A few weeks ago I had the privilege of teaming up with Jen Linfield Photography to photograph my girls wearing the sweetest hair accessories from Bowfield Studio. I always love supporting local shops and business, especially when it’s a Mother and Daughter team. YAY for women in business!! This talented duo have a beautiful Etsy shop filled with a HUGE selection of quality hand made bows, clips, headbands and accessories. I just think these bows and accessories are the perfect finishing piece to any outfit.
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I feel that so many of my posts stem from childhood memories or something that my Mom did as I was growing up. But many of the traditions that I had in my childhood home have found their way into my adult home, so it makes me happy to share them with you.
Growing up my Mom always had home baked goods in the house. It was always a special treat before bed. Perhaps not the healthiest option, but this to me was comfort. As for my Mom; this was how she showed love. And I always happily ate all the yummy cakes that she would make.
Today; my husband and I love having a coffee and a sweet before bed and cake is normally our go to! This Carrot cake recipe by Canadian Living has been a go to of mine for quite a while because its quick and super simple to whip up.
here is the link to the recipe!
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In a great attempt to keep a tidy and well run home, I find that I always tend to purge, organise and disinfect before the new coming seasons. I like knowing that school clothes are ready to go for the new school year and that when winter comes all the snow gear has been washed and hung and ready to go. But there is just something so refreshing about a good spring clean! I love the feeling of opening the windows and letting in the spring breeze when everything has been wiped down disinfected and put away.
This year for my spring clean, I happily teamed up with Clorox for their #cloroxmeansclean campaign. It seemed fitting to me, as we already used many of their products in our home. Below I have broken down some of our favourites.
GLAD Compostable Scented Bags. Before I discovered these, we were using hard paper (plastic lined) bags. We stopped composting for a while specifically because of them. They were hard to bend, didn’t hold a lot of waste and always became soggy at the bottom of the bin. Not to mention they were pricey. I then discovered GLAD’S 100% biodegradable / compostable plastic bags and they were a complete game changer. I LOVE these bags!! They are super thin but strong and allow us to fully utilise the space in the compost bin. They have a light Febreze scent and the odour shield really does allow you to use them for up to five days. Best part; when the bin is full, there is never any mushy mess at the bottom!!
Then there are the kitchen bags. Our garbage bins are awkward sizes. I always found a regular black garbage bag to be too large, but the regular kitchen white garbage bags were all too small. Then came the GLAD’S Tall kitchen bags. These bags not only fit perfectly, but are also extremely heavy duty. Similar concept to the compost bags; they are a thin sturdy plastic with a slight elastic stretch and the Febreze scent helps to eliminate any odours.
I am almost embarrassed to talk about the state of our sink on the best of days. We’ve started teaching the girls to bring their empty dinner plates and cups to the sink when they are done. They often forget to scrape and all the food particles tend to fall to the bottom of the drain. (Yuck) I like using a small amount of Clorox Clean-Up to really get the dirt out. I just spray let sit for a few minutes then wipe away! A minimal amount is all you really need to fully disinfect.
And so I saved the best for last. I seriously love Clorox Disinfecting Wipes I use these to wipe everything from our counters, clean around windows, wipe up floors and spills and they are even great for wiping down dirty sneakers. The wipes themselves don’t actually contain any bleach, which makes for a soft fresh sent when cleaning.
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Thank you so much for stopping by. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted on this little blog of mine; but I feel very compelled to share this story in hopes that it can help make a difference in Joshua’s life. Let me introduce you to the Bastin family. They don’t know me, and I don’t know them, but their story has touched my heart and I feel the need to do something about it.
Making Memories with Joshua. The Bastin Family
For the past 10 years the Bastin family has been faced with the reality that their son Joshua might not live to see tomorrow. Suffering from Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, Joshua has never been able to speak, sit up or eat on his own. He requires around the clock care and sadly his future is uncertain. Despite all of his limitations, Joshua’s Dad still describes him as a happy boy full of wonder who loves to experience new things! And so they want to show him as much of the world as they possibly can with the little time he has left. Given his condition however, Joshua is unable to travel by plane. Knowing that a mobile home would be the best option for them, the Bastin family hope to raise enough money to make this dream a reality! A go fund me page has been set up to help the Bastin’s reach their goal.
And this is where the very talented Lindsay of Juniorkins comes in. She is a huge fighting force behind Joshua’s story and the difference she has made in just over a week and a half is nothing short of amazing! She has ever so generously offered to photograph your beautiful babes with a minimum $50.00 donation to Joshua’s go-fund-me account. Please if you are local, reach out to Lindsay. She is an amazing photographer who is doing a really great thing! If you don’t have little ones, and can spare a small amount, please help Joshua and his family.
Here are the photos from our Juniorkins photo shoot. I LOVE love LOVE them…. so thrilled with how they turned out!
I’ve been blessed with so many amazing moments in my life, but none of which will ever compare to the moments I first held each one of my children.
It was the afternoon of July 15th at precisely 4:00pm that we finally got to meet our little Orla Grace. She was 7lbs 1oz of pure love and joy. She came out screaming and was instantly calmed when placed on my chest. I was exhausted, relieved and overjoyed and I remember kissing her head 10000 times while whispering “I love you” over and over again. All I wanted to do was stare at her tiny face; a face that already seemed so familiar to me even though we had only just met. Nonetheless She was here, she was all ours and there is no greater feeling!
Shortly after her arrival we were informed of a slight “skip” in her heart beat which lead to an overnight stay in the NICU. Although I was reassured that it didn’t sound overly serious, my Mama heart went into instant panic mode. It was the longest night of my life. The following day she was seen by the Pediatrician and we were reassured that the murmur had self corrected. This meant that we were free to go home!! Best news I have ever heard. Thank You Lord!!!
The first few weeks at home moved at such a slow and calming pace. The house was filled with visitors, beautiful flowers, thoughtful gifts and home cooked meals prepared by family and friends. It was nothing short of wonderful. But life has a funny way of carrying on and the newborn haze slowly faded as everyday life set in. And so here we are living life as a happy and chaotic family of five and we are still trying to find our groove. Our home is a mess, laundry is piling up and the girls are still very hyper on a “new sister high.” But all of the chaos is just as it should be and our hearts are full.
It has been a whirlwind of a month. Some of my best memories thus far were getting to dance with Orla at her first wedding and seeing her first smile as I sang her The Blowers Daugnter by Damian Rice. We are very much in love with getting to know her. She loves to be outdoors, we make it a priority to go outside every morning.Not sure what we’ll do once winter comes. She loves bath time, milk and music and is soothed by the sound of the kitchen fan. We were overjoyed when she took a soother (our other two wouldn’t take to it no matter how hard we tried) she loves it and falls asleep instantly with it. I am sure I’ll regret giving it to her later, but for now it’s been a Godsend.
I thank God for everyday that I get to raise my girls, no matter how hard or challenging it gets. I am excited to watch Orla grow and wonder how she will fit in with her sisters. I am in love….we are all in love…we are blessed. Orla, welcome to our Family we have been waiting for you. Xo
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Growing up; birthdays were always a huge deal in our home. Every year, my Mother made sure that we celebrated with family, good food and most importantly birthday cake! It was wonderful and I will forever cherish those birthdays spent with my aunts uncles and cousins. Now as a mother; I love that I get to continue the same traditions with my daughters.
So for her 5th Birthday; Miss. Vayda decided that she wanted a Fancy Nancy Party! It only seemed fitting as Fancy Nancy has been a part of our home and bedtime routine since my Daughter was 3 years old. We just love her books and all the fun “Fancy” words that we learn along the way.
I was totally on board with this theme as it didn’t take much to pull the whole look together. In fact; all the décor and party favours came to a whopping $39.00 thanks to a little place called the Dollar Store! We set up the décor when Vayda was asleep to surprise her the day of the party. The late night was so worth seeing her EXCITED face in the morning. She was ECSTATIC!!
The other great thing about a Fancy Nancy theme is that when it comes to fashion; anything goes! The more mixed matched the better! In fact, she pulled her outfit together on her own with pieces we already had in her closet!
Here is the whole look….
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I am so excited about today’s post, as this project was a long time in the making! Having started this kitchen just over a year ago; both the client and I were thrilled to see months of planning, designing and hard work finally come together!
The existing kitchen was that of a typical builders “cookie cutter” layout. It was extremely dark with three awkwardly placed mixed matched light fixtures. The cabinets had been painted a few years back for a quick and easy face lift, but it did nothing to address the almost complete lack of storage in the kitchen.
The great debate was the load bearing wall that divided the kitchen from the family room. It needed to come down!! That being said, taking down a load bearing wall isn’t as easy as it sounds. Structurally we needed to add a beam and this ate into a HUGE part of the budget. We tried multiple layout options that allowed us to keep the wall in, but they all came up flat. So, we all agreed that in order to achieve the perfect layout that crossed all the items off our list; the wall had to go!! And what a difference it made!
Here are the before pictures….
Wanting to maximize the height of the upper cabinets, we opted to rip down the bulkhead and extend the units right to the ceiling. In doing this, it instantly added height and an additional six inches of upper cabinet storage. However, upon tearing down the bulkhead we found duct work and plumbing that needed to be covered. This was solved by boxing into the riser and finishing up to the ceiling with a simple crown moulding. An elegant and practical solution!
Along with taking down the bulkhead and wall, the home-owner had a long list of additional ” must haves”,these items were at the top of her list.
- AN ISLAND: The only way we were able to achieve this was by taking down the wall. The results speak for them selves.
- A LARGE PANTRY: We eliminated the useless desk and filled it with a practical pantry that housed four roll-out shelves and a perfect spot for a microwave.
- LOTS OF DRAWERS: Eliminating the awkward “u-shape” kitchen allowed for extra long run of counters on either side of the stove, thus giving us the space we needed for pot and pan drawers. The original layout had a total of 4 drawers, but with the new layout she ended up with 10 drawers!!
- ECO-FRIENDLY GARBAGE/ RECYCLE CENTRE: Although the island wasn’t large enough to house the bins, we found the perfect spot beside the fridge. This was the system that we used. No more exposed garbage!!
So lo and behold, here is the after…
The new kitchen is birght and welcoming and I am sure the clients will love it for years to come! I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.
Here are a list of Skilled Trades and Suppliers:
- All of the custom cabinetry was manufactured and installed by our talented team at BND WOODWORKING
- The renovations were professionally done by NORTH WAY HOMES
- Caesarstone Counters (5141 Frosty Carrina) were installed by STONEX
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It has always been a dream of mine to document all of my Mothers recipes that I grew up with. So today I am sharing one of my absolute favourites, the Brazilian Brigadeiro. This amazing sprinkle covered ball is a simple Brazilian chocolate bonbon, created in the 1940s. This candy is extremely popular in Brazil and is typically served at birthday parties. Every time I make them or bite into one, I am instantly taken back to my childhood and all of our fun parties. My sister and I would help my Mother lay out the foil cups and roll the candy into balls. I adore this tradition and plan to share these memories with my daughters.
That being said, this recipe definitely holds more sentimental value than it does nutritional value. Its full of chocolate covered calories, but oh so worth it!!
I like (and usually suggest) making this recipe about 3 days before the event. When you let the brigadeiro sit out for a few days, it creates a crunchy shell on the outside with a gooey chewy inside. That to me is the perfect consistency! The desert itself is slightly time consuming so make it on a day where you can dedicate the time.
Ingredients: 1 can of condensed milk / 2 tablespoons of chocolate powder (coco powder) / 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
One can recipe would be enough for a very small batch. We usually host a 25-30 person event so I like to use four cans, so I have enough (plus a little extra)!
Here are the steps:
1) Pour four cans of condensed milk into a large pot. I have always used Eagle Brand and suggest not using the “fat free” version. The consistency turns out weird.
2) Add in eight tablespoons of chocolate powder. My Mother has always used quick powder. You can also use hot chocolate mix or just straight coco powder. The coco powder is significantly less sweet and does add a bit of a bitter taste. Here I am using hot chocolate mix (sans the little marshmallows).
3) Add four tablespoons of unsalted butter.
4) Mix, and mix, and mix….and just when you think you can’t mix any more, you keep on mixing!! This need to be done over med/ low heat. If you don’t continue to mix as it cooks, it will VERY quickly stick to the bottom of the pan. So mix away!
5) About 20-30 minutes later, you will notice the batter starting to caramelize. You will know its ready to be pulled off the heat when it starts to bubble and completely pull away from the bottom of the pan, like so.
6) Pull batter off the heat and pour into a greased Pyrex dish. Let this sit at room temperature for about four hours, or until the mixture has completely cooled to room temperature.
7) In the mean time… go nuts and lick the spoon!! This is probably the best part.
8) Once the batter is ready to roll, take about 3/4 of a teaspoon of the mixture and dunk into a plate full of chocolate sprinkles. From there, roll into a pretty chocolate ball and place into candy cups on a tray. You will probably want to grease your hands for this part, that way the batter won’t stick to your fingers.
Once you’re done, the end result will look like this! Served on a pretty cake stand, this little chocolate ball is sure to make a delicious and beautiful statement to your candy and desert table! Enjoy!!
If you have any questions about this recipe, please feel free to ask at any time!
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Hey Friends! Thought I would let you in on a little secret…WE’RE EXPECTING BABY #3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My 3 Babes!
In all honestly it came as a huge surprise to both us, as we weren’t planning on having any more children. God however had other plans!! We are beyond thrilled that our little family will soon have one more little person to love! We shared the news with our friends and family over the Christmas Holidays and they were just as surprised and excited as we were.
But as the news sets in, so does apprehension. At least on my part it does. I start to worry about things like, getting a minivan. Who will watch my children when I return to work? Can we even afford daycare for two children? And does God really think that I am capable of raising 3 children? I worry….. like all the time! My husband, who is my rock, is always there to keep me grounded and reminds me that everything will be ok. I am sure it will be!
So, big changes will be happening in our home! I will get to re-do a baby nursery and the girls will get a brand new “special sister room!” Now if only I convince my 4 year old to give up her queen bed and downsize to a twin. This should be interesting!
Anyways, thanks so much for stopping by!
Hey Friends! Wow… it has been a while since my last post! Thanks to all of you that have stopped by to check in from time to time. It has not gone unnoticed and is much appreciated!
So we’ve been busy in the Urban Mom Home. Things are changing around here and we have started planning for some exciting new room makeovers that will hopefully be complete by late spring early summer. I am keeping my fingers crossed!!
Wanting some inspiration, I headed into the big city (Toronto) and spent my morning at one of my favourite shops. West Elm! It was so refreshing to walk in and see so many different shades of corals, teals, pinks and oranges! I will forever love black and white, but I must admit I loved all the pops of colour!
Here were some of my favourite finds…
Thinking about using these animal busts in an upcoming project!
This little mug came home with me today!! In love with it.
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- BUFFET HUTCH
- BLACK AND WHITE PILLOWS
- ANIMAL BUSTS