Archives

Tutorial

Woodland Fall Wreath with Dollar Store Supplies

Woodland Fall Wreath with Dollar Store Supplies

Last weekend I was cruising the aisles of my local dollar store and I nearly had a heart attack. You know what I’m talking about, don’t lie! You spot something that you would have totally paid 10X the price for at a craft store. That was me. A set of 3 wreath forms (similar) for $4 and a bag of moss (similar) for $2! Color me inspired. I knew exactly how I’d be spending my afternoon — hunched over my craft table creating the perfect fall wreath with my dollar store scores!

Woodland Fall Wreath with Dollar Store Supplies

I grabbed my trusty glue gun and set to work. I opened up my bag of moss and tore out a large chunk and placed it at the center at the bottom of the wreath form. Using my hot glue gun, I made quite a few strips of glue to make sure the moss holds well through the fall wind storms we are sure to get here on the east coast. The bag of moss I bought also came with some little twigs and lichen so I placed them on the wreath to kind of look like little bushes. The pièce de résistance is the little tiny deer! Isn’t he cute? I didn’t glue him into the wreath because he’s my sons and he was already questioning me on why I needed it. I chose to just stick his little legs into the moss and it actually held really well.

Woodland Fall Wreath with Dollar Store Supplies

Woodland Fall Wreath with Dollar Store Supplies

What do you think? Cheap and cheerful, right? Plus tiny deer are always a good idea. Next week I’ll be sharing how my front porch is styled for the season. I always tend to stay away from the typical fall colors, so there’s a hint for you!

As much as I love a nice full floral wreath, I honestly can’t fathom spending a whole lot of money on beautiful flowers that are going to go outside on my door and brave the elements. Now, if it’s staying inside, I might drop some serious coin on some dried hydrangeas or some eucalyptus! Swoon!

Woodland Fall Wreath with Dollar Store Supplies

Do you have a dollar store that you stalk the aisles of for the best DIY supplies? I can’t be the only one…

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

PS: Follow me on Instagram to see some more behind the scenes in my Insta-stories!

 

Food, Recipe

Easiest Ever Birthday Cake Ice Cream

Ah, September! Time to bust out the cozy sweaters and fall pumpkin candles…almost. Where I live, September is notoriously really muggy and still feels a lot like summer and what feels more like summer than a big honkin’ ice cream cone on the back deck. September is my birthday month so you best believe I won’t be doing some boring ice cream. I’me taking the famous two-ingredient no-churn ice cream recipe and turning it into a funfetti-filled birthday cake masterpiece. You ready?

I’m going to preface this by saying this is in no way healthy, clean, or good for you in any way shape or form. But it’s dang delicious and you only have a birthday once a year, so go for it!

If you’ve never heard of the two-ingredient no-churn ice cream, I’m about to blow your mind. All you need is a can of sweetened condensed milk and some whipped cream. Here’s how you do it:

1 14-oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 cups of Heavy Whipping Cream

In a large bowl, whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks start to form. Add your sweetened condensed milk and combine it with the whipped cream.

Now, this is the fun part. You can quite literally turn your vanilla ice cream base into anything you want.

For birthday cake ice cream, you’ll need some cake and sprinkles. For mine, I used some leftover chocolate cake (a great way to use up a cake that’s too dry!) but you can make up a cake with a box of cake mix. I broke up the cake into bite sized pieces and folded it into the ice cream base. I added my sprinkles on afterwards, but they’d be really good folded in, as well!

Pour everything into a container with a tight fighting lid. Freeze the mixture for about 6 hours.

And guess what! You’ll be able to scoop out the ice cream with an ice cream scoop. It’s the real deal, folks. Now dig in and enjoy. And party like it’s my birthday month!

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

 

Motherhood

5 Ways to Maintain a Functional & Stylish Living Room With Kids

Think you have to give up your sense of style to keep your living room functional once you have kids? Guess again!

5 Ways to Maintain a Functional & Stylish Living Room With Kids

I’ve always been adamant that you don’t need to throw away your sense of style when you have kids. Easier said than done, I know. But we’ve successfully managed to keep our home on-trend and functional without breaking the bank, yet still comfortable and kid-friendly.

This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure policy for more.

Re-think Baby Gear

You spend a lot of time looking at the baby gear that you keep out in common areas so it might as well be cute, right? Cute baby gear is a bit of an oxymoron, but I swear it exists! You just have to hunt. Take this IKEA play gym, for example. I loved the wood but wasn’t a fan of the bright colored toys hanging off it so I gave it a bit of a makeover.

IKEA DIY Hack

Trendy Storage Solutions

There’s no shortage of cute baskets and bins to use to store toys in. I especially love these vintage wire baskets for storing our wooden blocks, but you can find awesome decorative seagrass baskets or these fun cloth sided baskets that come in so many fun prints!

Metal Basket for Wood Baby Toys

Hide the Clutter

A chest of drawers or a cupboard where you can stash the toys, puzzles, and games will be the best thing you ever put in your living room. Having this spot to put everything makes clean up a breeze. About once a month I go through our little chest of drawers and put everything back up in the kid’s rooms. Eventually, little odds and ends make their way back into the living room and into this little catch-all.

Living Room Storage Solutions with Children

Give Old Furniture New Life

I try not to buy new furniture for several reasons, one of them being that with little kids, I know wear and tear are inevitable (and I’m super cheap!). When you can find great furniture at a yard sale or thrift shop and transform it into a fun and functional piece for the living room, that’s a major win. Knowing I can slap another coat of paint on this little side table makes me breathe a little easier when I see the kids using it as a race track.

5 Ways to Maintain a Functional & Stylish Living Room With Kids

Choose Classic Toys

We are fortunate to have a number of really old wooden toys that date back to my husband’s childhood and some go back even further. Not only do I love wooden toys for my kids to play with but I also enjoy looking at wooden trains, trucks, and blocks in my living room. I mean, if I have to look at it, it might as well be aesthetically pleasing, right? If you don’t have any vintage wooden toys from your own childhood, you can find great wooden toys at your local thrift shop. We especially love playing with wooden blocks because it really forces you and your child to get creative and use your imagination.

Wood Toy Train with Succulents

What did I miss? Do you have a tip that you think I’d just love? Leave me a comment and tell me how you keep your living space stylish and still functional.

Make sure you give me a follow on Instagram to take a glimpse into our life.

stylish and functional living room with children

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

Baby, Motherhood

Flying With 2 Kids: What You Need (and what you DON’T!)

I’ve flown with my kids in all different ages and stages and there’s only one thing I know for sure: Flying with kids is NEVER easy.

Blog post over.

Just kidding!

It might not be easy but we have learned a few things over the years. Every time we travel we always say to ourselves, “OH LETS REMEMBER THIS FOR NEXT TIME”… and I either forget about it or by the time we travel again we are into a new stage and there’s a whole new learning curve. ugh.

note: this post contains affiliate links. Please see full disclosure policy for more details. 

Flying With 2 Kids: What You Need (and what you DON'T!)

  1. SNACKS  – Maybe this is a no brainer for most but I always severely under pack the snacks and always regret it. Usually when we fly it’s only an hour or two for the flight which isn’t bad, but I forget about the bag check up line, security, waiting in the terminal, boarding the plane, waiting for our bags…. there’s a whole lot of time spent waiting where the kiddos are hungry, bored, and frankly just not happy. Having snacks at the ready like boxes of raisins or these healthy goldfish alternatives save our butts every time. I just need to remember to pack more than I think we’ll need.
  2. STROLLER & CARRIER – Flying with a big stroller sucks. But sometimes you have no choice! Fortunately, we usually can fly without a stroller or a car seat and family picks us up on the other end with all the stuff we need. When we are able to do it that way, we opt for a carrier or an easy to fold up umbrella style stroller. Unfortunately, you can’t wear your baby in a carrier during taking off and landing (at least in Canada) which is an absolute pain in the butt. I kept my 3-month-old in a carrier during a flight from the East Coast to the West Coast and he slept almost the entire time and I was even able to sleep because I didn’t have to worry about dropping him or turbulence.
  3. PRE-BOARDING – When you travel with kiddos, you are able to get on the plane first and receive assistance if you need it. But just a tip, if you DO need extra help, you’ll have to ask for it. I’ve been so close to breaking down in tears while flying alone with kids and it’s not fun. I wish I hadn’t been too proud to ask for help when I needed it. Even if it’s someone to just hold your baby while you get settled, a flight attendant would gladly help you.
  4. ENTERTAINMENT – Our kiddos don’t use screens at home and I’m pretty adamant about not letting them use them, even if it’s educational. But flying and traveling is a whole different ball game. It’s literally about survival. Loading your phone or a tablet with some downloaded Netflix shows is a really smart idea. I’ve personally never done this but will be doing it ahead of our next flight so I have a back up plan.
  5. TOYS – Before a trip, we usually head to Chapters with $10 – $20 to spend on little toys, books, and stickers to surprise out toddler with. We found these awesome stickers that are reusable and they worked amazingly on the windows of the plane and on the tray table. Little trains and cars make awesome little surprises. The trick is keeping them hidden until you need to pull them out and gain another 30 minutes of sanity.

Flying With 2 Kids: What You Need (and what you DON'T!)

 

DIY & Home

Cheap Kitchen & Dining Lighting Finds on Amazon

Farmhouse Lighting on the Cheap

Several years ago when my husband and I wanted to update our builder basic lighting in our condo, we found it next to impossible to find lighting options that were budget-friendly, but still packed a punch. We ended up making our dining room and bedroom lights, but even still each light was close to $100 once all the material was bought. Not cheap!

I’m not sure if we were just ahead of our time and looking for something that just wasn’t readily available at our price point or if Amazon Prime has just taken over our lives and made it super easy to get virtually anything our little hearts desire. Here are a few of my faves:

This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy for more info.

1 // 2 // 3 // // 5 // 6 // 7  // 8

 

Which one is your favorite?! I’m quite in love with number 5 and think that would be the most amazing light over our dining room table. I’m also on the hunt for a dreamy pendant to go above our sink. It’s so hard to choose just one. Can I have them all, please?

Are we friends on Instagram yet? Make sure you’re following me to catch what light we end up choosing. I’ll be sharing all the behind the scenes details over on my InstaStories!

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

Food

My Crowd Pleasing Garden Fresh Zucchini Pesto Salad

Garden Fresh Zucchini Pesto Salad

When you can walk out to the garden and pick your ingredients to make your salad, you do it.

This summer we’ve had the pleasure of staying at our families cottage on Lake Ontario, spending our days frolicking with the kids and enjoying the wonderful veggies from the garden. When you can have your veggies this fresh, they somehow taste even better.

We had an abundance of Zucchini that needed to be used up and I was craving a nice fresh salad, so I whipped this dish up for the family and it took no time at all. Here’s what you need:

6 cups spiralized (or shredded) Zucchini

1 cup of Cherry Tomatoes, halved

3 Tbsp Pesto (home made or store bought!)

1 Tbsp of Olive Oil

Juice of half a Lemon

1 clove of Garlic, minced

1 Tbsp of Red Onion, minced

Spiralize (This is what we use to spiralize vegetables) your zucchini and put in a large serving bowl. Add in your halved cherry tomatoes. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and red onion. Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Let sit for about an hour so the zucchini can absorb all the wonderful pesto goodness.

Garden Fresh Zucchini Pesto Salad

Garden Fresh Zucchini Pesto Salad

Garden Fresh Zucchini Pesto Salad

My Crowd pleasing Garden Fresh Zucchini Pesto Salad

If you are meat eaters, chopped up chicken or some fried shrimp would make an awesome addition to this salad. This salad can be served cold on a hot summers day or can be sauteed in a frying pan until the zucchini is nice and tender. Spiralized zucchini makes a great alternative to pasta!

This is a favorite salad over here. We love how quick it is to prepare and how the ingredients are in season and growing only steps from our door. We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to be surrounded by such a wonderful bounty!

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

PS: This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure policy.

DIY & Home

How to Easily Transform a Mid-Century Modern Telephone Table in Under an Hour

I first laid eyes on this vintage telephone table at a garage sale in my neighborhood. I paid $4 for it and packed it all the way home and just new it was going to be transformed into something fun, I just had no idea what I wanted to do. I had to wait until inspiration hit. After 2 years, I was finally ready to get down to work and get it painted. I wanted to go light and bright. I wanted to keep the metal details but get rid of the scratched up brown painted legs and laminated wood top. I finally made up my mind and went with

I finally made up my mind and went with Fusion Mineral Paint in Little Piggy for the legs and Picket Fence for the top. I taped off the metal details with green painters tape and began painting with synthetic bristle brushes.

I love how fresh and bright this paint made this little accent table. Finally, this piece looks like it actually belongs in our living room.

What do you think? Does it look better? I think so! I love how easy it is to take a tired little accent table and transform it into something you love and want to have in your home.

 

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

Baby

How to Cottage with Kids Without going Insane

I’m not going to pretend I know it all because I really just wing in 99% of the time when we travel to the cottage with the kids. But through all that trial and error we’ve learned a few lessons and have started to figure out this whole traveling with small people thing. Scroll down to see some pics from our trip!

And keep reading to find out the single best tip I discovered this year.

This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure policy here.

// Baby Life Jacket // Disposable Diapers // Wipes // Travel High Chair // Rashguard // Silicone Play Mat // Sunscreen // Water Bottle // Sun Hat // Closed Toe Sandals //

Baby Life Jacket  // Essential for us because we need to take a boat, but also just the best for peace of mind, especially when you have two tiny people to watch near the water!

Disposable Diapers // As a cloth diapering family, we don’t mind to take a break from diaper laundry. The single best thing I did this summer was order diapers and wipes ahead of time. Figure out where the closest post office is and have your diapers and wipes sent to it so you can just pick them up on the way. Obviously, if you’re going to a place that’s near grocery stores, this isn’t the greatest tip. But for us, this has been a real life saver. Our cottage is on an island so trips to town are far and few between. We ordered our diapers and wipes on Well.ca and had them shipped to the post office with Canada Post’s Flex Delivery program. But Amazon also gives you the same option!

Wipes // You can never have too many wipes. From diaper changes to cleaning up after digging in the garden, wipes are my best friend.

Travel High Chair // The highchair we use at home is actually designed to be a travel high chair that can clip onto a table. We take ours to restaurants all the time but especially love how easy it is to take along with us to the cottage.

Rashguard // Kids usually don’t enjoy getting sunscreen applied and reapplied through out the day so I like to minimize the amount of exposed skin by throwing the kids into a sun safe suit that can go in the water!

Silicone Play Mat  // Our littlest guy just started solids, so meal times are messy! To protect the countertops and prevent plates from hitting the ground, we just use an Ezpz Play Mat that suctions to the table! Plus it does double duty by also being a mat that Oliver can paint and get messy on!

Sunscreen // Sunscreen is kind of a no brainer, but this specific sunscreen is one we love because it’s safe for baby and toddler, smells amazing, and blends in well. It also comes in a stick for easy application and my personal fave is the tinted face sunscreen!

Water Bottle // I love using glass with the kids because I know it’s clean and safe but hate the idea of them dropping glass cups. We love these ones because of the silicone sleeve to protect the glass. + the colors are so fun! They even make sippy cup and nipple tops for the glass bottles.

Sun Hat // My favorite sun hats! So many fun patterns to choose from and the quick breakaway clasp and drawstring are an amazing feature. We’ve lost every other hat in the wind, except this one!

Closed Toe Sandals // Water proof leather sandals! The best of both worlds. I have a pair for myself, too. I love that you can wear them out in the rain or get them muddy and they’ll clean up easily so you can wear them for something formal. I detest bringing so many pairs of shoes to the cottage with us so when one pair can work for so many different outfits and activities, I’m happy!

A post shared by Stephanie McDougall  (@mommyzoid) on

A post shared by Stephanie McDougall  (@mommyzoid) on

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

Food

Spicy Thai Chicken Drum Sticks with Hemp Hearts

Plain old chicken is boring, so why not shake things up a tad!? These drumsticks took no time to prepare but tasted like I’d slaved over them for hours, if I do say so myself. And we’re all friends here so I feel like I can be real and say I would never ever slave over ANYTHING for hours! 

All you need is:

Mix Toasted Hemp Seeds and bread crumbs in a bowl. Coat drum stick with Olive Oil. Completely coat each drum stick with mixture and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 425° for 25 minutes

Serve with a squirt of fresh lime and a nice big salad! Enjoy!

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

PS: Manitoba Harvest sent me product in order to do this post. See my full disclosure policy here.

 

Baby, DIY & Home

Quick & Easy Wood Baby Gym IKEA Hack

My favorite thing to do once the kids are both asleep is to kick back in the living room with a good HGTV show and a glass of fizzy water. But I just can’t truly relax until all the toys are put away. But there are some things that you just can’t put away. Like the IKEA Baby Gym, for instance.

Quick & Easy Wood Baby Gym IKEA Hack

We originally got this little gym from the in-laws for Oliver for him to use while we were staying at the cottage. He loved it! And eventually used it to learn how to stand up and then pushed it around the house for his first few steps. Fast forward to now, this little play gym has a few scratches and I’ll be honest, the color scheme is not my favorite.

I had some leftover Fusion Mineral Paint from the Tones for Tots collection that we used to fix up a chest of drawers that we found on the side of the road. It calls our living room home and hides all the toys out of sight. I had been eyeing up the play gym for quite some time, waiting for the right time to make my move. On a nice sunny day, I opened up the garage door and set to work! You can see the transformation in the video below:


Quick & Easy Wood Baby Gym IKEA Hack

Quick & Easy Wood Baby Gym IKEA Hack

Quick & Easy Wood Baby Gym IKEA Hack

 

Quick & Easy Wood Baby Gym IKEA Hack

Stephanie @ Mommyzoid