Looking forward to a new layout with fresh eyes and amazing things to share! I hope you come back again to join me!!
When I was little I loved watching and helping my mum wrap presents. She would always use tons of different coloured ribbons and use the scissors to make them all curly! She would also get creative with her folds to add an awesome design at the front of the present!
A few days ago my friend posted some great ideas on how to jazz up your christmas presents with using yarn!!
click on the picture below to go directly to her adorable website!!
I love receiving Christmas cards but with no mantle to display them I find myself placing them randomly throughout the house. This year I decided to display them on one of the walls in my family room. A great location for my little ones to see and for my friends and relatives to look at!
::Click on the picture below or go straight into my DIY page to get the "how to" on this easy way to display your holiday cards!
Christmas is not complete without devouring a ton of sugary treats and decadent sweets!
Today I've invited my friend Verlin to create a wonderfully cute and easy treat for us to bring to our next holiday gathering or as a sweet hostess gift!
~This super easy dessert is a great way to turn fudge brownies into a Christmas themed treat. A moist chocolate brownie with a perfect amount of cream cheese frosting that doubles as your garland and silver candy pearls as ornaments to give you that fun little crunch!
::Verlin's Jolly Brownie Christmas Trees::
Time= Prep: 15mins Cooking:30-35mins Makes: 1 dozen trees
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup cocoa (Fry's Cocoa was used)
- 2 cups of sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- Shift and mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl
- In a separate bowl, pour in melted and cooled coconut oil. Stir in cocoa powder, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
- Blend in the dry ingredients
- Pour batter into a greased 13x9x2 inch square pan. Bake at 350F 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out damp but not wet.
- Cool completely. Cut and Decorate!!
Cream Cheese Icing recipe:
First whip 1/2 cup of very soft butter, 6 ounces of softened cream cheese, and 2tsp of vanilla extract (optional 2-3 drops of food colouring) with an electric mixer for about 5mins. Gradually stir in your shifted confectioner's sugar and voila!
NOTE: Once brownie has cooled out of the pan, cut it into 6 equal squares and then cut each square diagonally in half to make 12 perfect size triangles. Pipe cream cheese garland and decorate with edible silver sugar balls or any other sprinkles you may have in your pantry.
~Yummy Jolly Brownie Christmas Trees for your next holiday gathering or a great hostess gift!!
I'd like to thank Verlin for coming up with a chocolate treat that even me a novice baker can make!!
::Verlin is a home baker at heart and finds the craft of baking therapeutic. She bake for fun and for the love of her family and friends. Ever since her first batch of soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies, she has been baking up a storm ever since experimenting with pies to her famous cupcakes! Like most bakers, she searches for new recipes and tweaks them to her own liking::
"I love to make everybody's tummy happy! Enjoy the Christmas tree brownies everyone!" -Verlin
Oh we will!!
Christmas time is all about lists for me. A list for gift giving, a list for activities to do with the kids, for what needs to be done around the house and a list of groceries for each holiday gathering we're hosting at the house. Oh geez and not to mention the mental lists that continuously go through a mama's head!! And as much as we want to be perfectly organized there are some things that just get forgotten. I know I'm notorious for this, just ask my husband!!
With tomorrow being the last day of school for my school ager, I need a last minute gift for a teacher, bus driver, and her best classmate friend.
Below I share a quick and easy gift that perfect for giving!! What's even better, it only takes a few minutes of your time!!
Click on the picture or go to my DIY page =)
This week I made a really cute Halloween inspired wreath to greet our trick-or-treaters this year. It's a great weekend project that you can do with your children! Best part, it only costs less that $15 dollars to make!
Click on the picture for more info or go to my DIY Projects page!
For the past few months I have been feeling a bit melancholy until I figured out why. I've been missing ME. Today I share a "self project" that's helping me find my individuality within the whirlwind of family life.
::Question...how do you keep your individuality in check? Let's talk. I'd love to hear from you!
Today I am a guest blogger at one of my favourite Blog sites. www.senseofstory.com
I've been featured to share a family DIY project on this month's theme Movement! It's a super fun project to teach our children (and to remind ourselves) on how to set and achieve goals. I hope you try this project with your little ones!!
::I'd like to thank the mamas at SenseofStory for including me in this month's theme! I had lots of fun!::
Don't forget to leave a comment. I'd love to know your thoughts =)
The past month has been pretty crazy and busy but I'm back at Villahaus6 and I can't wait to share all the great projects I've been working on!! I've also been having fun collaborating with other Bloggers and local entrepreneurs. There's lots to look forward to on Villahaus6 and I hope to soon meet you all at my first workshop coming with summer! Dates will be posted soon =) ...I'm soOo excited!!
For the past 2 weeks we have all been sick twice over! Cold, cough, flu, infections, runny noses, lingering fevers...blah. I am sick of sickness!!
With us being in this house stuck in quarantine for more than a week and me catching the worst flu I've ever had, Easter and Spring preparations where set aside with me getting my entire family back to health at the top of my priority.
But, I can't let Easter pass without making sure the kids know how important this holiday is. As Catholics we talked about Jesus and his story of how he sacrificed himself for us and how he rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. I also couldn't go without putting up a little Easter decoration before our Easter celebration with family this Sunday! Once I put these fun Easter Eggs on the wall it immediately lighted up the room and got us all excited for our upcoming festivities!
Click on the picture or go to my DIY Projects for details on how to do these easy fringe Easter Egg wall decorations!
Today, 3 out of 6 of us are sick. Jaxson is completely stuffed up and such a cranky pants. I've got the body aches and I too am a cranky pants. With all 4 of my kids home today there's no room for me to be laying in bed...I warned the crew, mommy is sick and cranky...y'all be in your best behaviour. Resounding, "OKAY MOMMY!" Good!
The 3 girls are doing fine, playing together, laughing, singing. So happy the eldest is home to fetch their snacks and help with their educational workbooks. I can tackle Major Cranky Pants and keep him calm and happy.
With him not being able to breathe through his nose he had a restless sleep (which also means mommy had a restless sleep too) By noon he was finally falling asleep. I whispered talk, "...girls look, Jaxson is falling asleep! I'm going to put him down in his crib. We're to be very quiet so he can get rest and feel better because he's sick..." Jordyn, "ya poor baby right mommy."
YES! Jaxson is asleep and I can curl up on the couch to get a little rest while 2nd and 3rd are playing "rescue me okay now my turn to rescue you".
30mins later, Miss Jordyn asked to go upstairs to get something from her room. I remind her Jax is upstairs sleeping. "Be very very quiet." She continues up the stairs tip toeing even. Then all of a sudden. Yelling, "Maaa!!! Maaaa!!! Come here!! I can't find my sword!!! Maaa!!! Maaa!!!" Bloody hell! I run upstairs Jax already crying and standing up in his crib. I take them both down on each arm. Ava comes over to see the commotion and does a slow turn around with a "oh man you are in trouble" expression on her face.
"Jordyn I told you to be quiet your bother was sleeping. Look now he's awake and you know he's sick." Stone face from the little girl. "Jordyn, you did not listen to mommy. I told you to be very quiet and now Jaxson is crying because he's still sleepy." Stone cold face. "You better apologize to me and Jaxson. I'm very upset that you didn't listen to me. Jaxson is upset because you woke him up." Stone cold face. "Jordyn you need to apologize or you're not leaving this spot until you do." Stone cold face. ~All this time her hair was in front of her face and she's peering through her hair like curtains on a window looking right into my eyes. Here begins the staring contest.
#1 rule when a child and parent are having a staring contest. Parent....You. Must. Win.
She finally breaks her stare. I'm not even upset anymore. I'm thinking how fricking adorable she looks but also scared at the same time because she's not even budging. "Are you going to apologize?" Mommy and Jaxson are still upset at you." Stone cold face. Okay find~
I look at her...what a little bugger. The cutest little bugger. Ava comes over. She looks at Jordyn and then me. "She's so cute mommy!" I don't say a word. I pull my phone out to take a picture but pretend to call Alan. "I'm going to call daddy and see what he thinks about you not listening to mommy and waking Jaxson boy (that's what she calls Jaxson)" Stone cold face still. She doesn't budge. ~oh boy~ At this point a good 15mins had pass and still same expression. Same chin down looking up at my face. Ava's already getting bored and telling her sister to apologize already. I look at her and shake my head with my eyes closed. All of a sudden, arms around my waist face buried in my lap. "I'm sorry mommy, I'm sorry. I listen next time. You no mad at my anymore." I pulled her up snuggling my face in her neck nook. She's forgiven...the little bugger.
End of March and we're still expecting snow...Father Winter enough already!!
This morning my 5yr asked me when the flowers will begin to bloom. "...soon my love and then there will be flowers everywhere!" I can tell she wasn't satisfied with my answer. "Mother Nature has a big surprise in store, she just needs a little more time to make it perfect!" ~She smiled. I guess that answer will have to do and we then continued to crush the icy snow while we wait for the school bus to come.
This extra long winter totally bites and since Ava asked for flowers, flowers she will get!
Click on the picture below or go to my DIY Projects page for step by step instructions on how to make these super cute paper hyacinths!
When I look at design mags and surf interior design websites, I'm most drawn to designers and homeowners who take pre-loved pieces of furniture, revamp it and turn it's original purpose into a new practical piece of furniture needed for a particular space!
With an ever increasing eco-conscious society there are many people promoting the recycling and reusing of products. But what about furniture? Below are some of the benefits of purchasing recycled furnishings for your home.
~The environment will benefit obviously, and the reuse of furnishings prevents perfectly functional quality goods from being dumped, thus reducing waste in our landfills! Natural resources are also cut down as fewer raw materials are needed for the refurbishment process compared to the making of new goods.
Equally obvious are the economic impacts from choosing recycled furniture. Goods are revived to look and feel as good as new, except without the high price tag. BONUS!
Finding something and changing it's original use into a product that meets your needs is a result of a truly unique piece of furniture, designed by you, for you.
What I adore about recycled furniture is it's ability to maintain its character and history, whilst being a fashionable and personal addition to your home.
Below are 2 of our very practical pieces of furniture. Both are being used differently from it's original manufactured purpose.
This well recognized vintage projection cart is my husband's favourite repurposed furniture. Not only does it give us fun memories of our elementary school days returning from recess seeing it all set up knowing we'll be seeing something (anything!) on the projector screen, it is now used as a coffee station and holds our sound system and my KitchenAid mixer. With our gallery kitchen being tiny with absolutely no counter space, this cart is a space saver and a very practical piece we use everyday.
Alan found this treasure at a store in the Queen West side of Toronto. The store is called Design Republic. In the second level of this store you can find some vintage pieces. Isn't it awesome?! And it comes complete with it's original extension cord and working outlet!
This piece below is my favourite repurposed find. The legs of this desk was taken from an antique Singer sewing machine. The legs are cast iron and very sturdy. It's screaming to be used as a vanity table, bedroom side table, a small floating island for a kitchen, or even a washroom sink counter. We purchased this as a laptop desk which fits perfectly in this little corner of our "all purpose" room.
What I love about this desk is the size and lack of drawers which means there's no room for clutter or mess. If I chose to I can lengthen the desk top and add two small drawers on one side to hold some office supplies. ...maybe in the future, but for now this will do =)
This desk was found at the Aberfoyle Antique Market. There you will find numerous pieces just like this with various types of desk tops in all sizes.
I love a good bargain. Who doesn't?!!...and keeping a home cozy and fresh for 6 people on a 1 income budget can get pretty tricky. Antique flea markets, garage & estate sales, and especially websites like kijiji are my go to places to find great décor and furnishings for a fraction of the price. I would say 80% of our furnished home is vintage or preloved and the remaining items are all bought on sale or at clearance prices. With 3 kids under the age of 5 most of our furniture will be taking a beating; and although my décor style is not for everyone, this home radiates light and happiness in every corner!
::Look out for future articles on my interior design style, my shopping guides, styling tips and DIY home décor projects::
Yesterday I checked out a fairly new store located in Brampton ON. The store is called Treasure Hunt. In 1 word...AMAZING!!! This store sells discontinued and end of season items from Target. Everything from home décor to electronics, toys, party supplies (YES!!) shoes, and kitchen necessities! Everything in the store is 30%-90% off. Mind you the sale percentages change daily so one day an item can be 90% off and the next 50%. Regardless the prices are INSANE!!!
It took so much of me not to go bananas and start buying things just because. The prices are that ridiculous~ No exaggeration.
Here are my 5 items I snagged for almost nothing!
2 pouf ottomans for the kids. Regular online price: $50ea = Purchased: $6ea
2 Stoneware Bird bowls (w/gold plated beaks) Regular online price: $15ea = Purchased: $3ea
1 wooden tripod lamp Regular online price: $30 = Purchased: $6
Awesome right!?!! This place is too good to keep secret!! Shout out to my friend Sherry for telling me about this treasure of a find =)
I read a letter this morning in a blog I've been following called Sense of Story. This website is a community blog lead by 3 mama writers who share snippets and stories about their lives and the joys and trials of Motherhood. This month the theme is about Balance and this particular entry was about a mother's written letter to herself. It's a letter confirming her acceptance or rejection into Paradise given to her upon her death.
After reading this letter it reinforces the importance and my belief to ensure I live a balanced life, a well rounded life, for the greater good of my children's happiness, my partners and most especially for myself!! ~It's such a great letter that pokes fun at how we as mothers tend to forget there was an "I" before it became a "we" let alone an "us".
We all struggle to balance family, priorities, friends, love..."being". And it's very easy to be consumed by wanting to fulfill the needs of others that our own personal goals and pleasures fall silently to the side until theirs have been met first. (which is when really~)
::There's a line in the letter that reads, "...you missed the opportunity to engage in activities that inspired you..." oh gosh do I want someone to ever say that to me? Eh, hellz no. Not now and especially not when the children have grown...and for months and months before starting this blog I've felt the NEED to feel inspired and the need to inspire back. Hence the birth of Villahaus6 =)
No matter what situation or chapter we are in (in this book called "life), we all deserve to feed whatever it is that makes us happy and strive to do what we really want to do. What will make us happy will manifest into joy and bring positivity upon all aspects of our life. As a stay-at-home mum I know I must nurture myself in order to nurture the rest (and also so not to be a biatch)...but I too struggle everyday with the trickiness of juggling the multiple plates in my hands while twisting and bending to not make them all fall~
TELL ME...How do you "balance" your life? What do you do in order to make sure your needs are met? When was the last time you did something selfish?!
::come along with me and follow the mommies at SENSE OF STORY::
Just a small surprise I've set up for the girls to celebrate St. Patrick's day.
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone and to all our Irish friends!! Special shout out to Tea Chavez for turning the big 3 as well as our friend Patrice...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! xo V6
March break is always a welcomed hiatus. A chance to shake off this winter slump, recharge and welcome the coming of a new (warmer) season. Most importantly I feel this year's March break couldn't have came at a better time. Our teenager has been feeling quite stressed and this week has taught her the importance of "Balance". Balancing the university grind and enjoying life and family. ~I completely understand the pressure that comes with University especially with this being her first year but it was taking a toll on our lady and this break was necessary for her to realize that balance is key in staying sane and living a happy life. (says the woman who's still figuring out how to balance mom/wife/daughter duties herself)
During this break we went on a short family getaway to breathe in the fresh Muskoka air and then filled the remaining week with fun activities and special dates with each of our fab 4.
Here are just a few pictures taken this week!
~just a snippet of the jammed pack week we had! And although this year's March break was filled with activities for the kids, my favourite parts were the in between moments of laughing at dinner, cold tiny feet under my butt while watching The Hobbit and stolen glances from Alan that still makes me swoon.
Earlier this month I needed a cup of milk to finish my baking. Kicking myself for not making sure I had enough of what I needed, I was desperate to finish my baking (especially since I've shifted the dry ingredients as well as prepared the wet) ~I looked to my neighbours for help. I've never done that before, asked my neighbors for a cup of sugar, an egg...actually I've never asked my neighbors for anything! But I thought, hey, they like me! We've had them over to our house when Jaxson was born...I'm sure they'll love to help me out, especially since they love watching the parade of children that come out of my house...
So I decided to put my parka on and save the day! (well, save my baking day!) After knocking at the house on each side of us with no success I was going to give up. I came back into the house with an empty measuring cup. Yasmine the teenager was already embarrassed that I could even leave the house looking the way I did. There has to be a neighbor with milk I can borrow. "Mum, we're not in the 1980's when they use to do that. No one borrows milk from a neighbor anymore." What?! First off, ofcourse they still do this!! Right? Second, why you have to make the 80's sound like it was soOo long ago?! ~okay fine, it was 30+ years ago, what evs.
Determined to get milk and not waste my ingredients, I ran to the house across the street and rang the door bell. I've only met the woman once but I remember her being pleasant.
Out to prove my daughter wrong, I straighten my pajama pants under my coat, pulled my 5yr daughters pompom toque tighter around my head, smiled and held out my measuring cup. When she opened the door and saw me she squealed. I was taken back! "I've always wanted this to happen to me... to have a neighbor come to me for a cup of sugar or milk! Come in come in!!" If you already know me you know I am a sucker for this and love knowing that there is still so much kindness around us. ~"Oh thank you so much for helping me. I'm Princess from across the street." She left for the kitchen before I even had a chance to tell her what I need. I could hear her opening the fridge and grabbing things out. She comes back with a sack of milk, a carton of eggs and her sugar canister. "Me and my husband love that we have a young family as neighbors! The rest of us are old farts. It's so refreshing to have you guys around!! Here take all this! Do you need vanilla, I have that too!!" I. Love. Her.
After answering her questions about our kids and talking about how much we loved our area, we decided that we need to meet again soon, chat more and get to know each other over a cup of tea.
Since she came over this morning to set a date I decided to make her a little gift to thank her for helping me out and for just being an awesome neighbor!
Since we're having tea I decided to make her some colourful tea towels. With her being an interior designer and a person who loves to craft as well, I know she would appreciate this!
Click on the picture for my DIY on this cute gift or go to my DIY Project page found in my navigation menu!
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"Don't talk me." Um, excuse me?! "Don't TALK me mommy." Stunned I said the first thing that came to my mind, "say please!"
This is what my 3yr old daughter said to me this morning when I asked her what she wanted for breakfast. Clearly she needed an espresso!! I asked her what was wrong. The always helpful 5yr old thought I didn't hear her..."mum, she said she doesn't want you to talk to her." Thank you Ava, I got that. LOL I was seriously stunned! ...she doesn't want to talk to me?! But, but why? My baby!!
The 2 older sisters have never said anything like that to me before and one of them is 18 years old. How did this little person know how to say that?! If she didn't hear it from her siblings or from her Disney movies, that means she really meant it! It was kinda funny but I was kinda hurt! This is yet another remembrance that my children are all so different. They may live under the same roof but they are each an individual who have their own characters, possess their own opinions and like us are allowed to have their own moods.
But geez...must you be so rude?!! Kidding::
Clearly Jordyn is not a morning person...well, not until she has her first bowl of yogurt.
I could never pass up a cute handmade doily! These handmade crocheted and knitted doilies have been collected by my 5yr old daughter since she was 3. See my quick Pre-loved Project on how I display her favourite doilies in her room.
Click on the picture or go to my Pre-Loved page to see what I did! Let me know what you think =)
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