Thursday 23 October 2014

Bring Vegas Home Challenge

A little while ago, I was asked by to join their "Bring Vegas Home" Challenge. I was asked to use the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Hotel for inspiration.

When I think of Las Vegas and the Cosmopolitan Hotel, I think of luxury and opulence. These things are easy to add to your own home with little touches. Looking through the pictures of the Cosmopolitan Hotel on the website I found lots of ways you can bring Vegas without breaking the bank.
Bring Las Vegas Home
#BringLVHome. Check out my Olioboard board.

Here are some ways you can accomplish your own luxurious look:

1. Have a Neutral Background - Paint is such a cheap and can easily be done in a weekend. Most of the guest rooms at the Cosmopolitan are either white or light grey which allows the artwork and one or two accent colours to really pop. The Cosmopolitan uses navy as one of it's main "pop" colours.

2. Lots of Layered Lighting - Lighting creates mood and atmosphere which very important to a glamorous look.
    Three Types of Lighting are:
          a) Ambient lighting is the main source of lighting in a room such as a beautiful chandelier or                         ceiling fixture.
          b) Task lighting is like a floor or table lamp for such tasks as reading.
          c) Accent lighting is used to add drama to a room or highlight a feature. For example, artwork                       lighting highlights art pieces and candles add drama.
The key to keeping the room united is to keep the finishes of the lighting fixtures the same. The Cosmopolitan does this with Chrome.
Another thing this hotel does along with the lighting is that it uses lots of mirrors to reflect the light around the room, which makes small rooms look bigger, and adds sparkle.

3. Patterns - Layered patterns create drama. The key to working with pattern is layering and playing with scale. The patterns need to be different sizes. For instance in my inspiration board, the pattern on the rug is largest size, the artwork is the next size, and then the drum lighting fixture and pillows are the smallest pattern size.  It keeps your eyes moving and things interesting when you layer patterns in a room.

4. Textures - Instantly add luxury to a room. Examples of great textures: velvets, leathers, natural stones, silks and woods. It could be as simple as adding a velvet accent chair to your living room, silk pillows to your bed or a leather bench in your front entrance. These textures make things look more extravagant and luxurious because of their richness. But they don't have to cost a fortune especially with so many great faux textures out there in the marketplace. Faux leather and faux silk can be so good they can trick even experts. You really do not need to win the casino jackpot to duplicate these looks at home.

5. Artwork -  This one you can make yourself with some canvas and paint from an art supply store or find at locally at all price points. There are a few keys to having great artwork: it must speak to you and be the right scale to your room. My belief is that it is better to have one large piece than many tiny pieces (unless you group them so they look like a big piece). One thing I love about making your own artwork, is that you can blow up your own photographs that have meaning to you. For example, in my living room I have a series of four photographed landscapes and each one we have taken on a trip so they all have special meaning to us. Another thing about your own artwork, you get to select the colours that work best for your room.
Don't worry if you don't have the time or a creative touch, you can buy some really great pieces in stores and on Etsy.

I was so inspired by the rooms at the Cosmopolitan Hotel that I can't wait to recreate my own glamorous guest room.

How would you bring Vegas home?

Saturday 20 September 2014

Fall 2014 Home Decor Picks

Well, it's almost officially Fall and the weather is certainly influencing my thoughts warm and cozy . Each season I like to add a few things to my existing decor to spruce up my home and get me excited for the colder weather. These additions can be easy and definitely economical. You can turn old sweaters into pillow covers, recycle other items from different parts of your house, or even craft up something new.  For Fall, my accents are usually in warm colours like deep red, rusty orange, olive, plum and navy. I also like to add more textures to my home decor in the Fall like velvets, knits and faux furs.

Fall 2014 Home Decor Picks

Terracotta bath towel / Pottery barn bedding / Lands Downunder tartan bedding / Zara Home blanket / Threshold textured bath towel / Kassatex blue hand towel / Chevron toss pillow / OKA door wreathNest scented candle / Moe s Home Collection wool throw pillowFrette throw pillow / Yankee Candle glass jar / Scented candle / Body cleanser / Nest body cleanser / Lucia body cleanser

Here are my picks for 2014:

1. Plaid or Faux Fur Throw for my living room. I haven't decided which one yet and since it's almost baby arrival time whichever I see and love first. The added warmth and texture will be nice and cozy on those chilly late night feedings.

2. Pillows - A couple of new textured pillows to add to my sofa in warm colours.

3. Wreaths - I think it would be a great addition to my front door to add some welcoming Fall colours.

4. Candles - Candles add great ambiance to any room and the scents can be relaxing. I like scents like pumpkin spice or apple pie because they make me think about the wonderful family gatherings and food that happen in the Fall. Maybe some candles in my bathroom, living room and bedroom.

5. Accessories - Hand Towels & Hand Soap - in lovely scents like cinnamon pumpkin spice or cranberry.

What do you like to do to get your home ready for the Fall season?

Sunday 7 September 2014

Fall 2014 Fashion Picks

I can't believe it's September already and I am so ready for Fall. Lately, we seem to being having some last minute summer hot weather. I think Mother Nature has mixed up July with September.

Today it's breezy, so I thought I would share Fall 2014 Fashion Picks. These are easy items you can pick up at any price point to add to your wardrobe. You can add just one item from a category or something from all four.

Fall 2014 Fashion Picks

360 Sweater turtleneck sweater / Tory Burch square toe boots / Express gold flat / MICHAEL Michael Kors satchel style purse / Hervé Van Der Straeten herve van der straeten jewellery / Michael Kors stainless steel jewelry/ Aurélie Bidermann gold jewelry

Categories (counterclockwise)

1. Oversize Turtleneck Sweater always says cozy to me especially when were are transitioning into Fall. The trick this season is for the turtleneck to be oversized and for the sweater to be done in a chunky knit. I can't wait to find mine.

2. Gold Accessories. For a couple of seasons, there has been a resurgence of gold jewellery and accessories. Frankly, I am excited as I love how gold jewellery looks with the jewel tones of Fall. Pick your favourite whether it be costume jewellery or the real deal.

3. Shoes or Boots. These Oxfords are a nice ode to back-to-school feeling we get in Fall and what what makes them special is that they are metallic. They would look great with your new chunky turtleneck and favourite jeans. Little ankle boots can do wonders to dress up those casual items of Fall. I love the gold heel on these boots from Tory Burch.

4. Great Structured Handbag. This structured bag is a good contrast between the less structured pieces of the season. I'm also in love with the navy colour. Maybe because it's a favourite staple colour here in Canada or maybe it's because it looks so great with gold accessories.

What would you choose for your Fashion 2014 updates?

Saturday 23 August 2014

Nursery Option #2

So I am having a really hard time narrowing down what I would like the nursery to look like. I know the last time I posted  I was leaning towards a robot theme but I want to explore some other options.

Here's what I came up for option #2.  You can check out my Nursery Option #2 board and where to find the items.
Nursery Option #1
Nursery Option #2 

Which option do you like better? How long did it take to narrow down your nursery options?

Thursday 31 July 2014

Baby #2 Nursery Inspiration Search

I am almost in my third trimester so the great nursery inspiration search is on. I now know we are having another boy which means I don't really have to do much to the nursery decor. But since I love decorating and changing things up I thought this baby deserves a new design. I will be reusing the brown wooden crib and change table and the rest will be a blank slate.

I have been gathering inspiration from some of my favourite websites such as Project Nursery and Pinterest. The theme that I seem to gravitate to for this baby has been robots and below is my inspiration board.

Robot Inspired Nursery

Monday 7 July 2014

Family Travel Essentials

It's officially Summer which means family travels. I have complied my list of all the essentials you need for your next family trip.

Family Travels Essentials

Converse rubber sole shoes, 105 CAD / Asics footwear, 165 CAD / Gap woven tote, 38 CAD / Yves Saint Laurent acetate glasses, 330 CAD / Travel Journal Recycled Map Notebook - I Read More Maps Than Books -..., 11 CAD / Map home decor, 5.46 CAD / Metal home decor, 11 CAD / Boy's Shoes: Dress Shoes, Sandals, Boy's Toddler Shoes | Payless Shoes, 16 CAD / Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18.0MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm..., 575 CAD / Toy Car Garage with Road, 17 CAD / HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT 'A Treasury of Curious George' Book, 12 CAD / Review, 7.91 CAD / Disney Monsters University Sulley Cuddle Pillow - Blue(12x10"), 20 CAD

My Family Travel Essentials

-Great, Comfortable yet fashionable Shoes for the entire family.
-Fabulous Sunglasses.
-Stunning Tote to carry all your new finds as well as snacks and water.
-SNACKS! A must when travelling with kids.
-Fun Reads for at the beach or on the plane.
-New Toys, Movies and Books for long car rides, plane rides or rainy days.
-Camera for catching all the travel memories and a travel journal & pen so you don't forget anything.
-Paper Road Maps for just in case you get lost or the GPS gets you lost :)
-Sunscreen (oops I missed that one in my picture)

What's your favorite family travel essentials?

Monday 30 June 2014

The Try, Try, Try Again Dessert : Jell-O Cheesecake Dessert

Some of you may remember my post about the cherished dessert that my grandmother used to make that I tried to recreate several times but something always went wrong. So I put it on the back burner and decided to try the recipe again in a bit, also so we wouldn't get tired of the dessert.

A couple of weeks ago, while at the grocery store I spotted Cool Whip Whipped Dessert Topping with a picture of what looked to be my grandmother's dessert, or a close version, so I bought it. On the back of the picture was the recipe. Now armed with the recipes and directions I knew I was going to master this dessert.

As promised, I tried it again but this time with the "found" recipe. There were a couple of things that were different: instead of the recipe using Dream Whip like my grandmother's recipe it used Cool Whip, and this new recipe adds sliced strawberries to the Jell-o. Though I could have added the strawberries I wanted it to be as close as I could get to my grandmother's recipe as I could without her here. This time I had success and the recipe turned out exactly the same except for the bumpy Jell-O. The reason for the bumpy jell-o was that I let the Jell-O set for too long in the fridge.

What Not to Do - Lessons Learned

1. Do not cook the crust because it changes the texture of the crust. My first two tries I baked the crust.

2. Not let the crust and the cream cheese layer chill long enough. This caused the cream cheese mixture to melt slightly.

3.Not letting the Jell-O set up long enough (which happened in the first two tries) but not too long as I learned this 3rd try. Getting the time right prevents the more dense cream cheese layer from floating to the top like in this picture.

Though it doesn't turn out as perfectly as I wanted,  I definitely learned that practice gets you closer and keep trying, again and again until you succeed.

Here's the Recipe from Kraft Canada that was on the Cool Whip Lid.

Strawberry Delight Dessert

1 1/2 c. Honey Maid Graham Crumbs
1/4 c. non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
1 1/2 pkg. Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese Spread Light, softened
2 tbsp. skim milk
1 c. thawed Cool Whip Light Whipped Topping 
2 c. boiling water
2 pkg. (85 g. each) Jell-O Strawberry Jelly Powder Light 
1 1/2 c. cold water
1 qt. (4 c.) strawberries, sliced 


Mix graham crackers and margarine, press firmly onto the bottom of 13x9 inch pan. Beat cream cheese spread and milk until well blended. Stir in whipped topping. Spread over crust . Refrigerate until ready to use. Stir boiling water into dry jelly powder in a large bowl at least 2 mins. until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate 1-1/2 hours or until thickened (spoon drawn through leaves definite impression). Stir in strawberries. Spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Store any leftover dessert in refrigerator. 

Have you had any recipes you had to try several times before getting them just right?

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