The Sunday 7

Today, I'm surrounded by some of the best people. Friends. We are ringing in the New Year and welcoming 2018 with open arms. And boy does it feel good. I love all of this inspiration heading into the new year. Happy New Year's Eve, friends!

  1. This article about love and why we don't openly express love more often (written by a man I might add!) hit home. It makes me want to hug every person I know.
  2. I can't WAIT for this little beauty of a cook book to be released in April so I can make every recipe and eat every damn bite.
  3. Downloaded this app to begin expanding my language palette in 2018 (is that even I thing? Yep because I just made it up :P)
  4. Hands down, one of the best books I read last year, Chasing Slow. The powerful message resonated, especially after the year we've had, having a baby and wanting the right type of lifestyle for our new family of 3.
  5. Starting off my 2018 reading list by digging in to this little gem.
  6. What I love about all the New Years hype and celebration? All the glitz and glitter!
  7. This article has made me rethink my 2018 goals a bit differently - "Often it’s not what we start doing that makes a difference, but the thing we stop doing that creates the biggest shift."

Happy (early) 2018 :)

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26 Things to be Grateful for this Holiday

I am writing this as I watch the World Junior Hockey Game, in my Roots track pants, on Boxing day. You can’t get anymore Canadian than that! I hope you had a fun holiday yesterday with your loved ones and took in the special day of the year. I’ve been so overwhelmed (in a good way) for all the small details that I thought I would share some here on Boxing Day - 26 things I’m grateful for this holiday. Maybe some of these small moments will resonate with you as well :)

  1. Waking up without an alarm clock
  2. The smell of coffee as it begins to brew (and knowing its acceptable to put Baileys in it because heck, its the holidays!)
  3. Volunteering before Christmas and seeing how you’re helping to make a difference
  4. Getting your emails done to a 0 inbox!
  5. Crossing off all of your to-do’s for the day
  6. Finishing a big project at work and then celebrating with colleagues
  7. Saying Merry Christmas to a random stranger on an elevator
  8. Holding the door open at the local coffee shop for someone... and then getting your coffee bought by the person in line ahead of you
  9. The feeling you get as soon as you walk into Chapters #HappilyOverwhelmed
  10. Finding the best deal at Winners for a Christmas gift #StarttheCar
  11. That feeling of success after finishing a baking recipe that took way too long but you're hoping is oh so yummy
  12. Cracking a new bottle of wine.. yum!
  13. Biting into the freshest, squeakiest piece of cheese… and knowing there is an entire plate left to eat
  14. Singing Christmas carols at the top of your lungs as if you're the best singer... for some reason Blake loves the 'I Want a Hippopotamus' song.
  15. Seeing friends after so long and catching up like nothing ever changed
  16. The smell of wood burning as you walk outdoors in the nighttime cold air
  17. Sitting down to the best homemade meal you helped to make
  18. Eating a salad you made for lunch and feeling so good about yourself afterwards for (finally) eating healthy!
  19.  Starting to watch a series on Netflix you’ve heard people rave about #TheCrown
  20. Watching the World Junior Hockey games.. its a national Canadian pastime at Christmas
  21. Sitting around with family on Christmas Eve and watching Christmas Vacation, so many good laughs (even though we've already seen the movie like a thousand times!)
  22. Playing games with your siblings and laughing so hard
  23. Knowing its acceptable to wear track pants the entire holiday season
  24. Sitting in the darkness with only candles flickering while you dive into a new read or magazine
  25. Watching your son open up his first Christmas present and knowing he has no idea what all of it means
  26. Knowing you can chase your dreams, following your passions, raise a family, love hard… and feel so damn good about it all.
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The Sunday 7

Happy Christmas eve! How is it already Christmas tomorrow?! My favourite time of year is here and before we know it, we'll blink and it will be gone. Today, all I have planned is eating, baking, more eating, evening mass and spending time with the fam. This marks Blake's first Christmas so this holiday is even more special. Enjoy the time with your loved ones! xo

  1. Our trip to Manitoba this week brought the most beautiful, snowy (warmer) cold weather that allowed us to spend time outdoors. I was able to get this beauty shot above before my iphone shut off from the cold temps, figures right?! We had the best time with family and I even had a chance to visit my favourite local shop, Pineridge Hollow. I grabbed this amazing smelling 'White Pine' candle.
  2. These creative ways to 'dress up your toast' for Christmas morning by food blogger Brittany Stager look oh so yummy. Try these tomorrow morning!
  3. I hope I've been good this year because this cool piece of new technology is on my wishlist :)
  4. Check out this cute desktop wallpaper to brighten up your computer or mobile backdrop to match the festive season. Anything plaid or checkered for me please!
  5. This (easy) tomato soup recipe with a grilled cheese and this will be a perfect lunch.
  6. Looking for a last minute Christmas idea (24 hours to go)?! This gold flatware set is beau-ti-ful!
  7. I love this white envelope idea for Christmas. There is so much more to the season than gift giving. I seriously love giving rather than receiving.

Merry Christmas everyone!

A Blanket of Calmness & Clarity

This past weekend marked the first big snow fall of the season back at home on the farm and across much of Ontario. Who knew Ontario could (still) be host to this much snow early in December and -20 degree temperatures?! I thought this type of winter was something only my in-laws experienced in 'Winter-peg" Manitoba in December.

There is nothing better than being in the countryside to take in the first snowfall to unofficially mark the start of winter. Blake is in awe. You can see through his eyes, the newfound magic of seeing snow for the first time. The sounds he makes as he screams (in joy I hope?! ha) watching the white stuff fall has been one of the coolest things to experience with him. I am beginning to understand why parents say they get to relive everything over again when you watch and experience everything for the first time through your children's eyes.

There is something about the first snowfall of winter that I SO welcome. It is so calming; looking out of the window and seeing the snow settled on the ground, like a warm blanket comforting the earth.

Its reason #93746284758 to love living in Canada because I really do love the change in seasons. Each season provides just enough time for us to enjoy its welcomed differences from the last season, before we get bored with it and then all of a sudden, a new season is upon us. I love how different each season is; how each season renews us; and how each season allows us to do something completely different. Hard to believe only four months ago you could have found me on the water in a bathing suit on a dock and now we're zipped up in parkas in freezing cold temps.

I think that is the whole point of each new season - each season ushers in a different feeling for us.

For me, spring brings a fresh awareness of everything new around us; summer makes me want to relax; fall provides perspective and winter is for hibernation and much needed silence, calmness and reflection after a busy year.

Each year seems to get busier and busier, so winter and its calmness and clarity (and chance to catch up on sleep!) really are welcomed. Similar to the animal kingdom, it really is a time to hibernate by getting in our comfy clothes, watching more netflix, reading more books (that we've put off reading all year), eating all the treats our heart desires and spending time with our favourite people.

After the craziness of becoming a first time mom earlier this year, for some reason more than any other year, I am SO ready for this winter season. How about you?!

The Sunday 7

Inspired by Interior designer and blogger Shea McGee at Studio McGee, I've followed suit and started my own 'Sunday 7' series here on the blog. Shea was the keynote at the Blog Podium conference I attended in Toronto this past September. This series can be a fun a way to capture all of the random work + play items-articles-happenings-design inspiration-photos-thoughts that spark my interest.

Hope you enjoy!

  1. Loving this DIY calligraphy wrapping paper that may look ah-mazing all year round, not just under the Christmas tree.
  2. If you are in need of some of the cutest cards and prints, check out local Ontario gal Sarah's Etsy shop, 'Sweet Simplicity Paper Co.'
  3. I ordered matching beanies for Blake and I from Muskoka Baby, a Muskoka mom making handmade and fashionable baby products and accessories!
  4. If you haven't yet read about 94-year old tweeter Harry Leslie Smith, do yourself a favour and read this fascinating article about him.
  5. My family and I visited the Toronto Christmas Market for the first time together this weekend, in the well-known distillery district. What a beautiful way to celebrate Christmas and take in the historic buildings in a beautiful setting. Oh and it was my first time trying mulled wine (so good!). I'll be trying my hand at  making mulled wine over the holidays with this recipe.
  6. We are heading west this week to visit the in-laws in Manitoba for Christmas. You'll be able to find me in the quiet countryside, cozied up with a new good read and browsing (for hours) in my favourite little shop, Pineridge Hollow.
  7. The first major snowfall this weekend at home on the farm was so peaceful and calming. You could tell even Duke our farm dog enjoyed the new blanket of snow. I was able to write a blog post about this welcomed 'quietness' that the snow brings, I'll be sharing next week!

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