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family style

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Things that Work: The Drum Pouf Series by Softline

drum pouf coffee table in bedroom

For its space saving versatility, I have a thing for the pouf and coffee table combination. It adds comfort and function to a reading nook, a living room and a bedroom.

Even since I replaced my coffee table with a large storage ottoman with a tray, I want more. I might have found its companion with the Drum Pouf by Softline Design Team from Denmark.

drum pouf coffee table
photo credits: Drum Pouf by Softline Design Team

I think that a Drum pouf would make an ideal side table in top of providing additional seating, when needed. As a bonus when living with a young child, two cats or for after a party, the Drum’s cover is removable for cleaning. This pouf with a removable tray definitely meets the requirements of my busy lifestyle. It also has the clean yet comfortable look that I want for my interior. Continue Reading

FAMILY KIDS products

Day Care Essentials

day care essentials

Besides the obvious diapers, wipes, clothes and sunscreen tube, these are items that you may need to bring at your toddler’s day care or nursery school. A playful backpack is not really required — since I usually carry it for my 18 months old son — but I think that it adds a cute touch. In my book, the classic Croc shoes work the best for wearing inside all year long since they can be wore with or without socks.

I was glad that the day care asks for a toothbrush and toothpaste. They will teach my son how to use it. Some day cares supply the sheets for nap time while others ask that you bring your own. Both options have their pros and cons. More importantly for me is the fact to bring them a doudou. Zack likes to hold his muslin blanket while he sleeps. His must have plush is Mr. Tsé Tsé. I bought him a new one to bring at the day care because I don’t want to risk the chance of forgetting it one day. My husband called the second one, Yé Yé. So far, he doesn’t care for it. I still want to hope that he will develop some attachment towards Yé Yé.

Here are the specific items that I brought at the day care:
day care essentials

Something New: 1.  Hippo zoo backpack by Skip Hop $20 USD, 2. Kids’ Crocband II.5 $36.99 CAD, 3. Stage 1 toothbrush by Oral-B and Colgate toothpaste, 4. VITAMINER RAND 4-piece crib bedding set $14.99 CAD

Something Old: 5. Mr. Tsé Tsé beginner doll by Raplapla $44 CAD, 6. Aden + Anais Star-bright swaddle set $49.95 for pack of 4

Next week, I will tell you about labelling your toddler’s things.

HOME + GARDEN KITCHEN design

Kitchen Style for the Serious Cook

functional English style kitchen pantry dining

→ Creating a Homey Restaurant-Style Kitchen with a Chef Table at Home

functional English style kitchen prep and cooking areas
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

You see plenty of pretty kitchens in magazines and online. Unfortunately, some kitchens are more beautiful than useful. I am interested by kitchens that are practical and beautiful. I found several ideas when I looked at the portfolio of Deulonder Domestic Architecture. They are is a Spanish interior design studio that cater to passionate cooks. Their kitchens fill the needs of people who really cook in their kitchen and who love to have guests over while they cook.

airy country kitchen deulonder
photos: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 2)

One common denominator in their design is how they juxtapose three main areas: the kitchen, the dining room and the butler’s pantry/serving area.

The English Home Restaurant-Style Kitchen

functional English style kitchen with a banquette dining room
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

This is unusual kitchen and dining room layout works if you like to entertain or have a large family. The kitchen itself is a mix between a galley-style kitchen and a L-shaped plan. Deulonder imagined a kitchen for a large family living on the outskirts of London or Boston. Let’s look at the ideas to steal in this stunning kitchen and dining area designed by Deulonder for Casa Decor Barcelona 2011.

functional English style kitchen
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

For one thing, the fact that the kitchen/ prep / serving areas are wrapped around the dining room means that you can hire staff without jeopardizing the intimate mood of your dinner.

Secondly, you have to admire the efficiency of this kitchen. It is equipped for serious cooking. You have one big sink per prep area; which means you are never on someone else toes. There is a two-oven, four burner Viking stove with a grill and a teppanyaki. And there are plenty of the storage shelves or holes to store your large platters and baking sheets! I’m jealous!

functional English style kitchen view from the kitchen
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

The third great feature are the glass walls. Without them, the dining room would be very dark. On a bright sunny day, I imagine myself serving brunch in winter and feeling warm. Another advantage is that they cook can see what is happening with the diners. If you need to keep a wall divides your dining room from your kitchen, you could examine how you can incorporate a big window inside your wall.

If you are still convinced that it is an amazing space, look at this view from the dining room.

functional English style kitchen pantry dining

For Outdoor Entertaining

I like the room interactions of this outdoor entertaining heaven space created by Minim, another Spanish interior design studio. This project was also presented at also presented at Casa Decor Barcelona 2011.

kitchen for outdoor entertaining by minim
photos: Luis Sanchez for Minim

Here a wine pantry is located between the kitchen and the terrace. You can bypass the wine pantry to access the terrace from the kitchen. This means that you can prepare your wine service out of sight and keep everything at the right temperature if you lounge outside.

DESIGN and style LIVING

What to Wear: At the Park

mom and toddler fashion at the park

mom and toddler fashion at the park

Multicoloured Striped Polo Shirt $19.90 CAD at Zara | Denim Bermudas $17.90 CAD at Zara | Sandal Paco Boy $55 USD at Geox | Linen t-shirt with print $29.99 CAD at Zara | Rose Leaf 1969 raw-edge denim shorts $49.95 USD at Gap | Fuchsia Vidalez mocassin $26.24 on sale at Aldo

I continue my “mom and a toddler fashion” column with a trip to the park. My son reached an age where he always want to play at the park. I want to look good when I go there but naturally, I need to look casual. Last week, I bought this printed linen t-shirt at Zara. The fabric and its A-line shape (sorry, that you can’t see the shape from the picture) help cool down my body under the sun. I am sure about that since I wore it when the thermometer reached 30 degrees Celsius (86 F). I wore my linen t-shirt with a pair of khaki shorts that I bought last year at Banana Republic.

Whatever is your style, look for clothes that are machine wash. Since we started to go at the park, my son wears two outfits a day. That reason alone justified my purchase of a new HE top load washer and dryer.

 

LIVING TRAVEL

Kim Loves: Reisenthel’s Travel Bags

reisenthel travel bags

reisenthel travel bags

I have a love affair with some brands and Reisenthel is one of these brands for me. It has been a while since I visited their Web site. I am glad to see new products. I couldn’t stop discovering their travelling bag collection. I like the fact that it is cheerful. Plus, you will not have any problems to recognize your bags from the crowd. Some fabrics are special edition like the beach edition, marigold olive (my personal favourite) and safari.

travel cosmetic

The bags are also well-thought. You will have no problems finding one that fits your needs. Many models of their comprehensive range of cosmetic bags are available in several sizes. You can find one that would be big enough for your annual vacation, another one for weekend getaways and a small one for when you go to the gym.

slimcase and toilet bag

Versatility is another key feature of the line. Slimcase S would be perfect to carry your jewelry while kids crayons, hair accessories or small office supply would fit into the Multicase.

Now, we only have to wait that for Reisenthel’s Travelling to be available in Canada or the United States.

SOURCING:
+ Allrounder L by Reisenthel from 34,90 € to 45 €
+ Toiletcosmetic by Resisenthel from 13,90 € to 24,90 €
+ Toiletbag by Reisenthel 16,90 €
+ Slimcase S  by Reisenthel 9,90 €
+ Multicase by Reisenthel 9,95 €

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

My Family-Friendly Decorating Tips in Canadian House & Home and Maison & Demeure

house and home photo gallery for family-friendly spaces

house and home photo gallery for family-friendly spaces

I was delighted when the talented team at Canadian House & Home and Maison & Demeure asked me if I would like to create a photo gallery about my favorite spaces. This top-notch home decorating magazine is always on my must-read list.

When they asked me what would be my angle, I immediately thought about decorating with kids in mind. Ever since I became a mom, I experienced the challenges of maintaining a stylish home with a young child. I featured inspiring family-friendly spaces and shared kid-friendly decorating tips that are fun and cool.

maison et demeure gallerie photo pour jeune familles

In fact, I have two photo galleries: one gallery for  Canadian House & Home and another one for Maison & Demeure, the French edition of Canadian House & Home. Each site has their own editorial staff. They handpicked the photos that spoke more to their audience. I love the look of both galleries.

Do not miss them and have a look right now.

SOURCING:
+ my photo gallery in Canadian House & Home
+ my photo gallery in Maison & Demeure

FAMILY KIDS rooms

Meet Duck Harry, which is Not a Rubber Ducky

duck harry

duck harry

Don’t be fooled by what you see at first sight. I was thrilled when I thought that they modernized the rubber duck that is the companion of every child’s bath time. But it is not the case. Duck Harry can’t float! Instead, Icelandic designer Hlynur Atlason created it as a multi-purpose item. Intended usages are a a toothbrush/toothpaste tube holder when you put it on the side, a doorstop or a paperweight. I wonder if we could use it as a bookend.

So, what your verdict? Would you give Duck Harry a chance? Or, are you disappointed, like me, that it can’t float? Having said that, Duck Harry would look great as a doorstep for a nursery or a bathroom.

SOURCING:
+ Duck Harry, in yellow or black $28 USD at Kontextür

FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

What’s for Dinner: Balsamic Roast Chicken

balsamic roast chicken

balsamic roast chicken

A one-pan dish not only saves you time, they build flavor while you do something else. I am partial to oven dishes versus a slow cooker. It’s because it’s the way I am used to cook.

The recipe on my to-do list is the Balsamic Roast chicken with caramelized pearl onions, olives and tomatoes that I saw in the March 2012 issue of Style at Home. It looks so tasty. Their wine expert, Konrad Ejbich suggests to pair it with a saucy Ripasso Valpolicella. You need a certain amount of sharpness to complement the olives and the tomatoes. The Ripasso Valpolicella is stronger that the fruity Valpolicella, but not as powerful as Amarone.

According to Wine Align, “the Ripasso technique involves taking leftover pomace from the production of Amarone and adding it to simple Valpolicella to kick-start a second fermentation; this method serves to boost the alcohol, body and tannins as well as add layers of complexity to the overall wine”.

Nov. 4th, 2012 Update: You can now find the recipe online here.
The recipe is also published on page 116 of the March print issue of Style at Home. You can buy a digital copy of Style at Home at Zinio. This is now where I subscribe to most of my magazines. Zinio operates a Canadian and an American store. Select your country for the flag at the right top corner.

SOURCING:
+ Style at Home (March 2012) – Photo by Edward Pond, Prop Styling by Lara McGraw

CAKES + desserts ENTERTAINING

Cooking with Kids: Pear Galette

pear galette

pear galette

Galettes, which are freeform rustic pies, are not meant to look perfect. This makes galettes the ideal tarts to bake with your kids. I even prefer their rustic look to the more polished pies; this is probably due to the cozy warm feeling that I get at their sight.

The best thing about the Pear Galette of Lisa Homa is that you won’t need pie plates, just parchment paper. Once it is cooked, serve the galette on a wooden cutting. Depending on how it looks when it is out of oven, you may wish to replace the parchment paper with a fresher sheet. No one can refuse a stylish food presentation that cut on cleaning at a party.

Why not introduce your kids to the joy of baking while you are cooking for your Thanksgiving or Christmas party? They will be proud to share that they did the fruit or savory galettes themselves.

You will find Lisa Homa’s Pear Galette in the Fall 2011 issue of Sweet Paul magazine on pages 40 and 41.

SOURCING:
+  photos: Alexandra Grablewski – Fall 2011 issue of Sweet Paul magazine

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

My Place: I Want One or Two Knitted Poufs

knitted pouf living room

Every year, I feel the same when the cold weather arrives. I want to fill my home with a warmth feeling. I crave for knitted throw and wool. Add to this, the fact that my son just started to crawl and you will understand my appeal for one or two knitted poufs. They are comfy as an occasional seat or a footrest. Plus, they do not take a lot of floor space. Finally, the soft edge of poufs made them safe and fun to play with for my baby. Continue Reading

FAMILY KIDS products

Awesome Nursery Item Caddies and Toy Bins

baby storage caddy

toy storage bins

Any parent knows that you can avoid to keep close by a couple of bins filled with your baby or toddler toys. So, it’s best to look for great looking toy bins. Three friends who lived in New York and Toronto started 3 Sprouts in 2007. They produce cute, fun and practical toy bins and storage caddies that parents and kids would love to use.

baby storage caddy

You can put on the storage caddy all the essential nursery items – from diapers to lotions, washcloths and onesies – that you need in one spot and ready to go. My son’s nursery is on the second floor. When I have a babysitter, I carry all these essentials on the main floor. Having a tote like this will eliminate some steps. Later, the storage caddy could be repurposed as a magazine holder, a craft tote or a toy tote. I just wish that we could wash them in the machine.

You have a choice of 8 animals for the storage bins and 3 animals for the caddies.  You can buy those online at 3 Sprouts (they ship to Canada and the United States) or from these local retailers. These would make wonderful baby shower gifts that would be appreciated by mom and dad.

SOURCING:
Organic Cotton Nursery Caddy by 3 Sprouts $23.99 USD or CAD
+ Organic Cotton Storage Bin by 3 Sprouts $39.99 USD or CAD