Life Lately

I like to try and keep this blog free of whiney posts. The “oh I’ve been a bad blogger – sorry!” or “life has just been too busy lately” type. No one likes to read those, right? I generally turn to blogs to be inspired or motivated or simply to look at pretty pictures so I try and churn that our here in my little corner of the internet. But then there’s reality, and what happens in my reality at the moment is wonderful yet complicated to get that work done. I’m not sad about this nor upset really, I’m actually very happy at this point in my life. Maybe the happiest?

Stella is growing day by day and I’m choosing to sit down on her level and fully engage with her so that I can cherish these fleeting moments versus propping her up with some toys and turning to my screen. Sure, I could do my blogging in the evening but that doesn’t fit well with working on my relationship with my husband and attempting to be “offline” to connect. As well as trying to get to bed at a decent hour (is always a struggle for me, even before motherhood). I think of bloggers that I consistently follow and wonder to myself how the hell they can do it and the only thing I can think of is that they have help. Blogs are no longer what they used to be! They’re companies, they’re professional and they can be a ton of work. So I just imagine that would make it easier to maintain while trying balance things.

And then there’s work (Elsie and Kel Design, what! what!!!) – I’m so happy to be working for myself but it is another layer on top of these new motherhood duties. I’m so lucky to be working with the most understanding and flexible (in terms of timing, not the splits, but wait – I’ve never asked her, maybe she can do the splits?) person EVER and everyday thank my stars that when I text and say that “she’s still not up from her nap!” she’s cool with it and somehow understands. I’d like to say I’d be the same for her if the situation was switched yet there’s just something about Laura that makes her effortlessly compassionate that sadly, I feel I lack.

I check the stats of my blog and am so happy to have continued a following with friends and family and smile when I can see people checking in and hope they aren’t sadly disappointed when the old post from a couple weeks ago is still up there looking washed up and over read. So, I guess this is just a quick note to say that I’m still here! I’m happy and I’ll be back, but my blogger status at the point is a little spotty but that’s ok because my reality, it’s looking pretty damn good.

xx

Spring Cleaning // Closet Clean Out

Oh,  the old closet switch up. I dread it ever Fall and every Spring yet it’s super necessary. My Spring cleaning this year seems to be taking much longer than normal! Considering for the past couple of years, we were only dealing with a small apartment versus a home, we’re quickly learning with a front and back yard, the work piles up (and who wants to be all work, work, work on the weekends?) so needless to say I’m still working on things. We still have a couple of days until it’s officially summer so we good, right?

When A and I moved into our home, the size of the closet in our master bedroom was laughable. Even though we knew that the master wouldn’t be our focus for a bit we knew we had to do something about the closet space in order to live. We worked with a millworker who I’ve used before with work and created a custom closet with drawers. I’ll share more about this when I share (hopefully not in two years?) our final master bedroom.

I’m happy to report that the size of my wardrobe inventory is slowly getting smaller. It’s been a real work in progress. I know I’ve mentioned it before here after eliminating my “office attire” has really allowed me to focus on clothing that is fully me which makes my heart happy. That being said – I have NO idea how I let our closet get to the state that it was at.

 

Simply disorganized, dry cleaning bags and worse, DRY CLEANING HANGARS (MY NEMESIS).

In case you are tackling your own closet, here my steps to making it a more enjoyable, clean and organized space.

Step 1 : COME PREPARED

Sounds super silly however sometimes I’ll start a task and realize I need a ton of things to complete it properly. Luckily, I had a little inspiration from Marie Kondo’s second book on living life clutter-free. Bags to purge items into, fresh hangars, thank gawd and lastly proper cleaning supplies.

Step 2 : REMOVE EVERYTHING

This gives you the opportunity to find things that have been hidden or tucked in a corner over the past winter and then only put things that you actually love and or bring your joy back into your closet. Sometimes I like to remove things that I’m even questioning and hide them and see if I ever go looking for them. If I don’t, I ditch them next season.

Step 3 : ADD SOME SWEETNESS

I love a nice smelling space no matter what and the hanging scented oval from Diptyque does just that. I love it when you pull out a blouse or a jacket and it’s lightly scented. Heaven!

STEP 4: WIPE THAT BABY DOWN

It’s almost odd to think that the interior of your closet may accumulate dirt and dust yet, I found plenty! Even though it was a newly built one, those dust bunnies found their way in! I love the ease of working with Clorox disinfectant wipes.

Bye, bye dry cleaner hangars!

and THE AFTER!

So – it’s not perfect, but it’s much easier to navigate and find things!

xx

Petite Boutique Books

Don’t you love that when it comes to babies, everything is petite? The clothing, the socks, the shoes. It’s all just to die for and more than easy to shop for but one thing that I’ve really been enjoying purchasing is books! Let’s be honest, at the stage Stella is currently at, she’s probably not retaining too much but it’s part of our routine and I really enjoy it. I can see how much she already loves our phones and although I don’t think it’s realistic to think that I will never give her my phone to play with, I’m trying to stick with books and toys for now.

Having a nice library stocked for her is also just as much for us when reading to her – it’s nice to have options, right? Indigo recently launched their Indigo exclusive Petite Boutique Books for children aged 0-3 years old. I love the illustrations they have and the fact that they engage in core concepts such as colours and counting.They’re available in store and online at Indigo.ca and the whole collection can be viewed here.

AND – Great News!!!!! Indigo has been kind enough to offer the selection of books seen here to one of my readers, so come on mamas, enter here!

All you need to do is:

1 – Comment on this post with your favourite book to read to your littles.

2 – Follow me on Instagram and comment on the post (also with your favourite book to read with your babe) related to this giveaway using the #ReadTheNorth hashtag.

And that’s it – voila! The winner will be announce next Tuesday, May 23rd.

xx

In the Home // Iron and Glass

It’s fun to daydream right? Even though Andrew and I are working on multiple different spaces within our home at the moment (the exact thing I said I wouldn’t be doing when we moved in), I’m dreaming of elements that aren’t even possible in our home. Which is clearly, really productive.

Crazy, right? Are you watching The Handmaid’s Tale? It’s so good – AND if you are watching that show, I’m sure you’ve noticed a couple friendly locations including our fine city of Toronto. I have, however become obsessed with the set of the Commander’s home which is located in Hamilton, ON. The reason being? Aside from it’s beautiful exterior and sheer size, it’s the kitchen and dining area that’s got me. I’ve always been fond of iron and glass doors in a home and I have them envisioned into our next one. I love how much natural light they provide and when used in the interior of a home can provide separation with space without a wall. Initially, I was thinking that we would never be able to have iron and glass doors living in Canada – imagine the insulation issues or just freezing in the winter time? So I’m envisions using it indoors, most likely in the kitchen.

xx

My Style // Current Uniform

Soooooo I remember reading things or overhearing moms say how their new role as a mom has taken over their style and the function of an outfit was more of a priority than appearance. Yah, I was totally that girl who said in my mind, that will not be me – “I will become a mother and still get dressed every morning!”. Yes, I do get dressed every morning but lets just say I’m much more casual and function does come to mind a lot more than I thought it would. My current uniform for Spring is pants (can’t wait until short weather is here – so close!), long sleeve tee or sweater and a jacket, flats (most likely runners). The good thing about this uniform is that I’m getting a lot of use out of my everyday basics. I feel like I’m actually wearing a lot of the clothing I already owned versus searching for new ones!

Everything in this pics is old (other than my sneaks which I LOVE) so I won’t bother linking but DO want to share that I’m super happy with my stroller – I was kinda sad I didn’t go for the Bugaboo since I do find it slightly chicer but this UppaBaby has really worked for me and I’ve taken it EVERYWHERE! I literally love how the car seat just clips in and out of the stroller with ease (super important when Stella is coming to work with me) and the basket underneath holds a TON (a box of wine even fits in there).

xx

On my radar // Raw Wood

Wooden elements are great in almost every space. I like to include wood in some way, in my home whenever possible. It can get tricky when you have varying types of wood, stains and colours (floorboards are sometimes a battle!) but ultimately there needs to be some for that added level of warmth that wood offers. Lately, I have been really into this raw or naked wood look happening in living room and kitchens alike. Whether it’s white oak, birch (think 80’s IKEA style), White Ash Wood (??), or white washed or simply a nice unstained wood, I’m into it! See some inspiration pictures below…

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 //

Interior Inspiration // Amy Stone’s NYC Apartment

I have been following Amy Stone on instagram for years and she has never failed to inspire. You know when you have been following someone for a while and you are curious about their life happenings, you’re somewhat invested and you want the inside scoop! That’s how I felt when I learned that she was moving apartments I was eagerly waiting for what it would look like and alas – she has shared over on One Kings Lane.

I love how every little space has it’s own moment like the demilune table at the entryway. And it has also urged my entryway game. We’re struggling because our entryway is suuuuper tiny and limited space but believe it can be done!

Her curation of all things old and new is perfection. 

And now I feel the sudden urge to purchase some bosc pears. 





Amy shares:
“I’m pro-stripe—that’s my philosophy for sure. And chinoiserie-happy always.”
Something I would have to strongly agree with.
xx
Photos by: Tara Donne
Via: One Kings Lane

Fun Footwear

Back from a small hiatus! Was away for a week vacation in Florida, welcomed Spring (finally!) and whole lot in between but happy to be back in the saddle.

Shoes have always been a thing of mine. When touring people through our home and we reach the basement where my “second closet” is set up – I get a lot of comments. What can I say? I love shoes – they always fit, can make an outfit and are just generally very important to me. Sneakers are surely having a moment right now  and are definitely a style of shoe I’ve been wearing a lot more these days. The best part about sneakers is that they are becoming so interesting and beyond your basic shoe – what else could you ask for? Having recently purchased some glitter kicks (pictured above!)- I rounded up a couple other sneak trends that I have my eye on.

glitter 1 / 2 / 3

pom pom 1 / 2 / 3

blush tones 1 / 2 / 3

playful 1 / 2 / 3

xx

My Style // The Statement Coat

:: Shoes, Coat (since sold out but similar!), Jeans (old but similar), Sweater (also old!), Sunnies (the standards) ::

I would love to start this post but saying that my style hasn’t changed much at all since transitioning into motherhood but that would be a flat out lie. It’s interesting to look back over the years and how my current life status has influenced my style but how could it not, right? From working in an office, to being my own boss (in a very different field) and working from home to being a mom, I’ve really changed somethings but try to stay true to quality items at the very least. That would mean not spending money on fake shearling jackets, right? Well I couldn’t help myself. If there’s one thing that helps me feel put together these days when I’m short on time to get ready, it’s a good coat. Since I keep reverting to basics in my outfits (especially in this drab weather) it’s been a lot of jeans, tee’s, button up and sweaters so when I can throw something overtop of all that basic-ness that elevates my look a bit, I’ll take it. Enter this faux shearling coat. I’ve wanted a shearling FOREVER. My Dad had one while growing up, and I’ll never forget the one that got away a long time ago at a Danier (RIP) outlet back in Ottawa. Since then, it’s been on my wishlist. Once I saw this one featured on instagram on another blogger and learned it was Zara, it had to be mine!

Motherhood // The first three months

Just yesterday my little Stella had her 4 month appointment which really got me thinking about how quickly this whole thing has gone down. It’s so true what they say! Throughout my pregnancy, I was happily surrounded by a large group of friends and family who were also pregnant (no seriously, my cousin, two sister-in laws, my best friend just to name a few) so I had no shortage of resources for asking questions as what to expect and it’s been so nice to have them as support from day to day (and I’ve been using them!). As a new parent, there are so many things happening for the first time and I hate to admit it but Andrew and I would turn to google almost every night when something we thought a bit off was happening and guess what, it was all natural and fine. Reading our search history would be comical and I feel like we’ve only just begun! As I’m writing this and reflecting on Stella’s first three months, it’s amazing how much I already forget but here are a couple of thoughts experiences that stick out and thought I would share.

Feeding

Feeding a big deal for your little one and I think I only slightly realized how big of a deal until we were in it. I took a breastfeeding course in preparation and felt like I was ready to hit the ground running! While we were in the hospital, with the help of the lactation consultant we were able to get Stella to latch but it wasn’t an awesome one. I literally almost lost it on one of them (they really get in there and grab and squeeze) and I just wanted to get out of there! They suggested that I start hand expressing my colostrum which I basically laughed at the lady for. It was the tiniest, smallest little drop that would come out and she wanted me to collect like an ounce of it. Tedious was a huge understatement. Luckily once I got home and with the help of my mom, we got it figured out and all seemed swell until week 2 when I got mastitis. After that feeding has gone quite smoothly but it was a major hurdle for us and involve some painful feeds.

Sleep

So yeah, it’s not great! That being said, it’s not all that awful either. I went into this journey knowing that I wouldn’t be getting an uninterrupted sleep for a long time. Years, since we plan to have more children but again, that’s an obvious statement right? What I didn’t expect is how much of a “thing” it is for Stella. It’s like once you pass the breastfeeding hurdle of motherhood (if you so choose to do so) it’s the sleep and then I imagine once you overcome that hurdle, guess what? There’s a new one! For about the first two months of her life, she would sleep pretty much everywhere which was great – she had a serious love affair with her car seat and would sleep in there for hours! For my birthday this year, we went to a pub with some friends and she slept the whole time which was amazing. But we’re now entering a more structured schedule which we’ve actually already experienced great results with. If anything, I have to teach myself to get to bed earlier! I’m such a night hawk and I experience a second wind around 9:00pm and have to remind myself of the cute little wake up calls I’ll be getting soon.

Stella Baby 

She has many nicknames, Stells, Stell Baby, Stelly, the list goes one but she really coming into her own personality which is so nice to witness. Everyone told us, wait until the 6 week mark, it’s a real game changer and they were right! At first their sight is limited (as well as their cognitive development, naturally) and don’t make connections with your face etc so it could sometimes feel rewardless. But after about 6 weeks we as parents had grown and so had she. We were better at understanding what she needed and were able to be a little more proactive. It’s so nice when they do recognize you and they give a little smile, it melts you! Now that she’s in her fourth month, she’s able to grabs things and loves toys. My living room has been overrun with things that I said I would never keep in my living room but she loves them and it’s great to keep her happy and occupied so I can get other things done as well. I think I underestimate how much fun I would have dressing her and shopping for her. I really have to hold myself back because I could go completely bananas and the sad part is, they grow out of it so quickly but when they have that outfit on… it’s the best!

Me, myself and I

One thing that I’ve learned over these past couple months is acceptance. That may seem strange but I had so many ideas of what life would look like, what I would look like and things I knew I DID not want to happen yet I’m just accepting things as they come now versus having any expectations at all. I’m no longer on my own schedule (which is a major adjustment) and getting little tasks done take me much longer (should be no surprise here but I’m still surprised at how long things are taking me now versus life before babe). It’s exciting to add the role of mother to my life and it’s certainly been, and will continue to be quite the learning experience. In the beginning weeks I would make a list of things to get done around the house. Well that was a big eye-opener. I would be home ALL DAY and not get anything done? It was hard to accept that fact but I had to learn to move on from it. I stopped making those giant lists and started with one task a day. I think I was forgetting that the parenting part was supposed to be number one and that it was OK to not get to the zillion other things I wanted to.

I’m trying to find the balance of being a mom, working part-time, social life and being a good friend and it’s been harder than I thought. I’m sorry if I’ve had to cancel plans with you but I find myself over committing and then having to cut back. This month, I’m trying more than ever to tailor the amount of plans I make so I leave time to be more in the moment, do fun spontaneous things with my little family (Mackie included) and then also just do nothing with them as well. I’m also in love with other moms. I think I lacked something in my soul before – maybe it’s because I wasn’t fully comprehending the task at hand or maybe I was a witch but other moms are the bomb. I was terrible, I would be the biggest eye-roller out there “Oh you have to cancel plans because your baby is sick? What does that have to do with you?”, “Oh, you’d rather go on a vacation with your family than with your girlfriends?”, “Oh you have to leave work to deal with child-care issues?”. Yeah, I was the WORST but happy to report that I have mad respect for moms (you too Mom!) and even more so for those single moms. HOW do they do it? I’ll never know.

Photography by: Laura Collins Design 

xx

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