making-thoughtful-introductions [image via madewell]

I’ve always felt strange about the most common question people ask when you first meet them. The totally harmless and innocent question, “What Do You Do?“. I even wrote a full post about it, mostly how I think we can do better at starting conversations and answering this question, to get to know people on less of a superficial autopilot way. There is nothing wrong with the question, not at all. It just also seems to bring instant flash judgements about someone based on their resume. Most people I know, are not defined by their day job. They are so much more!

So thinking about the idea of starting conversations in a more meaningful way and answering the “what do you do?” question to direct the conversation to get a deeper answer (or cut the convo right off, it could go either way). I thought about how I personally introduce people, because this same idea of starting conversations better should most definitely also play into how I speak about others and essentially how I introduce them. First I should start by confessing, about how truly bad I am at making even the most basic of introductions. It is something I fall short of almost every time it comes up, often I’m forgetful and other times it’s because I have forgotten a name (now you know why, every one). So for me, it’s about remembering to make introductions (and people’s names! this is a life long struggle) and I might as well focus on making those introductions, thoughtful.

Avoid introducing people especially people you adore with their job title or resume accomplishments. Introduce people with the reason why you adore them, or something about them that will relate well to the person you are introducing them too – hand off the best first impression: “this is (insert name) she is that person who is always there for me no matter what” or “he inspires me everyday, I do my best brainstorming when we talk”. Avoid: “she is an office manager” or “she is, so and so’s mom”. Because as we know from the “what do YOU do?” question, this is a part of every ones story but it doesn’t solely define them. If we all make a flash judgements on the first thing we learn about someone, why not introduce the people we love with the greatest impression they have left on us.

What do you think? Are you good with introductions, or is it just me?


October 22, 2014 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,REAL LIFE


theweekends1 We’ve seen Niagara Falls too many times to count. But every time it’s a little different, and always amazing (mother nature is amazing). This time it was three people on the right‘s first time seeing the falls, it’s always nice taking people to see something for the first time – especially the little people. theweekends2 theweekend3 theweekend4 theweekend7 theweekend5 theweekend6 theweekend8 I always think “I’m not gonna take any pictures” since I’ve seen this place so many times, but somehow my camera always finds its way in front of my face. I also, can’t help but think “Niagara Viagra” every time I say or hear the word, you’re welcome for that. It was a super quick trip, we zipped through on our way to spend time with family – quick enough for my dear old cousin and the two pint sized humans could catch a glimpse of the rushing water. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!


October 21, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE


eating-out-with-kids We tend to avoid restaurants and eating out as often as we can, solely for the reason that it’s a delicious money suck. But eating out, not having to cook, trying something new and just getting the heck outta the house is wonderful. It’s also really great for the kids, it’s fun, they also (sometimes/hopefully, okay maybe not) get to try new things and it gives them a good chance to show off all their awesome manners, right? (I’m rolling my eyes too, don’t worry).

Though we don’t do it often, we still like to go out once in a while. Our latest thing is going out for “snacks”, we hit a restaurant (and usually we try to go to different ones, not always the same kid friendly places – because snooze town) between meal times. Usually we shoot for the between lunch and dinner  time – “linner” as we like to call it or pre-seniors hours. The kids are much happier at this time, no one is “starving”, no one is grumpy yet (usually) and we order meals to share or appetizers so the bill is cut in half (ish). Then we make a light dinner at home later and everyone is happy like a bunch of clams. So the short end of it, Make Eating Out With Kids More Enjoyable by going to restaurants between meals – take the family on a day date, and then tell me later how much more enjoyable and affordable it was!




uniform | monday-to-friday fall style 1. cropped grey sweatshirt (on sale till Sunday) 2.boyfriend flannel 3.high-low choker necklace 4.quilted pencil skirt (25% off today with code:FAMILYNOW) 5.shortie gloves 6.two-tone socks 7.chunky black booties (25% off today with code:FAMILYNOW) 8.small leather backpack watch

Monday to Friday, an outfit to get you through just about anything the week could throw at you. Staple fall layers and accessories, items that can be worn everyday, all-season-long. It seems to take some really good fall sales to get me in the mood for fall (saving money always puts me in a good mood), plus of course all the beautiful colors popping up outside. There are a bunch of really great sales going on right now (two really good ones in the links above) and a rainbow of fall colors happening outdoors, which means I’m officially (and finally) happy fall is here – but please, no pumpkin spiced lattes for me.


October 16, 2014 · Daily,STYLE AND ATTIRE,Uniform


get the kids to help around the house I think it’s only fair if I start out this post by telling you, my tricks/tips to get the kids to help cleaning aren’t really tips, per say. See the thing is, my kids really love to help “clean” they ask all the time if they can “clean”, it’s the tidying up after themselves that feels like pulling teeth. It makes a ton of sense (sarcasm font), but mostly none at all. So because it’s really great (for everyone) and important for the kids to take part, learn responsibility and lend a hand in both the cleaning and tidying here are a few things we do to make getting the little people to help tidy and clean go a little more smoothly.

THEIR VERY OWN SPRAY BOTTLE AND PAPER TOWEL ROLL. There seems to be something magical about using a spray bottle and then wiping away the spray with a paper towel, that they got to tear off themselves I might add. Something about having their very own roll and very own bottle, that adds to the fun. We recently started using Viva® Vantage paper towels and the fact that they stretch and flex makes cleaning a little easier and less wasteful (since they last longer, absorb more and don’t fall apart quickly) helps the kids go through way less than the normal (and boring) non stretch paper towels.

We have a spray bottle that we bought at the dollar store (aka kid heaven) and I either use Mrs. Meyers or Method cleaner in the bottle or a mixture of white vinegar and water – safe cleaners for the kids to use and safe for all surfaces in our home (because you know they are spraying every single surface). I also, usually give them a paper towel roll that is close to the end and tell them that’s all they get – then they make them stretch (no pun intended, since this is a post sponsored by those cool stretch and flex paper towels) longer and we just have less waste all around. They usually take turns spraying and wiping, usually this means they will go over the same spot at least twice. Having the freedom to do what they want, with something that they feel is just theirs – makes this fun, plus the satisfaction of spraying and wiping there is just something about it.

getting the kids to help arund the house WHO WANTS TO VACUUM?! The Vacuum is their second most favorite thing to do (after spraying and wiping, is that what you would call it?) and it’s always a fight for who get’s to suck up dirt first. I usually say “who ever puts all their toys away first, gets the vacuum first” basically we make it a game – it’s win win win (they get two wins and I get one). Or you can lead with the old, “hurry up pick up your toys before the vacuum sucks it up!” everyone will move a little faster, but it’s def not as fun.

DON’T RE-CLEAN. Sometimes it’s hard, because sometimes something needs another wipe or another sweep after they are done. But it’s best for their little confidence levels, if you just tell them how helpful they were and what a great job they did. And go back and fix something later, like when they are sleeping or at school.

kids helping around the house SIMPLE TASKS. Don’t  start with an elaborate last like: “Clean the living room” or “clean your room”. Break it down, “dust this shelf” (oh dusting, my kids would also much rather use a spray bottle and a paper towel or two then an actual dusting cloth), “make the windows all shiny” or “put all the cars in this box”. As I type this, I laughed because the handing out of small tasks is always my goal – but in the heat of “come on let’s tidy” moments, I often fall short. So it’s a good reminder for me too!

SOME SAY REWARD, I SAY CLEANING IS THE REWARD. I know, stop being so cheesy! But really I’m not saying, “having a clean house is the true reward” this isn’t ‘Little House on the Prairie’. What I mean is, my kids actually like to clean, they beg to be the one to hold that roll of paper towels or spray bottle, so I go with it and don’t add something on top of it to screw with that magical logic. When the day comes that they realize cleaning isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, I will probably offer them a reward for hard work, but not before that. I need to keep some tricks in my sleeve for down the road.

kids helping with chores

Do you have any tips for getting the little ones to help out? Are there any specific tasks that your kids like to help the most with? If you would like to try these new stretch paper towels by Viva®, check here for a coupon – because what’s almost as awesome as having the kids help with cleaning, saving money!


Viva Vantage This is a sponsored post brought to you by Viva® Vantage*, as always all thoughts and opinions are my own. This was a post I had in the works, but thankfully Viva® Vantage* for making it that much more fun. For more information please visit Viva’s unique STRETCH allows it to flex and conform to take on ANY MESS, beyond just the spill.  And as always, thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible.


October 15, 2014 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,REAL LIFE,sponsored


Most of our weekend, was spent outdoors or eating good food with good friends. As far as long weekends go, it was a really great one and as far as Canadian Thanksgiving go it was de-licious. I didn’t pull out the big camera the entire weekend, which is just a really nice change once in a while. So here are a few photos from our weekend iPhone style, surprisingly no photos of food or friends, though we were with both a lot – the food and the people were just too good to even pull the phone out.

simon says, close your eyes Eye-Spy and Simon Says, two games that never ever get old always quick cures for boredom on the go. King is wearing the cowl hoodie from our mini mioche x Heart & Habit capsule collection. Harlow is wearing a Mummymoon dress.

long boarding thanksgiving-weekend3 thanksgiving-weekend4 5 During Freindsgiving dinner #1 at our good friends, we all took turns on their long board, and of course now we want one. I was the crazy lady running down the street after everyone snapping photos, some moments are just too cute not to capture even if you end up looking like a fool doing it.

scooter ride kisses It ended up being a weekend full of wheels, mostly skateboards and scooters. Sometimes when we run errands, we each take a set of wheels – super nerdy parents, I know.

abc123 clothes King wearing a thumb hole hoodie and tee from abc123me – a pretty cool (and really well made) new kids surf/skate line.

thanksgiving-weekend9 One of the many benefits of being a little sister, everything we teach him she automatically ends up learning too.

playing naptime Chris plays “naptime” and the kids just join right in, dream game – literally.

Thanksgiving, usually the weekend is pretty busy and I don’t often get a chance to think about all the things I’m thankful for till the very end, when I’m tucking myself in at night. It’s really not much different then any other night, when I lay in bed and go over the day in my head. Long weekends offer up something special though, Thanksgiving’s or not. Having the opportunity to spend an entire weekend enjoying life with the people you love, and then having that extra day tacked on (usually a day fulled with PJ’s, movies and relaxing – since I’m talking about us) just does something wonderful for bumping up my scale of thankfulness. Basically, every weekend should Thanksgiving or at least three days long.

I ended up taking a long (longer then expected) weekend away from the blog. Every once in a while I find I struggle a bit with finding my place among all the extremely talented content creators on the internet. This is not me looking for pats on the back or compliments – it just feels right to explain when I feel this way, especially since it will be on the tip of my tongue for a while. Every once in a while the feeling of not being able to meet the standards I have established in my head, the feeling like I’m not able to create all the ideas I dream up as adequately as my dreams illustrate, take over my thoughts. I don’t know if that makes sense?

Usually I just need a good kick in the pants, but that doesn’t come till I over think everything and then over think it some more. This weekend of over-thinking has shown me I need to get out of my head a little, I need to start working with more creative people around me to create that dream content and possibly even inviting a couple really well suited contributors.

The whole landscape of blogging has changed so much over the past couple years, and to be honest I’m still (and maybe always will be) trying to find how this blog fits into all that and into the vast sea of awesome content that is floating around. But breaks man, breaks are always good – absence (sometimes) makes the heart grow a little fonder.

But enough of that, Thanksgiving she was grand. Hope you all had a great long weekend, Canadian Thanksgiving or not!


October 14, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE


toto-knits-x-hh_varsitycardy_peplumtank Let’s talk about that little sweater collection that I designed with Toto Knits, we truly love every item (go figure, I know). My kids can usually be caught wearing one of the items almost everyday – not always to school though, because things tend to get lost when they go there (and by tend I mean, always).

If you haven’t heard me talk about this collaboration enough, I wanted to take another chance to show you a few photos I love and just I don’t know give you guys a chance to win some of the collection? It’s timeless, with a hint of trend, it’s season-less with a Canadiana style, and generally the styles are pretty unisex. All 100% Organic cotton knit by talented single mothers in Africa, Toto Knit is both wonderfully eco and humane friendly – they are doing great things and I am so lucky to have gotten the chance to work with them!

toto-knits4 toto-knits5 There are 12 styles in the collection and we: Toto Knits and Heart and Habit want to give one of you a $75 shop credit to shop for your favorite items. Open Internationally!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


October 8, 2014 · Collaborations,Daily,Gift Guide,Little Style


BSO2 So I know the craze is to “no poo” if, “no poo” (have you tried, sans shampoo?) is your thing, awesome! It really isn’t for me at all, like at all. I like my hair, but I definitely don’t like it as much as I probably should. I treat it decently, but not as well as I should – sorta like a little sister you know you have to be nice to (when you’re a a kid). When it comes to hair products, I shop for sulfate and paraben free products exclusively – usually I just buy whatever brand is free of both these things and is on sale or has a good price tag and I’m good. After years of suffering thorough rather crappy brands, try brushing your hair after using conditioner that barely works at all. I think by now (if you’ve been reading a while), you know I’m a budget lover/a penny pincher/a modern cheap skate, so it will be no surprise to hear that I don’t like to spend a ton of money on high-end products.

I know, I know when it comes to shampoos and conditioners, often the higher end products are better – I know this because most of the time my hair fells awesome and I can brush with ease after going to the salon. BUT the products they use are expensive and well, I’m a modern cheap skate (sounds more romantic) – I was contacted by The Beauty Supply Outlet at first I was skeptical, because A) I don’t buy high-end products and B) I only buy products without sulfate and parabens. But you know what, I went and checked out the store anyways.

BSO3 Instead of looking around at everything, like I usually do trying to find what I needed (on my own) – I asked for help, what a novel idea! Instantly I was informed of the brands they carry that are free of both sulfates and parabens (or free of just sulfates), there were quite a few (way more than I expected). The stylist at the store was actually so helpful I didn’t really have a lot to think about. Was sorta like telling someone my hair woes, hippie requirements and being kindly directed to the solutions in an instant, no running around over thinking things – basically the stylist/clerk was a hair product guru. But you know naturally I still contemplated it for too long, but like 90% less than I would have without the awesome help I got (only a couple “are you done yet”‘s from Chris and the kids) I went against my usual judgment and bought the more expensive bottles.

BSO4 I might be forever changed in my shampoo shopping, all shampoos are not created equal and this Moroccan Oil brand is pretty awesome – like my hair melted away from the tangles once the conditioner was in my hair. My hair feels awesome, so awesome that no one else is allowed to use this awesome shampoo because I don’t want to run out too quickly – enough awesomes yet? Even though I sorta want to buy these two bottles all the time now, my cheap skate ways haven’t really changed – I’m planning to hunt for deals and subscribe to the BSO newsletter so I know when/if these bottles go on sale.

BSO5 Tell me, what is your favorite shampoo/conditioner brand? Do you have certain things you look for (or need them not to have) in shampoo/conditioner?

The Beauty Supply Outlet This post is sponsored by The Beauty Supply Outlet. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my very own. And as always, thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible (and that make me like my hair much more than a younger sibling).


October 7, 2014 · Daily,HAIR AND FACES,REAL LIFE,sponsored