Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back

Well, we made it through the holidays, with full bellies, good times spent with family and friends (even the furry ones), and some post Christmas shopping, we had a wonderful week off!

As we approach the New Year this evening, I always like to look back on the year to see what we accomplished, what we're thankful for and what to do with the year ahead!  It was a big year in the relationship department with our engagement in June. A summer 2013 wedding will likely make the first half of the year fly by! As I take a look at my New Year's post from last year, I see that I' ve achieved a few of my goals, and still have a few to work on:

1. Menu planning was the biggest disapointment on my list this year. I tried for a few weeks at a time, and when I made time for it, I found it helped, but I just didn't make the time. I also found that if I made a plan, I wasn't as flexible as I needed to be to match our busy schedules. I think planning at least 2 meals a week is a good goal for 2013.

2. On the blogging side, I think I met my goal. For me, 3 posts feels about right and I am going to continue with that this year.

3. Despite Chris' objections, I feel I did a great job purging throughout the year. We gave away at least 6 large garbage bags worth of clothes, books and household items this year. We still have a ways to go with our January cleaning, but definitely making progress.

4. I did rearrange the office space, which I am pretty happy with including repurposing an old cart. I'd still like to get our diplomas on the wall before the end of January.

5. I'm proud to say I met my yoga challenge, and I've actually started doing pilates fairly regularly as well. I find online deals are a great way to check out new yoga and fitness studios. I think I've bought 3-4 Groupons this year for fitness.

Looking into 2013, there are some other goals that I would like to work on including finishing my post grad certificate, having a fairly stress-free (for everyone involved) DIY vintage wedding, sewing more and starting a new activity or hobby with my soon to be husband!

What about you, and plans for 2013 you'd like to share?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Cookie Tray 2013

This is the cookie tray I am bringing to Chris' parents house on Christmas Day! It is a combination of my treats as well as a few from the cookie exchange!

So far, I have made:

Peppermint Patties
Sugar Cookie Cutouts
Homemade Oreos
Homemade Twix Bars
White Chocolate Cranberry Bars
I also found a peanut butter cup recipe that I need to try, so there may just be one late addition!

Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday with your family and friends

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mountain of Oreos

I always have a hard time deciding on my cookie club cookie each year. This year I went with homemade Oreos from Smitten Kitchen. They looked fairly easy to make and my friend Jess also made them recently.

They were quite easy to make, but keep in mind that oreos have 2 sides (who knew!), and that means double the amount of cookies for whatever you are baking for. In my case, I needed to make 6 dozen plus some to share for cookie club, so this meant 3 batches and over 180 cookies!

Our power went out just as I finished making the frosting, so you can picture me piping by candlelight!

They're pretty tasty, although very very sweet, so you may want to reduce the sugar in the actual cookie as the filling makes up for it!

Here they are all ready to go:)

Monday, December 17, 2012

O' Christmas Tree 2013

Last year's post about our getting our Christmas tree and setting it up was by far one of the most popular, and the one in which I really felt I was actually becoming a legitimate blogger. This year's tree process was so incredibly normal opposite to last year, it's really not even funny (seriously, no comedy here at nothing brilliant to blog about).

1. We decided due to the hundreds  thousands of needles that came off the uber dry ikea tree last year to change our source of supply, so off we headed an hour north of our house to a sweet little tree farm. Ten minutes on the road to said farm we noticed a guy selling trees in a strip mall and decided while not as romantic, they looked good, would probably be cheaper and we could eat lunch sooner #tummyleads theway.

2. The nice man that sold us our tree made a fresh cut on the stump, meaning Chris did not have a chance to show off his lumberjack skills this year #thankmyluckystars.

3. We were able to get the tree in the house in the first attempt, and into the stand (the trusty Omega from last year) in no time at all. There were woops, high fives and all round good cheer that we Chris mandated a smaller tree this year!

4. This afternoon I decorated the little guy (he's still over 6 ft), and enjoyed discovering all of
of my decorations all over again #betterthanchristmas. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I purchased some beautiful red plaid ribbon last year on boxing day. I love how it turned out with my ornaments. It did however mean I needed to cover my new tree skirt with a red pashmina, as the plaids do not match (i.e two very different colours).

Hope you all had a great weekend. Happy Monday:)

Friday, December 14, 2012

DIY Friday: Vintage Frame Card Holder

I really wanted a place to display my Christmas cards this season. At first I thought just about pinning twine to the wall, but because this old guy gets displaced for the holidays (our tree goes in my thrifted corner)- I thought I could put him to use! I love this old frame, it is an Aberfoyle find, and all I had to do was win two lines of twine across the back. I think it turned out pretty great for a spur of the moment project! When it gets full, I can always pin the extra cards around the frame.

The Finished Look:

Happy Friday, we're finally getting out tree on Saturday and I am EXCITED!

Monday, December 10, 2012

On The Weekend

I finally tackled some of my to-do list on the weekend! I decorated the house, did some Christmas shopping, did some gift-wrapping and a bit of baking. I'm starting to feel a little bit caught up. We didn't get our tree, but hoping to make that an evening project for one night this week...I also managed to do a couple projects (finished another grain sack pillow and a special DIY I will share on Friday:)

Hoping you had a great weekend, and checked some things of your list as well!

Friday, December 7, 2012

DIY Friday: Grain Sack Pillow

As promised, here are the details on my Sunday night project! I have had this grain sack that I purchased at Christie for almost 2 years, just waiting for the right time to do something with it. Well that right time came last weekend when I became increasingly frustrated with the current pillow covers, and wanted a brand new option that was big enough to hold the pillow but still fun and worked with the rest of the decor.

I simply measured the pillows, divided the grain sack in two and sewed the bottom (while inside out) to make the pillow. Then to create the closures, I used navy satin ribbon, sewn on both sides and closed by tying  bows. A tip for finishing satin ribbon ends is to cut a clean line and singe the ends with a lighter. I love how it turned out, and I just need to repeat the process on the other end of the grain sack to make the matching pair!

Happy Friday everyone, hoping you all have a wonderful weekend, and accomplish everything you set your mind to! I'm hoping decorating, studying and baking is in my future, with a road trip to pick up our Christmas tree!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday Push

I don't have my Christmas decorations up, I don't have a tree (this Sunday hopefully), I haven't written all of my Christmas cards, and I haven't finished my shopping. Baking...what baking? The list has been made, but nothing has been baked!

That said, when I come home at the end of the night, I have these two sweet little ones to make it all feel ok:) I'm hoping to get a lot accomplished this weekend, and if I don't...that's ok too!

Mr. Boy-Cat sitting on the tub of decorations, it's his new favourite place!

Missy the Ham, lounging on Chris!

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's Not Easy Being Green

Did anyone else catch Cee Lo singing with Kermit the Frog on The Voice a couple of weeks back? I thought it was pretty clever, and it made me smile hence my post title! If you missed it, you can check it out here:

I didn't get much in the way of holiday decorating done this weekend, just the front door mat and holiday dishes have been brought out. That said, I capped off my weekend with a cup of tea and some time with my Singer (who knew I had a matching mug), which was just about perfect. I will be sharing my project later in the week:)

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Stop in Wine Country

Last weekend we stopped into a few wineries on our Beamsville adventure! It always amazes me how unique and different each winery is. Here are a few of the ones that caught out eye:)

Angels Gate

Peninsula Ridge
This one definitely wins most beautiful. They have a fancy little restaurant inside as well that looks like it's worth checking out!

Thirty Bench
This guy was my favourite, the grapevine wreath on the side of the barn is my new phone wallpaper!

Hapy Friday! I'm hoping to get to some Christmas decorations up this weekend:)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Inspiration Wall

I have been collecting fancy china plates and platters for a few years, and although I use them for displaying baked goods like here and here, they spend most of their time locked in the buffet. I yearn for the days when I own my own home and I can hang all of my platters on the wall. I love the look of plates displayed on the wall, I have pinned a couple recently like this one and this one.

When I was at the Good Earth Food & Wine Co on the weekend, I noticed this lovely wall. It was a combination of prints and plates and made me smile!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Handmade Market

On Saturday I made my way to Beamsville with one of my best pals. We had a great day (despite the frigid weather), and I was able to get a few things knocked off my Christmas shopping list in the process. Here are some pictures of the day!

I loved the soy candles in the vintage crown jars of course!

Les and I devoured the apple twist with caramel drizzle, and the apple cider was delicious!

Loved the cutting boards made out of wine barrel tops!

Friday, November 23, 2012

DIY Black Friday Cart

On Sunday I decided to finally tackle our office. We don't actually use our office for anything more than a storage room and a place for the cats litter and food. I vowed to make the space more functional and after a good clean, a full bag of trash and one for goodwill, I found we had plenty of room to work with! I really wanted an ottoman like piece to pair with the large leather office chair, but didn't want to buy anything new. When I was taking something out to the garage , I noticed the cart!

Chris brought me home this cart last summer. I loved it, but didn't really have a place for it, so it stayed outside acting as a patio side table. I know it's not beautiful, but it has great bones! The first step to improvement was painting the frame, I went with black to match the chair.

The next step to improvement was flipping over the top, discovering a great unfinished surface and staining it a few shades darker! I love how the wood turned out (it never usually works that well for me) :)

The finished product:

Happy Friday, hoping you have a great weekend. I'm off to the Hand Made Market in Beamsville with my good friend on Saturday. Should be a good day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

If You're Looking For a Cat

You can search high.

Or you can search low.

But he'll usually be right in front of you!

Hope you all have a great Wednesday!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sugar Cookies and Sprinkles

I love making sugar cookies. For some reason they remind me of my Grammy Forsythe. She always used to have some on hand, some iced with sprinkles and some with just sprinkles. My Grammy was always good for sprinkles. She had a cupboard full of them, all different colours. She rarely mixed her colours but she did have these multicoloured round ones, they were always my favourite (some things never change)! I made these on Saturday for a potluck we attended.

The recipe I use is similar to this one, and it freezes and doubles really well. I typically freeze the dough in two portions and then just pull it out of the freezer a few hours before I want to bake!

Happy Monday Everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2012

DIY Friday: Grain Sack Table Runner

Last weekend I finally got to a couple of long overdue sewing projects. I bought this linen sack on labour day weekend with Chris' mom. I paid $5 and decided it would be an awesome table runner.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Store Crashing: West Elm Toronto

As you know from my last post, I discovered the West Elm store in Liberty Village this week. Thanks to a 3 hour wait on Monday night, I had plenty of time to scope out some of their wares! For anyone interested, yes they have a sale section. we were kindly escorted out of said section while waiting in line, but they did give is a 15% off coupon to use before December 31st! Here were some of my favourite things that I just may apply my coupon to:

I loved these pillows with quilt applique...definitely DIYable!

Left: Inspiration for Old Window use...I'm in love and thinking headboard!
Right: Loved the barn door and different texture bed linens.

The galvanized bucket on the vintage pop crate was beautiful, also love the large woven baskets

This is a pic for my friends Shaun & Sarah- West Elm carries wool blankets that look pretty vintage!

Hope you enjoyed the sights as much as I did, will definitely need to make my way back there soon!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Meeting the Petersiks!

I was beyond excited to hear that John & Sherry from Young House Love were coming to Toronto for a book signing at West Elm. On a second note, I was doubly thrilled that Toronto has a West Elm store (more on that later in the week).

My awkward shot, just in case they ended when they said they would!

I had read on their blog  that the lines were long for their book signings, but I really had no idea what to expect when I walked into West Elm, given this was a Canadian stop. Turns out we Canadians love us some Young House Love because I stood with my 500 new best friends for just over 3 hours to get my book signed! I don't think I have stood in line for anything that long (including the first Lululemon warehouse sale in Toronto)! On the plus side, I made friends in line and we were treated to some yummy hot chocolate and cookies all night long!

It was certainly worth the wait because John and Sherry are exactly how you would expect them to be when you read their blog! They stayed well over 2 hours beyond their event time and didn't lose one ounce of energy (probably due to their midnight DIY routines)! Sherry is just as loud, bubbly and wonderful as she is in her pinterest challenge videos, and John cracks jokes with just about everyone and clearly adores his wife. It was lovely to meet them, and gives me hope that all the bloggers I read are as real as they appear to be!

Thanks for making your way to Canada- love you guys!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fab Find Friday: Wedding Dress

Sorry about the lack of a post last Friday, turns out I have a very exciting Fab Find to share, but I can't show you any pictures for obvious reasons...I found my wedding dress last Thursday night! I just wasn't feeling 100% about the jeweled numbers that were my top favourites from my shopping experience here. I liked how the gowns fit, but thought they were just a little too glitzy!

So, Tricia met me at Ritche bridal in Toronto on the Thursday night, and we went at it again! My consultant was Stephanie, and she was fabulous, a woman on a mission after my own heart...she had even been to Frenchy's in NB! Although I originally pegged Ritche as a little too fancy for me, they were hosting their Fall Sale, and the gown I ended up choosing was on sale! It does need some alterations, so I am currently looking for an affordable experienced seamstress (the store quoted $500!!!), but the bones are just right:)

This is a big check off my wedding list, and it feels good to have found something so lovely, and to have saved a little money in the process!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sweet Gift & Vintage Prints

My sweet friend Sarah gifted me two doilies from her late grandmother to add to my runner that I still need to see together. I was very touched that she thought of me, and can't wait to share the other gift she gave to me when the time is right.

As you know I have taken to seeking out great fabric at thrift stores. Typically the best vintage prints come in the form of bed sheets. The top sheets usually stay in pretty good shape over the years. I've even got my mom searching now. Here's two of my favourites that I found on my most recent trip east! The pink would be gorgeous as a valance or pillow covers in a little girls room and the blue could be a great table runner. I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate these two into wedding decor without cutting too much so I can reuse! If I were in a cutting mood, what wonderful bunting the pink would make! As you can see the kittens also took to the prints (I thoroughly enjoy that Boy-Cat preferred the pink and Missy preferred the blue!

Sunday, November 4, 2012



verb (used without object), hi·ber·nat·ed, hi·ber·nat·ing.
Zoology to spend the winter in close quarters in a dormantcondition, as bears and certain other animals. Compareestivate.
to withdraw or be in seclusion; retire.
to winter in a place with a milder climate: Each winter finds ushibernating in Florida

We've been really busy lately, between travelling, holidays, work and wedding planning, it feels like i've been running on empty for a few weeks now. I've made a plan to "hibernate" for the entire month of January. We already have commitments lined up in November, and I know December will be busy with the holidays, I have planned to do absolutely nothing in January. I got a head start on my hibernation when I found myself with a free weekend...the only problem is that I don't really know how to hibernate, it's not in my nature. 

Here's what I accomplished this weekend when I was trying to hibernate:

  • I failed at making bread not once, not twice but three times. I tried two recipes from Edie at Life in Grace and one from Michael Smith. The results were not impressive, one did not come out of the pan despite much greasing, and two were far too moist despite very dark outer crust. Almost the entire reason why I have a stand mixer is to make bread. My grandmother makes bread every single week, and   even with a full recipe and having shadowed her a number of times I still can't master the recipe or technique. I am seriously thinking of joining a bread making course!
  • I successfully cooked:

  • I caught up on my television shows:
    • The Bachelor Canada (Guilty pleasure, and I'm a proud Canadian)
    • The Voice
    • Nashville (I'm in LOVE with this new show)
    • The Big Bang Theory
    • New Girl
  • I switched my summer and winter clothes now that it's starting to get cooler
  • I went to Yoga class
  • I found the cupcake carrying case at Winners. (i've been coveting since I was introduced to it by Francine in July)

The only thing I didn't accomplish was starting my sewing projects, I guess there's always January!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Wishing you all a ghoulishly good day. We're having a party at work today and I am a gypsy! Chris bought me some last minute pumpkins last night, so we have one baby jack o lantern and 3 friends to greet the trick or treaters tonight!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

House Crashing- Crystal's Country Home

I visited my friend Crystal's new home when I was in NB last weekend. Crystal has had a bit of a whirlwind year. She moved her and her sweet boy Lukas home to NB last summer and since then has gotten a new job, met  a wonderful guy, bought a house and gotten engaged! I wish that I could see my friends from home more often than I do, but we always make the most of it when we're down for a visit!

This is a look at Crystal's new home, I love her country style!

The master bedroom, love the colour blocking!

The living room

Living Room 

Lukas' bathroom, love that it doesn't look too much like a kids bathroom as they also use this as a guest bathroom.

I loved all of the little details in Crystal's house, we share a love for country stars!

This was my favourite piece, she bought it at the market in Fredericton and they are handmade from old doors or cabinetry. She hasn't hung it on the wall yet, but it definitely gave me DIY ideas!!!

Hope you had a great weekend!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...