Every year, in the spring and summer months, I appreciate our home more than ever.
The days are longer, which allows more time to be outside with my babies, but it also allows hours of daylight after they are asleep, which is wonderful. There is something about being able to sit in my living room with natural light after the kids are in bed.
The brightness of the evenings gives me energy, and I find myself starting projects to keep making our house a home. Some are as simple as rearranging a corner of my bedroom, and moving stuff around to give it new life. Or sometimes it’s weeks of work to build our dream built in, which has created the coziest space for our family in our basement floor.
I often remind myself that though I am inspired by trends of decor, I need to stay true to the style that represents our family, and to not change my home just because of decor that is trending, but to make changes to our home to reflect how we’re evolving; in our activities, tastes, the things that make us happy.
For a while, plants have been something that has inspired me, indoor and more recently, the outdoor plants. Also, they are easier to move around than furniture 😉
Things I want to remember from this year: Our lilac tree bloomed at a height that the flowers are just outside our bedroom window.
It seems like a very long time ago that I drew this and the vision for our family room was conceptualized. After weeks and weeks, it’s finally complete and seeing a drawing and a vision come to life has been SO wonderful.
We have renovated many spaces in our home now, but this particular built-in was my project. Aside from a few little things my husband helped me with, I built most of this on my own. The doors, the shelves, the electric fireplace encasing, the plexiglass door, installed hinges, used power tools, probably smelled and ate a lot of saw dust, but my goodness, I’m so proud of my handy woman work and feel so totally badass!
The transformation of this space, well, we all just love it so much and fits our little family so well. After a full day of play and toys all over the couch and floor, to family movie nights, to a corner desk space for me to write, to a space for quiet nights cozying up with my Adam with a romantic touch of a new-to-us electric fireplace, to a space for game nights with our family and friends; I’m so pleased.
We’ve only just recently finished this room, and it feels like it’s always been like this, which to me is the feeling of finding that perfect harmony to a room. Not just aesthetically, but for what it functions as, for the people who live in this space.
On the shelves, a lot of pieces that I have collected from years travelling, and getting to display them makes me happy. An ode to the years I’ve lived, with inspiration for the years to come.
Room by room, year over year, we have been renovating our home. We’ve come a long way, and though there are less rooms and spaces to renovate with the years we are here, it’s a wonderful journey to living in the space that as a family we have dreamed about.
It’s been a smoky couple of days in the city. The smoke from the forest fires in the province that neighbors us has blown over, and I’m sad for the circumstances, but trying to find the silver lining.
At a new moon circle I attended last week, the ceremony started off with the burning of sage. I’m learning that smoke, or smudging, has been used by many cultures throughout history to cleanse one’s aura and clear one’s space.
Ironically, our city has been filled with smoke for the past couple of days, and I’m trying to view it as a cleanse. A cleanse of our souls and our aura, and when the smoke passes, everything will be clearer and we’ll appreciate more just how beautiful the air is when it’s clean, and how lucky we are to be able to enjoy it. A beautiful and important lesson that life is giving us.
Yesterday afternoon, the smoke was not as intense, and we spent it in our backyard.
Our little backyard oasis; how much I love it. It’s not very big. We have a pergola in the middle of it that takes up quite a bit of the footprint, there is a mixture of grass and stone surfaces, and a deck that needs to be redone; still, there is something special about that space. From the color of the grass in the afternoons, to the angle of the sun as it sets, to the way it feels like it’s in the middle of the country in it’s privacy.
I picked flowers, and roughly braided a flower crown that we all took turns to wear. The flowers were yellow, my favorite color, and they very much complimented the sun that we were finally been able to enjoy after a few days.
Later in the day, our day was very different, it was hard.
My Penelope, overtired from an active day in which she skipped her nap – a transition she’s going through right now – had a long and tearful (from my side too) meltdown. She cried and screamed for things she wanted, and when she had them, screamed because she didn’t. I sat by her side when she needed me, and left when she asked me to. After what felt like a really long time, she calmed down, and while still whimpering, asked for her milk and colcha (blankie in spanish).
We were laying on her bed, her little body cuddled into mine, and after a few minutes of silence, she turned her face towards mine and whispered in my ear- “I love you so much”.
It was her way of saying “I’m sorry”, and I was sorry too. My eyes teared up, I told her I loved her so much, and then she told me about bears and caves, and how dinosaurs lay eggs that hatch into giant T-Rexes.
The smoke had passed.
And still, at one point that day, while sitting on my lap, with my arms wrapped around each of them, they shared a bowl of raisins. We cuddled, we laughed, and did nothing more than sit there with each other. If you know me, you know that moments like those fill my heart in ways I cannot explain.
There is something so therapeutic about watering a plant- have you noticed? Try it! Even if you don’t have any plants of your own, try watering one of your friend’s or family’s; it’s awesome! You can almost hear the plant saying “thank you”.
In a wonderful way, my green thumb flourished as soon as I became a mother. Perhaps taking care of little humans taught me the lessons I needed to care for plants, which is ironic, because in popular culture, they usually recommend you start the other way around, ha! In any case, if there was an influence there, I’m very happy for it.
My first house plant, a beautiful pothos, was my husband’s first. When we moved in together, the plant came home and shortly after, I adopted it. Every week, I would water it, pull out any dead leaves, prune it, spread the branches. Each day learning the plant more and more, noticing which environments it liked, and slowly knowing what made it happy. Sound familiar parents?
Like raising children, taking care of plants is a very symbiotic relationship. The more attuned I became to my plants, the more I learned to take care of them organically, with no real training. It’s something that came very naturally to me with parenting, and perhaps a lesson from mother nature to spread that emotional attunement to things around me…and it’s paid off.
Of course, as time passes, I have learnt a lot; what different leaf colors mean, which cries mean what, which plants need more light, what foods one likes better than the other, how to properly cut clippings to propagate them.
As my plant collection grows, my plant care ritual becomes longer, but it’s a ritual that has become so necessary and beneficial to my self care as it brings me so much peace and joy.
The children have also learnt to love these plants as they have grown up with them. Oliver walks past them gently, and Penelope helps me water them more and more as she gets older.
In parenting and in plants, I see a lot of similarities and I’m grateful for the lessons that they teach me everyday because both….
…Are grateful for simple things like sunlight and water….
…Reciprocate love ten fold what is given to them…
… Understand the importance of fresh air…
…Are so innately connected to their nature and instinct…
I never imagined that this little room in the west corner of our home would hold such a special place in my heart. It is just a room, but symbolically, it’s much more than that. It’s the space my children have shared since Oliver was one month old.
At one point, this room had two cribs and a glider for middle of the night feeds, and now, a big girl bed and only one crib left; a space transitioning just as quickly as my children are growing.
And in that growth, so is their love for each other.
I remember researching articles (the few that were out there at the time) about room sharing before having Oliver, and reading about the benefits of children room sharing.
From a practical side, it’s incredibly beneficial.
Putting laundry away takes less time. They share a drawer so space is limited, but because of that, it forces us to only keep the clothes they actually wear. Bed time routine is done once with both of them at the same time, in the same space.
Financially, the kids sharing a room allow us the possibility to have a house with fewer rooms if we needed to reduce the financial load of a mortgage. Also, we only needed to invest in one of everything; one sound machine, one changing mat, one monitor, one diaper pail, because again, it’s all shared.
From the emotional side, the kids room sharing has given them, and us, more than we could have imagined.
A few weeks ago, when doing my nightly check in on the kids before going to bed, I shined the light on my phone towards Penelope’s bed, and it was empty. I walked over to the crib, and there they were. My babies, lying with their feet towards each other’s heads, in the most peaceful sleep you could imagine.
As a mother, walking into that scene filled my heart with so much happiness, love, and just pride.
This was all them.
We didn’t ask Penelope to climb into the crib after bed time.
Oliver didn’t have to share his crib with her.
But they did.
With no sound or protest, they both quietly feel asleep together in each other’s company, sharing not only the crib, but their safety, peace and love for one another.
Children room sharing really comes down to this…
Kids are adaptable. Create a routine that is consistent, put love and joy into it, and the kids will love it. Make bedtime something that you all look forward to, and go to bed with both your cup and their cup full. Love them so much, that they learn to do the same with each other, and then just watch.
Is it doable? Absolutely.
Is it a routine that needs tweaking every now and then? Of course.
I am so so so in love with how this ornament turned out! Not only is it super easy to do, it’s so personal and such a beautiful way to display your family pictures on your Christmas tree.
Materials you’ll need
Pine Greens ( DIY steps to cover some white here.)
Jingle bells from local craft or dollar store
Picture you want to use
Begin by cutting your stick into six equal pieces, each about 2″ long, and glue the ends together using a hot glue gun to form hexagon shape.
2. Using a hot glue gun, secure some pine greens to the bottom of shape. I love the contrast of green and white, it makes it look so wintery. To cover your greens in white DIY steps here.
3. Grab some berries and jingle bells, and secure onto the middle of branches.
4. Place your ornament on top of your picture, draw outline and cut out shape. Add glue to edges of paper and glue onto wooden shape, and add string loop to the back for hanging.
I absolutely love how easy, and how beautiful this ornament was to make! If you don’t want to use a picture, another variation you can do is to wrap the shape with some string to form a dream catcher pattern (image below). I didn’t print my picture on super thick paper, so when it’s on the tree, the pictures really shine when back lit by the lights on the tree.
It’s the first of December, and we’re officially in the Christmas month. I normally wouldn’t consider myself a Christmaholic, but this year I was inspired by the children to decorate our home in a different and special way.
Over the past year, the kids and I have gone on so many walks, and they have collected and brought home all sorts of treasures. I’ve been collecting their little findings – sticks, branches, berries- hoping to get an idea of what I could do with them. With Christmas just around the corner, making them into ornaments seemed like the perfect idea.
Inspired by that, I began to play around with materials, and I’ll be sharing what we did to decorate our Christmas tree completely with DIY ornaments. We made them with materials found in nature, or ones that are easy and inexpensive to get.
The theme of our tree this year is very “Back to Basics”, rustic chic, and if that’s your style, you’re really enjoy these.
I love the way the tree turned out. It’s cozy, homey, and it reminds me of the kind of tree I would have had in my childhood too.
Macrame Stars To make these macrame stars you’ll need stir sticks, string, scissors and a hot glue gun.
Cut 5 stir sticks to approximately 2.5/3″, and then cut 5 pieces of string that are 10 times the length of the stick.
Fold the string in half, placing the stick towards the fold, and begin knotting a spiral knot around the stick. How to do a spiral knot here. Consider the stick your middle cord, and the two strands your working cords. Continue your spiral knot until it covers the stick, tie off, and cut off excess at the bottom.
Once you have 5 spiral knot sticks, secure them together using a hot glue gun. Below the order in which I glued the sticks to achieve a nice and even star shape.
Make a small string loop (I used some jute string for contrast in color) and glue to the back of the star for hanging, and you’re done!
The end result are delicate and beautiful little stars to decorate your tree with! I hope you enjoyed this little DIY! If you try them, tag me at @our_everydays on instagram so I can see what you came up with!
One of my favorite scenes from the movie “Elf” with Will Ferrell, is the scene where he completely “Christmafies” the store before Santa comes. It’s such a magical scene, and I’ve always wanted to recreate something similar. I love the winter wonderland feel of the decor, but most of all, I love that to recreate the look, all you need is paper and scissors! The simplicity factor totally speaks to me, and I decided to give it a go.
My interpretation was to create a winter wonderland chandelier, and I am so happy with how it turned out. It didn’t take very long to make, the materials are something we all have in our home, and the end result is so beautiful and delicate. I hung the stars on the light above my dining room table, but you could tape them right onto a window glass, windowsills, mantels, ceiling; the options are limitless, and since they are so light, you don’t need much other than tape to secure them to a surface.
There are two types of paper snow flakes you can make, 2 or 3 dimensional, and they are both so easy to make. Pictures and steps of both below. You’ll need paper, scissors, and glue.
Fold a square sheet by joining diagonal corners together, and do this step twice. Then, imagine folding that triangle shape into 3 equal parts, and cut off the excess. Start to cut shapes out of the sides of the folded triangle shape. There are certain cutting patterns you can find online to achieve certain snowflake shapes, but honestly, even if you cut the most random patterns, you’ll get a beautiful result. Once cut, unfold slowly, and iron flat between two sheets of paper (if needed). Voila!
3D Paper Snowflake
Fold a square sheet of paper by joining diagonal corners. Do 3 cuts parallel to each side, but leave a space towards the top. Open folded sheet, fold over cut corners and glue together. Fold them facing opposite directions every time, and you’ll end up with an icecyle shape. Glue 5 of those together, and you’ll have a beautiful 3D paper snowflake.
I absolutely love how this turned out, and hope you found some inspiration here.
As much as holidays are refreshing, good for the soul and provide that nice break, there is nothing quite like walking into your own home after a few days away. One of the first things I did when we returned, was water my plants. Ironically, it’s been raining every days since we got back, so my outdoor plants are getting all the water they are going to need this winter, but that also means that the past few days have been a little grey.
As I’m taking down the plants from the rope shelves, I realize how blank the wall behind it looks when it’s empty. I notice how much color my little plants add to the house, to my days, especially on the rainy ones.
As we transition to fall, there will be more rainy and grey days, but this is a super easy way to brighten up and add color to the days that need it most.
I precut to wood planks to size at the hardware store, and using some string, hung them on the loops created by tying a knot. It’s super easy to make, sturdy (the wider the plank, the sturdier it is), and takes less than 5 minutes. I hung the shelf on two hooks that are anchored to the wall to make sure it’s attached safely. Once done, all you have to do is decorate!
It feels like just yesterday, I was pregnant for the second time, full of that nesting energy again, and my husband and I had decided our children would room share. What was then Penelope’s room, turned into the shared nursery, and within those four walls, so many memories, evolution and growth. It’s the place where my babies rest, where they dream at night, and always in each other’s company. Their little shared room, a space that is so special to me.
My children have been room sharing for 7 months now, and it has been wonderful. I love so many parts of it; their little chats before they go to bed, their patience with each other, especially when one has a bad night, and their happiness when they see each other in the morning (even though they’ve been in the same room all night) makes my mama heart happy. Are there nights that are harder than others? Absolutely! To me, that’s just part of being a parent of young children though. They need us through the night sometimes, and it would happen whether they were in the same room or not.
When Oliver turned 3 months old, I wrote a blog post on how the room sharing was going, and the things we did to prepare for a smooth transition. One of the things I mention on there is keeping Penelope in her crib for as long as possible.
Last week, my husband and I were surprised to hear little footsteps outside our bedroom door at 5 in the morning, and then a little voice that said “Mami”.
Penelope learnt how to climb out of her crib!
I was not anticipating this transition so soon. Penelope is only 27 months old, and I was planning on keeping her in her crib until she was 5 (kidding). She slept well in her crib, she liked it, so why fix something that isn’t broken. But, of course, as with many things in parenthood, you may not be ready for a change, but they are, and you just have to go with the flow.
We decided to transition her straight into a twin bed with side rails, and she loves it! We bought the frame, mattress and side rails from IKEA, and since Penelope graduated her crib, we gave hers to Oliver, as her crib was nicer. Even with a larger piece of furniture in the room, it still feels as spacious as before.
The transition to big girl bed has gone much easier than I had expected, which I’m happy for, especially since I wasn’t expecting it, ha! The first 3 nights, it was as though she didn’t think she could get out of her bed at all, and she didn’t. The fourth night, once the novelty wore off, she took forever to fall asleep. She tried to open the door and leave her room, which we then closed, and she didn’t like, so she screamed and protested, then moved the rocking chair towards the wall so she could reach the switch to turn the lights on, and scream and protested some more. After a few minutes, my husband went back in (which is when he saw her standing on the rocking chair, ha!), told her it was “night night time”, and she settled for the night. The silver lining? Oliver slept through all of this! haha! One of the advantages of room sharing, you learn to sleep through A LOT of noise, ha! It’s been a little over a week since the transition, and other than that crazy fourth night, bed time routine is back to normal! Woohoo!
I sometimes still get the “Is she crazy?!?!” look when someone learns that my baby and toddler room share, but it really isn’t as impossible as it sounds. During transitions, like a move to a big girl bed, it can be a little nerve wracking, but then I think to myself; I’m not the first parent whose children room share, and I certainly won’t be the last. The experience itself has taught me a few things along the way too, so even if we had a third bedroom on the same floor as our other two, I wouldn’t have done anything differently.
If you’re thinking/planning to have your children room share, from one mom to another…
Trust your gut. In my heart, I knew I wanted my children to room share, and I believed it would go well, and it has. They fed off our of energy that this was their normal, and that’s the way it has been.
Be Flexible and Adjust as needed. There have been times when one of them will go through periods of bad sleep (they are both still babies), and if we worried that they would wake/keep each other up, we would adjust. We’ve had nights when Penelope has slept in our bedroom/ guest bedroom in the play pen, and that’s OK. Once their sleep regulated, we would put them right back in the same room.
Babies are more adaptable than we think. The most common question I get when a someone learns that my children room share is, “Don’t they wake each other up?”. Penelope was pretty young (19 months old) when Oliver moved into the nursery, so she adjusted easily. Oliver hasn’t known anything other than room sharing all his life, so he didn’t have a choice, ha! They fall asleep to each other’s sounds, and almost sleep better for it. Penelope has only woken up a few times when I’ve nursed Oliver in the middle of the night, most of the time, she doesn’t even hear us. Also, White Noise Machine is a must when room sharing! So, no, they don’t wake each other up at night. If they did, I wouldn’t get much sleep at night, and I like sleep.
Separate them for naps. Daytime sleep is never as deep as it is as night, so the noises that they sleep through during the night, can wake them up in the day. They used to take day time naps together, but since Penelope’s naps are getting shorter, she would sometimes wake Oliver up before he was ready to during naps, so I decided to separate them. Oliver naps in the shared room, and Penelope either naps in our room or the guest bedroom. She will drop her naps before he does, so I wasn’t too worried about her not napping in the room.
Embrace the experience. On the nights they have 30 minutes of baby chit/chat before they fall asleep, and I’m annoyed because I just want them to fall asleep already, I realize the chit chat is exactly the magic of the room sharing experience. They are bonding over their little laughs and jokes, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. We have a third bedroom in our home, not on the same floor as our master and second bedroom, but the extra room is there. The day they request to have their own space, I will honor it, but for now, I am embracing everything that comes with room sharing… late night chats and all.
My babies are growing so fast, and so wonderfully. It’s still a little weird to walk into their room and no longer see two cribs, but now a big girl bed in there. Though it wasn’t a transition I had planned this early, at least now, I can sneak in a cuddle or two with my Penelope when I go and check in on them before I go to bed.