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25 favourites.

January 10, 2018

I have a thing for lists. Writing them, following them, reading them. Lists everywhere! Here is some of my most used and loved items of 2017. Which is now being posted in 2018… Apart from lists, I also have a thing for procrastination. This list is very telling to where my life is currently at. It’s a mashup of beauty items, books I loved, to the toddler potty we prefer. Ah, the life of a young mother! Without any further ado, here is my list for 2017!

Well, here it goes!

 

1 Anker Elite Dual Port USB Charger We have so many apple products in our home, there are charger ports and cables everywhere. This dual port makes it convenient to charge both boys’ iPads at the same time. And when we travel we only need to bring the one. I got mine off Amazon.

2 North Kinder Tees – There are many local shops we love. North Kinder is one of them. We adore our striped and light grey tees from this brand. Lightweight, stretchy, great fabric. If you are in the #yeg area, Max and Maude sell the brand or you can get it online.

3 Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur – A book of poems that destroyed me. Broke my heart and yet, uplifted me. Easy read but so good.

4 Splendid White Tee – I am a white tee and jeans kinda girl, through and through. Splendid tees are my absolute favourite. So soft and has a great drape. I recently got this new deep V Neck one at their boutique in New York. But check them out online here.

5 Toddler Nike Free – We love these sneakers! Flexible and super lightweight. It’s a great everyday shoe for active boys. My boys have the older model and I actually prefer it to the newer one. But we will be getting them the new model once they outgrow these.

6 Little Blue Truck – One of the boys’ favourite book of the year. I’ve read this a million times and can probably recite it in my sleep…

7 Kit and Ace – What can I say, as I am getting older I like pricey basics. ha. Yes, Kit and Ace is expensive. But yes, they are so worth it. I’ve never been so impressed with a line of clothing. Their technical cashmere fabric is so unbelievably soft and wearable but you can throw it into your washing machine. Chasmere and washing machine. What! To this date, none of my pieces have warped or gone pilly. Mind. Blown.

8 Batiste Dry Shampoo – Bastiste has been well known for their affordable but good dry shampoos. It’s one of my favoties, I like the scent, it removes all oil without being sticky. Great affordable product. I like the dark/brunette colour.

9 Heart in a Bottle by Oliver Jeffers – My pick for kid book of the year. This book will keep kids happy and destroy parents… just sayin’. Poignant and heartbreaking all at the same time.

10 Madewell’s Slouchy BeanieI have the oatmeal colour and its been my go-to winter headwear. I got mine in New York. But you can shop them online.

11 Ikea Lockig Potty – It was the year of potty training…and pee everywhere. Boys will be boys. There are many potties on the market but this ikea one does such a good job and its under $10! Simple construction and effective in its use. Win all around.

12 Two Piece Sleepers – Our favourites are from Gap, Carters, and Old Navy. My boys sleep and live in these. We’ve even worn the ones with cute pants out to dinner. No shame.

13 COSRX Morning Gel Clenser – I started to make the effort and take better care of my skin. This cleanser is affordable, easy to use, and doesn’t dry out my skin. I bought mine off Mikaela-Beauty.com

14 Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Outlaw – I’m in love with this matte liquid lipstick! Incredibly soft on the lips, not drying and very comfortable wear. The shade outlaw is a brick red and absolutely gorgeous. I got mine at Sephora.

15 Made by Mary Double Disc Necklace – This initial necklace has not left my neck all year. Mine are the 3/8″ round discs. Dainty, feminine, and personalized, all things I love in jewelry.

16 Lodge Cast Iron Skillet – I’ve heard so many good things about cast iron. And after watching so much Pioneer Woman this year, I went and got one. And let me tell you, nothing cooks a steak the way cast iron does. The 10″ pan now has a forever place in my heart. You don’t need anything expensive, a standard, original, lodge one you can find at camping stores will last you forever with proper care.

17 Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray – Yes, another dry shampoo on my list. I am a mom after all, dry shampoo is pretty much a shower in a bottle. This one is much more expensive and higher end then the Batiste listed above. I have very silky, heavy hair that never holds its shape. This spray gives my hair volume and texture to hold buns and curls. And it smells great!

18 Custom Star Map – One of my most favorite purchases this year. These are original, personalized, astronomically accurate star maps made by an Astrophysicist P.HD. She uses her own algorithms and personalizes it to the date you choose from where you are located. This star map was made for Max and Logan’s birthdate, in the city they were born. It’s one of the coolest art pieces in my home.

19 Carhartt Acrylic Watch Hat – My husband lives in Carhartt, mostly for work and function. The boys and I have slowly stolen his work gear. We love his collection of Acrylic hats, they’re ultra warm, stretchy but keeps it shape. Because of its stretchy nature they fit the boys really well and the larger fit looks really cute on them!

20 Letterboard – These are all the rage aren’t they? And for good reason, brings back all the vintage feels and they’re super cute! Mine is the informant size in black and I got it off of @shopwordsandco.

21 1/4 Sheet Pan – These smaller sheet pans are so useful! Because of their small size, its perfect for prep work, for small batches of baking. It’s simple and functional, all the things I love in a product. Many brands carry these such as Nordic Ware. You can also find them at any kitchen store.

22 Cravings Cookbook by Chrissy Teigen – I loved this cookbook! It was food you actually crave. Fried chicken wings, mac and cheese, sausage gravy and biscuits, dutch baby pancakes, seriously deadly mashed potatoes. Photos are beautiful (why else do we buy cookbooks!), Teigen’s witty anecdotes were enjoyable and most importantly, of the recipes I cooked, all worked for me. Definitely a favourite on my cookbook shelf.

23 The North Face Arctic Down Parka – My winter jacket was old and a good 10 years old. It was time for a replacement. We live in a very extreme climate, harsh winters and we do not joke about our winter jackets here. This parker is both functional, warm, and flattering due to the cinched waist. Let’s hope it’ll last me another 10! I got mine at SportChek on their boxing day sale.

24 Nickelodeon Toddler Briefs – The boys started potty training this year. They are very tiny babies with absolutely no bum and no hips to speak off. All conventional toddler underwear we found (Gapkids, Carters, Osh Kosh, Old Navy etc) fell right off them. I randomly found these Nickelodeon branded Bubble Guppies underwear at Walmart and these are made much smaller than the other ones and it fit my boys really well! And at 10 dollars a pack, they’re affordable.

25 Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick – Bold, high impact, highly saturated lipstick. Color payoff and pigmentation is amazing. The colour Beetroot has been on my lips a lot this year. I got mine at Sephora.

And that’s it! 25 of some of my most used items this year! What made your list?

 

Lifestyle

1 Second Everyday

January 5, 2018

In 2017, I started a yearlong project. I would take a video every single day and compile our year in one second clips. It was a more daunting task than I expected! It was hard work to remember to take a video every single day. But I did it! This isn’t the most artistic video, hell, the whole month of January is in the wrong orientation. Sorry about that and PSA: Shoot your phone videos in landscape y’all.

Everyone should do this! No matter how bad your day is, there is always a second somewhere that is good. And that’s a good reminder for anyone going through a tough time. There is always good, always happiness to be found.

I used the 1 Second Everyday app, it’s a bit expensive. You can take video on your phone camera and upload it to the app or use the app directly to take your videos. I did the former. If you don’t want to purchase the app, it’s pretty easy to compile your own clips and splice the video together with iMovie.

A note: this video was edited and some clips removed. No one wants to see baby butts besides their own parents I think… haha.

But without further ado, here is Team Wonger’s 2017!

I encourage everyone to give this a try. It’s such a wonderful way to document your family and your year!

Home Lifestyle

diy rustic christmas wreath

November 15, 2017

Steve and I both love Christmas, we love the spirit of the holidays, giving gifts, the food. But when it comes to Christmas decorating we are as different as night and day. Over the years, I’ve slowly incorporated rustic, farmhouse elements into our decor but if Steve had his way, our home would be covered in 80s silver tinsel and brightly coloured lights. We now have separate christmas trees…because that’s necessary to our marriage’s survival. We have a “family tree” covered in tinsel, random ornaments, neon bright lights. And we have my more stylized tree upstairs looking out our bay window.

This year I remade our wreath, I wanted a simple, rustic one with only greenery and some pinecones. I was vetoed on the cream coloured bow as Steve requested “at least something red” on it. So I made a plaid bow. Compromise people, that’s how marriages work. But our joint vision worked in the end. I retained the farmhouse vibe and he got his red Christmas bow. Win!         Here is what I used to make this super simple winter wreath. I also repurposed parts of my old wreath such as the pinecones and the pine branches. Use what you have in your Christmas storage!

Supplies
– Grapevine Wreath (any hobby store will carry them, I got mine at Michaels), mine is 18″
– Faux Sprigs of winter greenery such as cedar, dusty miller, eucalyptus, boxwood or pine. I bought three sprigs.
– Pinecones, smaller ones work better for this project
– Large ribbon for your bow
– Wire Cutters
– Scissors
– Glue Gun
– Floral wire, if you really want it secure.
Steps
1. Cut off the sprigs of greenery and placed it on your wreath until there is a desired shape. I used the larger flat, cedar leaves first and then added pine and smaller greenery.
2. When the general shapes decided, push the sprigs of greenery into the grapevine branches. I didn’t want to permanently affix them so I can reuse the wreath in the spring with different foliage. But by all means, wire and glue the branches down if you want it permanent.
3. I glued the pinecones onto the foliage and not the wreath itself. So when I remove the folliage later on there won’t be residue glue on the wreath.
4. I tied a four point bow (found a tutorial on YouTube) and glued the bow onto the greenery.
  Ta da! That’s it! Super simple, super easy and super pretty! Happy Decorating!

Food Lifestyle

freshly squeezed.

November 14, 2017

When Steve bought home this Breville Citrus Press Pro, I was highly skeptical. He spent top dollar for a gadget to make orange juice? How often do I need to make freshly squeezed orange juice to even justify an appliance like this? How practical is it to have one appliance serve only a single purpose–to juice oranges? As I said, highly skeptical.


How my mind has changed. I can’t even admit it to Steve how much I love this thing. It sits on my countertop and I juice oranges every day. Have you had freshly squeezed orange juice? There is really nothing like it. It’s fresh, healthy, and a great alternative to all the sugary juices I tend to crave.

Besides my every day use, this appliance is perfect for large batches of orange juice, lemonade or limeade. The Pro version has two filter baskets for light or heavy pulp. There also is a  cheaper version of this press but I don’t own it to give it a proper review. But I recommend to check specs of both to find which suits your needs the best.

The machine is powerful and juices citrus fruit at lighting speed. You cut your fruit in half, put the section onto the stainless steel cone. Pull the handle down, the pressure will start the machine up. It whirs and squeezes every drop out. Its crazy how it leaves practically an empty shell behind and it’s so fast! If your a fan of fresh juice, you know it takes a lot of oranges to make up one cup–it takes three to four to fill a standard mason jar. It’s a lot of work! But with this baby, there is no more killing your arm juicing a million oranges, this thing does it in the fraction of the time and effort. After it’s done, throw all the removable compartments into the dishwasher!

This would make a wonderful, luxury Christmas gift for that special someone in your life. It’s an appliance someone wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves but would love to have. And like me, they’d probably come to use it a lot!

Happy juicing!

Featured Lifestyle Travel

New York State of Mind

September 29, 2017

It took me 32 years to visit but alas, here we are! This trip was a special one, we were celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary and it would be the last big trip without children for awhile. Because we were travelling without children, we took the opportunity to go somewhere that wasn’t very child friendly. A big city, with restaurants that didn’t just serve chicken nuggets, a place where we could be adults again. New York seem to fit the bill.

Despite its rats, piles of garbage, and the occasional wafts of urine, there was something so special about New York. Its tall skyscrapers, yellow cabs, cobblestone streets, and bricked town homes are what my dreams are made of. The constant energy, hustle and bustle, its cool vibes are intoxicating and infectious. I cannot wait to be back! Until then, here are some highlights of our trip and our New York City travel guide!

If you’re looking for our New York Eats, click here. We ate so much, it warrants its own post.

– Tips on visiting Attractions –

Purchasing an attractions pass can save you some money if you plan on seeing a lot. There are several official options such as the New York CityPass, New York Pass and many others. Do your research and find which option suits your travel needs. We bought the New York CityPass; a booklet which included 6 attractions and expires within 9 days. This was perfect for our weeklong trip. We didn’t feel rushed and could take our time spanning the sites over the course of the week.

A note on the CityPass Booklet
When these Discount Pass companies say you can bypass all the lines and skip the wait, it’s not necessarily true.
– The lines that we were able to “bypass” or were “fast tracked” were: Empire state building, we bypassed the long ticket line, they scanned our booklet directly right before entry. Bypass lines are also available for 9/11 Museum as they also scan the book directly.
– For Top of the Rock and Statue of Liberty, we had to wait in the regular ticket line to transfer our booklet coupons into official tickets before entering the attraction.
– At The Met, we skipped the line and went to the round info desk. They changed my ticket quickly and got me into the museum without the wait.

Our Favourites
We loved the Top of the Rock and preferred it over the Empire State. Top of the Rock had better views that weren’t obstructed with a concrete wall (I’m short). Also, from the Top of The Rock, you can see the Empire State building which made for a better skyline.

I also really enjoyed the Statue of Liberty. Its as touristy as it gets but really worth the trip for first timers. If you want to save money, you can take the Staten Island Ferry and go around the Statue.

I also enjoyed The Met. If you are really into museums, this one is amazing and HUGE. Plan your day around your visit and even then, you won’t see everything.

I could’ve skipped the Empire State Building, it was older, busier, and as I mentioned above, the views at Top of the Rock were better. There were long lines and wait times for the elevator. However, we did go around sunset peak time. We went to this attraction to use up our CityPass booklet.

Out of all the attractions we visited, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum was my favourite. It was an eye opening journey. Not being American and a bit weary of the whole ”MERICA IS THE BEST!” subculture; I had a preconceived notion that this place would of been very biased and very Pro-America. And to my surprise, it wasn’t the case. The museum had a wonderful flow, carefully curated and you can feel the thoughtfulness that went into preserving and memorializing such a horrible time in history. It was subjective, insightful, instructive, and incredibly sad. It is a solemn place, filled with so much memory and loss. It made me respect New York so much more. I can’t say enough about this memorial, the stories I read, the videos I watched, it was so well done and well worth the visit. And revisit.

– A Note on Transportation –

Subway
The most cost effective way to get around NYC is their Subway system. It is super intimidating to look at on a map but once you get the hang of it, it’s generally easy to use. Note to travellers: the train you’re taking will designate uptown or downtown, this is not reference to a geographical location like “downtown” or “chinatown”, it means you are going North (uptown) or South (downtown) from PRECISELY the location you are. Never go by the color of the train on a map, go by the letter and number of the train. Another good thing to remember: there can be separate entrances to the subway designating uptown or downtown, if you go down the wrong entrance, you’ll be on the wrong train.

Here are some useful Subway Guides here and here. And many subway apps to that have offline maps which are useful underground.

Downside to the subway? You see many uh…interesting…people. And by interesting, I mean crazy. So crazy.

There was a dude, emptying his suitcase frantically to the left of us. He was screaming over and over that he didn’t want to go to jail again…

Uber or Car Hailing Companies
Initially, we were intimidated by the subway system so our main mode of transportation was Uber. The app is very convenient. I liked how it showed our route and had the full fare posted. It was convenient to pay and tip with the app. It was also nice that we weren’t running on a meter which made New York traffic more bearable. TIP: There are many of these hailing companies available in NYC and for some of them, first rides are free. It’s also cheaper to “share” rides, so your driver will do pick ups and drop offs along your route. This is a good option for longer, more expensive rides.

We personally used Uber and not once got in a iconic yellow taxi, but hailing a cab from the street is incredibly easy.

Walking
Arguably, the best way to see New York is to walk it. We planned our trip to certain sections of the city per day. Once we got to our general area we just walked everywhere. Bring comfortable shoes and turn that FitBit on! You’re gonna get some city miles on ya!

    

Trip “Itinerary”
I find it very useful to see other travellers itinerary. It helps me get a feel of how long things will take, how people separate their week to make the most of their time in certain places. It also gives me an idea of what to see and what to do. I’m including our very loose guide. We split Manhattan up into sections and our time revolved around what we planned on eating (true story, we love to eat). We also diverged from our schedule to see other things along the way. But I hope this helps those planning a trip to The Big Apple!

Note: Steve had food poisoning for the first two days and kind of slowed our plans down slightly. We crammed a lot into our last day. I wouldn’t suggest doing all of that on one day but we did manage it!


– 6 Nights in NYC – 


Wednesday/Day 1:
Land, Uber to hotel. Dinner at at Totto Ramen, walk Time’s Sqaure at night.
Thursday/Day 2: Top of the Rock, Rockafeller centre, Byrant Park, New York Public Library, Grand Central Station, Shake Shack
Friday/Day 3: Anniversary Date, Walk Central Park, Loeb Boathouse Lunch (Resos needed), The Met Museum, back to Hotel, change and get ready for early dinner at Daniel.
Saturaday/Day4: Explore Lower Manhattan, Dominique Ansel Bakery (cronuts!), Little Italy, Chinatown. Soho shopping, Greenwhich. Grab subway uptown to Yankee Stadium, ball game. Back to Midtown, dinner in Koreatown.
Sunday/Day 5: Flatiron, Eataly, Chelsea Market, Meatpacking District, Highline. Back to Midtown. Go to Empire State Building. Hotel, change and get ready for Broadway show. Book of Mormon at Eugene O’Neil Theatre. Walk around broadway and theatre district.
Monday/Day 6: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, 9/11 memorial and museum, Brooklyn bridge and explore Dumbo, Brooklyn. I wouldn’t do all three of these things in one day, you’ll feel a little rushed, I would allot around 3 hours for the 9/11 museum and a whole morning for Statue of Liberty.

That concludes our trip! What a wonderful way to celebrate our 5 years of marriage, happy anniversary Steve, how lucky and I to be doing life with you! xx

Click here to see what we ate in NYC!

 

 

 

 

 

Food Lifestyle

lemonade 3 ways

May 31, 2017

The weather is getting warmer and that means freshly squeezed everything in this house, oranges, limes, lemons. You name it! Nothing really speaks of summer quite like a glass of fresh lemonade. Here are three varieties. Three ways to spruce up your lemonade. Fresh is always best, however if you are in a rush or making a large batch for a party, I’ve used powdered mix before as my base. Hey, I’m a mom of twins, sometimes I need the shortcut! Continue Reading

Lifestyle Motherhood

6 toddler wardrobe pieces i love

May 23, 2017

Some lovely people have commented saying my children are stylish. Albeit very flattering, its not as complicated as people might think. I don’t spend much time “styling” them, we keep a pretty basic, mostly neutral wardrobe which makes matching easier.

Here are my top 6 items I’ve purchase over and over. Continue Reading

Food Lifestyle

strawberry shortcake

May 11, 2017

Summer may not be here yet but that’s not going to stop me from making summery desserts! Are you a strawberry shortcake cake kind of person or a strawberry shortcake biscuit kind of person? I am most definitely the latter. I prefer a biscuit construction for the base of this dessert. Slightly dense, crumbly, with a crunchy top. For those who like strawberry shortcake cake, I have included a link to a recipe I love for that down at the end. But this one here is my favorite recipe for strawberry, biscuity (not a word) goodness! Continue Reading

Lifestyle Motherhood

new mom & baby gift basket

May 9, 2017

Before having children of my own, I would buy the typical stuffed animal or a cute nursery decor item for a new baby. After having children, I realize how unpractical and kind of useless (sorry! >_<) stuffed animals are. When the boys were born, a girlfriend of mine assembled a basket filled with practical items most people wouldn’t think to give. Things like infant Tylenol and diaper rash cream. When you have a newborn, its incredibly overwhelming, there are a million products geared towards babies and a million brands that make them. It’s nice to have someone with experience buy items to give you a starting point and the new mom can slowly take her time and figure out which exact things she prefers for her own child. Continue Reading

Lifestyle Motherhood

organizing toys

May 3, 2017

The chaos that is a house with little children. Stepping on random lego is a serious parenting hazard! Before the boys were born I had this vision of a beautiful playroom and nursery, where everything matched, coordinating pillows and with all toys in pretty wicker baskets. HA. I laugh now as my living room floor looks like Toys R Us threw up all over it.


In the boys playroom we have a long Ikea Kallax unit, the one with a eight cubby holes. We used bright coloured baskets and that held extra toys for a long time. And somehow toys ended up scattered on the floor regardless. I wanted something transparent where the boys could see the toys inside instead of dumping a whole basket and realizing what they wanted wasn’t in there. Continue Reading