. More on what else I am going to do to change things up later but today I wanted to share with you a project I did with my boys … perhaps budding Picasso’s?

We took a giant canvas I had bought ages ago at HomeSense and made it uniquely ours!

First I painted over the bright colours.

Here they are all ready to paint!

Then I pulled out extra paint that I had lying around … and let the boys at it.

We dried it on the grass in the bright, hot sun …

And hung it up!

I love the lighter canvas and the fact that it is uniquely ours. We even signed the back! So simple and such a fun project for us to do.

What have you created with your kids lately?

From a Nursery to a Big Boy Room

Toronto designer Emma Reddington recently unveiled the new room she designed for her son Henry on her blog The Marion House Book.

His nursery was bright and cheerful anchored by a wonderful tree mural by his crib.

via

For his big boy room Emma went with a nautical theme but in a very subtle, understated way. She used a dark navy on the walls and curated vintage elements such as his bed, a Union Jack flag and a collection of old cork buoys. She created toy and book storage by joining old crates together and attaching them to the wall. I love the mix of items and textures and his room feels so cosy. Definitely a space he will grow into.

Such a great space for a little boy.

What do you think?

All images via The Marion House Book

Fabric Choices for the Kiddos

I’ve been mulling over fabrics to add new Roman blinds in the kids rooms. You see I have this half baked idea that if their rooms are super dark then they will actually sleep in past 7am. Um, yeah. We’ll see how that rolls.

So I thought for Friday morning we could take a look at some fabrics that I stuck up in their rooms.

The kids have voted … Now it’s your turn.

Room A – The Big Kids (think lots of blue with red accents currently):

Option 1

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Option 2

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Option 3

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Room B – The Kid Who Thinks He’s A Big Kid (think yellow with red accents)

Option 1

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Option 2

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Option 3

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So there you have it. I’ve made my decision (well, mostly) and the kids have chosen (of course not the same).

Two rooms. Three choices for each. What do you think?

A Little Stool Re-Tool

Part of me wanted to title this post “The Saga of the Stool” but I’m very pleased with the results. When we purchased two black leather cube ottomans from Home Sav back in the Fall it wasn’t supposed to take five months before we could actually use them in our family room!

To keep a long story shot when you let a seven year old boy attempt to open a shipping box with an exacto knife there is a decent likelihood that part of the leather will get sliced. (Disclosure: my husband was helping him so I’m not entirely sure who actually cut the leather but there was adult supervision – we don’t let our kids wield exacto knives I assure you!)

Here’s the evidence. I’m sure the neighbours could hear my screaming – it wasn’t pretty.

I knew we had to do something to make the ottomans functional. I wanted a little va-voom, a little something that would make me smile but needed something insanely durable (see story above about enthusiastic seven year old and multiply by three).

I found this faux ostrich leather from Maxwell fabrics …

And had the tops of both stools reupholstered complete with a nailhead trim detail around the base.

Et voila!

I’m liking my new custom ottomans in our family room.

Do you have any ottomans that are in need of a little zing?

See What Sarah Sees: Snow!

It’s been a mild winter with very little snow. Which, for the most part, I’m okay with.

However, my kids have been dying for snow. There has been a dusting here and there and they run outside like madmen and shovel the heck out of everything. When we actually had “some” snow this past weekend I couldn’t help but be excited.

This edition of “See What Sarah Sees” is dedicated to my boys and the smiles on their faces this past Family Day long weekend while tobogganing and playing in the snow. Sarah Sees Snow!!

It had clouded over when we went tobogganing but the sun was out most of the weekend – my backyard was bathed in sunshine and snow hanging off the trees … check it out!

And, finally … I saw a beautiful rose … on Valentine’s Day!

What did you see this week? Did you see snow too?

summer holidays … 9 weeks of fun (and some work)

The kids have been out of school for almost two weeks now. They are happy to have the time off and the break so far has been good for all (yes, if you know my kids, I will likely eat those words by mid-August!).

However, the school break for holidays brings a whole new meaning to figuring out how to get work done while keeping things running on the home front.

It was easy when the kids were in daycare. The school calendar meant nothing – the only time daycare closed was on stat holidays.

Now that my older two kids are in school full-time dealing with school holidays (especially 9 weeks in the summer!) has become a bit more of a juggling act. And by juggling, some days, I mean throw all the balls up in the air and hope I catch some.

I thrive on structure. I love knowing when I have time set aside to do what I need to do. The school year is great for this because I can map out work time, school (for me) time, volunteer time, home stuff time etc. There is never enough time to get everything I want done but I generally subscribe to the theory that the important things always happen … somehow.

This Steven Covey matrix is a helpful way to prioritize.

Summer is a bit more of a scheduling challenge. July & August. 9 weeks. I need to figure out how to keep the kids occupied, get my own work done AND enjoy our all-too short summer.

Camps are expensive to put the kids in all summer. Grandparents are an option for some help. But what it really boils down to is a colourful cocktail with a little bit of this and a little bit of that (is it inappropriate to use a cocktail analogy when referring to your children?).

So, here’s what I’ve got figured out for this summer in an attempt to keep my own sanity and get it all done!

Week 1 we took a family holiday and did lots of this …

That’s swimming, 6 year old style, in case you weren’t sure what you were looking at.

The kids are signed up for a few camps, some time with their Grandparents and family time at the cottage.

Then I’ve got a laundry list of field trips like trips to the zoo, berry picking, the beach, the Toronto Islands and Niagara Falls.

All this means that while I’ve managed to eek out some time during regular business hours to work … I’ve shifted a portion of my workday to the evenings after the kids go to bed. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

All great plans, right?! Of course, my original plan to dial back my project work during the summer months might have been made when I was dreaming or something. Best laid plans …

I know it will all get done (mostly, somehow) … the key to making it all work will be to clearly set client expectations, be realistic about what I can and cannot do and make time for fun.

Will see how it all works out and let you know.

If you are a working parent, how do you manage the school break for summer holidays?

Images via here, here, here, moi & moi