Friday, July 29, 2011

:: things i love friday ::

- this great printable poster from the Swell Life. I think I'll be printing lots of great posters for the library that I am finding on Pinterest.

- these minimalist posters featuring classic children's fairy tales. (via Gretchen Rubin)

- great books. I just finished The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma - a lovely true story about a father/daughter pledge to read aloud every night and their adventures keeping the promise. And also tearfully read The Help by Kathryn Stockett - an amazing book, you absolutely MUST read it....I cannot wait for the movie!

- the large photo poster trend in home decor of late. I really need to choose some pictures to blow up really big for our house. All the cool kids are doing it (Shannon, Jen)

- A bonus day this weekend to spend some time with friends, attack the organization of our basement (I'll be consulting this book to help us purge) and enjoy the warm weather.

Hope you have a lovely {long} weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

:: thursday thrifted find - vintage schooldesk $9.99 ::

 "brown bear, brown bear, see?"

When I woke up this morning I felt like doing anything but the housework, so Hunter and I decided to go and do a little Value Vill-ahge treasure hunting. I found this vintage schooldesk for $9.99 and after a thorough scrub with my DIY all-natural cleaner, he is loving sitting in there to read and colour - perfect for a teacher's kid! 

I'll have to break out my chalkboard and start making him do "lessons" like I did with my younger brother and sister when they were this age. I knew my vocation very early in life :)

Do you go thrifting? Have you found anything amazing lately?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

:: hautelook heads-up - green toys for christmas ::

If you like to start your Christmas shopping really early, you should peek at Hautelook today where they are featuring GreenToys (eco-friendly toys) and GreenEats (eco-friendly tableware for kids) at great prices. These toys are made from 100% recycled plastic, are BPA/phthalate free and the dishes are dishwasher safe. Learn more about the company here. Shop the items on Hautelook by clicking here.

I mentioned in my toy organization post that I am pretty picky about the toys we buy for H, and Green Toys are fabulous! I bought him the dump truck and tool set last year on HauteLook and picked up a few other things for birthday gifts (tea set and recycling truck) and the quality of the toys is great. The plastic is really dense and hardy and has stood the test of water & sun in our backyard this summer. The dump truck has become a favourite around here.

Happy Shopping! 

p.s there are some lovely London Fog handbags on there for mommy too! I love mine!

Monday, July 25, 2011

:: pinterest - inspiration overload and avoiding decorating/diy ADD ::

Inspiration overload is how I might describe Pinterest. I love it, but I also try to limit my time on there because I know I will never have the time to try all the recipes & diy projects, nor the money to get all the looks I covet on the fashion pins. 

I do love it when planning an event or decorating project though, because it is like a visual notebook of all the inspiring ideas you come across on the internet, saves you time browsing multiple sites and blogs, because other savvy people have already pinned the images onto Pinterest for you to see, and repin to your own inspiration boards!

I love the above idea I found on there today for a birthday party - sentimental decor, whether you are 1 or 100. (via

Holly Becker, of Decor8, has some fabulous tips here in an interview with Real Simple Magazine for avoiding decorating ADD when on Pinterest. There are just too many lovely ideas out there, and I know I often struggle with getting off the computer and actually doing some of them. Am I alone?

Friday, July 22, 2011

:: things i love friday ::

Looking back at my sweet boy one year ago splashing in the sink!

This fab photo set of my new favourite hairstyle. See the tutorial that inspired me, and many more around the web here.

Thrifting all around town. Here are some of my most recent finds from the Salvation Army. Two awesome belts, a fancy cake stand perfect for a girl's afternoon tea, and an owl to add to our collection. 

Fashion Blogs. How did I not have more of these on my google reader before? I'm especially inspired by Kendi Everyday. Do you have a favourite fashion blog to share?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

:: 3 fabulous iphone/ipad apps for toddlers ::

Eric Carle's My Very First App is one of the best apps out there for toddlers.  I first blogged about it in October 2010, before it was available in Canada, sad that we would not be able to try it out.  

Developers Night & Day Studios were kind enough to email me when it did become available and provide us with a download and it quickly became a favourite. Hunter loves Eric Carle books and he enjoys playing the matching games and recognizing familiar animals and colours in the signature Eric Carle illustration style!

Peekaboo Forest (also by Night & Day Studios) is another favourite for our little guy. He loves to anticipate the animals peeking out from the illustrations and no matter how many times he watches it, he is entertained every time. 

Talking Gina is great for chatty toddlers (and much cuter than Talking Tomcat!) Gina repeats everything he says, much to the delight of Hunter, who has recently gone through a word explosion. He loves to tell Gina all his deep thoughts. "Hi, Keys? Elephants? Cookie? Water? Chicken? Shovel? Bucket? Car? Truck? Where is it?" 

I really did not anticipate letting Hunter play with my iPhone, but we tend to break it out in the car when he starts to lose it on a long trip. What are your toddler's favourite apps?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

:: wooden keys for my key obsessed toddler ::

Does your little one accept kid versions of their coveted mommy items like keys and cell phones? My little 19 month old is obsessed with keys right now, to the point of waking up crying in the night for some keys!

I just ordered this set from Etsy shop MamaMadeThem. Here's hoping they will fit in the little hole beside the steering wheel of his car in the backyard. He played outside for almost half an hour the other day using my car keys to "drive" the car, a record for him to be engaged in the same activity for such a long time.  I hope he will like these as much as the real thing, since he has already lost a set of extra keys somewhere in the grass!

What is your toddler's current obsession?

Monday, July 18, 2011

:: {sponsor highlight} - tiny prints birth announcements ::

Love the simplicity of this one 
...and it showcases a photo that would be really easy to DIY with a summer baby.

This one is very sweet too - I love the ribbon detail. Perfect for a baby girl...and it is a great price from the Studio Basics line.

Tiny Prints has so many designers to capture the look of every family, from traditional to modern. I especially love the playfulness and colour of Hello Little One, the simplicity of Petite Alma, and the fashion inspired designs of Tea Collection and Dwell Studio.

This birthday invitation really caught my eye. But H is not really going to have to grow up and turn 5 in a few short years, will he? At least we can show how sweet he grows year by year with an invite like this one!

We were really happy with our holiday cards from Tiny Prints last year. The quality of the paper was surprisingly lovely and we got a lot of compliments on the picture and design.

You can browse Tiny Prints here. They offer all things stationary related and I just noticed they offer day planners, photo books and calendars too! Perhaps I should pick up a few things for my office in September to keep H's face smiling at me while I am at work!

:: {sponsor highlight} isabella oliver maternity dresses ::

Have you visited the Isabella Oliver website lately? I am loving this look (stripes have taken over my closet this season!) and it is making me want to get started on #2 just so I could wear this outfit. 

Until then, I trust that my stylish blog friends Andrea & Christine would probably rock a look like this with their awesome bellies :)

I have been ruthlessly editing my wardrobe lately and organizing some boxes in our basement including all my maternity wear, and I think I might like my maternity clothes better! This must be a sign, non?

Ok, I am off to browse the Isabella Oliver site as I drink my tea and eat my chocolate biscuits. I will probably have some sort of belly if I keep this up anyways!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

:: wordless wednesday ::

edited with Instagram - love this free app for sharing pictures!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

:: tidy & attractive toy storage for the living room ::

I've been tackling a few projects around the house since I've been off work for the summer, and organizing Hunter's toys was at the top of my list. He does not have a tonne of toys, mostly because he loves hockey sticks, golf clubs, and balls the best, and I'm pretty choosy about the toys we buy for him. Even with a fairly edited toy collection, it had gotten out of control in our living room and I needed to get it back in order. I'm so happy with how it turned out that I just had to share it with all of you!

First, we emptied everything out (no picture of was utter CHAOS!) and put things into piles and bins of similar items.

{sidenote: have you ever noticed that your child gets overwhelmed with choice when there are toys all over the place? I find Hunter is like this, which is why I wanted to sort his toys in this way, so we could take out a few things at a time to really explore}

I have been saving the plastic containers that we buy salad greens in lately because they work so well as drawer organizers, and decided the extras I had laying around would be perfect for organizing H's smaller toys, along with a few plain white bins I picked up at Dollarama.

 In the end, I came up with these bin "themes"

- Music
- Cars & Trucks
- Animals
- Blocks
- Stacking 
- Puppets
- Colouring
- Trains (or choo-choos as Hunter calls them)

We had a few standalone toys too that I will be keeping in another cabinet since they don't really fit in the ottoman:

- Puzzles
- Mr. Potato Head
- Toolbox
- Sushi kit
- Dress Up Tickle Trunk
- Tupperware Shape Sorting Ball

Then, it was time to put it all back together in the storage ottoman. No more jumble of toys everytime we opened it up!

I bought this ottoman at Superstore (PC Home) when I was 9 months pregnant with Hunter. We had a metal and glass coffee table at the time, and the injuries I had sustained by stubbing my toe on it multiple times, plus the ridiculous amount of dusting and windex-ing the glass top required had put me into super-nesting mode and I HAD to get rid of it.

I made a great choice, but didn't really realize it at the time. The shallow storage is just perfect for Hunter's toy collection and keeps it out of sight when we want our living room to look tidy once the monster is in bed. The bins fit in there just perfectly!

Hunter perusing the wares.

Mr. Potato Head, all put back together in his new home.

Balls bucket, shape sorter and Ikea push cart. Some of Hunter's favourite things.

Ikea Latt Table - I am dying to paint/IkeaHack this somehow!

After all this commotion, Hunter packed up his little suitcase with a few toys and kissed me goodbye. He said he was going to the car. Off to work I guess!

Here is what our living room looks like once Hunter is in bed. You can still tell we have a child, but I think it looks pretty good for entertaining friends, or just having an at-home date night!

My next toy task is to beef up some of the bins with minimal items. Especially the tickle trunk! I see some thrifting in my future! What dress up items do your children like best?

p.s I was also thinking of taking pictures of the items, and making a label with photo for the bottom of each bin so Hunter can put them away in the right place when the bins are empty (kind of like a matching game). Is that going too far? Has my "Morganizing" crossed the line here?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

:: oh happy canada day ::

Heartfelt Yarn Wreaths on Etsy

Hope you are enjoying a lovely Canada day with friends and family. I am heading to a BBQ soon and look forward to enjoying the beautiful weather!

Being a Canadian focused blog, I thought might post a few links to some of my favourite posts about Canada featuring a few of my favourite shops and products from my home and native land:

I've run a few Canadian themed post weeks in the past 2 years as well. Here are my favourites:

Canadian Company Spotlights (including many Etsy shops!)

Have you discovered any great Canadian products or shops lately?

p.s. Can you believe the difference one year makes? I have such a little boy now!

photo by moi :)