3 reasons to visit the Broadmoor. 1 reason sports loving husbands will love.

3 reasons to visit the Broadmoor. 1 reason sports loving husbands will love.

I recently had the awesome opportunity to stay at the Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado for Platform 2014 (more on my experience at that conference here). I promised a post featuring the beautiful features of this location- so here goes: my top 3 reasons to visit the Broadmoor, and 1 particular one sports loving husbands will love. 



Photos via. I was there at the end of fall to witness the first snowfall. And it was breathtaking. The property is surrounded by mountains, and situated around a lake- so you get the best of both mountain and water. From a design point of view, it is pretty darn special. 

We stayed in the newly renovated section of the hotel and it boasted every luxe detail you would expect in a resort of this caliber: tv in mirror in the bathroom, super plush bedding, bathrobes, luxe soaker tub, beautiful finishes… from an interior design perspective this place was exceptional (and kind of flawless!)


All the food experiences are themed in some way- but not cheesy at all. And the "themes" get translated in every detail- the decor, the napkins, the place settings. Again, from an interior design perspective there were so many delectable details. I dined at a French restaurant with stunning linens and cutlery, an Italian place where we got to watch deer graze out the window (deer!), and a organic food bistro that was my favourite decor wise. Room service was delicious too. Pricing was as to be expected with a resort this luxe ($16 for yogurt and granola!) 


When we go to hotels, my husband kind of nerds out on the different newspapers he can get his hands on so he can catch up on sports from a variety of sources. So sports loving husbands might love this detail. This is how the newspaper comes every morning:

Such a lovely detail to hang the newspaper neatly on the door knob! I really hope to bring my family here one day to experience this fabulous location.

For more info on this lovely location visit The Broadmoor.



To all my American friends, a very happy thanksgiving weekend. I hope you got to be filled with love and joy, and a whole lot of calories all at the same time. 

We hosted our own little feast for American friends living in Toronto and ate our fill. There is something so awesome about sharing a meal- the act of eating unites us, brings us together, connects us in such a basic, simple way. 

Whatever you are doing this weekend, I hope it is sweet.

Delectable treats from Nadege photographed by the lovely Katherine Holland. For more from this project click here.

The most important job I’ll ever do

The most important job I’ll ever do

As I have mentioned previously I'm being brave and being a bit more personal on my blog. Still lots of good interior design stuff (like here, here and here) but for today's post, I'm talking about the job of being wife and mom.

Last weekend, my husband had a work conference in Montreal- so the kids and I decided to tag along for the ride. Smoked meat and poutine, cuddles in big comfy hotel beds and quality time after working like a maniac- so needed! I am so thankful for the weekend we had. I am most thankful for the time to recalibrate and be reminded of what my most important job is. 

I put in a lot of time developing myself professionally. Recently I was in Colorado for Platform, yearly I invest in business coaching of some kind, and I am pretty obsessed with reading and gathering info on social media strategies, good business practices and becoming a better interior designer and communicator in general. 

But how much time do I invest in being a good wife and a good mother? The honest answer is not very much. So in Montreal I brainstormed a few concrete ways I could invest in being a better wife and mom. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Do more the night before. This has proved to be pretty awesome for our morning routine, and therefore all of our moods heading out the door for school. And for those of you in Toronto or anywhere north of the equator it seems, you know how much more effort it was this week with snowpants, boots, mitts, hats, etc. etc. etc. So I am disciplining myself to attempt to lay things out the night before. School bags with letters / forms already filled in get laid out by the door, and lunches mostly packed saved for the things that are perishable and are pre wrapped in bags in the fridge. I have to work on getting them to lay out their clothes the night before- hoping to instill that habit in them (and myself!) too. 

2. Turn my phone off for uninterrupted, aimless time. Or at least put it away out of reach. I think I need to make a "sacred time", where the phone is away. In this time I want to invest in just being present and aimless. Ask my kids questions, be present to my husband in conversation, be available in an undistracted manner. I need to work on this.

3. Be more grateful, and verbalize my gratitude. This one is simple. I need to be more grateful for my spouse and my kids and let them know that. If I had a jar and I had to put a dollar in for the number of times I got irritated in a day with everyone, vs. the times I spoke grateful words to them it would be pretty sad to see how full that jar would be. 

4. Be more romantic. As a mom of small kids, romantic gestures of any kind are admittedly quite neglected at the end of a day full of demands. The relationship I have with my spouse supports the rest of the relationships in our house, and establishes a culture of care and kindness. My kids learn about love by watching the way I relate with Josh. I best treat him with some fondness ; ) 

In the fast pace of our life with 4 kids and busy work schedules, there are days that we feel like we barely survive. But there are also days that we thrive. I want more of the latter, and experience has shown me that if I put into practice some of the goals I set out above, like being more organized and more attentive and less distracted, we really do feel great. At mass last Sunday at the gorgeous and historic St. Patrick's in Montreal, this was read in the first reading: "Her children stand up and proclaim her blessed, her husband, too, sings her praises" (Proverbs 31:28). I hope to live up to this both for my own personal standard and for them. 

How do you invest in your job as parents and spouse? Love to know your best practices in the comments below. 



Remember when it was sunny and warm in Toronto?!?!? We sure do. As part of my #canningreno crazy project turning myself into the client I have been visiting my fav retailers to help outfit my space. Earlier when it did not require 700 layers of clothing to go outside my daughter and I visited FLOR in Toronto. 

Flor carpet tiles are kind of perfect for someone like me. As in someone with the delightful experience of dealing with SO MANY ACCIDENTS (I shall not articulate what kinds…) But from experience, there was time when we took our living rug to be dry cleaned multiple times a month from the inevitable spills and thrills that happen with small kids (and big kids alike). But it was getting a bit excessive so eventually I would just try to spot clean or take my steamer to it to attempt to disinfect. 

What has hooked me on to Flor is the ability to clean with ease. Due to its modular nature (carpets are made up of individual tiles), if you have a spill, you simply remove the ONE TILE and wash it with soap and water in the sink. If it's damaged beyond repair, you simply buy ONE TILE and replace the spot. It is so practical, so functional for families.

Flor carpet tiles also boast some fun design options. Due to the modular nature you can essentially design anything- the staff can help you do this too. I love the thin grey stripe in this carpet above. 

And of course Evelyn had fun shopping with mom.

Thanks to Flor for partnering with me on my house and for the Toronto location for having us! Photos by mddphotography.

For more from this series on shopping for items for my #canningreno check out my recent shopping trips here, here and here.

Top 10 quotes from Platform Conference 2014

Top 10 quotes from Platform Conference 2014

Last weekend I had the beautiful experience of visiting The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado for Michael Hyatt's Platform Conference. I could write 10 blog posts on how fantastic this location is (I promise a post on the features of this location to follow!) but for today's post, I'd like to share my highlights from this conference.

I have been following Michael Hyatt for about a year now and my life has been enriched by his weekly podcast. If you aren't familiar with him, Michael Hyatt is kind of the expert on building a personal platform and in addition to all his tips on blogging, social media and speaking strategies, I love what he has to say about living a life of intention and integrity. You should definitely check him out. So when the opportunity came to see him and his team live in action, and the chance to invest in me and my business for a few days- it was not a hard decision to make the investment and book.

And am I ever glad I did.

Because I left with laser sharp clarity on why I am doing what I do.

As I mentioned in my earlier post this week this blog is about to get a bunch more personal. Being personal on the internet is something that has scared me, and something I have basically shied away from. I have shied away for fear of rejection, for fear of letting people know the "real" me, and fear of what that might mean. I think part of it was also a fear that being more personal meant I was somehow less of a "professional business owner", something that I felt I had to prove starting my business at the young age that I did, and constantly comparing myself against peers 10 years my senior. But during this conference again and again I got the message to have courage, to be fearless, and that my message, if I can be couragous enough to share it, can really help people. I hope you'll journey with me in this next chapter of my blog.

Without further ado, here are my top ten quotes from the Platform Conference: 

On being fearless:

"Lies that stifle our own success: 1) I don't know where to start. 2) I don't have time. 3) I'm not good enough." – Crystal Paine

"I will own the gifts that I've been given." – Crystal Paine

"Comparison is the thief of joy." – Crystal Paine

"Clarity brings confidence that results in concrete action." – Casey Graham

On helping others:

"Focus on your audience & how you can contribute to their lives. It's not about you." – Ken Davis

"We make a living from what we get, we make a life by what we give." – Winston Churchill via Stu McLaren

"No other success can compensate for failure in the home." – David O'McKay via Stu McLaren

On blogging / business:

"If you're not consistent, you're non-existent." – Michael Hyatt

"The energy of your business is directly tied to the strength of your email list." – Amy Porterfield 

"Anyone with a personal platform should make speaking a part of it. It will clarify your purpose, and change lives." – Ken Davis

As if God wanted me to be REALLY sure what kind of laser sharp clarity I was meant to have from this conference, I share this final story from my Platform experience. I ugly cried multiple times during this conference, always when a speaker was addressing the topic of how you can help people if you only allow yourself to share abundantly, and to not let fear stand in the way. After one of my ugly crying fits, I fought all temptation to retreat to my room and wallow in self pity. I walked into the lunch room, head held marginally high, and this beautiful woman with blonde hair, who I had connected with a few times at the conference before, could sense something was up with me. It only took 2 seconds for me to be crying, literally on her shoulder, about how afraid I was of being more honest with myself and my audience. She provided me some brief counsel and encouragement and we enjoyed a lovely lunch. At the very end of the conference she found me and said she had a gift for me. Cue the ugly tears again cause this is what she handed me:

I wear it proudly. This gift from a relative stranger was my most memorable gift from this conference. I treasure it, and the experience, so much.

To my fellow #platform14 attendees- what was your most memorable gift from the conference? Love to know in the comments below.