I have been quiet the past weeks because I oversee the renovations at the 1960s split-level house we bought in spring. Like we see on TV, my emotions went from total excitement to deception as problems surfaced. Then, fatigue and despair hit as things take time to be rebuilt. Thankfully, my energy went up again since we are closer to the finish line.
Today I’m glad to announce something that I wanted to do for a while. I’m happy to introduce Sproutive. With my business partner Bettina Forget, I developed a series of workshops and webinars for small business. Sproutive aims to inform, inspire, and nurture the skills of business owners as brand storytellers. We’ll show them how to use social media and content marketing, with a twist.
I was a busy bee this Spring. First, I founded a business partner. I will tell you all about it later. For now, I want to tell you about the other huge change in my life. We bought a house in the suburbs. After careful considerations and months of discussions, it became clear that we should head to the suburbs. It’s a big change for a city girl like me.
I love the interior of my current home but over the last year, it became clear that it didn’t fit our lifestyle anymore. We want to live in a place where our son could play with the kids next door, with great schools at a walking distance and where we feel good. So, we started to look for a family-friendly neighbourhood. Continue Reading
Inspired by my worldview as a parent and an entrepreneur, Balancing Act by Kim Vallee explores how to find the right balance when it comes to life, parenthood, and owning a business. You’ll notice a touch of design in my opinion articles. What I want Balancing Act to be is a work-life balance guide for modern moms and dads. It’s time that we approach work-life balance by including both parents into the discussions. I hope that you will join me, tell your partners or husbands, and visit at KimVallee.com often.
I became a mom after 40s. I gave birth so late that my age group doesn’t appear in fertility tables. I was 47 years old when I gave birth to my beautiful son. For readers who are aware of the congenital heart defects of my son, it has nothing to do with my age. I don’t have any fertility stories to share since my son was conceived naturally. What I want to do here is addressing misconceptions about midlife parenting.
Some call us selfish to have waited so long, others assume that we do it to fill void in our life. Personally, I feel that it is better for everyone — that is, you and your kids — when you are ready to be a parent. Continue Reading
Today marks a great day for me. At last, a new chapter of my blogging career is starting. Starting today, At home with Kim Vallee becomes a blog about Making life easier for entrepreneurs and parents.
I passed half of the year reinventing, redefining and rebranding what is, at the end, the new At Home with Kim Vallee. The funny thing is that a key element changed last night. That important detail makes today’s reveal possible thanks to my mentor and to my little boy. Continue Reading
I have been quieter lately on my blog. It was for a good reason. I needed some time off to think about my priorities and to explore what I want to do for living from now on. 2013 seems to be a year of change for many people and I am one of them. This time off enabled me to take a huge decision. I’m returning to what I used to do before becoming a full-time blogger. My new job is an enhanced version of what I did for years at Paradivision.
What made me changed my mind? First, it was a quest for a more balanced life. Being a blogger requires too long hours for success. But it was mostly the challenges. There are so many amazing things that we can do now with the Internet. Many have not being explored yet. I want to be a part of it! Continue Reading
I don’t make New Year resolutions. Instead, I select what are the 5 areas where I will concentrate my time. I started this habit after reading 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman. His method attacks the work/life balance issue that we all face by allowing time for personal matter and for your career. It helps me to keep my focus on what I want to achieve and on what I need to be happy.
I achieve my ideal work/life balance by setting 3 career-oriented goals and 2 personal goals. Then, I decide what percentage of my time to allocate to each goal. I take a few minutes, daily and weekly, to check if I am on track with my plan. The simplicity of the 18 minutes method means that it is easy to manage, and, most importantly, that it reduces my chances to be distracted by other people’s agenda. Continue Reading
from left to right: Maripier Morin (TV columinist), Valérie Taillefer and Jean Airoldi (TV hosts and couple), me (Kim Vallée) Vanessa Sicotte (TV host and blogger) Mélissa Nepton (fashion designer), Julie du Page (comedian) and Mr. Farooq Kathwari (Chairman, President and CEO of Ethan Allen).
Last Thursday, I had the honor to be one of the 5 design personalities who were invited to pick their 5 top choices for the Design Centre Opening Night of the first French-speaking Ethan Allen store. If you are not familiar with the brand, you will like to know that you can tailor their furniture pieces to fit your taste and that Ethan Allen provides free interior designer services to their clients.
Now, let’s talk about my 5 picks. I rely on my own signature lifestyle: entertaining in style. For that, I selected furniture that are making a statement and that will stand the test of time.
My first choice was a modern take on a French classic. I absolutely felt in love with the fabric on the armless Josephine chair.
Then, the bright yellow of the Webber china cabinet caught my eye. It is unusual to find a tall china cabinet that stays the same depth from the top to the floor. It is the type of china cabinet that I would definitely enjoy if it was in my own home.
Candlesticks are a must have for anyone who entertains a lot. Made of faux mercury glass, which is blown double-walled with silver placed between the layers, the Antiqued Glass Candlesticks bring the right amount of glitter and drama. Everyone who attended the opening night party returned with one of my picks. The small and the medium sized candlesticks were in our party bag.
My last two choices have a gentleman mood to reflect the trend towards more gender-neutral and masculine home decor. And they both have a distressed finish.
We all need a versatile small side table. The sculptural shape of the Marapi table made it a winner for a reading nook, or to be used as a night table. You can bring it to your living room when you host a cocktail party. The table is heavy to move so you don’t have to worry that it will fall down if someone bumps into it while a few drink glasses sat on it. If you like the Marapi table, you can have it delivered fast since it is from the Ethan Allen Express collection.
My fifth item is the awesomely rustic Ming display sideboard. The compound miter corners are a nice touch. I like how it feels strong yet polished, especially in this vignette. It is currently showcased at the store next to a stunning L-shaped grey leather sofa. I imagine this design as the perfect living room for an urban couple or a design-savvy bachelor.
Located at Cours Mont-Royal with an outside entry door at the corner of Metcalfe and Maisonneuve West, the 9,000 square feet store is both elegant and inspiring. If you are in Montreal, I invite you to discover what is inside the new Ethan Allen’s store.
photo credits: a mix of mine and from photographer Marc Dussault
I want to share a project from my husband with you. Jerome is a co-founder and the CTO of Buyosphere, a social fashion advice community. Yesterday, they published the latest version of their site. They put a lot of work all summer to enhance what Buyosphere delivers to its users. If you have fashion questions about what to wear at a party, to go to work or look for the perfect rain boots, this is a great place where to start your search.
I am one of their style editors. My guides will be tailored to the multi-faceted life of women in their thirties. I started with a fashion guide to look great on a rainy day. It features some of my favorite raincoats and rain boots of the season.
If you are new to Buyosphere, here are some things that you need to know about the site.
When you sign in, you select what are your fashion styles. Do not worry, you can revise them at any time. They found out that matching friends and categories wasn’t sufficient when it came to finding the perfect outfit for you. So they did lots of research and found that there are basic style types that align with brands and people. Women have 20 styles to choose from (choose as many as you’d like!) and men have 18. Selecting your styles will vastly improve your recommendations and the content you see over time.
Produced and curated by Style Editors, the style guides are user generated editorial nods to the latest trends, fun themes and most enduring classics. If ever you needed solid fashion advice, these are for you. Follow me or any style editors that fit your style.
This is where you ask specific questions, like, “What shoes do I wear with a chartreuse dress?” or “What do I wear to a fall wedding with a vintage theme?” Products are more scannable, complete with Quick View and when you find something you love? Just click the heart. You can also pin, tweet and FB from every page.
I invite you to have a look at Buyosphere (and join the community). They did an amazing job with their redesign.
Part of my childhood memories is to go apple picking with my parents. I love apples! So for me, that was always a treat to grab it from the tree. I want to continue the tradition with my son. So, yesterday we went with a bunch of friends. We couldn’t had a better weather for an outdoor activity.
photo: my son shares my love of apples (and Apple…)
Zack was delighted by his day. He is a typical boy that loves being outside. My son enjoyed the tractor ride to get to the orchards, he was able to run between the trees, he ate apples that he picked himself and he played with the other children.
We even spent some time at the nice play area for toddlers that is one of the activities for kids at Vergers Petit et Fils, located in Saint-Hilaire. I recommend the place if you have kids because there is a lot of free, fun activities for them to do.
I brought home 4 apple varieties. Some to eat fresh, others to cook. Tonight, I plan to bake the apple crumble recipe from Jamie Oliver in ramekins.
I’m looking for more ways to cook with apples. What is you favorite apple recipe?
+ top photo: my husband harvested the apples at the top of the trees