A New Year, A New You

With the new year always comes the feeling of hope and a clean slate. Time and time again resolutions are made to kick the bad habits and to get healthy. Maybe this is YOUR year! I hope to finally be consistent in my workouts and to eat better. How about you?

Below are some of my picks to help you achieve the healthy goals.

I would love a FitBit to keep track of my fitness and heart rate! This one is a bestseller.

Lately I have been working out at home, there are some great workout apps where you use your body weight or kettle bells to tone and strengthen. Wouldn't it be a fun to have a colourful kettlebell to work out with?

Everyone needs a good yoga mat whether you do yoga or not. It's perfect for floor exercises and deep stretching. Since I am in my 40's I have read that it is incredibly important to stretch and practice yoga to keep your muscles supple. I LOVE this yoga mat and it has great reviews.

And one simple way to get healthy is to drink more water! Why not drink water from this fabulous bottle by S'well???

As my body ages, I realize how important it is to stay healthy. Hopefully this can be my year. Who is with me?

* *I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program, affiliate links have been used. I make a small commission from every purchase, but it doesn't affect the price you pay ***

Budget Friendly Guest Room Makeover

Do you have guests arriving for the holidays? It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to get a room put together that can be welcoming and relaxing. With a few key pieces along with carefully curated accessories you can create a space for your guests to feel welcome and relaxed!

Our guest room was a sad dark room that a few years ago received a fresh coat of warm white paint. We are renting so no major renovations can be done but paint works wonders! After our daughter moved out to university we needed to update this space without spending a fortune. The guest room is full of thrifted finds. The dresser, circa 90's pine, was a thrifty find for $40. After receiving a coat of green paint and new hardware it looks spectacular.

The side table was a $20 auction find with a glossy 70's finish that got a lick of warm white paint and some legs. I added a gold wire basket from Lowe's Canada's Bohemian Luxe collection to corral reading materials. The baskets come as a set of three with a canvas lining. I removed the lining and have used the baskets to store books throughout the house. Check out my Instagram to see where.  I love how it adds a layer of luxury in the guest room.

We added our old queen bed frame and mattress, dressed it up with high thread count sheets and added a few throw pillows I whipped up.

Our writing desk area looks beautiful with the addition of the battery operated Ergo Nils gold clock from Lowe's Canada's Bohemian Luxe collection. It is quiet and makes no noise so our guests will not be disturbed by ticking.

Can't wait until our guests arrive!

Visit your local Lowe's to find these and other stunning home decor items to beautify your home!

*This post was sponsored by Lowe's Canada, all opinions are my own*

My Holiday Fireplace Mantle: Decorating with Brass Candlesticks

Finally one part of my house is seeing a bit of Christmas decor! Last weekend I decorated my fireplace mantle with a bit of holiday love. Using a collection of thrifted brass candlesticks, old Ikea candlesticks and black and brass candlesticks from the Bohemian Luxe Collection at Lowe's Canada, layered with cedar clippings I foraged from the nearby forest, along with the stockings I sewed, my fireplace is in the holiday spirit.

Lowe's Canada is not only a hardware store but they carry stunning home decor items. You can read my quick and easy Christmas decorating ideas from last year using decor items from Lowe's Canada

Ain't she pretty? She blends in beautifully with my thrift store collection!.

In addition to the candlesticks I received, I was sent a mirror from Umbra, also found at Lowe's.

 I decided to hack it with a bit of gold spray paint to turn it into a chic tray for my coffee table! Now all we need is some coffee with a little "something-something," turn on the fire and listen to some holiday tunes!

For more home decor ideas, pop over to your local Lowe's!

* This post was sponsored by Lowe's Canada, but all opinions are my own* 

Holiday Gift Guide for the Kids

As an empty nester, we no longer scramble to grab the latest toy for Christmas but I know what a struggle that can be. But as a kidnergarten teacher, I get to use and see toys in action in my classroom on a daily basis. I don't have trendy toys in my room but classic and some not so classic toys that stimulate the mind! Here are some toys that have been enjoyed in my room and have an educational purpose!

Keva planks are simply fabulous. Children get to be engineers and architects while using this seemingly simply block to create amazing structures. You can get a set of 400 or 200

Magna tiles are also an incredibly popular toy in my classroom. While building children are learning to take a 2D shapes to create 3D structures. I have added mini jingle bells at Christmas to make trees, etc. You can use this toy on a light table, or tuck battery operated lights inside as well to add another layer of exploration.

Osmo. It is used with an iPad tablet along with downloaded app ,which is free. Children learn letter recognition, word building, numbers, puzzle solving with tangrams and coding. It is a popular item in my classroom!

Books NEVER go out of style. Here are some favourites that teach STEM, problem solving, social emotional learning and kindness.

The Colour Monster, a pop up book of feelings. A popular book in my room. It teaches about the various emotions and ties in well with the Zones Of Regulation.

Rosie Revere, Engineer, a fabulous book all about a girl who creates. Great inspiration for block building play! There are a series of books, another called Iggy Peck, Architect and Ada Twist, Scientist

And you can never go wrong with Elephant and Piggie. They always make me laugh!

You still have time to order before Christmas! 

* *I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program, affiliate links have been used. I make a small commission from every purchase, but it doesn't affect the price you pay ***

DIY Stockings Inspired by Magnolia's Hearth and Hand

Want to sew stockings like Joanna Gaine's Hearth and Hand line? Look no further, I am your gal!

As a Canadian I felt a bit like the kid left out of the playground fun with the recent launch of gorgeous goodies by Chip and Joanna Gaines for Target. I fell in love with their stockings and since I didn't have time to venture to the US to hit up Target, I figured I'd sew and DIY my own. Our current stockings are 20 years old and needing to retire.

This post is part of a Canadian Bloggers Christmas Craft Blog Hop. You will find the other 19 bloggers listed at the bottom of this post, be sure to go and visit each one!

After browsing my favourite online fabric shop, Tonic Living,  I found the perfect fabrics to make my creations! Now to get sewing.

There are countless stocking tutorials circulating around the web. I sketched out my pattern inspired by this one by The DIY Mommy, but I changed the shape of the foot. I also changed the cuff, I made the pattern go wide, so I would only have one side seam.

How to

You will need (for one stocking):

1/2 yard  (0.5 meters) fabric for stocking body
1/4 yard  (0.2 meters) fabric for cuff (if making a cuff)
1/2 yard  (0.5 meters) lining fabric (I used muslin that I had laying about)
coordinating thread
1/4 yard  (0.2 meters) pom-pom trim (optional)
9 inches  3/8 " wide black velvet ribbon
1  red tassel (optional)


1. Cut 2 pieces of main body of the stocking fabric and lining.
2. Cut 2 pieces of the cuff fabric.
3. Place right sides together and stitch along the edge, approx 1/4" seam allowance.

Stocking with a cuff:

Turn lining piece right side out and place inside stocking. Stitch edges together. Fold ribbon piece in half and stitch edges on the side seam along top of stocking. Piece cuff together (forgot to take photos - bad bad blogger). Add trim along the bottom edge.

 Turn stocking inside out so lining is on the outside, place cuff top edge along the edge of the stocking, stitch. Then turn right side back out. Fold cuff over.

Stocking without a cuff:

Stitch ribbon loop and tassel if using, to outside edge of stocking along the top. Turn lining so right sides are in. Place stocking piece inside lining. Tuck in ribbon and tassel.

Align edges and then pin. Stitch around edge except for about 3-4 inches. Leave unstitched so you can flip it inside out. Flip inside out and iron hem and pin. Slip stitch closed.

You can mix and match a variety of patterns and fabrics to get the look you want. Think plaids, stripes, natural linens, velvet and pom pom trim.

Stay tuned for my holiday mantle close-up coming later this week. Slowly the holiday decor is being dug out from the crawl space. Just trying to persuade the mister to go get a tree with me.

*affliate links have been used in this post. I earn a small commission from the purchases but it doesn't affect the price**

Be sure to visit the other Canadian bloggers participating in this blog hop! So many talented gals and a wealth of ideas!


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