Dresser Upgrade - My latest article for YMM Magazine!


I'm very excited to share with you all our latest DIY project! 

We gave a tired mid-century modern dresser a bit of an upgrade. It's been a couple years in the making (we got the whole bedroom set back in 2011 on Kijiji for $50!), deciding on what we'd do with this piece, and we're so happy with the results! 
 This is the wonderful "after" look!
We're in the midst of making over Little A's room, and this piece is perfect for her new room. 

Be sure to check out the full tutorial here from YMM Magazine, but I'll post some photos of the project here :)

This is the Before - cool mid-century tallboy with great details.

I absolutely adore the inside of the dresser - cool shelves and drawers! They don't make 'em like this anymore.
Another post-makeover photo. I just love this piece!
I'm excited to share all the projects with you as we go. We are also making over our master bedroom and EZ's room too, so expect more fun DIY blog posts in the future!

Check out YMM for a full tutorial of the tallboy makeover!



Mindful Jars & My New Article!


I started writing for Fort McMurray's Child Magazine!

Click here for my first article!

I wrote about making Mindful Jars with my two kidlets, who are budding yogis :) I am so blessed to have such wonderful children.

I hope you enjoy my tutorial via the link here :)



Happy Spring 2014 Mantel :)


I'm actually really excited about this season's mantel.

Especially because mostly everything was purchased right here in Fort McMurray, at Walmart no less! Budget-friendly decorating and craft supplies are quite hard to come by here, especially since we have no Michael's or Homesense. I was pleasantly surprised how cute some of the Walmart items were, especially the photo frames! Also, the wreath was a steal at $14!

I chose bright colours to really amp up the Spring-y-ness :) It's been a long, cold, white winter {and it's still going strong}, so our home needed a jolt of joyful and vibrant colours.

Though it's still cold and wintery outside, the calendar says it's Spring. In the famous words of "Field of Dreams" -- "If you build it, they will come" -- I figure if I decorate as if it is Spring, perhaps I can manifest it? 

Here's hoping for longer days, green grass, the emergence of flowers, and a warmer sun.

Happy Spring, indeed!


Kitchen Update - A RUG!


I've been mulling over some kitchen updates for awhile. I want a new table, new chairs, and a new rug.

Most folks I ask wonder why I would ever want a rug under the dining table. Between the food crumbs and the kids, it may seem like not only terrible idea, but a recipe for filth. I get it. 

But there is a method to my madness.

1. I want something soft underfoot that will quiet the noise of the chairs moving. Hate the scraping tile noise. Grrrr....

2. I need to jazz up the joint a bit. It's been almost 2 years!

And NO, I didn't choose a thick pile, shag rug. I chose a rug that realistically meets the needs of our family. 

An OUTDOOR RUG! Yep, it can get wet. It's easy to clean. It can just be hosed off. No muss, no fuss. Totally durable.

See what a difference a rug makes?

I chose the Safavieh Courtyard rug from Wayfair.com in 8 ft by 11 ft. I also got it on sale! And delivered to my door in less than 2 weeks -- even way up north here in Fort McMurray!

  Here's a close-up of the rug. I love the Moroccan-esque pattern. It's bold but the colours subdue the pattern a bit.

I'm super excited for this purchase. I'm excited to have some more pizzazz in the dining area, and to finally have some quiet when we move the chairs! No more scraping on the tile :)


Wave Rider - Memories of Me & Maui :)


I've been waiting awhile to write this post. Mostly I was waiting for photographic evidence of my adventure :)

When we were in Maui in December, I had a few experiences crossed off my bucket list -- watching surfers at the BIG waves of Pe'ahi (or JAWS!), and my own adventures in SUP and surfing. A couple years ago I came across the documentary "Riding Giants" and I've been obsessed with and inspired by surfing ever since. 

I set a goal to try surfing -- although it seemed like an audacious goal at the time, one December 2013 afternoon in Maui, I got my chance to realize my dream!

Surfing turned out to be a spiritual experience for me, as most of my life is :) I was nervous...like REALLY nervous, and I even tried to back out at the last minute. But I soldiered on -- feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

The dry land training was cool because it felt like yoga, and I'm really good a cobra pose and balance poses :)  Then it was time to get on the board and out into the Pacific.

I wiped out the first time I tried to get up on the board. I felt defeated. But I also noticed that the water, albeit a wild force of nature, was not as scary as I thought. I paddled out again, and if I wiped out again, at least I knew I was giving it my all. This was GO TIME for me to realize my goal.

The next wave came -- and I caught it -- and I STOOD UP!  It was surreal.  I followed my gaze to the horizon at the beach though I felt like I wanted to fall. I looked down and there was a giant sea turtle surfing the wave with me. I felt like in that moment I was part of something bigger. My heart swelled with gratitude.

As I surfed the wave at that moment, with the turtle at my side, I felt a noticeable shift in my heart -- a feeling that I could truly accomplish anything I set my mind and heart to.

As it turns out, I am a natural surfer. I surfed for another hour, and got up every time. Let me tell ya, surfing is HARD WORK. Paddling against the waves to get out into the ocean to even try to catch a wave is tough. Like seriously hard work. But it was so worth it. 

I felt so blessed, so amazing, and so connected to my true spirit -- as a WAVE RIDER. Whatever challenges I face in life, I know that I can always surf the waves.  

I may wipe out or lose my balance, but I'll always get up on the surf board.


Master Ensuite Mini-Makeover :)


We've been in our home for over a year now, and I wish were closer to being "done" with our decorating, but sometimes you have to live in a space for a time before you know exactly what to do with it. I am still pondering what to do with our Master Bedroom, but I knew that our Master Bathroom needed a little "oomph" and sparkle. 

This mini-makeover consisted of a new paint job {or two! see below!}, new mirrors {which I purchased 18 months ago}, and upgraded sparkly light fixtures {which I purchased a year ago}. This micro-update was indeed a long time coming! haha!
Big A was a hero again in this DIY adventure. Here's the short version of the makeover. I chose the above paint swatch 8 months ago {Benjamin Moore CSP-95 Sea Salt}, but never actually purchased the paint. On a whim a few weeks ago, we decided to just start painting over the dark taupe colour...except we didn't have the right paint colour. We had BM's White Down on hand which we used and loved in our old house, so I made the executive decision to use that paint. And I hated it in the space. It was too yellow-y and too creamy. I wanted a cool "greige" colour, and White Down was all wrong for this bathroom.  I tried to live with it for a couple of days, but I *hated* it and so we repainted it with Sea Salt and I couldn't be more delighted!

The original bathroom {which I didn't even snap a photo of because I'm so out of blogging practice!} had one bronze light fixture centred above the cabinets. It was fine, but it wasn't me. I convinced Big A that adding another light, one above each sink would add so much light to the room. Big A was a trooper, crawling into the attic to do all the electrical work, then measured and cut holes in the wall. He also had to mud the hole left from the old fixture. Lots of work, but SO worth it.

I am really enjoying the results. We still have a few more things to do -- a feature wall above the sinks, art and...{look away wood lovers...painting the wood cabinets gray. Trust me, it'll look FAB!


Living Room Upgrade - Built-in Bookshelves! {Lots of Photos!}


So like most of you, we've been really busy this summer. We've enjoyed the amazingly long days of summertime in Fort McMurray. We've traveled a bit, enjoyed our backyard and our new hot tub {yay!}, we bought a new truck {double yay!}, explored all the trails in our area on "nature walks" with the kiddos, and spent amazing quality time with family. 

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @mummymaggie to follow along in our day-to-day adventures :)

In all of this fun, we did manage to squeeze in a couple of DIY projects which I promise to post to this here bloggy blog. I guess this is the part of the post where I apologize profusely for being absent for so long. I am sorry. I missed you, my lovely readers. Thanks for understanding that life sometimes veers us of the blog-writing track, but we always come back :)

So without further ado...the Living Room Upgrade! Yes, I did give a bit of a teaser way back in March, and yes, it did take a LONG time to complete the project, but here we are. 

Not to "phone it in", but my "Do-It-Yourself, McMurray" article in the latest YMM Magazine is a feature on this project. Click here to check it out.

Here's the finished result! Ikea cabinets {originally for kitchens and bathrooms} repurposed into built-in bookshelves at a fraction of the cost. We choose sleek, high gloss white cabinets and modern stainless steel handles to set off the look.

This photo is the only one I could find of a "before".  It's from Aviva's 2nd birthday party, hence the festive pink balloons :) I love how this photo really shows how this space was a blank canvas, just waiting to be "Mummy Maggie-fied!"
An "in progress" shot, showing how quickly the awesome cabinets transformed the space as they were put up. I also want you to check out the seating. I originally had our two couches facing each other because I thought I was maximizing space. Oh, how wrong I was...see below :)

A close-up of the cabinets going up. Adair was a trooper to manage to configure these Ikea cabinets. Did you see the number of boxes from my teaser photo?! Ikea MADNESS!

Here's another "during" pic. I love how Ginger is just chilling on the couch with all the DIY craziness going on around her.

Here it is! After months {yep, it took months of stolen late nights after our kids went to bed -- and they go to sleep LATE!} of hard work -- our built-in bookshelf project is complete. We are so pleased with the results. I love the cabinets, but I especially love the tile work. It's thin strips of Carrera marble on 12 x 12 sheets. We decided to hang it vertically to maximize the height of the 9-foot ceilings, and then add strips of stainless steel tiles for visual interest. It looks amazing!

Here's another angle which highlights the change of the living room furniture configuration. This new layout created so much more space because it's open to the kitchen, so the couch at the bottom right of the photo distinguishes the space {and highlights the AMAZING chevron throw I scored at Urban Barn!}. It actually looks a bit different now, mostly because I can't leave well enough alone. But that's another post for another day :)
This last photo is a close-up of the cabinets. Adair truly put a lot of work into these babies, especially around the crown. He *had* to buy the right saw to cut the trim around the crown moulding. You can also see a bit of the close-up of fab tile work too. Thank you, Big A!
So...what do you think of our living room transformation? Was it work the wait?


Kidlets Winter 2013


On Remembrance Day, 2012 we had a photo shoot with the kiddos. The pics were supposed to be our Christmas cards, but we didn't receive the photos until this week! The photos are super adorable, so I can't help but share a few of our favourite pics.


Living Room Addition - a Teaser!


I love my new house.  We've been in for about 10 months now, so we're settling in more and more everyday.

What I don't love about my house is the lack of storage.  Or at least my perception of a lack of storage. Or maybe it's just that I've always dreamed of bookshelves flanking the fireplace in my living room, so my storage complaints are a big rouse to make that dream a reality.

Whatever the real story is, the built-in bookshelves in the living room are happening! We asked my interior design friend and Ikea Guru to help us figure out a custom look on a big box store budget.

We figured that customized built-in bookshelves would probably cost us about $8-10K, especially in Fort McMurray. But incredible Ikea "built-ins" {comprised of various kitchen cabinets & drawers!} came in at just a fraction of the cost -- even with having to rent a pick-up truck and drive 5 hours to Edmonton and back. And we are always up for a good ol' DIY project!
An Instagram shot of ALL the bazillion boxes that will make up our built-in bookshelves! It literally filled the whole back of the pick-up truck!
 The update would not be complete without a tile installation! We picked up the carrera marble skinny subway tiles at Home Depot! Yay for the "The Depot" as EZ calls it! Affordable and awesome!

I'm really excited about the cool veins of gray in these tiles. It's going to be fabulous! Especially because we're tiling them vertically for an unexpected twist!

It took awhile for Big A to put the cabinets and drawers together. Ikea stuff, even as awesome as it is, is notoriously annoying to put together. Especially with two little helpers in the form of small children who want to be extremely involved, the process can be a wee bit tedious. But Big A has persevered and everything is almost installed!

 Stay tuned for our latest living room updates!


My 2nd Article in YMM Magazine!


The latest issue of YMM Magazine is out!

Be sure to check out my article on the YMM Online Edition!

Let me know what you think!


Life Update - Winter 2013


Okay. Seriously. Where does the time go? It's been TWO WHOLE MONTHS since I last updated. Like everyone else on the planet, we're a busy family with lots going on. And frankly, after a working all day long and the hours-long drama of putting kidlets to bed, updating the blog late at night is a lot less interesting than vegging out with the Real Housewives of wherever. 

But I miss blogging. I miss recording our adventures. So here I am :)

Here's a bit of an update of the last two months:

DIY Home Projects:
  • We're making GREAT progress on the built-in bookshelves -- but I guess you don't even know about that, so that's a blog post in itself!
  • Remember this post from back in October about "Paint it Black"? I've been waiting for TWO months for wallpaper samples to finalize our choice because our bedroom is GOING BLACK! It'll be a huge master suite transformation that will include our room, ensuite bath AND our closet {but don't tell Big A that just yet!}
  • In the Spring, we're embarking on a play room makeover too. With space being a premium in our home, we need to make better use of that space :)
Family Life:
  • On top of my full-time work, my yoga teacher training, and motherhood -- I've decided to add GRAD STUDENT to my plate. Yep, that's right. I start my graduate studies on Monday! So excited!
  • Kids are wonderful -- they are growing up so fast, and they deserve their own post.
  • It's still FUH-REEZING in Fort McMurray - like it's -29 degrees celcius + windchill. And it snows almost everyday! We're really looking forward to Spring!!
  • Big A and I ventured to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico sans kiddos for a week back in February. It was as fabulous as you can imagine.
  • Yoga is now part of my life, not just something I do on weekends, and I couldn't be more grateful for the magic and power of Yoga in my life. I see it's effects rubbing off on my kidlets so I couldn't be a more happy swami mummy! 

So there you have it -- a brief overview of our busy life in #YMM. I am so incredibly grateful for our new life here in Fort McMurray. We're coming up on our one year anniversary of moving to #YMM. It was the best {albeit the CRAZIEST!} decision we ever made. Our lives have completely changed. We have met amazing people, had wonderful experiences, and have been blessed with more opportunities than we dreamed of -- and it's only been a year!     


EZ turns 4!


So my little guy is 4 years old now! How did that happen? Where does the time go?

We celebrated his big day yesterday with family and friends. He chose the theme for his birthday - Octonauts. Do you know how hard it is to find Octonauts stuff? Thanks to Etsy, we did ok for decorations and had a fantastic little party for EZ.

We kept decorations and food relatively simple :)

EZ was thrilled to have his little friends over. They played so well together. EZ loved opening his prezzies too. His friends and family know him well -- lots of Cars stuff, Hot Wheels, Kinnex, a new Burton snowsuit from Mummy & Daddy, and new snowshoes from Little A!  {The whole family also got snowshoes too! Happy Birthday, EZ!}

One of the most timely and hilarious gifts was from my brother and family -- A "Keep Calm & Gangnam Style" t-shirt! This is bar none EZ's FAVOURITE song!  As soon as he opened the gift, he screamed, "Oppa Gangnam Style!" He quickly ripped off his buttoned-up collared shirt, threw on his Gangnam tee and started dancing. Even Little A started horsey dancing when she saw it! What an awesome gift!

The birthday celebrations didn't end at the party. EZ asked to go to the "box truck restaurant" {AKA the family-friendly local "Montana's" restaurant}, where we had meal and this happened.
EZ was hilariously annoyed throughout our dinner when other birthday celebrants were sung to by the Montana's staff. He pouted and said it was his birthday, and not anyone else's. We asked him to be patient and sure enough, after dinner, the staff congregated at our table with giant antler headgear {do you think they clean it after each use? shudder...} and ice cream!

  Not to be outdone in ridiculous cuteness, Little A figured out how to eat her ice cream without using her hands. It was adorable to watch her figure this out, through trial and error, finding the best seat placement, head angle and speed.


My Word for 2013


The blogosphere is abuzz this time of year with chatter of resolutions, and there appears to be a trend to choosing a word that will define your year to come.

After much deliberation {actually, not true since the Universe pretty much SMACKED me in the face with this word repeatedly over the last week!}, my word for 2013 is...


 More accurately, the my phrase for the year is...


I am willing to make time to achieve my goals.

I am willing to embrace a more yogic lifestyle.

I am willing to release my fear of swimming {so I can go surfing in Hawaii!}.

I am willing to let go of my diet soda addiction.

I am willing to eat well to increase my endurance, health and wellness.

I am willing to do what it takes...

See? I am willing to do many things. And being willing doesn't mean deprivation or despair, nor does it mean immediate perfection is required.

To me, WILLINGNESS is all about an attitude of optimism and serenity: humbly surrendering your ego, your need for control, allowing you to give yourself permission to become who you really are. Willingness isn't about succeeding {or failing!} at short term resolutions; it's about having an open heart and an open mind -- making room for you to succeed beyond your resolutions. In fact, it's a REVOLUTION.

So spill it, friends. What's YOUR word for 2013?

PS: Here's a link to my 2012 Simple Revolution Post :) I think I did quite well. I love kale, I love sweating {almost!} everyday, and now I'm even training to become a yoga teacher!  Goal setting is SO important! 

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