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

poufs

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

HOPE

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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The Best Apple Crisp Recipe

One of my favourite desserts to make in the Fall is apple crisp. I take the kids apple picking every year and apple crisp is always a staple in our home from Thanksgiving until Christmas baking starts (Thanksgiving is the beginning of October, here in Canada).

This recipe is definitely one you will want to add to your Favourites! The juicy sweet filling and crisp oat topping will have you going back for seconds! Don’t forget to add a dollop of your favourite vanilla ice cream.

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Ingredients

Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter , diced into cubes

Filling

1.5 lbs sliced cortland apples
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF and lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish or deep dish pie plate.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all dry topping ingredients.
  3. Add the diced butter and mix together with your fingertips. Place in the fridge until needed.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter and flour until well combined.  Add in lemon juice and vanilla extract. Whisk in brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix until well combined.
  5. Pour mixture over sliced apples and toss lightly. Place apples into the baking dish.
  6. Removing topping mixture from the fridge and sprinkle crumble evenly over apple mixture.
  7. Place into oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and allow 5 minutes to cool. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy!

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Maxton’s Bedroom Update Part 1

When we moved into this house last summer; it was a brand new build and everything was the typical “builder’s beige”. I knew we would only be here a couple of years so I didn’t want to go crazy decorating the bedrooms. Maxton and Everly both had twin size beds in our old house so I kept their beds the same. Everly’s headboard and footboard were an oak colour (which I got from my Mom) and I spray painted it white before assembling her bed.

Recently I had been thinking about switching the kids over to double beds. Mainly because it would give me more space when I am laying in bed with them; and specifically for Everly because with the amount of stuffies she has in her bed now, there isn’t much room left for her.

My Mom had a fairly new double mattress she was going to get rid of and she asked me if I wanted it. I said absolutely and started hunting on Wayfair for a double bed frame for Maxton. I found the perfect one and it was on sale! There were some issues with it getting to me, but when all the pieces finally arrived, it was perfect. I was so excited for him to see it.

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I wanted bedding that would grow with him; and then I could add items throughout his room that would match his current interests. I found his comforter at Home Sense along with the hockey sheets (which he loves).

The body pillow I also found at Home Sense and the Toronto Maple Leafs blanket I purchased from Walmart.

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It took me a while to find the perfect nightstand for him. I finally found one I liked at Walmart and it was under $80. I decided to only get one for now, for the one side of his bed. He has so many little lego tables and toy bins around his room; and right now he has a storage ottoman in the other corner of the bedroom.

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His name sign I am still debating where to place (I will share about its final home when I share the second part of this post). It was made by a local handmade business that I have shared a few times on Instagram; and I actually really like the piece sitting on his nightstand right now.

I will share the rest of his room once I finish up the dresser remodel (which has been ongoing for over two years).

Sources:

Bed Frame: Wayfair
Bedding: Home Sense
Sheets: Home Sense
Toronto Maple Leafs Blanket: Walmart
Body Pillow: Home Sense
You Will Move Mountains & All Good Things Are Wild And Free Frames: Home Sense
Super Hero Picture: Home Sense
Night Stand: Walmart
Lamp: Home Sense
Picture Frame: Walmart
Basket: Walmart
Carpet: Home Sense
Name Sign: The Squirrelly Scroller

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My Top Five Bralettes

I have tried so many different bralettes that I feel like an expert when it comes to them. The biggest struggle for me is finding one that provides enough support. I nursed my son for 13 months and my daughter for 18 months,

so these puppies need a lift. Who else is with me?

I am sharing my top five bralettess with you and why I love them.

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First up is the Free People Intimately Adella Longline Bralette. It comes in 13 colours and is by far the prettiest one of them all; however; it is also the one that provides the least support. The lace detail is gorgeous and the adjustable crisscrossing straps adds to the romantic silhouette. It doubles as a bra and a cami.

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This one is a little more expensive, retailing for just under $52. It washes well and is very comfortable.

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The Aerie Romantic Lace Plunge Bralette is definitely one the provides a good amount of support. It has removable pads and a J-hook, giving you the option to wear it as a racerback.

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It comes in four colours and retails for just under $40. The lace detail is beautiful on its own, and it’s definitely one you want to peek through a tank.

The Aerie Adjustable Strap Bralette is very similar to this one in terms of support and coverage. The only major difference is the thickness of the straps. These are my two favourite bralettes, that I have purchased from Aerie.

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The Dynamite Scalloped Lace Bralette isn’t one I thought I would love when I first saw it. I thought it would lack in support but I was actually impressed after trying it on. It supports the girls nicely! This bra doesn’t have padding so it can be a little more see through at times. I love the extra length of it; and it almost feels like a crop top tank but with support!

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This one retails for under $25 and is similar to the Free People one – with no clasp in the back.

The Aerie Wonder Lace Padded Bralette has adjustable straps and split strap detail. It provides decent support and has padding for extra coverage. This is one of the first bralettes I purchased and is still one of my favourites. It comes in seven colours but I would recommend sizing up from your normal size in this one. This bralette is under $40.

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If you haven’t already guessed; I love Aerie bralettes. I really do recommend trying them on before purchasing and I find a lot of the time it is better to size up a size. If you are a B cup I would recommend a medium, and if you are a C cup, a large.

Watch for sales and promo codes; I have never paid regular price for any of these. The Free People bralette rarely goes on sale, but keep your eye out!

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