Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pixel Paper Hearts & The Crafter's Bash

I obviously love all things crafty. So it was a no brainer but to say YES!, when Thuy (of My Paper Pinwheel) asked Pixel Paper Hearts to be a sponsor for The Crafter's Bash!

PPH x The Crafter's Bash

It was so fun putting these goodies together for the event. Totally wish I could be there in person! Road trip to OK anyone?! Thanks again for having us Thuy!

& the pretty pencils are available in the shop! Swoon!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Let's Eat Chicken Taco Bowls

My crock pot and I are total BFFs. Though I must admit I don't use her as much as I would like. The main reason is simply because most crock pot recipes feed a family of a lot! And in our home, 90% of the time there's about 2.5 people consuming the dish - that's a whole lot of leftovers. Not that it's a bad thing, but c'mon - variety is the spice of life right??! But I am always intrigued with what I can actually make by dumping ingredients in a pot and letting it do all the work - especially while I go out and ... shop - which is exactly what happened today, lol.

Chicken Taco Bowl
This was 9am this morning - literally 10 mins of prep. Easy peasy.

Chicken Taco
And this was about 430pm ... ready to chow down! I freaking love Pinterest! Recipe slightly modified from Budget Bites.

Chicken Taco Bowls (via crockpot!)
6 bones skinless chicken thighs
1 cup frozen corn
430 ml of your fav salsa
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of chilli flakes
grated cheddar
cubed avocado
lime for garnishing
your fav rice

-Add all ingredients except for the rice, cheese and avocado into the crock pot with 1/4 cup of water. Stir it all up & make sure the chicken is covered with the mixture
-Close with lid & cook on low for 8 hours
-When the chicken taco bowl mixture is almost done, cook some of you favourite rice as per the package directions (or as per your rice cooker, hehe)
 -After 8 hours of cooking, shred the chicken with two forks, this should be super easy.
-Then build your bowls! Rice, chicken taco mix, shredded cheese, some avocado & a squeeze of lime juice! & of course, there's a lot leftover, quesadillas anyone?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Let's Eat Pesto, Kale Style

Yes, my husband is a Sous Chef.
No, he definitely does not cook gourmet meals for us 7 days a week.

He works ... a lot. Even more now that we decided I would be home with the littles. So my gourmet tasting menus are far and few between. Oh but when they come, I am in a state of pure bliss. I have absolutely no problem admitting that he's a better cook than I am :)

But for the most part, I wear the cook hat in home & I try to bust out yummy, semi-healthy, balanced dishes of what we like to eat. I try to cook enough so we have leftovers so I'm not cooking all - the - time. I like cooking, sometimes. But knowing that I must absolutely do it for our kiddies to enjoy a home cooked meal, I do it ... gladly. Thankfully, both of them are not super picky - we give them what we give them and that's that. We do not run a restaurant, we are not short order cooks - this is what is on the menu for today & this is what we are having. Small modifications fine (lol) & you must at least try it, once - that's always been the rule ... if you don't like it, that's okay - we all have our favourites & preferences, right?

Some friends on Instagram have asked me to share recipes of the food I post, so this "let's eat" series will be dedicated to what I feed our little family! I definitely suck at taking photos along the way though - whoops. But I'll try to keep at it! I've never really documented my cooking or followed recipes to a tee (but I do for baking, I know what happens when you try and wing it ... a whole lot of sadness in the trash). I see things I like (usually via Pinterest), mix and match different recipes & sometimes consult Ryan for his expert opinion (lol). & then after "studying" ... I just go for it. I taste along the way & really hope for the best. The dishes that work out, I make again ... those that turn out questionable, I bust out the mac & cheese. I try not to get discouraged with the failures & feel really good when Aiden and Sadie gobble it up! Aiden asked me to make this one twice in a row this week, so that definitely boosted my confidence, LOL.

Let's Eat - Kale Pesto

I was inspired to make kale pesto after seeing a friend post her dinner on IG. You can definitely make this dish with any pasta and any protein you have on hand. When combining pesto with pasta, I tend to use pasta that have little homes (rottini, bowties, penne, shells) so the pesto can "live" within the homes. I find the saltiness of the sausage pairs well with the bitterness of the kale. (I used PC Original Smokies - not the blue menu ones, just the original ones). But I'm sure a chopped chicken breast or sauteed shrimp would be lovely too! Cook your pasta and your protein to your liking. I was taught to toss the cooked pasta into the pan you cooked the protein in. This lets the pasta soak up all of those rendered flavours! Add in the kale pesto (a tbsp at a time, you'll have leftovers I'm sure) and roasted chick peas and toss away! I served this warm, but I think it could work as a pasta salad too! 

Kale Pesto
1/4 cup raw almonds
1 clove of garlic
1/3 cup of parm cheese
1 bunch of kale, maybe 3 cups worth
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

-Combine almonds and garlic in a food processor. Pulse under well combined
-Add in parm cheese, kale, salt and pepper, pulse until combined
-With the food processor running low, slowly add in olive oil until you reach your desired consistency
-Adjust seasoning to your taste
-Left overs will keep for 3-4 days refrigerated

Roasted Chick Peas
1 can of chick peas, rinsed & drained
kosher salt
red chilli flakes
extra virgin olive oil

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Rinse and drain chick peas. Gently remove the "skins" of each chick pea
-Lay out on some paper towels to help soak up the moisture. Try to get them as dry as possible
-Toss chick peas with salt, pepper, red chilli flakes and olive oil
-Lay evenly on a lined baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30-40 mins   


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Mantra: Cultivate a Good Life

Oh my word! It's totally October! Then our birthday month (Ryan & I) and then Christmas & then 6 years of wedding bliss! Time is just zooming by!

I'm scratching weekly mantras / focuses in exchange for monthly ones - just makes more sense. And I love the idea of being able to have a focus, not just for me but something that I can trickle down to our family and day-to-day.

To me, this really means ... being able to create a life that feels good on the inside and not just looks good on the outside. It's so easy to get caught up in material things & even gossip (tsk!) - but I'm striving to focus on what is truly important to me (family, free time & growing my little business) & loose the things the weigh me down. I'd like to think that we're creating memories with our babies. Spending time playing, laughing, enjoying the company. Filling their bellies with home cooked meals, filling their minds with wonder & filling their hearts with complete joy.

The goals are simple this month:
-Eat out less, cook in more
-Spend less on things! - declutter & donate
-On days that allow it, play outside
-Record moments, not only via multimedia, but simple notes with pen & paper
-Pay it forward
-Connect with others who inspire me to grow my business (quit being so shy!, lol)
-Collaborate with inspiration
-Create, even if it's not "good enough" - just keep creating ...

Let's do this October!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

just a girl & her first purse

P9275808 P9275807
P9275812 P9275817

We finally found a little purse for Sadie bear to rock! It's pink & gold with studs, bonus! Obviously her interest in posing for me isn't as high as her love for her new toy purse. 

Sadie, you are 1/2 princess girly girl and 1/2 superhero loving. You love watching Sofia the First & of course, snippets of Power Rangers with your brother. You love playing dress up but most days roam around in your diaper, happy & carefree. You eat anything and everything you can get your hands into ... you love food. You've been waking up screaming in your crib as of late and your sweet little face looks beyond terrified. I bring you into our bed with us & Daddy just loves cuddling you to sleep. By morning, Aiden is with us too. Our King sized bed suddenly feels warm, full & cozy. You are the perfect little addition to our family, we love you too much little girl.    

Friday, September 27, 2013

& the hiatus continues!

Oh how I miss thee! Truly! Things are hectic, but we are so so happy. And I promise, there's no glorification of busy over here - just slowly down & focusing on things that matter :)

If you follow my Instagram feed for Pixel Paper Hearts, you would have seen this already & would have read my sob story about how my MacBook charger melted (yes, melted). 

So I've been on a bit of a design hiatus & I'm loving and hating every minute of it. Part of me wants to work on my designs, my skills day in a day out. I feel like I get better with practice and the more work I do, the more confident I become. BUT this is definitely not possible, especially with two littles running around & a hubs who works his butt off so that we're able to have me be a "stay-at-home mama". Some weeks the focus is on the business, other weeks it's on home life. The balance is hard, but I have to remind myself that saying no to one thing means saying YES to something else. I'm determined to cultivate a life that feels good inside and out.

Hope you're all doing wonderful!

Friday, August 23, 2013

High Five for Friday! - Freebie Fridays & PPH Print Shop Feature!

I have always been envious of those who are able to blog uber consistently ... I on the other hand ... I'm motivated on Fridays (lol) & because of this Five on Friday link up! Here we go again!

// one
Freebie: First Day of School
Who doesn't love freebies! If you're an uber cheesy, sentimental mama like me, who makes their kid pose for first day of school pictures, these are the perfect prop. Frame 'em, stick 'em to a wall (with some washi tape!), or simply have your kid hold up the sign! At first I was super proud of myself for thinking about the first day of school when I still have almost 2 weeks left (go me go), but now I realize that the American kiddies have already started! Ek! Well, maybe pin these or save em for next year! and to my fellow Canadians, print & snap away! :)

Click here to down these first day printables!
Pretty please, these freebies / printables are for personal use only! Please do not sell, distribute or recreate, xo.

// two
Don't you just love when your babies co-operate during a mini impromptu photo sesh? Just my two favourite littles in the whole wide world posing it up! Aiden's mastered how to tie his shoes after practicing for one night (he's super proud, and obvs - we are too!) & Miss Sadie has finally fit into the chucks that my cousin bought her for her birthday :)

// three

If you haven't creeped the non-book sections of Chapter's Indigo, you definitely need to! I've seen a few previews for their holiday collection via Instagram that hasn't made it on it's way to their online site just yet, but I am totally diggin' this, this & this. And free shipping with no minimum until Sunday, woot!

// four
A little deja-vu! I'm even more excited than I was this time last week :D

PPH Print Shop is being featured on PS I Adore You starting tomorrow! 

For a limited time, some of my favourite prints from our shop will be available for sale at a discounted price! If you haven't heard of PS I Adore You, be sure you check them out. They showcase great (usually handmade) products while offering them as a deal! Oh, and the best part ... they spread the word & raise awareness about childhood cancer. How awesome is that?! Happy shopping!

// five
Christmas Eve is in 4 months and 1 day ... #justsayin


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Retract! PPH Print Shop Feature


Not gonna lie, I was pretty bummed when I got the news. But awesome things are worth the wait right? :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

High Five for Friday! - Ikea Love Edition & PPH Print Shop Feature

Another Friday, another Five on Friday link up!

For the months of June and July, I was in complete birthday party planning mode. But now that it's all over, I've been on a serious home tip. I'm dreaming up plans to get our house looking more like a home - it only took three years, oops!

Since the Ikea catalogue came out early this week, you better believe I jumped at the chance to go! Lucky for me, Sadie girl fell asleep on our way there. Sleeping Sadie is my favourite when I'm out and about ;)

There were so many other things that caught my eye while I was browsing the aisles. But it was definitely challenging to maneuver around with a 13 month old. Sadie woke once I got to the Marketplace. I realized I couldn't really haul anything as I carried her and pushed the stroller. I attempted to place a rug in her stroller as I carried her on my hip (LOL) and the sweetest lady offered to help me, looking beyond concerned & probably thinking I was ... insane. Ha! This was not going to happen. Soooo, I went back to the car - put her car seat and stroller away and went back into the store with Sadie in a shopping cart ... (insert sweat marks right about here).  Also, has anyone noticed the magical sideways shopping carts at Ikea?! Oy.

I grabbed the things I could carry & that I knew for sure would fix into our car ...
Pick Me Up: Ikea Love

1. SOCKER vase - I've been eyeing these for some time now, but they were just never in stock at my local Ikea. Yay for me being able to grab them during this trip! I will probably use them on the kitchen counter for cooking utensils and such.

2. LAPPLJUNG rug - I almost bought this during my last trip, but looked at it in the store and thought maybe it was just too big for the space I was thinking of. This time, I took the chance & I'M IN LOVE.

If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen the photo above. Sadie girl just kills me. This room in our home has been empty for far too long. The kiddies love it cause they roll and run around in the space but I'm itching to get it furnished! I'm still on the hunt for the perfect seating - I'm thinking either some accent chairs (this one is my dream) or a smaller love seat. I'm hoping to find something with a reasonable price tag. Everything I've looked at has given me serious some sticker shock ... sigh.

3. KASSETT box with lid - I have a couple kraft ones that are sitting on our Expedit. You can't have too many cute boxes right?  

4. RASKOG kitchen cart - totally swooning over this cart! It's super cute, durable and functional. Oh & it's my most favourite colour in the world. I'm not so sure how or where I'll use it just yet, but most likely for something crafty!

5. POTATIS plant pot - this is one of my new favs! A must for hiding cleaning up toys. I still in awe with just how many toys these little buggers have. I swear, I don't even buy them any toys! Ha!

I've been using the Ikea app to keep track of my wish list. It's super helpful, especially for a Mama to forgets ... everything. Oh Ikea, you've done it again.


Also, because I'm beyond excited & just can't hide it ... 


PPH Print Shop is being featured on PS I Adore You starting tomorrow! 
For a limited time, some of my favourite prints from our shop will be available for sale at a discounted price! If you haven't heard of PS I Adore You, be sure you check them out. They showcase great (usually handmade) products while offering them as a deal! Oh, and the best part ... they spread the word & raise awareness about childhood cancer. How awesome is that?! 

Happy Happy Friday!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pixel Paper Hearts on Instagram!

pixel paper hearts

Yes folks, we're moving on up on this world - Pixel Paper Hearts is (finally) on Instagram! Woot!

I kept telling myself ... heck it's time to create a "business" account & attempt to gain a following for our work. Then other things "get in the way and I forget about it, letting it drown in my list of to-dos. But don't you love when you just get that burst of energy to complete your tasks and start checking things off your lists?!

I'm staying focused, determined and inspired. The best is yet to come. I'd love to share sneak peeks, our work, any features, what we're currently loving & of course, any discounts / promos via Instagram!

We'd love for you to follow along!
Also, be sure to tag #pphprintshop, we'd love to see who you style your prints :)


Who We Are & What We Do
Pixel Paper Hearts
A brother / sister duo who have a shared interest in design & all things creative. The bulk of the work we do is custom, allowing for us to connect & collaborate with our clients on a deeper level. So whatever the occasion, we'd love to start creating with you!

PPH Print Shop
An offspring of PPH - creating happy and modern wall prints & other paper goods to help spruce up your home or workspace. Available for purchase via Etsy.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Simple Breakfast Go-To

I wasn't always a big breakfast kind of gal. In my teens, I would skip it completely. I always found myself saying that I just didn't have time. Such a rebel I was then. Or maybe I just hadn't discovered how awesome breakfast could be. Being a Mama, I definitely instil that breakfast is tres importante. Plus I feel so frail & weak when I skip it, not an awesome way to start the day with two high energy, rambunctious kiddies.

My favourite breakfast dish would definitely have to be egg benny with either bacon or smoked salmon ... YUM. I would beg Ryan to make me that for breakfast & considered it a treat. Those eggs slathered with rich, thick hollandaise, resting upon some sweet smoked salmon or crispy bacon on a lightly toasted english muffin ... drool. I've recently discovered just how easy it is to poach an egg. One morning I asked Ryan what the trick was to poaching an egg (have your water lightly boiling & add a splash of vinegar to the water). I chuckled at how simple it was and I was feeling gusty enough to try. I was honestly proud of my (simple) achievement - I poached an egg! Woot!

And each morning I do it, I smile. I'm totally perfecting it ...

Breakfast Go-To

That's my breakfast go-to these days. It's delicious without a whole lot of fuss. Simple ingredients: a poached egg, 1/2  an avocado, some cherry or grape tomatoes (those ones happen to be from my neighbour friend Rachel's backyard garden, score!), some bread (whatever we have on hand, typically whole grains with quinoa or sprouts or an english muffin ... on the rare occasion I buy white bread, it just taste better when we want to make french toast!), some black pepper & sriracha on occasion. Nothing crazy fancy, just the ingredients for what it is.

Oh, I'm also a sucker for yogurt parfaits in the morning too.

What's your breakfast go-to?  

Friday, August 9, 2013

High Five For Friday! - Font Love Edition

It's Friday again, woot! (okay, I lie ... we totally love Mondays over here)

I'm linking up for Five on Friday once again! This time instead of blogging about just 5 random things (which I am notorious for doing), I've decided to give some font love to my 5 favourite, most used fonts! These fab five are totally my go-to fonts for designing and creating right now. Oh, did I mention that they're all free?! Weeeeeeeee!
Font Love: Fav Fonts
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Click on the links above to download the fonts :)

My love affair with fonts is deeply rooted. It possibly sprung up around the same time I discovered MS Paint for my school projects. And now, years later, I'm still playing around with fonts and typography. Just not with MS Paint, lol. Font love has definitely contributed & inspired me to open up my Etsy shop. And since I've started Project Life - I'm loving creating my own PL cards along side using the Midnight Edition Core Kit. I'm still playing a bit of catch up, but I'm excited to start sharing my pages & such.

Project Life Freebie: Make Milk

Making your own PL cards can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. I'm opting for the simple route - only because I could literally spend hours on end creating just one 3x4 card. All I did for this one is use the Shape Tool and Type (text) Tool in Photoshop ... easy peasy lemon squeezy. I'm definitely no expert in Photoshop. It takes a lot of fiddling around and trial and error. If I can't figure out how to something, I usually google it and super helpful tutorials and video pop up! For all you Nursing Project Life Mamas, click here for the PL card! 
& of course, I couldn't help but make a PL card with these words ... everyone feels this way right?! :)
Project Life: Make Nice Things
Enjoy your Friday!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Yes, It's True ...

I quit my job job (working in the HR department of a Canadian fashion retailer) for my favorite job (being a Mama). 

A little over a month ago, I did it. I emailed my resignation to my boss and simply said I wasn't returning to work post my maternity leave. It wasn't a shock by any means. We chatted about it, tried to come up with alternative solutions, but ultimately - the decision was made by Ryan and I (after creating excel budget spreadsheets, pros & cons lists and constant battles about whether this was the "right" thing to do).  It was as simple & as complicated as that. 

I loved my HR job. I started off at the company as a Sales Associate when I was 18 years old. Became a Floor Manager while completing my undergrad & took an Associate Manager position post university. I didn't see myself ever becoming a Store Manager - though that was the natural progression. So when some info leaked about the HR team hiring, I jumped at the opportunity - with both feet. I was at the right place at the right time and things for my "career" feel into place. My job from day one was challenging. Working in a remote support office (our counterparts are in Vancouver, 3 hours behind) definitely had its fair share of challenges. For a long time, I was the HR team out East - just me, myself and I. It got lonely but I loved it. I occupied myself with a lot of unfinished projects, spend some time drafting and creating new initiatives and read up on HR practices, hoping to maybe pursue my CHRP at some point. I loved the satisfaction of "winning a case" and getting kudos for it too!

And then came our Director, my new boss. We had a wicked relationship. It was nice to finally have some mentorship, someone to learn from on a day to day basis. Our time together was short lived since I was due to leave to mat leave about 6 months after she came on board. But the learning experience was beyond measurable. 

I am definitely sad about leaving the company. I have met some of my best (life) friends there. We always joke about how we literally grew up with the company - from wearing terry cloth track suits, spending Monday nights eating pounds and pounds of wings and pretty much having no cares in the world (well, except for our wardrobes & boyfriends) to having careers, marrying those boyfriends, being homeowners &  having babies! I will miss the culture, the lingo & the fashion. But most definitely - the people. What a way to spend a decade.

I posted this last week on my Instagram & meant every word.

So, what now? 

Well my new title, as society defines it is "Stay at Home Mama". Where these guys are my new coworkers, LOL.
August 3 - park!

Now, I get to focus on creating and designing. I am forever thankful that Ryan has been able to make this possible & definitely consider us blessed that we're able to make it work for our family with one income. I will continue to have my little shop with hopes of expanding my product line & will continue to take orders for custom work (invitations & stationary) with my brother here. I get to do what I love with who I love. So really, I prefer "Work at Home Mama" :) Of course, I also get to do all the laundry, cook our meals, sweep & mop the floors, scrub the washrooms & toilets ... all that lovely glamourous stuff that comes with my society defined title. Haha - let the adventure begin!  

Friday, July 19, 2013

High Five for Friday!

The weeks are just zooming by - how is it Friday again already?! Linking up with some wonderful ladies again! Here we go!


// one
Things are finally settling down around here. With Aiden's birthday, school finishing, our family vacation to Cape Cod (which I still haven't shared!) and then Sadie's birthday - it was definitely go go go for the last little while. I'm surprised that we had clean underwear in our drawers ... ek! I'm excited for some me time and ready to jump into  Project Life. Love that I'm going back to my scrapbooking days :)

// two

My office (desk) is currently in my walk-in closet, sighs. I'm in need of a revamp of inspirational space. The closet office works, kind of - but there's so much more potential I just know it! Ha. So there's my little inspirational photo - pinned on my Home - Pinterest board & embedded in my brain for motivation. We have the perfect little corner in our master bedroom we could use for an "office" space - now time get errrr done!

// three

A little while ago I posted about me hating our dining table. Well, I still do. Action must be taken soon! Originally I wanted a big round table, but now ... I have big dreams of a DIY dining table like this one made by uber talented, crafty as heck, business owning Mama of three (adorable babes!) with the chairs above from Target for $99 (for the set!) & possibly some Eames chairs too?! SWOON.

// four
I am in love with this face scrub! It may even be replacing my Clarisonic from my routine - gasp. It feels gentle and soothing on my face and smells lovely. It's also easy on the bank account - approx. $15 for 4.9 ounces. DEAL. & they're Canadian - woot!

// five
Is it too early to be thinking of Christmas? ...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sadie Quinn Turns One!

& just like that, we have a one year old! (insert Mama sob here, wahhhh)

We celebrated our baby girl's first birthday over the weekend with family, friends & a whole lot of food! & of course, I had my DIY hat on for the big event. I'm a sucker for little details - though super hard to achieve with so many guests - but I love how it all turned out! We're so lucky to have family and friends who helped out & made this day a special one for our Sweet Sadie. Though she won't remember a single thing (especially how freaking adorable she looked!), the photos will help trigger the memories for us!

sq1 Sadie turns one-25
Sadie turns one-29 Sadie turns one-27
Sadie turns one-28 Sadie turns one-21
 Sadie turns one-11
Sadie turns one-10 Sadie turns one-9
Sadie turns one-7 Sadie turns one-13
Sadie turns one-23
Sadie turns one-32 Sadie turns one-34
Sadie turns one-41
Sadie turns one-38
Sadie turns one-49
Sadie turns one-47
Sadie turns one-54
Sadie turns one-77 Sadie turns one-76
Sadie turns one-6
Sadie turns one-66
Sadie turns one-74
Sadie turns one-62
Sadie turns one-81 Sadie turns one-82
Sadie turns one-80 Sadie turns one-79
Sadie turns one-83
Sadie turns one-88
Sadie turns one-89
Sadie turns one-90 sq1
Sadie turns one-91 Sadie turns one-92
Sadie turns one-86
Sadie turns one-93 Sadie turns one-75
Sadie turns one-72

& that's a wrap!
Happy first Sadie Bean! We love you too much! 

Photo credits: Ronaldo Tungol Photography
Baked goodies (smash cake, cake pops & mini cupcakes): Sweet Fix Bakery
Mama's DIYs - pinwheel backdrop, lace birthday crown, tissue paper tassel garlands, paperbag glitter clothespin loot bags, leather keychain favours: details & tutorials to follow!