Holiday Cards 2016 with Minted

Good Morning!

If you have never met me, you might not know how much I love the holidays. And I mean really love it. A start listening to Christmas music in November kind of love. Watch every cheesy Hallmark made-for-TV Christmas movie kind of love. Secretly thinking I missed my calling in life and should be starring in all of said holiday movies kind of love. You get my point. And as in past years, the start of my holiday love-in begins with ordering my holiday cards from Minted – whom I love almost as much as I love the holidays. If you don’t know Minted already, they are an online marketplace of beautiful stationary goods, wall art and home decor items designed by independent artists from around the world.  I love that they support small artists and provide a many different ways for them to share their talents.  And the expanding product line includes so many cool gift ideas. From custom art prints, lampshades, tree skirts and custom stamps, you can find so many cool gift ideas for your family and friends year round.


However, today it’s all about their holiday cards.  There are so MANY to choose from and the designs are fantastic. Honestly, there are almost TOO many to choose from. You can pick a photo-card or non-photo card (I go without), foil-pressed or matte, and add co-ordinating envelope backings and return labels…..essentially it’s the field of dreams of holiday stationary…..If you THINK it, they will deliver it.



Photos above from Minted

And can we discuss service and convenience for a second?  First off, the pre-printed envelopes are the best thing since sliced bread.  You just upload a digital file of all your address and then, every year, they are there to edit, add, and use! For the little time you spend up front, you get so much back not having to write out every address each year. And shipping is SO fast, especially if you pick a design that offers expedited shipping.  I got my cards, with pre-printed envelopes and return labels in just a few days! So, if  you think you are too late to order cards and get them out, you would be mistaken!  Below, are the cards that I chose this year!


Normally my card choice is more eclectic and flowery, but this year I decided to go a little bit more traditional with this colourful vintage style card by Kelsey McNatt called “A Holiday Drive”.  I’m so happy with my cards, but then, I always am happy with my Minted purchases.


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Note: Minted provided product for this post.  All opinions and recommendations expressed are my own.

Sweat-proofing: Linen Loves

Good Morning!

Happy Friday all. It’s HAAAAAWT and humid in Toronto at the moment. I don’t like to complain because soon we’ll be under 10 feet of snow, but this humidity is a killer for me. Why? Because I sweat….a lot. If I go outside and simply MOVE in this weather, I sweat.  And we are not talking a pretty dewy glow on my face and skin that some lucky people get. It’s a dripping down my neck, face, back and legs situation. And this makes getting dressed challenging. I have read all about which fabrics that are best for hot weather (i.e. natural fibres like cottons) and there is one heat friendly fabric that I don’t really have in my wardrobe and that is linen. This morning I’m sharing a few lovely linen pieces that I could definitely see in my closet, which would also (hopefully) keep me dry(ish).


All these pieces look so light and airy. You will also note that, other than the blazer, all these items have little to no sleeves which is also a prerequisite for my summer closet. Circulation is key! Even if you don’t suffer the extent of my perspiration issue, in this weather anything that helps keep you cool is a good thing. To see the details of the pieces, click on the link below the image to go to my Polyvore. Have a great weekend!

Discovery: Shed Workspace

Good Morning!

I have recently completed a few more small upholstery projects out of my apartment, and while I love the work, it wreaks havoc on my tiny space. For larger projects I am lucky enough to work in the Re:style Studio space, but I have always daydreamed about my own workspace (I showed some cool ones here). However, since I don’t have a car unless a space is right next door, it’s a pain to travel back and forth. But recently I discovered that it’s possible to have an awesome studio or office right in your own backyard by adding a shed workspace.  The first company I stumbled upon whose products totally caught my eye was StudioShed.  They make very sleek modern prefab do-it-yourself sheds that can be used for various things, like home offices,  arts or craft studios, music rehearsal space, or cabin bunkies.

You can choose from various sizes, layout and features and they come with instructional videos so you can help put them together yourself.  You can have installation included in your price and add things like electrical, fancy flooring and more. The also have a greenhouses and dog house lines. Now, I share this information with few caveats.  Right now they only ship to the US, and therefore installation services are only offered there.  However, with the US shipping address services (like box hop, etc) they still could be an option if you are going for the DIY packages. Also, they are not cheap, even the DIY version. If you want a super sleek workspace in your backyard, you have to spend some money.

But never fear, I did find a somewhat similar company in Ontario called Sheds in a Day that offer more basic rustic wooden sheds, but in similar sizes. You can also pick and choose features and they are significantly cheaper.

I expect there are similar companies in other parts of the country too. I rent my apartment so neither of these are likely an option for me right now, but it’s nice to know that you can create a fabulous, functional workspace right in your own backyard.


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Decor Scheme for My Backyard Update

Good Morning!

I’ve been working on getting my backyard/patio cleaned up over the last few weeks, and I’m making some changes to the space. Nothing drastic, just some updates while using the furniture I already have.

You may have seen my recent post about painting my exterior door. After getting lots of opinions from you (thank you!), I’ve decided on the blue, more specifically Para Paints Bluenose (P2116-03).



 That decision led me to a create a nautical-ish navy/red scheme. I’ve done a round-up on what I have already and what I will need to complete my look.

backyard copy

What I have (clockwise from the top left):

1. Red and white cushion by Colin and Justin from Marshall’s, which goes with my…

2. ÄPPLARÖ bench from the IKEA  

3. Blue Cynthia Rowley table runner, which will go on my…

4. ÄPPLARÖ gateleg table from IKEA.  

5. 2 rattan lounge chairs from IKEA which they no longer carry but look similar to these ones, and have creamy white cushions

6. 2 Nisse white laquer folding chairs from IKEA

What I need (clockwise from the top left):

1. Patio lights!  The string kind. Simple ones I can drape around my patio or in my garden for extra light. Like these Allen & Ross ones from Lowe’s.

2. I have some throw pillows but I need some fabric to make new covers. And these 3 fabrics from Tonic Living will be perfect! (Small Ikat Dot in Navy, 10 oz Canvas in red, Starfish in Navy)

3. My door painted in Para paints bluenose

4. Good quality stake lighting for my garden. The solar ones that I currently have are terrible and don’t emit enough light, but I don’t want to have to run a cord across my yard from my deck so I’m stuck with solar.  I like the look of these copper ones from Westinghouse. But I’ll definitely want to be sure the ones I buy give off sufficient light.

So what do you think of the scheme?  Any suggestions?  Any recommendations for good stake lighting that actually gives off good light?  Let me know!

Have a great day!


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Floor Mirrors

Good Morning!

Can you believe that I don’t own a full-length mirror. Seems crazy that I’ve gone all this time and I don’t have a mirror where I can see my whole outfit at once.  I have bigger mirrors in my bedroom and kitchen but neither of them are full length.  I could go to walmart or target and just buy a run-of-the-mill mirror but what I really want is a beautiful giant floor mirror.  You know, to lean up against one of my non-existent large wall spaces. An architectural  gem that is not JUST a mirror but a furniture piece.  Like these beauties…




1 /2 /3/ 4/ 5  6

I have one wall that I could MAYBE see one working on but it couldn’t be too big.  Maybe.  But a girl can dream for now, right?

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Dinner Party: Tacos Around the World

Good Morning!

Normally I don’t do posts about my weekend, but I just had to post about a dinner party I went to on Saturday night. My friends Rena and Stefan hold an annual wedding party reunion dinner as thanks to those who stood up with them when they got married 3 years ago.  Let me start off by saying these two are the hosts with the most. Typically they send out a list of menu ideas in advance for voting.  The menu that won this year was “Tacos Around the World”.  They took six places they have traveled to and made tacos inspired by those locations.  Can I just say that Rena is a rock star?  First , here are a few shots of the prep work.  I took these pictures while I sipped a glass of wine and observed in awe the many moving parts of this meal.

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And then came the tacos, there were a total of six but I only got pictures of five for some reason.  (OK, the reason was tequila.  This group LOVES to eat but they also LOVE to drink.) Back to the food. WARNING: the following content may make you go into a jealous rage, proceed with caution.

Tacos copy

Here are the tacos from the top down:

  1.  New York –  Eggplant marinara on salad greens in a crispy parmesan taco shell (inspired by a similar taco they had at Torrisi’s Italian Specialties)
  2. Spain – Gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp) on tomato paella cake-taco
  3. Hawaii – Grilled mahi mahi with coleslaw and jalapeno mango salsa on a corn tortilla
  4. Peru – Roast chicken with charred corn and asparagus with asparagus crema and puffed quinoa  on a corn tortilla
  5. France – Boeuf bourguignon with salade Lyonnaise (baguette “tortilla”)
  6. Korea – Kalbi (Korean short ribs) with kimchi and pickled daikon and carrots in a steamed bao “tortilla” (Not pictured)

They were sooo delicious. Hawaii, Peru and Korea were my faves for sure but they were all amazing.  And then after all that we got not one but TWO desserts…..

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Salted caramel pots de crème with roasted hazelnut shortbread sand and devil’s food cake with salted caramel and fudge sauce. OMG. They were both to die for.

So much food, so much fun (too much tequila), and a great night.  Thanks Rena and Stef for hosting such a fabulous dinner.


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Navy Blue Walls

Good Morning!

This year I’m expanding my wardrobe out into the world of navy blue.  I’m trying hard to switch my idea that black is the only acceptable neutral.  And often when I’m looking for wardrobe ideas I look to design/decor for inspiration (and vice versa).  Which explains my love of  navy blue interiors right now.  I would have to say my favourite way to use navy blue is on the walls.  Navy is usually thought of as a traditional colour, but slap  a little navy paint on your walls you have instant drama.  If you don’t believe me, check our these lovely rooms.

Designed by Jan Showers via Traditonal Home

Designed by Levenson McDavid Architects, shot for Domino Magazine by Melanie Acevedo


Designed by Nate Berkus and Anne Coyle for Elle Decor

Designed by Victoria Smith (sfgirlbybay), Rue

Designed by Abigail Ahern

Navy looks great against white decor or paired with other dark, moody colours.  A winner in my books!

What do you think of navy blue on the walls?


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Weekend Musings

Good Morning!

Well, I was planning on announcing a winner to my giveaway today, but no one officially entered.  That is a first! I suspect this may have something to do with the fact that many of my readers attended Blogpodium and one of the items in the gift bag was Fall Home Show tickets.  Not to worry, I won’t let them go to waste!

Here is a little synopsis of my weekend….

My weekend 1.  I did a tiny bit of shopping. I dropped into a Target on my way to do some other errands and found some fun herringbone pieces for fall.  Great prices.  Of course, I didn’t find any casual clothes to buy. My curse of not being able to pick out casual clothing continues.

2.  I almost finished up a DIY fall decorating project that I’ve been working on that will be on the blog soon!

3.  I bought some fall flowers. I love fresh flowers in my place….it just makes me happy.

4.  However most of my weekend was spent sewing and installing an upholstery project for a client.  I did my first “on location” upholstery job.  It was a breakfast area bench that was constructed in place. And because of how it was constructed and attached I couldn’t upholster it in pieces, so I had to do it in place.  Definitely a learning experience but it turned out well. I’ll have some pictures once the cushions are all complete and in place.

And that was my weekend!  Mostly work but sometimes that is just the way it is.

Also, if you haven’t voted in the Upcycle Challenge: Unhinged contest, I so would appreciate your vote.  So far I’m not doing great at defending my title from last year!  To vote go here.   And you can vote every 24 hours, in case you feel like voting more than once.




Good Morning!

I am trying to be more creative with my hair these days.  This is partly out of desire to mix things up, but also out of necessity. My hair gets greasy fast so my bangs get pretty gross unless wash every day. So, I’ve been experimenting.  I’ve tried out some braided looks recently, and now I’m thinking about venturing into hairbands.  I don’t know if hairbands are “in” right now (I usually don’t pay much attention to hair trends) but over the years celebs have had some pretty lovely ones….





And here are few that I’m enjoying.

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clockwise from top right: Gold Rush Headband, Hoop Claw Handmade Phoenix Wing Hairband, Jennifer Oullette Perforated Dotted Leather Turban, ATHENA Grecian Leaf Headpiece in Raw Brass, lace headband by fashionmeme, Plumo fabric headband (sold out).

Pretty fun, huh? The lace and beaded ones are my particular favorites!

Do any of you wear hairbands regularly?



Tasty Tuesday: Peach Chutney

 Good Morning!

Millions of peaches, peaches for me….remember that song? (If you don’t, please don’t tell me as I am probably aging myself). Well, I don’t have millions of peaches, but I do love them especially when they are in season in Ontario.  You may have noticed on my instagram feed that I made some peach jam a couple of weekends ago.  I had quite a few leftover peaches so this past weekend I decided to make some peach chutney with the extra!  I used this recipe from Epicurious with some of my own added ingredients.  It turned out pretty darn good (insert “pat on back” here), so I thought I would share what I did with you today.


  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, seeded, diced 1/4 inch, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded & diced, 2 tablespoons (I didn’t use this because I didn’t want it to be too spicy)
  • 1/3 cup white raisins
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds firm, fresh peaches, blanched to remove the skin, pit removed, sliced into wedges.

Then I also added:

  • 1 tsp. dried coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin

What I did:

Add vinegar and both sugars into a non-reactive pot, cook over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the red pepper, onion, jalapeño, raisins, garlic, ginger, salt and the additional spices I used, and simmer 10 minutes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Add the peaches and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes or longer if your peaches are still firm. If you would like it thicker you can cook a bit longer to reduce liquid.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes in the pot. Serve at room temperature. Transfer to container and refrigerate or freeze some for later.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I used mine on pork tenderloin on Sunday night, which was delicious. (It helped that is was one of the few times I didn’t totally over cook my tenderloin….).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Now I’m itching to make other chutney for winter.  Do you know of any good chutney recipes I should try?

Have a great day!