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Whenever we’re alone in the car together (which with four kids doesn’t happen often) my husband and I often talk about what we want to make sure we teach the kids as they grow older.
We talk about silly things, like making sure they know to walk on the right hand side when passing someone in a hallway, and the difference between there, their and they’re – but also more serious issues like the importance of giving back and supporting those who need a helping hand.
In between graduating university and becoming a “real adult” I spent some time in a grassroots orphanage in Kenya, where resources were minimal. It was such an eye-opening experience to see what life was like without enough of the basic necessities such food and clothing.
Since then, whenever I’ve heard terms like “hunger crisis", - I’ve thought of third world countries and orphanages similar to the one that I stayed at.
The vision of hungry children from this orphanage has been forever engrained in my head.
However, recently I learned that there is a hunger crisis in our own back yard.
Did you know that 1 in 5 Canadians have used the Food Bank at least once in their life?
And that one third of Food Bank users in Canada are children and youth?
Think about that! Think about the families in your social circle. Statistically 1 in 5!
1 in 5!!!
As a parent this breaks my heart, for both the children and youth with empty bellies and for the parents who aren’t able to fill up their kid’s lunch boxes or provide them with a nutritious dinner every night.
This blog and online platform means the world to me. Not only does it allow me to connect with and support families from all over the world, but I also get the opportunity to partner with brands and companies that I know, love and whole-heartedly stand behind.
Earlier this year I announced my partnership with Catelli Pasta, when I talked about my strategies for beating the “meal time mom guilt” and shared our family’s favourite quick + easy pasta recipe (You can read the post here).
But I didn’t just partner with Catelli because I love me a good bowl of pasta.
I partnered with them because I am so aligned their mission, values and what they are trying to achieve!
Catelli recognizes the hunger crisis in Canada and has set out to support Canadian families who need a helping hand.
In 2009 they launched the Feed the Hope Campaign and have since donated millions of servings of pasta to those in need. This year, for the 10th anniversary of Feed the Hope, Catelli has pledged to donate a serving of pasta for every box of Catelli pasta purchased to 15 food banks across Canada, with a goal of donating 1 million servings.
That’s 1 more million bellies that are going to be full!
Man, that lights me up!
This blog post isn’t like most of my posts. In this blog post I am flat out asking you to help Catelli in their mission and support Canadian parents to feed their families!
The next time you go to the grocery store, I’m asking you to purchase a box of Catelli Pasta or some other nutritious food and donate it to your local food bank. Every little bit counts!
You know what they say, when you’re raising kids, it takes a village… so let’s band together to Feed the Hope!
DISCLOSURE: This post was sponsored and created in partnership with Catelli Pasta. As always, I only partner with brands that I truly love and endorse. All opinions are my own.
I love back-to-school shopping. In fact, year after year I'm more excited about the kid's new gear than they are!
There are so many misconceptions around conception. Let's open up the conversation and start talking!
As many of you know, I’ve been in redecorating mode for about a year and a half now.
Almost five years ago, when my husband and I decided to move in together, I ended up moving into the house where he lived during his first marriage.
I’m not going to lie, this didn’t come without challenges. I often felt like I was living in another woman’s house, because I essentially was. As I’ve said in a previous post about our recent kitchen renovation, it’s been extremely important to me to make this space feel like “ours”, all while respecting the traditions and memories that are still very important to my husband and stepchildren.
When we wrapped up our kitchen renovation last fall, my husband would have told you that we were all done with the redecorating!
I had other ideas in mind! My next stop was the office!
Finding a compromise between our personal styles has been a bit of a challenge. In my perfect world, everything would be painted white. And I mean everything! I love the modern, sleek and clean look.
His style is more rustic and country. He loves the look of real wood.
In order to convince him that re-doing the office was a good idea, I had to darken things up and appeal to his masculine style. I also had to promise not to paint the shelves white.
But my motivation for changing up this space wasn’t only because I wanted it to flow with the style of the rest of the house. It was motivated by my desire to get us organized!
Since I moved in, the office has been our dumping ground. Unopened mail, sheets from school, work, notes, papers, anything that we needed to hide when guests come over was always shoved in the office. The clutter made me feel so overwhelmed that I just shut the door and pretended it didn’t exist.
Unfortunately, because of the clutter, the space was rarely used for what it’s actually for – to work!
I’m a firm believer that your work environment has a huge impact on
a. how you feel and
b. your level of productivity
Plus when you truly love a space, you take pride in it and WANT to keep it clutter free!
So, with all of those persuasive arguments, I FINALLY convinced my husband that it was time to change things up.
To be honest, I still can’t believe he agreed!
When I got the “go ahead” I had my good friend and decorator Abby Campbell pop over to brainstorm what we were going to do. Then we sent my husband to Home Depot to pick up the supplies! We were thrilled to be given the opportunity to partner with BEHR® for this make-over project.
Instead of telling you what we came up with, I’m going to just show you!
HERE'S THE BEFORE
Note, the office in the “BEFORE” picture is much cleaner than I described above. In the spirit of being transparent, I’ll disclose that I hid most of our junk underneath the desk.
HERE'S THE AFTER
There is no junk hidden in this picture. In order to effectively de-clutter the space, we had to do a MAJOR purge. Let me tell you, it felt SO good!
To paint the office, we used BEHR MARQUEE® Interior Paint. This paint is phenomenal. It’s so smooth and goes on in one coat which makes the whole process much quicker!
We used BEHR MARQUEE in Wheat Bread on all the walls with the exception of one, which we painted in Carbon.
(I told you I was trying to keep it masculine!)
I’ll be honest, when I heard that this paint went on in one coat, I had my doubts. But guys, it actually does!
Yes, you read that right. We covered up those dark red walls in ONE COAT!
I have to tell you. This room make-over was so quick and easy. By painting the walls, changing up the lighting and re-organizing items that we already had, we modernized this dated space in just over a day.
Now the office reflects the updated style of the rest of the house!
Before we painted the room, I used to keep the office doors closed, because truthfully, I was embarrassed by it's state. Now they are wide open, ready for everyone to see.
Plus, we love the vibe so much that now we’re actually using the space to work!
Now… which room should I tackle next?
Just kidding Honey! (well… kind of!)
DISCLOSURE: We partnered with BEHR® for this project. However, as always, all project ideas, statements and opinions are my own!
With four kids, I felt like we were always on the go. From arena to arena, from soccer field to soccer field. The schedule was exhausting.
But that was at the beginning of my parenting career. It didn't take me long to change my tune, and the way I look at organized sports.
When Reese turned two I proudly announced that she was going to start Potty Training. We were going to tackle it head on.
I was confident that she was going to be one of the first in her daycare class to be diaper free!
I quickly transitioned her from diapers to Pull-Ups® naively thinking that the whole process would be smooth sailing!!
Because well... it couldn't be that hard right?!
Breastfeeding, My Post-Baby Anxiety & How Our Blended Family Dynamic Affected My Breastfeeding Experience
When I first started this blog and become a mother, I vowed that I would NEVER touch on this subject, because well, I've seen many of my blogger friends receive nasty comments, hate mail and some pretty serious threats for sharing their opinion. To say the topic of breastfeeding is controversial is a HUGE understatement.
Growing up, I was VERY protective of my sibings. No one messed with them, except for me that is.
From bullying on the playground all the way down to getting in trouble from our parents, I was their advocate. Always.... So you can imagine when my sister gave birth to her sweet daughter Parker, this past December, my big sister instincts were in full force.
However, every now and again, our blended family dynamic affects us in ways that I never anticipated.