swell made co. I’ve been meaning to tell you guys about my good friend Lesley’s new line of fine paper goods. I’ve been meaning to do a lot of things lately (monster sized, to do list), so maybe this is the start of me actually getting to those things? Here’s me hoping!

These fantastic prints and cards are just a snippet of the fantastic modern line over at Swell Made Co. My friend Lesley (let’s see how many times I can say, my friend before it gets annoying) is a talented designer with tons of experience (seriously so many years, she’s old bones – sarcasm font ) who finally decided to take the leap and branch out on her very own. If you like clean, modern and awesome things you’ll love what Swell Made Co has to offer. From sweet and simple greeting cards for every occasion, art prints that look super chic and will also make you smile, and a fun line of glam prints inspired by Toronto’s subway stations. I’m sure you’ll love her stuff as much as I do, head over and have a lookI double dog dare you!

Back to some of those things I’ve been meaning to do, this week is going to be a tad more quiet than usual. I know, I know the blog has been a bit more quiet then normal the past couple months, I’ve really been focusing on quality over quantity (I think, I’ve been meaning to tell you that?). Since it’s the holidays, I plan to take some holidays too (so it’s going to be semi silent for a bit) and I hope you do too! I have a few fun (I always think they are fun) year-end wrap up posts, and then I plan to put my focus my energy towards the new year. I have a few really fun things planned for the blog in January, things I’m pretty excited about. And because I need to get to more life things I’ve been meaning to do, I’m signing off for the day to hopefully have one last running around day, before my holiday relaxing can begin.

Don’t forget (I know you’ve already visited, because you’re awesome like that) to have a look and fall in love with Swell Made Co, and as always sharing is caring so maybe a pin, tweet or facebook share while you’re there?

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December 22, 2014 · Daily,FAVORITE THINGS,SALES AND SHOPPING



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bobs-the-word_1 If we are talking the best of 2014, the bob and the lob have got to be the top of the hair list. And when I say bob and lob in the same sentence all I can think is “bob loblaw” (arrested development friends unite), so from here on out it’s a Bob Loblaw. Okay, back on track. I’m no hair expert (says the girl who hasn’t had a chop in almost 2 whole years, lazy much?) but I often get obsessed with hair styles spend way too much time finding my favorites and then get lazy and throw my hair in a top knot and never actually get the chop. It’s a thing I do, I have a hard time giving up my yoga hair (or top knot, cause that name makes more sense). But if I were to follow through this time, and actually chop my hair (it needs it) – I’d totally go for a Bob Loblaw. See it fits, and now it’s also stuck in your head. You’re welcome! So how about we talk about my favorite bob and lob cuts, because looking at other people’s pretty hair is sorta what the internet was created for, right? [top image: easy lob]

bobs-the-word_2 wavy bob [via the coveteur] – messy bob [via grazia] – body bob [image via robotsonmeth]

bobs-the-word_3 lob [image via pinterest] –  asymmetrical bob [image via maritsa] – sleek bob [image via behance]

You like my “creative” names, I know. So now that we all know at least 8 bob’s, 7 here and probably at least one real life human bob. Which is your favorite? Are you a fan?

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December 18, 2014 · Daily,HAIR AND FACES



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How to Stay Focused While Working at Home Working from home is totally different for me now that the kids are in school, when they were home I worked at night and during nap time which wasn’t very efficient and went against my golden hours (more about that below). But you know what, with focus and organization it totally worked. I actually really enjoy working at home and actually find I’m about 90% (really technical with that evaluation) more productive and focused (depending on the task) then I am in an office or a coffee shop – I know this is not the same for everyone and I’m probably a little strange (I’m okay with that). Kids or no kids (strange love for working at home or not), there are a few things I do to keep myself focused and on track while working at home.

GET RID OF DISTRACTION. Play music to drown out all of those distracting noises (and, not talking about children here). I’m talking outside traffic, construction, neighbors, maybe relaxing chirping birds? Drowning out those outside noises with music can do wonders for wandering mind. If the kids are home, some quiet music can be helpful to focus – but quiet enough that you can still hear them. Stay away from social media – physically move your phone. I like to use my phone for playing music so it’s occupied and then I’m not grabbing it to check social media. But moving it to another area totally, is even better – out of sight out of mind. As important as social media can be for work, it’s crazy distracting – save checking and updating it for lunch time (heck even, schedule times in your day to check and update your accounts) or at least after your golden hours (more on those soon).

MUSIC WITHOUT LYRICS. Listening to music helps drown out distraction, and it can help get you in the zone. Shoot for music that is mostly instrumental, try to avoid music that will have you singing along. As awesome as it is to work to music you love and want to sing too, it’s also a tad distracting. I like using Songza for my work hours, because there is a playlist for everything/every mood.

FIND YOUR GOLDEN HOURS. Think of it as your golden years but in terms of hours in the day. Your golden hours are the time when you are the most focused and productive. Maybe you’re a morning person, like myself. Or maybe the evenings are when you can get in the groove. Either way, find those hours where you are at your peak and focus on work only during that time. Leave all other tasks for the rest of the hours in the day.

SET A DAY FOR BORING TASKS. Who likes cleaning up and emptying their inbox? Not me. What about all those admin tasks you always push to the side, that end up piling up and totally overwhelming you later on? Choose a day, once a week that is dedicated just to those less exciting (boooooring) tasks. Call it admin Monday or Friday, this is also good because it gives your brain a bit of a break and you will probably feel extra pumped for the next day (which will consist of no boring tasks).

STAY PUMPED. Eat, don’t forget to eat – I say that because I do all the time, I get in the zone and totally lose myself. Start your day like you would at an office, take breaks and enjoy the fact that you work at home – because it’s awesome. Make time for the gym, a workout or yoga, even schedule it in and make it a priority. Do what you (it’ll probably be different for you) need to do stay pumped and happy in your day (setting a day for boring tasks is mighty helpful).

PLAN YOUR WEEK. On Sunday nights, make a rough list of the things you know you’ll need to do and get done for the up coming week. Then using your preferred phone calendar (I like the Sunrise calendar app), block time off (set appointments) for specific tasks, errands, meetings, etc. It’s easier to plan your week when you have it both visually laid out and even have set alarms, no over planning and over booking.

DAILY TO DO’S. Break down that rough list of to do’s you made on Sunday night and create one for the day. I like to make a list for the next day at the end of the current working day (sounds sorta like a puzzle). I create a LIFE TO DO list, things I need to do around the house and things I need to get done for the family. And a WORK TO DO list for the day. This is just for the day though, so be realistic and don’t over do it on the long (large task) list making.

CLEAN UP. Working at home means there are tons of distractions around, having a messy or untidy home is the top of my distractions list. I personally have a tough time focusing when things are in disarray. I like to try to tidy a bit before I leave to take the kids to school, then when I get back home, I run around and do a quick 15 min tidy – no longer or it will creep into my golden hours. Then I can sit and work, without the messy distraction (hopefully).

STAY ORGANIZED. Key for working at home, organization. Keeping both your work area organized and your thoughts (if that even makes sense). Organization really is the key to staying focused and on track. I think a few of the points above really play into keeping your thoughts organized: Keep and update your (realistic) to do list (weekly and daily lists), set a day for those boring tasks. And if you clean up even a quick 15 min tidy to start your day, your work area should stay organized. Keep a note pad with you (when you go out or stay in), with your to do lists so you can add, mark off and write new things down as they come.

SLEEP WELL. No matter where you work, it’s next to impossible to stay focused and keep productivity up when you are tired. So instead of focusing on keeping your eyes open, give yourself a bedtime and try to stick to it. And if you are like me and have trouble sleeping, read my Diary of a Non-Sleeper maybe there is something in there to help you get enough zzz’s.

Since the holidays are knocking at our door, this HOW TO KEEP SUMMER AWESOME (AND PRODUCTIVE) post is pretty handy to keep work going while you are having fun when the kids are home – just minus the summer and add in winter, but tips still work.

 

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December 17, 2014 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily



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christmas-tree1 We got our tree, had it up for about a week sans decorations. The kids basically spent everyday throwing random toys up on the tree “decorating” it themselves.

lunchtime1 She really likes to have a buddy with her when she does things, usually there is a “no toys allowed at the table” rule – but I let it slide this time because she was so clever about it.

subwayride1 Hoods aren’t just for keeping little heads warm, they are also a perfect secret pocket for tag alongs.

citystreets1 We spent the day sight-seeing showing my brother around the city, little Barbie tag along included.

xmasmarket1 Our second and last trip to the Christmas market this year, we just had to show Uncle Jesse the beauty (and extreme busyness) of it.

sleepy1 And probably the best thing to happen all day, just look at those red cheeks!

Harlow loves to bring a toy with her, usually her bunny but sometimes (lately) it’s a Barbie. She’s lost many tiny shoes along the way, but it’s always cute – on Saturday I snapped a bunch of photos of her (with my iphone, hence some of the pixels) some of which I already shared on IG.

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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December 16, 2014 · Daily,Scenes from Yesterday,sponsored



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HOST OR HOSTESS | 2014 gift guide 1. Scented Candles – 2. But first, Coffee Wall Print – 3. Amazeballs Drink Chillers – 4. Faceted Terrarium – 5. Atari – 6. Hexagonal Coasters – 7. Tabletop Calendar – 8. Bar Tool

A quick little guide, and the last one on my list. This is probably a good round-up for a secret santa gift too. A little token a gift to show your appreciation for the one throwing a part and hopefully useful, unique and general enough that they don’t already have it. And the Atari? I know what you’re thinking, probably the best gift on all of my lists. Happy Friday, and happy shopping – if you are shopping, that is.

Check out our other gift guides: FOR HIM, FOR HER, LITTLE HIM, LITTLE HER, THE YOGI, STOCKING STUFFERS, THE HARD TO SHOP FOR,

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December 12, 2014 · Daily,Gift Guide,SALES AND SHOPPING



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uncommon-goods

FOR THE COMFORT FOOD LOVER: soup and sandwich tray | FOR THE HIP GIN LOVER: homemade gin kit | FOR ANYONE YOU LIKES SMILING: cardboard animal head

FOR KIDS, BIG AND LITTLE: magnetic blocks | FOR THAT COOL GUY: driftwood charger | FOR THAT OTHER COOL GUY: moscow mule mug

FOR THE WHITE WIN LOVER: cork wine chiller | FOR THE LITTLE WHO LIKES TO PLAY WITH THEIR FOOD: face plate | FOR THE HERB LOVER: grow bottle

FOR THE TRAVELLER: scratch map | FOR THE SOFT QUIET TYPE: love tuner | FOR THE KID OR KID AT HEART: nesting dolls

I teamed up with Uncommon Goods for our second to last gift guide. Since they have the perfect gifts for all those secret Santa’s, people you just maybe don’t know that well but still really like, or people who you have no idea what the heck to get them. Uncommon Goods, (if you haven’t heard of them before) carries some of the most unusual items and handcrafted gifts out there, it’s the type of stuff you see and think “oh, well that’s pretty clever”. One third of those really cool items are made from recycled or up-cycled materials making sure never to harm people or animals, because they like to work in harmony with the environment.

I picked out my favorite items from their site that would be great for a secret Santa, maybe a bro or sister-in-law, a newish friend, a niece or a nephew that lives far away. Gifts for the hard to shop for, because you haven’t seen them in a while and you aren’t sure what they own now, because you sorta don’t know what they want but know what they like, those sorta gifts. I wanted to call this gift guide: uncommon gifts for uncommon people, because it’s basically like saying it’s a secret Santa gift guide but maybe slightly more offensive (even though I’d be joking) – so I side-barred it. If you have someone that’s hard to shop for, or an uncommon person to shop for, Uncommon Goods is a great place to start and end your search.

uncommon This post is sponsored by Uncommon Goods, but all options and gift selections are 100% authentically my own. 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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December 10, 2014 · Daily,Gift Guide,SALES AND SHOPPING,sponsored



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winter-uniform1 winter-uniform2 winter-uniform4 winter-uniform3 Hat: Target – Parka: Aritzia – Sweater: The Gap (similar) – Tee: Aritzia – Jeans: Fidelity – Boots: Zara (they aren’t on the site anymore)

Basically, my winter uniform – except I’m usually wearing my winter boots, because warmth trumps all. But my recent new boot obsession, are these zipper booties (which don’t seem to be on the site anymore, IDK guys) and only half because they make me sound like a cowboy with spurs on my boots when I walk. And yes, that is a backpack – I just can’t leave home without one.

I have to more gift guides and then gift guide season on H and H will be fin. This post is gonna be short and sweet, because I’m running out the door to see a cute winter concert and well, my brain just can’t think of anything else to type (it happens).

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December 9, 2014 · Daily,Uniform



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christmas-market1 christmas-market2 christmas-market3 christmas-market4 christmas-market5 christmas-market6 christmas-market7 christmas-market8 Well, sure you can (obviously) but it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without a trip to the Distillery Christmas Market – at least for us (probably not for you, but let’s pretend). It’s sorta like baking Christmas cookies or decorating the tree, it’s part of the season, a tradition. We made our annual trip to the market yesterday, of course it was the coldest day of the weekend. We really know how to pick em, yes we do.

I have another post going up tomorrow, with a few more photos from our day at the market. Because Chris just took that many photos and mostly of my mug (I think he loves me, or something) so you’ll see some more of our faces tomorrow. And while we are sorta on the topic, I know its been a bit more quiet around here then usual we’ve been sharing a cold (sharing is caring) – it’s made it’s rounds twice now and has sucked like 2 weeks out of our lives. Sucked our regular days and replaced them with cuddles and sleep, so it hasn’t been all that bad – but it has left me in the dust a bit, so I’m focused on getting work and life back on track this week. Which means I probably have a few, running around like a crazy lady days ahead of me – but what’s new right (ba-dum-cha!). Happy Monday, hope you had a Christmas-market-y weekend!!

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December 8, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE



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