We can't believe we're a month out from Christmas! This year feels even more special because we'll be experiencing every moment through the eyes of our little ones (who were just a few months old last Christmas!). Because of our hectic schedules, we like to try to plan ahead as much as possible, and in our opinion, every good plan starts with a checklist. This week we visited CTV Morning Live to talk about "hassle-free holidays." While we mentioned a few tips during our segment, today we're sharing our full week-by-week checklist leading up to the big day!
What to-dos are on your holiday checklist? We'd love to know how you stay organized during this busy time of year!
xo Jacqueline & Lindsay
We love seasonal decor. It keeps our homes from feeling dated and every changing season gives us the perfect excuse to shop for fresh finds. We're especially obsessed with all things Christmas and are pumped to share Lindsay's dining room decor for Christmas 2018. Check out the before and after pics below and let us know what you think of the changes!
When I discovered the cutest faux grass pots at IKEA this summer, I filled my cart and went to town on our fireplace mantle. I said a (temporary) farewell to the grass for winter and opted for a classic green and red colour palette with pops of silver in the stocking holders. (How cute are those reindeer from HomeSense?!). The red berry garland was the perfect finishing touch to add warmth and tie everything together.
The bar area
Our motto when it comes to home improvements: shiplap is always a good idea. We absolutely LOVED the wallpaper in the bar area, but when it came to decor we felt it overpowered most accessories in the space and we wanted to be able to play with more colour. So in came the white shiplap. It's a crisp and clean look and also perfect for our Christmas display. When we first started dreaming up this space we wanted it to feel like a modern Christmas village. The camper and silos were perfect for our desired look and then we went from there. We stuck with the red and green theme and it's the perfect pop against the shiplap.
What do you have planned for your Christmas decor this year? We're always on the hunt for inspiration!
xo Jacqueline & Lindsay
I work outside the home and mornings are precious to me. I love that little bit of time I have to spend with my son before I leave for work. Like most people, I really don’t like feeling rushed in the morning. It sets the wrong tone for the day. So, in order to have a smooth morning, I take care of a lot of tasks at night. See my nighttime routine here.
I hit the ground running when I wake up. The moment my feet hit the floor, I am focused on accomplishing whatever I need to before my son wakes up. I quickly get dressed for the day and do a quick five-minute face. I’d like to tell you that I shed the mom look when I go to work by styling my hair, but that just isn’t the case. My hair is usually in a low pony. And thank God for dry shampoo. Amiright?
Next, I’m off to the kitchen. I put my lunch (usually a big salad) and snacks (often apples, crackers, or nuts) in my bag and pack up my breast pump. I pump throughout the day so it’s crucial that I pack everything I need. (See our post on pumping at work here.)
Around this time, my baby usually wakes up and we share my favourite part of the morning. I love how snuggly he is when he wakes up. I rock him in my nursing chair in his nursery and then get him dressed for the day.
Next, we’re off to the kitchen for breakfast. My son loves peanut butter on toast or yogourt and berries. He also likes pancakes or eggs. It’s such a win for me that he is eating eggs. He would not touch them for months and then one day he decided he liked them! This makes breakfast far easier because my husband and I usually have eggs on toast for breakfast as well.
Once breakfast is over, I sweep under the highchair. If I have time, I make the bed and do one quick look in the mirror to make sure I am not covered in my son’s breakfast. If I haven’t put the dishes away the night before, my husband or I will unload the dishwasher and wash any other dirty dishes by hand.
After lots of kisses, I’m out the door with a large coffee in hand!
What works for you on a busy morning? Any tips to share?
We can’t believe it’s November already. This month we’re determined to get ahead of the game and do a little planning, a little goal-setting and most definitely a little shopping. Check out what tops our to-do list for November.
Real talk: We always have the best intentions when it comes to meal planning, but we tend to fall off of that wagon weekly. Despite the fact that we make our list and buy our ingredients, life gets in the way and that slowcooker ain’t gonna set itself. So this month we’re once again adding it to our list, but believe us, there are days when a pre-cooked roast chicken and a simple spinach salad make an appearance. Bottom line: make that list, but don’t worry if the Monday to Friday game plan hits a snag. (Side note: If you're looking for a quick and oh-so-delicious bite, we're sharing details of the yummy dish featured in the above pic at the end of this post, courtesy of Chef Craig Flinn.
November 11 is Remembrance Day in Canada. Take a moment to reflect, honour and remember those who fought for our freedom.
This sounds simple but it makes such a difference in the outcome of your day, month or year. We can be so hard on ourselves to get stuff done in a 24-hour span. Once we started setting small goals, we relieved some of that pressure.
Get your winter reading list going
The thought of a cold night, cozy socks, a weighted blanket, a mug of coffee (read wine) and a new book gives us all of the feels. Lindsay just started reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis and by the fifth page she was already on her second pack of 3-in-1 cleansing cloths. What books are on your list? We’d love suggestions!
Bring on the layers
The Ruck sisters tend to run cold, so you better believe we pack on all of the layers once the temperature drops. How’s that winter coat from last year? Are your boots still made for walking or ready to be retired? Check out what works and what needs an update.
We know it’s only the beginning of November, but December is just around the corner and it’ll be time to deck the halls before you know it. What’s on the menu this holiday season? How’s your gift-wrapping supplies? Know what you’ll be giving loved ones this year? And what about that must-do family Christmas card? Throw on those holiday sweaters, toss some tinsel around and say cheese to get your orders in on time!
What’s on your checklist this month? Happy November!
Mushrooms on Toast (simple and ridiculously delicious)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Clove of garlic
Mix of chanterelle, shiitake and sliced portobello mushrooms
Few pats of butter
Salt & pepper
Handful of finely chopped chives
Handful of finely chopped parsley
1, Brush the sliced bread with olive oil and fry in a frying pan on medium heat.
2. Rub one side of the bread with a clove of crushed garlic.
3. Remove the bread from the pan and add the mixed mushrooms into the hot pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Add a tablespoon of water and a pat of butter to glaze the mushrooms. Add chives and parsley to the pan and mix well.
5. Place the glazed mushrooms on top of the fried bread. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
6. Top with a poached egg.
If you’ve checked out our Insta stories in the past, you’ll know we’ve got a serious love for pancakes. Jacqueline whips up a stack almost every weekend for her family. And Lindsay conveniently pops in for a friendly visit almost every weekend. (Family is so important, after all!) This past weekend we made a Saturday tradition a little more special by hosting a pancake brunch. Check out the details below and see some of our favourite pancake toppers.
We went with Magnolia Table’s “The Best-Ever Fluffy Pancakes.” There are a few reasons why choosing this particular recipe is a no-brainer. First, “best-ever” is in the title, so that’s a promising start. Second, they’re buttermilk pancakes, which means extra fluffy and oh-so delicious. The key to this pancake recipe is letting the batter sit for 20 to 30 minutes to guarantee serious floating-like-a-cloud fluffiness. Once the batter’s in the pan, wait for tiny bubbles to form on the top and that’s how you know they’re ready to flip. Each pancake shouldn't take much more than two minutes per side.
If you’re making pancakes the star of your gathering, you might as well kick it up a notch and offer guests a few options for filling and topping their flapjacks. Here’s a few of our delicious go-tos.
These can be sprinkled on top of the uncooked pancake batter as soon as it hits the pan.
Ricotta and figs
Jam and clotted cream
Hungry yet? What tasty toppings make your pancakes complete?
xo Jacqueline & Lindsay
Teething. We’ve all been through it, but to actually think about the whole process of cutting teeth still makes us cringe. This week we’re sharing signs and symptoms of teethers and listing what has worked best for us when providing sweet (and icy cold) relief to our little ones.
Signs of teething
Lots of drooling
Trying to bite or suck on absolutely everything (and we mean everything)
Load up on bibs
If your little one has started to drool while teething then you’ll want to stock up on bibs. And when you think you finally have enough…buy more. We’re talking puddles people. Be prepared!
Wet a few baby cloths and throw them in the freezer for a few hours. Your little one will find relief from sucking and biting on the cold cloth.
These are the obvious teething tools. From chew rings to chew beads, there are lots of options and hopefully you can find one or two that works for your little one. A few of our favourites are the Zoli Chubby Gummy Gum Massager Teething Sticks (especially helpful for the back teeth) and Lifefactory silicone sensory teether rings.
This is something you likely already have on hand so it’s an easy grab when teething strikes.
Ice water bottle
Fill a sippy cup with a few tablespoons of water and place the cup upside down in the freezer. Your baby will appreciate sucking on the ice cold tip of the cup.
If cold and hard things are serious soothers for teething pain, it might as well taste good too. We love the simple combo of organic plain yogourt and strawberries and our babies can't get enough of them.
Hard teething biscuits
Love Child Organics founder, Leah Garrad-Cole, features a recipe in her cookbook, It All Begins With Food, for hard teething biscuits. It’s essentially like a mini breadstick for babies and the texture is hard enough to provide pressure and relief for sore gums. With only five ingredients, and free from eggs and dairy, these biscuits are a cinch to make and prefect for even the gummiest of babes.
Cold or frozen cucumber sticks
At one point during the early teething days this was one of the only remedies Georgia was willing to take. We peeled a cucumber, cut it into chubby sticks and put the sticks in the freezer.
What teething tools have worked best for you?
xo Jacqueline & Lindsay
Last weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada and besides eating copious amounts of turkey and pie (ssooo much pie), we also took a moment to think about this past year and everything there is to be thankful for.
So this week we just wanted to say thanks. As first-time mamas, we’re basically figuring things out as we go. We’re doing what we feel is best for our babes and every ounce of us goes into nurturing and loving our tiny, incredible humans. With all of the negativity and division in the world, we’re overwhelmingly grateful for all of the amazing mamas who have simply said, “you got this.” Sure there’s been judgement and those who feel they know what’s best when it comes to this whole parenting thing, but at the end of the day, we’re focused on the positive. Thank you for the virtual high fives. Thank you for a simple double tap on a post. And thank you for taking the time to visit jacandlinds.com to see what’s on our mind from week to week. It’s amazing how sometimes a complete stranger can know exactly what you need to hear.
We’re honoured to be part of such a loving and supportive community. We had no idea this unofficial club existed until a little over a year ago and we’re so grateful to have found all of you! While there’s been sleepless nights, tears (more so us than our little ones) and lots of moments of uncertainty as we figure out what works best for us, there has also been immense joy, pure bliss and indescribable happiness.
Our babies have given us a brand new perspective on life. They remind us every day that life is about moments. It’s about taking the time to tell someone you love them. It’s about not sweating the small stuff and truly living your best life.
So please, keep the love coming. And we promise to do the same. Let’s continue to lift each other up. To remind one another that we’re not alone and while a tiny square on an Insta feed can come pretty close to perfection, there’s no such thing as a perfect parent. And no matter what, at the end of the day, you got this.
xo Jacqueline and Lindsay
A new month means a new checklist! Here’s what’s topping our to-do list in October.
Get yo’ self a PSL
We realize the whole pumpkin spice craze isn’t for everyone. You either love it or you hate it. We sisters are all about the love and we’re game to try anything with a shot of pumpkin spice. If you have yet to get your fix, now’s the time to snag some PSL goodness.
October is breast cancer awareness month. Make a donation, sign up for a run or walk, check out the many products being sold to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen foundation and wear all of the pink.
Thanksgiving is just days away for us Canadians and we can’t wait to gather with family and friends for good times and good food. If you’re hosting, it’s time to get the menu nailed down. If you’re attending a dinner, don’t forget a gift for the host! A bottle of wine, a candle, baked goods or even offering to bring something to contribute to the meal will be greatly appreciated.
Take a moment to give thanks
While you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving feast, take a moment to share your gratitude with loved ones. We are so blessed and have so much to be thankful for.
World Teacher’s Day
October 5 is World Teacher’s Day. Our mom is a retired teacher and as far as we’re concerned she’s the best teacher (and mom) in the world. Show some love to the amazing men and women who dedicate their time and effort to giving your children the best education possible.
Layers for you
This time of year, it’s all about the layers. It can be cool one moment and warm the next so make sure you’ve got a few staple pieces in your closet to throw on. Our fall go-tos include light sweatshirts, loose cardigans, cozy shawls, a good trench and a sporty bomber jacket.
And for your littles
And the same goes for our babies. Make sure your little ones have a few sweatshirts and hoodies, light jackets that are safe in the car seat, and a cozy toque big enough to cover those tiny ears on cooler days.
A trip to the apple orchard is a must this time of year. We look forward to this annual tradition even more now that our little ones are here. For those perfect fall days, bring a picnic basket and make a day of it!
What’s on your checklist this month? Happy October!
xo Jacqueline & Lindsay
Like most people, I hate feeling rushed in the morning. The more I can get accomplished at night, the calmer my mornings can be and the more time I can spend with my little one before I’m out the door for work. So once my baby goes to sleep, my evenings consist of power cleaning and prepping for the next day.
I like to shower at night so it’s one less thing to think about in the morning. Right now, I’m loving soaps from Saje and Rocky Mountain Soap Company.
The kitchen needs to be tackled every night. My husband is a huge help and often takes the lead. If he’s loaded the dishes into the dishwasher, I’ll put the clean dishes away. I’ll also take this chance to fill up my baby’s bottles/cups with milk and water for the next day so they’re easily accessible.
My refrigerator and microwave get a good wipe down with a multipurpose spray every night. We have stainless steal appliances. I love the look, but boy oh boy do they collect fingerprints!
I like to wash my floors every night. My baby is a really good eater but at some point in the day, food lands on the floor. Usually because my son has thrown it there! I like to mop around his highchair, the dining room and kitchen every night. I love Method and Mrs. Meyers cleaning products. (Yes, I get excited about cleaning products. Anyone else? Just me?) I’ll also wipe down his highchair.
I always give my breast pump parts a good soak and make sure they’re sterile and ready for the next day. I pop them into my pumping tote along with some bottles to fill up while I’m at work.
I have lots of baskets to store my son’s smaller toys. His toys inevitably end up all over the floor everyday, so I toss them into their baskets and wipe down his play mat.
I do at least one load of laundry every day and I try to put away as much as possible. My usual routine is to throw laundry in the washing machine at night. If I have time, I’ll move it to the dryer. If not, I dry them the next morning. In the evening, I try to put away the laundry I cleaned the night before. I fully admit, this does not always happen, and I sometimes end up with a pile of clean laundry kicking around longer than I would like.
Before I go to sleep, I choose my outfit for the next day. I know this sounds kind of silly but it really helps me save time in the morning if I know exactly what I’m wearing.
I sometimes have work to do at night after my son falls asleep. And some nights, I hit a major wall. I’ve come to realize that on those nights, the most important thing I can do is go to sleep when I’m able and not stress if something was not cleaned. As parents, it’s easy to forget how important it is to take care of ourselves.
I usually end the night with a couple YouTube videos or a Netflix show. Right now I’m watching Gilmore Girls…again. That show never gets old!! I’m also loving Briana K and Hayley Paige’s YouTube videos.
And that’s it! Stay tuned for my morning routine!
We can’t believe it’s September already! While we’ll miss the dog days of summer, we’re pretty pumped for changing leaves, crisp mornings and pumpkin spice everythang! Check out what we’ll be getting up to this month with our September checklist!
Who doesn’t love a little wardrobe refresh? From cozy cable knits to your favourite fall footwear, stock up on a few staple seasonal pieces. But before you hit the boutiques, do an inventory of your closet. If you’re like us, we have clothes stashed away that haven’t seen the light of day for months. Decide what works and what’s got to go. There are so many local charities who would happily accept your lightly-used threads.
What’s for dinner?
It’s a tossup between what we love more: fall fashion or fall food! There’s delicious soups, hearty stews and don’t get us started on the break-out-your-elastic-waistband-pants Thanksgiving feast! If you’re in need of a little inspiration, we’re loving It All Begins With Food by Leah Garrad-Cole. Written by the founder of Love Child Organics, this cookbook is loaded with healthy, hearty and oh-so-good recipes for all ages.
Layers make any room feel a little cozier. Blankets, cushions and area rugs are all great additions for fall. Area rugs also provide a little extra warmth on those cooler days.
Set up a study area
Back to school is in full swing and while we’re holding on tight to our babies while they’re still babies, we know lots of parents have been prepping for the big day. Select a designated space in your home where kids can focus on school work. A few key elements to ensure maximum production are excellent lighting, comfortable seating and minimal noise.
Purge and organize
Your closet isn’t the only space where you can run inventory. It doesn’t take long before kitchen cabinets, bathroom drawers and toy bins fill up with odds and ends you no longer want or need. Once you’ve purged to your heart’s content, it’s time to get organized. Storage solutions come in so many shapes and sizes so find what works best for each space in your home.
Fall colour swaps
Lindsay has a slight obsession with throw cushions and is constantly swapping in new favourite patterns and palettes. The current pale pink, white and teal combo will no doubt be switched out for slightly warmer hues and soft textures. It’s a simple switch to welcome in a new season.
Soak up the final days of summer
In the final few weeks of summer, we’re taking advantage of the warmer temps and getting outside with our babes whenever we can.
What’s on your September checklist?
xo Jacqueline & Lindsay
Jacqueline and Lindsay are sisters and new moms living on the East Coast of Canada.