Monday, 26 June 2017

Seasons on Little Lake


Some of you may not know this about me but I became a homeowner at the young age of 20.
My husband and I had just welcomed a baby girl into the world and desperately wanted a place to call our own.
We knew that if we opted to rent, we would just be throwing away money and helping someone else pay off their mortgage, so we decided to live with my dad and step mom for the first year of our daughter's life to save for a down payment on a home.
This was back in 2009, the market had just crashed and you could still purchase a home in the GTA for a decent price.
We were able to put a little under 10,000 down on a brand new townhouse 45 minutes north of Toronto.
Our timing was very lucky as the builder was asking only 209,900 for our 1500sq townhouse - which would basically get you a shed today in the GTA.
That same townhouse model we bought back in 2009 is selling for over 600,000.
Unfortunately for us, we sold that home a year later - and man am I kicking myself for that one! haha
Affordable housing is almost impossible to find in today's crazy real estate market.
Many of our friends have been saving for years hoping to get into the market but most live in condition homes are out of reach, or they are out bid by crazy amounts when they finally find a decent enough home in their price range.
I'm writing this post today to let you know that you can still become a homeowner without breaking the bank.
I had the opportunity to visit Midland, ON last week to preview Seasons on Little Lake - a new housing development an hour and a half north of Toronto.
 




This amazing community has gorgeous homes starting at the low 200s for a 1 bedroom up to the mid 400s for your full upgraded 3 bedroom model.
It is situated on 247 acres of land featuring forests, trails and ponds.
There will be a members club that offers a gym, party room, hot tub, pool, putting green and more!
You guys know I'm a huge fan of music and within this community there is going to be an Ampatheatre for community events and concerts!
Amazing right?!
But my favourite part is the there is 2300 square feet of shoreline that you will be able to access from a boardwalk within the community.
(you can see that in the vlog at the end of this post)
 
 


Although my husband and I were lucky enough to buy a brand new build for the low 200s, we still had to put money in after we moved in, which won't be the case if you purchase a home in Seasons on Little Lake.
The home comes standard features and finishes that you would usually have to add as upgrades with most other builders.
The kitchen comes with Quartz countertop (we had to pay 1500 extra in our last home for this finish), backsplash and a polished chrome faucet!






The bathrooms also come with quartz counterop, glass door shower and chrome paper towel holder, towel ring, robe hook and towel bar! 
My favourite part is that all the homes come with tiled porcelain flooring in bathrooms and engineered plank flooring in the ktichen, bedrooms and other general areas!
This was a HUGE expense to us in our previous new builds.


I had never been to Midland before visiting Seasons, but had heard wonderful things about it.
It has small town charm (kind of reminded me a little of Stars Hollow for my fellow Gilmore Girls fans) but is not lacking in the big city arts and culture.
The downtown core is boasting with cute home decor shops, cafes and beautiful murals painted on the walls of almost all the buildings.
It also has a beautiful waterfront 15 minutes away from the downtown strip.
There is a cultural centre that hosts plays, concerts and events and the best part - Midland is famous for its Butter Tart festival.
You can see some of the wonderful things Midland, ON offers in the vlog below.



To schedule a site tour, click HERE

**This is a sponsored post which means I was provided compensation and/or product for this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. **

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Pink Blush & A Birthday Boy




Happy Sunday!
Today is a very special Sunday because it is my son Luca's FOURTH birthday.
I seriously can't believe my youngest child is FOUR.
(Click here to read last years birthday post)
He is our wild child - always so full of energy and life which is a wonderful thing.
We didn't go crazy this year to celebrate.
We spent the day at home and celebrated the birthday boy with his favorite cake.
I've come to learn over the years that most times, the simple parties are the ones that make the best memories because I'm not running around like crazy and can really take in all that is happening.
Luca starts school in the fall which I'm a little sad but also excited about.
As bitter sweet as it is, I'm really looking forward to the next stage in parenthood.
It's going to be really fun to have three "big" kids.
We can start going places without worrying about strollers, diapers, nap times etc. which is pretty cool!
Another thing I'm looking forward to about having bigger kids, is being able to start dressing in nicer clothes.
I don't have any immediate plans of returning to a 9-5 job, which means I will still get to work from home, but I think it's about time I step away from my every day jeans and tank look haha
Today, I wanted to share with you one of my favourite online stores: Pink Blush.
I've started picking up a few dressier, but still casual pieces here and there to fill my wardrobe with and Pink Blush has been a go to.
Most of you know them as a maternity store - but they also have an amazing selection of stylish and affordable clothes for non-expecting women.
This lace up chambray dress I'm wearing in the photo above is from Pink Blush and you can shop it HERE.
This dress is super comfy and I love the lace detail - the best part is that it was UNDER $50!
There is going to be a really exciting giveaway on Instagram later this week, and Pink Blush is one of the sponsors so you won't want to miss it!
If you aren't following me on IG already you can go do so HERE
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!
I'm about to go change the birthday boy into his PJ's and read him his favourite bed time book.

Kelsey,
ox.



**This is a sponsored post which means I was provided compensation and/or product for this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. **


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Festival Inspired Hair



Happy Thursday Friends!
Things have been absolutely INSANE around here.
I am busier than I have ever been, but that is how I like to roll so all is good!
Anyone else thrive off of being busy?
 I did take some time out of the chaos to unwind at Ste. Annes Spa yesterday though, which was very very needed, but I'll tell you all about that in another post next week. 
Aside from my post a couple years back confessing my love for 90's sensation Hanson here, I haven't talked much about my love for music on this blog but that's all going to change!
You all should know that I am music OBSESSED.
Going to concerts is my jam and I want to share more of that part of my life with you all here.
Yesterday was the first official day of summer which means it's music festival season.
Last week, my friend Vanessa of Studio V Beauty and I went to the DubDub loft to create a Festival Inspired Hairstyle for you guys!
(find it below)
We had the best time creating this fun look in the super chill Dub Loft creators studio and I hope you all enjoy it!
Tag us on IG if you recreate this look!
We would love to see them! 
@kelseydianeblog
@studio.v.beauty


 
A big thank you to 2 Kats Clothing for styling us for this fun video! 




Monday, 19 June 2017

4 Things I Do To Make My Mornings Easier & A Quaker Overnight Oats Recipe

For a long time, I dreaded school mornings.  
They were chaotic, unorganized and quite honestly, the worst part of my day. 
 Today, I'm sharing with you four things I started doing to make my mornings easier. 

 Wake Up Before The Kids 
When I tell people I wake up at 5:30am so I can enjoy a cup of coffee in peace and get myself ready before the kids wake up, people usually look at me like I have five heads.  This is so crucial for me in order to ensure I have a good morning.  
I used to be a morning person, but since having kids I need a good half hour before I'm ready to function for the day. 

To Do List 
Every night before bed, I write myself a list of things I want to get done in the morning and leave it on my night side table. The list usually consists of things like "empty dishwasher", "return so and so's email", etc. I glance over the list during my first morning coffee and start crossing items off the list well before the kids wake up.  

  Pick Out Clothes Night Before 
I don't know about other mama's, but I have two little fashionistas on my hands who would try on every single item in their wardrobe, twice, if I didn't stop them.  Picking out their clothes the night before makes an easier morning for myself and the kids. 
They can spend their time fussing about what to wear the night before instead of during the short amount of time we have in the mornings to get out the door. 
They lay their outfits out in their rooms the night before so the first thing they do when they wake up is get dressed.   
  
Prep Breakfast Ahead Of Time 
 One of our solutions to make mornings easier is ensuring that there are easy but nutritious breakfast options available in the house at all times. My girls are 6 & 8 now and love being a part of meal prep. We make the oats ahead of time in mason jars and stick them in the fridge so that after the girls are dressed, they can come down and grab them right out of the fridge and help themselves to a delicious and nutritious breakfast solution. 
 You can check out a variety of tasty recipes on the Quaker Oats website and I'm sharing you our favourite Strawberry Coconut Overnight recipe below. 
 
 Strawberry Coconut Overnight Oats 
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk  
  • 1/3 cup toasted coconut flakes, divided (1/4 cup plus topping)  
  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts  
  • 1 tbsp honey, plus extra to drizzle  
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract  
  • Pinch fine sea salt, optional  
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries, divided (1/2 cup plus topping  
  1. In a Mason jar or bowl, add Quaker® Oats, coconut milk, ¼ cup coconut flakes, hemp hearts, honey, vanilla extract and sea salt. Stir to combine.  
  1. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped strawberries and top with remaining strawberries, remaining toasted coconut and drizzle with honey.  
  1. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 
 
Hope these tips help you enjoy your mornings a little more.  
  Kelsey,  Xo. 

      **This is a sponsored post which means I was provided compensation and/or product for this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. **


Monday, 5 June 2017

Taking Care Of My Gut Health With Renew Life

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I have been taking steps towards living a healthier lifestyle.
I have been exercising regularly and being more conscious about the foods I put into my body.
I even started a fitness account to hold myself accountable.
This health journey isn't all about a number on the scale.
It's about getting my energy levels up so I can be more active with my children.
It's about being confident again.
It's about loving myself enough to take care of my health and put my needs first sometimes.
One of the first steps I am taking on this new journey, is to take care of my Gut Health.
My lovely friend Stephanie of Stephanie Long Nutrition has been telling me for years that I need to get myself on a Probiotic, but taking care of myself was never really a priority so I ignored her suggestion.
 I have finally listened to her wise words and started taking a daily Probiotic by Renew Life.
It helps support intestinal and gastrointestinal health and unlike most probiotics there is NO refrigeration required, which is amazing because with Summer around the corner I'll be spending a lot of my time on the road and traveling sometimes without access to a fridge. 

We all need good bacteria for our gut health and there are many things that deplete the good bacteria in our gut such as:

Coffee
(I drink at least 2 cups a day - see my post here about cutting back caffeine intake)
Stress
Sugar
Refined Foods
and moreI suffer from acne, bloating, eczema, brain fog and low energy which are all symptoms of poor gut health so taking a Probiotic is SO important for me (and everyone) as it puts the good bacteria back into our bodies.
On top of taking a probitoic, I have been limiting the amount of sugar I eat to almost none and upping my daily water intake to about 8 glasses a day.
I haven't been taking the probitoic long enough to see any huge results, but I have noticed that I have been feeling less tired and can think more clearly.
I will keep you all updated over on my fitness account which you can find HERE


*This post was sponsored by Renew Life but all opinions are my own**


Monday, 22 May 2017

Jamie's Italian

A couple weeks ago we took the kids to Yorkdale for lunch at Jamie's Italian.
Louis and I are huge Jamie Oliver fans and have been dying to try this restaurant.
We have a couple of his cook books & make regular trips to Sobey's just to buy his products.
Upon arriving, we were instantly wowed by the atmosphere and design.
Lots of rustic wood and subway tiles had me dreaming up all kinds of future renos for our home.




We decided to order a couple of appetisers and a pizza to share amongst the five of us.
We ordered the Crunchy Italian Nachos, Spicy Meatball Bruschetta and the Patate Pizza topped with marscapone cheese, balsamic onions, bacon, rosemary and thinly sliced potatoes.



I had read some pretty bad reviews before trying this restaurant myself, but I'm glad I didn't listen. They seated us in a small room upstairs that was next to a rustic looking kitchenette complete with white subway tile, dark grey grout and barn wood that made us feel like we were back in Italy eating dinner in Nona's kitchen.
The food was simple and rustic with just the right amount of flavour.
Not too overwhelming, but just enough.
My only complaint would be that the nachos could have used a bit more cheese as I could barely taste it, but we still really enjoyed them.
We will definitely be coming back for a date night in the near future.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Royal Majesty Espresso at Blue Mountain

Happy Mother's Day!
I know this day is supposed to be all about me, but I have to say a HUGE thank you to this man right here. 
 He woke up early with the kids and got them showered and ready to go out for a walk so that I could sleep in and get ready in peace. 
This wasn't even a one off for mother's day - this guy seriously takes over when he's not at work and I am so thankful the kids have such a loving and devoted father.
After he came back from his walk with the kids he told us to get in the car because he was taking me somewhere special for Mother's Day.


 

The kids had fun guessing where we may be going.
I decided to actually vlog today, so I'll leave it at the end of this post so you can hear the silly places we thought we were going.
As soon as Louis started driving I knew exactly where he was taking us.
We live about 45 minutes away from Blue Mountain so it is somewhere we try to visit as often as we can and I can pretty much get there with my eyes closed we've been so many times.
Don't worry, calm down people - I won't ever attempt that ;)



When we got to the mountains it was FREEZING.
We did not dress for the weather at all but luckily I had left my leather jacket in the van from the day before.
We spotted the cutest little cafe in the Blue Mountain Village called Royal Majesty Espresso Bar.
It was the first time we have ever been and it was basically love at first glance of all the pretty tile. 



The kids ordered grilled cheese with a shot of the most delicious tomato soup I have ever tasted.
(yep, totally stole their soup - sorry kids)
Louis ordered the big breakfast sandwich (which you can see in the Vlog below) and I had the ham and cheese croissant with a caffe americano.
Both were absolutely delicious, but I wish I was a little more adventurous and ordered the Smores Latte because I can't get it out of my head...looks like I have the perfect excuse to go back.
Not only is the food scrumptious the cafe had such a delightful ambiance.
Next time you're visiting the mountains be sure to stop in and thank me later ;)

Don't forget to subscribe and watch our Vlog to see more from our day.


Kelsey,
Ox.