beautiful serene white room with 4 foot Christmas tree on white table, decorated with multi colour ornaments, pink, gold, turquoise, gold star on top, beautiful

The most wonderful tree ever

Holiday decor in a tiny condo. What do we do? It’s been years since I decorated a space of this size. I’m used to being able to spread holiday decor inside and out. What does an avid Christmas lover do in a tiny home? I have no idea, but it’s going to be INCREDIBLE! (Note the use of giant red font, let’s get excited here!)

My big problem ~ THE TREE

beautiful serene white room with 4 foot Christmas tree on white table, decorated with multi colour ornaments, pink, gold, turquoise, gold star on top, beautiful

I’ve been crushing on this adorable tree for ever!

The tree issue has been on my mind for some time now. What do we do about this tree situation? I am a real tree type of gal. Every year we gather the family on a freezing cold Saturday morning, remember we’ve been living in the great Canadian Prairies, and it was FREEZING! Every. Single. Year. Freezing. We would bundle up and head out to our favorite tree shop. We’d hope it was warm enough for a horse-drawn sleigh ride and we’d argue over how big of a tree we could possibly fit. My favorite tree was following that disastrous deployment where I had three small humans under 5 and I almost lost my ever-loving mind. I won the battle that year. Hard!

view from in the house looking out on a snowy yard, 2 men carrying an 18 foot Christmas tree

Yep, that’s about right!

Base of 18 foot tree filling the living room, it's light up with a million white lights, pink red and silver ball ornaments, presents under the tree,  chair tucked in corner blocked by tree,

Furniture is overrated. I think it’s a perfect fit!

taken from the street at night, three story tree lit up with white lights, sticking out the roof of a house. Oversize Christmas balls hanging from pergola, best Christmas tree ever!

Yep, thats a perfect fit!

I asked if we could do it again this year. We’re so high up, I thought we could maybe…..I was shot down pretty quick. Maybe I should have been pretending to dislike this short posting. Darn!

So what are we planning here? I have some ideas, but I’m not exactly sure. This week we really started rolling out the holidays. I discovered that although we “downsized” and I gave up soo much holiday decor, it still turns out that most of our storage locker is in fact Christmas. I guess when it came time to decide what was important I made my priorities clear. I loved opening all the bins and seeing ‘our things.’ It brought that feeling of home. Most of it will not be used this year, but turning over every ornament and seeing all our years of kid-crafted ornaments, hand-painted ornaments, and Santa photos. It reminded me that home is home, no matter where we go.

As for what’s going up? I’m trying to keep the minimalist, elegant feel in our home. I am really quite smitten with this home. We’ve been here only three months, we have only 7 months left, but it feels like home. We’re settling in. We’re finding happy here. Home really is where the heart is.

Check back and see what we’ve decided on! I think it will be a very fluid project. We may have to try a few things out and see where it goes. The stockings in the video have come down already, it wasn’t the feel I wanted. Now, where should that sled go? I’m thinking we could swap the sled in where the stockings were hanging. Husband is going to be quite thrilled when I ask him to mount the sled horizontally 7 feet in the air. I also need a little shelf or hooks just above the sled so I can mount boxwood, greenery and berries. I can see his face now. This will be my view! We all have important jobs, I take mine seriously!

Woman drinking wine in a chair fairly smushed into the Christmas tree shown above

See, that chair was still totally usable!

One thing I know for sure, the Santa photos are keepers! Have you seen our Santa photos? Epic. OMG. Epic. That’s a post for another day. For a sneak peak check out @withlovekate on Instagram and Facebook! Have a fabulous day!!!

With love Kate

 

Things about Kate

  1. Lately, I’m obsessed with the pores on my face. I can’t stop looking at them, poking them, thinking about them. I went to the beauty school and had a facial. Turns out I still don’t like facials. I just feel like I can squeeze my own pores!
  2. I got stuck in my spanks. I was all steamy, just out of the shower, trying to put them on and they got stuck mid-thigh. They’re those ones that are shorts, to keep your thighs from chaffing together, extra fancy right?! So the bum got all twisted inside itself and the thigh bits got stuck halfway up, so my knees are bound together and I couldn’t get them up or down. All I could think of was Ross and the leather pants incident.

 

3. Speaking of spanks. I am obsessed with my weight. Two of the medications I take for nerve pain, Lyrica and Cymbalta, have side effects of weight gain. If I eat, if I don’t, I just keep gaining. After my surgery I lost so much weight, I looked amazing!! Sigh…. The downside was it was a terrible, terrible time, I was so sick. I never told you how bad it was. Let’s leave it in the past and just say that it is not a preferred method of weight loss. Over the past two years doctors have added a lot of drugs to my  ‘cocktail’ and although my skin hurts a little less, I’ve gained about 40 pounds.  Worth it? I don’t know. It always seems worth it for a little while, but as I get used to the new medication we have to add more. I actually haven’t done the latest increase because I’m just too vain. I can’t take the weight gain anymore. It hurts my bones, it hurts my feelings. I think this is where ‘Style me Pretty’ comes from. I want people to see their true beauty. I promise you, you are so beautiful! I know you can’t always see it, but I can. Maybe you just need someone to help you find your beauty. We all struggle, but I’m not losing this battle. I don’t know why I can’t see it in me but I’m going to dress the body I have right now. I’m going to regroup and come up with a new plan with my doctors. That scale is NOT GOING UP ANYMORE!!! (She shouted and pointed at the inanimate scale.)

4. I have an appointment with a new Pain Clinic on the 23rd. I hope they can offer me anything. Anything. Any. Thing. I’m having a hard time. I’d like to say lately but I can’t remember a time I wasn’t. Let’s cross our fingers!

Okay, so I totally meant to write about things coming up, like future plans buuut I got sidetracked at the spanks. Then Jack and got lost in YouTube land and watched youtube videos of Friends until there was one with clips talking about sex and I smacked that computer closed. Ohh well, next time, lol.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog, new features should start popping up soon!

Have a beautiful day,

with love Kate

Image of a ​high-rise condo, almost 360-degree​ skyline view of Toronto​. Cocker spaniel dog sleeps peacefully on a large white L shaped sofa with iMac and headphones next to him demonstrating​ versatile workspace​ in the home.

Tiny House Work Space

We have been tiny house living of just over a month. We live on the thirty-something floor. The view you know I adore. This could be a 10×10 room and I would still be, ‘But look at the view, it “feels” so spacious.’ As it happens we have a slight bit more space than that. If you missed the preamble over the last while, we have recently moved from a 3200 sq ft home to live in a tiny ‘2 plus’ bedroom condo in the city for husband’s work. Good choice/bad choice?

GOOOOOOD CHOICE! I am so completely in love with my tiny home in the city.

Image of sleeping dog on ikea sofa, 11 foot glass walls, marble coffee table which doubles as work space, kid space, games night, cup of tea, Kate spade planner, gold mac, beats, and many comfy throw pillows, complete view of the city of Toronto.

My ever faithful work companion

Life is so easy here. It is definitely a learning curve, as in it’s a different way of life. Husband is still a couple steps (yards, meters, fell down) behind me on the curve, but he’ll get there, we’ll get there together. Thus far, I myself have learned some amazing things.

Versatile spaces:

DIY white Carrera​ marble table top, Kate Spade day planner to keep track of our family. A hot cup of tea and a little guilty pleasure Outlander.

DIY white Carrera marble table top, Kate Spade day planner to keep track of our family. A hot cup of tea and a little guilty pleasure Outlander.

It is so very important in a small space to decide, ‘What do you need?’ Think about what your actual needs and goals are. If you work from home, clearly you need an office/workspace. But don’t feel limited by this, think outside the box. A workspace is anything you want it to be. Think about your lifestyle, your needs, your schedule and your family’s schedule.

My small humans are in school full days now which allows me to create a fluid workspace within our current space.

Image of a ​high-rise condo, almost 360-degree​ skyline view of Toronto​. Cocker spaniel dog sleeps peacefully on a large white L shaped sofa with iMac and headphones next to him demonstrating​ versatile workspace​ in the home.

This space is our everything. Work, play, snuggle. In small space living everything needs a function.

Things to consider are: Do you work from home? What time(s) do you/can you work? Can you be flexible? I tend to write in the evenings after the smalls are asleep or in the morning while the smalls are in school.  Do we need a larger home? No thanks, I’m so happy right now in this space. We’ve traded size for atmosphere and I think it’s perfection. The best work solution for me? A little laptop, a flexible schedule and I am fabulous!

Image of gold MacBook 2017 and gold beats headphones flatlay

Small space tip: headphones are key! I don’t know about you but I personally do not love the sound of little boy video games.

I’d love to hear your fabulous space saving solutions. Email me or leave a comment below for a chance to be featured on the blog!

Have a beautiful day!

with love Kate

 

 

  Taking Flight

Hello, hello my loves,

I am super excited about this post!!  You may have noticed a few subtle changes around our site. For example, my grammar, lol. As it turns out that despite my education and upbringing I have terrible grammar. (SECRET: I have no idea what a semicolon does. I’m not even sure that colon works, eek ) So for your reading pleasure, I have employed an editor. I pay her strictly with wine and love.  She’s awesome and you’re welcome.

Today, TODAY!!! I am really excited to show you…


Welcome to our new profile photo! I am so excited!  I think it’s time we bump this site up a notch or two. Watch for more changes coming to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram! If you don’t follow me on those sites, well that’s silly, you should. That way we can chat more!

I hope you like the new profile pic. I am absolutely in love with this wall, it’s on Queen St West but that’s as much as I’ll tell you, you’ll have to find your own adventure (winks). We stumbled upon this sweet little nook purely by chance after an afternoon spent exploring. I think I fall more in love with Toronto every day. It’s a city of endless possibilities. This is my beginning, my fresh start. Our fresh start. Don’t forget you’re on this adventure too! So I may have obstacles in life, it’s not what I ‘planned’ and I may not fly airplanes anymore but don’t count me out.  This is not the end of my story!

 

Check out today’s Instagram for a preview of our tiny house ‘master bedroom’ edition!
Have a beautiful weekend!

With love~Kate

“Focus where you need to be, what it is you are trying to achieve and where do you want it to go. ~ Sarah R.S. Big Red Bow Digital Marketing

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The Story of Kate – Toronto MRI

Last week you all know I had a bit of a low point. Emotionally I am so much better. This week has been fun, despite all my children’s woes of back to school. I’ve been making friends, there is a great military community here. We had a little meet and greet with a bunch of lovely ladies. And last night as a group we visited a Jerusalem Restaurant and watched belly dancing. I wish I had a picture to show you!!

Okay, let’s talk medical jargon…This week I had a doctors appointment to discuss my MRI results. They really aren’t great. The good part of this is that it shows something. No more, “We fixed it, suck it up buttercup.” I can do my best to try and explain the results. Remember I am not an ‘actual’ doctor but, I do watch a lot of Greys Anatomy and also have a Masters in Dr. Google. I know. It’s impressive.  In laypersons terms, I have a bulging disc a level above and below my fusion (C5/6), both of which are pressing against my spinal cord. Spinal cords do not like to be touched. That’s a fact! I also have “osteophytes.” Osteophytes are bone spurs or growths, the result is there isn’t enough room, things are being compressed and this causes a lot of pain along with a variety of other fantastic super not-fun side effects.

Have you read the Spoonie story? This might be a good time. (Link below) You should read it before we go on.

The Spoon Theory

So here we are, again. Back to a crummy MRI and talking about treatment options. I have to admit I’m scared. When met with my new Doctor she kept saying, “You knew! You knew exactly what levels!” (of my spine).  Yes….I did. (Whispers: that’s because it hurts like fuck.) I have no gentle way to say it. I’m running out of spoons. It hurts. My arms and hands are increasingly hard to use and tire out. It’s not fair to decide if you have enough energy to wash your own hair. I try to stay positive, I’m lucky that I have a husband who will wash my hair (even when I’m cross with him – I think the nudie sneak-peak part of it makes up for the sour face). Things that make me sad are not being able to hold a child’s hand because I can’t handle to skin contact and pressure. Having to roll away and make a pillow barrier at night because my husband’s breath stirs the air too much and it causes pain. It’s going to be a long sleeve dress and soft leggings type of fall for me.

The plan is to get into a new Neurosurgeon. I contacted mine from my previous surgery and asked if he could help. He requested I send my scans so at least someone is looking at them. I hope to be seen soon, I don’t think I have much wait left in me.

Living on top of a grocery store (and liquor store; happy dance) has been such a blessing. It saves me so many spoons. I can skip the good mom show of baking cookies and buy fresh ones downstairs. Technically they are made in our home so that’s almost the same as ‘home-made,’ lol.

So that’s where we stand. This post feels unfinished. I don’t know what to add or take away. If anyone has questions feel free to post them in the comments. I’m okay to talk about this. We’re going to be okay. We have to be.

With love Kate

Hot Mess Mama

Today we continue the saga of the small human. IF you missed yesterdays post you may want to catch up before you continue. This is a two parter.

We left off as we decided to switch to an English school. Yes, we talked all the options and we decided on the school that this was really best for him. And that’s really what’s important. The English school is right next door, it’s going to be so easy to walk to, so let’s do this!!! (insert crazy cackle laugh again.)

Let us travel back in time a year (make that silly Waynes World sound in your head). Imagine next to the French school is a condo beginning construction. Parents were upset, large construction next door, pollution, etc. Many parents (203-ish) wondered (aka threatened) if they should switch to the English school nearby. That would cause the English school to overflow drastically. So, they made a rule that if you are coming from this one specific school there is now a “Formal Process” and despite moving here mere weeks ago and living next door to the school, having had nothing to do with this other school, except give it a try for a day and a half, you may now have to schlep your 2 kids to the French school and then race 3 blocks to the designated bus pick up spot so your child can be bused to a school in a different area. Even though right now I am sitting without pants on, staring at the school!  See how I twisted that? OMG, are you kidding me????
P.S. I feel I’m done with pants. **You may want to give me a heads up before you drop by.**

Let’s short form this experience, because I do understand it really isn’t anyone’s fault, it’s just how things happened. There were a few days of a really hot mess, confusion, school board, etc.  A week later (yesterday) I dropped off the smallest 2 and was then hand walked by the principal of the French school into the English school. She sat with us, the whole morning, she patiently ironed out every detail. Can you believe the kindness of virtual strangers? We are now registered in our local school. Phew.

We would hope this would be the end of our hot mess, but alas, no. This experience has taken its toll on Jack. It’s hard enough to move provinces, switch schools, get tossed around and feel like there is no place for you anywhere. You’d probably get it in your head that we should move home, cry so uncontrollably that I’m pretty sure you’re starting to have anxiety attacks. All the while I smile and comfort, get mad, bribe, explain, cuddle. There is no good way to do this.  This double-sucks because he has had to do the first day of a new school twice in the last week.  Double the Ativan for me. I can’t keep doing this, it’s tearing my heart out. Not to mention the tearful goodbyes of little pink and having this scene EVERY MORNING.

 

Will this be funny one day? Will I look back and think “oh, haha how trivial this was, la la la.” Right now I am stressed as F about it. Heres hoping he can tough out the whole day. He has two super nice kids showing him around, he just needs to let them in. I’ve seen his classroom and it felt so nice. His teacher is sweet, they have “flexible seating options.”  I love it. I hope he will soon too. How did your week go? Does anyone else keep ending up crying in a Starbucks?

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The best of fall….

There’s something about fall that is so lovely to me. Maybe it’s growing up on the east coast in a place where the hills are covered with the most beautifully colored trees. We used to spend hours riding horses through the colorful forest. It a peacefulness I think I took for granted and am only just fully realizing.

Fall in the city is a little different, lol. It’s still marked by falling leaves, but it’s also the fall fashion, I am in love with the fashion freedom. Today I wore a soft pink tulle skirt and denim jacket. I’m pretty sure I looked like the nanny at school drop off, I loved it! And of course, let’s not forget the highly coveted Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte!

 

Nothing says fall quite like the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte!

 

What are your favorite fall memories?