If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I am a little obsessed with window coverings. I really do believe they are an area of the home that too often gets treated as an afterthought, but when done well, they can really make a space feel like a million dollars!!!!
So when Budget Blinds approached me to partner with them on a video to share the process of installing custom window coverings in your home, I was on board. Budget Blinds is a custom window covering provider – which means they provide tailor made drapes, blinds, shades, shutters and more for your home, completely customized for you space.
Everything begins with a free in-home consultation with a local Design Consultant. Your Design Consultant brings everything to you- and I mean everything! They bring you fabric samples, professional measuring tools, and even the technology to create your own custom fabric yourself through their DesignINK™ program.
I have known Toronto Design Consultant Karen for almost my entire interior design career. We have worked on many projects together (lots that I have written about on this blog! Check out Dacia’s kitchen and bedroom here).
And what has come out of a long business relationship, is a real life friendship as well. I love that by working with a Budget Blinds Design Consultant, I get to support a fellow entrepreneur, and mom, who is following her dreams (and you know how much I care about that)!
So as I mentioned, the Design Consultant takes care of everything, from professionally measuring the space, to guiding you in the design process to installing the final product. And what I love about the Budget Blinds approach is that they really care. They work with you to either match what is in your current home, or launch you into an entirely different design scheme, and provide you options to match your unique needs and budget.
In my home, we installed gorgeous sheer curtains using the DesignINK™ program. This program kind of blew my mind. When I was working with interior design clients, I would spend hours in fabric showrooms finding the perfect scheme for my clients- and this would take a lot of time! So what I think is so unique about DesignINK™, is that you get to play designer and create your own custom fabric from the comfort of your own home. Through their portable technology, your Design Consultant can guide you through hundreds of prints- from organic, to geometric, to traditional, to contemporary, and then you can customize the colour to basically whatever you want! We were able to match the exact pink in my drapes to the door colour in my dining room! Once you are satisfied with your design, your custom print is sent to be tested on the fabric of your choice, and you receive the options in the mail for approval! Check out what the process looked like here.
Pretty cool, right?
So here is what the spaces looked like before:
And here is what they looked like after!
I am so thrilled with how everything turned out. I wanted something playful to match the personality of my family. Pink was a bold choice, but we ensured that the hue was saturated enough that it wouldn’t feel too juvenile.
At Karen’s suggestion, we also created custom pillows to match the window coverings! And I love the custom touch this creates. This is the simplest way in my opinion to add a designer touch to a space – the repetition of colour and pattern creates a cohesive approach in the space and is a way of adding a custom element without breaking the bank!
I think that whatever your budget, or whatever the space, or however old your kids are, or whatever your stage is in life, everyone can enjoy a beautiful home – and window coverings are a big part of that!
To watch the entire transformation in my home, click play below.
And to learn how to work with a Budget Blinds Design Consultant (available throughout the USA and Canada!) click here!
Special thanks to Budget Blinds for sponsoring this blog post!
One of the most commonly asked questions I get about having 7 kids is what kind of a car do you drive?!?
When we were looking for a car, I wanted something with all the bells and whistles- a car that was modern enough to handle my active family’s lifestyle, but still had all the luxuries like heated and cooling seats, a heated steering wheel, safety cameras everywhere, and a gorgeous digital display- and I found this all in the Hyundai Palisade.
When you think about how much time a mom spends in her car, it makes a huge difference when it is a space that feels luxurious, and a space that feels like an extension of home, in a way. What if we could think of our car like a place to foster connection, as opposed to just a place we shuttled people around?
We recently took this car for a spin and it inspired me think about ways we can make the most out of time in the car as a family- I hope it inspires you to foster great connections with your loved ones on the go.
1. HAVE INTENTIONAL CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR KIDS IN THE CAR
Growing up, the car was where I had great chats with my dad about life (my mom did not drive). It was focused time, and I loved it. I try to use the times we drive to ask my kids questions, learn more about their interests, and generally just continue to get to know their personalities on a deeper level. With 7 kids ages 10 and under, I have personalities of all kinds! I like to keep the loud ones at the back, lol.
Speaking of loud, the Hyundai Palisade comes equipped with a in-vehicle intercom system (how cool is that?!), which allows me to chat with my kids in the third row without having to yell!
2. LISTEN TO AUDIOBOOKS ON LONGER DRIVES
I am a huge podcast and audiobook listener when I am driving alone, but more recently, we have been listening to classic children’s books like The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan and the entire Beverly Cleary collection (I have so much nostalgia listening to the Ramona series). Not only are they great for kids of all ages, I find they spark my imagination too! And if you’ve been following me for a while, you know I am all for what happens in your brain when you listen to stories vs. watching videos- synapsis are fired up left right centre and the brain works to create visuals of what is being read aloud. It’s so good for parents and kids alike!
Now in my family, there is inevitably always a sleeping baby somewhere in the car! This car comes equipped with rear seat Quiet Mode, so that the rear speakers get muted when audiobooks are on the go to keep things extra quiet for sleeping babies.
3. DO DATE NIGHT IN THE CAR (EVEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE A BABYSITTER)
If you watch any of my videos you know how passionate I am about a weekly date night- it’s a non negotiable for me. We arrange childcare, we get out of the house, and we connect as a couple- so important to keep a marriage strong and healthy!
And I get asked all the time, what do you do if you can’t afford to eat out, or you don’t have childcare?
What about date night in the car? It literally could look as simple as this: change your kids into their pjs, grab your favourite beverage, drive around until they fall asleep, and then park somewhere relaxing and watch something on your personal device, or simply enjoy a relaxed conversation with no one interrupting you.
Plus, the Hyundai Palisade has heated and ventilated front seats to make your date night in the car even more luxurious.
4. WORK ON PROJECTS USING DICTATION
An interesting tidbit about my new book, The Possibility Mom: How to be a Great Mom and Pursue Your Dreams At the Same Time, is that I wrote A LOT of it in the car (sometimes with my kids WITH ME). I had to get so creative with how I wrote my book, even in the smallest 15-minute increments. And one of the ways I did this was simply by dictating parts of my book while driving into my phone as a voice memo, or literally grabbing my laptop, putting a movie on for my kids on their personal devices, and writing for the duration of the show! I wrote tons of chapters in this way!!!
With 7 USB outlets in the most strategic spots in every row, pouches for kids’ devices or other entertainment, and 14 cup holders (14!!!), this car comes equipped to keep kids happy while mom tries to get some work done!
5. INTENTIONALLY SCHEDULE ME TIME AROUND PICK-UP AND DROP OFF TIMES
I will purposefully arrive at least 15-minutes early before school pick up for intentional quiet time for myself. I pull up early, grab an ideal parking spot (if your kids’ school is small like mine you know the pain of finding parking), ensure I have a beverage to suit my mood (either a decaf flat white, or a ginormous water with ice and lemon), and I will read a book, listen to a motivating podcast or radio show (the Limited version of the Palisade comes equipped with Sirius XM and there is no shortage of content on there to entertain and inspire!), or even TAPE A NAP BEFORE THE KIDS COME IN!!!
When time is limited, us busy moms sometimes have to get creative with self care- and honestly, arriving just a few minutes early, and feeling peaceful before receiving the kids, makes a massive, massive difference on my mood for the remainder of the afternoon and evening.
For more on how this SUV is the ultimate family vehicle for active families who need a vehicle that does it all, click here.
Special thank to Hyundai Canada for partnering with me on this post! I don’t have time to use products that do not enhance my family’s life, so know I am always looking to share products that will enhance your family’s life too.
Photos by Lucian Vasille
Hello my friends! I feel like it’s been a while since I have shared what is going on in my family, so today I am sharing an update on what it is like to be a working mom of 6, and share a tool that has been really helpful in navigating through life as a mom on the go [and today I am on the go with my youngest son in our new Bugaboo Bee⁵]!
Working mom of six… even when I read that I feel tired!
But as I share often on my Instagram
and my YouTube channel
, navigating life with my large crew has been equal parts enjoyable, equal parts challenging, but most of all really, really fulfilling.
Motherhood, like anything, is a skill. It has a learning curve. You can feel like you have it all together one minute, and then feel like you are going to lose your mind the next moment. Add on to that the very real pressures that come with a job outside of the home, and it can all be a difficult space to navigate. As I have told many of my first time mom friends, I think having your first child is harder than having six children in a lot of ways! There is such a steep learning curve with your first child, and such a drastic change in your identity, your regular schedule and your body!
But with eight years of this motherhood gig now under my belt, and six gorgeous humans who I get to call my children, I have a little more confidence, I am way less hard on myself, and I have learned strategies that help me to persevere through the challenging parts of motherhood.
When people ask me, “how do you do it?” I honestly don’t always know what to say. But I will share this: one strategy that I have learned is an absolute necessity to thrive in motherhood is self care. And let’s just say I have failed pretty epically at it over the years. But what I have learned is that if we want to be good moms, good contributors to society, and generally nice people to be around [lol] we have to listen to our bodies, listen to our emotions, and take care of ourselves so we can take care of others.
This weekend I spoke at event [a really fun ladies tea event in Oakville on the topic of creating family memories at home] and I knew that I would be pretty tired after it. So I booked a babysitter, and made sure I would have enough time on the way home to do something I LOVE- which is to spend time on the waterfront in my home of Toronto, Canada.
We only hung out for about thirty minutes- but boy was it restorative. There is something so soothing to me about water. I love how peaceful it is, how vast it is, and for me it is just so restorative. I live in a really busy city- and I just love how even in my urban dwelling I can escape to a scene like this for a moment of rest. [It doesn’t hurt that there was a pierogi food truck nearby- so yummy]
It can be really challenging to make rest a priority. For many years, I didn’t think rest was important enough to hire a babysitter for, and spend money on to achieve. But what I find is when I rest, I dream. I am a dreamer. I love having the space to just think. To listen. To recalibrate. And my spouse, my kids, and myself are all better off as a result.
With my large family of six kids ages eight and under, one of the ways we make our family work, and make it easier for me to have this self-care time, is to have more than one stroller. This way, if I am doing something on my own with the baby, and my husband or a babysitter is taking care of the rest, whoever is taking care of my other children has the flexibility to take my older kids out on their own adventure.
The Bugaboo Bee⁵ stroller makes traveling with my infant on my own really simple. It’s compact design makes it ideal for my urban neighbourhood- it’s narrow width is easy to navigate around crowds and shops and the suspension design makes for a smooth ride on my self-care trips to the water (or the mall, lol).
It’s also incredibly flexible- it has integrated attachment points for things like coffee cups and a comfort wheeled board [no need for adapters], customizable colours on the faux leather handle bar grips and changeable wheel caps, and my favourite, the Bugaboo Bee⁵ has 700 possible design configurations- so you can customize your stroller to your heart’s content.
And speaking of heart’s content- how much fun is this bassinet fabric design? I love the denim and the butterflies (my three year old is a big fan of the pinks ones)! In my work as an interior designer I just love to have beauty all around me- and this stroller is no exception.
To learn more about Bugaboo and dream up your own design, learn more here. And for more self-care strategies for busy moms, watch here.
How do you take care of yourself as a busy mom? What tools help your family make this possible? Love to know in the comments below.
Cheers to designing your beautiful life,
Special thanks to Bugaboo Strollers for partnering with me on this blog post.