Momo In The 6

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CHRISTMAS CARDS 2016

City Life, Motherhood, Home LifeMomo in the 6Comment

CHRISTMAS IS EASILY my favourite time of year. And with Christmas come Christmas cards! Before we had kids, I never felt motivated enough to take pictures of just Sam and me to send out to friends and family. But, as in so many other areas in life, having babies totally changed my view on things. Christmas cards... What a fun and beautiful way to memorialize every year and season in our lives and capture a snap shot of our family, right?!


At Christmas, time with family is plentiful, food is abundant, and people seem to really be focusing on some of the things that matter the most in life: faith, family, friends and making memories. Getting Christmas Cards was the perfect excuse to make some memories, put on our best and get out as a family and have some amazing pictures taken (by the talented Ryan Freeman). We ventured to the Distillery Christmas Market, which is the place to go in Toronto to get into the Christmas spirit!


One of the things that has overwhelmed me about Christmas cards in the past is that I never even knew where to begin looking to make one! But then I found Tiny Prints (who is the sister company of the "Wedding Paper Divas" that we used for both our wedding invitations and thank you cards!). Where it was a dream to quickly find cards and styles that we loved for our cards since there is this amazing feature that allows you to see all the cards with your photo in it. Genius and made it go really fast (which, is a necessity with two babies running around!). 

We are thrilled with how our cards turned out and I can't wait to send them to our friends and family, near and far!

If you are looking to send Christmas cards this year, definitely head on over to check out Tiny Prints Christmas Cards!  (If you hurry they are 40% off till Sunday!!) The selection is incredible, the shipping is quick,  and they make it really easy to personalize your cards to match your family's style perfectly!

 

 

HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOUSE SMELL LIKE CHRISTMAS

Home LifeMomo in the 6Comment

YOU MAY REMEMBER last year when I shared this recipe for a Christmas pot simmer to make your house smell amazing. While I still do that regularly during this season, sometimes I want a quick fix to making my house smell amazing. I love having candles burning in the house since it makes it feel extra homey, but with our wild little Atticus I can only use them when the babies are in bed.

So this year these are on my list of my favourite ways to make your house smell like Christmas, with candles and oils to be able to have my house smell amazing while the babes are awake or not!

This essential oil smells like Christmas Cookies. Need I say more?

Use Peppermint Oils to make your house smell like a candy cane.

I also love to use Orange Essential oil at home to give a citrus boost to the house. It is invigorating and is really nice when mixed with Vanilla Essential Oil!

I love using Method Soap in our kitchen and this one smells particularly amazing (and its on sale!)

A few spritz' of this "Poo Pourri" before you go takes care of business AND makes your bathroom smell like Vanilla and Peppermint... A Spritzmas miracle! ha!

My favourite bar soap of all time is Carriage 44's citrus trio. Perfect to have year round in your bathroom but exceptional to have a citrus touch in your bathroom at Christmas. Handmade and all natural, what more could you want!? (Bonus: It's a Canadian company!)

Thymes Frasier Fir Candle. Smells amazing and is gorgeous.

This candle is beautiful and also smells incredible.


However, if things like candles and essential oils just aren't quite covering the smells in your house, check out this article on 20 Common Household Odors and How To Remove Them Fast.
 

AN EVENING IN OTTO'S GARDEN

Motherhood, Home LifeMomo in the 6Comment

A COUPLE WEEKS back we spent an evening at the home of my mom's new father in law, Otto. He is one of the most wonderful and interesting men I have ever met. My mom has spent the summer learning to garden from Otto, who has a large vegetable patch he has been gardening in for years. There is everything from basil and sage to rhubarb, tomatoes, swiss chard and eggplant! And they planted them all from seeds!

Since Finny loves food so much (eating it, pretending to cook it, actually cooking it with me...) it was such a thrill to take him back there and show him where all the fresh produce comes from and to have my mom teach him how it grows! He was in awe of the tomatoes on the vine and spent a good chunk of his time picking and eating the green beans, which he loves (he takes after his mama in that ;) ). He was a little nervous pulling the beets out of the ground, but he loved it once he realized what it was that he was pulling on!

I love fostering a love and appreciation for food in my littles, and it was so special to me to see how excited he was at seeing where it all comes from. I can't wait to have him out there planting seeds in the Spring!

^^ Trying to get a good family picture with a seven month old and a two year old looks a lot like this, ha!

LINK ROUNDUP

Home LifeMomo in the 6Comment

This was a really interesting read on development and the conversation skills (or lack there of) with the next generation of kiddos... It is just so important to talk to your kids and teach them. 

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Have you ever seen the underside of an iceberg!? I didn't even know this was a thing... it's incredible!

The worst heat wave of the summer this week. We definitely felt it as we tried to get out as early as possible and be back home by 11 to seek refuge in our air conditioned living room!

These Peach Melba Popsicles... I made them and they are BEYOND. (Tip: Make bigger ones and in a mason jar, we found the fruit at the bottom of the mold didn't always come with the rest of the popsicle).

And these Chocolate Avocado Almond Pudding Pops are next on our list... Take that heat wave!

I loved this. The 2016 Brasil Tennis Open used dogs instead of ballboys to encourage adoption of shelter pups. Watch the vid here.

We have Olympic fever in our house... And seeing that Usain Bolt ran as a guide for blind paralympic runner, Terezinha was so beautiful to see.

If we talked about men in sports the way we talk about women...

And also seeing Penny Oleksiak WINNING GOLD. Like seriously. A Toronto girl, and only 16 years old. I am feeling SO proud to be Canadian and SO proud of our Canadian Olympic Women!

 

Here are 9 recipes to make before the summer ends!

MINIMALISM AND KIDS

Home Life, MotherhoodMomo in the 6Comment
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WAY BACK IN January I wrote about minimalism and how we have embraced minimalism in our home and with our possessions. One of the biggest questions I have heard about embracing minimalism is how to be a minimalist and have kids... Kids seem to come with a list a mile long of things they "absolutely need" and they also accumulate so much stuff over time. I am no expert on this but I do try my best to keep our kids stuff to a minimum and keep our home from feeling like baby land.

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Figure out what you really need to own and what things you could borrow from a friend. When I was pregnant with Finny we were living in a small space already so we tried to choose fewer things that were really good quality that would last through a few kids. When we moved into our home in Leslieville, my goal was to arrange our home so that the kids had lots of room to play and move but at the end of the day it can still feel like an adults space.

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USE MULTI-PURPOSE FURNITURE TO STORE AND CONCEAL TOYS.  In our home the kitchen is where all the main action is, I spend so much time in there that I knew we needed to use the space well to make it a functional space for our family. We have an eat in kitchen and decided to create a play area for the boys where most people would put a dining table. We have this great, sleek shelving unit that has four cupboards - two of which hold kid things and the other two are used for extra kitchen storage and for things like our camera and my breast pump. In the living room one of the cupboards below the TV is used for books since we most often read books on the couch. There is also a small cupboard for toys in Finny's room and book shelves on his wall for books that are bedtime books or books that are more fragile. The general rule in our home is, if it doesn't fit in the cupboards, it doesn't stay. (more on larger items below)

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Under the stairs we have a shelving unit with two boxes in it. These boxes are used for toys that aren't currently in use right now. Which leads me to my next point...

PURGE.  I regularly (at least once a month) filter through the toys and books in the cupboards and put the ones that Finny has outgrown or isn't currently that interested away in the shelving unit under the stairs for when Atticus will use them. Then I toss the ones that are broken, have major pieces missing or donate the ones that he never really took an interest in anyways. This allows the house to feel less cluttered and it also helps that when Finny gets bored of his current toys I don't have to go buy new ones, I can simply swap out some of the toys for old "new" toys that he is really excited to see again.

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EASY TO CLEAN UP.  Following my "purging" rule helps to make clean up once the kids are in bed a breeze. My general rule is that if it takes me longer than three minutes to tidy up the toys, books, etc. that he has too many toys out and that means it is time to purge again.

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CHOOSE TOYS THAT ARE BEAUTIFUL. Some toys are just too big to fit into the little cupboards. I get that. We only have a few toys that are too big to go in the cupboard we make sure they are toys that are aesthetically pleasing. We bought Finny a great little play kitchen that we all love and since it is so cute we don't mind that it can't be put away. We also have this incredible cart which is beautiful and has so many uses and we love seeing it around the house. Side note: It is arguably the best toy we have bought him - it has grown with him over the last year and he still loves it and plays with it almost more than anything else, I highly recommend it! We also have a rocking horse and a tent that can't fit in any cupboards but we love them and they are both beautiful and have strong sentimental value to us - friends of ours made the tent for Finn's birthday and the rocking horse was mine when I was a child.

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These are just a few of the ways we practice minimalism with our kids. In a few months, when he is ready, I hope to include Finny in the purging process, teaching him to hold loosely to his possessions and also about giving things away to people who need them, something I myself am constantly working towards.

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HAPPY DAD'S DAY

Home Life, FamilyMomo in the 6Comment
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TO MY SAMMY... Today we celebrate you! You are an incredible father, friend and husband. You work so hard to provide for us and still manage to come home with a smile on your face and time for your kids and wife - even after working 30 hours straight. 

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I love to watch you with our boys, you are so kind and patient with them and they both look up to you in a big way. If they turn out to be half the man you are then we can rest assured that we did this parenting gig right!  

Here's to you, Sammy, and to our dads, and to dads everywhere. You make the world a better place! 

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LIFE, LATELY

Family, Home Life, Motherhood, MarriageMomo in the 6Comment

THINGS HAVE BEEN a bit quiet on the blog for the past few weeks, apart from all my wonderful guest posts I haven't had much to say. Namely because I have been trying to keep my head above water and also to soak in all the wonderful moments and memories that are happening day to day in our house.

When Sam went back to work a month ago, things were exhausting. He worked an overnight shift every 3 or 4 days on top of his regular, five-days-a-week of working. I was trying to get our lives organized, get Atticus on a schedule, get outside daily and keep my head above water. Sam and I hardly saw each other and when we did we were so wiped that we mostly just sat on the couch and ate dinner and had a quick conversation before I would jet off to bed to be able to survive the next day. We were mostly just ships passing in the night. But through having an insane schedule since we got married, we have learned to make the most of our time together as a couple and as a family whenever we get it, including a trip to the High Park Zoo!

Some kiddo updates: Finn is at a really fun and really chatty age. He is learning things almost faster than I can keep up with him! We are loving the warm weather and our awesome new backyard and being able to still get outside and play while Atticus sleeps in his crib. He has developed preferences when it comes to his meals and I try to encourage and cater to them whenever possible, for example: He asks for (almond) milk with his oats, cheese and pepper for his pasta, ice for his water and to have his apple slices in a bowl.

Atticus is growing up so fast. The newborn stage goes by SO quickly. Everyone said that to me with Finn, but let's be honest... with your first baby everything is such a huge adjustment and the days feel so long and you wonder if you will ever sleep again. This time, I knew that it is true, it goes by so quickly, too quickly. So I have tried to savour all the sleepy cuddles and the sweet little snore he does after he falls asleep on your shoulder after being burped. He is such a joy! He is very active, good at tummy time, smiling and cooing all the time and sleeping lots. This past weekend he slept from 11-7 and I woke up feeling like a new woman! Bless you, little Atticus!

Thankfully, it is a new month, with a new schedule for him, including a glorious week of vacation in the middle of it! There are weddings and vacations and warm weather and family time in the next four weeks for us and I couldn't be more excited.

LINK ROUNDUP

Motherhood, Home LifeMomo in the 6Comment

Why to think regionally when it comes to pairing food and wine. Now that I am not pregnant, I may just give this a go!

If you need a laugh, you need to watch Jimmy Fallon and Melissa McCarthy's lip sync battle.

An interesting read on how the porn industry is impacting this generation of boys. What a calling it is to raise boys to be men who respect women. "Porn is full of ideals and beliefs that are completely opposite of what real relationships, real sex, and real love are like. Healthy relationships are built on equality, honesty, respect, and love. But in porn, it’s the reverse; interactions are based on domination, disrespect, abuse, violence, and detachment"

The best recipes for every type of brownie you may be looking for, from classic to fudgy to barely legal . Yes please!

A really beautiful video that my sister helped create.

A helpful countdown checklist to help you have a stress free vacation.

Three ways to prep your garden for Spring!

I love to grow my own herbs in the summers. There's nothing quite like growing your own mint or basil and finding new ways to use them throughout the season! Here's a great article on how to grow herbs indoors.

 

MINIMALISM: AT HOME

Home Lifemomointhe62 Comments
 Embracing Minimalism

Embracing Minimalism

WHEN SAM AND I were first married, I have to admit that I was a total pack rat. We packed up a truck and I brought along 17 boxes of stuff + suitcases upon suitcases clothes. Our home was around 1000 square feet and my style was very kitschy, I loved the look of having lots of stuff covering every shelf. Needless to say my style has changed drastically. About a year into being married we had to move out of our first apartment in Montreal because the heating bill was basically the cost of rent for the month... darn those old, beautiful yet drafty buildings! We were downsizing to a place that was about 750 square feet and I spent the month before we moved reading about and embracing minimalism and then getting rid of about half of our stuff. We sold a ton of furniture and began to feel the freedom that getting rid of belongings you don't use all the time can give you. Having a baby means you accumulate more stuff, it doesn't need to be an unnecessary amount of stuff but babies need places to sleep and change their bottoms and clothes and some toys, so again, I decluttered our belongings and got rid of another half of our stuff (I will write more on embracing minimalism with kids later!).

When we moved to Toronto we got rid of more than half of our belongings again since we were downsizing again to a tiny 500 square foot condo. This was the hardest purge since we started to have to get rid of things that we really loved but didn't have a use for or that wouldn't fit into our new place. Looking back though, I don't miss any of the things we got rid of, frankly, I can hardly remember them. This just goes to show how insignificant many of these items we hold on to truly are in the long run.

Now that we have moved into our two story home in Leslieville we have more space and less stuff. Through selling our old furniture we have been able to purchase pieces that we really love to start making this house feel like a home. There is room to move and breathe and relax since everything has it's place on the shelf or in the cupboard.

Over the last three and a half years we have reduced our belongings to about 1/8 of what we started with. I have learned so much about myself, about the things I hold on to, about how I don't need very much to be happy. In fact the opposite is true: less clutter and less stuff means less time cleaning and having your mind occupied with things and more time spent focusing on things that are really important, like relationships and the things that you do in a day that you love.

 william-morris

william-morris

THE JANUARY CURE

Home Lifemomointhe63 Comments
 January Cure

January Cure

I DON'T KNOW how many of you follow along with Apartment Therapy. If you've never been to their site, go now! It is an incredible website for inspiration and resources for everything regarding the home! Every year they do a "January Cure" where there are 21 very do-able assignments that make your home cleaner, more beautiful, more organized and peaceful. I have signed up (albeit a week late, ahem, mom brain) to do it this month in an effort to finish organizing our new home before the baby comes in less than two months (!! I can't believe I am typing that!).

Anyone interested in joining?