The year we broke a Christmas Tradition

For those of you who know me well, you know that I'm not a very sentimental person when it comes to material items.
I've actually lost most of the gifts my husband has gifted me in our 11 years together.....oops.
Although I'm not one to hold sentimental value to objects I do hold on dearly to traditions and memories.
Every Christmas since our first born was only 11 months old we went to the mall and took photos with Santa.
There have been some  really good and funny (insert screaming baby) photos over the years.
This year, for the first time since 2009 we aren't getting Santa photos and my heart is a little crushed.
We got the kids all fancied up 3 times to attempt the Santa photo but this year it just isn't in the cards for us.
The first time we went the line up was way too long.
I'm talking wrapping around another hallway long so we left and said we would come back when it was less busy.
The next time we went we actually waited in like for a good 45 minutes with a very overtired 2 year old who kept trying to escape the line, eventually enough was enough and when there was no end in sight it was time to pack up and go.
The third and final time we went the line up was another 3 hour wait and Santa had to break for an hour lunch on top of that.
So we decided - this year - there would be no Santa photos.
It breaks my heart a little that 2015 will be the year missing when we look back on these photos when the kids are older but sometimes when your a parent things just don't go as planned and thats okay.
We have a two year old who cannot wait for long periods of time and thats okay.
Theres always next year.
We did get some fun photos at a friends Ugly Christmas Sweater party though! 
Were just missing our two year old in the photos so I'll be sure to snap lots over the next few days.
The quality of the photos aren't the best but they are memories to hold onto for years to come :)


KDB Kid Kift Guide 2015

Can you believe Christmas is less than two weeks away?
I can't! 
Maybe because there is no snow on the ground here yet - but I'm not complaining.
I've put together some of my favourite Kid/Baby Items for those of you who still need to finish up your shopping. 
Hope you love them as much as I do :)


Lowes Build & Grow

I've written in the past about the importance of spending one on one time with your children and
if you follow me on Instagram you know that my two year old hasn't been sleeping well which has resulted in a pretty cranky boy.
I've been spending more of my time with my son because he needs me more right now but I could tell the girls have been feeling left out so I wanted to plan something special for just us girls.
I've been doing a lot of painting in our house since we've moved and the girls have been asking when they will be old enough to help around the house so when I saw that Lowes offers FREE build and grow workshops I knew this was exactly what we needed. 

We've been spending a lot of time at Lowes lately buying what the kids consider "boring" items for our house so they were really excited that the purpose of this Lowes trip was just for them.
Lowes runs these Build & Grow Workshops once a month and it is recommended for children in Grade 2 to 5 but parents are required to stay while in the workshop so even my 4 year old had a great time with my help.
When you arrive at the work shop the kids receive their own Lowes apron, goggles,name tag, hammer and supplies needed to build the project. 
They get to keep it all after wards with the exception of the hammer.

The kits came with steps by step picture instructions that were easy enough for both of my girls, ages four and six, to follow.
They were so excited they got to use a real hammer and nails they kept saying
how they were "real builders" now.

At the end of the work shop they receive a certificate with their name and date on it and an iron on badge that they can add to their apron after each workshop. Some of the kids had aprons filled with badges and the girls can't wait to come back and collect more. Before we left, the girls sat down on the floor and raced their trains with a few of the other kids that attended the workshop.
We can't wait to go back!


IBD - A Guest Post

I'm really excited to introduce you to a courageous and inspirational woman today.
Her name is Stacey and she has Ulcerative Colitis. 
Stacey lived a few doors down from me when I was a kid and 
I recently came upon her new blog IBD Baggage Claim through Instagram and I knew I share her incredible and encouraging story on my blog.
Stacey wrote a little about her journey living with Ulcerative Colitis below for my blog but I encourage everyone to stop by her blog to learn even more.

We all come with a little extra baggage. That is my new motto I have taken up in 2015. 2015: my year of trauma, turmoil, pain, uncertainty, frustration and sickness. Also my year of love, support, perspective, growth, outreach and positivity. In no other time in my 26 years have I learned the power of optimism, and taking on new challenges with tenacity and grace. In the ugliest of scenarios I have attempted to keep the humour in a shitty year while sharing my story in all honesty. I have taken the perspective that although this year has been difficult, it has been difficult for a lot of people. And I have attempted to grow as a person by showing the importance of kindness and compassion in the sense that everyone if fighting some sort of battle. And no matter how big or small, we all come with some sort of back-story that shapes us.

Throughout the last 6 years a little monster named Ulcerative Colitis has lived in my gut. A disease caused by an autoimmune disorder has lived in my large intestine causing inflammation, bleeding, ulcers and cramping. Up until 2015 this little monster was no more than a minor pest that I could wipe out with simple oral medication. But for some reason in January of this year, as I took on new courses, a new position at work and new overall goals, this monster became fierce, unruly and BIG. He quickly crushed these goals by putting my ambition and whole life on hold…..for 12 whole months.

After hospital visit after hospital visit we had hopes that by June I would be in remission and 2015 part 2 (#2015part2 took over my Instagram) would be in full affect: the better half. Unfortunately as my hair fell out, my weight dropped and my energy level plummeted it was clear this monster would be relentless. By September, after many leaves of absences from work, difference courses of treatment, many scopes and many doctors, my most trusted health care professional and I decided to take this monster head on, and cut it out. Surgery was a reality and likely my best option.

On October 31st I had my entire colon removed. You can’t have colitis if you don’t have a colon. In a sense I am cured. But now I have a whole new set of obstacles in front of me: Life with an ileostomy. I wear a bag on my stomach where my small intestine has been pulled through an opening to eliminate waste. It’s sexy, extremely attractive and makes me really confident…...NOT.! But I’m healthy and I’m learning to cope. I chose to take back control of my life and take it off hold.  And as we wrap up 2015 a new hashtag is on the horizon: #2016wholething

I have seen extreme forms of encouragement and benevolence from nurses, doctors, family, friends and strangers. I have seen first hand the humanity in others as they extend a caring hand towards me. And these are the biggest things I have learned: Roll with the punches with positivity; Lean on your people, that is what they are here for; There are more important things in life other than work and making money so take the time for your health; Be open and honest about what’s going on because it minimizes awkwardness;  And most importantly, every body has some sort of struggle and we need to promote kindness and compassion while considering everyone’s extra baggage.


Emma | Jacket OLD NAVY | Boots TOMMY HILFIGER | Leggings JOE FRESH
Kelsey | Leather Jacket GUESS | Boots HUNTER

| Door Mat IKEA
Emma | Boots HUNTER |

It's hard to believe its December.
 The Christmas Tree is up and our neighbourhood looks magical at night with all the Christmas lights but theres no snow on the ground and it's mild enough to go for walks every night after dinner.
I'm not going to complain because it means I can postpone pulling out all the dreaded winter gear for just a while longer and enjoy more time outside with my kids.
We've been hitting up new parks and exploring new areas of our City almost everyday.


|Parka OLD NAVY | Sweater JUSTICE | Backpack & Label OLD NAVY & MABELS LABELS | Kazoo THE ARTS


The real and The Messy

I posted a photo of my husband and I this morning on instagram and used hashtags like 
#bestfriends and #10yearsoflove.
When we posed for these photos it was early morning we were smiling, goofing off and everything was just dandy.
Fast forward to the afternoon, 1 outing at a restaurant with 3 kids 7 & under, 1 grocery shop with same 3 kids & a few tantrums later and these photos wouldn't quite have looked the same.
Our two year old was running around the restaurant like a maniac, our 6 year old thinks she has the meanest parents in the whole world and was sure to let us hear about it (no candy is not an appropriate lunch choice) and our 4 year old can be sent into a meltdown just looking at her lately.
As much as I love these little kiddos they can really test our marriage.
Life isn't always beautiful and marriage isn't always perfect.
It's real and messy and it takes a lot of work.
I can go from thinking "how in the world did I get so lucky?" to "What possessed me to marry this man" in the same minute but how boring would life be if everything was perfect all the time.
When it really comes down to it he is my partner in crime, he has been by my side in good times and bad and knows me better than anyone.
We made a promise to each other that we would work together more as a team, communicate more about our needs and put our marriage first.
After all, first comes love then comes baby.
And what good are we to our children if we don't work on our love first.


Christmas Giveaway Time!

"Tis the Season to be Jolly Fa La La La La La La La La"

Anyone else's family already telling them to take it easy on the Christmas tunes?
I love everything Christmas which is why I am SO excited today to be hosting a Christmas Giveaway for one of my lovely readers.
I've teamed up with Kirstie over at  Kirstie Dee Designs to give one of my lucky readers a $25 shop credit!
Kirstie has a passion for sewing and beautiful fabrics and lucky for us she has turned that into a business and makes beautiful items for babies & children.
In 2016 she will also be releasing a new line of quilts and Items for the home.
All the items in her shop are also %25 off with the code MERRYCHRISTMAS until December 8th.

{90% of the proceeds go towards Prostate Cancer Canada for this Taggie }

To enter the giveaway follow the rules carefully.
You must follow Kirstie Dee Designs on Facebook & Instagram as well as me on Facebook & Instagram.
Good Luck :)
For an extra entry visit Kirstie Dee Designs Easy Shop and comment under my instagram giveaway post what Item you want the most.
I will draw the winner December 8th by 8am.


My Favourite Band Part 2- The Hanson Experience

Here is Part Two to My Favourite Band post I wrote a couple of days ago.

I left off saying my friend and I made arrangements for our 7 children so we could spend our Thanksgiving weekend with our favourite band, Hanson.
The concert wasn't until 7 but we headed downtown for 11am so we could get ready and get in line.

              {Subway Selfie - It's not often we get a weekend sans kids }

We arrived downtown to the condo we were spending the weekend in and spent a good two hours picking out our outfits and doing our hair and make up. 

Around 1pm we headed to the concert venue to scope out the line situation as we saw on Instagram that people started camping out the night before!
Seriously guys - being a Hanson Fan is no Joke.
When we arrived the line up was already around the corner. 
The people at the front of the line had numbers on their hands to hold their places in line.
Basically an unwritten Fanson rule - these ladies got first dibs on front row.
I had heard horror stories about these hardcore Hanson Fans but I ended up dancing with the ladies in the front row and had a great time!We knew we were about to be waiting for a long time but it was worth it. 
We wanted to be as close to our favourite band as possible.
We quickly became friends with two ladies in line who were from Michigan and an older fan and her friend from about an hour south of Toronto.
I don't think we were waiting more than 45 minutes when a car pulled up in front of where we were in line.
My heart went into my stomach thinking this could be Hanson, the band I had been in love with for 18 years.
The door opened and out came Paul McDonald, former American Idol, and opening act for Hanson.

Paul was super nice and posed for photos with a few of us waiting in line.
About 20 minutes later a Suburban pulled up and I just knew this was my favourite band.
Out came Issac, Taylor & Zac and I practically reverted
 to my 8 year old self again.
I was totally star struck but high on adrenaline I gained the courage to go up to them and ask for a photo.
Taylor said "um,not right now."
18 years of dreams shattered.
To be fair,  I may have said 
"I'm fan girling so hard right now"
 before I asked him for the photo.
Seriously, what is wrong with me?!
Zac and Issac were willing to pose with a few of us.

                {Zac and I - How Stoked do I Look? }
{My Friend Adriana & Zac }

{Issac and I }

The next 4 or however many hours we waited to get into The Pheonix concert
venue went by so fast because we had FINALLY met our favourite band after 18 long years so we had a lot to talk about.
The first night of the tour, which was called Roots and Rock N Roll, featured cover songs.
If I'm being honest, I wasn't that excited for the cover night.
I know they do amazing covers but I just wanted to hear my favourite Hanson Songs.
These boys did not disappoint though and put on a killer show and we managed to be Second Row!
**Singing** "Then After the Show, It's the After Party" **Singing**
Now R.Kelly is stuck in my head, but seriously, Taylor Hanson hosted an after party after the first show.
It was interesting to say the least.
It was mostly a bunch of women standing staring at Taylor like he was a God which was honestly pretty uncomfortable.

For those of us who decided to dance to the DJ set and have a good time it was great!

Day 2 Hanson hosted their Take The Walk Campaign where they do a 1mile barefoot walk with fans to raise money for poverty.
We missed the walk due to a sick little one but made sure to be in line early again for the second night of Hanson Originals.

{Waiting in Line Night 2}

We met some fans who flew all the way from the Philippines and Calgary to see the boys perform.
I told you these Fans are the real deal.

{New Friends}

The Second Night of the tour was all I hoped and dreamed for.
They played old songs, new songs, songs they don't usually play and I danced like it was my job.
I danced so hard that my feet were bleeding and I couldn't even count how many blisters I had covering my feet and it was all worth it.
After the show a bunch of fans were crowded outside and we had to see what the fuss was about.
Apparently Hanson usually greets their fans after the show.
Seriously? As if I needed another reason to love these guys aside from their music.
They really care about their fans.
We waited in line for about half hour and eventually the guys came out to greet us fans.
I want to say their were at least 100 of us and the guys made sure to spend time with each and every fan saying hello and taking photos.
I even got into a conversation about Super Nintendo with Zac.

{Taylor coming out of the bus}

{My friend, Adriana, and Zac }

{Taylor and Adriana} 
I didn't get any good photos of the band and I the second night but I'm totally okay with that because I got to talk a bit with them and it was honestly a night I will never forget! 
As we were leaving we ran into our American Friends we made while waiting in line for night 1 and we were saying how we wished we got a photo of the 4 of us.
  Zac was standing near by and overheard and offered to take a photo for us.
Seriously ?!? What a cool guy.
The photo made me appear to be about 2x my normal size but my first ever celebrity crush took it so Its a photo I will forever cherish!
Thanks Hanson for an amazing weekend filled with amazing music.
Please come back soon.

{The photo Zac took of us}

I know I've probably convinced you to check out what Hanson has been busy doing since Mmmbop so Here is where you can find them.
I promise you won't be disappointed. 

Taylor Hanson's Wife also has a cute family blog about her life homeschooling their 5 beautiful Children that I know my readers will love.

My Favourite Band Part 1

I remember the word that made me fall in love with music.
Is that even a word?
It was 1997.
I was only 8 years old when my mom was watching Much Music and a new music video came on.
Three longed haired boys were singing the most beautiful song I had ever heard.
Not only did I fall in love with music in that moment but I discovered my first ever butterflies in my tummy for the cutest drummer I had ever seen.
People either loved or hated Hanson.
I spent the majority of Grades 2 either defending my love for this band or arguing why I was a better fit for Zac than my other Zac loving friends.
This band consumed me.
My mom spent hours on the phone to get me tickets to see them play at the Molson Ampatheatre, my very first concert.
(You Rock Mom)
My walls were plastered in Hanson posters from floor to ceiling and every diary entry involved either song lyrics, band facts or justifying why Zac could love a girl even if she was three years younger.
(I was the Girl haha)
I did chores and begged and pleaded and saved up every penny I could to buy my very own pair of Yellow Doc Martens so I could be like my first crush.
I got them and wore those boots everyday even through the teasing of my classmates.
They obviously didn't know what cool was.

Hanson is way more than just MmmBop which seems to shock a lot of people.
When people find out my favourite band is Hanson it's usually followed up by
"Those Mmmbop kids?"
"Do they still exist?" 
Hanson does in fact still exist and some of their best songs are from the last couple of albums.
They've released 6 studio albums, a Christmas cd and several EPs.
They're also very clever businessmen, started up their own record label & have 11 kids between them.
They also have one of the most loyal fanbases I have ever seen.
I have to admit, I am more of a born again Hanson Fan.
They have always been my favourite band but before August 2014 I hadn't seen them play since 1997 which would be totally unacceptable to those loyal Fansons.
 I actually even turned down a guaranteed meet and greet with the band in 2011!
(Seriously - what was I thinking?)
I was busy being a kid, falling in love with my husband and having babies to really dedicate too much time to being a die hard fan.
Until I went to a free show at the CNE in Toronto August 2014 and every single emotion I felt at 8 years old came flooding back.
I was consumed again, these Hanson boys are like a drug I tell you.
The energy they give off at a show is unreal.
So when I heard Hanson was coming for a two night show & after party in Toronto on Thanksgiving Weekend 2015 I knew I had to go, regardless of the fact that I would be missing my favourite Holiday.
As soon as the tickets were released my good friend Adriana, who is as Hanson obsessed as I am, was on the computer getting us tickets.
We talked about how amazing this weekend would be on the nightly & played over different scenarios of meeting our favourite band, convinced we would finally meet our favourite band after 18 years of love for this band.
Basically we became those little girls back in 1997 all over again.
We made arrangements for the 7 kids we have between us and set off to Toronto for what we hoped would be the best Hanson Weekend of our lives.

Stay Tuned for
My Favourite Band Part 2- The Hanson Experience On Friday :)


How To Update Your Tile Fireplace For $10

If you follow me on social media you probably already know that we have moved.....AGAIN. 
It seems every 2 years we get the itch to move and this time it was all said and done in TWO weeks.
This time around we bought a detached home (we've only ever lived in townhouses) and its about 20 years old. 
In the past we have only bought from the builder so this is all new to us!
Having a detached home is lovely,
 but having an already lived in home has been a big adjustment for me.
(Turns out I'm a Princess)
20 years ago design was a lot different than it is today so I have big plans to bring this home back into this century.
First on the list was updating the ugly fireplace.
This was first on the list simply because it was the easiest and least expensive.
We updated our fireplace for a grand total of 

Here is the before photo from the MLS listing

I obviously couldn't live with this outdated Beige and Blue Tile so off to Home Depot we went to buy some Tile Paint.
The fireplace isn't in great condition as it has a few cracked tiles but since it cost us so little to do this simple update we will probably just leave it as is for a while and move on to bigger more important projects.
The best part is we only needed 3 supplies to pull this project off!
No sanding required because the paint sticks right to the tile.
Supplies Needed To Paint Tile Fireplaced
You won't even need to use a full quart and I bought it at Home Depot For about $10
I actually have a lot left over that I am using on another project that I will share in the near future ;)
A Paint Brush
How to Paint A Tile Fireplace For $10
Wash Fireplace
Your going to have to give the fireplace a good wipe down before applying paint. 
I just used a damp Cloth and let it dry. 

Tape Around the Fireplace and Floor

Paint The Fireplace
It is really as easy as that!
I needed 3 coats so it took a few days to allow time for the paint to dry.

What do you think?
Do you like the white tile?

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