Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome 2014: Brunch with Brian

Good Morning!

A few weeks ago I had a great opportunity to attend a great event on the opening day of the Princess Margaret Lottery showhome.  Brian Gluckstein, the man behind the design of the home, hosted a lovely blogger event called Brunch with Brian.  We were given an exclusive first look at the showhome guided by Brian himself, and got some great insights into how it all came together.

The house is located in a pretty neighbourhood in Oakville, Ontario, and this is what it looks like from the outside.

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We started with food (great way to start!), and the spread for the brunch was fabulous and beautifully displayed outside on the back patio.  Thankfully it was a beautiful day.

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Then we started the tour in the beautiful kitchen.  Sadly with all the food, drinks and people I didn’t get any great shots of it but it was amazing.  Lots of mixed metals, an island with a waterfall counter top, and giant oven.

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Below I’ll be sharing some of the highlights of the tour, not every room, but you can see the entire space over at the PM Lotto Site.  So, we started on the main floor and the first room to catch my eye was the 2-storey sun-room.  It has floor to ceiling windows and has a REAL tree planted in the corner. They had to install special heat in the cooling functions so the room isn’t constantly fogged up due to the condensation in winter.  A very cool feature space.

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The living room is one of the most calming spaces in the house.  I loved the colour palette of muted greens and creamy whites.  And the white marble fireplace mantel is gorgeous.

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Then we came to one of my favourite rooms in the house.  At first glace you might think, “Sure, it’s niiiice but what is so special about it?”  For that you have to look more closely at the wallpaper by Fromental, behind the table.  It is hand painted and hand-stitched! You just don’t see this kind of intricate handiwork anymore and I was is total awe of the skill and time it would take to create something like this.  You can see in the pictures below the kind of detail that went into this one panel.  Although it is extremely expensive (and so it should be considering the work that goes into it!), it is nice to know that there is still a market for the craftspeople who do this beautiful work.

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The first thing we came to when we went upstairs was the hallway. This area was originally slightly more narrow and would have just been an open space which was somewhat wasted.  But instead they added just a few inches on either side and were able to create a much more functional and usable  small office/library.  A great example of smart design.

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Another example of maximizing space was in this kids bedroom.   This bunkbed nook above the bed looks great and adds more sleeping space.  Very cool

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The nursery was really sweet and I loved the idea of the crib being located in the middle of the room.

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Brian always designs great bathrooms.  And the master bathroom is NO exception.  The vanity and mirrors in front of the mirror were an interesting change from the typical bathroom but make a huge amount of sense given that it’s where all the natural light is.  And the tub is to die for.

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Here is Brian explaining how the mirrors are mounted using a pair of curtain rods cut to size and mounted using shower curtain rod hardware to the ceiling and vanity and then the mirrors were mounted to the rods.  A pretty clever and inexpensive way to mount a mirror in a difficult location.

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In the basement the large family room boasted a huge gallery wall, simple modern lines and a cool travel & escape vibe.

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And for all of us creative blogger types, the addition of a craft room to this years show home was a BIG hit.

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As was the case last year, all the artwork was provided by Art Interiors, my favourite place to get art in the city.  You can read more about their philosophy in my post about their Festival of Smalls here.  I particularly loved the elephant in the nursery ensuite bathroom.

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Another thing I loved about this year’s house is that they made a point to design the new house around the old trees on the property rather than knocking them out to build bigger.  Sure, the new landscaping was beautiful, but there is just something about mature trees, don’t you think?

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Perhaps it was the guided tour, but think I liked this show house even more than last years’, and I really liked that one!  It had a much cozier feel to it.  You can see more photos of the rooms I didn’t take pictures of here, and see the source guide, here.

Ok, brace yourself.  While at the brunch, they organizers took video of some of us talking about our favourite room in the house.  And I did it.  Yes friends, I am officially making my Vlogging debut today on the blog.  I  loved lots of rooms in the house but the wallpaper in the living room was a standout feature for me, putting it over the edge.

I watched it once and that was enough.  Thank god for editing.

If you haven’t already got your PM Lottery ticket yet, you should!  Aside from this house there are a TON of other amazing prizes.  And it’s for a great cause!

Have a great day!

XO,

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Le Diner En Blanc Toronto 2014

Good Morning!

Today I’m exited to share with you an amazing event I attended about 3 weeks ago called Le Diner En Blanc®.  The concept is a chic all-white picnic held in a public space in the city. A congregation of people, food and fashion creating a magical atmosphere which is neutral in both decor (all-white) and space (public place).

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Participants only find out the location of the event about 2 hours before it starts. You have to wear all white, bring your own food, white dishware and table linens, and depending on the location, your own table and white chairs.  Given that this event is held in a public space, there are many “rules” of the evening which allow for it to come together quickly and efficiently. Here they are (from the Diner En Blanc Toronto website):

  • In order to participate, one must be invited by a participant from the previous year or get on the official website’s waiting list.
  • Once confirmed, the presence of each guest thus becomes mandatory, regardless of weather conditions, as the event is held regardless of weather conditions.
  • Seats are allotted on-site in a very specific manner.
  • Table seating is symmetrical with men seated on one side and women on the other.
  • Participants arrive and depart at the same time by chartered bus or organized public transportation.
  • Depart with one’s belongings, leftovers and trash, leaving the place as clean as it was upon arrival.

Sounds like a lot of work, I know, but let me tell you that a little bit of work from everyone results in something which is truly a visual masterpiece, as you will see.

But first a little history. This event originated 25 years ago in (no big surprise) Paris, France, when François Pasquier assembled just a few of his friends for an all-white picnic. It has grown rapidly over the years and today Paris’ Dîner en Blanc draws nearly 15,000 people.  It doesn’t hurt that Le Diner En Blanc® in Paris has been held in some of the most magical places like Versailles and under the Eiffel Tower.  The event has since expanded to dozens of other cities worldwide.  You can learn more about the event at Le Diner En Blanc® website.

The setting for Le Diner En Blanc Toronto this year was Echo Beach at Ontario Place, which was a fabulous location because it has such a stunning view of the City.

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Now, I was lucky enough to get media tickets from a blog who wasn’t able to attend (thank you Girls on Bloor!) which meant that I didn’t have to bring all my own food and wine. As mentioned above, all attendees arrive and depart together, but because media could  arrive a little earlier than the crowd I was able to take this awesome photo of the city with just a few of the organizers/volunteers dressed in white in the foreground.

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Being there early also meant I got to take some great photos of the 1500 people arriving and setting up. Yes I said 1500.  And considering the numbers it took very little time to get everyone in place!!

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Adding to the beauty of the setting were ballerinas dancing near the entrance for the attendees to enjoy on their way in.

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The dinner is officially started with the waving of white napkins. And then people get down to eating, drinking and generally having a good time. There was a band that kept everyone entertained white they ate by candlelight, and a dance floor for post-Diner fun.

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I will apologize now for the quality of my pictures after this point.  I only had my iPhone with me for the event (still deciding which camera to invest in since I lost my mine) so the night-time pictures are less than stellar. But even had I had an amazing camera with me, I think it would be hard to really comprehend the beauty of this event just looking at pictures, without experiencing it in person.

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At the end of the evening everyone was given a large sparkler and the sea of white around me slowly turned into a sea of white and fire.  Another ridiculously cool sight to behold.

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And as you can imagine, the fashion is to die for.  So many gorgeous ensembles.  And there were prizes for best dressed, so people had a vested interest in looking fabulous. When the woman in the picture below walked in I said to myself, she is soo the winner for best-dressed.

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But as it turned out, she was actually the JUDGE for best dressed contest so she wasn’t eligible.  But she most certainly looked the part. I loved the fur, fascinator and her dress was absolutely gorgeous.

The woman below MADE her fabulous mask she is wearing….the detail is just amazing.

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But ultimately best dressed went to this woman, with her classic sophisticated look and beautiful fascinator.  You can see both the male and female best-dressed and other Diner en Blanc style on the Got-Style blog. 

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This is the only picture I have showing what I wore, taken unbeknownst to me by my friend Monisa who was my +1 for the festivities.  And given the weird things I do with my face when I know I’m being photographed, it’s probably better I didn’t know.

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It was really amazing to part of this event and was for sure one of the many highlights for 2014.  You can see more reviews and photos of the event at Best of Toronto, Toronto Life and Got Style blogs.  I’m definitely getting myself on the waiting list for the next one…..I’ve already started planning about my outfit!

XO,

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Another Milestone: Where does the time go?

Good Morning!

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Yes, today is my birthday.  I’m 35.  I haven’t decided how I feel about 35 yet.  I mean, I’m not concerned with “aging”, per se.  I don’t feel old, nor do I look particularly old.  But I am acutely aware of time passing, and of how insanely fast the last 3 or 4 years in particular have slipped by.  However, dwelling on it won’t change it so I’m going to focus on some highlights from my last year.

Year 34 was a relatively uneventful year, no overseas trips, no big life events. However it started with a bang with a masquerade themed co-birthday party with my friend Tory which was very fun.

I went to Vegas for the first time which was a very, very fun, albeit overwhelming experience. What I wouldn’t give for some of that sunshine right now. (see posts here and here)

2. Summer vacation.  My niece Katrina came to visit me in Toronto for the first time with my mom which was great.  And then I headed back with them to spend some quality time at my cottage in NB.

In the fall, I went to Blogpodium, which was awesome.  I got to see so many of my favourite people and learned a a lot.

And that is a re-cap of year 34 according to my blog.  It was a good one, but I think 35 is going to be even better.

Have a great day!

XO,

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IDS 2014

Good Morning!

Today I’m (FINALLY) sharing my Interior Design Show 2014 experience with you.  I took many photos and picked up many cards/brochures and I’ve managed to whittle it down to my absolute faves for your perusal.

AERIN at Cocoon Furnishings

Aerin Lauder (granddaughter of Ms. Estee Lauder) has made her way into the luxury home decor and furnishings market through her lifestyle brand AERIN. Cocoon Furnishings is the exclusive supplier of the AERIN home line  in Canada.  You can also browse them here. Their booth featured just some of the gorgeous wares from this line.  Loving all the gold and mahogany. Sadly even her picture frames are well out of my budget.

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Studio North

The studio north area of the show features mostly Canadian (and some international) studios that create one-of-a-kind and custom design pieces that are unique and forward-thinking.  Always a highlight of the show for me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Clockwise from top left: 1. Coffee table from of design inc. 2. Lighting from Morba 3. Birdfeeder from Nieuw. 4. ubagaan from the National Design Collective (this is so cool, part bench -part toboggan, read all about it here) (credit for the ubagaan, bottom right, is the National design collective website)  5. bookends by MSDS Studio,

Mettro

Loved the booth from Mettro. Who wants plain old subway tiles when you can have their beautiful tiles?

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IKEA

Seriously, Ikea ALWAYS nails it with their booth at IDS.  They are fabulous at showing how to incorporated their affordable designs and decor with to make them look like you spent a bundle.  You always leave saying “That was IKEA?”  This year was not different from the bathroom vanity on a wall of gold tile to the antique settee upholstered in their affordable fabric line.  As usual IKEA was a hit.

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Innit Construction

A new discover y at IDS this year was Innit Construction.  Their line of super fun and highly comfortable indoor-outdoor chairs made from vinyl cording are awesome. The have the classic (Acapulco), a rocker, bar stools and more.  Super fun furniture for your deck. I also was also considering the Concha dining chair (on the left below) for my new table, but the price point is a bit high. (Also, these are going to be carried at the Bay soon).

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Wallcoverings

I really enjoyed the funky wall coverings by New Wall and Thoreaux.

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Beauti-tone Paint

And one of my favourite booths of the show was from Home Hardware Beauti-Tone paint which featured artist Amy Shackleton who created this amazing art using their paint.  And you got to watch her work! (At least when I was there eon Saturday). Very fun.

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Although the show was packed with lots of  other amazing things, those are the high points of my visit.

Did you go to the show? If not I would highly recommend it to you next year. If you did go, what were your faves?

XO,

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Booze ‘n Bake 2013

Good Morning!

I’m finally starting to feel the Christmas rush.  Lots of events, lots of stuff to get done, but always lots of fun.  Today I’m sharing one of my fave holiday events – the annual Booze & Bake.  The event started 5 years ago with just 3 people but has grown into something much larger.  And I’m pretty sure my waistline will prove it.  Basically you come with a cookie/treat recipe and a drink and you leave with a large variety of baked goods (and generally a little tipsy). There is a lot of baking chaos with so many people but the results are always delicious. Sadly I didn’t get any pictures of the drinks this year…too focused on the baking….but I can assure they were yummy as well.

Now it’s not all sweets.  The lovely host Janice does provide some token healthy food to try to balance the sugar….but really, let’s be honest, this stuff rarely gets eaten up, especially once the cookies start baking.

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So we got to work….

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With scrumptious results….

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We had 2 kinds of biscotti, chocolate snaps, lots of gingerbread, peanut butter and M&M, shortbread thumbprints with salted chocolate, cinnamon swirls,  banana chocolate chip, and my contributions….SMACK (a yearly fave and a recipe I will be sharing with you on the blog soon), and chocolate cookie sandwiches with vanilla cranberry filling which I got from the most recent Canadian Living magazine.  This picture represents about half of what we had by the end.

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I took a LARGE tin home, and as do every year I took it to work the next day….you know, trying to avoid eating it all myself.  Usually it lasts a couple of days.  This year it was all gone before 1 pm! My waistline is thankful.

XO,

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Blogpodium 2013: Uncensored/Uncut

Good Morning!

Today I’m sharing my Blogpodium experience from this past Saturday   Now, if you are expecting lots gorgeous photos and uber-wise insights, you may be disappointed. But if you want a light, uncensored, uncut take on my experience keeping heading down the page….

My thoughts on Blogpodium, in no particular order:

1. Jen Flores is wonder woman

Jen as wonder woman copy via and the Blogpodium photobooth.

This woman has more energy than anyone I know.  Yes, she had a team to help her out, but she oversaw everything and ensured that every detail went off without a hitch.  I am in awe of how she put this massive event together and also of her real passion for helping Canadian bloggers get better at what they do. Oh, if I had just a thimble of her energy oh the things I could do….

2.  These two ladies were hilarious and highly informative

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Avery Swartz (of Stuff Avery Likes and founder of Camp Tech) ran the session Creating a Style Guide for your Blog…and she is awesome.  She took us on her “Nerd Journey” and I didn’t want it to end.  Fonts, logos, dos & don’t s.  It was great.  You will notice that I have stopped center lining my text and being consistent with my photo sizes.  Mostly because she said she would hunt us down if she saw were were doing that.  Who says threats aren’t effective?

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And Karen Bertlesen of the Art of Doing Stuff did the session on The Art of Monetization. She was also very funny but I also learned a ton about how to make money from your blog.  Key takeaway: No one reads my blog and therefore, I may never make much money from it.  :)

3.  I don’t want to talk about my bum

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Cottonelle was one of the exhibitors and they had a beautiful set up and lovely products in all the bathrooms.  And while I know their current ad campaign is #LetsTalkBums, I just don’t really want to talk about my bum to strangers.  Is that so wrong?  However, if someone else (preferable someone talk, dark, handsome, single, employed….) wants to talk about how nice they think my bum is, that kind of bum talk is acceptable.

4.  Sarah Richardson ROCKS and she improved my grammar

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The keynote speaker was Sarah Richardson.  She was a fantastic speaker, gave great insights, and she seems as down to earth in person as she does on her shows.  And she looked kick-ass in her Smythe blazer. But damn her, she told a story about her father calling her to correct her grammar after watching her show….”Sarah, you know there is no such thing as those ones, it’s just those.” And as she predicted, now I’m catching myself using it all the time and it’s driving me crazy.  But I guess I’ll forgive her….you know, because she’s Sarah Richardson and because she makes fabrics like this….

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5. Great events always have….

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The signature drink was delicious.  BUT HOW is my blog not called The Sparkling Blogger??  Darn. It’s like when you think of that amazing Halloween costume on November 4th….

6. These events are really about connecting and building relationships.

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So, of course I took very few pictures, especially of people but I met a lot of great people and got to catch up with many as well.   From the top right we have Emma and Jill from The Happy Space (damn these ladies are fun) flanking my fab blog re-designer Brittany Douglas of Gallery No. Eight. Old friends Sarah from Redesigning Sarah and Lisa MacKay from Wicked & Weird.  And the bottom photos include a slew of bloggers doing crazy things in the photo booth.  Including Ken Simpson of Fieldstone Windows who clearly was feeling outnumbered at this event and was trying to fit in.  Though I have very few photos of people, I was so happy to finally meet, Jacylyn of Lark & Linen, Julie from Elliven Studio, Sara of Saige Wisdom, and Amber of Simple Dwellings.  I’m sure there are many more I’m forgetting but you get the gist.

All in all, a great experience!

XO,

Lindsey

2013 Upcycle Challenge: Unhinged – Before & After + Giveaway!

Good Morning!

I’m still reeling from the fun I had at Blogpodium on the weekend.  I’ll be posting about it soon but today I’m excited to share with you my before and after of my Upcycle Challenge: Unhinged project.  As part of the Toronto Fall Home Show, I’m was asked to take part in the 2nd annual Upcycle Challenge: Unhinged along with 13 other emerging style, décor, DIY bloggers and celebrity experts.  We were asked to source and repurpose a door from Habitat for Humanity Toronto ReStore into functional upcycled items or hand painted pieces of art.  The pieces are voted on to decide the winner and then auctioned off with all the proceeds from the auction going to Habitat for Humanity.

I had so much fun participating in this challenge last year and I managed come out a winner with my movie theatre chairs. So needless to say I was pretty excited for this event again this year.  However this year there was a twist –  we had to use doors.  So, I headed over to the Habitat Restore in Etobicoke and found these 2 doors.

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And I turned them into an upholstered tri-fold room screen.

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I used fabric that I already had, bought some two-way hinges (which are hard to find as it turns out, thank goodness for Lee Valley) and some foam and this is what I got.

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And on the back I added some hooks for hanging things.

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Much better than how they started, that is for sure!  I’m a big fan of the fabric.  I might just bid on my own project so I can keep it. Or would that be weird.  OK, maybe a bit weird.

But if you wouldn’t mind taking the time to vote for my piece, it would be much appreciated!  How, you ask?  Just go to this page and vote! You can vote once every 24 hours.  So if you love some o the other fabulous upcycled items (and they are FABULOUS) you can vote for those too! The prize is a $500 VISA gift card, but I will donate $250 back to Habitat for Humanity if I am the winner.

And as a thank-you for your vote, I’m also giving away 4 pairs of tickets to the Fall Home Show taking place in Toronto at the Better Living Centre October 3rd to 6th.  The Property Brothers and Annie Sloan (of the chalk paint!) will be there as well as many great exhibitors. To enter just leave a comment below that says you would like to win tickets!  Entry deadline is Saturday, September 28th, 2013 at 11:59 pm and I will announce the winners on Monday September 30th, 2013.   Best of luck!

XO,

Lindsey

New Cards for a New Look + Blogpodium

Good Morning lovelies!

Only one more sleep until Blogpodium and I’m pumped! Having attended the event since the beginning, I’m in awe of what it has become.  In awe, but not surprised.  Jen Flores, one of the founders and the head of Blogpodium, is a true creative talent with brains for business, so I know it’s going to be awesome.  Did I mention Sarah Richardson is the keynote speaker? Only one of the most loved design personalities in Canada….no big deal.

Having attended this event as well as Alt Summit in Salt Lake City a couple of years ago, I know that having business cards at these events is important.  And since the blog has a new look I had to get new business cards.  The lovely Brittany designed them and I ordered from Moo.com.

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Now, I love my new logo design but it makes it tricky to appear centered because of the swooping ‘d’ at the end. It makes the bottom right corner appear particularly empty.  Making the logo smaller might help to get it more centered but then it wouldn’t be very prominent and there would be even more white space.  Maybe next time I’ll change up the format a little, but overall I’m happy with pretty happy with the results

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Now, can I just tell you how great the customer service at Moo.com is?  You see, since the new blog look was only finalized a couple of weeks ago, I knew I had to rush the order to get the cards on time. So I asked for rush printing.  I misread the terms and thought by rush printing I could still send them by regular shipping and get them here on time.  I only realized after I got the confirmation that they were about to be shipped that they were only guaranteed to arrive AFTER Blogpodium.   Awesome.  So I called them.  They had already sent them.  They said they would cancel the first order, re-print my cards, and resend them using rush shipping…..ALL AT NO COST TO ME.  Not only that but they didn’t really cancel the first order because guess what arrived yesterday? The first set of cards.  So on top of it I got two sets of cards for the price of one!  I’m telling you, this is the stuff that makes me want to support a company.

I’ll be back next week with a recap of Blogpodium, but first I’ll be sharing the big reveal of my Fall Home Show Upcycle Challenge: Unhinged submission!  Stay tuned!

XO,

Lindsey

Christie Antique Show

Good Morning!

Two weekends ago I hit up the Christie Antique Show.  It’s a giant outdoor antique market located in the Christie Lake Conservation Area just outside Hamilton, Ontario.  I went with Paige Smith, who I met at an event in the summer having recently relocated to Toronto from Calgary.  She makes these lovely pieces of goodness:

via Paige Smith

The day we went it was cloudy and calling for rain, but this show takes place only twice a year and it’s rain or shine. It opens at 8 am.  We arrived at 8:30 am and it was already crazy busy.  The goal for me was to get a dining table for my kitchen.  If you saw this post from awhile back you may recall that I was looking for a round table and potentially a gate leg so I could fold it down out of the way if I needed to.  I wanted it to be white, or be in a condition where I wouldn’t feel bad painting the wood. Well guess what?  I found one!

Table

 Perfect size, gate-leg and paint-able (i.e the wood isn’t gorgeous).  Dining Table: CHECK!

I also picked up these beautiful little lovers to start my stacking ring collection…

stacking rings

A last minute purchase was this gorgeous brass fireplace screen.  It’s in great shape and hardly any patina on it.

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And the fact that I purchased anything at all is a miracle.  Why?  Well, remember when I said it was supposed to rain?  Well it did.  In DROVES.  I’m talking run for the hills and take cover kind of rain at times.  But we had made the trek early in the morning on a Saturday to be there and we weren’t going to quit early.  Thanks to Paige for being such a trooper with me.  I would definitely go back for the spring show.

XO,

Lindsey

 

Pink Party

Good Morning,

It’s a little late, but today I’m featuring a amazing kid’s birthday party I attended last Monday on the Victoria Day holiday.  It was the 2nd and 4th birthday party for my bestie’s kids, Ella and Tatum. I love these two little humans more than I can possibly describe, but ALSO they looove pink…which just makes me love them even more.  So, of course, their Mom decided that for the girl’s birthday party (their b-day’s are only 5 days apart), a PINK PARTY was in order.  With the invites, instructions were given for attendees to don as much pink as they could.  It was so fun….and oozing with pink goodies.  Bright pink, light pink, salmon, neon….every pink you could imagine.

Kelly did amazing job pink-ifying the decor and food….even the cucumber slices were dyed pink.  There was birthday cake with 3 pink layers, pink popcorn and pink yoghurt pops.  Pink poofs, pink lemonade, and pink strawberry milk!

Decor and Food copy And then there was the stylin’ kiddies in their best pink outfits and accessories.

Stylin in Pink

And the pink fun continued with face-painting and birthday cake!

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 Such a fun party with a fabulous theme.

Don’t get used to it Kel….before you know it they’ll be 15 and wanting to wear ripped jeans, plaid shirts and Doc Martens…because by then the early 90’s will be cool again.

XO,

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