Interior Stylist, Lisa Canning Interiors. Author of the lifestyle blog, Lisa Canning: Blueprints for a Beautiful Life.
I run Lisa Canning Interiors, a boutique interior design firm in Toronto specializing in 2-hour interior design consultations. I write the lifestyle blog Lisa Canning: Blueprints for a Beautiful Life where I share my thoughts on Interior Design, Family and Productivity. I live in Toronto with my 4 (very soon to be 5!) children under the age of 6. I am passionate about helping mothers thrive at home by providing organization tips and insights into creating a beautiful home.
Secrets of a WOWMOM
I often get asked how I run a business with 4 little kids in tow. In my 8 years of business and 6 years of being a mom, I have learned that with hard work, strategy, and the right use of your gifts anything is possible. The key word is the RIGHT use of your gifts. I try as much as possible to live in my strengths, and delegate anything that can be outsourced or that I simply am not good at.
What inspires me
My husband. He is an incredibly generous man, with a jovial and gentle heart. My favourite thing about him is how much he cares about the souls of our kids. He would honestly stop at nothing to protect them from harm.
My sanity saviour (tips & time savers)
My iPhone. I can get a pretty remarkable amount of work done in almost any setting on such a small piece of technology. I also swear by my juicer. I almost want to pack it when we go on vacation! Just the knowledge that I am getting my fruit and vegetable servings in one efficient cup is so comforting to me!
My best WOWMOM advice
Create an ideal week. That is, write down all the things you need to accomplish in a week and actually assign times to them. Include grocery shopping, coffees with friends, date nights with your husband and time for yourself. If you find you have more things to do than your calendar can hold, discern what you can delegate or delete. It’s a simple concept- but one that will have huge ramifications on your life as a mom.
My WOW moment
Realizing that I could not do it all. At the end of 2014 I realized that there was no way I could continue being as busy as I was without some serious damage to my health and family relationships. So I regrouped, looked at what my most important values are, and made sure that my schedule allowed time for the things that truly matter.
My not-so WOW moment
Realizing I had gained 15 pounds in one month from eating too much fast food.
Keeping it WOW (how not to lose yourself)
I used to be a serious night owl- but have recently converted to rising early. It has changed my life. Starting the day with an hour of peace and quiet with no demands is probably the best gift I have given myself and absolutely the best gift to my family. Instead of being cranky first thing, I wake up excited for the day and much better equipped to show care for everyone else.
Favourite MOMent of the day
My hour to myself before my kids wake up, and while mega hectic, I do love dinner time. While I am sure painful to the ears of others (and sometimes mine too) I love the noisy chorus of my 4 kids.
Does balance exist?
I think it can with strategic planning but the constant pursuit of it can be a dangerous thing. I prefer the approach of embracing the imbalance, and knowing that while a crazy busy time exists, it always passes. I think this is why I am such a proponent of scheduling margin and family downtime. In my experience I have to be proactive to achieve balance.
My guardian angel
I have some pretty amazing moms in my life who have raised large families and now have grown up kids. I turn to them when I feel overwhelmed and they remind me so often, that while the stage I am in (so many small kids! So many diapers!) can be pretty physically and mentally exhausting, this time is fleeting and to cherish it. I really try to take their advice to heart when I feel overwhelmed.
The last time I laughed out loud
Today at dinner when my 3-year-old son told me he needed a brand new piece of cheese “really really really now!”
Words Of Wisdom (Mom’s message to My Kids)
You are a gift to me, and I cherish you so much.
MY WOWMOM MUST-HAVES
Fave things, places and sanity savers for WOWMOMS!
1. Designer maternity jeans- because when you feel like a blimp, you can convince yourself you don’t look like one!
2. Love Fresh Vanilla Body Scrub– you come out of the bath smelling like a cupcake and your skin is so soft. Beautiful packaging too.
3. Rebecca Minkoff bags– I just love that they are a little bit lady like, a little bit rock n’ roll. I have actually never carried a diaper bag- I just stuff a diaper and wipes in my regular purse and go.
4. My Whirlpool washer and dryer– I have basically the largest you can get on the market for the number of people I do laundry for. The features make doing laundry kind of fun- I particular love the steam cycle on my dryer.
5. The book Essentialism by Greg McKeowon– a pretty amazing read for moms who want to feel more balanced, work less and enjoy life more. It’s an amazing life principal and very challenging book.
6. Nanoleaf Gem LED bulb– energy efficient and looks like a gem stone- a beautiful eco-alternative to the filament bulbs so popular today.
7. Artkive– keep paper clutter down with this app that allows you to digitally categorize and collect your kids’ artwork. I still keep a file of favourite hard copy images but I love having a massive digital collection of all their doodles and first drawings.
8. High quality sheets- you spend so much time in bed- absolutely splurge on the most expensive sheets your budget will allow. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!