5 WAYS TO HELP DURING A TRAGIC TIME

It is with so much sadness, that I share what’s happened in my personal life over the past week. My brother-in-law had a sudden heart attack and died, leaving behind my sister (& best friend) and her three kids, aged 9, 14 and 17. This is them last summer.

My sister’s family

I have never written a post like this before, but through the process of loss, there have been a few things that have come up that I thought might be helpful to share.

  1. Take SO many photos (& videos):

    My sister is a photographer and if there is anything she feels grateful for right now, it is for the hundreds of photos she has of her husband and her family. Her kids have photos to tell stories about, pour over in their darkest hours and memories to hold forever. She has had family photoshoots taken by professional photographers and these sessions are valued beyond belief. Videos capture voice and personality in an even greater way. So, get our your cameras and snap away making sure you and your partner are in the shots too.

  2. Stay organized:

    Having important documents labelled and organized helps those around you at all times of life, even when you are no longer here. When systems are clear and in place, it makes the inevitable process of form completion and documentation so much easier throughout the most challenging times. Digital organization is just as important as paper-based.

  3. Food is a fabulous love language:

    Within hours of the tragic news, close friends dropped off a block freezer and started filling it with food. Hot meals, freezer meals, general groceries and fresh food platters started to arrive. In that moment, I realized, food is the most logical (and such an appreciated!) way to show love. It is so helpful. If you have a friend or family member going through a heartbreaking time, dropping off a meal that can be enjoyed now or used later is such a great way to give.

  4. Play:

    While each child copes differently and processes at different times, play is a beautiful way to connect. With younger kids, reach out and set up play dates. With older ones, invite them for a movie date. Any distraction that can allow a break for the mind is a welcome way to show kids that you care and a great way for them to connect with their friends.

  5. Think longer term:

    While the initial outpouring of love is amazing, I can’t help but think of ways that will be helpful longer term. Set a reminder once a month over the next 24 months to drop off a meal or have a grocery gift card or gift certificate to a local restaurant mailed to the family every 3 or 6 months.

Most importantly of all, just be. Be you - the sibling, parent, child, or friend you are. Your friendship is what is most valuable of all.

In search of ways to help, I’ve set up a GoFundMe page for my sister and her family. Thank you to those who have already reached out. Your kindness and generosity is so very much appreciated.

FRIDAY FAVES: 5 THINGS I'M LOVING RIGHT NOW

Today’s post is short and sweet…5 things I’ve loving for kids rooms (& life) right now…

1. Storage Baskets

It helps that they are currently on sale but mainly I love putting these baskets into kids’ spaces because they are so practical for hiding toys while also looking pretty darn lovely.

2. Sustainable Sneakers

I got lost in learning about the materials they use, but you could easily get lost in their promise to be the most comfortable shoes you’ve ever worn. Both my husband and I are fans.

3. Let the Good Times Roll art print

I love this print from Xavier’s room so much. I feel like it works for a little kid but would work just as well in a teen room.

4. Our round wood coffee table

Definitely a splurge, but we hope to own this one for many, many years. Loved for over a year now and fully worn in by our three kids. It is the table we put our drinks on, put our feet up on, practice spelling, play card games on and have never had an injury (because no sharp edges!).

5. Felt letter board

Etsy has long been one of my favourite sites for finding quality handmade pieces and this little felt letter board has been part of our home for a few years now. From inspirational quotes to holiday countdowns, welcoming friends (the kids love to write guests names on it) and signs at birthdays, this little board is part of our family now.

Happy Friday everyone!

HOW TO CREATE A SIMPLE GALLERY WALL ABOVE A DRESSER

It may be a bold statement but we truly believe that artwork is what brings a space to life! A real match for a room is when the artwork reflects the little one who lives there and these prints add a fun punch of personality to Xavier’s room. Hanging artwork can be tricky so today we are going to show you how!

simple gallery wall in boys room

SHOP THE LOOK…

STEP #1.

Start by choosing artwork that blends in colour and theme to the rest of the space. With artwork for a simple gallery wall, choose 3 good size prints and frame them to fill the width of the dresser.

STEP #2.

Get the spacing right. See below for our guide to spacing. Ensure that the first print is hung 4-6” above the top of the dresser. The group of 3 should be thought of as 1 entire art piece. Measure the centre of the trio to be about 57-60” from the ground.

STEP #3.

Space the frames close enough together so that they look like they belong. For this trio, the frames are 3.5” apart; 2-3” is a good guideline. You can use painters tape to rough out the frames on the wall to give you an idea of how they will look before hanging them.

Melissa styling dresser decor

Pin this image for future reference!

how to create a simple gallery wall above a dresser

A LITTLE TRADITION: LUNCH BOX NOTES FOR KIDS

We made it to Friday!! I know that our kids breathe a little happier knowing a couple of days at home are ahead too. I file this one under efficient Mama because it covers off two things at once: being organized and feeling connected! As a child, I loved receiving notes from my own Mom and now I’m carrying on the tradition in our home by popping a little hand written note into our kids’ lunchbox most Fridays in hopes of starting the weekend off on the right note (see what I did there?!).

lunch box note ideas for kids

It really doesn’t take long and it definitely doesn’t have to be complicated; even a simple ‘I love you!’ goes a long way to letting the kids know that we are thinking about them when we’re not physically there.

overall.jpg
lunch box note

As with anything, what gets planned for gets done and this is no different. Schedule it in your calendar, set a reminder in your phone, write yourself a prompt on the fridge…whatever it takes, I encourage you to pick a date and try it out!

thank you note to kids

I’d love to hear if you do. Did your kids like it? Were they surprised?

SHOP THE POST…

RENTAL HOUSE: XAVIER'S NEUTRAL BUNK ROOM REVEAL!

ONE ROOM IS FINALLY DONE and that means it’s time for a room reveal! No surprise that the first completed space is a kids room, because let’s be honest, designing children’s rooms are the most fun of all.

Welcome to our rental home…and my sweet boy, Xavier’s bunk room! This Oeuf bunk bed has been on my list of favourites for what feels like forever and it was the very first piece purchased for his room. There are so many arguments for and against bunk beds, but having had one as a child, I only have the best of memories. Needless to say, the bunk bed made the transition from his old room to this one a dream! He truly loves it just as much as I do.

neutral boy room with oeuf bunk bed

While I wanted this space to feel playful (Xavier plays in his top bunk ALL.THE.TIME), I really feel that for my own kids’ rooms I like them to also feel calm and restful (cue for more sleep please!). With Xavier in Grade 1 this year, it made sense to give him a little desk where he could do quiet activities or a spot to sit and draw.

The wallpaper is by Livette’s Wallpaper and is a removable paper of better quality than any other removable wallpaper I’ve used or seen. It has the best texture, almost like a nice piece of fabric. It is also created using non-toxic materials and inks while also being waterproof and washable! What’s not to love about all of that?! This is the linen colour and pattern is ‘Brushstroke Watercolour’ and I highly, HIGHLY recommend it. Just order a sample and you’ll see what I mean with the quality!

house shaped chalkboard in kids room

The house shaped chalk board is super cute and Xavier drew this amazing robot himself! The desk is from IKEA and stools are these wooden stools from the play table we used with our children’s playhouse a few years ago. They are now painted white. We love how versatile the magnetic wall sorter (on the left wall above) is and Xavier loves to change up what he keeps in here regularly.

gallery wall above wood dresser
calendar blocks with maileg mice in children’s room

“I love using practical items like this calendar block to teach little ones every day concepts such as the days and months of the year.”

I knew we wanted a good size dresser and one that could last from now until his teen years (if not first apartment!) and this solid dresser is well built and holds a lot. I was trying to decide between a mirror or art and since there wasn’t a lot of space on the other walls for art, it made sense to put a little gallery wall above the dresser for fun here. The sweet sun print is by Rylander Company, the robot print can be found here and the ‘Let the Good Times Roll’ print is from Minted. We decided to put a nightlight bulb in the concrete lamp on the dresser to use for night time but when Xavier gets a little older, we will likely put a wall sconce on the wall next to his bed. So far this solution has worked well so that when it’s time for lights out, he doesn’t just flick the light back on again.

SHOP THE LOOK…

One thing that has added so much softness (and blocks out nearly all the outdoor light!) is the roman shade from Tonic Living. This shade was custom made for the space and is a snug fit on a very basic window. I decided on an inside mount but could have just as easily gone for an outside mount on this wall too. It adds so much softness to the room and the colour (Tuscany Linen, Oatmeal Slub) is the perfect neutral.

oeuf dresser with gallery wall in boys room

You know how much I love a good book wall and this area with the acrylic shelves creates a pretty cool vignette where you can rotate books just like art. The rug adds a cozy place on the floor to play and is soft underfoot for a wool rug. The knitted snake was handmade by Nana and is a firm fave that we treasure.

acrylic bookshelves in boy room
natti natti floor pillow with book
hand knit snake toy
gallery wall above dresser in children’s room

From the hallway, you have this view of the room and I think it’s one of my favourite views! I love catching glimpses of Xavier sitting at his desk or reading a book on his giant floor pillow from Natti Natti which is handmade in Brooklyn, New York.

neutral kids room with house shaped chalkboard and bunk bed

The gorgeous bed linens are 100% linen and from new Canadian brand Dreams Jumper. You can also spot our favourite Cuddle and Kind dolls and Keva building planks.

SHOP THE LOOK…

book wall and bunk bed in boy room
close up of the bedlinen and wallpaper with Cuddle + Kind softie

Although this home is an interim rental for our family, I hope the memories that we make in here will last forever.

*Thank you to many of the brands listed in this post for their collaboration in this project.

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