Monday, May 2, 2016

Getting to Know My Mother

In honor of Mother's Day, I dedicated my post for this month on Her View From Home to my own Mama.  Perhaps you can relate to the story I tell?  The older I get the more precious my relationship with her has become.  
"Knowing my mother more deeply also has meant finding myself. She is the vase of flowers I carefully arranged on a shelf vignette. She is my decision to leave the house with less makeup because she showed me by example that less is more and beauty is within. She is in the courage I use to chase my dreams, with the wings she bestowed and still bolsters. She is the voice in my head telling me to turn to God, to let my faith carry me on this journey of life and to find what makes me feel fully alive." 

I'd be so touched if you'd like to read the whole story here.
 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Favorites: Feeling Frenchy

I may have returned from Paris a few weeks ago, but I've yet to take off my rose colored glasses.

The unmistakable joie de vivre is my most treasured souvenir.  But in an effort to keep a good thing going, these are some French-inspired things I am loving.  Perhaps you'd like to indulge your Francophile tendencies too!?

1)  If you love Garance Dore, and who doesn't, then you'll love her podcast.  Pardon My French is fun, quippy and fun to listen to if for no other reason than her accent.

2) This Instagram Account provides such a lovely portrait of Paris; I love to follow along and reminisce.

3) Petite bateau has many of their hard-to-resist basics on sale.  I enjoyed visiting their flagship stores, but love that you can get their items stateside too.

4) I brought home with me some new beauty products that I've become obsessed with; both are coincidentally rose scented.   And after some tracking down, I learned that you can get the body wash here (for my US friends) and here (for my Canadian friends).


5) This French Lemon Tart has been pinned to my must-bake file.

6) And for all my pregnant friends out there, this is the ultimate investment piece!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Easy DIY All-Purpose and Antibacterial Cleaner

Within the past few weeks,  we have been dealing with strep throat, hand foot and mouth and then there was a breakout of fifths disease at James Robert's school (I had never heard of this before)!  It's so hard to be pregnant and care for a sick family;  I fought wanting to help, but wanting to protect myself (apparently fifths disease can be dangerous for pregnant women).

So needless to say, I've in de-germ mode around here.  Thankfully, everyone is feeling better, but this cleaner is still something I use daily to swipe our most-touched surfaces.  I shared this "recipe" on snapchat recently (meg_leanderson) and got a few questions, so I thought I'd answer them here.

I never thought I would be the type to make my own cleaner, but after making this once I was hooked.  The smell is so much better than anything I've ever bought from the store.

I'm also totally in love with the fact that it is safe and effective (the essential oils help kill germs).  It's a peace of mind to know you're spraying something that is safe with little one's around. There is something about knowing exactly goes in it that makes me feel great!
Recipe: 
2 Tablespoons of Castile Soap
10 drops of lemon essential oil
15 drops of thieves essential oil
fill the rest with water 

Notes: 
  • You'll want to use a glass bottle for mixing this cleaner because essential oils can leach into plastic.  I got mine from here
  • I love Dr. Bronners Castile Soap for so many things; you won't regret getting a bottle.
  • You can order Young Living Essential Oils here; I also recommend Lesley's site and resources.  

Monday, April 25, 2016

Life Lately + A Baby Sprinkle

Life seems to be racing these days.  Between Mat traveling a lot for work,  welcoming visitors to town, our trip to Paris and the general busyness that comes with caring for toddler I feel like March and April have gone by in the blink of an eye.

Earlier this month, I had some complications with pregnancy that left me feeling rather uncomfortable and overwhelmed.  Baby is doing wonderfully which is what is most important.  But I would have been lost without the support of the women in my life these past weeks (near and far).  I'm such a private person that I find it difficult to admit when I'm having a hard time, but I share this to really encourage other women out there, especially those who are pregnant, to let other's know when things get tough.  Pregnancy is a beautiful and complicated journey that is I've come to appreciate is best taken with others.

I was especially grateful for a baby sprinkle that my friends threw last weekend.  It was the perfect opportunity to really reflect and appreciate the tremendous excitement that is building for this new baby.




When I moved to Canada a little over a year ago, I couldn't have imagined meeting a group of women who are as supportive and uplifting as the one's I've been lucky to connect with here.  I was so touched that they wanted to take the afternoon to help me celebrate. It was such a heartwarming occasion and one that I won't forget!

My Mom was able to make the trip to Toronto to join me and I was so grateful to have her here.  The weather even cooperated enough to go without a jacket!

I've still been loving the milestone cards I received from Made by Joy; it's been such a fun way to document this pregnancy.  
And for all my pregnant friends out there, I wanted to share my adoration for this dress from Cos.  It is quite possibly the most comfortable thing I've put on my body lately and the best part is that it's is totally wearable after the baby too.  I fell in love with the color, but when I discovered the pockets, I was really sold! 
Also, I had to share one of my favorite moments of the sprinkle was being surprised by a video that Mat and James Robert made.  It had me in absolute stitches; you can see it here if you want a laugh too. A special thanks to my husband who made the video- it's such a treasure!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday Favorites: Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Happy Friday!  Mother's Day is right around the corner and I wanted to share with you some of my favorite gift ideas including a gracious discount with a wonderful artist who does custom portraits (see below).

While the sentiment behind Mother's Day is what makes it truly special; I don't know a Mom out there who doesn't deserve a token of appreciation.  Candles, jewelry and flowers may not be outside of the box, but I think these picks are the cream of the crop:

1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10



1) Custom Family or Child Portrait: A sentimental and personal gift like a custom portrait is something every mother would love.  I adore the work of Lachlan and Lenny; the whimsical interpretations and colors are beautiful!  And she is kindly offering my readers a discount for Mother's Day!  Use the code PINKTOGREEN15 for 15% off your order!  


2) Beauty products:  This hand cream from Aesop is useful but far from pedestrian.  Their products make everything feel luxurious.  

3) Coffee table books: I'm anxiously awaiting the publication of Mark D. Sike's book, All-American Decorating.  It would be such a nice addition to a coffee table or bookshelf.  

4) Jewelry:  The cuff's from Margaret Elizabeth are perfectly stackable and come in such a variety of pretty hues.  


5) Candles:  Spoil her with the holy grail of candles, Diptyque.  


6) Pretty Water Bottle:  The one's from S'well have been on my radar for a while.  They keep things hot or cold, come in the best colors and patterns and their slim fit would be an easy addition to a diaper bag or purse.  

7) Cute flats:  What Mom doesn't love shoes?  These classic spring kicks from Superga are at the top of my list! 

8) Perfume:  While this is personal to many women, I recently smelled this one while at Duty Free and was huffing the sample card the entire flight home. It's light, springy and seems universally flattering.  

9) Sleepware:  Spring and summer are the perfect time for wearing men's inspired sleep shirts.  This one from JCrew is supposed to be very comfy and monogram-able! 

10)  Flowers:  Mat never fails to be amazed at the power of flowers.  Call me simple, but white roses are my love language.  What are yours?  

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Swiss Museli to Celebrate Spring

This past weekend, we had our first sunshine and warm weather that felt like spring and it wasn't a moment too soon.  While the winter may have been mild by Canadian standards, it felt like it had been dragging on forever.  

Each year, right about this time, I crave the switch from warm breakfasts that we eat all winter to something satisfying but cold- Swiss Museli from Sophie Dahl's fantastic and seasonal cookbook, Voluptuous Delights, is perfection. 
For years, like clockwork, I pull out this book while the leaves are starting to bud on the trees and whip up our first batch.  It is really a simple recipe and very adaptable.  I'll leave you with the basic idea and allow you to experiment with your own favorite version.  My adaptation is below.  

Swiss Museli (adapted from Sophie Dahl)
Ingredients:
4 apples cored and shredded (I prefer granny smith or another substantially tart variety)
juice of half of a large lemon
2 cups of regular oats (don't use the quick oats for this recipe)
2 cups of regular yogurt (greek doesn't work well)
1/2 cup of dried fruit of your choice, our favorite is dried cherries, but raisins or even apricots are lovely
1/4 cup of chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or almonds do the trick nicely)
agave or honey are optional as toppings as well as a smattering of fruit 

Directions: 
Peel, core and grate your apples into a large bowl.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the apple to prevent browning and add a zing.  Then mix in the remaining ingredients.  Best left overnight, the oats will soak in all the amazing flavor and then you're welcomed with a hearty and delicious breakfast.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Babymoon in Paris

After our layover in Iceland, Mat and I headed to Paris for 4 days.

I had a few concerns about a trip to Paris at 30 weeks pregnant.  Would it be too much walking?  Would it be awkward to avoid cheese and undercooked meat without a mastery of the language?  Would our Airbnb be comfortable?  All of the concerns I had were erased I heartily recommend Paris as a babymoon even if you are later in your pregnancy!

After a few pregnancy complications the week before leaving, I wasn't sure how much walking I would be able to do.  However, I learned that there is no better city to have to waddle around as it allows you to take in every stunning detail.  There is magic that unfolds as you take in the city slowly that I hadn't experienced last time I was there. Plus, there is a cafe waiting around every corner if you want to sit!

We found Uber to be so user-friendly in Paris (even more so than cabs) because you don't even need to know French to tell them where you want to go.  We didn't take a bus or river tour, but both of those options would be perfect if you weren't up for walking.


In terms of food, I found it very easy to avoid non-pasteurized cheeses and was easily able to have my meat cooked well rather than rare.  In fact, most French waiters/waitresses would ask me before I could ask them because they saw I was pregnant.  I was amazed time and again how incredibly kind the French were; it was especially endearing to have them gush with excitement in another language and know that they were asking questions about the baby.


And as luck would have it, our Airbnb couldn't have been more lovely.  Sometimes you take a look at the pictures online and can only hope it will be as cute.  We found a cozy apartment that suited our needs perfectly and it was every bit what the pictures portrayed.  I really liked having a small apartment for this trip as it gave us more space than any of the hotels we had researched.

It allowed me to take a nap if needed and Mat could have a separate room.  The kitchen was small, but it was perfect for stocking with produce from the neighbourhood market and a few things that I wanted to have on hand.  And the added bonus was our sweet hosts who gave us inside tips for restaurants that felt especially local. As always, feel free to contact me if you want more info!
the court yard, building and family room in our airbnb

See/Do:
Jardin du Luxembourg- our Airbnb was in this neighbourhood.  We sipped coffee and ate croissants as early morning joggers and children headed to school; it was such a stunning slice of Parisian life.

Versailles- We did a self-guided tour of Versailles and spent half a day there.  The train ride was easy and the palace was incredible.  Sadly, I wasn't up for walking in the gardens, but it started to rain and so we will add it to the list for next time!
Musee de l'Orangerie: I highly recommend this museum for a smaller dose of the art that Paris is so famous for.  While I love the Louvre and Musee D'Orsay, this museum also blew me away.  Think quality over quantity- the Monet's stretch around the walls of two huge rooms in a way that you'll never forget.


Eat:
Le Relais de L'Entrecote- Bustling with locals, lively service and perfect steak frites.  When that's all that is on the menu, you know it's going to be good.  I still dream about the sauce.

Chez Fernand- Our Airbnb hosts know the chef at this restaurant and it didn't disappoint.  From the red checkered table cloth to their house specialty of beef bourgeoning, it was delightfully french.

Laduree-  I know it's cliche and Mat certainly didn't understand the fuss, but I would wager that no trip to Paris should be complete without a Macaroon or two (or 5).

Shop:
Pharmacie- I did a lot of research before our trip about brands and items that I wanted to get while in Paris. For other beauty junkies, this was such a fun place to stock up on goodies!

Monoprix-  They had such a cute selection of reasonably priced baby and children's clothes!
looks like there was a theme to most of the items I picked up1


Before going on any trip, I like to create a custom Google Map that I then use as a guide on our trip.  I add any spots that I've researched and may be interested in visiting/eating etc and then if you're ever wandering around a city, you can see which points of interest you're closest to.  Two guides that I found especially helpful were by Aspiring Kennedy and Glimpse Guides.  I added many of their notes and recommendations to my map.  I also added many of our reviews and insights to the map after the fact so that I can reference for (hopefully) any future trip!

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