Tuesday, November 3, 2015

This Week 37

We had an awesome Halloween weekend with our galaxy girl, kitty cat, and little monkey. I hope you and your family had an awesome Halloween!

Now on to Christmas...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sephora Cleaning Me Softly Facial Cleansing Brush Review

I've been wanting to incorporate a facial cleansing brush in to my daily skin care lineup for some time now. At 25 years old, I still deal with acne and after taking years to nail down the right cleansers, moisturizer, and makeup, it seems natural to want to add a deep cleaning brush to my daily routine.

The first and obvious choice was to go with a Clairsonic. I've been looking at purchasing the Mia 2 for years now, but could never bring myself to actually buy it. I've been told time and time again that that it's totally worth the price, but I'm terrified that my acne prone skin won't react well and I will end up spending upwards of $200 on a product that just isn't right for me. Of course I've tried several drug store cleansing brushes, but I've never found one that I wanted to keep using.

During one of my (frequent) trips to sephora.com, I noticed this little guy. A manual and extremely affordable facial cleansing brush.

I talked about receiving it in my 25th Birthday Haul post. I've been using it for a few months now, and here's my review:

What I Liked: In a nutshell, this brush is simple, effective, and extremely well priced. The bristles are very dense and well made, but also soft on the skin. I was worried that I would experience a scratchy feeling rather than a clean feeling, but that just isn't the case. I've been using the brush nightly to help take off my makeup, and I feel totally exfoilated and tingly when I finish using it.

What I Didn't Like: It would be nice if you could buy replacement heads for this brush instead of having to buy a whole new one, but for only $13 CAD I can't really complain.

Final Thoughts: I will definitely be purchasing this brush again. It works very well for my skin - even better than I thought it would. I also can't help loving that it's pink! Go buy this brush!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

This Week 36

1. I'm currently entering my third week back at work. It's been stressful and emotional, but lots of coffee and shopping on the weekends has been helping.

2. Fall is seriously the best.

3. New in! Tarte's Stroke of Midnight brush set. Look for a review soon.

4. Hanging out of her grandma's car while waiting to go dress shopping. What an awesome day.

5. I finally fit in a Sushi date with one of my besties. So. Good.

6. My sassy little bridesmaid-to-be. I cannot believe we have under a year to go!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Battle of the Sippy Cups: Munchkin's Weighted Flexi-Straw Cup vs. Miracle 360 Cup

All I remember from when Holly was a baby is how terrible and leaky sip cups are. You find one that works great and then all of a sudden it starts leaking.

I got several different sippy cups at my baby shower and over the past month, I have written off every single one of them. They were all terrible for beginners. As I do with all baby issues, I took to my Facebook mom group (we've been together since the first weeks of pregnancy) where they spoke highly of these two Munchkin cups: The weighted flex-straw cup and the Miracle 360 cup.

I decided to purchase both cups, let CJ try them both for a few weeks, and let us both come to a decision together.

First Impressions: Best. Idea. Ever. I tried regular straw sippy cups as well as traditional sippy cups, and this seemed to be the solution to our biggest problem - he could lay down or sit up to drink it.

What I Liked: Obviously the fact that the baby can drink from any angle is absolutely incredible. It really does do what it claims. I also really liked how the straw is soft and flexible. I thought it was extremely thoughtful that this cup included a special little straw cleaner. It makes life so much easier (and I actually use it for all of our other straw cups now!). 

What I Didn't Like: It leaks. Although the product claims to be "spill proof", I find that it leaks quite a bit. It seems as though the lid doesn't properly screw on sometimes - No, it's not just me. I've had other people try doing it and it's the same. I've read online that it doesn't leak when the lid is closed over the straw, but this just isn't a practical expectation of babies.

Conclusions: The weighted thing is super cool and a really amazing idea in theory. CJ is still too young to know how to open the lid to access the straw, so it's not overly practical. He does love the straw, but I can't get over the fact that the lid doesn't always fit properly which equates to leaks. Leaks suck.

The Miracle 360 Cup

First Impressions: "Uhm, how does he drink out of that?". I had read so many reviews online, but in the packaging I didn't understand how this cup worked or pieced together. When I took it out, I was astonished.

What I Liked: CJ got the hang of this cup immediately. All a baby has to do is place his or her lips anywhere along the edge and suck to get liquid. He holds it upside down a lot, but it still works. Most importantly, it doesn't leak! In a month of use, it's let out liquid only when CJ is pressing on the top and playing with it. Otherwise, it's been thrown around in my purse and tossed on the ground without leaking. Yay! It's also available in a larger size for when CJ gets a bit older!

What I Didn't Like: I guess the only thing is I wish that, like the weighted cup, he could drink without tipping it. He gets confused on where to drink from since there is no clear sucking point.

Conclusions: This cup is the most innovative baby product I've seen. It's very, very cool. I show it to everyone. I think we'll definitely be keeping this one around and also purchasing the bigger size.

You can click here to purchase this cup. You can also get a larger size here.

Final Thoughts: The Miracle 360 Cup wins! No leaks is the best thing I can ask for. Beyond that, the Miracle cup will help CJ learn how to use a real cup.

Keep in mind that these cups are for beginners. Once CJ gets older and used to drinking liquids other than milk, I plan on switching to our old faithful Playtex cups.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

This Week 35

1. Chris went on an airplane for the first time in his life! But, he also left me for 4 days to go on a work trip to Calgary. It was the longest we've been apart since we started dating 5.5 years ago. 

2. Bears he brought home for the girls. Best dad ever.

3. I got a chance to use my stamps this week. It's the best thing in the world when I get the opportunity to be crafty.

4 & 5. My beautiful family on CJ's first Thanksgiving!

6. My last day of maternity leave was this week. Back to work for this mama. Big changes and big emotions for me.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Our Wedding: Inspiration

Sources (clockwise from top left) 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

I've had a really hard time making up my mind for our wedding, especially when it comes to colours and decor. We began with a black and white colour palette, but after attending a few weddings this year as well as booking our reception venue, we realized that black and white wasn't what we wanted.

It just so happened that when we attended a wedding back in May, there was a wedding in the same building with a gold glitter theme. Chris and I both fell in love. Within a week of seeing that wedding, we changed our colour palette to gold and ivory and later added a pastel pink accent colour. Our reception will be taking place in a room with beige walls and I think gold will work perfectly.

Without giving away too much, here are some of my wedding wants:

1. Floor length pastel pink bridesmaids dresses for my girls.
2. Gold glitter tablecloths. Not on every table, but somewhere in the room.
3. Balloons. I'm not quite sure how I'll incorporate them, but I want them.
4. Small, yet elegant, centrepieces.

We have an extremely small wedding budget, so it's likely that our wedding won't be anything like these photos, but we'll make it work.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

BzzAgent Campaign: Covergirl's "The Super Sizer" Mascara Review

I'm crazy happy to be part of another slew of BzzAgent campaigns this month. I absolutely love testing out new products, but get excited on a whole other level when I get to test makeup.

This time, Covergirl and BzzAgent sent me The Super Sizer Mascara to test and review. Keep reading to see what I think! #GotItFree

My BzzKit included a full sized tube of Covergirl's The Super Sizer mascara in "Very Black" to review as well as $2 off coupons to pass out to my friends and family.
Different angles of the unique mascara wand.
Before and after application.

First Impressions: When I first opened the tube, I was totally confused by the wand. I had no idea how to use it, but it looked interesting. Although I disliked the last Covergirl mascara I tried, I like the majority of Covergirl mascaras, so I was optimistic.

What I Liked: The formula for this mascara is amazing. A little goes a long way. In just one coat, I see huge results, especially compared to other mascaras. It gives tons of length and curl.

The correct way to apply this mascara is to "load and twirl" the wand. I initially found the wand hard to use, but after a few days I got used to spinning the brush and saw a huge difference. The different sides of the wand are great for different parts of the lashes and it is easy to use from all angles.

My favourite part of this mascara is that it works on my top and bottom lashes. Normally I use two different mascaras for the top and bottom, but the different sides of this wand worked great in different areas for me.

What I Didn't Like: I can see how some people might not like the wand, but after you figure it out, it's easy. The truth is, unlike the last Covergirl mascara I reviewed here, there isn't much I don't like about it. The formula causes my lashes to be a bit spiky compared to what I usually like, but it doesn't clump, so how can I complain?

Final Thoughts: I really like this mascara! An innovative wand, a great formula, and a great value at the suggested retail price of $8.99 CAD- What more can you ask for? Unlike a ton of products I try, I would purchase this one again!

Check out my before and after's above and below!

Before and after application. Check out those 2 stray eyebrow hairs on the right ;). 

If you're interested in trying out this mascara, Walmart Canada has it on sale for $5.97. Go get it now!!

Monday, October 5, 2015

This Week 34

1. We went shopping and Holly got her very first leotard. This is it. She can't wait for gymnastics this week.

2. My poor Chris had a terrible Tuesday night. He ran up the stairs to answer the door for pizza and ended up fainted and falling down our stairs. He's a bit beat up and getting sick of appointments, but he's good.

3. I got handy and did some painting this week. I'll be showing off my progress later this week.

4. CJ has become a lot more interested in big people food. How is he almost 11 months old?

5. My mom, my sister, and I took a day trip to the Detroit area and spent almost 12 hours shopping. We stopped for a pretzel and I had to document. Yum.

6. My sister looking like Ariel in the Disney store. She also got her first piercing this weekend (her nose)!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

This Week 33

Instead of 6 pictures, I've decided to go with 1 video this week.

Why? Because my baby is dancing and I love it.

CJ has got foot tapping down, but he doesn't like when Chris mutes the TV. Please ignore my obnoxious laughing and the terrible iPhone camera.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

New In: My 25th Birthday Sephora Haul

I love a good haul, but I very rarely spend money on makeup anymore (thank you kids & home ownership). I'm so excited about this.

My amazing boyfriend basically gave me free run of Sephora as a birthday gift. What else could a girl ask for?

Here's what I got:

4. Sephora Cleaning Me Softly Facial Cleansing Brush

The best part? I still have more gift cards to spend! Let the product research begin...

Look for upcoming reviews of all of these products.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Links Vol. 20

1. A very unique Nutella recipe that I desperately want to try.

2. This made me extremely happy.

3. My new blog obsession- mostly because I wish I could do what she does!

4. You guys! Sephora has a daily contest running. You could win some incredible prizes.

5. Speaking of Sephora...have you seen the new gift sets? I spy lots of awesome Christmas gifts.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

This Week 32

1. CJ turned 10 months old last week. Check out those 4 teeth!

2. I turned 25! The best gift from Chris and the kids? Foot massage certificates! I've already used 2.

3. Sephora and roses from Chris. Best fiancé ever.

4. We visited my parents over the weekend and ended up at an Asian market. Here's my mom holding a jackfruit.

5. More goodies from the Asian market. Cutest packaging ever.

6. Birthday gifts from my mom and sister. They know me so well.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Quick Tip: Use Babyfood Jars for Overnight Oats

Do you ever see recipes for overnight oats on Pinterest in giant mason jars? I do, and I don't get it.

Oats usually have a serving size somewhere around 1/2 cup, which would far from fill a mason jar.
I've found that in order to make overnight oats with roughly one serving of oats, a small baby food jar works perfectly. There's just enough room for the oats, milk, and toppings.

I've become addicted to finding uses for CJ's baby food jars, and this is one of my favourites.

Monday, September 14, 2015

This Week 31

It's been a crazy couple of weeks, only to get crazier!

1. We spent labour day weekend at the local fair with the kiddies.

2. Feeling like I was in high school again riding the tilt-a-whirl with my best friends.

3. We discovered that CJ weighs over half of what Holly does (10 months old vs. 6 and a half years old). She's still trying to pick him up.

4. Holly had her first day of Grade 1!

5. Right after her first day of school, she also had her first day of gymnastics. She was extremely nervous, but I think this is something she'll excel at.

6. I had a meeting with work to go over the details of my return (how is maternity leave over already?) and decided to get my first PSL of the season afterwards. Yummy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

On Living In The Future

I have a bucket list. This list, currently containing 28 items, was created when I was 16 years old and now lives in a Word document on my laptop. At least once a year I open the list, put a strike through the things I've completed, and document the date that it was completed.

My bucket list items are mostly life-changing events including buying my first home, having children, and graduating university. Right now, I have 8 items crossed off.

The problem with this list is that I find myself always looking for the next thing to cross off. On one hand, it keeps me motivated to work towards my goals and forces me to see the bigger picture. On the other hand, it can cause me to constantly be "living in the future" and never be satisfied with the progress I've made. I'm really bad at living in the now.

Don't get me wrong, I'm 100% happy in my life right now. To be honest, I'm happier than I ever thought I could be. Ever since I was a teenager, I had a life plan and everything in that plan has happened (or will be happening), well ahead of my "schedule".

The problem is that I tend to forget about all of these amazing things and think/talk about how much better things will be when the next thing happens. The truth is that things are great right now. If I sit and think about my life at this exact moment in time, I can't think of much that's wrong with it. But I can think of a thousand things that would be it better.

I'm working on getting past this. Now that Chris and I are done having children and own a home, I feel a sense of relief. I don't have to worry about the timing and logistics of another baby or be concerned about when and where to buy a house.

I feel for the first time in a long time, that I can look around and be happy right in this second. It is definitely a work in progress, but I'm getting there.

Monday, August 24, 2015

This Week 30

1. I won a copy of Teen Beach 2. Holly was in heaven when it came in the mail and included a necklace from the movie.

2. After a lack of useable pong balls at our last party, I got a super cute surprise on my door step.

3. We took a trip to the park (which we haven't done much this summer due to the heat) and realized that CJ officially loves the swings.

4. I took my best friend to sign up for a Costco membership, which was basically the highlight of my week. Also- how is this bear $250?

5. We let Holly pick a weekend activity and she chose the water park.

6. Who doesn't love a face-in-a-hole?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Our First Home - Bathroom Redo Part 2: During

A few weeks ago, I posted about the start of our bathroom redo (you can check out that post here). We've made a lot of progress and checked off a lot of big items on our to-do list since then.

My dad drove down to help us, and he and Chris got a lot done over the course of a weekend. The door was replaced, the walls were patched, and the lighting issues we had were fixed. After that, we tackled priming and began painting.

Check out our progress:
My father cutting out the ancient door frame / Our brand new door

A new light fixture / Tons and tons of patching
Primer / The first coat of paint

First coat of paint around the mirror / An amazingly brightened vanity

I honestly can't believe the transformation that paint alone has had on this room. The dark orange/rust colour made the room feel incredibly small when in reality it's very large. Having all of the ridiculous holes patched also adds some cleanliness to the room, and we finally got rid of the giant in-wall toilet paper holder (hence the gigantic patch at the end of the room).

There's still a lot to do, but the transformation thus far makes me so, so happy.

I'll be posting more progress soon. In the mean time, check out how many items we were able to cross off our list!

Our bathroom to-do list:

1. Remove the old door and frame (original to the home) and replace with a new pre-hung door
2. Remove all hardware and patch the walls
3. Fix the hole where the paper holder is
4. Paint the ceiling and walls
5. Replace all trim
6. Install new lighting
7. Install new hardware
8. Frame in the mirror
9. Add shelving over the toilet
10. Peel up the linoleum and tile the floor
11. Decorate

Monday, August 10, 2015

This Week 29

1. I finally posted CJ's 8 month progress photo (in a sweet Nirvana onsie).

2. We finally have a crawler! It took almost 9 months, but he's doing it!

3. Now that I look at this week in review, CJ has a lot going on. He transitioned to homo milk, so I'm selling my #1 baby purchase- the Baby Brezza formula pro.

4 & 6. This week was really all about the kids. With summer coming to a close in 4 short weeks, I'm trying to pack the rest of our time at home with fun activities.

5. In other CJ news, he's getting his two top front teeth. Yay...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Totally Unimportant Daily Struggles

- I can finally sit down and drink my coffee, but now it's cold.

- I can finally sit down and drink my iced coffee, but now it's warm.

- I finally have somewhere to go, but I really don't feel like changing out of my pyjamas.

- I can finally make myself breakfast, but now it's like noon so I should probably eat lunch...or just make coffee.

- I can finally make myself lunch, but now it's like 4 o'clock and I should start prepping dinner.

- I have time to binge watch tv shows, but I can't hear them over the sound of children yelling. 

- I'm bored, but I really don't want to make any plans.

- I work up the energy to get dressed, but then I get covered in milk and have to change anyways.

- I just vacuumed, but the carpet is full of cat hair again.

- I just picked up in the kids' rooms, but they've already ripped apart the living room.

- I'm so tired, but the kids are asleep so I want to stay awake.

- I know I'll be woken up at 6 a.m., but I still can't fall asleep at 1 a.m. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

This Week 28

1. If you haven't been to Shoppers Drug Mart to pick up these goodie packs, go! They're well worth $9.99

2. We welcomed Brooke back after she was away visiting some family for a few weeks. Baby bro missed her.

3. My amazing, incredible husband-to-be finished our deck railing on Friday night, just one day before our engagement party.

4, 5, & 6. We had our engagement party. So much fun! ... P.S. I haven't had Jello Shots in like 5 years+.

Friday, July 31, 2015

No Cosmetics' No Bleeding Lips Secret Lip Liner Review

I've said it before- I have crazy small lips. My top lip is literally non existent. This is why I never wear lipstick or lipgloss. 

A few years ago, I purchased No Bleeding Lips, a "secret" lip liner that goes on clear and prevents your lip colour from bleeding around your lips. I expected big things and huge benefits for my situation: This liner would prevent my lower lip from transferring on to and above my top lip.

What I Liked: If there's anything I can say about this liner, it's that it applies well. It glides on with no pull. It also seems to stay on all day, which is a huge plus. The packaging is also very cute (anything pink is cool with me).

What I Didn't Like: Not to be harsh, but basically everything else. I've tried this product several times, and it just doesn't do anything for me. Literally nothing. I've tried applying it different ways and with different lipsticks, but I keep getting the same result. I don't know if it's just my lips, but this liner didn't prevent the transfer above my lip or any type of bleeding. It's almost like I wasn't wearing it.

Final Thoughts: I would never purchase No Bleeding Lips again. It did nothing for me and was too pricey at $15 CAD. I actually just recently discovered that Sally Hansen makes a similar product for half the cost. There's a chance this product works a lot better for other people, but it just didn't work for me!


Did you have a totally different result from No Bleeding Lips? I would love to know!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

This Week 27

1. We met with and booked our wedding decorator last week! No, this photo does not feature anything we actually picked (that's a secret for now), but you might be able to get a sense of our colour palette. 

2. I found this little note from Holly on my grocery list and almost died.

3. I shared on Instagram that I've been trying to revive the artist in me. We'll see how it goes.

4. Project re-do our rotten deck was in full effect this past weekend. My amazing father drove down and he and Chris worked all weekend.

5. Before they got started, I decided to give tear down a try by myself. Bad idea. I almost took my nose off.

6. CJ was highly entertained watching the guys build him a new deck. Hopefully he's already learning some awesome carpentry skills.

Monday, July 20, 2015

This Week 26

1. We had more company than usual this week. Chris' best friend came out for a visit during the week, and we had friends over both nights this weekend. We're so social. ;)

2. Holly has been on a game kick, and from the minute I wake up I'm harassed into playing Candyland. 

3. I discovered that Holly does really well at building intricate lego sets with no help from us. She amazes me every single day.

4 & 5. Holly has been a little lonely without Brooke this week, so we treated her with a trip to a local staple, Colasanti's. We did rides, games, and animals, but it was way too hot to actually enjoy.

6. The rest of Sunday was spent being totally unproductive while eating cinnamon sugar doughnuts and drinking iced coffee. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Our Wedding: The Date Is Set

October 15th, 2016 - the date is set.

First of all, I still can't believe we're getting married. But, it's real. Really real now.

Chris and I have been engaged for just under 3 months now and somehow managed to make a fairly large dent in the wedding planning process already.

I'm currently on maternity leave, so one of my goals has been to secure all of the big stuff before I go back to work this October. I think we've done a pretty good job so far. 

We started looking for a venue immediately after we got engaged, and I'm glad we did seeing as many of the venues I spoke with were booked through 2017. We called and met with over 30 venues in our area, and by total chance ended up picking one just down the street from where we live.

As of right now, we've booked the hall, the officiant, and the DJ. The photographer and decorator are already chosen and will be booked in the next few weeks. That covers all the big stuff.

There's still a lot to do (flowers, dress, tuxes, invitations, etc.), but we're well on our way. I'm just excited to know that our wedding has a real solidified date.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

This Week 25

I'm really hoping to pick up my blogging a bit, and I think a weekly series will hold me a bit more accountable. I used to post weekly but I stopped somewhere along the way. Let's try this again.


1. Last weekend, we went on a short vacation to visit my family in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. I snapped a photo of the gloomy Mackinac on the way there.

2. My favourite U.S. fast food chain is Sonic. There are 3 along the way to see my family.

3. The girls dipping their feet in Lake Superior.

4. I finally took CJ's 7 month progress photo...at almost 8 months old. Oops.

5. I finally got around to organizing the girls' closet and managed to fill a massive box with too-small clothes. I guess I better start back-to-school shopping.

6. Sometimes we just need to take a break from phones & tablets and play a board game.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Our First Home - Bathroom Redo Part 1: Before

Since the day we purchased our home, I have been itching to redo the bathroom on the main level.

It's got amazing bones, but was carelessly completed. The house was a rental for years and it seems as though the tenants preferred dark and dramatic colours, even in the bathroom.

Take a look around the bathroom:

The vanity & sink.
The length of the room.
The toilet & paper holder.
The dated lighting & messy ceiling paint.
The vanity & door from the shower/toilet.

I have to admit that it was extremely hard to take decent photos with the harsh lighting and dark walls in this room. Either way, you can clearly see there's a lot of updating to do.

Here are our plans:

1. Remove the old door and frame (original to the home) and replace with a new pre-hung door
2. Remove all hardware and patch the walls
3. Fix the hole where the paper holder is
4. Paint the ceiling and walls
5. Replace all trim
6. Install new lighting
7. Install new hardware
8. Frame in the mirror
9. Add shelving over the toilet
10. Peel up the linoleum and tile the floor
11. Decorate

That's a huge list, but I think it's doable for us. To my relief, we won't be touching the cabinets or countertop. The countertop might be dated, but the cabinets are newer and in great shape. The shower is new, so that will stay as well.

I will be posting about the updates as we complete them, so check back soon or follow Holly Muffin on Facebook here!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle Review

I recieved the Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle razor and bikini trimmer from Spiced Beauty last week. I've seen the clever commercials for this razor, so I was excited to try it out.

With a razor on one end and a waterproof bikini trimmer on the other, this razor is functional and an all in one tool for women.

What I liked: First of all, the razor is great. It's extremely hydrating and gives a close shave. 

I wasn't sure how useful the bikini trimmer end would be for me (for person reasons, if you know what I mean), but I love the design. In the bottom left photo above, you can see 3 indents that allow for the user to customize the trim by changing the length. You can also see that the protective white piece can be removed for cleaning or a very close trim.

The gel handle makes it easy to hold and move around while the curved design and a plastic rest manage to keep your razor clean and dry while it isn't being used.

As I mentioned previously, the product is waterproof, making it perfect to use either in or out of the shower. 

The overall design makes it easy to get exactly what you want.

What I didn't like: To be honest, there is nothing that I don't like about this razor. It's functional, can be customized, and the I'm loving the design. If you use any other tool for bikini trimming, I highly recommend you give this product a try.


Have you tried the TrimStyle? What did you think?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!!

...and of course an early happy Independence Day to all of my American friends.

Two years ago I posted this and I really want to re-share a few links:


1. See what's different in Canada here
2. See how your life would be different if you lived in the US, Canada, or anywhere else (my personal favourite) here
3. Don't forget that we produced these gems


Have an awesome holiday weekend- we'll be heading up North to visit my family. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Holly Muffin Now Has Its' Own Domain & Facebook Page

It's official!
Today Holly Muffin officially became www.HollyMuffin.com.

After years of blogging, I decided on a whim that it was time for Holly Muffin to have it's own domain...and here it is!

For some reason, in the last few years I've promoted my blog to people I don't know in fear that it might be awkward to share this much of my life with those who I do know. After hitting some big milestones (page hits and other opportunities), it crossed my mind several times that I should take this blog to the next level. Something always held me back.

It's been 5+ years now that I've been blogging, and it has truly become a passion of mine. I've slowly worked my way up to this step, and I'm excited that I finally feel ready.

To celebrate, I've also created a Facebook page for Holly Muffin. I would love for you to follow and keep up with my posts there.

Currently... June 2015


Watching: Mad Men. I just finished and I have to say, I'm highly disappointed. The first few seasons were great, but the ending really just made me angry.

Eating: Frozen fruit.

Doing: Meeting with people regarding our wedding. I hate dragging the kids to all of the appointments, but I really want to get all of the big decisions out of the way before I go back to work in the Fall.

Thinking: About all the improvements we should be making to our house. I like to get ahead of myself and plan things that we can't actually do for years. It's a blessing and a curse.

Planning: Our summer with the kids- activities, trips, etc. We leave for our first trip up North next week!

Monday, June 22, 2015

5 Kid Things I Will Never Splurge On

1. Via 2. Via 3. Via 4. Via 5. Via

My girls are currently 6 and 7 years old and my boy is 7 months old. For my kids, I've come to realize that there are just some things that are useless to spend money on. This list, of course, mostly applies to little girls as I don't have much experience with little boys yet.

1. BooksKids love books, but books are very fragile. Babies chew on books, toddlers colour on books and rip pages, and older kids bend and crack the spines of books. Our family buys most of our books at thrift stores. When the girls get a little bit older, brand new books may become logical, but right now they're just not.

2. ShoesIt's no secret that kids grow like weeds. I always buy things like boots and running shoes a size or two bigger than the current size in order to be able to keep them fitting longer, but it still seems absolutely ridiculous to me to spent anything over $30 on a pair of kid shoes. It's a fact - Kids will put holes in running shoes, scuff the top of boots, and get sandals dirtier than can be cleaned. Most of the time they don't even stay in good enough shape to be passed down to a younger sibling. Payless Shoes has clearance sales a few times a year where I pick up "fancy" shoes for $9.99. I also watch Walmart, Joe Fresh, and other stores for their seasonal clearance and stock up in bigger sizes for the next year.

3. Pants- It seems like once a week my girls are ripping or staining their leggings. It boggles my mind because they aren't rough kids at all. The problem is that sometimes they fall (hole in the knee), sometimes they sit down in the schoolyard and catch on something (hole in the butt), and sometimes they kneel on a bunch of grass and rocks (hole in the knee + intense grass stains). Walmart sells leggings for $4 a pair in pretty much every colour possible and to be honest, the quality is the same or better than everywhere else I've purchased from. Because of this, I will not buy leggings anywhere else if they are more than $4. If you've got some really rough kids, Dollarama is now selling decently constructed leggings at $3 a piece.

4. Outdoor Play Equipment- I seriously don't know why anyone buys this stuff new. Swing sets and jungle gyms are meant to be played on and they get dirty and scratched no matter what. For example, this is the jungle gym that we currently have in our backyard. As you can see it retails for nearly $600. We found it on Kijiji for $150. We also have several smaller climbers that we found on Kijiji for $50 or less. Kids get bored of what's in their backyard quickly and also outgrow play equipment faster than you think.

5. Colouring Items- My kids fly through colouring books, markers, and crayons like you wouldn't believe. Why? They leave the caps off of markers, break crayons in half, and will colour one line on a piece of paper before saying they messed up and need to start over. We currently buy notebooks, markers, and crayons at Dollarama and buy colouring books at the dollar store or Michaels ($1 per colouring book and most are character licensed!). We also recycle everything we can. Sometimes I'll come across a $10 colouring book and wonder who would ever buy it, but people do!

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