The long weekend is nearly here and I can't think of anything better than hangin' with my sweet family all weekend long. While we live an urban life with the beach a block away, I still dream of wild and free days for my kiddos with a backyard tree big enough for a tree house. Totally inspired by these beauties!

1. The most incredible treehouse in the most incredible tree in Tuscany, Italy.

incredible treehouse in tuscany


2. A simple and beautiful boho hangout perfect for sunny day dreaming.

boho tree house


3. Love this one! An adventure just to climb into it!

gorgeous backyard kids treehouse

4. A slide, a sandbox and a climbing wall make this all-day-fun for little kids.

Backyard fort with kids slide


5. Absolutely unreal!!! Forget about letting the kids have the house; I think I'd take it for myself!

ultimate tree house

6. Love how amazing this one is while still being achievable. The twirly slide is the perfect accessory.

kids treehouse with twirly slide

While our kids enjoy lazy afternoons in their playhouse, I'll be dreaming of a vineyard in Italy with a treehouse overlooking it (#1). Which one is your favourite?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Melissa Signature.png



Is it too early to be thinking about Easter gifts for the kids???! I wasn't sure but as Noelle's favourite animal is a bunny, I keep my eye out all year round! Each year, we do a little Easter egg hunt (like everyone else) but we always have a little gift on the table in the morning for the kids from us too. It's usually something like a book or a stuffie, but I just love the little bunny jar so much (how cute would it be with a little plant in it?!!), we might have to splurge.

Easter gifts for babies and kids

01. // Bunny rattle; 02. // Bunny backpack; 03. // Bunny decor; 04. // Bunny planter; 05. // Muslin blanket; 06. // Bunny or book; 07. // Bunny softie; 08. // Bunny stuffy; 09. // Bunny sheets; 10. // Bunny lamp.

Have a great weekend!

Melissa Signature.png


shared baby and toddler boys room

image from rafa + leo's room

Do you find it hard to keep your kids toys tidy? Are they sprawled all over the floor and do you feel overwhelmed by the mess? Storage is SO important in the way our homes function and I thought it might be helpful to walk you through some key ways to keep the crazy stuff kids need (and often don’t need) under control in a way that is both functional and pretty too.

Back in the day (aka pre-kids), I used to have a tidy house. I remember feeling organized with a tidy kitchen, papers organized, clothes hung up and everything else hidden neatly away. I remember managing with a basket of toys and an orderly house with 6-month-old twins...AND THEN THEY BECAME TODDLERS!!! Even if you are of the more minimalist nature, with kids comes STUFF! If you were organized in the baby stage, wait until you have toddlers! With toddlers comes clothes, toys, books, gear, artwork, more clothes, more toys, more books and more and more stuff. One of the first questions my clients ask is, “how are we going to store all of the stuff that we have accumulated with the kids?" I tell them that there is a way. That we will find a way. So much so, that we will test my five minute rule when the room is done (keep reading). 

In my own home and in the rooms I design, I like to use the five-minute rule: Can the room be cleaned up in five minutes or less? If yes, then storage is doing its job well.

Here are my top 5 ways to store things in kids rooms. 

1. Use shelves:

bookshelves in a kids room

image from xavier's room

Wherever possible, use the vertical space you have on the walls. Think about whether there is space above a window, even under a window, or a wall where a shelf could fit. With so many options for shelving, you can choose simple slim shelves like the ones above for books and toys (from IKEA) or deeper shelves that can be used to store almost anything, like the ones below left. Making use of the vertical space a room has will mean fewer toys to trip over. You can style shelves so many ways too and change what’s stored on them with the changing needs of your little one. I particularly love the vertical shelf below as it has both open and closed storage space meaning that you can still keep a few things hidden while allowing little ones to see and pull out the toys that they want to play with.

Oeuf vertical shelf in vancouver kids room
ubabub shelves in vancouver kids room

images from leo + rafa's room

2. Use baskets, baskets, baskets!

shared children's room
girls room

By now you probably know that I add baskets of some sort to almost all of the rooms I design. They are so incredibly versatile to quickly store larger toys or stuffed animals and if you pop a lid on top, you won’t even see the mess! I love baskets so much that I have an entire board devoted to them over on Pinterest where you can find lots of suggestions for pretty and practical storage, baskets and bins.

3. Make the most of the closet

monika hibbs closet.jpg

image via Monika Hibbs

This may seem obvious but there is so much you can store in a PROPERLY organized and space maximized closet. The key is to have space allocated for folded items, a few drawers, hanging space and space that you can store items you use infrequently up high (ideally all the way to the ceiling). Of course bars for hanging clothes at the right height (if your child dresses themselves) is necessary too. If you don't have a dresser, using baskets for socks, tights, etc works well right in the closet. The main benefit is that you can just close the doors!!! ;)

4. Double (or triple!) task your dresser

Ella dresser and mirror IG.jpg

image from Ella's room

A dresser is a key piece of furniture for more than just clothes! If you are having a baby, I often recommend saving on a change table and buying a dresser that can last through the years. The top drawer is perfect for diapers, wipes, any lotions or wash clothes. The middle drawer can then have lots of folded clothes and I recommend using the bottom drawer for toys that a child can access themselves and which you can simply close the drawer on! It's a simple system that seems to work really well for lots of clients. The hanging items then go neatly in the closet and linens, etc can be stored in their too.

5. Add hooks

bookshelf and hooks in girls room

Hooks are an easy way to encourage children to clean up by themselves (hurray!) and for you to find a place for loose items with a strap. It is handy to have a few at child height for items such as sweaters, morning robes, bags, dress up clothes, toy cameras, backpacks, etc. Any toy with a strap can be hung on them too.

A well organized room should be able to be tidied away in 5 minutes of less. Quickly pop books back on the shelves, bigger toys go in the covered bins, clothes in the dresser and closet, blocks and smaller toys in open baskets on shelves with little accessories hung up. This is a great system for little ones to start when they are young and learn and grow into with guidance. 

I'd love to hear of any other ways that you manage storage in your kids room. Tell me in the comments below.

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They say it's a right of passage to have a lemonade stand as a child. I say throw two IKEA LATT kids tables together, paint them white and you're set to go!!!

Our daughter Noelle, who is 6, told me a few nights before school started that having a lemonade stand was on her list of 'must dos' for the summer and she seemed pretty set on it. Without having much time to think about it, we put the kids to bed, I found the two IKEA tables in the basement and a few pieces of scrap wood and set to work (big thanks to my hubby for screwing the wood into the tables enabling a stand to be made). 

kids lemonade stand

Our IKEA kids tables mainly get used for parties or when kids come over for playdates and were definitely not in the best shape, so after finding the pieces of scrap wood to use as the 'stand', I used some leftover paint from my playhouse project last summer and quickly painted it all. You can see how dark it was when I snapped a photo once the paint was on. This is devoted parenting at its' best, right?! Ha!


before ikea tables
before ikea table hack


lemonade stand

I made the 'LEMONADE' sign the next morning by cutting out large triangles from card stock and sticking some gold foil letter stickers on. I already owned the drinks dispenser that we use all the time for parties and playdates and apparently now lemonade stands too!!! The adorable silver star garland is from Pearl and Jane on Etsy. The girls and I walked up to the flower shop to choose some flowers for the stand and they picked out this sweet combination themselves. They also drew, coloured and cut out the lemons and stems to stick onto the stand for decoration. Aren't they the cutest?! This is definitely my favourite detail of all!!!

pouring lemonade
kids having fun at summer lemonade stand

Everyone who came by commented that at 25 cents, our lemonade was the best deal around. I guess we wanted the stand to be about having fun and not making money and we even had a jar of quarters for anyone who came by who didn't happen to have change with them. This turned out to be a great idea as we could then give out free lemonade (therefore getting more 'customers') while the kids could transfer a quarter from our money jar to theirs. Watching the joy on their faces when their neighbourhood friends stopped by was priceless; such a great summer memory.A win win for everyone!

sign for lemonade stand
dulton kitchen scale
summer flowers

We have owned this little silver scale for years and it made a perfect accessory for the stand. The kids filled their own glasses up more times than I was willing to count but I suppose that's half the fun, isn't it??!!

Noelle filling up lemonade
Cutie Xav
bags of lemons

So, there it is. A summer bucket list item ticked off for the kids and hours and hours of fun for us all. Who else has a couple of IKEA kids tables kicking around?



As we are quickly approaching the end of the school year (our first with the girls), we are shifting to think about fun things to do with the kids over the summer. While I grew up on over an acre in the country, anyone who has toddlers will know that kids really don’t need a massive yard to have a great time. Raising kids in the city means that we make a much more concerted effort to get the kids back into nature and Vancouver is a city that makes it very easy to do that.

This summer, while we will escape for adventures around and out of the city a few times, I wanted to think of ways to entertain the kids close to home and that’s where Little Passports comes in. If you have been reading the blog for a while, you may remember I shared the Early Explorers kit from last summer.

Little Passports provides kits for kids to help educate them about the world around us.  Each month you will be sent a kit about a different country. They include photos of the countries, games, toys, information and activities for the kids to do whilst using characters to tell a story. While I fell in love with the easy to explain and ready to go activities in the kits, the kids fell in love with characters Mia and Max from the Early Explorers kit and Sam and Sofia from the World Edition kit.  Xavier was so excited to open and see stuffed animal Toby the dog and has been carting him to preschool, on car rides and tucking him into bed at night ever since (so cute!).

exploring a world map

We are very spoiled to have a backyard, while still living so close to the city and for this stage of life, it really is perfect. You can turn your backyard into anything and this time we decided to do a summer day camp with the kids and pretend we were camping. We (ok, the hubby) DIY’d the tent and the adorable campfire kit was found on Etsy. Little Passports has these delightful free printables to help make the camping experience come to life. The kids especially loved the scavenger hunt and although we didn’t spot a squirrel, we do get them running along the fence every so often. Finding an insect was Xavier’s favourite with potato bugs hidden under every plant pot!

scavenger hunt free printable
backyard campout

With our twins turning 6 earlier this year, they were ready for the World Edition kit, catered to 6-8 year olds, which includes more detailed information about the countries and more difficult activities. While we were outside ‘camping’, we opened the Egypt kit and talked about where Egypt is on the map, key landmarks that were included in the Early Explorers kit and the girls started working on this pyramid dig which has so far kept them entertained and focused for over an hour!

egypt dig
felt campfire

Thanks to Little Passports for making me feel like an organized Mom who can pull off an outdoor camping shoot with my kids. The kids loved it and I feel like we could do this every week all summer, exploring different countries and talking about where they are, whether Mom and Dad have travelled there and various fun facts to enlighten them. We love the kits and the imaginative play that ensues from the kids is a lifesaver for those summer days at home. Get the summer camp activities and printables to create your own backyard campout here!

*This post has been created with Little Passports, a product that I genuinely love. All photos, words and experiences are my own.