what-to-wear-back-to-school_1 I’ve had many a requests for a BTS outfit post, at first I thought “I just did a big one last year”. Then I looked back through my archives and realized it was 2 whole years ago, obviously I have a great concept of time. I got my butt in gear and put something together, this year is a bit different as both kids are actually going to school. I shopped during the summer time (following the sales) for a few things the kids needed, but otherwise everything in this post has been in their closet for some time. I put together 3 outfits for each kiddo, outfits both kids will definitely be wearing (already do wear) and have felt really comfortable wearing them before.

what-to-wear-to-school_2 HARLOW | tee : jeans : sneakers : sweater : backpack    -    KING | tee : jeans : sneakers : backpack

Jeans and tee shirts, all the time. Both kids have a closet pretty much composed of those two items and then everything else gets sprinkled on top.If we are talking key items for back to school, these two outfits are pretty much composed of the 5 items I would consider to be KEY BACK TO SCHOOL ITEMS:

  1. A good pair of sneakers (that go with everything and will hopefully last all year-long), which will probably become indoor sneakers come winter. Something with velcro or that can be slipped on – unless they can tie their own shoes.
  2. Comfortable tee shirts, that won’t easily get stained during lunch or craft time – usually go for the darker colors.
  3. Jeans, tights or awesome sweatpants or just whatever pants your kids love most – but something they will be comfy wearing during any activity. And that will be easy for them to do up after a potty break.
  4. Throw on sweater or hoodie, that extra layer that can be worn with everything – because you never know with the weather (especially in Canada).
  5. A good backpack, which actually turned into this very particular subject around here. The kids have these small packs and have used them for 2 years, they are great and still get used very often. But I have to say, once King stared going to school and bringing a lunch box,  swimming stuff once a week, and books/art projects/homework home everyday – the small size just wasn’t cutting it. After searching (and searching) I found that most bags for kids were either the same smaller size (too small for our school needs) or they were all way too big. Then I stumbled upon The Gap and their Junior sized backpacks. Not in the toddler section, but in the kid section. They have the option between Senior and Junior, the junior is juuuust right. A tiny bit big for wee Harlow, but probably perfect by years end (they grow too fast) – and big enough to fit a lunch box plus all the extra trimmings. Backpack aficionado, putting that one on my resume.

back to school girls denim vest (similar) : tank top : sweat pants : moccasins

Comfort is key, tights and a great pair of sweat pants like these (they are our fave, so much that they were dirty when I took these photos) are fantastic go to bottoms. Layers are also pretty important, the morning might be warm but the afternoon could turn out really hot. Shoes, well I tend to lean towards sneakers for school – but as long as it’s not a gym day, the shoes are comfy and they can take them on and off themselves it’s a go.

back to school boys hoodie : tee shirt : shorts : shoes

We like to keep our shorts in rotation for as long as possible, as long as the weather is having it. An every-single-day hoodie is #4 on my key items list and this one is our favorite and in daily rotation – they make them in a lighter french terry for summer and heavier cotton fleece for fall/winter.

school clothes girls heart sweater dress : knee highs : boots (similar)

I’m biased (it’s from the Heart & Habit for Toto Knits collab) but this dress is the best. It’s a cotton sweater knit, so warm but breathable and really comfy, we always pair a small pair of short underneath dresses (something from summer) until the weather forces us to wear tights.

school wears for boys sweater : tee (similar) : jeans (similar) : shoes (similar) : backpack

Again, layers. And jeans and t-shirts, forever.

Lunch boxes, not pictured here. I have found (after wasting a lot of money on not so great ones) that this classic style lunch box (tons of different patterns) from pottery barn and this bento insert are amazing. A little pricey (but also pretty budget friendly compared to some) but really great quality – I don’t plan on buying the kids a new lunch bag for a few years.

So Back To School? Are you ready, my kids are – I’m still all types of sentimental about the whole thing.

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August 20, 2014 · Daily,Little Style,STYLE AND ATTIRE



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open-streets1 open-streets2 *Those people looking our way (behind the kids) they were all looking at the kids (giggles and awwwwww’s a plenty, from the small crowd). All this as the kids just stood there frozen in cuteness chatting with me while I snapped photos (they didn’t notice the people or that I was snapping photos).

open-streets3 open-streets4 On Sunday, large parts of Yonge street and Bloor street closed for a new event called Open Streets Toronto. Streets were closed to cars from 8am-noon, and open for walking, biking and whatever fun stuff people like to do when there is no chance of a car barreling down the street. We do a lot of walking on a regular day, but there was something extra special about walking on an open road on two of Toronto’s busiest streets. It took the kids a while to grasp the idea, they were so confused at first. So confused and worried that we were breaking the law. If you are in Toronto, they are holding another Open Streets on August. 31st and I bet it will be busier and even better. And if you are not in Toronto, well maybe you should just come visit. ;)

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August 19, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE,Toronto



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the-ex1 the-ex2 the-ex3 the-ex4 the-ex5 the-ex6 the-ex7 We planned to go to The EX from the beginning of last week, but never told the kids our plans. Our 5.75 years of parenting have taught us many things, and one of them is to keep most big exciting things a secret. Because, well surprises are awesome and surprising kids is the most awesome – I live for those squeals and watching them vibrate because “everything is just so awesome”. But most importantly, telling two little kids on a Monday that you will be doing something like going on amusement rides that Friday, is a recipe for “is it Friday yet?” line of questions every 2-5 minutes for the entire 4 days leading up. So because Chris wanted to give them something extra to look forward too, but save me from the on-slot of repetitive questions, he told them we were going to the toilet factory on Friday – and then everyday talked up those toilets. Funny thing is, they were super excited about it. Like we probably could have saved all the money The EX sucked out of us and just gone to Home Depot’s toilet isle. Okay not really, the toilet isle wouldn’t have given these them smiles. But maybe something to keep in my back pocket for a rainy day.

As always the exhibition was a great time. We went around dinner time, on opening day – things were pretty quiet, it was great. The kids went on a bunch of rides, we found some healthy food (a carnival unicorn), Chris and I each went on one ride (he screamed like a girl) and we went home wayyy too late – something the kids are still punishing me for.

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August 18, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE



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Otherwise titled as “How to style your hair everyday” because time, who has that? I realize I have about 6 go-to hair styles for wet or 2nd day hair. These are the styles I lean-to when I’m running out the door to take the kids out, the “oh crap, I forgot to do my hair…..hold on one second kids!” styles. 6 Great Everyday Hair Styles

TOPKNOT – A no brainier and basically an every single day style. Best for second day hair, but usually the go to for semi wet hair too. [image]

LOW KNOT – Great for those days when you were |this close| to wearing your hair down. [image]

MILK-MAID BRAIDS – Criss-cross the braids over the top of your head or at the nape of your neck. I often go for the nape of my neck wrap, it feels like it’s the quicker less primping and priming root (the lazy version). [image] A QUICK HOW TO

6 WAYS TO STYLE YOUR HAIR WHEN YOU HAVE NO TIME

HALF TOPKNOT – Sometimes it’s nice to pretend I’m not wearing a topknot everyday, but then I sorta still am. This is also a really great short hair style. [image]

KNOTTED PONY – Another take on a loose low pony. A quick pull back that looks like you spent a ton of time on it. [image] A QUICK HOW TO

FRENCH BRAID – I call this my Kelly Kapowski hair and if you know who that is, I like you already.  This is my go to for wet hair. I hate leaving the house with wet hair and if I don’t have time to hair dry or even a quick blow dry I’ll french braid now and take it out and actually do it later (or not). [image] A QUICK HOW TO

These are my go-to daytime styles, great for when I’m running out the door to take the kids to school (BTS hair for Mom). My after yoga, getting ready for the day, running (probably super) late and the kids are waiting at the door for me, hiding my hair that needs a good cut hairstyles. Do you have a really great go-to? Please share!

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August 15, 2014 · Daily,HAIR AND FACES



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JUST-BECAUSE-GIFTS_02 glass half full print / iphone case / wood coasters / wood braceletsfaceted pots / sandals / tank maxi dress / embroidered necklace / money clip / skull pot / handbag / the most print

The best gifts happen for-no-reason-at-all. Birthday, schmurthday see something you know a friend (family member or significant other) will love, get it for them now. A thoughtful gift just because you were thinking about someone, can come in many forms; a hug, a phone call, a coffee date, heck even a really nice gift from this list. And hey, don’t forget yourself, this bagsandals or tank maxi dress just because you totally deserve it.

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August 13, 2014 · Daily,Sales/Promotions,THE BEST LISTS



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JULY_#samespotcalendar July was just so awesome that I didn’t have much time to capture it and then I almost totally forgot to share – whoops!! Our #samespotcalendar is still going strong, not ready to see any of this lucious green start to change color. How is your #samespotcalendar going? Are you joining on blog or via instagram?

*Check our last years full calendar. Or check the past months of 2014.

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August 12, 2014 · Daily,same spot calendar



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swimming1 One day seemingly outta the blue she decided she just wasn’t that into swimming and actually grew a little afraid. At swimming lessons she’d just refuse to try new things. Over the weekend we headed to have dinner and a swim with family and Harlow asked if she could bring her mermaid to swim. At first I said no, because it’s just more thing for me to carry home (because that’s how these things always go, Mom carries everything) but  instead I went with it. swimming2 swimming3 swimming4 They had a blast, swimming. Basically Harlow just tossed her around and watched her bob and float along the water, but still! The kids call Chris a Merman when we swim, cause he swims like a dolphin (jumps and flips included). This morning we started a new swimming session, last one of the summer. I was a little nervous, mostly because I wasn’t sure if she’d be into it and if she would still be reluctant to try new things in the water. At first she was iffy, but I could tell her shell had cracked a bit – she was much more into it. After the class I told her what a great job she had done and how I loved that she tried, she said: “did you see, I unleashed the mermaid?!”. The whole way home she talked about how she couldn’t wait to swim like a mermaid in class tomorrow, moral of the story: never under-estimate the power of a mermaid or merman (dad).

 

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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August 11, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE,sponsored



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how-to-become-an-optimist It’s not actually a syndrome, but I like to think it is and I tell people I have “it” all the time. That glass is half full, my glasses are tinted a little rose and the sun is most definitely always shining – but I still see the grey clouds and the half empty glass, I’m not doozy I just try to make conscious decisions to find the positive. I haven’t always been the annoying optimist I am today, pretty sure I was an annoying argumentative pessimist at one point. Seeing the positive or seeing a positive outcome in a rough situation can help you through it, can help to teach you something and can open up new doors (when one door closes there is always another to open, or some other cheesy line like that).

Being an optimist is all about how you talk to and treat yourself. Being kind and fair to yourself and knowing that you and only you are responsible for your happiness. Positivity and optimism mean different things for everyone, but there is no doubt that there is a pretty big power in positivity (I’m crazy about the cheese in this post). This isn’t a fool-proof way to instantly change pessimism to optimism or negativity to positivity, but these are a few really good habits that anyone can easily pick up, and  that might even help you catch “eternal optimist syndrome”. It’s not contagious you have to work at it but then it can easily become second nature.

SMILE – even if you aren’t feeling optimistic or particularity even happy, most likely you will be met with smiles in return and those will add some pep in your step. Happiness is contagious, try to smile even when you just want to growl. And try to be around happy people, they will rub off on you (and you on them). Basically: smile through a bad day it will help you through it and invest your time in people who make you feel good.

DON’T COMPARE/BE CONTENT – You are not your neighbor or that beautiful IG feed – it’s just a highlight reel of another’s life, so don’t compare it to your behind the scenes junk. Find reasons why you love your small home, rather than why you dislike it. Instead of looking at your closet and being upset because you have nothing to wear, accept the challenge and try to find something new in there. Being content in your life is a huge first step towards positivity – it’s probably also the hardest one, but not impossible. Basically: Choose to be content, after a while it will catch on and become second nature.

BE KIND TO YOURSELF – often our personal internal dialogue is the worst we ever hear, no one else would ever speak to us the way we speak to ourselves. We are harder on ourselves than anyone else will ever be, it’s so important to be kind and compassionate to others but returning the favor to yourself is equally (if not even more) important. Shifting your internal dialogue to be more positive and kind when something goes wrong rather than beating yourself up for it, remember you are only human. Maybe you had an off day, maybe the task was just really hard. Same goes for when you do something well, give yourself an internal pat on the back, don’t go over analyzing and picking at your faults. Basically: Treat yourself the same way you would treat your kids, with kindness, patience and love.

THINK POSITIVELY – try and find a positive to (most) every negative, it’s there even if sometimes you really have to stretch. Try and train your brain to see the sunny side. *I know some really crappy things happen in life and seeing the sunny side isn’t always possible/easy. I’m talking about the everyday, which will hopefully help if those extremely rough 1-100 things happen in life (but hopefully they don’t ever). Basically: Be positive, smack those negative thoughts and kick them to the curb.

AT LEAST – Together these two words, when used when speaking to others and their struggles can be two of the most un-compassionate words in the English language. But when used for your own thoughts and self talk, they can be magic: “at least I have some clothes to wear” “at least it’s summer and not winter” “at least my eyes still work” (IDK, but you get the idea).

Super small changes, that over time can make a gigantic impact. We are taught about the importance of being kind to others, but often the being kind to yourself part is overlooked or forgotten about. Positivity and optimism all steam from how we treat ourselves – basically (have I said basically enough yet?) learn to be more optimist and positive and all that other happy stuff will follow.

*sorry it’s been so quiet on the blog, summer has been a crazy busy and awesome one! (I really shouldn’t apologize for that) Hope you all are having a fantastic one also! ALSO…optomist / optimist, spelling was a post long struggle.

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August 8, 2014 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,Dear Diary,HEALTH AND WELLNESS



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