Friday, 20 December 2013

DIY Wooden Headboard

A few months ago, I wrote about my DIY project weekend and I finally have a picture to show you of you one the projects. Here is the link to the original post: DIY Project Weekend.


Design
We wanted to something that was easy to clean, comfortable and had a rustic modern look. I am so in love with Rustic Modern right now. After looking at many headboards (both online and in print), I decided that I wanted one made slatted boards. My husband suggested that we curve the back of the headboard to make it more comfortable to lean against when we read in bed. Once he got my ok on the look of the headboard, he proceed to make up the plans for the bed.

The Process:
It is made up of 1"x 2"x 8' pine boards which we cut to my desired width (65") for our queen sized bed. After we cut the board to size, I then did a painted, distressed finish with some left over paint from other projects. The paint colours I layered were a mid-tone grey and a chocolate brown. The paint was diluted with a little water so it would go on transparent and then before the paint dried I wiped off some of the colour. Once the paint was dry, we proceed to assemble it.

It couldn't have turned out any better. I absolutely love it!

What's your favourite DIY project you've either made or would love to make?

Friday, 13 December 2013

My Top Five Favourite Beauty Products

Since it's the time of year for giving I thought I would share with you my top five favourite beauty products that would make great stocking fillers. 




Top Five Favourite Beauty Products

1. Stila Lip Glaze in Kitten. It is a really pretty gold shade. It is perfect for this time of year when you want to add a little bit of sparkle and glam to your look. I love Stila lip glazes because they are really easy to put on and you can get the right amount of lip colour by simply turning the dial. It's also not sticky like some other lip glosses. I almost forgot to mention they smell awesome! You can't beat a great smelling, not sticky, pretty lip gloss. 

2. Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Concealer in Light - This is one of those self-adjusting make-up products and I will admit at first I was a little sceptical to try them but I fell in love with this one. I have never been a big fan of the mask feeling you can get with some foundations and concealers. Up until this point I haven't really had to worry about dark circles and blemishes since my skin has been pretty clear. But now that I am in my thirties with a two year old to keep up with means being tired more than before this concealer has done wonders for my dark circles. You just dab it on with you ring finger and because it is self adjusting the concealer is easy to blend into your skin. 

3. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Repair Cream - I suffer from moderate-extreme eczema on my hands and this cream has done wonders. It really helps with the severe dryness. I like to put it on overnight so it has more time to work. The only issue I have with it is that it has a rose-like scent which can be a little intense when you first put it on but disappears as time goes on. The scent did surprise me as it is a product for sensitive skin but the product's ability to repair my hands makes up for the scent. It's also paraben free. 

4. MAC Eye Shadow in Naked Lunch. What can I say MAC eye shadow? MAC Eye Shadow is my favourite and will forever be my favourite eye shadow. The colour pigment is amazing and the texture is luxurious. Naked Lunch (the name makes me laugh every time...hehe) is a great soft pink champagne colour. It is prefect for day to be warn alone or as a base for a night time smoky eye. The most important part for me is that it stays and you don't have to put have the pot of eye shadow on to get the amount of colour you want. 

5. MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash. It is awesome. A few months back I was having irritation issues with my eyes and I think my old mascara was part of the cause. This one is a beautiful, black colour and goes on super easy with it's teeny tiny brush. It doesn't clump or flake which is what I was looking for and it definitely doesn't irritate my eyes. It's a bit more of an investment compared to the drug store varieties but my motto is you only get one pair of eyes so invest in them.

These opinions are solely my opinions and I have not been paid to review any of these products.


What are your top favourite beauty products?


Saturday, 7 December 2013

A Little Bit of Christmas Everywhere

This year I decided I wanted a little bit of Christmas throughout the whole house. I like a little seasonal reminder in a every room but I don't mean I like my house to look like Christmas threw up all over it. Just a little hint, whether it be ode to my Christmas colour palette of the year in the bathroom towels or ornaments in a vase in the kitchen. This year I decided to have a neutral base colours for the tree and one colour for pop. I choose brown and gold for my neutral base colours (but it could easily be white or black) and for my pop of colour purple. The pop colour you can change out each year or every second year and rotate every few years.

My palette for 2013. 

Tree: The majority of the Christmas ornaments are gold and brown then for my pop of colour I have two dozen ornaments in purple. My tree skirt (actually is a faux fur throw) is in the same purple. I also like to play up the texture so the accent colour ornaments are in different textures: some are shiny, some are matte and some are glittery. The reason for doing this is so that it adds dimension to the tree and I love the way the light hits each of the textures differently.  

Back Story on the Type of Tree: We are team real tree. It started about fifteen years ago when my brother and I convenced my mom to get a real tree. We wanted to see what all the real tree hype was about and I haven't been able to go back to a fake tree since. The companies that make artificial are making a good fight though and maybe one day I will go back to an fake tree. We do a real tree because we really like how they look and you can't beat the smell of a real tree. Yes, it's messy but I don't mind because it's only for a few weeks a year. My husband and I have made a tradition out of it where each year we go to a tree farm, pick out our tree and cut it down. It has become a nice family tradition and now that our son is beginning to understand more he is so excited to help daddy cut down a tree.  I don't have any pictures to show you yet because we haven't cut down our tree yet. I will post pictures soon.

Accent Decorations: Purple

Here are some Simple Touches you can add to your house.

1. Glass vase with Ornaments and Pine Cones - a super easy way to add a touch to any room in your house. Just take a glass vase put in some pine cones (The ones in the picture are Home Depot a few years ago. Or you could get them out of your yard or from a park or the woods.) I choose one colour to keep easy and simple. This one is gold.

I wanted to add some height for mine so I found a cake stand that I already owned and put the vase on that. Ta da! I put this simple touch in the corner behind the kitchen sink. Now when I do the dishes I have this little reminder of the season and it makes me smile.















































2. Front Door - A Simple Faux Wreath. I made this one a few years ago. I bought the pre made faux greenery wreath and hot glued in so faux berries. Then I made a bow and attached it with some florist wire. You can get all these supplies at a craft store like Michaels.


3. Planter at your Front Door - To make the planter, you can go to a local florist or garden centre and buy the greenery and accents or you can go into your yard and cut some stuff. I used a stone planter I have on my front step all year long that I change it out seasonally. 

For the planter below, I went to a local garden centre for the greenery. I bought magnolia leaves and an assortment of branches: fir, spruce and cedar. The stars and gold glittery balls came from Home Depot. As for my technique, there is no right way to do it I just started sticking things into the existing soil. I make sure the floppy cedar is in the front to drape over the edge of the planter and stuck the taller spruce branches in the back. I filled in the empty spots with the fir and magnolia leaves. I love the colour of the back of the magnolia leaves against all the green. The accent ornaments I added to the front for some sparkle and added texture. 

Like I said before, there is no right way to do this. It's all about placing things, playing with it and having fun.  


4. Currently, I working on painting wooden blocks to look like little presents and the word joy. Stay tuned for pictures.


Let the decorating continue! Have a great weekend!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Great Caribbean Vacation

I'm back!!! My husband and I went to Caribbean for a good friend's wedding. My friend picked a cruise for her wedding festivities and then get married at one of the ports of call. My husband and I decided that my son would have more fun with his grandparents on the farm than with us confined to a boat. It was also our first time leaving him for longer than a couple of hours. He had never even done an overnighter before we left. The first day was a little rough but as time went on I knew it would be great for both us and our son. I also knew he was in great hands as his grandparents have raised four boys of their own and now have eight grandchildren.

Our vacation was great though not as relaxing as I thought it would be as an adult vacation. Even though we didn't have to think about nap schedules and 8 pm bed times we still had to keep a schedule for excursions, dinner times, and making it back to the ship before it left for the next island.  We got to see six islands in seven days. The six islands were Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. It was incredible. We also did two excursions: a hike near the Pitons in St. Lucia and Snorkelling in St. Kitts. Both excursions were a lot of fun and the scenery was breathtaking.  We had a great time with our friends but were very excited to see our son when arrived home.

I only have two pictures to share because we misplaced our camera. :(  No worries, I am sure it will turn up soon.


Sunday, 10 November 2013

Design Chaos

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Finally, after a few weeks of shuffling things around so that we can paint and redecorate some of our rooms, I am starting to get things back into their proper place. I am such a "type A" person who needs everything to be neat and tidy and in it's place so my days runs as smoothly as it can with a two year old. Also, have a place for everything means little hands are less likely to find it and I say "less likely" because he just seems to find a way to get things he really wants.

Today list of things to do keeps growing but I am determined to get them done.

First off, where did I put my new pens? I am so excited to use my new colourful pens and haven't yet since  I bought them a couple of weeks ago. With all the chaos I seem to have misplaced them and have spent the last half and hour trying to find them. Err! I hate when that happens.

Next up, paint the dresser for my son's new room. We are up-cycling an old dresser of mine from my university days. Hopefully the dusty rose carpet (from the previous owner I promise) we have to deal won't throw our colour scheme right out the door. What bossy carpet!

Then, I need to email the minutes from a meeting I had.

Lastly, I need to  gather everything we need to pack for our vacation on Friday. By gather everything I mean, pack for our cruise and then pack for my son's visit to his grandparents. My friends are getting married while we are on the cruise so I am also hair stylist and make-up artist for their big day. That means I need to pack all my make up, hair products, flat iron and curling iron as well as all my beach and formal attire. Trying to remember everything gets me feeling a little frazzled and excited for this trip at the same time. I am really looking forward to celebrating with my friends.

 Hopefully, by tomorrow we can start to put my son's room together. Yeah! {Insert happy dance here}

The pictures I promise are coming. So here's a little sneak peak.

N's Big Boy Bedroom - In Progress

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Caribbean Travel Must Haves

My apologies for my missed post last week, besides being very busy I haven't been feeling very well. I am hoping to feel better for my vacation next week. We are going to the Caribbean for a long-time friend's wedding so I am very excited.

In honour of my trip, I thought I would share my vacation must haves.


Caribbean Travel Must Haves

1. Great Pair of Sunglasses. Right now my dream sunglasses are these Tory Burch sunglasses They have a great shape and the perfect shade of tropical blue.

2. Add a little height to your beach look with these awesome wedges. They will add great length your legs.

3. I am not a total lover of flip flops but Havaianas have one me over. You can walk all day in these and look super cute at the same time.

4. A fabulous hat to keep the sun out of your eyes.

5. Fun Nail Polish for the superb pedicure.

6. Large Pretty Beach Bag for your magazines, books, and sunscreen.

The six must haves will keep you stylish on the beach so keep these in mind for your next beach getaway.

Stayed tuned this week because I hope to have another post for you this week to make up for no post last week.


Saturday, 26 October 2013

A Very Busy Month

Things have been a little crazy around here lately. We decided to go on a road trip and redecorating a couple of rooms in our house all in the same month.

Last weekend, we went to Montreal to visit friends. As usual we had a fantastic time. We used to live in Montreal and miss the city and our friends so we try to visit regularly. The city is like little a mini trip to somewhere exotic where everyone speaks French, home to great fashion and shopping, amazing bike trails, fantastic food (especially cheese and baguette), extraordinary restaurants, and great culture. The city has that beautiful European like charm.

Montreal Recap
One stop we have to make every time we go  is the Atwater Market , one of the best markets I have been to with incredible selection. We tried cannoli for the first time and it was very delicious. Another thing we started to do now is to always bring a cooler so we can stock up on different cheeses, baguette, my favourite olive oil La Belle Excuse. It's my special olive oil that I use for dipping baguette, drizzling on pasta, or as salad dressing. After the market, we took a ride on the Metro (subway) downtown to go shopping at my favourite Quebec store, Simon's. My friends made meat fondue (one of my favourite special meals) for dinner on Saturday night. The fondue with wine, cheese, baguette, and great conversation was the perfect end to our day of shopping. Fondue is a great way to slow down. You cook one or two pieces of meat at a time leading to lots of conversation.
On Sunday we went hiking up Mt. St. Hilaire, QC which took about 2 hours and was 5kms. After our hike we had amazing Poutine at Le Fringale. Once we were stuffed with then went to my favourite supermarket called Marche Adonis before heading home. Marche Adonis predominately specializes in Mediterranean foods with connoisseurs in each department of the supermarket. I came away with fresh pitas, Greek feta, oregano from Greece, and a selection of Baklava.

 It was really great to see our friends again and enjoy one of our favourite cities in Canada.

Atwater Market in Montreal, QC

Mt. St. Hilaire, QC 

I am currently designing three rooms (My Office/Studio, Our Family Room, and my son N's big boy room) in our house at the same time. Crazy! We are slowly getting there. Right now we are painting two rooms at once, my studio/office and the family room. I still have to pick out the wall colour for my son's room, buy his accent pieces, and decide on drapes or Roman blinds. Can't wait to show you more of the details.

This weekend we are continuing to work on our design projects. Hopefully by tonight we can have my studio painted and start to move everything back to normal. Have I ever told you that chaos makes me crazy? Well it really does especially when you have been in the middle for a few weeks now.

Stay tuned for pictures and details of my newly redesigned rooms.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Recipe Challenge Update #2

The next recipe I made in the Recipe Challenge is the Chocolate Madeleines. They were really good and easy to make. The hardest part was finding a Madeleine pan in my small town. I wanted to have the true Madeleine shape that you get with using the special pan but I think I may have filled mine with too much batter {noted for next time}. Very delicious and would make them again. 


Saturday, 12 October 2013

DIY Project Weekend

So excited it's Friday! My husband has been away on two business trips back to back spanning almost two weeks so I am soooo glad he's back. We both are super to stoked to do some DIY projects this long weekend.
  

Here's what our plan is for this long weekend.

- Paint our rec room in our basement. We replaced the carpet almost a month ago because we wanted to turn it into usable play space. I think we have decided on Benjamin Moore Gray Timber Wolf - 2126-50 but we are going to do a test sample to see if the colour is too dark.
Benjamin Moore Gray Timber Wolf 2126-50

The colour is not as dark as it appears here.










-Paint my studio. It is so in need of a update with yucky, yellow walls which remind me of a hospital and no one wants their studio/office to remind them of a hospital.  We are also moving my office into the basement so that we can move our son into his big boy room. I still have to do a colour test but I am thinking Benjamin Moore Sea Froth 2107-60. I am thrilled to have full say on all design elements since this is my work space.
Benjamin Moore Sea Froth 2107-60


The colour is not as dark as it appears here.










- Make a wooden slate headboard for the master bedroom. I have spent months flip flopping over an upholstered headboard or a wooden one. A couple of weeks ago I thought I had made a decision on making an upholstered one but as I thought about it some more I wanted something that was easy to clean (remember we have a cat and a two year old) so back to the wooden one. Then, yesterday while looking though one of home decor magazines I found a picture of the wooden headboard I want to recreate for our room. So excited to start that project.


-Make a fabric covered cork board.

-Spray paint some old desk accents gold.

Can't wait to get started and share some pictures! Happy Thanksgiving! How do you like to spend your long weekends?


Friday, 4 October 2013

Quick Fall Home Decor Updates

Every day it is feeling more like Fall which makes me nesty. If you are like me, you love to change things up in your home at the beginning of each of the season with a few new items or repurposed ones. I especially love Fall because I love being warm and cozy in my house.  

Here are a few things you can do to update your home for Fall and not break the bank. You could do just one update or all six (completely up to you and your nesting desires).


Quick Fall Home Decor Updates









   




Sunday, 29 September 2013

Recipe Challenge Update

So, as you know I started a recipe challenge a few weeks ago, where I picked a bunch of recipes out of a cookbook to test how good the recipes are and grow my skill level.

It's been going good so far. I picked a few new recipes to add to my weekly line up and some of them have been very successful and some of them not so much. I have crossed of the recipes that I have made so far.

My Recipe List:
1. Baba Ghanoush
2. Naan Bread with Mango Chutney
3. Sweet and Sour Chicken Salad
4. Noodle Salad with Meat and Nuts
5. Tandoori Chicken Kebabs with Raita
6. Samosas
7. Beef with Black Beans
8. Lamb Biryani
9. Asian Noodles with Pork
10. Caribbean Coconut Chicken Nuggets
11. Baked Cod with Potatoes, Olives and Tomatoes
12. Paella
13. Brazilian Fish Stew
14. Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni
15. Russian Cheesecake
16. Chocolate Souffle
17. Cherry Clafouti
18. Rhubarb and Apple Tart Tatin
19. Mississippi Mud Cake
20. Chocolate Madeleines

Recipe Reviews
Baba Ghanoush - easy to make and tasted good but not as good as my favourite store brand.
{Sorry I forgot to take a picture.}

Lamb Biryani- well....it was a flop. I followed the recipe and in the end it had little flavour. The spices must have gotten lost in all the rice the recipe calls for. I also found out I do not like lamb (tastes a little too musky for me). I think I will leave this recipes up to the experts.




Brazilian Fish Stew - was awesome! It was easy to make. The coconut milk mixed with the red curry, cod, potatoes, carrots and spinach was incredible.  The dish had just the right amount of heat and wasn't too fishy. I would make this one again.




Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni- Easy to make. I did cheat a little in that I used fresh, flat lasagna sheets instead of cannelloni shells because it makes it easier to stuff. You just spread the mixture out in a line and then roll. I also cut the lasagna sheets in half as to have the right proportion of pasta to filling. My family loved it so it is a definite remake and it freezes beautifully.



Chocolate Souffle - In choosing this recipe, I knew this recipe would definitely challenge my skills. The souffle tasted really good but it did not come out like the picture in the cookbook. Since this was my first time trying a souffle I felt like the recipe should have gone into more details for each step (ie. if you can use a hand mixer to whip the egg whites into stiff peaks or by hand.) I will try this dessert again (because I love chocolate and I want to figure this dish out) but with a different recipe that has more details.



Cherry Clafouti- So delicious! It was a dream to make. Since it is no longer cherry season, I had to make the dessert with frozen cherries and it still turned out great. Definitely making this recipe for my next dinner party.




Friday, 20 September 2013

Fall 2013 - Shopping List


As my magazines subscriptions arrive, I am getting more excited for fall. Here are some of them.

Fall 2013 - Shopping List


solesociety.com shoes / Topshop leggings /  Zara handbag / Jade Jagger earrings  / 
Michael Kors watch / Essie nail polish



Friday, 13 September 2013

Trying Adobe Photoshop Elements 11

Since I can remember, I have always gotten a giddy feeling every time I buy new piece of technology {ie. new computer, I Pod, or cell phone} or software. I am not too sure what it is that causes my giddiness, maybe it's installing something and getting it to work or that I get to try out something new.




I ordered Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 this week and  was so excited for it to arrive. I must have checked the online order status a million times. Thankfully, I only had to wait two days.

I have been looking for something to edit my photos that is quick and easy to learn because nap time really flys by when you are editing. I heard that a lot of people like Photoshop Elements for editing photos for both blog and home use so I thought I would give it a try.

The program was super easy to install onto my computer. The only thing is that I wished it came with a paper "how to" book instead of having to look everything up on the internet. {I am paper person, meaning I love the feel of a book in my hand that I can highlight and make notes on the pages.}

I can't wait to get started and share some of my pictures with you.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Recipe Challenge: Caribbean Coconut Chicken Nuggets

The first recipe I tried on my recipe challenge is Caribbean Coconut Chicken Nuggets from the cookbook "Food Lovers: Round the World Cookbook". I chose this recipe for two simple reasons:  I needed something quick for my son's lunches and chicken breasts were on sale (The Chief Purchasing Officer of our family {That's Me} likes to stay on our weekly budget).

The chicken nuggets were easy, quick and healthy to make. The recipe called for frying the chicken nuggets but I baked them to make them a little more healthier. My 2 year old gobbled them up. I had extra nuggets so froze the remaining nuggets in freezer bags of 10 {what I thought a serving size for 2-3 would be}.

We enjoyed the nuggets a few days later. We simply pulled the nuggets out of freezer and heat up in a frying pan with a little olive oil. They keep in the freezer very well and were just as tasty as the first time I made them.

I give this modified {baking not frying} version of the recipe two thumbs up.  
   
Caribbean Coconut Chicken Nuggets 

Friday, 30 August 2013

August Recap


First of all, I can't believe August is over. What a month it's been!

August in a wrap.
1. We have started and ended the month with camping trips.

























2. I started the Recipe Challenge and it is going well. {I have some results to share with you soon.}

3. I have two new favourite products to share:
                   1-Estee Lauders Advance Night Repair. I use it after I wash my face at night.
                                   It makes my face feel great and I have noticed my complexion is improving.
                   2-Neon Citrine Felicia Ballet Flat by Sam Edelman. I love them so much.
                                   They make me smile each time I wear them.

Sam Edelman's Neon Citrine Felicia Ballet Flat
4. I started My Son's Big Kid Bedroom Design & Makeover. {I'll have more to share on this in a couple of weeks.}

5. Found this cool website called goodreads.com. I must be the only person that doesn't know about this site. My husband and I bought to struggle to find our next great book to read. For a while now, I have been loving the Kindle feature "try a sample" of a book before purchasing because I am able to get a feel for a book. Even with this Kindle feature, I still get overwhelmed with all the selections of books out there so I am hoping this site will help. Good Reads recommends books for you using previous books you have read and loved. I'll let you know how it goes.

Happy Weekend!



Thursday, 22 August 2013

Simple 10 minute Blueberry Jam

My best friend, whom I have been friends with since we were five, inspired my recipe for this week's blog post. She was telling me that she had gone to a farmers market and the jam there was really expensive for a tiny amount. I then told her that I make my own jam and it is easy and quick, so I promised her I would share the recipe.

The back story to this is recipe is that sometimes when I make pancakes or crepes I want to give it that extra boost of flavour by adding a fruit jam. This inspiration usually happens when I am in the middle of making the batter. The first time I had this spark I didn't have a recipe, but after seeing my Mom and Nan make jam a thousand times I tried to figure it out. I knew I needed berries or fruit, some sugar and a thicken agent and after some tweaking the recipe was born. 

My recipe does not use a lot of sugar because my family doesn't like jam too sweet but you can add more if you like it sweeter.  Today, I made blueberry but it can be any fruit or berry.









Simple 10 Minute Blueberry Jam    

2 cups Wild Blueberries, frozen or fresh
2 tbsp Water
2 tbsp Sugar {or more depending on the desired sweetness}
1 tbsp Corn Starch

In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, add blueberries, water and sugar. In a dish, add a splash of water to the corn starch to make a slurry {a fancy word for a thin mixture of water and thicker which enable the jam to thicken without having clumps}. When the berries, sugar, and water comes to a boil, add your corn starch slurry and stir. It should only take a couple of minutes until it thickens. Once the jam is cool, put in an air tight container and store in your fridge for up to a week. 




Additional Flavour Options: Add some lemon zest and juice to your blueberry jam. The lemon flavour adds a brightness to the jam.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Recipe Challenge

So it's been a while since I have written about my adventures with cooking and creating recipes. Believe me I have not forgotten about food, although sometimes for weight loss reasons I wish I could. Summer time is usually too hot to cook or we get too busy to spend lots of time in the kitchen creating. Since it's starting to get cooler and harvest time for a lot fruits and vegetables, I am starting to feel like experimenting again with cooking and baking which lead me to this challenge for myself.

Here's My Recipe Challenge: 

Take a cookbook off the shelf and select recipes I want to try.

Once I compiled my list and made a pact with myself to make each recipe over the next few months.

I'll review each recipe and share with you my findings. I want to look for new dished to expand my repertoire and challenge my skill level. {I know I am being very Julie & Julia but it was a great idea. And here an interesting fact for you: Julia Child & I share the same birthday. I'll share my love for Julia Child another time.}

The cookbook I selected for this challenge is "Food Lovers: Round the World Cookbook". The reason I chose this book is that it a selection of recipes from all of over the world.

My Recipe List:
1. Baba Ghanoush
2. Naan Bread with Mango Chutney
3. Sweet and Sour Chicken Salad
4. Noodle Salad with Meat and Nuts
5. Tandoori Chicken Kebabs with Raita
6. Samosas
7. Beef with Black Beans
8. Lamb Biryani
9. Asian Noodles with Pork
10. Caribbean Coconut Chicken Nuggets
11. Baked Cod with Potatoes, Olives and Tomatoes
12. Paella
13. Brazilian Fish Stew
14. Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni
15. Russian Cheesecake
16. Chocolate Souffle
17. Cherry Clafouti
18. Rhubarb and Apple Tart Tatin
19. Mississippi Mud Cake
20. Chocolate Madeleines

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is. I am so excited to get started and share my toothsome discoveries with you.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Boys Bedroom Design Inspiration: Part 1

Boys Bedroom
My Olioboard Inspiration Board. Click Boys Bedroom to check it out and the source list.

As summer is coming to end, I have been thinking about my next design project. Since my son just turned two and is almost ready for a big boy bed, I thought his room would be perfect. 
So right now, I am in the inspiration stage which is the first step in my design process. I am gathering ideas from some of my favourite websites {Pinterest, Olioboard, The Land of Nod, Serena & Lily, Pottery Barn Kids} as well as collecting tear sheets from magazines and catalogues. 

For this project, I want to do a high low design where I put together my dream design without a budget restriction. Once I have my dream design, I will search to find the same pieces or similar pieces on a lower budget.   

Check back to see how I am doing with my Boys Bedroom Project!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Birthday Party Reveal


Currently, I am on holidays. We are having a great but boy does it throw you off your regular schedule. I apologize for posting this entry a little bit late.

As promised, I am sharing some pictures from my experience hosting my first kids birthday party.
We had such a great day for a birthday party outdoors and everyone had a great time.

The party was inspired by the Cars movie. I used some decorations that had the Cars characters on it and made some food {e.g. white walled tires aka powdered sugar doughnuts dipped in chocolate. dip sticks aka chocolate dipped pretzel rods}.
Happy Birthday Banner that greeted every one when they came in. 
Cars Banner I bought on Etsy at SerendipityPlanning , printed at home and assembled. 
A game of  good old Pin The Tail On The Donkey. 







The Snack Zone
Interesting Fact:
     
 Some kids have no idea what Pin the Tail on the Donkey is. I was informed that it has been replaced with games such as Put the Crown on the Princess and Put the 95 on Lightening McQueen. Boy, did I feel old and out of the loop but it was fun to show them the games that I played at birthday parties.


Tips & Lessons Learned: 

Tip #1 - Have a drink station set up with cuts you can write on with marker. Every one put their names on their cups so we know whose cup is whose.
      Lesson Learned - Works for older kids but no so much for those kids that can not read yet.

Tip #2 - Put all the drinks in a cooler that way no one  is running back and forth to the fridge. 

Tip #3 - Buy decorations from Etsy. There are some really cool & different designs on there that you can                    have sent to you by mail or an electronic file in an email you can print yourself.
      Lesson Learned - Next time I would have it printed at a professional print shop instead of on my                                               home printer. The colour would have been much more saturated and truer at the                                           printers. 
 

The party was a success. Can't wait to get started planning next years!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Wood Fired Pizza Truck

Today is the beginning of our summer holidays, we wanted to begin to slow down and enjoy the slowness of small town living again. So we decided to stay local and enjoy our morning at the playground, library, and local farmers market.

Near our parking spot we noticed this pizza truck with an oven on a trailer and in my inner foodie became inspired. I told my husband that we need to check this out. Could it be real wood fired pizza right here in our small town?? I love our local pizza shop but this is REAL PIZZA. I will be the first to admit that I some very particular preferences.  For me, great pizza needs to have a thin, crispy crust, tender in the center, with naked, crushed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves. It was a little too early for lunch just yet so I had to wait. {Insert sad face here}.

So while my husband and son played at the playground, I did some shopping. We signed out some books at the library and then if was finally time to eat lunch. {Yeah! Insert happy dance here}.

For a while now, food trucks have been all the craze. Some great places to check out these food trucks on TV shows and apps. You usually see them mostly in large urban areas so to see one {other than a fries truck } in an area with a population of 16, 000 is rare.  The name of this pizza truck that I just had to check out is the Vintage Pizza Pie Co. 

We ordered the classic Margarita Pizza and it was AMAZING!!! There are other kinds of pizza you can order but Margarita is my favourite. It is a good test to how well the pizza is made and the quality of the ingredients.

We all loved the pizza and the crew at Vintage Pizza Pie Co. did an incredible job! You really have to eat here!!!

Vintage Pizza Pie Co. Wood Fired Pizza Truck drew a crowd to check out the new restaurant on wheels.


This oven cooks the pizza at 800 degrees in about 60-90 seconds. Another lady was interested in the cool wood fired oven too.

Can't keep the little hands away. He was so excited to try this pizza.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Birthday Party Prep

So tomorrow is my son's birthday party and I am speedily trying to get ready. Since my last post on the birthday party preparations, I have had to change the theme from Toy Story to the Disney Cars movie. When I went out sourcing decorations I couldn't find any Toy Story ones locally. I even checked online but with a restricted budget I did not want to waste $25 dollars on shipping. So since the dollar store near me had  Disney's Cars decorations {My son also loves this movie. I think we have watched it every day this week. Don't judge! It has been crazy hot & humid here for days and my son is on this medication that makes him photosensitive. Thank goodness he only has to take the medication for a week. Little boys love to be outside.}

As my plan of attack,  I am trying to check off my to do list each day so the day of I am not running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  Almost every day this week, I have running around picking up things we need for the party. So on Tuesday, I got the decorations from a dollar store. I got the usual items like table cloth, paper plates, napkins, and loot bags. Super excited to make the loot bags and play lucky napkin & lucky plate. I was shocked to find out my husband had never played it at any parties growing up. On Wednesday, I picked up so more prizes for the lucky games and pin the tail on the donkey. Thursday was a day to pick up snacks and ingredients we need to make the cookies, cupcakes, and dip sticks {you'll see what I mean in the pictures}. Friday, this morning, has been about making the cookies, dip sticks, cupcakes and icing, and then this afternoon will be cleaning and tiding up. Then, tomorrow will be all about assembling and styling our yard for the big event, making the loot makes, and frosting the cupcakes.

Here's a little more detail of today's prep.

For the Rice Krispie Cookies,
I followed the classic recipe from Kellogg's Rice Krispies website.  
I wanted them to be thin so I could use a cookie cutter to cut them into shapes so I put them into a greased cookie sheet with sides. Flatten them out and put them into the fridge to set.



After a couple of hours, I flipped out my sheet of rice krispies out onto a cutting board and greased up my elephant cookie cutter and began to cut them out. {You may be wondering why an elephant at a cars party because I do not own a car cookie cutter and was trying to stay on a small budget.}

TIP: The secret to working with such a sticky cookie is to use butter or margarine so that everything comes out easily. They turned out great.






While I was searching for inspiration for the Cars party, I saw on pinterest someone had made dip sticks, which were chocolate dipped pretzels made to look like an oil dip stick from a car. I thought it was super cute and thought that I should make them for my son's party. It was super easy. I bought pretzel rods. I couldn't find the tall ones so I used short ones that were honey flavoured.  I thought would work even better because most of guests at the party are little kids they would be the perfect size.

To make Dip Sticks,
I melted half a bag each of milk chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips in a glass bowl in the         microwave. {This made them my favourite sweetness level but it's up to you whether you do them all dark or all milk.} I dipped one end of the pretzel into the chocolate, let the excess drip off and put some sprinkles on. I laid them down on a Silpat lined (wax paper works well too) baking sheet and put them in the fridge to set. Ta-da you now have dip sticks.





As for the cupcakes, they are next on my list to make. I figured I would give you a sneak peek before the end of the day. 

Can't wait to show you the rest of the party!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Don't Cry Over Spilled Water

This week I have a funny {at the time, not funny for me } story to tell you.

The other day we went to that playground for a play date with some friends and decided to go to the local pizza shop for lunch. I was a little apprehensive about eating lunch in a restaurant with so many little ones. The pizzeria wasn't very busy so figured we would give it a shot. It was a normal lunch out with five kids, under age, 5 and three moms. I have learned that waiting with a two year old takes much patience. While we were anticipating the arrival of our lunch, I was trying to keep my son entertained with a glass of ice water and a straw. He thought it is cool to drink like big kids, like most kids do at his age. The children were well behaved just a little wiggly.When our pizza arrived, the table got quiet as everyone started to dig in. {Playing in the park makes you hungry.}
We almost finished without an incident until my son knocked over the glass of ice, cold water on to my shorts. I looked like I had peed my pants...mortified thinking how was I going to walk around downtown with wet shorts. Then suddenly it dawned on me that I could run across the street to the cute clothing store and buy something. So after we paid for our lunch,  I dragged the whole crowd across the street into the store.
Franticly, I searched the racks looking for something to purchase and change into. After looking around the store, the I light came on in my head,  I have been on the fence about buying a maxi dress for a few months so I figured this would be the perfect time to try one on. The reason for my hesitation on buying a maxi dress is that I am only 5'3" high and wasn't sure if it would work. Well, I found two that I liked and headed for the fitting room. I then looked down and realized I was wear running shoes and they won't work with a maxi dress so I found some cute sandals. The first dress I tried on worked like magic. It fit perfectly and was super cute. I didn't even bother to try on any more.
So I got the sales lady to cut the tags off and paid for my new finds. I bundled up my wet clothes and threw them in the stroller along with my sneakers. In a matter of fifteen minutes, I found my maxi dress and some new sandals. Wow I wish every shopping trip went like that! My husband ,on the other hand, would say that he is glad that shopping doesn't always go that way because we would be broke.
Any ways, the lesson learned from this incident is don't cry over spilled water just go shopping!!

Here are my finds.

Dress: Kensie Stripe Maxi Dress
Earrings: Anthropologie (last summer)
Sandals: Billabong Sunny Dayz Sandals

Friday, 28 June 2013

Some of My Summer Must Haves

Here are some of my Summer Must Haves

1. Great Shopping Bag. I love this one Tie-Dyed Shopper Bag from Zara


Image 1 of TIE-DYE SHOPPER from Zara
2. Great Nail Polish in a fun colour. I love coral with a tan. Essie Nail Polish in Sunday Funday


sunday funday - corals By Essie

3. Great  Shades. These shades from Tory Burch are super cute.  Tory Burch Sunglasses at Sunglass Hut


4. Great Sandals. These are great. MOCHUDI Sandals from Aldo




Saturday, 22 June 2013

Birthday Party Ideas for a 2 Year Old

{This post is a little later than I like to be with my post. It's been a challenging week: my week first began with writer's block then all of us got sick, again. :( Nothing serious just another cold. I really thought once summer was here we be cold free for a while...any ways here I am with apologies.} 

I am currently working on designing my son's 2nd birthday party. We were away last year for his first birthday so I want to give him a big one this year. 

Venue: Our Backyard (minus the laundry)

Time:  Late Afternoon - After nap time to avoid any meltdowns

Theme: Still on the fence but it's probably going to be Toy Story Inspired. My son just loves those movies.

Cake: I already own a T-Rex dinosaur cake pan (a great find I picked up at a yard sale) that I will make into the character Rex from the movies.  
Partysaurus Pan from Wilton http://www.wilton.com/shapedpan/Partysaurus-Pan#


Games: Still working on it...pin the antenna on the alien, guess how many army guys are in the jar, maybe a piƱata...

Party Favours: Still working on it....searching for lots of options on Pinterest
Image from Party City



















































Theses a just a few ideas. Check out my pinterest page to see more of my ideas http://pinterest.com/homeandfashionc/toy-story-inspired-2nd-birthday/.

Stay tuned for party pictures in three weeks. 

 


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