Families of Instagram #37: house_of_douglas

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“My kids mainly wear dresses. The longer and frillier, the better! I love collecting special pieces for them.” Mum of two girls Rebecca O’Brien (house_of_douglas on Instagram) talks family life with The Early Hour…

Rebecca O’Brien, 34, lives in Victoria, BC, Canada, with her husband of 12 years and their two daughters: Violet, five, and Penelope, three. She works at an investment firm.

Our mornings are … usually hectic and rushed during the week. A lot of the time we spend an extra ten minutes in bed and then rush extra hard to get out the door on time. Weekend mornings are my favourite. They are chill and relaxed. Violet always requests YouTube videos as a treat on weekend mornings. She loves watching Kinder Surprise videos.

I’d describe our house as … cozy and comforting. We built our home and put a lot of thought into the layout, it was really a labour of love. We have many windows and white walls so even on the dreariest days it feels like a pretty cheery home.

My kids mainly wear … dresses. The longer and frillier, the better! I love collecting special pieces for them. And at this age I usually only buy things for Violet, which she passes down to Penelope. They are pretty close in size anyway so they mostly just share clothes. And weekdays they wear a uniform to school so any chance to dress up for them is exciting.

I cope with clutter by … using every drawer, cupboard, and closet to its full potential. I loathe clutter. It makes me feel anxious and overwhelmed so having it hidden or put away keeps me sane haha. I’ve had people ask me “where is all your stuff”? and the truth is it is just hidden. Slowly but surely I am going through the cupboards and drawers and minimizing/purging.

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Less really is more and it feels good to have less. I learned this lesson when we were building our home and we moved from Edmonton to Victoria. During the build all of our worldly possessions were put into storage for a year. After that year I realized I didn’t miss a single thing I owned. They meant nothing to me; everything I needed I had. My family, pets and a very small wardrobe. Once we moved into our home and the movers dropped all our storage off it took me a long time before I even went into the garage to open a box.

Our favourite family meal is … a one dish chicken and vegetable number! One of my husband’s military friends taught me this easy recipe and it’s SO good and so easy, definitely my type of meal. You take baby potatoes, baby carrots and chopped onion and put in a casserole dish. Then layer 6-9 chicken drumsticks on top. Pour one cup of water over and then paint a ¼ cup of olive oil on the chicken and veggies. Then season with garlic powder, salt and pepper and in the oven it goes at 400F for one hour and done. And always so good.

I never leave the house without … makeup. I wish this wasn’t the case but I was not blessed with nice skin and it’s always been an insecurity of mine. I am actually doing my 5th round of Accutane now so there’s still hope one day I will have clear skin and feel comfortable makeup free!

When no one’s looking I … dance. I love dancing and find it so fun. I let my girls watch and join in but that’s about it!!

Having a child has made me … into an adult. Hands down they’ve been my greatest lesson in life, my best teachers, and my purpose.

I encourage creativity … as often as possible. We bake and decorate and my girls are constantly drawing and colouring. Play doh is one of their favourite things to play with and they are always creating pretend meals for me to “eat”. My creative outlet is Instagram of course.

I’ll never be able to part with … my memories. I just have so many good memories I like to reflect on. I daydream about the future and reminisce about the past often. I take tons of videos of my girls and enjoy watching them and remembering all the fun we have.

Bedtime tends to be … my favourite part of day. It’s a time when we are all together and we have no distractions of TV or our phones. We have such a nice routine. The girls love bath time and then we all cozy up in my bed and read books together as a family. Then we do horsey rides (piggy-back ride) to their bedrooms and have kisses and hugs and tuck them into their beds. I take turns laying with them in their beds until they go to sleep and I wouldn’t trade this time for anything in the world. It’s my fave.

When all else fails we … have a hug. Whenever we have a time out or a consequence it’s always followed with a hug. I want my girls to always know they are unconditionally loved.

Follow Rebecca – or house_of_douglas – on Instgram: @house_of_douglas