Holiday Gift Guide for Him

It’s hard to believe Christmas is only two weeks away! Is anyone else in panic mode? I still haven’t finished Christmas shopping and haven’t started wrapping yet. The kids and I have been sick and that has set me back even further. All I can say is thank goodness for online shopping; it’s been my saving grace.

If you missed my gift guide for her, you can find it here. For this gift guide, I had some help, but I think we have pulled together some great ideas for that special guy in your life.

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If your guy likes to listen to music in the shower; then this gift is perfect.

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This bluetooth speaker has a 33 foot range, and supports handsfree calls. It has up to eight hours of battery life when fully charged and is compatible with all iOS Android devices. It’s inexpensive, costing less than $26.

This next gadget is actually something I would like for myself. Actually, I’m not sure why I don’t have one of these in my car already.

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This Power Inverter with dual USB ports is perfect for charing on the go. It’s lightweight and is perfect for vacations, camping trips and work trips. This device is under $38. This would have come in handy during the huge rainstorm we had while camping this summer. All the kids ended up in the vehicles for a movie, while the storm passed.

If your guy works outside or is into winter sports; you’ll want to have a pair of these wrapped under the tree.

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These long thermal underwear are perfect as a base layer and they trap body heat between the two cotton layers. They’re perfect for low to medium activity levels and come in sizes S-3XL. They range in price depending on the size you order.

Does anyone else feel like when a guy is ready for a new wallet, he’s in denial about it? It can be falling apart at the seams but is still “fine”.

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This polyester wallet is so versatile and comes in two other colour options. It has an ID window, currency pouch, slip pockets, and three card slots. This Hank RFID Bifold Wallet is under $49.

This is a gift that I would love to have being a big time coffee drinker. When I get to work, I expect the coffee in my tumbler to be HOT and with this, you won’t be disappointed.

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This 20oz stainless steel Yeti, is a double-wall vacuum insulated tumbler, that keeps your beverage hot or cold, for as long as you need. It’s dishwasher safe, is under $40 and there are several colour options.

I think every guy needs a cozy pair of slippers. These immediately caught my eye and they have cozy written all over them.

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I mean, anything that combines sherpa and memory foam has to be amazing, right? These genuine suede slippers are currently on sale for under $50 and come in two other colours.

If your man likes beer, then he is going to LOVE this gift. How about a membership for a beer of the month club?

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Each month he’ll receive 12 full-sized bottles of hard-to-find, specialty microbrews from award-winning breweries. Each shipment includes up to four different varieties of premium hand-crafted beer. You can choose a 3, 6 or 12 month membership; and they offer a Beer of the Season Club, with new selections each Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Pricing varies depending on the length of membership chosen.

Last but not least, I chose a classic watch with a sleek design.

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This Ted Baker Multifunction Leather Strap Watch is monochromatic with multi-functioning dials. The leather straps make it both dressy and casual. This watch retails for under $230.

I hope this gave you a few ideas for what to buy him for Christmas. I feel like men are harder to shop for than women…I mean, we always know what we want, right?

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @pinkandblueblog

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Holiday PJ’s for the Fam

Disclaimer: Christmas is in a few weeks and everything from here on out will most likely be Christmas related. This is great though, right?

This year I got some matching pj’s for the kids and I; and I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favourite pj’s for the whole family with you. Who doesn’t love a new pair of pj’s for the Holidays?

I would have to say my favourite ones this Holiday season are the buffalo plaid sets from Old Navy. I bought a set for each of the kids and myself, and we have worn them multiple times. We decorated the tree in them and have had hot chocolate (with extra marshmallows of course) in them on more than one occasion.

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They also have the same print in men’s bottoms; however, no luck on the tops. I can’t imagine why…

All of these are from Old Navy and they have so many colour options to choose from. I love the thermal sets and of course the classic flannel for men.

H&M also has cute sets for adults and children. I love this flannel set for women because it has this pretty gold thread woven through it that almost makes them feel fancy. Is that a thing? Fancy pj’s? If not, it should be. I mean after all, pj’s are an acceptable form of attire on Christmas.

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Cute, right? This set is under $35 and fits true to size.

These kids sets are also from H&M and I thought the reindeer was so cute! I love the little plaid set for girls; both are under $18.

I also found a cute pair of men’s flannels that look super comfy.

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Carters always has such fun pj’s during the Holidays. When the kids were babies, 95% of their clothes were from Carters and I always have a feeling of nostalgia whenever I walk through the store.

Everly actually has last year’s penguin pj’s and I think this year’s are even cuter. These sets are $20 and are oh so cozy!

Last but not least: a plaid flannel set I found for myself while grocery shopping last weekend. I purchased these for under $35 plus an additional 30% off and they are so soft and warm.

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They’re from Joe Fresh and they had so many other patterns and different colours of plaid.

I have been all about red plaid but loved this blue/green combo. I would size up a size in these.

That’s my round up for pj’s for the holidays and you better believe after I pick the kids up from school today we will be changing into pj’s for the rest of the night.

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Holiday Gift Guide for Her

I am sharing my first gift guide for 2018 with you and it’s all about her so start taking notes!

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Alright, let’s jump right in.

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I actually have a soft and cozy robe on my Christmas list this year. I saw one at Costco for under $30 a few weeks ago and did some hint dropping. I found a cozy UGG one on Amazon and it looks oh so cozy! This one is a little more pricey but I felt one while I was in NYC and it was so darn soft!

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Next up is a must have if you’re shopping for a bath lover. This bamboo bath caddy can hold your iPad/tablet, wine glass, coffee mug, phone, book, you name it! You can find it on Amazon for under $40.

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These UGG slippers have me wishing I could kick off my shoes and slip these right on! They’re water resistant (you never know) and come in 10 colours. No shortage on options with these!

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If she is an essential oil lover, you will have to pick up this diffuser from Saje. This limited edition diffuser is under $90 but is currently on sale. I love the sleek design and the gold marble.

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I have shared this eye shadow palette by Tarte before and I am sharing it again because I love it so much. The Tartlette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette is one I use every day. They have other colour options but this one is by far my favourite and it’s under $50. (You can read more about my review of it here.)

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I have been wanting to try a facial roller and have heard nothing but amazing things about them so I decided to add it to my gift guide. You roll the natural stone over your face in an outward direction. You can even use it over oils and serums. There are several kinds out there, some cheaper than others.

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I of course had to include something coffee related. This Keurig K-Mini is a new sleek design and takes up little to no counter space. I even considered buying one to keep on my desk at work (just kidding…). It’s under $80 and is perfect for a coffee lover on the go!

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Last but not least, who doesn’t love a cozy scarf. I am a big fan of scarves, and I especially love the ones from American Eagle. Plaid is a huge trend this season and this lightweight scarf is both trendy and warm.

I hope this helpS you cross a few items off your list for her or has at least inspired you.

Follow me on Instagram @pinkandblueblog

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Pink Lemon Decor: Christmas Edition

You all know how much I adore my friend Amber and her handmade sign business: Pink Lemon Decor. I have shared her on here and on my Instagram many times; and I am so excited to share the Christmas signs that made it into my home this year. They have added so much “Christmas” to our home, I just had to share them with you!

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Her designs are timeless and she has so many options to choose from.

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I think her “Merry Christmas” sign is my favourite! This one is a must!

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I ended up moving some furniture around before starting to decorate for Christmas; and I’m so happy with how this mini gallery wall over the couch turned out.

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This sign I had such a dilemma with. I couldn’t figure out if I wanted to order it with the red, blue or black truck. I ended up going with it in black and I love how it looks!

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I actually decorated this space around the “Hot cocoa” and “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” signs. I decided to make it a coffee bar/hot chocolate station. The hot cocoa sign is just too cute!

Okay, it’s your turn to shop! Head over to Pink Lemon Decor and use code pinkandblue10 for 10% off your entire purchase. (If you are looking to order signs for Christmas, you must order by November 25).

Happy Shopping!

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Hygge Decor

Do you have a space in your home that you love to read in? A space that has that cozy vibe? Maybe it’s just a chair with a soft throw, or in your bedroom with your favourite scented candle.

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Are you familiar with Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”)? It’s a Danish word that can easily be described as “life’s simple pleasures”. The idea behind this type of decor is creating a peaceful and clutter-free space. Isn’t that every Mom’s dream?! Hygge is meant to be enjoyed all year round but it most often associated with the winter season.

Hygge decor is all about keeping things simple and cozy.  Sticking to a neutral colour palette will help achieve this; light greys and creams to create a relaxing space. Cozy is key! Lots of textured comfy pillows and throws. A place to snuggle up and enjoy a cup of tea or hot cocoa; perhaps alongside your favourite candle.

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Textures are also another important element of Hygge decor. It could be anything from a wooden candlestick, to a fur pillow, to a wool blanket. You could also add a textured stool to your living space.

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to utilize twinkle lights to add  a soft and festive feel. I love turning off all of the lights and just sitting with the glow of the Christmas tree and twinkle lights in the garland.

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A fireplace is a huge part of Hygge decor. It represents warmth and togetherness and is the perfect element of cozy.

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One of the first places I look to shop Hygge decor is Wayfair. I have picked a few wish items for Christmas that would add the perfect element of Hygge to our home. All of the items I have chosen have inspired my decor; but they have so many other products you can shop online!

Shop my top picks below!

jar candlesChristmas Tree Candle
More Jar CandlesFloral Candles

Lavender Jar Candle
More Floral Scented CandlespoufsFort Lupton Pouf //
More Poufsround ottomans and poufs

Cremont Ottoman //
More Ottomansbeige and brown ottomans and poufs

Koby Sphere Pouf
More Beige Ottomans

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Hanneman Pouf
More Poufs

Table Lamps

Keystone Desk Lamp
More Table Lamps

Standard Table Lamps

Little Neck Table Lamp
More Table Lamps

Throw Pillows

Faux Fur Throw Pillow
More Throw Pillows

Square Throw Pillows

Cable Knit Throw Pillow
More Square Throw Pillows

plaid throw pillows

Cody Throw Pillow
More Plaid Throw Pillows

Christmas Throw Pillows

Reindeer Throw Pillow
More Holiday Pillows

Blankets and Throws

Herringbone Throw
More Blankets and Throws

throwsBuffalo Check Throw
More Throws

Don’t you just want to order one of everything?! I hope you are feeling inspired to add some Hygge to your home this winter season.

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Christmas Decor on a Budget

Christmas is my favourite Holiday. As soon as Halloween is over, I start gearing up for all things Christmas: decorating, baking, shopping for family and friends, and everything in between.

Everyone has an opinion on when it’s “appropriate” to start decorating for Christmas. Some say right after Halloween; some say after Remembrance Day, out of respect for our veterans; some say after Thanksgiving (in Canada, ours is early October); some say December 1st. For me, it’s right after Halloween and when I have the opportunity, in between working, the kids extra curricular activities and keeping house.

When I do finally get around to decorating, I find it can be a little overwhelming. Walking the seasonal aisles of stores can be dangerous. I find myself thinking: oooo I love that; ooooo I need that; oohhhhh this is so nice, I should get this. STOP. This is where the purpose of this post begins…

SHOP YOUR HOME.

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Before you purchase new Christmas decor, make sure you shop your home first. More often than not you forget about what you have packed away. Maybe you purchased some new ornaments or faux trees during a Boxing week sale – I know I have. Go through all of your decor and see what you have, and what you don’t need. Try to sell items you no longer want, or purge what you don’t need.

If you do decide to purchase a few new pieces for your home, set a budget for yourself. This will prevent you from going overboard in a store like Home Sense. Who else wants to fill their shopping cart every time they go there? It can be so overwhelming.

Try out a Christmas DIY. Pinterest is a wonderful thing and if you are having trouble coming up with DIY idea’s, that is a great place to start. You may find that you have all the items you need in your home, for the perfect DIY.

Don’t go overboard. Less is more. Clean and simple looks are my favourite. You don’t need to fill a sideboard with Christmas trinkets; and mantels look timeless with some garland, candles and stockings.

Shop your home.
Set a budget.
DIY.
Less is more.

I cannot wait to share my Christmas home decor with you this season. I promise you I follow all of these things.

Happy decorating!

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Hope

This post was originally published on my old blog: Mama’s Baby Steps, but in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought I would share it here.

Posted May 4, 2016

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I have backspaced the first sentence of this post at least ten times. Struggling to find the perfect  right way to begin…

My Mom was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer about a year ago. Those of you who have been following me along, know that she also battles Multiple Sclerosis. I will never forget when she called me to tell me the news, that they had found a lump, and it was cancer. My first reaction: “Are you f****** kidding me?!” As if she hadn’t been through enough… What stage? How bad is this? Is it curable? Will you need a mastectomy? Will  you need chemotherapy? What is the prognosis? All questions we didn’t have answers to.

I remember going to her first appointment to meet with the surgeon and watching my Mom process the information. Trying to hold myself together to be strong for her, but falling apart as I watched her fall apart. Helpless. That’s how I felt.

Everything moved fairly quickly, and she was scheduled for a lumpectomy in June. Ultimately it was her decision as to whether she wanted a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, and the surgeon was confident that her prognosis would be the same if she chose to have the lumpectomy.

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She was such a trooper and my sisters and I were so proud of her.

Soon after, we received the results from the lumpectomy and the news wasn’t what we were hoping for. They had found a second lump during the surgery and the samples taken from nearby lymph nodes revealed the cancer had spread. This meant she would require both chemotherapy and radiation. This was sort of a worst case scenario in a sense. The doctors ,including the oncologist didn’t know how chemotherapy would affect her MS or how her MS would impact the chemotherapy. The oncologist actually said she had never come across a patient requiring chemotherapy who also had active MS. My reaction to this, yet again, “Are you f****** kidding me?!” So we just wing it, cross our fingers and hope for the best? This is what I wanted to shout at the oncologist as she told my Mom this, but I bit my tongue and listened to what she DID know.

My Mom started chemotherapy in September. Over the course of six months, she would receive two different types of chemotherapy. The first: AC (doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide), would be once every three weeks and the second: Paclitaxel, once a week. She lost her hair almost immediately. I think that was harder than she thought it would be. She told me she wanted to shave it, she didn’t want to see it fall out in clumps anymore. That night I went and bought a buzzer and went and shaved her head myself. To this day I am glad I did this for her.

The chemo was hard on her. She was quite ill, extremely exhausted, and her immune system was severely compromised. She didn’t leave the house for six months, unless it was to go to the hospital. Even something as simple as me bringing the kids by for a visit was limited, as the winter months brought many illnesses our way. Even the common cold could pose a real danger to her.

After six long months, she finally rang the bell at the cancer centre, signifying she had received her last chemotherapy treatment. I will never forget that sound…

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She started her radiation almost immediately and we knew she was in the home stretch. All scans came back clear indicating the cancer was gone and she was in remission. We all breathed a HUGE sigh of relief.

Last Friday, my Mom completed her last session of radiation (the treatment lasted 6 weeks, 5 days a week). I cannot begin to imagine the relief she felt walking out of the hospital that day. A fight that lasted almost a year, and a fight that will last a lifetime.

A hero is defined as “a person admired for courage”. My Mom is my hero. There is no stronger person than her, and I have never been more proud of her, than I am today.

To all of those out there fighting the battle, stay strong and never give up hope, you’re not alone.

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H. xo

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