12 Simple Tips on How to Make Traveling With Tiny Humans Just A Little Easier.

Traveling with young children may seem scary, I get it! I know many parents who avoid traveling altogether, because they fear how their children will be, when confined in a small aircraft, away from their comfort space and off their routine. This is definitely a fair and a legitimate concern.

If you have followed me for a while, you’ll know that my husband and I both love to travel.  One of my favorite philosophies in life is that “variety is the spice of life”.  Nothing offers more variety than being able to see, experience and immerse yourself in different cultures and lifestyles from around the world. It is important to us that our children learns to appreciate the uniqueness and complexity of different cultures and understand the vastness of what this world has to offer. Not all classrooms need to be made up of four walls.

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Having said that, traveling with kids can be a lot of work so I have tried my best to outline as many key tips for you to make your experience as positive as it can be. Let me be clear, I have had my fair share of disastrous trips so I want to help you prevent that from happening.  Nothing is worse than spending a ton of money on a vacation and NO ONE is happy!

1. Be realistic about your travels: No one knows your child best so be realistic about your destination, activities and duration. For example, if you have a young toddler that does NOT like to walk for a long period of time, don’t plan long hiking trips unless you are fit enough to be carrying your child for most of the hike.

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2. Accommodate some routine in your travel plans. I definitely think you should be able to relax a bit when you’re travelling. The reality is, you are on vacation and there are places you want to go, and things you want to see.  Accommodating every nap, every routine, every day, is probably not realistic. However, we all know that kids are better and happier when they on a routine.

My rule of thumb is when we skip naps for one or two days, we’ll try to accommodate naps the following day. Or if we went to bed late one night, then the following night, we would try to go to bed earlier or at least on time.  I consider this as an opportunity for your child to reset. The last thing you want is to have a tired child having an epic meltdown in the middle of the streets, while hundreds of tourists stare at you. I speak from experience! This on routine, off routine (or reset) method worked really well for us when our kids were younger. However, every child is different, so the schedule that worked for us may not necessarily work for you. You know your child best so determine a schedule/rhythm that works best for him or her.  It may take a few trials and error before you get it down so be patient! As your kids get older, it will get easier to skip the day to day routines.

3. Book flight times around your children’s schedule. If it is a long flight, book an overnight flight if possible. It will be dark and late so they will most likely be tired and sleep through most of it. If it is a shorter flight, try to schedule it around their nap time.  Sometimes the perfect flight time may cost more, so do what makes the most sense for your family financially. Any hour you can get them sleeping on a flight, the better and less stressful it is for you. If napping/sleeping is not an option, then select a time where your child is easiest to accommodate such as in the morning, after they had a full night of rest. Tired kids are often cranky ones.

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4. Keep them busy on flights. The older your child is, the easier it is with flights. I personally had great traveling experiences with my kids when they were babies. They slept, ate snacks and when they got cranky, I would nurse them and that usually did a great job of calming them. Make sure to pack lots of snacks if you are traveling with infants, it will come in handy.  For toddlers, if you are open to screen time, then iPads and tablets are great. Download activities, games, and shows prior to your flight so they can occupy themselves with that.  Now if you’re like me and try to limit screen time, bring activities. I always hit up the local dollar store. For $10 or so, I can get a number of coloring books, fun packs, playdoh and some simple sticker crafts that will keep them busy for hours. Reusable sticker pads and audio books were also great hits with my boys.

5. Don’t care about the other people on your flight! For some reason, this is hard for most people.  We get so occupied with not disturbing other flyers, and completely stress ourselves over it. Most people are understanding when they see you traveling with young children.  But trust me, I’ve gotten a few eye rolls here and there (definitely not often), as I walked down the aisle by the business class section by myself with two young children. You know what, I don’t care! I have the right to be on that flight with my kids just as much as anyone else does. The reality is, most of these people were once in your shoes at one point or another.  If they can’t sympathize with you, then that is too bad, and makes me want to care less about what they think.

6. Pack as much as you need (yes, this is probably different from what you are used to hearing). I’m not saying pack your entire house for all your trips, but if there is something that is going to make your trip easier, then why not bring it. For example, we went to Portugal this past summer and my husband didn’t want to bring a stroller. I thought he was crazy. Yes, my 5-year-old should be walking for most of the trip, but let’s be serious, there was a LOT of walking and he’s going to be tired, along with my 3-year-old! I am a fan of catering your trips appropriately to accommodate your family type. However, unless you have all the time in the world or a lot of money, you’ll want to get the most out of your trip. If you need a stroller so you can see or do more, then by all means, bring a stroller! Bring what makes your trip easier. If you think the benefit of having something outweighs the inconvenience of having to bring it, then bring it!

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7. A little planning goes a long way. As romantic as the idea of being spontaneous may sound, routine and structure are good for kids. Plan ahead the various activities that you would like to do or places you would like to visit and create a travel itinerary. This way, you can accommodate some of your children’s routine as outlined in tip #2.  For example, you don’t have to go back to your hotel everyday for your kids to nap, but if you are going to have a car, plan for your kids to nap while you drive from one destination to another or in the stroller as you push them to the next location.

8. Hand sanitizers are a must. Make sure it is in each bag. Let’s get real, kids are gross! Prevent germs from spreading or kids getting sick so pack those hand sanitizers.

9. Be flexible with the your travel plans. Now if you created an itinerary as suggested above, realize that with younger kids, you might not be able to tackle everything on that list. Prioritize your list of things to see and do each day, and try to get through the ones highest in priority first. Be flexible to move things around if you can’t get to something on a certain day. I think we often forget that we’re not able to move as quickly with younger children.

10. Make sure to include kid friendly activities or attractions in your trip. Most kids don’t get excited about art galleries, museums and sight-seeing. We took the kids to the aquarium in Lisbon in Park of Nations and they had a blast. They are on vacation too, so plan something fun for them as well.

11. If your child is old enough, give him or her a camera. I did this with Lucas in Portugal and it was probably one of the best things I did on this trip. He felt empowered with his camera and it provoked his curiosity wherever we went.  He was excited to go sight-seeing because he could capture the experience himself.

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12. Last but not least, JUST HAVE FUN! Enjoy yourself and not stress over everything. Traveling is about being present and immersing yourself in new experiences and having cool stories to tell later on. Appreciate the people you are with, in the surrounding you are in, so go have some fun!

XO,

Kim

 

Simple Ways to Bring Fall Inside Your Home

As you know, I reside in Florida so the closest things we have to Fall at this time of the year are pumpkins and various colors of mums found in grocery stores in mid 80 to 90 temperatures. So it doesn’t really feel like Autumn around here and you MUST know that this is my absolute favorite season!!!

I miss being able to dress for this time of the year with all the layers, cozy  sweaters, jackets of all sorts and BOOTS! I MISS MY BOOTS!!! I remember the first year I moved to Florida, the day after Labor Day, I totally had my OTK boots on. I couldn’t tell you how silly I felt, as not only was I sweating in them but EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE were in flip flops, even the men, which you almost never see up North. But that’s not going to stop me from embracing all the warm hues and beautiful rustic elements of this season. I  might not be able to rock the oversized cozy sweaters and booties that have been blowing up my Instagram or take evening strolls watching the leaves grow old in vibrant colors of yellow, orange and red. But I can definitely sit inside the comfort of my cozy Autumn home sipping on a pumpkin spice latte in my super fuzzy slippers.

Here are a few easy ways to bring the beautiful season of Fall into your home:

1. You know Pumpkins were going to be on my list so it might as well be the first one. I can’t seem to resist them at this time of the year despite knowing very well that they will NOT last long given the Florida heat and humidity. Nothing screams Fall more than pumpkins. They come in various sizes and colors so make sure to grab a few and scatter them on your mantle, coffee table, entry way table, shelves and/or front porch. Instantly Fall has found its way into your home. If you prefer more of a neutral decor like myself, then white pumpkins/gourds are perfect for you.  IMG_6502.JPG

2. In fashion, plaid is a big hit at this time of the year.  This is when I love rocking button down shirts/flannels, my way of incorporating the season into my wardrobe even with the lack of cooler temps. This same trend can also be applied to the interior of your home. Plaid throw pillows and towels can easily be staples in every house and will allow you to maintain the color scheme of your decor. They never go out of style and really can be used anytime of the year. Texture and layering is quintessential to a cool Autumn day so this is a great time to add hearty texture to your decor. Bring out the faux fur, chunky knits and velvet throw blankets and pillows to add that touch of coziness.

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(Image found on todaycreativelife.com)

3. When I think of fall, I think of nature, being in the woods surrounded by trees with tons of leaves, some on the tree and some scattered on the ground. So add some rustic elements and wood tones to your decor. Replace a ceramic planter or vase with a wooden one and you’ll be surprised how warm your space will feel. LRG_DSC06354

4. Flowers are always a nice touch to every home. If you’re like me and can’t keep plants alive to save your life, flowers are a great way to add life and a pop of color to your home. To celebrate this season, add some mums to your front porch in rustic planters and you are set. Fresh cut sunflowers in a vase is another great way to showcase that warm Fall hue  in your decor.

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5. Yellow, Green, Orange, Red and Brown are the probably the colors that come to mind during this season. If that is your thing, by all means, incorporate these colors to your home. If you are like me and prefer a more neutral palette, instead of introducing bright orange pillows to your couch, find a more subtle way to introduce these tones to your home, such as adding amber glass jars/vases for your shelves or in my case, hand soap/lotion bottles. It doesn’t have to be extreme or over the top, subtle touches are often the most impactful!

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Also try shopping from your own house. It is likely that you have something stored away that you can reuse or repurpose and that is really the best way to shop! I brought out my olive-green hunter boots and placed it by the entry way for that extra touch of Fall. The reality is I NEVER wear them but you know what, that’s ok because it makes me happy! I also have an oversized plaid scarf that I’ve had since my days in Toronto and now I use it as a throw blanket for this time of the year.

I would love to hear what you have done to incorporate Fall into your home. Please feel free to share your tips in the comments below.

XO,

Kim,

 

 

How to Create a Fun and Simple Kid’s Halloween Tablescape.

Earlier this month, I shared my thought of creating a Fall tablescape with my Instagram followers and asked if they were interested in seeing a Thanksgiving or Halloween tablescape?  The vote was unanimous and the conclusion was Halloween. Everyone wanted something for their kids, so here it is!

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Initially I was going to put together a pretty and elegant Halloween table for you. Then I remembered that everyone that voted, voted because they wanted something fun to share with their kids. Having that in mind, my goal for this Halloween table was to create something that is:

  1. Simple
  2. Whimsical
  3. Affordable and
  4. Low-maintenance

Kids are messy and they probably couldn’t care less whether they are eating on fancy china with gold flatware or paper plates and plastic forks.

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To decorate my entire table, I opted to use some of my existing Halloween decorations such as the pumpkins, banners, candle holder, the faux blood napkin, halloween tree with ornaments and skeleton. So feel free to dig through your Halloween box tucked away in your garage or basement and see what you can use to create your own whimsical Halloween table. Everything else I purchased from the dollar section at Target: the broomsticks, the pumpkin paper plates, napkins, mini black caldron, faux plants, mini mason jars, paper straws and black tablecloth.

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We absolutely LOVE Halloween in our family! As much as I didn’t want to make it over the top scary, I did want to add some of the traditional Halloween ghoul. That is why I decided to add the skeleton (Mr. Bones) in one of the seats to play up the fun factor and have him enjoy the meal with the kids. Now if anyone is scared, then he can easily be removed and put back into his grave :). I also added some faux spider webs over the centerpiece (the Halloween tree) but did not add any creepy crawlers because I wanted to keep it light and those could be too much while trying to enjoy a meal.

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My table was set outside because I live in Florida and there are very few months where a meal outside is actually enjoyable.  Since it is typically a bit cooler during the month of October, I figured this would be a great opportunity to eat outside. Also, I usually have some fun craft and decorating activities for the kids after their meal so keeping the mess outside would definitely help maintain my sanity.

To style this table I used less than $20 to purchase everything I needed, on top of the existing decor I already had. This was very simple and inexpensive to create. Your kids and their friends would absolutely love it, Even if you are not planning a kids party, why not simply enjoy a fun halloween family dinner with your kiddos! Enjoy guys and Happy Halloween!

XO,

Kim

Florida Bucket List

As many of you know, our family moved from Toronto to Tampa 4 1/2 years ago because of my husband’s job. Florida has become our home and it’s where my oldest son spent most of his life and where my second child was born. As much as we have loved the endless sunshine and being surrounded by beautiful palm tress and white sandy beaches, our plan is always to return to Toronto to be closer to our families.

Keeping that in mind and really unsure of when that date will be, my goal lately is to take as much advantage of this lifestyle as we can before we move on from this chapter of our lives.

Here are a few things that I have listed on my Florida Bucket list to do with my boys (in no particular order):

1. Go to the Beach more often

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There are so many beautiful beaches around the Tampa Bay Area and it is ashamed that we don’t go nearly as often as we should. Prior to this year, we probably went 3 to 4 times a year or when guests came to visit. This summer, my goal has been to go at least once a week or every two weeks.  Once we move back to Toronto, the ocean will be a lot more than a skip, hop and jump away.

2. Watch the sunset on the beach with my boys

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We are only half an hour away from the beach so I would love to take the boys one evening, grab dinner on the way and have dinner on the beach while the sun is setting in the horizon. One day they will probably want go be sharing this experience with someone special in their lives as I did with their dad in some of the most beautiful places in the world. For now, I would love them to be the special people that I get to share this experience with before I pass that baton to someone else.

3. Try stand up paddle boarding

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We were able to check this one off the list when we got back from our Portugal trip but I would definitely like to continue exploring it as a sport. I found it extremely calming and relaxing when we were out in the water.

4. Continue to explore all the amusement parks

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If there is one thing that Florida has, it is definitely an abundant amount of amusement/themed parks from Disney World to Busch Gardens to Legoland to Crayola Experience and so many more. The first year we moved down to Florida, we immediately went to Magic Kingdom at Disney World. Let me tell you, it was everything BUT magical, nor was it the happiest place on earth. However, we learned from our lesson and got much smarter and attempted it again 2 years later. A little pre-planning made the world of difference in our experience. We had a blast every time we went. So far we have been to Magic Kingdown; Epcot; Busch Gardens and we always have an amazing time. We visited Legoland this past long weekend and my boys still rave about it EVERY SINGLE DAY!

5. More weekend trips

My kids love staying at hotels.  I’m not sure why to be honest, because for the longest time, I struggled at the idea of sleeping in a room that has been used by gosh knows how many people. But I guess they think of it as a place away from home and it means we’ll be spending most of our time doing fun activities, which is true. Florida has some great spots for quick getaways that I’d love to take advantage of prior to our move. So far, we have been to Sanibel Island, Miami, Jacksonville, Naples, Orlando (Disney) and St. Augustine (the oldest city in the US. A quick side note: it wasn’t that old. LOL). Here are a few places that are definitely on my list for future weekend getaways: Anna Maria Island; Key West/Florida Keys and Seaside. We always have such a great time on these short weekend trips and the memories we make on them are priceless.

6. Rent a boat and spend the afternoon out in the ocean

I feel like you really should be in or around water as much as you can when you are this close to the ocean. So a day out in the ocean on a boat with family and friends sounds like a lot of fun to me. I would prepare lunch to eat on the boat, try fishing (which is really not my cup of tea, but hey, why not) and perhaps convince the kids to go tubing.

7. Weeki Wachi

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I discovered this place on the Labor Day long weekend as we went with a bunch of friends and I can’t tell you how amazing this place is. It was on my list of things to do but now that we have gone, I want to take every guests that visits us here and take the boys as many times as I can. This is such a neat little place with plenty of fun activities for everyone. There is a live mermaid show, a wildlife show, canoeing, a spring where you can swim in, multiple water slides that drop you into the spring, a kids area and you can even rent a float and float along the spring soaking up the sunshine. During our visit, there was a manatee in the swimming area so we were able to dive under water to see it in person. That was pretty cool!

8. Watch a Rocket launch at NASA

We recently watched Elon Musk launched a Tesla up into space on the news and the boys have been fascinated with rockets and space ever since. We have visited NASA in Houston but not in Florida. I am actively monitoring the launch schedule on their website. Once there is a rocket launch that is aligned with our schedule, we will definitely be packing our bags and heading to the space coast. I can’t wait!

9. Attend a Gasperilla Pirate Festival

Can you believe we have lived here for over 4 years and never attended any Gasperilla events? For those that may not be familiar with Gasperilla, once a year, pirates invade Tampa Bay aboard the majestic pirate ship “Jose Gasparilla,” kicking off a full schedule of pirate-themed events.  There are a lot of street events that typically involve a lot of alcoholic beverages which I am not particularly interested in. However, I would at least like to attend the children’s Gasperilla parade with the kids, with them all dressed up as pirates collecting treasure/beads. We planned to attend last year but my little donut got sick the night before so we didn’t end up going. However, it is definitely on our list for this coming year.

That is it for now guys! I am sure I will be adding more to the list overtime. If you have any additional recommendations, please let me know in the comments below.

XO,

Kim

 

Whimsical Kid’s Playroom and Space Planning Tips

Recently I got the opportunity to design my kid’s playroom as we relocated my husband’s home office to the spare bedroom upstairs.

When designing a space, one of the first questions I always ask myself and my clients is How do you plan on using the space or what purpose will it serve you and your family? Once you have this question answered, it will be a lot easier to plan your space. In my case, I wanted this room to be a one stop shop for my kids. That meant they would use this room for: playing; reading; arts and crafts along with doing their homework. It was important for me to keep all their stuff contained in one room instead of being scattered throughout my house, which was the case prior to having a separate and enclosed playroom.

Once you understand the functions that the room will serve, it is important to prioritize that list and identify your must haves.  In some cases, you might not be able to accomodate everything for various reasons such as space and budget. My priority list is as follows:

  1. Plenty of storage: storage was extremely important as we come from a big family so my boys have accumulated quite a bit of toys over the years. The last thing I want is for those toys to end up in my “adult” space.
  2. Ample space for them to play and build. They have a lot of toys that require building such as race tracks and lego so I wanted to make sure they have enough space on the floor to do so.
  3. A large flat surface: Both my boys love to draw, color and and since Lucas is now in elementary school, a table or a flat surface for him to do his homework was definitely high on the list.
  4. Have a library: We also encourage reading in our family and typically spend about 20 to 30 minutes reading to the boys after school so I wanted an area for their books and if possible a little comfortable reading nook.

Once I determined my priorities, I measured the size of the room and planned accordingly. This is how I tackled my priority list above.

  1. I opted for these cubes from Ikea as it offers plenty of storage and I knew I could neatly separate and store their toys in baskets so they are hidden.
  2. I divided the room into two: one area for playing and the second area for doing artwork, crafts and homework. The play area, I knew I wanted a rug to create a  comfortable and defined space for them to sit and play with their toys, whether it is building a block tower or watching their hot wheels run down a track.
  3. The second area I opted for a large coffee table to be used as their workspace. Just a quick tip: using a coffee table was a lot cheaper than kid’s furniture.
  4. For their books, I used a few picture shelves and mounted it on the wall. I opted for wall shelves as it occupies less space. Since this is a multi function room, I wanted to make sure the room did not feel cramped or too busy.  For the storage cubes, instead of using all square cubes with 4 cubbies (2 on top and 2 on the bottom), I used one long one with 4 cubbies in the same row. This way I could use it to create a custom bench. Throw in a few pillows, a blankie and a stuff animal and you have a cute little reading nook.

 

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Voila! That was my space planning process. Now, everything after that is a matter of design and finishes that you select to bring the room together. I originally painted this room a beautiful navy blue color that I absolutely loved. My husband took one look at it and said “it’s nice, such a boy’s room”. And that my friends killed it for me. I guess I didn’t realize having a gender neutral room was also high on my list, not to say that blue is meant for boys. I am definitely not someone who thinks blue is for boys and pink is for girls. My boys rock pink all the time but in this case, it did feel dark and definitely had a masculine feel to it, so I repainted the entire room in a light gray.  Since it is a kid’s playroom I wanted it to be fun and whimsical so I decided to have a feature wall using wallpaper.  This one from the Hearth and Hand collection by Joanna Gaines fit the bill, neutral but playful. Since the walls were pretty neutral, even with the pattern on the wallpaper, I wanted to play up all the bright primary colors that are in my kid’s toys.  I purchased this bright geometric triangle rug and displayed some their brightest toys as part of the design element. Then it was simply adding a few final wall decor and the room was complete.

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Having this playroom has made the world of difference for us as a family. My kids spend most of their time in this room while I cook, clean or work. The most important thing is that their mess is contained in the room and not spread all over the house, which is a total win for me! They do a pretty good job at tidying up at the end of the night but for whatever reason they or I couldn’t get to it, I simply close the door! Life is good!

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XO

Kim

Around the world and back

Hey guys,

I wanted to share with you a neat little idea I had for an activity that I could do with my boys and then use it as wall art for our house. I am also confident that this activity would strike up a conversation with our guests when they visit our home.

One of the many things that my husband and I share is our love for traveling. When we first started dated, we seriously listed out all the countries we have visited to determine who has travelled more between the two. LOL (we were such kids then). We both have done our fair share of independent traveling but have also taken some amazing and unforgettable trips together such as Greece, Italy and Iceland. Traveling is something we are both passionate about and plan to continue doing with our children. Having said that, if you’re a parent, you’ll know that traveling with children definitely has its challenges, from flight durations to time change, nap/sleep schedule, routine…the list goes on. As a result, we have definitely limited our traveling over the past 5 years. Both my boys have been on numerous plane rides, but for the most part, we try to keep our destinations within 3 hours of flying (with a few exceptions). Some of the places they have been to are: Dominican Republic, Toronto, Bahamas, Lake Louise, Seattle, and California.

My oldest child is 5 now and the youngest is turning 3 in a few weeks. For the first time, both my husband and I feel like we are ready to take on bigger adventures with them. This summer our family will be visiting Lisbon and the Algarve in Portugal for 2 weeks. While I am super excited about this trip, I am definitely nervous about it and no doubt, the stress level will be at its peak closer to the date.

With this trip and future trips in mind, I wanted to come up with something I could do with my boys to document the magical memories I plan on creating with them (yes, being SUPER optimistic here). I purchased a scratch map of the world online. Check out this one similar to the one I purchased.  This one from Walmart and this one from Etsy both seem like great options as well.

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Every country we visit, the boys can scratch that country off on the map to show where we have visited collectively as a family. I got the map framed at Hobby Lobby and now it is currently hanging in my office/dining room. Right next to it, I hung a Metal mesh grid panel. After each trip, I would let the boys select a few photos from our trip that they could print using our polaroid printer.   They can then hang it on the grid using bullnose clips or mini clothes hangers. How cute is that? To add a little dimension and some fun to it, I wrapped a fairy string light that I picked up from Target around the metal panel. I want to make sure the photos are visible so lighting was necessary.

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I love that this is something we could do together as a family for many years to come. It provides an opportunity for us to bond and reflect on our experiences and most memorable moments from our trip. Another thing I absolutely love about this idea is that a map is a pretty generic/standard piece of art but this is so personal and really reflects who we are as a family. If you know me and my style, you’ll know that I am a fan of making your home reflect you, your lifestyle and this is just that!

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Now if you are looking to do something similar to this and not wanting to use a scratch map, you could also glue a map to a cork board sheet, get it framed (optional) and then pin the areas you have visited. I had a client  once who collected pins from every city/country he visited and used it to pin his map.

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Now all we need to do is start traveling and fill our wall with amazing memories! If you do end up doing something similar, I would love to see it, so please feel free to email me at xomyhome@gmail.com to share your creation and memories. Thanks for following along guys!

 

XO,

 

Kim

 

Styling one room for multiple purposes

Although I currently reside in Florida where there is no shortage of space and large homes, I spent most of my life in Toronto, where square footage comes at a premium price tag. Designing a home in the city is often not just for the esthetics but each square foot needs to be accounted for to maximize functionality.

An effective way to create a multi-purpose room is to combine a frequently used room with an infrequently used room. A perfect example of this is combining a guest bedroom with an office space. Since guest bedrooms are typically only occupied when you have overnight guests, it makes sense to convert it into an office space for daily use if space is limited.

In this 1700 square foot home, 2 office spaces were needed.  Immediately the guest bedroom was turned into an office for dad as he needed a bit more privacy. I then converted the dining room into a beautiful office space for mom who was fine with having her work space in the common area. The dining room only gets used when they have guests over so it was perfect to function an office space as well.

For this room, we got this large beautiful wood dining table with live edge, that will be used daily as a desk, where she has ample space to lay out her work, computer and whatever else she needed. For storage, we used 3 metal bookcases and placed them behind the dining table. These bookcases were the key to the design. Traditional wooden bookcases would have visually occupied more space in this room but these metal shelves keeps it looking open and spacious. Boxes with filing folders were used to store important documents and baskets for extra storage.

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The pendant light offers great lighting for work but also creates ambience for conversations over dinner and a glass of wine.

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Also, the paint used in this room is actually chalkboard paint so you can actually jot down notes and brainstorm directly on the wall when you’re working and it can be easily washed off when you are done.

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When this family expects to have guests, they bring out the dining chairs from their breakfast table, add a floral centerpiece, set the table and voila, a dining room it becomes.  By utilizing the chairs from their breakfast table, they don’t have extra chairs laying around where storage and space is already limited.

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As you can see, this room now becomes a beautiful dining room for entertaining guests and having great conversations.  You can quickly swap some of the items in the bookshelves to make it more entertaining friendly, such as candles, flowers, bottles of wine and coffee table books.

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Once dinner is done, you clear the table and once again it becomes a fabulous workspace.

I hope this has given you some tips and ideas on how to create your own multi-purpose room.

XO,

Kim

 

A day at World Market is my kind of day

Ok so it’s been a while since my last fab find post. Life has been a bit hectic lately between various ongoing projects, home renovations, mom life and family visiting from Toronto.

One of my favorite places to shop for household items is World Market. I love their eclectic collection of items. You can find a range of styles from modern contemporary to bohemian to South African influenced decor.

They are currently having a dining room sale (up to 60%) and it’s pretty fabulous so make sure to go check it out.

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I picked up this live edge dining table this week with the 30% discount and will be using it to create a dining room/office space for a client who needs her dining room to serve multiple functions  This table actually looks even more beautiful in person, with the live edge giving it that rustic feel; combined with the metal legs for a more contemporary look.

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Here is the matching bench to go with the above dining table. Benches are a great way to save space if your dining room is on the smaller side. Often it would fit more people, great for kids and since there is no back, it visually occupies less space.

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You’ll find these lantern pendant lights all over Pinterest and Instagram. At this price point, you just can’t go wrong.

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I am also in love with the color and style of this dining table. It is a solid pinewood table. If you’re looking for a dining table to add to a farmhouse look, this would be a great addition.

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I love the rustic detail and color on these chairs. If you’re looking for a subtle pop of color, these dining chairs will definitely do the trick.

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If you would rather stay on the neutral side, then I would go with this chair. It would still add the character and charm to the space while maintaining a neutral palette.

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I have loved these wishbone chairs for quite some time now. Its silhouette and ivory faux fur definitely adds glamour.

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You can really never go wrong with a little mid-century detail in any space. Combined with the clear transparent color, not visually occupying much space, this chair is totally a winner. You have the mid-century detail while still keeping it simple and minimal.

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Another item you have probably seen all over Instagram and Pinterest is this Juju hat. This is definitely a conversation piece and will add interest and a texture to your walls. They also have a smaller one here.

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A great and simple way to update a kitchen is to change out your bar stools if you have an island or peninsula. The combination of wood and metal continues to be very trendy and would definitely add a modern touch to any space.

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This bar stool is also a great option if you want to have back support, which in my mind is great (perhaps must have) for kids.

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We all know how much I love the mix of metal and wood and this sideboard is just that. It offers tons of storage and would probably work great as a media console as well.

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And now how cute is this gold rolling bar cart? This could easily be stationed in a dining room to serve drinks for your guest or be moved around if you’re having a more casual setting such as in the living room by the couch. I think this would be even more fun and whimsical used as a book case with an interesting painting/art hanging on the wall above it. What do you think?

I hope you take advantage of the sale before it ends. Leave me a comment if you found this helpful!

XO,

Kim

 

Target is my Jam

Initially, our move to the US was only supposed to be for a short period of time, and by short, I mean 12 to 18 months.  We’re now approaching 4 years and still no signs of going back to Toronto. When we moved here, we sold our house and stored all of our belongings in my parents’ basement, thinking we would be back for it shortly. We packed 5 suitcases and flew down to Florida and started our new life.

When we started furnishing our apartment, my assumption was that we would be leaving most, if not all of the stuff behind by selling them or donating to charities when we return to Toronto. That meant I had to spend a lot of time surfing the Internet to look for budget-friendly yet stylish decor pieces.

Target quickly became my go to place for pretty much EVERYTHING! That is why I chose it for my first Weekly Fab Find. 

Target currently has many beautiful and chic pieces that would elevate any home decor but for this post, I will focus mainly on the Living room. Here are some of my favorite items:

Velvet is definitely trending this year and this deep blue Cologne Tufted Trace Arm sofa is absolutely gorgeous and will add a pop of color and sophistication to your living room. I currently have this pink accent chair in our master bedroom.  If you are looking to add a touch of femininity to a space, this definitely would be the chair for you.

I love the look of this faux fur chair as an accent piece in a living room or as an office chair. If you like the mid-century look, this bench would definitely be a nice touch to your entryway.

I am all about the mid century look so these Amherst Mid Century Modern square table and two-tone coffee table caught my eye immediately.

I currently have a similar table to this metal and wood coffee table that I purchased from West Elm for over three times the price of this one. If you like the mix of wood and metal look, then this and the Berwyn Round Coffee Table would be a great option for you.

I also have a similar tulip Saarinen end table that I presently use as night table in my master bedroom. This Mid-Century 23″ Round bevel edge and Tulip Base End table from Target does not have the marble surface which I personally think is easier for maintenance and still looks very delicate and beautiful. If you do prefer a marble top, then this gold Marlton end table would be a nice option for you.

If you are looking for something a little more unique and less delicate, these two end tables are a few of my favorites: Hourglass Accent table and Highland Honeycomb Barrel end table.

Can I just say that I absolutely LOVE the tripod floor lamp look and this one from Target is definitely a show stopper.  I love both the clear and black base. If you prefer a wood base then check out this Oak Wood Tripod Floor Lamp.

Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, I thought these oversized heart shape pillows would be fun to add to any space.

Above are some great throw pillow options as well.

These house bud vases are probably one of my favorite purchases from Chip and Joanna Gaine’s Hearth and Hand Collection that now sits on a shelf in our living room with some eucalyptus in them.  They also come in white. These lanterns are also great additions for inside or outside of your home. I currently use mine for our outdoor table decor. I literally have 5 of these Cedar Magnolia candles scatted throughout the house. It makes your house smell absolutely amazing.  This set of circle accent mirrors are always a great touch to every room.

Shop these Target items:

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XO,

Kim

* If you enjoyed this post, please leave me a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Superhero Boys Room

Decorating my boys room was a lot tougher than I had thought.  I wanted their room to be stylish but also reflect their interests. I also felt it was important for my 5 year old to be part of the process. However, if it had left it up to him, I think there would be superheroes flying at you as you enter the room.

I gave the boys the option of choosing a superhero theme bedding or having a superhero wall decal above their beds. As you can see, they opted for the wall decal.  They each got to choose their favorite character from a preselected list based on price point. My oldest chose Spiderman and my donut chose the Hulk. These are perfect because you can take them off easily if you need to relocate them or want to switch them out for something else.  We also had this superhero banner from awhile ago when Lucas was in his own room. Of course he insisted on bringing it over to his new shared room with his brother.

I chose this navy blue upholstered platform bed from Amazon for their room because it complements the decor. More importantly, it is not something that they will outgrow quickly.  The bed is affordable, stylish and easy to put together.

For bedding, I took the boys to Ikea since you could literally make a whole day out of Ikea, from browsing through their entire show room, stopping at the kids section, playing with all the toys, eating and then going downstairs and actually finding your items plus way more than you came for. Lucas initially chose this  flower bedding, which is so pretty and fun.  I was blown away by his great taste. I loved all the flowers and color on it and was excited about figuring out how I was going to tie the flowers into the Spiderman and Hulk theme.   Then his younger brother choose this blue stripe one. I am not sure what happened but last minute, Lucas threw back the flower bedding and just went with this simple navy blue set. I was a little disappointed but it was his choice. boys room view 1

It took me awhile but I eventually found this cute little night table for their bedside. It is also available here.  It is round so no sharp edges which is great for kids (childproof). More importantly it has a little basket that could store all their stuff animals. My boys must have at least 10-20 stuff animals in their room at any given time and they usually ALWAYS end up on the floor. So having the basket is amazing because I could easily throw them all in there.  Each night they would pick one from the basket to bring to bed with them.

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One of my favorite items in their room is the paper mâché LED letters that I placed on top of their bed. It acts both a decorative piece and night light for their room. Overall the boys room came together pretty nicely and we are pretty happy with it. It is cute and stylish for mommy, and you definitely cannot miss the superhero figures on the wall protecting my boys at night.

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XO,

Kim