Friday, July 19, 2013

A Pretty Pink Nursery

After the post on Christina's pink baby shower, I promised this follow up post on the nursery. Christina asked me to help her out with decorating the baby space. They had a few things working against them and were struggling to put their vision together. First of all, they are in a rental which really limits their flexibility in decor. Second, the baby room is a small and awkward room. She had a very clear idea of colour scheme that she wanted, and that was soft grays, pinks and whites. Lucky for them, the landlord agreed to let them paint the walls to a soft gray.

Christina chose bedding materials and we kicked off from there. Here's why the room was a challenge:
We started here with some inspiration:
 I wish I had actually pinned these so I knew who to credit... if you know, please comment!

Here's where we ended up (sorry some of these are so grainy/oddly lit - it was night time!):

The closet door was removed in favour of a curtain on a tension rod so that a small dresser could fit into the room. The dresser (from Ikea) plays double duty as a change table too. This also opened up the closet a bit more so she could fit a hanging organizer in to make better use of the space. This made a huge difference!
Christina hung some white curtains and added these cute ribbons for a tie-back detail.
We thought it would be fun to making the gallery wall(s) asymmetrical so laid it out on the floor and then used 3M Command strips to hang everything (to avoid holes in those rental walls!). ALL of the art is DIY, and we already had all of the frames between the two of us.
Those are Christina's own newborn booties that were knit for her... so sweet.
The gallery wall has been updated since Hayden's arrival to include some of her adorable newborn photos. Seriously, ADORABLE.
The frames were purchased from Michaels on sale, we removed the glass and inserted some scrapbook papers that we adhered to the frame backs. The wooden letters were painted and then glued on to the paper (super strong glue of course!).
The small table is from Ikea. We wanted to add some interest to it so Christina just taped it off and painted on the gray stripes. Quick and easy!
Christina didn't want anything heavy that could potentially fall off the walls hanging over the crib for safety reasons. We used this tassel tissue garland (as seen in the baby shower post, from The Flair Exchange on Etsy). As Hayden gets bigger and can move around more, we'll have to move it out of reach but it works for now! We hammered some straight pins into the wall and tied the garland onto them.
Pretty adorable for a small and budget-friendly nursery in a rental home, don't you think? She did a great job and totally achieved the girly look that she wanted! I will follow this up with a post on the DIY art projects :)

xo,
Andrea

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Recipe | White Summer Sangria

One of my favourite things about the Summer season is Summer cocktails (don't judge). I have a wicked recipe for red sangria but sometimes it's a bit too much for hot Summer days.... sometimes you want something lighter and refreshing. I decided to experiment with a white sangria, and let me tell you... it was a hit. I've tried a couple different versions already - a light (read: not too boozy) mix and a not so light mix (read: it was for a stagette, so the boozier the better).

Really, you can pretty much throw just about anything into this. It's so versatile and always delicious, pretty hard to mess it up! The light version entailed a bottle of white wine (per pitcher), choose something that is middle of the road for sweetness. This was a Cuvee Blanc, but Pinot Grigio would be good too. I mixed that with some Triple Sec that I just kind of... free poured? Also, some lemon juice. I added sliced strawberries, peaches and mint and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. When it came time to serve it, I added about 1.5 cans of soda and 0.5 cans of ginger ale. So delicious!

When I made the heavier/boozier version, I went a little heavier on the triple sec, skipped the ginger ale in favour of just soda and added a bottle of champagne (well, sparkling wine!). As you can imagine, we had a fun day! You can put any fruit in it (though beware, the longer it sits, the more colour that leeches out of the berries and into the wine which can turn it into an unattractive pink drink with white berries!). 

So, ultimately the recipe goes like this:
  • White Wine
  • Champagne or sparkling wine (optional, if not using ginger ale)
  • Triple Sec (or brandy, or any other citrus liqueur)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Soda and/or ginger ale
  • Fruit
  • Mint
You can adopt those ingredients to make a sangria as strong or light as you choose!! I usually just wing it and taste it to decide if it needs more of anything. 
Happy Summer Cocktailing! I am on holidays, staying at a cabin on my own... so you can bet I'll be mixing up a little White Summer Sangria!!

xo,
Andrea

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Pretty Pink Baby Shower

This post has been hanging around in draft mode for awhile now (since... January...? ummm....) so I thought I'd get it done!

My best friend was having a precious little girl, her first baby. Hayden blessed everyone with her arrival early, on Valentine's Day. We had a shower for Christina in January and here are a few (very few) photos that I managed to snap before guests arrived.

Oh, and I had a little fun using some washi tape for present wrapping!
How cute is that bunting tape?!?!
Obviously, I had to buy baby leg warmers and bows! (from Darling Little Bow Shop on Etsy). Christina loved these later on because it's so easy to change babies when it's just a onsie that you have to worry about, and the leg warmers can be pulled on and off so quickly/easily.
The lovely lady who hosted the shower at her home does floral work so she made tons of arrangements for the tables... how sweet is this baby's breath and carnations?!
These were little floral favours for the guests to take home... isn't that a cute idea?
This was a hit for the mama-to-be. Instead of playing games (which I think we can all agree that most of us don't love), we had guests write/draw on some diapers to provide a little humour to mama's late night diaper changes. They were pretty funny, and did give a little comic relief to the mama later on too.
The tissue tassel garland was custom made by The Flair Exchange on Etsy. You will see that it provided double duty when we decorated the nursery! We also had a classic children's story book out for guests to sign.
 Pink champagne, pink wine and pink punch... told you this was a pink affair! There was food too, of course. Although, you wouldn't know it from these photos!
Beautiful cake made by one of the mama-to-be's friends... isn't it soooo pretty?! If you are local, you can find her here, Kristin's Cakes.
The mama-to-be! How ridiculous is that little basketball of a baby bump?! Christina makes me look like a little shorty, but rest assured - she is 6' tall, and I'm 5'10" so it's just an illusion :)
I also helped Christina with decorating the nursery, so post on how that turned out to follow! Spoiler alert: there's pink involved!

xo,
Andrea

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Herbalicious Update | DIY Planter

So I promised an update after this post about our April herb planting. Our herbs are thriving. As evidenced below...

Top to bottom: Ranunculus (clearly dead), lavender, dahlias (hiding behind the giant dill plant), dill, sage.
Top to bottom: lavender, dahlias, mint, thyme.
Left to right: dill, sage, rosemary, thyme.
How giant is this dill? It's about 2-2.5 feet tall! Last month, it was infested with white flies. So gross. I used a solution of water, dish soap and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and it seemed to work.
 Clockwise below, you can see my lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage.

My mint is looking a little rough. I have harvested a lot lately so I think it just needs to fill in again, there are lots of little sprouts at the soil. So, success thus far!

My dad loves to cook and always buys fresh herbs so I thought that we could make him his own herb garden for Father's Day, since I'm clearly an herb expert now (not). As the idea grew, I was a little put off by the prices and appearance of different baskets and planters so started brainstorming. I browsed Pinterest but couldn't find much there either. I wanted something that was two-tiered and mobile (so that as the sun moved or weather changed, it could be easily moved), so we put it on castors. Lastly, I wanted to have each herb in its own pot so the planter was more aesthetic and functional than anything. I came up with this very technical plan drawn on an envelope. I'm such an artist.
We decided to just completely wing it and hope that we could make it structurally sound. Therefore, there will be no tutorial on making your own, ha! We used cedar and left it unsealed (actually, I started sealing it and hated the colour so stopped and sanded it all off. Fun). Cedar is commonly used outdoors because it weathers well and it actually gets a cool grayish patina over time. We made the planter a bit bigger than we needed so that we could add more pots in the future.
 I was seriously doubting our plan right around this time:


Here's where we ended up:



The top tier has dill (it was a bit dead, but I had seeded it as well), basil, spicy oregano and parsley. The bottom tier has sage, thyme, rosemary and chives. They all look a bit sad here because they had been sun-deprived... but they are in a much happier, sunnier home now at my parents house!

After all of our materials, it ended up costing about $100 for everything, including the herbs, soil and pots as well. It's a Mother's Day tradition that we plant flower baskets for my mom, so this is perfect - we'll plant herbs for my dad! So what do you think? Not bad for an idea out of my head translated into real life?!

xo,
Andrea