REAL LIFE

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 www.vivatowels.ca 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.

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



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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!

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October 14, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE



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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).

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



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ROASTED-SALT-+-VINEGAR-CHICKPEAS22 I’m not turning to food blogging. I’m just into sharing things I’m totally obsessed with and sometimes (pretty rarely) it happens to be food (even though I am constantly obsessed with food). So let’s start by explaining just how ridiculously addicted to salt + vinegar chips I am, like can’t-stop-eating even after my tongue is hurting, addicted. I recently did another detox, a once a year occurrence in my life now. And since being with out all the unhealthy things for 12 day I really didn’t want to go back to eating them. So in an effort to find a replacement for my severe love for salt + vinegar chips, chickpeas met vinegar and then they got all roasted. They of course aren’t a perfect replacement, there is just nothing like the real deal – but they suffice and totally cut the hunger and craving game too (high protein snack will do that).

ROASTED-SALT-+-VINEGAR-CHICKPEAS4 ROASTED SALT + VINEGAR CHICKPEAS

  • 2 cups pre-soaked Chickpeas (or 1 large can)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (appx. 3/4 cup)
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper

Soak, rinse and drain your chickpeas. Lay chickpeas out in a wide bowl or deep pan, try to make it so they aren’t piled on top of each other – too much. Pour your vinegar overtop, depending on the type of bowl or pan you used to spread out the chickpeas, the amount will vary. You want every chickpea to be at least half way covered in the vinegar. Let them soak for 1.5 hours, or more depending on how vinegary you want your chickpeas to be. Drain the vinegar, toss chickpeas in olive oil, sprinkle salt and some pepper over top and then roast for 40 minutes.

Eat them as a snack or throw them on a salad. Also maybe try white vinegar or balsamic, totally different “fake” salt + vinegar chip, flavor.

PS. the kids like these too!

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October 2, 2014 · Daily,FOOD AND COOKING,HEALTH AND WELLNESS,REAL LIFE



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comfy-over-all2 comfy-over-all1 comfy-over-all5 comfy-over-all4 Overalls: mini mioche x heart & habit – Tank: Target – Purse: H&M (last year) – Moccasins: mini mioche

The kids are obsessed with making up new words for the chorus of ‘Fancy’. On the walk home on Saturday, King gave Harlow two theme songs “she’s so comfy” and “she’s so tired”. She dug the comfy version, because she was in her comfy pants (the tired version not so much, even though it was truer than true) – and then they sang “I’m so comfy, you don’t even know” all the way home (better than the original if you ask me).

Harlow is wearing the comfy overalls from our mini collection with mini mioche. She is wearing a size up, because I was worried she would surprise me with a growth spurt in the next couple weeks and grow right outta them if we got her exact size. So they fit a tad big, but nothing a little drawstring tightening and a couple rolls in the hem couldn’t fix.

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September 30, 2014 · Collaborations,Daily,Little Style,REAL LIFE



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sol-republic-deck WIRELESS SPEAKER – At first I wasn’t sure about it this DECK from Sol Republic, thought it might be a frivolous electronic we wouldn’t use. I was way wrong. I use it almost everyday, when we are outside playing and when I am at home working or just hanging out. It’s great because I can leave my phone charging and carry the speaker from different rooms depending on what I’m working on or doing.

way-better-chips WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE CHIPS? – You know, the ones that didn’t even make it into the cupboard. These are like a really healthy version of Doritos Cool Ranch chip, but also way better. We love all the chips from the Way Better brand, they are just as the name says; way better. Few ingredients and almost all of them are healthy, plus they just taste really great.

perplexus PERPLEXUS – King’s all time favorite toy. He bought the Junior version with his Christmas money and mastered it with his everyday playing. Over the weekend he bought the level up, with his birthday money. It was the only thing he wanted to buy and he’s been showing me up with his puzzle skills ever since.

brave-bucket-bag BUCKET BAG OF MY DREAMS – I am obsessed with this bag and I also happen to be giving it away (ends tomorrow!). I’m a backpack sorta girl, and this bag converts between a shoulder bag and a backpack – basically it had me at hello.

sunflower-kitchen-hummus HUMMUS FOR LAZY PEOPLE – Yes I know hummus is stupid easy to make, but sometimes the amount of time it takes to make it doesn’t meet up with how fast we consume it. When I’m lazy, my go to hummus is this spicy hummus from Sunflower Kitchen. Its clean with a hit of spice, no flavoring (some spicy hummus brands put chipotle and other, meh items in) – the only shame is that I can’t get it in huge portions. Also this is a local Ontario brand, so it might be difficult to track down – but totally worth it if you can.

s'well-bottle COLD WATER – I cheated on my Kleen Kanteen. Chris bought be this S’well bottle and I haven’t looked back since. It promises to keep your beverage cold or hot for 24 hours and I’m happy to report, the claims are true. Freezing cold water all day long.  And my very favorite reason, my water stays cold the whole hot yoga class – basically new favorite bottle.

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September 29, 2014 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,FAVORITE THINGS,REAL LIFE



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mini-mioche-window1 It’s ridiculously surreal and down right amazing to see my logo plastered on mini mioche‘s window. I know I am so very proud and excited about the little line mini mioche and I collaborated on and it really is like the cherry on top to see it all come together like this. I have designed and developed many apparel lines and items of clothing in the past, but never have I had the chance to take credit for my work like this and to top it off I get to do it along side (holding hands with? we are totally holding hands) such a wonderful company that I truly adore so much. I am humbled beyond belief and excited beyond words, so don’t expect a lot of typing today, because I truly am beyond words. mini-mioche-display2 mini-mioche-store4 I played the blogger part (I really dislike taking photos in stores, it always feels so awkward) and snapped a bunch of photos of the mini mioche Queen Street location. If you haven’t been to either of the brick and mortar stores (Distillery District and Queen West) and you live in Toronto, you really must check one or heck why not both. And not just so you can see the mini mioche x Heart & Habit line, but because it really is beautiful and filled with beautiful things – and there is a play area for the kids, which instantly makes it a favorite place for the kids to visit.

mini-mioche-setup3 mini-mioche-window-setup5 mini-mioche-x-heart-and-habit-window6 Isn’t it great? I absolutely love it, I get goosebumps (not goose-pimples, those are sorta weird) looking over the photos again. The lovely Renee from Re: Creative put together the simply perfect window display to go along with the perfectly simple mini collection.

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September 25, 2014 · Collaborations,Daily,REAL LIFE



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lady-date1 lady-date2 I got to spend a little one on one time with my little lady over the weekend. Little dates with each kiddo, are something we always seem to plan for but hanging out as a family, always wins. It always takes an accidental, one-on-one date to remind us just how awesome they are and important they can be.

On our little lady date, we didn’t do anything that would technically be called special in someone else’s books – some window shopping, walking and talking, and boring ol’ winter coat buying felt pretty darn special since it was just me and her. We spotted a bride and a groom getting their photos taken and as you can see from above Harlow just loved it – she really really loves LOVE (and pretty dresses).

*Harlow is wearing the ball dress from mini mioche x Heart & Habit

And then, since it’s both kids obsession, Harlow took a few photos herself. All 100 of them were of two things, so I’ll spare you the other 98 and just share these. ladydate4 ladydate5 The rest of our weekend was pretty awesome, so awesome in fact that I failed to take photos – always a sign of a really fantastic time, in my opinion. Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Oh and since Harlow snapped a photo of it, that really awesome bucket bag I’m wearing? I have a giveaway coming for that tomorrow!

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September 22, 2014 · Collaborations,Daily,Little Style,REAL LIFE



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