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  • Do you desire a life where you feel beautiful, you know your inner purpose, you travel to exotic places, explore and enjoy local sites and organic food, and your favourite part of the day is evenings spent sipping on your favourite drink while surrounded by inspiration, love, and you feel successful in your life and career?

    This is the story of dream lifestyle and business curator, Lesley Stefanski. Told from her perspective she'll share her insight and knowledge on how she designed her ideal lifestyle and business as well sharing the places she travels to, the images she captures, and the life she creates for herself!

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For getting stuff done


Waking up on a Monday morning when you’ve spent the past eight hours on and off with your babe who thinks that sleep is the last thing we should be doing, can definitely give you the case of the Monday blues. As much as I tried to nap with my babe in the morning, I couldn’t do it, I knew I needed to get stuff done.

When you say yes to the first thing on your to do list, you begin the spiral of yeses for the day.

I hopped in the shower and enjoyed 15 minutes of alone time to just let my mind wander while the water cascaded over my body. Once I finished my shower I could have easily thrown my hair into a top knot, but I decided to spend another 30 minutes doing my hair and applying some makeup. While my babe napped I kept an ear open for any crying since doing my hair takes some time, but she slept perfectly.

After I fed her and let her play for a little bit she quickly went down for her next nap. I thrive off of these naps! It’s more time to myself to do whatever I need to do. Today, it’s continuing to say yes to my to do list. I was on the phone setting up appointments, filling out applications, folding laundry, vacuuming the house, putting away dishes, and now blogging.

With a new babe I’m still surprised I can get things off my to do list, but it all begins with yes.

You see, the moment I start saying yes, it builds and the momentum grows to keep on saying yes to the next task or project. Every day I easily could say no and decide to stay in bed in my yoga pants watching episodes of random TV shows, but instead I choose to say yes and slowly start seeing changes in my life and in our home.

Once I say yes I realize that half way through my day my house is clean and I’m being extremely productive. I also learn that I can’t be productive without a clean house and when I say no, nothing gets done.

See what I mean by it’s a spiral of yeses?

Obviously with a new babe it can be completely thrown off course and I spend the afternoon tucked away in my bedroom with a sleeping babe in my arms, but knowing that I’ve started my day with yes makes a world of a difference.

What do you do to help you stay productive and get stuff done? I would love to hear your method!

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Weekly Life

I dedicate myself to spend time helping our babe learn to sleep and soothe herself. We stay indoors for her to feel secure and comforted in her own bed, surrounded by familiar rooms and sounds. I rock her, sing her lullaby, rub her blanket on her face then say I love you. I cherish these moments together.

She learns to sleep quickly that Mister and I start to enjoy restful sleep after three months of night feedings. I see the difference in all of us, we’re happy, loving, and content with one another.

I spend an afternoon nap looking for clothes to add to my closet and fill an online shopping cart full of sheers and cotton in soft muted nudes and whites. I anticipate their arrival to update my wardrobe and help me feel beautiful in my postpartum body.

There is a day that I see clearly that she needs me and wants me. Not just for food but for comfort as well. That when she is placed in my arms I feel her tighten her tiny arms around my neck, she tilts her head and places it on my shoulder facing out, the deepest sigh escapes her tiny body and the she completely relaxes into me. Her and I spend so much time together, attached by a beautiful entwined ribbon between the two of us, that she yearns for me to know she is safe. I revel in the feeling of being wanted but struggle with always having to feel like I should be near her.

A friend comes to visit and spontaneously her and I are doing a photoshoot together with the cherry blossoms. She spends so much time asleep that she captivated by the pink snow falling down and the world around her. I dream of summer picnics, camping adventures, and exploring the city together.

Later in the week I tuck her into her carrier close to my chest to walk to take her passport photos. Along the way we are admired and smiled at. The carrier makes me feel a dishevelled but with my oversized tortoise shell sunglasses, grey cape thrown over my shoulders, coach handbag on my wrist, and black skinnies to show off my figure I feel and see the admiration people have for me. A new mother who puts herself together.

The weekend comes and with Saturday it is my day and I Implement a no internet/email day. We start the day staring and connecting with each other as well as with Isla. We are present. No need for tag teaming, we do everything together. You wash, I dry. You swaddle her, I’ll put her down. You start the sentence, I’ll finish it. This connection leads us to chasing each other down the hall and tumbling into bed, eager to strip our clothes off. It’s the most sweet interlocking of bodies that sends us into a deep sleep afterwards.

We enjoy hours of conversation. Another latte, more snuggles with Isla, being more aware and present with one another.

We take an afternoon walk in the rain with her in the pram. As we walk along the seawall I take everything in, the way the light is falling across the buildings, the birds dipping in the water, the crowds of families rushing to play together or attend a weekend birthday party. We stop in at the grocers and pick up fresh ingredients to make a dinner for two before heading home.

A warm house welcomes us as our wet footprints leave a trail through the home. We prepare snacks of oven top popcorn drizzled in duck fat, rice crisps and hummus, homemade guacamole paired with fresh baguette.

As the sun starts to shift towards the horizon she takes her afternoon nap and Mister lays down in our large bed to read a novel. I run a bath of lavender and hot water to soak in. As the candle flickers in the corner I realize we haven’t been this calm in a long time. I cannot remember a time seeing him so relaxed with no stress outlining his eyes. I crave more days like this.

We mix the ingredients together and sit before a single candle lit dinner where Isla joins us. The music is turned off and the only sound is us in conversation. As the skyline turns from duck to night she finally calms down and is ready to be put to bed, and we continue our conversation till late in the night of plans to build our networth, his career aspirations, and building on passion.

We awake to Sunday, his day. We relax at home slowly eating breakfast, showering, getting dressed. We spend lingering moments with our babe not rushing her or us to go anywhere or do anything.

I spend the day in between naps soaking up a new novel while he works away in his office. I hear her wake up from her midmorning nap and begin the timer for letting her cry it out. 10. 15. 20. She doesn’t stop and my heart longs for her so I finally pick her up and she instantly calms. I bring her to our bedroom and lay with her on our bed together and she curls her tiny body into into my chest. One hand clutching my shirt the other thrown across her eyes I lay there watching her and listening to her breathing until I know she’s fallen into a deep sleep.

I take her to watch Mister’s soccer game and I feel a sense of pride wash over me. I am that woman, that wife, that mother who brings her babe to cheer him on. Between shifts he runs up to me with sweat running down his face and kisses me hard on the lips, I know he appreciates me being there.

I take her home afterwards to feed and change her before heading back out to celebrate with his teammates. I dress her in her white and grey stripped onesie with her white hat. I throw on my grey cape and large sunglasses before placing her in the crook of my arm. We are a sight to be seen. A stylish mother with a stylish babe, relaxed and smiling as we walk down the street, we bring smiles to everyone who sees us. As we walk into the pub I hear the ohh and awes given to our babe; she brings delight where ever she goes. She sits in his lap looking around and watching everyone. We are proud of what a calm and happy babe we have.

I sing her lullaby and we kiss her goodnight that soon she is a sleeping babe in her crib. He is in his office so I crawl onto his lap and we look over all the photos I’ve taken of her in the past 12 weeks. How much she’s grown! I can’t believe how small she was! Look, her first smile! We exclaim over and over how proud we are.

We call it an early night and crawl into bed together. Skin to skin.

+ - 1 comment

April 12, 2014 - 12:32 AM

Jenny - Oh I love this post Lesley. From your words I can feel how happy and content you are with your life and your family. And I love to see you happy :)

How is motherhood

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As a new mum, I am faced with this question at least a couple of times a week, usually followed by “don’t lie to me” or “it’s the best thing ever, isn’t it?!”

How is motherhood.

In all honestly, I never know quite how to answer because it really depends on the month/week/day/hour/minute I’m having that can really effect my response. I want to say it’s the worst thing that has happened to me….and also say it’s the best.

Am I supposed to tell you about breastfeeding in washrooms where I have to cover my nose to mask the smell of it never being cleaned? Or the other time washing my hands in a empty public washroom she was in her pram screaming, the sound was reverberating off the faded blue walls making it sound like there were three of her, that a calmness came over me when I realized that I could leave her and no one would know she was mine. That having thoughts of leaving, running as fast as I can sounds like the best idea ever? And that I’m the worst person who ever existed.

Do you want to know the story of listening constantly to one song while pregnant, dreaming of my future babe, then dissolving into a puddle of tears when she was finally in my arms and feeling so unworthy to be called her mum? How about my internal struggle to even be called mum, or dealing with the fact that prior to becoming pregnant the idea of children would fill me with so much anxiety that now I’m still unsure how I’m supposed to love her? Or when friends say “I don’t want children” my heart says “me too!” even with her in my arms, and then again I feel like the worst person, ever.

Do you want to hear that I work hard to get her to sleep, nurse, and go to the bathroom? That if we didn’t have a schedule, I’d be dealing with a completely different child…not the calm one I have? That bringing up a babe is so.much.work? Like all parents should be sweating blood due to the commitment it takes to devote your energy to a child?

That it feels like I’m complaining when I tell you this?

Or do you want to hear about how every time she successfully sleeps through the night I feel like I should celebrate with champagne? Sleeps longer than a 45 minute nap I want to smother her in kisses? That seeing her wake up, pull her hands above her head and give a big stretch is one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen, besides her sneezing?

That no matter how much screaming she’s done, how many tears we’ve cried, how upset I’ve gotten that I can’t seem to figure my babe out, that when she finally settles in my arms squeezing either side of my neck while resting her head on my left shoulder I feel like my heart will bust because she finds comfort in me? That each smile, girggle, coo, sigh is a major victory and I’m the best person, ever?

Or perhaps you want to know that she feels like she’s the perfect piece to complete Mister and I. But also the piece that’s making him miss him like crazy, even when he sits next to me.

So how is motherhood, you ask.

What would you like to hear?

+ - 2 comments

April 10, 2014 - 9:16 AM

Rebecca Sehn - This is beautiful, Lesley. It’s perfect because it’s not perfect.

April 13, 2014 - 12:09 PM

lily - this is beautiful. i always would like to hear the truth, the whys. so this is beautiful :)

Weekly life

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Days spent cuddled close, staying in pajamas, listening to the rain fall against the window, and lighting a new voluspa crisp champagne candle to cast a glow across the room.

When babe is being fussy and I find myself on the verge of tears I’m thankful for the classical music that plays throughout the house while we go about our day. I love how it relaxes us and creates a softness in our home. We slow down soaking up the moment, her and I, bundled together on white sheets and soft pillows.

+ - 2 comments

April 9, 2014 - 6:52 PM

melissa page - thank you so much for your words — your willingness to be vulnerable and transparent. i’ve struggled with some of the same feelings and feelings of shame or embarrassment for feeling them. your honesty is refreshing. xo

April 13, 2014 - 12:03 PM

lily - Babe is SO CUTE! :)

Breaking habits

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Yesterday while going through some blogs that I follow I read a snippet of a post that made me pause and think.

95% of your day is done out of habit.

It made me realize that the excuses I’ve been making as to why I wasn’t getting certain things done is because of the habits I’ve created in my life.

Now not all habits are bad, some are just perfect. I am a new mama, but I’ve showered, dressed, put makeup on, and combed my every day since she was born. It’s been extremely important to me that no matter what, this gets done. I’ve blocked out times in my day to tidy the house so that I don’t feel like I’m living in baby land and Mister can come home to a stress free environment (crying baby/wife excluded). And I’ve also made sure that babe and I get out at least once a day to get some fresh air, rain or shine.

However, after reading that above sentence I’ve realized that I have a habit that I need to change. Being attached to my phone.

It’s a habit that started as soon as babe was born. Whenever she would feed, sleep, or play, I would be on my phone. I think the only times I gave her my full attention would be when she needed to be changed, dressed, or bathed.

As much as my phone is my lifeline to the world around me, I realize it’s a habit I need to contain instead of letting it be apart of my life so much. I need to create habits that are more intentional in my life so that I am more present and more productive. Hence, starting today I’ll only be using my phone to be more productive (like writing this post from my phone!) then putting it away.

Design your lifestyle assignment

95% of your day is done out of habit. Can you identify a habit that you do daily that you would like to get rid of? Once you’ve identified it, see if there is a way you can benefit from it (like how I’ve used my phone to write blog posts) or eliminate it. If you need to eliminate but not able to go cold turkey (I can’t live without my phone) create blocks of time to indulge in the habit so that you control it, than it control you.

Please feel free to share your discoveries in the comments below! I would love to know what your word for 2014 is!

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+ - 1 comment

April 13, 2014 - 12:01 PM

lily - procastinating, and endless browsing of the feedly reader. :( now i ignore all the “unread” and try to trim down the list!