Thursday, January 29, 2015

De-Cluttering Our Home: Part 2

Welcome to part two of my De-Cluttering Our Home series. You can see part one here.  Today as you can see I am concentrating on our china hutch.  When I first bought this second-hand piece of furniture, it was just to fill a very blank space in our dining room.  I just put things on the shelves really without thinking or having a plan.  I used to collect shot glasses and as you can see, have quite the collection! The martini glasses are a beautiful wedding gift from my Maid of Honour who personally etched our initials and designs by hand on each glass. They are very important to me.  But the rest of the space seemed cluttered and wasted.  We aren't people who drink a lot and the bartending feel is tired. I wanted to make it more homey and look more intentional. So, below is what I did:
I absolutely love how this space turned out! I kept about four shot glasses in our kitchen in the liquor cabinet. The rest are in a box, not sure what I will do with them, but definitely not throwing them away!  The top left shelf is a wine decanter, a wedding gift.  The top right is my wedding bouquet. The bottom left shelf is a photo of my brother's family and us the last time we visited. Thomas absolutely loves this photo!  The tea cup was my Nana's.  The large tea pot was a gift from a dear friend.  In the glass shelves I placed my most used cookbooks for easy access.  The red decorative plate was a gift from a friend on her trip to New Zealand. On the bottom shelf you can see the martini glasses and the glass case, another wedding gift, holds these beautiful pine cones. I love the mix of colour, texture and size on the hutch.  The cabinets and drawers hold napkins, place-mats and dishes.
I completely cleared off the cabinet and gave it a good clean.  It's amazing how about an hour of work turned out.  I love this part of our dining room now!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Food Friday: Enchilada Casserole

I posted this photo Sunday evening after devouring this delicious Forks Over Knives casserole.  Many of you asked how it was and if I could share the recipe.  I guess already ruined the suspense by saying 'delish' in the first sentence!  It definitely isn't your average enchilada taste, as there is no beef or traditional taco seasoning; but even Jer loved it!  It was very easy to prepare and gave us enough for four dinner portions and two lunches. As you will see, it calls for the tortillas to be baked into the dish. I would recommend just crumbling them on top, baking it and then maybe having a few on the side.   They seemed a bit soggy when baked into the mix.
You can find this recipe here :)
Also, if you haven't seen the Forks Over Knives documentary, our family highly recommends it.  It's on Netflix. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mare's Music Monday

Time for my first Mare's Music Monday of the year! Today I am reviewing Nicki Minaj's latest album The Pinkprint.  Fun fact about me, I love rap music. I consider rappers to be poets and am in awe of their way with words.
Nicki's debut album Pink Friday was a knock-out!  It remains one of the most solid albums in my collection.  I wasn't a fan of her new direction with Roman Reloaded and was hesitant when The Pinkprint was released.
This album does NOT disappoint!  The Pinkprint is stunning, to be frank.  Nicki Minaj is not only an incredible rapper but she can sing!  Her singing voice is just beautiful and is highlighted on many of the tracks.  The overall vibe of this album is much more understated than her Roman character and is something I have been playing on repeat for a couple weeks.  It's much softer, more grown up and sexy as hell.  There are some amazing guest artists including Beyonce, Ariana Grande and Skylar Grey.  Out of the 16 tracks, I am thoroughly loving about 14! There are some great slow jams like Bed of Lies and Pills n Potions, but also motivating tracks like Feeling Myself and The Night is Still Young.  Yes there is language, but it says it right on the cover.  Why would you expect less?  I am thrilled with this raw and real version of Nicki Minaj. She's proving to have staying power as many critics are calling this her best work yet.
What albums would you like to see me review this year? 
oxox Mare

Saturday, January 17, 2015

De-Cluttering Our Home

 January and February can be very cold, grey months where I live, leading to me feeling quite house-bound.  On the flip side of this, they can be very productive months.  I often feel the urge to purge after Christmas.  This year I am taking it to the next level.  I have slowly been de-cluttering different areas of our home and I thought I would share some of my progress with you. As I am home for so many hours of the day, I like my space to feel clean, simple and relaxing.  I don't like clutter and I don't like a lot of "stuff" in my sight line.  I recently read this article that connects feelings of depression to clutter.  This makes complete sense to me.  When things are messy and busy, my mind can't focus.  
So, that preamble being said, let's get into some of my progress. 
I had been feeling like my bathroom storage was too busy, filled with way too many products.  Yes I have a beautiful collection of makeup and fragrances, but I often reach for the same products, leaving others untouched.  I didn't want to simply throw things away as a) I still like them and b) I hate to be wasteful.  Then my genius friend Emilie just made it so clear for me by saying, "why don't you just tuck some stuff away?".  So simple!  That is what I did. Here are my bathroom shelves before:
Yes, they are well organized, but much too busy.  I just wasn't using every single thing on display, so why have it at an arm's reach?  So I took everything off the shelves, washed them down and started from scratch.  I inspected every product, swatching, checking expiry dates and taking inventory.  There are certain colours and perfumes I reserve for summer, so why have them out in the dead of winter? I slowly worked through everything.
I was able to tuck about half of the products away.  They are in a box, easily accessibly but out of sight.  I still absolutely love everything in this box, I just want to actually USE more products and rotate through them.  My thought is to do this every season and cycle through things.  
 Rotating through products should also help me save money.  When I feel like I want a new shade of lipstick or fresh fragrance or a daring eyeshadow, there's a fairly good chance it will be waiting in this box.  I am at a point now where I feel my beauty collection is pretty solid and complete.  
This is what my bathroom shelves look like now.  Still more than enough lippies, brushes, blushes, smells and shadows to keep me busy!  When a space is too busy and overwhelming, I resort to my old faithfuls, but with less I am using more, somehow! 
I hope this first post was helpful and maybe gets you to thinking of how you can make things more simple and user-friendly. 
Stay tuned for more!
oxox Mare

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wise Word Wednesday

Former Disney star Bella Thorne thinks girls need to stop being so judgy toward each other. She tells Cosmopolitan

"If a girl wears a bathing suit, she is a ho and is body-shamed. If you don't show your body, you're a prude. You take pictures with a guy and you're a ho; you take pictures with a girlfriend and you're a lesbian. I don't understand how girls can sit there and pick one another apart. My friends and I don't do that. Even if I'm not having a good day, my friends are always like, 'But babe, your style is impeccable. I love your shoes.' No matter what, we always pick out the good things."

Monday, January 12, 2015

Finding Joy in a Tough Year

Many of you have been incredibly supportive since I decide to speak publicly about how tough things have been in our family.  If you haven't seen that video and are wondering what the back-story is, you can watch it here

Instead of doing my typical year-end favourites video, I decided to speak from the heart and share with you what small things brought me joy, solace and comfort is such a tough year. 

I hope this video helps you.  I hope you can find joy, no matter what you are wading through. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Moon Dough Recipe

This is the time of year when I often go a little stir-crazy!  The snow is fun to play in, but there are many hours in the day to occupy my little toddler.  We've been using sensory toys and activities which seem to capture T's attention.  I wanted to share today a super simple activity that he's been absolutely loving!
There are many different names for this substance: moon dough, cloud dough, moon matter the name, it's very simple! 

You just need:
baby oil
sealed container (tupperware etc)

All you do is mix eight cups of flour with one cup of baby oil.  We have it in a large tub with a secure lid and it's just that easy!  The consistency is much lighter and less dense than playdough but still feels very interesting to mash your hands in.  You can form shapes and hide things, rake, dig etc. This is very messy, so we sit T in his high chair with a bib.
Enjoy! We've gotta pass these long winter months somehow right? ;)
oxox Mare
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