A Pastel Home

I am over the moon (or… sun?) to be sharing the newest finished room at #pastelsunriseplace – our sunny bathroom!

When I first saw this space, I was amazed at how much we’d lucked out on the basics: nice neutral tiling and countertops, plain white cabinets… it was basically a blank canvas BEGGING for a renter redo! The existing mirror and light fixture were my main concerns, but overall I saw so much potential in this little bathroom without having to take on a massive amount of costly work.

But before I got to the practical bits like paint, lighting and hardware, I started with sunny inspiration. I’d seen a geometric sun print wallpaper awhile back and had been waiting for the right room to use it in. Turns out, peel and stick wallpaper can actually be a bit of a nightmare on a steamy bathroom, so though I didn’t actually use the wallpaper in the end, it set the tone and colour scheme for this room and what I wanted it to become. First I found and promptly fell for Flax Home’s Linen Bath Towels – beautifully crafted, local, and in the perfect shade of blush pink? What’s not to love! Then I saw this sunset bath mat, which tied the same shade of blush with warmer yellow and peach tones, and from there the space really started to take shape. Eventually this room became a cheerful escape filled with all the colours of a summertime sunset. But what about the practical stuff?

I didn’t originally intend to paint this room, but the more closely I looked at the space the more I realized it was begging for a fresh coat of white paint. I went with Boomerang paint from RONA for this project, a small collection of eco-friendly colours that are made with recycled paint!  The production of Boomerang emits four times less greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the production of any conventional paint – and honestly it worked great! I went with “Moonlight White” and at first I was a bit worried the paint was too thin and easy to wash off my hands/surfaces, it ended up exceeding my expectations with just two coats once dry. Highly recommend!

Next I focused on hardware, and for all of those bits and pieces, I turned to Lowe’s. I found the oval mirror first (initially I wanted to do an arch, but it just didn’t fit the space) and went from there, matching the finishes on the light fixture, knobs and towel bars to create a gleaming gold cohesive look. Lowe’s has so many incredible online exclusives, and most of what I chose was found on their site using keywords like “gold mirror” and “gold towel bar”. Once I found a collection that worked (in this case, the Moen Align collection), I shopped through all the items within it until I’d checked off every need on my list.

And finally, I circled all the way back to my sunshine wallpaper accent wall. I knew I still wanted to do something around the window, and these Sunscape decals from Urban Walls were just the easy to install, high impact touch I was looking for.

All in all, bringing this vision to life from takedown to tiny decor details was pretty quick and easy compared to some of my past projects, but it was definitely just as satisfying! What’s your favourite part of this sunny space?

Scroll down past the photos for shopping links and sources!

Flax Home Linen Towels here

Urban Walls Sunscape Decals in “Maize” here

Oval Mirror here

Vanity Light Fixture here

Gold Cabinet Knobs here

Gold Toilet Paper Holder here

Gold Towel Bar here

Gold Towel Hooks here

Gold Shower Curtain Hooks here

Off-white Shower Curtain Rod here

Shower curtain here (but this one was also a big contender)

Sunset Bath mat here

Boomerang Recycled Paint in “Moonlight White” here

Gold Apothecary Pink Cedar Bath Salts here

Land of Daughters Girl Gang Candle here

Lady Planter here

Arch Candles (similar) here

Cactus Artwork by Cabin Journal here

Pink and Gold Ceramic Vase here

LOHN Diffuser oils here

Artifact Skin Co. Skincare here

IKEA Small Shelves here (small accent mirrors IKEA too, but discontinued)

MONDAY Haircare here

Detox Mode Shower items here

Umbra Corner Shower Shelves here

Disclaimer: Some of the product featured in this post was gifted to me in exchange for content.

A Pastel Home

Just in time for the Labour Day long weekend, the massive project we’ve been working on ALL summer long is finally here: THE PATIO!

Let me start by saying the outdoor space at this home is a LOT, like easily as much space outdoors as we have indoors between the yard, back patio, front yard, front porch, and small front patio as well. The backyard came together fairly quickly and easily once I planted my veggie and flower gardens, although I have added some flowering shrubs and bushes that I hope will really expand next Spring and transform the space a bit more. The front yard garden is still a very sad outrageous mess of weeds, and other than a power wash, we decided to leave the front patio and porch as projects to think about NEXT YEAR. Which just leaves… the back patio!

When Jonnie and I first toured this apartment, we were both overwhelmed by all the potential we saw for the back deck. It’s massive, partially covered, and gets a ton of great sunshine all throughout the day. On the day we got our keys, we did another little walk around, and he casually mentioned maybe it would be nice to do some painting to brighten up the space out there (sometime down the line). Unfortunately for him, he’d said it out loud to me, and I never do things reasonably or slowly or “in time”.

Shortly after moving everything into our East Van apartment, I came up with a plan for the back patio and got to work. Benjamin Moore very kindly supplied all of the paint we needed for the project, and I thought from there, the rest would be easy! A little sanding, a bit of painting, and voila – new patio! What can I say? I have a poor sense of reality. This turned out to be the most labour intensive home project that I’ve ever embarked on, and the work ended up taking nearly the entire summer to complete. We started with sanding back in June, then moved on to extensive pressure washing, and once everything was dry and prepped, we finally started painting. Turns out, outdoor painting, with various textures and previous paint jobs and endless cracks and corners and weather restrictions is much less straightforward than say, painting an accent wall inside.

I need to give credit where it’s due here: I had a lot of help. It took me, Jonnie, my sister, and her girlfriend Emily countless hours to finally get every inch of the patio painted, from floor to ceiling beams. Luckily Benjamin Moore’s Aura Exterior paint had such good coverage that we could get away with just one coat on all the woodwork (after a light sanding) but it still took ages to get between all of the fence posts, every angle of every roof beam… you get the point! The floor painting was my favourite part – we used a product called Sure Step, which had texture built into it that both prevents future slipping, and evens out the cement. Painting over our stained, bumpy old cement flooring and watching this paint fill all of the little holes and cracks was so satisfying.

When all of the painting was finally done, all that was left to do was decorate! A jungle of plants was obviously a must, but beyond that I felt a bit stuck. I used a lot of the same IKEA furniture from my last patio setup on the North Shore, so I really just some pops of colour to bring life to this space. I’m not sure how I landed on Society6, but it turns out almost all of their pillows can be made as outdoor throw pillows! Once I fell in love with Megan Galante’s Rainbow Cheetah cushion, the rest came together. White string lights and a couple of colourful candles pulled the vibe together for both day and night, and Summer’s favourite addition was definitely her new swing from Busy Puzzle (love that nice neutral gingham fabric).

I shared the before and after video today in my reels, but I also wanted to put together a list of sources and share our experience with this project in full on here! Let me know your favourite part in the comments below!

Scroll down for shopping links

SHOPPING LINKS

All paint by Benjamin Moore

Floor paint (special non-slip product) here (colour is “Desert Sand”)

Outdoor paint for beams and fencing here (colour is “Peach Cooler 022”)

IKEA Outdoor Couch here

IKEA Outdoor Rug here

IKEA coffee table (similar here)

IKEA side tables here (no longer available)

Miss Garden Glory Shell chair pillows here

Oui by Indigo large pedestal planter here

Oui by Indigo medium pedestal planter here

Society6 leopard floor pillow here

Society6 sun throw pillow here

Society6 leopard throw pillow here

Minnidip Banana Leaf Pool here

Similar banana leaf throw blanket here

Busy Puzzle indoor / outdoor swing here

CB2 Bistro set gold table here

CB2 Bistro set pink chairs (no longer available)

*this pink shell bistro set is also so my style and so affordable

White string lights here

Paddywax arch candle holder (similar here)

IKEA gold tray (similar here)

Candles by Homecoming and Lohn

Bloomin’ Easy low maintenance plants (like my pink lemonade rose!) here

Get Creative

It feels like it’s taken forever, but my first official room reveal at the new house (aka #pastelsunriseplace) is live! I teamed up with Crate and Kids to dream up a truly whimsical all-purpose setup for our spare room. Part playroom and craft space, part reading nook, and part guest room, this space could have easily become a forgotten void at the back of the apartment where we just threw bits and pieces, and for the first month or so it was. But luckily I had a vision, and this space fit the bill!

I have been waiting for the chance to do an under the sea themed room for ages (it was on the table as a nursery theme for Summer but it never came to be!) and this “spare room” felt like the perfect opportunity to make those mermaid dreams a reality. It all started with trying to find a place for the “World is your Oyster” neon that Fuse custom made for Summer’s first birthday. I had the idea to do a wave wallpaper accent wall and install the neon on top, and the design really took off from there!

The hardest part about styling this space was trying to incorporate all the different uses I needed it to fulfill, without making it feel like a little room with a lot of “stuff”. Crate & Kids is stocked with so many incredible pieces that work for adults and kids alike, and because many of their designs are created with kids in mind, they were the perfect place to shop for a less spacious room like this. Some of our favourite pieces are the little table with nesting stools that tuck neatly away, the beautiful clay-coloured dotted quilt on the day bed, and this awesome kaleidoscope that Summer hardly ever puts down. You can find a full list of items in the room with links below – just keep scrolling!

If you like what you SEA, enter to win a $500 Crate & Kids gift card on my Instagram post today!

SOURCES //

Furniture /

Day bed – IKEA, link here

Velvet floor pillow – Crate and Kids, link here

Octopus Beanbag chair – Crate and Kids, link here

Metal bedside table – Crate and Kids, link here

Long low bookcase – Crate and Kids, link here

Kid’s play table – Crate and Kids, link here

On the walls and windows /

Peel and Stick Wallpaper – Wallphy, link here

Curtains – Walmart, similar link here

Gold curtain rod – Crate and Kids, link here

Peg rail with paper roll holder – Crate and Kids, link here

Decor Bits and bobs /

Ceiling light fixture – Crate and Kids, link here

Custom neon sign – Fuse Neon, link here

Textured rug – Crate and Kids, link here

Mermaid Atlas book – Crate and Kids, link here

Kaleidoscope – Crate and Kids, link here

Shrimp plushy – Crate and Kids, link here

Large pink muslin accent pillows – Crate and Kids, link here

Shell accent pillow – Crate and Kids, link here

Dotted quilt – Crate and Kids, link here

Wavy sheet set – Crate and Kids, link here

Small tufted throw blanket – Crate and Kids, link here

Pastel tassel garland – Crate and Kids, link here

Extra moroccan throw pillows – similar link here

Shell vase – vintage, similar link here

Wooden orca toy – Holztiger, link here

Pink toy guitar – Smallable, link here

*The items in this post from Crate & Kids Canada were gifted

A Pastel BabyOh so Pretty

The season to show your skin is almost upon us – temperatures rise, pants get swapped out for shorts and boots take their place in the closet while the sandals get ready for their days in the sun. It’s a time to celebrate, to lean back and feel the warmth on your face – but warmth and sun is no fun with dry, cracked winter skin!

Canada’s often extreme weather conditions, especially over the wintertime, can leave skin suffering long after the season has passed. When it comes to dryness, I have three main problem areas – my hands, my heels, and my lips! It often feels like no matter how many products I layer on to keep the dryness at bay, I just don’t see the results. And unfortunately for Summer, dry sensitive skin seems to run in the family – any weather changes or shift in our environment turns us both into flaky, itchy messes!

But finding Flexitol this past year finally turned my cracked painful problem areas into smooth skin that I actually want to show off, and their children’s line Happy Little Bodies has worked wonders for Summer too! Created in Australia over 20 years ago, Flexitol’s product line is specifically formulated to improve dry skin quick, and provide visible long-lasting results.

A few of our favourites //

Heel Balm //

I am really neglectful when it comes to caring for my feet, and I can’t remember a time in the recent past where I didn’t go to sleep with dry, itchy, painful heels after a long day of running around. Over the years I’ve tried so many different creams and tools to try and soothe my nightly burning heels – I’ve asked for help at pedicures, slathered my feet in slippery lotion and special socks, the WORKS, but nothing ever seemed to penetrate the problem and provide any relief. I felt like I was constantly just scratching the surface – literally, just scratching at my heels endlessly!

Honestly I expected Flexitol’s heel balm to be another failed attempt, but it turned out to be a total game changer! What makes it different? This formula has 25% Urea, the highest formulation available, which means it moisturizes and exfoliates all at once, breaking down dead skin without any scrubbing or scraping. Plus it’s not slippery or greasy and absorbs super quickly, so I don’t have to worry about slipping around after application (no special socks needed!) I’ve been using Flexitol’s heel balm every night when I get into bed for a few months now, and my burning hot itchy heels are officially a thing of the past!

Rapid Relief Hand Balm //

Suffering from dry, cracked hand-sanitizer exhausted hands? I think we’re probably all in the same boat on this one. I constantly struggled with keeping my hands hydrated over the past year (and then some) until I found Flexitol’s Rapid Relief Hand Balm. Formulated with vitamin E and 10% Urea, this isn’t your average hand cream – I saw a visible improvement almost immediately when I started carrying this cream in my bag and using it daily.

Lip Balm //

No matter what the season, I always seen to have chapped, dry, peeling lips. I even struggle to wear lipstick because it applies unevenly and gets chunky! Flexitol’s Lip Balm is the #1 selling balm in pharmacies across Australia, and my lips and I are happy to report that it’s worth the hype. Just like every other Flexitol product I’ve tried, this formula really works, and continues to work long after you apply!

Happy Little Bodies Eczema Moisturizing Lotion //

With natural ingredients like Jojoba seed oil and Colloidal Oatmeal, Flexitol’s moisturising lotion for little bodies is extremely gentle, but super effective. It’s clinically tested to provide 24 hours of moisturization from just one application, which makes it the ideal product for a busy mom. It also helps to soothe itching caused by bug bites, rashes, poison ivy, and more – definitely a must have for Summer’s summer fun!

Flexitol is now available at Amazon.ca – shop the full line here

This post was a part of a paid campaign with Flexitol, but all opinions are authentic and my own. I am not a medical doctor, and my personal story and opinions should not be taken as medical advice. 

A Pastel Baby

When I mention my unique journey to motherhood, I’m almost always met with assumptions. Specifically assumptions about how I got pregnant in the first place. So today, on Mother’s Day, I’ve teamed up with Mosie Baby to share more details about at-home insemination, and how the Mosie Kit could help you conceive on your own terms! 

When people hear a woman purposefully chose to have a baby on her own, they picture Jennifer Lopez in The Backup Plan, Leslie Mann’s character in How to Be Single or even Jane from Jane the Virgin (though obviously, in her case, the insemination wasn’t intentional). All of these pregnancy journeys started out and came to fruition in a fertility clinic, with a patient waiting on a table, legs spread and ready for semen delivered via someone in a lab coat. 

Even when I knew Single Motherhood by Choice was the path I wanted to pursue, I knew the process I’d seen depicted in the media was not the path for me. 

When I pictured getting pregnant, even if it wasn’t the “traditional way”, I pictured being at home, comfortable and relaxed, with candles and crystals and music and all of my favourite things surrounding me. My vision was much more Jennifer Anniston in The Switch than J-lo or Jane. I think because the majority of my more serious, long-term relationships have been with trans* people, queer folks, or other women, I had already put a lot of thought into how I’d like to conceive if “the old fashioned way” wasn’t an option.  Back then I pictured a turkey baster might be my instrument of choice, but later I’d read about hopeful parents using everything from various plastic medical syringes, to menstrual cups (which as you may know, is what I ended up trying!)  There was nothing on the market really specifically aimed at home insemination (for couples who are TTC, same-sex couples, or single parents by choice) until Mosie Baby came along! 

 

Mosie Baby was created by a couple who were trying to conceive for over two years; two years of invasive tests and costly procedures, that all added up to more unknowns and no results. Before their first IUI appointment (for those who are unfamiliar, IUI is a medical procedure where semen is injected directly into the uterus to optimize chances of a successful pregnancy) they decided to go rogue and inseminate with a syringe together at home. As Maureen (the co-founder) says on their site, “It was obvious that traditional syringes weren’t made for the vagina”, so this crafty couple created the first Mosie Syringe, and soon after created the first Mosie baby, their son! 

Though I didn’t personally use Mosie when I was TTC, I couldn’t love this brand and everything they stand for more. Their kits are delivered in subtle, nondescript packaging for privacy, and the designs inside are colourful and inviting. A clinical study has found Mosie “as effective as IUI and timed intercourse” (source here), but the cost is a fraction of what you might pay for a clinical IUI, and it’s totally safe to try from the comfort of your own home. They have truly thought of everything, including super accurate pregnancy tests and ovulation tests to help with tracking and timing – so if you’re a single mom by choice like me, you just need to source your sperm! (If you don’t have someone in your life who is willing to donate, you can always checkout a site like coparents.com)

Most of all, I love that Mosie is providing an accessible alternative for so many couples and single people who are trying to conceive, and challenging the assumptions and taboos surrounding at-home insemination along the way. I’ve received so many messages asking how costly buying donor sperm was and what the selection was like, what clinic I used, and how I navigated the system on my own – the assumption is almost always that I spent an arm and a leg to get pregnant in a medical setting, and when I clarify that was not the case, I often feel judged or like my story is somehow less legitimate. One person even asked outright if my pregnancy was actually just an accident! Though using a fertility clinic and paying for testing, drugs and procedures is the only option for many people who are TTC, it doesn’t need to be the first plan of action in so many cases, including mine. Mosie Baby not only makes the path I chose more legitimate, it normalizes looking outside the doctor’s office for fertility solutions, with a healthy dose of cheerful positive branding in a realm that can so often feel hopeless.

A few of the reasons home insemination felt right for me //

I wanted to avoid medical intervention /

I haven’t opened up too much about this in all the years I’ve been writing this blog, perhaps because it feels too vulnerable, but I struggle with childhood medical trauma. Growing up I had chronic UTI infections and spent a lot of time undergoing really invasive tests, checks and procedures. I am extremely anxious in any medical situation, especially anything that involves me laying on a table and opening my legs for a doctor, so avoiding that route when it came to making a baby was a big priority. 

I wanted to have a relationship with my donor /

Many folks choose to purchase donor sperm because they want as little attachment as possible, but personally I wanted to know my donor and have a relationship with him in real life. When I think ahead to Summer growing up and asking questions about the other person that provided the “missing ingredient” to bring her into the world, I don’t want the donor to be a mystery or someone unreachable. 

I wanted the process to feel as natural as possible /

Obviously getting pregnant without a partner automatically made my journey to motherhood somewhat abnormal, but I still wanted the moment sperm met egg to feel intimate and special. At-home insemination where I felt safe and in control was an amazing way to make conception comfortable – I just wish I’d known about Mosie Baby!

A few reasons you might want to try Mosie Baby //

You haven’t had any luck getting pregnant with intercourse 

You are in a same sex relationship or have a trans* partner

You are on the path to becoming a Single Mom by Choice 

You want to avoid costly fertility clinic bills and invasive procedures if possible

The list goes on and on! If you’re interested in trying out Mosie Baby, or know someone who might, click here to order.

Cute dress is this one from Evernew!  

This post was a part of a paid campaign with Mosie Baby, but all opinions are authentic and my own. I am not a medical doctor, and my personal story and opinions should not be taken as medical advice. Please contact your doctor if you have questions about fertility.