Driving around in the Summer, you can’t go too far without seeing a lemonade stand with kids offering up cups to quench the thirst of passersby. It’s a staple for many a childhood and most of us probably set one up as a kid. It’s what inspired this Summer collab, and together a group of us had a great time sipping, eating, and spending some quality grown up time together as we shot the photos. Just because we’re not kids anymore doesn’t mean we can’t still have some fun and put a grown- up twist on this Summer classic, right?
We took things a step further than the classic lemonade stand and added some lemony treats and a grown- up lemonade mimosa to accompany the classic drink, plus added some pretty details to finish this lemonade stand themed party. The stand was made from upcycled pallets and is as simple as it gets to make (note: also a fun excuse to use a hammer and tools 😉 ), and the rest of the furniture we used was from my thrifting adventures.
For decorations we went with pops of pinks and yellows to build on the lemonade theme- think the classic + pink lemonade- included fresh flowers to add a grown- up feel, and fun decor like the pink ‘party’ balloon and flamingo ring toss (I had been eyeing up the flamingos at the dollar store all Summer and thought this was the perfect excuse to finally buy them). This theme would be perfect for any number of celebrations, and easy to adapt to set up indoors (ahem, pallet bar anyone?). Just grab some lemons, a splash of vodka, and a party straw and sink in for some citrusy party fun with friends. Hope you like this idea for your next party!
See below for bloggers & brands involved in this party:
Who else has been soaking up the sun every chance they get? This time of year means extra time spent outside and for us that includes nurturing our backyard edible garden. When I started planning gardening ideas for the blog this Summer there was a lot of interest in small space ideas from readers. I had some coffee cans we had been saving for I- don’t- know- what and when I started looking up small space gardening ideas to include in this Gardening Planner and I knew they would be perfect for a small- space garden project. Whether you have a small yard, a patio/ deck, or even just a few planters, you don’t need a lot of space to indulge your green thumb.
For a small garden space, square- foot gardening is a great way to maximize space and crop yield (we love our Seeding Square for this), but what if you’ve got little/ no room for planters or more vertical space than horizontal? No problem. Constructing a vertical garden is a great option to make the most of wall space, railings, and fences and there are a variety of plants that grow well in small containers. This is great for a herb garden, but you don’t have to restrict yourself- limited garden space is just an excuse to get a little creative and this DIY is easily adaptable for the space and materials you have on hand. Tip: to make the most of the space you have, plant some peas or beans in a planter at the base of the frame, hang some tomatoes or potatoes upside down from the top, and reserve the space in the middle for plants like salad greens, lettuce, and other similar edibles.
– wooden frame (hello thrift store!)
-coffee cans, labels removed
-large S hooks
-hammer + large nail
-plants/ seeds of choice
-organic potting soil
-chicken wire + staple gun (optional)
Start by giving the frame(s) you’re going to use 2 coats of paint, allowing to dry between coats.
Using a hammer and nail, puncture each of the coffee cans about 1″ from the top (or make the hole higher if using a small S hook. Hang the S hook through the hole or push some twine through for hanging.
Tip: If you prefer, you can simply hang the coffee cans right off of your deck railing or fence.
3. Add some large pebbles/ river rock to the bottom of each can for drainage. Fill the cans with soil along with the plants/ seeds you want to grow until full.
4. Optional step: staple chicken wire to the back of the frame if you want to have the option to hang containers over the whole surface area within the frame.
5. Lean the frame against or attach it to your vertical space (wall, fence, railing, etc) and hang the coffee cans as desired. Water the plants as needed.
Like this idea? Save it for later!
Looking for more gardening ideas? Check out the blog’s Patio + Garden page for a list of all the posts in this category.
The love for all things Canada continues today on OHP! Canadian- themed decor is pretty trendy right now, but the cabin/ woodsy/ lumberjack themes have been classic style trends for home and style for as long as I can remember. Whether you like to incorporate it into your home or your wardrobe (or both!) there are plenty of options out there to choose from. Have some fun with your style and decor with this selection of 10 items that celebrate Canada (with everything costing $75 or less!).
No matter where in Canada you live, there’s no place like home and I’ve rounded up 10 favourites for home and style as part of my #Canada150 celebrations here on the blog. Being from BC, the woods, ocean, and outdoors play a big part in my life and I couldn’t resist including a few provincial items too. Whether you just like them for the Summer, or use year- round, I hope you like these ideas for adding some ‘Eh’ into your life!
Let me be the first to say: HAPPY 1ST DAY OF SUMMER! Or as I like to call it, my favourite time of year. 😉 Canada Day is right around the corner and there’s some fun stuff coming to OHP to help celebrate Canada 150, but before we get to that I couldn’t resist posting something to celebrate the switch from Spring to Summer. I’ve got 3 Summer- inspired printables for you to download and print at home to bring the season indoors. All you have to do is pop in a frame or use some washi tape to adhere to a space that needs some brightening up. Pick your favourite or go for all 3 for a cute group. Click the links below to download. WELCOME TO SUMMER! <3
Tip: These prints should fit a standard piece of printer paper with a border around the design when printed. Scale up or down to size the image to fit the frame you want. 50% should be about right for a 4″ * 6″ frame; I went for 60% since I had a matte in the frame I was using.
Don’t have time to download & print now? Pin this post for later!
After what feels like a few false starts, the sun and warmer weather seem to be here to stay. We’ve been working hard getting the garden planted over the past month or so- it was definitely a later start than usual- and we’re starting to enjoy the results as the first batch of plants are almost ready to pick. We’ve got spinach ready to eat with peas and lettuce coming up quick. Even with the late start it’s been a great kick off to the gardening season and since it’s something many enjoy or want to get into, I’ve put together a printable Gardening Planner full of info and tips, plus printable labels and something for the kids.
I tried to include as much as I could on the topic of edible gardening without it turning into a novel, and included ideas for small space gardening, kid- friendly ideas, and plants that grow well indoors/ in the shade for those with limited (or no) outdoor gardening space. I tried to make it as simple and user- friendly as possible. Simply print it off and use it throughout the growing season to help you plan and stay organized. I’ve included a Garden Planning Grid and Legend to help you map out your garden space and make the most of the area you have to work with (if you follow the blog on Instagram you’ll have seen me share about Seeding Square, a great tool to help maximize growing space). You’ll also find suggestions for vertical and container gardening, natural pest control, and companion planting suggestions.
Phew! I hope I’ve covered some good ground with this planner and hope it helps you with your gardening plans for the season ahead. See below for contents, photos of some of the pages, and links to some of the companies whose products we’re using as well as gardening books I’ve included in the Resources section of the Planner. Simply click to download and print. If you want this planner to last a while, pick up a binder or folder and slip the pages into clear plastic page protectors, or reprint pages as needed.
Planting Calendar– Print a few of these pages for the months you seed/ grow/ harvest/ re- plant in
Planning Grid– Map out your gardening space and use as a reference for planting. Print as many of these as you need for multiple garden spaces and if you plan to re- plant with different crops in the same space throughout the season
Planning Legend– Use with the Planning Grid to help you plan your gardening space(s)
Natural Pest Control– Try these methods to help reduce pests without chemicals
Companion Planting– Suggestions for which fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers grow well together and help reduce pests
Kid- Friendly Ideas– Suggestions for easy- to- grow edible plants that kids will enjoy helping with
Tips– Ideas for small space and container gardens, vertical gardening, plants that grow well in the shade, and suggestions for plants that you can grow indoors
Notes– Print as many of these pages as needed to make additional notes
Printables– Includes plant labels, seed labels, and a kids garden sign. Print as many as you like to use and get your kids involved by having them colour and cut out their own sign for the garden
Resources– Some books I recommend for further reading (I’ve included links at the end of this post if you want to check them out)
Download and print your copy of the OHP Garden Planner below!
I’ve included links to websites of companies whose products we’re using this year (keep an eye out for more gardening content featuring them throughout the Summer) and the books I have enjoyed reading and turn to for advice with our own garden. All of the books are available on Amazon and are great to have on hand as reference.
Confession: this post was a lot harder to put together than I thought it would be! There are so many fun pool floaties out there, and it was hard to narrow down choices to include. I’ve rounded up 20 to help make the most of all the hot days spent poolside and at the beach to come from two of my favourite places to shop online: Amazon.ca and Indigo (tip: from May 23- 25 enjoy free shipping when you order online at Indigo). Some of these are more of a splurge than others, but the fun (and photos!) will be worth it. Scroll to the bottom for where to buy info.
Food is a universal language we all speak, something that unifies us. It’s something to be enjoyed, and also the fuel we provide our bodies. If you’d followed the blog for a while, you’ll know that our family loves food, albeit with a few bumps in the road- we’re still gluten free, but other restrictions have since been removed from Ari’s diet- and I’ve sought out options as healthy staples in our diets. We enjoy as many home- cooked and healthy, whole- food based meals as we can, but still indulge in comfort food, etc when we get a craving or are short on time (everything in moderation, no?).
Before kids and since, I love a good recipe. There’s something I find soothing and therapeutic about preparing a meal (note: when the kids are cooperating); it’s a simple pleasure I find a lot of joy in. And while I turn to online sources for much of my inspiration when trying out a new meal idea, I still love turning the pages of a cookbook. There’s something about the tactile nature of running my fingers down the pages and marking recipes to try with sticky notes that I love. So when I had the chance to review the new cookbook by Love Child Organics founder Leah Garrad- Cole, I looked forward to the opportunity.
“Welcome to It All Begins With Food, a book dedicated to clean, whole- food recipes for your entire family”.
Leah and I share the same outlook towards food, with a focus on the quality and integrity of ingredients, especially when it comes to feeding our kids. There is a lot to be said about the source of our food today (how was it grown, where did it come from, etc) and while this isn’t always black and white, Leah offers up a valuable resource in her new cookbook for everyone from new parents to passionate home cooks alike. I discovered her line of quality baby food, Love Child Organics, soon after Ari was born and have had the pleasure of being a brand ambassador with the company and watching it grow over the past few years. The introduction of It All Begins With Food was something I was looking forward to, and now am happy to be sharing my thoughts on the book here with readers. This cookbook will grow with your family, and even if your kids are past the baby and toddler years, it is full of information and recipes you will appreciate and enjoy.
This is a beautiful cookbook, filled with photos and tables of information that compliment Leah’s recipes. But it isn’t all eye candy, and second only to the recipes themselves, the information Leah has gathered in this cookbook make it a great reference to have on hand. What does it really mean to be organic? What’s a GMO? What foods should I avoid introducing to my baby? Are just a few of the questions Leah addresses in It All Begins With Food, along with a section I love, make it yourself, make it better, which features suggestions on how to make pantry staples at home to avoid unnecessary ingredients such as sugar, salt and preservatives.
“There is an overabundance of of information out there, and it can make the task of feeding your family really confusing and overwhelming. We all want our children to eat well, but it’s hard to know where to start, and with our busy lives, it’s really difficult to find the time to make it happen.”
Alongside the recipes, Leah has included information to help guide readers through food topics that we face today, including:
organic foods (one of Leah’s favourite topics)
The Dirty Dozen & The Clean Fifteen- foods grown with the most pesticide residue and least, respectively
GMOs- what are they and how to avoid them
alternative names for sugar used in ingredients lists
clean kitchen/ pantry shopping list + tools and equipment
meal planning tips + planner
getting your kids involved in cooking + food prep
information, tips, and serving suggestions for introducing first foods to baby
While this cookbook is a wealth of information for starting out your little one on solids (see For Baby, below), Leah has covered healthy suggestions for the whole family from start to finish: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, smoothies, creating your own pantry staples (I’m looking forward to diving into this chapter more in the coming months), and recipes for entertaining. I tend to avoid recipes that contain ingredients that are hard to find or seem too complicated; most of the time I have the kids with me when shopping and cooking, so I’ve subscribed to the adage simpler is better on several levels when it comes to the food we eat.
And that also applies to the nature of the ingredients themselves: Leah uses common, clean/ healthy, simple- to- find- ingredients in her recipes, with prep and cooking time around an hour total for many of the recipes (many less than that). This is a cookbook with crowd- pleasing recipes, but doesn’t forget about the person creating the meal. You don’t have to have kids to appreciate her method, but it’s definitely a cookbook created by a parent with parents in mind: healthy food that doesn’t take hours to prep and cook. Thank you Leah!
“With an unwavering focus on replacing ingredients that have little nutritional value with ones that are nutritionally dense, It All Begins With Food ensures that every bite counts while making the end result is pleasurable and the ingredients are easy to find.”
Chapters in the book:
purees & mashes
smoothies: the vitamin vehicle
superhero breakfasts to keep them going (and going!)
family- friendly dinners
healthier snacks & treats
make it yourself make it better
For parents looking for information, tips, and recipes for feeding their baby, this book is a wealth of knowledge and I wish it had been around when Ari was a baby. As a Mom, Leah speaks from her own experiences, as well as from the wealth of information and knowledge she has amassed since starting an organic food company; I love this combination of experience and knowledge and I feel this approach will appeal to many parents beginning the food journey with their children. Here are just a few of the highlights for me that I appreciated Leah including:
Canadian & US official infant feeding recommendations
suggestions on when to start introducing solids + signs to look for that your baby may be ready
what foods to start with
food allergies + reactions (also the difference between a true allergy and an intolerance/ food sensitivity)
Whether you’re passionate about healthy cooking, want to incorporate more whole- foods recipes into your weekly meal plan, or starting out a little one on solids, It All begins With Food includes ideas for all members of the family, and will be a welcome addition to any cookbook library.
To learn more about Love Child Organics, visit them online:
Who’s ready for a party?? Cinco De Mayo is right around the corner and let’s face it, we’re all in need of something bright and cheerful after the grey months behind us. I got together with my blogger gals Janette (Ava to Zoe) and Heydy (Raising Jay and Abel) to put on a Spring Fiesta with our kids and let’s just say I’m doing a happy dance after seeing it all come together. We all pitched in to bring this party together- yay teamwork!- and you can find the links to the posts Janette and Heydy have up on their blogs, plus source info and links at the end of the post (Janette made to- die- for vegetarian tacos and Heydy whipped up some wicked sangria).
We went for a twist on the classic Cinco De Mayo theme, taking colour inspo from Mexican blankets and muting them down for a more pastel pallette. We opted for a Tex- Mex menu and a few sweet treats to keep things simple, all around a Mexican theme (how cute are those cactus cookies?!). We added some pops of colour to the table with the flowers and cactus, whipped up a cute ‘Taco ’bout a party’ sign (thank you dollar store!), and added a few fun details like the pineapple and tissue garland at the front of the table for finishing touches. A lot of the items for dressing the table were things we already had, simple DIYS, and some dollar store finds and we wanted to show that you can throw one helluva party without blowing the budget (I’ll be sharing the DIY for the tissue backdrop soon).Whether you throw a Cinco De Mayo party, or like the idea of a Mexican themed fiesta, I hope you get some ideas from these photos! Scroll to the end for links and source info. Ole!
Sometimes you want to take something you enjoy and make it a little special. A cup of tea and some baked treats are simple pleasures that many of us enjoy, but have you had the pleasure of trying a high tea? It’s like taking the tea parties from your childhood and elevating them to a grown- up version- princess dresses and crowns optional. 😉 The finger sandwiches, British- inspired sweet treats, and a perfectly brewed cup of tea are a part of the experience and it’s something that is enjoyable year- round. Whether you enjoy a day out with some girlfriends or include the kids, I thought this was a sweet idea for Mother’s Day. There are plenty of places to go, but you can also enjoy the high tea experience at home with services like those offered by SocieTea Events, where you can select a package to enjoy in your own home or garden.
Hosting a high tea at home can be as simple or as elaborate as you want to make it- start with a selection of teas and treats and go from the there!- and it’s an opportunity to dress up and have some fun (have you seen all the cute Cake inspired pieces from The Sweet Life Apparel?). The lovely ladies from Sequel Events helped me style and shoot this high tea and we definitely indulged in our girly sides- add in a yummy cake from Hello Cake Co, a few simple DIYs, and some pretty touches like the ones included here from SocieTea Events (they also provide some decor items) and Raggy Girl Vintage, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful afternoon. And if you’ve got something else in mind for Mother’s Day (have you checked out this year’s gift guide?), how cute would it be to host a high tea for a bridal or baby shower? It’s amazing what some pretty vintage- inspired touches and fresh flowers can do. See below for the final results!
We’re heading into gardening season on the West Coast and I’m already looking forward to the warm months to come spent outside digging in the dirt. For the past few years we’ve planted edible gardens and last year was the first full season of us planting our two raised box gardens full; everything from kale to peas. Will and I both enjoy gardening and the output from all our hard work, and we’ve enjoyed teaching Ari about gardening and plants the past two Summers. Gardening is definitely a labour of love, but you can enjoy it on as big or as small of a scale as you like. I joke that our back yard is my favourite room of the house in Spring and Summer and soaking up the Vitamin D in our backyard is one of my favourite ways to unwind.
With Ari turning four this year, we’re looking forward to her helping even more in the garden, even if it’s only simple tasks, it’s something she loves and a great opportunity to teach her about growing food and nature. Our goal is to grow organic food and make the most of homegrown eats through the Spring and Summer, while also teaching our kids a love and appreciation for the outdoors and letting them be a part of the process. You don’t need a lot of space to enjoy gardening- pots, containers, and vertical gardens are all great small- space options- and there are methods to make the most of even small garden plots. Even if gardening isn’t a passion- maybe it’s something you just want to dapple in- or want to teach your kids about how plants grow, I thought I’d round- up some reading material to kickstart gardening season.
I’m sharing 5 books below to help build your gardening library, including a few titles for kids, so everyone in the family can enjoy their time digging in the dirt. All titles available from Raincoast Books.
What Will Grow?
This book for kids teaches about a variety of different seeds and what they grow into- everything from peas and tomatoes to oak trees and sunflowers. It’s perfect to teach kids about how plants grow from seeds and that they can transform into many things: flowers, trees, fruits, or vegetables. A great intro to gardening for young readers that includes info about seed growth and simple tips to start your own garden, plus four pull- out pages that kids will love. The pages are full of bright illustrations with planting tips for all of the seeds featured at the back of the book, along with the stages of growth from seed to full- grown plant.
By Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Susie Ghahremani
Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
What happens in the dirt that we don’t see? Lots of things! This kids’ book shows the hidden world of nature below the garden surface plus all the activity that happens above ground through the four seasons. Everything from worms and other bugs, to the animals and creatures that call the garden home. This a great book to teach kids about all of the critters that are a part of the garden world throughout the year and shows how it changes through the seasons- from prepping the garden for planting, to the final harvest of the year. At the end of the book is a list of suggested further reading for little gardeners along with an ‘about the animals’ section to teach kids about the creatures featured throughout the book.
By Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
The Little Veggie Patch Co. DIY Garden Projects
This book is loaded with ideas for garden projects, ranging from simple ideas for kids to all- out garden DIYs. Whether you’re looking for garden space ideas- want to build your own vertical garden, repurpose items to help plants grow, or want to attract garden- friendly bugs to your yard?- or get your kids involved, this book has over 250 pages loaded with ideas, all accompanied by easy to follow step- by- step instructions and photos to help you complete your project. I’ve already got a few bookmarked to try with the kids and I’ve seen a few DIYs I’d like to try making for our box gardens as well. I like that this book can help you from start to finish of setting up and growing a garden, plus has simple ideas to get the kids involved.
By Mat Pember and Dillon Seitchik- Reardon
Tiny Garden, Huge Harvest
Don’t have a lot of room but still want to grow some yummy things with your green thumb? This book provides tips for small plot and container gardening with step- by- step instructions for designing, planting, and harvesting. It shows that you don’t need a lot of space, you just need to make the most of it. It includes tips for different garden options- vertical, tiered, pot/ container gardening, as well as what kind of garden you’re thinking of: do you want to be able to harvest and eat what you grow, or simply enjoy the act of gardening? It also has information about gardening techniques and what to do with the food you grow, including garden planning, four- season gardening, succession planting, and how to preserve harvested edibles. At the back of the book is a handy index with information on a variety of edible varieties including some popular herbs. Added bonus: this is a little book loaded with info- it’s about the size of a postcard, making it perfect to tuck into your bag when you head to store to buy gardening supplies and want a quick reference guide.
By Caleb Warnock
Herbs + Flowers
Maybe something on a simpler scale is what you’re looking for? This little book is a great guide for growing more than 32 kinds of herbs and edible flowers (have you seen how pretty a salad looks garnished with fresh flowers?) and has beautiful illustrations of all the plants featured. Each variety is outlined with key information including how it tastes, when to plant and pick, and serving suggestions (ie fresh dill is nice eaten raw or cooked and pairs well with cucumber, lime, lemon, and red peppers, among other tasty combinations). It also includes substitution suggestions, so you can try out different options if a certain plant doesn’t grow well for you (I’ve tried growing basil from a seed unsuccessfully, so have opted to buy a small plant in the past, but other ideas according to the book include mint, lemon balm, and oregano). Another great reference book to tuck into your bag to take to the store when you stock up, and a simple/ enjoyable read no matter what your skill/ expertise level.
By Pip McCormac, illustrated by Louise O’Reilly
All of the books listed above are available through Raincoast Books.