Winter hike

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Well technically it's winter, but it doesn't look like it around here. We decided to take advantage of the semi-mild temperatures to go for a little hike in the Rattray Marsh Conservation Area in Mississauga. There were lots of birds and even little hints of green here and there. It was nice to get out for some fresh air after being stuck in the house for a few days (totally voluntarily... I tend to get really lazy around the holidays!). 

I hope you're having a nice break!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I'm in full on cooking mode over here at Casa Fazio so I will take a few minutes to wish you and your friends and families an amazing holiday filled with fun, laughter and Crazy 8s. Most of all, may you have good health for the remainder of this year and next.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. Be well friends.

Last minute gift ideas from Etsy

Monday, December 22, 2014

last minute gift ideas
Home is where ever I am with you poster via M of E Home
last minute gift ideas
Love Lives Here poster via Made in Pepperland
last minute gift ideas
Ampersand poster via I Love Printable
last minute gift ideas
T-Rex Poster via HDesignPosters
last minute gift ideas
Grow old along with me poster via Printable Wall Story
last minute gift ideas
Geometric diamond wall art via blursbyaishop
So it's December 22 today and if you're like someone I know (heh-hem... honeykins...) you're leaving it to the last minute to buy Christmas gifts, but don't despair! Here are three things via Etsy you can do to get your gift in time!

Shop Local
We've all heard it before - shop local! Well you can do that on Etsy too! Most times when it comes to shopping on Etsy it's best to order things about a month in advance so that artists can create your item and ship it so you get it in time. However if you search using the local function in the bottom lefthand corner of the page (after you enter your item search on the main page), you can potentially find something in your town or city that's already made. Artists may be open to a pick-up rather than having your item delivered through the mail. Try it!

Print it
There are tons of vendors on Etsy who offer instant download for things like posters, gift cards and other crafty items. I've used this before for the kids' birthdays with birthday bunting and cupcake toppers. You can either print your item at home or send it off to print at your local print shop. Print your poster, buy a frame and voila! You have a sweet gift to give your loved one.

Gift card it
Finally, Etsy offers gift cards of course which are super easy to use. Just click, pay, print and give!

So there you have it! A last minute Etsy gift guide. Happy Holidays!

A Mini Christmas Tour

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's looking a lot like Christmas in here! We didn't do a whole heck of a lot to be honest and there are still a couple things I want to do, but for the most part the decorating is done.

Outside we bought a couple baskets from the corner store and I made a little door hanger. It's basically the leftovers I had from the baskets I made last year that I bunched up and sprayed gold. I tied it up with denim and voila! Easy peasy.

Inside I tied a faux greenery garland around the posts of the banister and added some ribbon I found at Target. I used that same ribbon along with some little bells to showcase our Christmas cards.

Finally I made some new stockings. It's tough to see, but I made them using some denim I had along with some super cozy white sweatshirt fabric (I want to make a sweatshirt next - it's so soft!). I attached some of the same ribbon that I used on the garland and added some bells to finish it off.

That's it! It's simple, but warm.

Are you done decorating - only a few days left until the big day!

Make Christmas magic for the kids with a video from Santa

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Every year we freak the kids out with a message from Santa from the North Pole via a video from Portable North Pole (PNP). I think it's an awesome opportunity to keep the spirit of Santa alive. Santa is there, on your screen with photos of your kids, and he's saying their names... ahhh! It's pretty magical for them if you ask me.

There are plenty of new ways to share in the magic for free and the elves have been busy working to make PNP easier to use and extra personalized. There’s a new mobile version (compatible with Apple and Android devices) so you can carry the magic of Santa in your pocket, creating personalized video messages and calls on the go. The Verdict Machine is now powered by a pedaling elf who will keep the kids entertained while they wait to learn if they're made the Naughty or Nice list this year, and the new Classic video includes funny footage of the elves as they get in trouble while doing their daily chores.

The video is free to use, but you can now upgrade to get more stories and behind the scenes footage for your kids to experience and in the true spirit of giving, the PNP team has pledged to donate 5% of all web sales to Children's Hospital foundations across the world. Pretty cool stuff.

PNP wants you to experience the magic with the upgraded video offerings and is giving my readers a discount! Just enter BLG20BKP when you're at the check-out you'll receive 20% off your purchase.


*This post was sponsored by Portable North Pole, but I use this video every year anyway and wanted to share the love with you! Ho, Ho, Ho!*

Dinner this week: Love & Lemons edition

Monday, December 15, 2014

Last week I had this recipe for Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille on my menu plan and then I got lost in the beautiful site that is Love & Lemons. I clicked for what seemed like hours, my mouth watering over all the delicious looking recipes and photos. I had pinned so many recipes I had more than enough for this week's full dinner menu plan so here it goes... this is what's for dinner this week thanks to Love & Lemons. (All photos via Love & Lemons)






I added a little snack from the site too:


Something to check out this weekend: The Stop’s Holiday Farmers’ Market at Steam Whistle Brewing

Friday, December 12, 2014

Celebrate this season with the gift of local eats from The Stop’s Holiday Farmers’ Market two-day special pop-up event on Sunday, December 14th and 21st from 11 a.m. to 3p.m. hosted at the home of Steam Whistle Brewing (The Roundhouse, 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto).

“Often people think they can’t get fresh local produce in winter, but there are so many choices,” explains Cookie Roscoe, The Stop’s Farmers’ Market Manager. “The pop-up holiday market is a great way for Torontonians to get to meet some local farmers and shop for Ontario vegetables, fruits, preserves, cheese, honey, baked goods, and so much more, all grown or produced close to home.”

Brought to you by The Stop Community Food Centre, voted by readers of NOW for hosting Toronto’s Best Farmers’ Market, this pop-up edition is a great way to help stock-up your cupboards for festive meals, or hunt for holiday gifts with an array of tasty and seasonal Ontario produce, meats, cheeses, preserves, baking, crafts, select linens and gift baskets available for sale. Become acquainted with over a dozen local farmers and producers as they share their wares and knowledge on eating locally and sustainably. Enjoy brunch or lunch while you shop, savoring homemade soups, sandwiches, artisanal cheeses from Monforte Dairy, Tibetan momos by Tsewang Dolma’s Momos and baking made fresh by The Stop’s Market CafĂ© and The Yellow School Bus just to name a few.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with the dried fruits and heirloom apples by Barry Kemp of Niagara Try Dry or the gluten-free, dairy-free and preservative-free chocolates by Toronto’s Chocosol. Complimentary samples of Steam Whistle Pilsner will be served.

Taking place in the warm comfort of Steam Whistle Brewing’s historic John St. Roundhouse, The Stop’s Holiday Farmers’ Market will also feature the entertainment of wandering musicians and shoppers will receive a free brewery tour with any Market purchase.

Within the beer industry, craft beer is the most often paired with meals and appetizers compared to other domestic brands, discount and imports – making the local Pilsner a perfect pairing for any dish.

“Sustainability, quality and camaraderie are foundational to our spirit of craft brewing,” explains Trish Yee, Quality Assurance Technician & Sustainability Coordinator at Steam Whistle Brewing. “And those values are shared with this Holiday Market- farmers and community coming together to celebrate the season with gifts of food and beer made locally.”

The Stop’s Farmers’ Markets support local agriculture by encouraging their farmers to grow as sustainably as possible, and many of their farms are certified organic. All of their non-farmer vendors shop for their ingredients from the Market. What you'll find year-round is honest, good food, the production of which causes as little environmental damage as possible, and where everyone involved in its growing and distribution makes a living wage. To learn more visit

Links I clicked on this week.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Hexagon Cluster by Yao Cheng via Minted

If you're in Toronto, you might be dealing with tons of snow... Ok it's not a lot by Buffalo standards, but it's a lot for the first real snow fall. Here are some links I clicked on this week while I watched the snow land on my freshly shovelled driveway.

Winter Woodland Glam Christmas Home Tour via Setting for Four

Honey Ginger Tofu and Veggie Stir fry from Pinch of Yum (I made this on Monday but forgot to pay for my tofu at the store! Wahh wahh...)

Hexagon Cluster print by Yao Cheng via Minted (gorgeous work!)

And the Bower Build off winner is... (loved Katie's project!)

Meet the woman trying to save your kids from their screens via Time

Oaty Chocolate Hot Smoothie via Kitchen Sanctuary

Trying to make mom friends is the worst via New York Mag (Do you think so?)

4-Year-Old Fashion Prodigy Talks Designing A Collection For J.Crew, Is Insanely Adorable via Huff Post Parents

What caught your eye this week?

Gorgeous Pottery: Paper and Clay Studio

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

american made

american made

american made

american made

american made

american made

I'm on the look out for new mugs because the mugs my dad and his wife gave me years ago have all managed to get hairlines cracks in them (you see the mugs here). I'm super sad about it because I love these mugs! I was looking around Etsy for some alternatives and found Paper and Clay Studio and man, what gorgeous pottery. I especially love the brilliant blue and white mug at the top and this black Danish pitcher right above. Gah! So beautiful.

See more pottery from Paper and Clay Studio here.

Want to see more of my Etsy Favourites? Check out my Etsy Christmas Market.

Indigo + PayPal

Monday, December 08, 2014

This weekend I started my Christmas shopping and by that I mean online shopping. I don't mind going out to shop because, as my husband will tell you, I have a weird obsession with touching everything, but when it comes to this time of year I avoid the mall at all costs. I don't like crowds and people always seem to be grumpy!

Anyway, I've been a bit of an online shopper for several years now and one of the sites I love to go to is Indigo. Last time I was there in person I noticed the sweetest tree ornaments like the monogram ball ornaments, the Woodland Cardinal Buri ornament and the White Porcelain Owl ornament so I ordered those to add something new to the tree this year. I also ordered a couple of cursive monogram mugs and some books for the kids (my kids are obsessed with Hello Kitty and Thomas!).

Recently, Indigo added a new pay element via PayPal which makes it even easier to shop. I love PayPal for its convenience. You only have to add in your credit card and address once and it can be used on any site that supports it. I used it for this order and it was pretty seamless.

What's your preferred way to pay online? Have you tried PayPal?

psst... This post was sponsored by PayPal, but all views are my own.

Links I clicked on this week.

Friday, December 05, 2014

belly bootcamp
Photo via The Monarch Mag
I thought it would be fun to share the things I clicked on this week to show you how my brain functions (i.e. randomly).

2 ingredient cookies via Burlap Bag

Staying Balanced During the Holidays with Dara Bergeron via The Monarch Mag (FYI this woman is awesome at getting people in shape!)

John Tory appointments put an end to the idea of unity via The Toronto Star

Nate Berkus™ Black and Gold Accent Table

I've got my eye on this Organic Baby Blanket for a new little wee one!

Holiday Gift Pack for the Proud Canadian via House of Anansi

Pieced Pinstripe Sweatshirt via J.Crew

Happy weekend! We're hoping to finally find time to get the decorations up today! Wish us luck!

Dinner menu this week

Monday, December 01, 2014

A couple weeks ago I started meal planning dinners again and then last week I didn't get around to it. So I'm back at it this week. I'm going to try something different (for me) for the winter: I'm going to stop getting my veggie box for the most part and go to Loblaws to get my groceries. I'm finding Loblaws has really stepped up in their offerings in organic and natural food and at great prices so I'm taking advantage of that for now. (I won't mention what I'm calling Cupcake Island in my Loblaws - they built a new island full of cupcakes, cakes, cookies and chocolates that you see as soon as you walk in the door... what was I talking about again??).

Oh right, my dinner menu. Here's what I came up with for dinner this week:


Right before I made this tonight I pulled out a bag of what I thought was bulgur but I wasn't sure. I'm pretty good at knowing what most dry grains look like and I thought I had bulgur, but I didn't recognize what was in the bag. I scoured the 'net looking at Google images trying to figure it out. Anyway I took a chance and cooked it and after some trial and error it turned out! I'm still not sure if it's bulgur though! The dish was super yummy. I loved the crunchy roasted almonds and feta!


I have a love/hate relationship with peanuts. I love the taste of them but I've heard they aren't the best things to eat so I tend to avoid them. When I saw this dish however I wanted to try it. 


Leo will probably cry that there are black beans and sweet potato in these and then Mila will copy him by saying the same thing and then she'll shove them in her mouth.



We typically either take take out on the weekend or if I have enough random food leftover from the week I'll make up something new to eat!

What are you eating?

On patience and getting down to their level

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I find as the years go by that I have fewer and fewer patience. I have two pretty good ideas when it happened. When I had Leo I still had all the patience in the world. If he had little meltdown, it was no biggie I knew what to do. I actually have a video of us on a plane to Florida and Leo is restless and upset and I had a smile on my face.

When two kids are in the picture it's a different story. At least it is for me. Add to that the fact that they are only 20 months apart and you've go a whole new ball game. As my kids get older, they become more independent. More vocal. More demanding. And I'm constantly trying to figure out how to deal with it. I had a completely different upbringing than the one we're providing for our kids so it's all been an ongoing learning process (which it is for everyone, I know this...).

I get asked all the time how they play together and my answer is that they play really well together. They also fight really well together. I find the fighting so stressful sometimes, but I remember fighting with my sister. We'd throw things at each other! We'd sit on each other!

It's all coming back to me now...

Anyway when the high stress levels come into play, staying patient and calm is very tough for me. This is due to my need to control a situation (I am the oldest of three girls after all! ;)). I asked my friend the other day, who has three kids, where I can buy some patience. She said that you have to pretend. Only pretending takes patience too.

One day we had had a pretty stressful week and I just got down on the ground and sat at their level. I watched them. We played. We hugged. We laughed. There was no stress.

Every time I get down to their level it's like the stress melts away. They don't see a giant (ha!) looking down on them. They see their momma down on the ground looking at them and they love it. They respond well to it. I just have to remember this and keep doing it.

Tell me... are you a patient person? How do you deal with stress?

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