yogamat That place, which maybe isn’t this place in the photo above, for you. Maybe your place looks completely different. We all have one, some of us have a few and some of us maybe haven’t found it quite yet. It’s that place where you feel most at home, most joyful, content and whole. Maybe it’s a calming place, that resets your day, a comforting place that makes you feel safe and secure, maybe a fun place that brings joy into your day, or an inspiring place that makes your creative juices flow?

I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘that place’ and where it lives in my daily life. I realized I have a few different spots where I feel totally in my element, but three really big ones that stand out everyday. One of those is anytime I’m with my people, it is a safe, secure and an extremely joyful place. Being on my mat (the one above also happens to be metallic gooooold) because it’s calming, humbling, and it gives me strong solid roots for the rest of my life. And when I’m creating, because that fire in my belly is inspiring and I know I am fully in my element.

family I have really been focusing on the small parts of each “place” the tiny little moments that make up the whole she-bang. And I’ve been trying my best to spread those tiny bits around the rest of my daily life, try my best to make my entire day feel a bit more like THAT PLACE (I’ve said it too many times, I know). There are small things that make up or help create those places in my life that make me feel whole and happy. Small things that I try to carry with me when I find them, that make the rest of my time exponentially more wonderful and hopefully give me more strength to fight through the inevitable hardships.

Is there a place where you feel totally free, maybe it’s something as simple as reading a book? I’m not really talking that glass of wine at the end of a hard day sorta place, that is a different (yet also very enjoyable) place. But is there a moment where you feel most like yourself and you are able to just let everything else go? What are the little parts that make up those moments?

What is “That Place” for you?

*It’s been a while since I went all Dear Diary on you, I’m always unsure about hitting publish on my DD posts. This past month has been one that was truly filled with life for us, birthday’s, new babies and a few too many goodbyes. All of it, has really made me stop and look at all the tiny moments so much more closely, and sometimes a good old word vomit all over the blog is just in order.

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January 29, 2015 · Daily,Dear Diary,REAL LIFE



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Big City Living with Kids Yes we live in a big city, Toronto to be most specific – just in case you are new around here. King and Harlow are born and raised big city kiddos, they know no different and I actually don’t really have a big grasp on raising them in less populous setting. We walk every where we can and if that’s not possible (in the winter the walking usually gets side barred a bit) we take the transit, cabs are pretty rare and we use Zipcar when we need a vehicle to get around. I love our sweet little life so very much, and even though we live in a big busy city, our life and routine could not get any simpler (unless we moved to a farm, I guess).

People often ask how we raise kids in a big city, what life is like not having a private back yard, or how we live without owning a car, really a giant wide range of urban kid raising questions. I know there are tons of reasons to live in a quieter, maybe more classically family friendly setting (I think you smell what I’m cooking when I say that) and really even from here the grass sometimes looks greener where that is. But we really do love living in a big urban setting, and as green as the grass looks when we look at the suburbs there would just be so much that we would all miss about living in the city (not to mention our lives are here, but other than that). Of course we have talked about moving many times (back closer to family) and we often go as far as listing off the things we would take with us if (if not when, sorry fam-jam) we were to ever leave. Not physical things (well those too), but mostly the lifestyle things that we have grown accustomed too and learned to really love about our urban lifestyle. So instead of answering all the “how is raising kids in a big city” questions, I thought I would list all the things we would take with us (if we were to ever leave) which happen to be some of the huge positives for living in a city. Which can also be things that anyone living anywhere can adopt.

city-living3 What do I love most about living in an urban setting? SO MANY things, but the things we would take with us if we ever decided to pick up and go?

PARK AND WALK – I know, most places aren’t as walkable or accessible by transit. I grew up in a smaller city where driving a car was pretty much mandatory, so I totally get it. But why not, drive to a location where you can get a lot of shopping done in a few block radius, instead of jumping back in your car to hit the next store, walk there. How do you carry everything? Well you could make trips back to the car to drop things off or pull a granny cart/shopping trolley (like me!) – come on you know you want too!! It probably sounds like a hassle, but really it’s not I love walking from place to place doing my errands – also if I can’t carry it, I can’t buy it usually works out to be a good thing.

TURN THE CITY INTO YOUR BACKYARD – It’s silly and a little bit backwards, but as much as having a private backyard space would be great I am sometimes pretty grateful that we don’t had one. Sure it makes every outside play time a real event, but it has transformed the way we see the idea of a backyard. Basically it has turned the entire city into our backyard. When kids want to go out and play (every waking moment), we GO OUT and play – in the summer we are rarely ever home. We park hop in the summer, we jump around to different neighborhood festivals, or just go exploring.

SHOP SMALL – Big cities usually mean smaller boutique like, local mom and pop type places to eat and shop at. It’s a bit harder and more expensive for the larger franchises to pop in, mostly because space is limited. So this whole supporting and shopping local thing is easy in an urban setting, and something we wouldn’t change. It might take a bit more searching and walking but try to stick to the little guys, grab a coffee and go for a walk. Maybe choose a different part of the city each weekend, it’s amazing the cute little places you can find if you are looking (also a great way to explore).

EXPLORE – One of our all time favorite things to do. In the summer especially, we often have no plans so we just head out and see where the day takes us. Usually we walk into something, a festival or event of some kind or one of us comes up with a plan along the way. It’s fun and rarely ever boring. I know it sounds a lot harder to do if you aren’t in a big city, but maybe there is a part of town you haven’t been to in ages? Take a drive there and park and walk – I bet you find some cool new shops, restaurants or something a little bit different.

urban families In my humble opinion there are huge pluses for living and raising a family in a big city (the only HUGE minus is not having all the people we love here with us). I could list off all the positives (from my eyes), but sometimes lists like that tend to sound a big snobby and sometimes even entitled (any one-sided lists can come off like that) so I’m not really going to go there. Plus I also see many positives to not living in a big city, all I have to do is look back at my childhood to see them.
Really there is no BEST place to raise a family, the best place to raise a family is the best place for YOUR family.
If you like the idea of big city living but like how green your grass currently is, try including some of these “lifestyle things” into your everyday – but maybe wait till the spring to try them out.

What do you guys think? Do you have anything you think, us big city people should learn from smaller city/town living? Is there something else you would add to this little, “big city living for all” list?

*photos mostly from the past summer, where the grass is ALWAYS greener.

3 comments

January 28, 2015 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,REAL LIFE



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smoothie pucks / save time and money For Christmas I got a new blender, a Ninja to be more specific. I love LOVE it, use it everyday usually a few times a day. When I was working 9-5 in an office I used to make a smoothie every morning and bring it with me to work, then my blender died and I fell off the smoothie train.

Over the Christmas holidays I got totally over zealous and stocked up like crazy on smoothie ingredients, only to find we weren’t smooth-ing them fast enough and things were starting to look a bit whomp-whomp. So to save all that precious food and my money, I blended them up into pucks and froze them for the future. A pretty darn smart idea (self back pat), because it made making a smoothie super easy (as if it’s not already, I know) and I wasn’t digging into our regular everyday veggie stock to make smoothies – aka big money saver. Now anytime I notice we aren’t eating something (that is smoothie friendly) fast enough, I make them into some pucks. I’m a little excited for the summer, smoothie pucks will be a great way to save seasonal veggies for the next winter. It’s so stupid easy, really it’s stupid.

  • grab your veggies, mix in different types if you please (you could even premix all the veggies and fruit into a single puck).
  • put them in the blender with a bit of water (or coconut water).
  • blend and add more water as needed.
  • pour blended veggies (or veggie blend) into muffin pans and freeze.
  • once frozen pop them out of the muffin pans and put in freezer safe containers.

Now just pop one in the blender as you need, adding whatever else you please to finish off your smoothie (you’ll need at least one cup of liquid to turn a frozen puck into a smoothie). I like to add even more fresh veggies in, just for good measure – and fruit or whatever else floats my boat that day. And sometimes a dash of protein or super seeds, I like to use Baby Brain Organics a lot because it has hemp seeds, flax, quinoa and chia seeds – much easier than adding them all separate!

Looking for new smoothie ideas (I tend to get stuck on one), check out my Pinterest board devoted solely to smoothies and juices. Our current favorite (kids included) is: Kale, dandelions greens, spinach, mangos, coconut water and a dash of hemp seeds or BBO.

In case you are wondering what’s in the pucks up top, here’s your answer! whats-in-smoothie-pucks

What is your favorite smoothie or juice concoction?

3 comments

January 27, 2015 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,FOOD AND COOKING



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This totally goes against my, tips for staying focused while working from home. But let me start by saying, during the day I never watch tv while working. Or even better, I never watch shows while I’m working during my “golden hours” – when my work is at its most productive I need full attention on the task at hand, that’s when I follow these rules to a T.

But when it comes to working during the evening, say when Chris is working late or I have things I want to get done? I often turn a background show on, makes me feel like I’m half relaxing/half being productive. Does that make sense? I have a few go to programs for the “while I’m working” show list, most might also be considered guilty pleasure tv because they usually don’t require my full attention to know what’s going on. What better time to get a guilty pleasure tv show in, then when you are semi-productively doing something else?

reality-tv True blue guilty pleasure tv, best watched when you are semi-productively working or studying at night (or off working hours). TLC, MTV, ANIMAL PLANET or DISCOVERY (though the last two are way less guilty) all fall under this category for me. You can leave a channel on, find a show on Netflix, or stream from the networks website and just let it go all the live long work-night. [ image is from man vs. wild, one of our favorite reality tv shows.]

 

gossip-girl Teen dramas for the background show win! If it’s predictable and you probably wouldn’t tell your friends you actually watch it, it’s probably go for the evening working hours (or maybe laundry folding hours?). Since finishing GG, I moved onto Pretty Little Liars (thank’s to a good friend who always tells me about her guilty tv pleasures) and it’s equally as good for while I work. [ image is from fanpop ]

 

food-network Good for anytime all the time, in my opinion. I know it’s not a “show” but generally any show on this network is a good background show. Often is falls under the reality tv category, but not always. I think any show from the Food Network (many of them are popping up on Netflix now) will always be some of my favorite background shows to work too. [ image from castles and cooks ]

 

law-and-order I also like to watch this, while I’m not working. But I tend to get so into it and sometimes I make myself paranoid that it just works out better to be a background show. It really doesn’t matter which series of Law and Order it is, they are all good in my books (a few of them are on Netflix now). [ image from salon.com ]

 

hgtv Food Network and HGTV, both top my list for things to watch while I’m doing other things (what a mouthful). Another show that’s not a “show”, but it’s easier to be general when all of them fall under the category. As long as I have these two in my background show life, I’m happy! [ image from HGTV ]

Do you have a favorite background show? Or maybe a guilty pleasure show you adore?

4 comments

January 26, 2015 · Daily,REAL LIFE,THE BEST LISTS



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Her favorite thing about her dolls are the clothes (that was my fav too), changing them mostly and even sometimes drawing them. Over the past week, I snapped a bunch of photos of Harlow playing with her Barbies – and almost every playtime revolved around the little clothes. I shared a few of these on Instagram, so if you follow me there you might have seen a couple.
keeping things warm There is a Harlow in there somewhere! She tried to dress her Barbie warm, a baby sock for a hat and an astronaut suit as a snow suit stand in.

a budding fashion designer She picked all the clothes out and then asked for my help to lay them nicely, she then told me “I better get to work” – I think I’m starting to rub off on her a little.

getting ready for swimming I sent her to get ready for swimming, but instead found her dressing Barbie. Easily distracted is the name of this game.

Yoga ready I forgot to roll up the mat, so when she came home from school she got her Barbie’s all ready (but said she was fine to do it in jeans). And then she showed me all the moves she learned at school. I think there needs to be a real yoga Barbie, or maybe there is?

Screen shot 2014-04-07 at 2.40.44 PM This is part of a group of posts in partnership with #BarbieProject . All words and images are 100% organic and authentic. Thank you, so very much for always supporting our blog and for supporting the sponsors that help support our blog and our household.

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January 23, 2015 · Daily,sponsored



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buy winter clothes for next year But it’s almost spring, RIGHT!? “What is she even talking about?” It is close to spring, like at least 2 months away “close“. And I know buying MORE winter clothes when the season is about halfway done, sounds ridiculous and silly. I’m sure all you’re looking at right now is spring clothes; wishing and hoping and thinking and praying. If you buy spring clothes now, spring will come, right!?

But hey, just listen for a second. Almost all winter items are currently on sale (at most stores) for you, the mister and the kids. This is high sale season for those clothes you are tired of wearing and tired of looking at. Which means, this is the best time to shop and buy winter stuff for next winter. Crazy talk! But really, have a look around maybe you’ll find some things you love and you can probably get for much less, if you buy now and save it for later.

*A photo of my not so tidy totally unfinished (still 5 years later) front entrance to really drive the whole sale winter clothes idea home? sure.

If I were you (and let’s just pretend that I am), I’d look around for the more expensive and quickly lost items (mittens, curse those mittens!!) and see what I could get on sale now and pack them away till next November. Coats, boots and probably mitts – go for classic and WARM, I promise you’ll thank yourself later (and maybe even me!). Here are a few of my on sale favorites, to help take the search out of it.

buy winter clothes on sale now no.1 women’s mixed media parka (40% off with code ENDOFSEASON) – no.2 kids down parka (40% off with code ENDOFSEASON) – no.3 men’s sorels – no.4 boys down parka – no.5 little ones fleece hoodie romper – no.6 girl’s fur puffer coat (40% off with code ENDOFSEASON) – no.7 men’s peacoat – no.8 kids mittens (40% off with code ENDOFSEASON) – no.9 women’s super warm parka – no.10 girl’s native boots – no.11 women’s plaid coat

What do you say? Into shopping now for NEXT winter?

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January 22, 2015 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,SALES AND SHOPPING



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UNIFORM / keep it comfy #style no.1 fur collar parka – no.2 hoodie – no.3 toque – no.4 zip open leather mittens – no.5 hook earrings – no.6 ankle blue jeans – no.7 long striped shirt – no.8 sneakers

Keeping on the sneaker road, this would be my comfy uniform of choice for today. A few people commented last week that they love sneakers, but don’t know how to wear them in an everyday setting. So here’s one idea for you, and there is most definitely more if you check back in the Uniform series. And before anyone asks, layer that hoodie over the shirt and just totally forget the iron in the closet. Zip open mittens? I don’t know, but they intrigued me and I want to own them!
Happy Hump Day!

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January 21, 2015 · Daily,STYLE AND ATTIRE,Uniform



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Dear-Kate-giveaway Last week, in my post about yoga and how it’s oozing into my everyday I wore the Dear Kate #nothingunder yoga pants. Which I have been wearing a ton since, I won’t tell you how much because even I would judge me. I mean yoga pants with built-in underwear? What’s not to love, it’s like two things that should have gone together (or apart, if we are talking underwear and yoga pants) from the very beginning of yoga pants.

Because I dig them so much, I really wanted one of you to also reveal in the world of commando yoga pants. And guess what, so did Dear Kate! They want to give one Heart and Habit reader The Yoga Bralet and The Full Length #nothingunder Yoga Pants – way better than just the pants, it’s a whole yoga get up!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

77 comments

January 20, 2015 · Daily,Giveaways,YOGA



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