Halloween is right around the corner and if you’re looking for something fun to do with the kids, this easy DIY ghost garland is a perfect activity to get everyone in the spooky spirit. It’s simple to make and you just need a few materials that you probably already have. It’s perfect for little helpers who are getting excited for Halloween and it’s a fun way to kick off decorating for October 31. All you need is some tissue paper, glue, and twine and a little bit of glitter if you like a bit of sparkle.
white tissue paper
styrofoam balls (I used 1 1/2″ ones)
1. Place 2- 3 sheets of tissue on top of each other. With about 8″ on all sides, put a dab of glue between the sheets of tissue paper (since Ari helped we just used a glue stick but a glue gun would work as well), plus one on the top sheet for the styrofoam ball.
2. Place the styrofoam ball on the glue and wrap the tissue paper over it.
3. Cut or tear the tissue paper about 6- 8″ around the ball. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, it just adds to the look of the ghost.
4. Use a permanent marker to give the ghost a face.
5. If you want a bit of sparkle, dab some glue on the ghost’s face and sprinkle with glitter. Tap to remove excess.
6. Repeat to create as many ghosts as you want and tape some twine or string to the backs of the ghost’s heads. Hang & enjoy!
Fall is officially here. It’s that time of year in between Summer and all things Halloween… and then Christmas. And before we get out the bats, witches, and jack- o- lanterns, it’s the perfect time to put out some pretty Fall greens and pumpkins. And gourds (can’t forget about those!) ;).
For about $30 we picked up some pumpkins, gourds, and plants for our front porch and added some throughout the house to bring a little bit of Fall indoors. I also clipped some fresh greens from the garden for some pops of colour and arranged everything into little groups using colour and texture to create interest (I went with mostly white with pops of orange and green). Decorating for the seasons doesn’t have to burn a hole in your credit card to look good- especially when you can add a cute free printable into the mix!- and you might already have more than you need, you just have to get a little creative. One of the things I’ve been wanting is a sign that can be used year- round as I switch things up for Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. I didn’t want to spend a lot on it since I like to change things up throughout the year, so I decided to make one. All you have to do is print and pop it into a frame (I used one from good ol’ IKEA), and decorate to your heart’s content.
You can find the click + print link for this ‘Welcome Home’ sign at the end of the post, plus check out these tips for easy home decor (even though this post is about decorating for Fall, they are good year- round):
use colour and texture for visual interest (these mini pumpkins and gourds cost around $15 for all of them)
pick a colour scheme and carry it through- it can be lots of colour or just one or two, but keeping the colours consistent will make a big impact (like I said, I went with white, orange, and green before the black and orange of Halloween come along)
layer items/ prop up against each other to add depth/ height
get creative- use items you already have and set a budget for items you want to buy; if you’re really lucky you might a few things that will work year- round so you only have to add a few seasonal accents
when all else fails, make it yourself (like a sign you can print right at home 😉 )
It’s beginning to feel like Fall… And in less than two weeks the season will officially be here. Bring on all the cozy: the sweaters, boots, scarves, hats, hot apple cider (call me old fashioned but I like it better than PSLs), Fall decor, candles, baking……. all of it. I’ve started adding some Fall touches around the house and as much as I love LOVE candles, I wanted a flameless option to add a seasonal scent to the house.
This little DIY was inspired by none other than the food dehydrator that has been a staple in my kitchen for the past few weeks as we pick fresh herbs from the garden to dry (we have a round one like this one and love it). I’ve seen lots of cute ideas with dehydrated oranges (warning: this may not be the last one you see here 😉 ), and this DIY is a great way to add to the coziness of your home for the Fall by making it smell amazing. You can choose any scent combinations you like, but I really like the smell of coffee and added citrus essential oil to help keep the house smelling fresh. I opted to make a sachet that I can tuck out of reach from the kids, but pouring everything into a jar or vase would also make for a pretty home made potpourri to display (those dried oranges just make everything look pretty). This is also a great option if you’re trying to avoid artificial air fresheners- simply switch up the scents for the season to keep your home smelling fresh.
1 large navel orange
Citrus essential oil
Piece of paper towel or tissue paper
1- 2 cups coffee beans
Lightweight fabric bag (or use a piece of fabric tied at the top)
Begin by cutting the orange into slices not quite 1/4″ thick
2. Place slices into a food dehydrator (or you can preheat your oven to 250 degrees and dry the slices for 2- 3 hours)
3. When the orange slices have dried, allow to cool. Add a few drops to a piece of paper towel or tissue paper.
4. Pop all of the items into the paper bag- the dried orange slices, coffee beans, and paper towel/ tissue paper- and wrap it up so nothing can fall out. To be extra secure tape the seams so no coffee beans fall out.
5. Pop everything into the fabric bag and tie at the top. Pick where you want to have the scent in your home and place the sachet. You can tuck into a closet or add it to a Fall display/ vignette.
As I mentioned, you can also dry the orange slices in the oven at a low temp for a few hours, but I love the option of a dehydrator and the round one we have gets a lot of use. If you’re thinking of buying one, this one is similar to the one we have and works great.
Disclosure: This shop was compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias
It’s that time of year when we all get back into our Fall routines, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time to squeeze in some fun family time around school and activities. Road trips and travelling are a popular activity for families any time of year, but if you’re looking for some shorter trip ideas, I’m sharing a few day trips you can take leaving from Vancouver. Whether you live in the city or one of the surrounding cities, you’ll be able to reach any of these places without spending the whole day on the road/ travelling.
The best part about these day trips is they don’t require as much planning/ packing, making them easy to organize and prepare for. Some simple prep before you go is all you need: pack up a cooler, get the kids outfits and bags ready the night before, make sure your car is gassed up and good to go (have you checked the fluids/ given it an oil change recently?), and maybe pack some driving snacks for everyone to keep them happy. And even though Summer is winding down, these day trips from Vancouver are fun year- round.
This place doesn’t need much of an intro. With it’s year- round activities, there’s always plenty to do. Whether you prefer hiking, biking, skiing/ snowboarding, or want to relax and enjoy good food, it’s all here (for good eats check out El Furniture Warehouse where all meals are $4.95). The drive along the Sea to Sky Highway is beautiful with plenty of places to stop along the way (Shannon Falls is my favourite pit stop), but there’s also the mining museum, Hells Gate, and plenty of other scenic stops/ attractions along the way.
Approx. 1.5- 2 hours drive from Vancouver.
2. Cultus Lake/ Chilliwack
Growing up I loved visiting Cultus Lake or the water slides across from the lake in the Summer. Rent a boat and go wakeboarding or slow things down and go fishing- the lake is a popular Summer spot, but beautiful all year (it doesn’t have to be hot and sunny to enjoy a picnic lakeside!). Chilliwack is a favourite day trip spot for families living in Vancouver and surrounding areas who want to get away and enjoy the country without having to go too far from home, and it’s gaining more and more attention for it’s growing local scene. Family- friendly events are held throughout the year, including markets, BBQs, craft beer festivals, and a corn maze (just to name a few) so even if it isn’t the middle of Summer there’s still plenty to enjoy.
Approx. 1 hour 15 min drive from Vancouver
3. Fort Langley
If you don’t want to go as far east as Chilliwack, Fort Langley is another scenic locale, within an hour’s drive of the City. Visit the Fort and soak up some local history, enjoy a variety of shopping and eating options (Trading Post Brewing’s Eatery and Ritual Ice Cream are two of my favourites, also check out Little White House, a converted heritage house featuring a boutique and cafe); or go for a walk in/ around this scenic town. The Fort- to- Fort Trail is a great option if you enjoy biking/ hiking, and you can rent kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes if you want to spend some time on the water. This historic town is full of character and has plenty to offer visitors who want to get away from the city within a short drive.
Approx. 45 min drive from Vancouver
4. Bowen Island
Being a city on the coast, Vancouver isn’t far from countless islands accessible by ferry and Bowen Island is just a quick 20 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay in North Vancouver. This is the perfect place to slow down and enjoy ‘island time’. When you’re here it’s easy to forget how close to Vancouver you are. When you arrive off the ferry any number of choices await in Snug Cove, including restaurants and shops; you can also rent paddleboards and kayaks right by the marina/ ferry dock. If you enjoy handcrafted, artisanal work, Artisan Square is home to shops and galleries featuring locals artists/ artisans and just a quick drive up the hill from Snug Cove. Drive further into the island for scenic hikes and other activities (if you’re a yoga lover, Nectar Yoga B&B is worth a visit, even if you’re only there for the day).
Approx. travel time: 20 min ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay in North Vancouver
5. Vancouver Island
Hop on the ferry from Horseshoe Bay or Tsawassen and head to the Island for a day. Visit the province’s capital and hit up a museum or go shopping in downtown Victoria or check out any number of other cities/ attractions on the Island. Tofino is worth the extra drive once you get off the ferry, or stop in Ucluelet for a closer option; both offer up beautiful beaches and during storm season the waves are an attraction in themselves. Cathedral Grove on the way is a natural wonder that you’ll want to stop at (perfect for a picnic lunch and stretching your legs, and be prepared to take lots of nature photos among these old- growth trees) and Coombs is a quirky little town that’s fun to visit. For a ferry ride and drive, you’ve got plenty to choose from, you just have to decide how to spend your time.
Prepping a day or two in advance can save time and make getting on the road go much smoother morning- of, especially if you’ve got kids along for the ride. Stock up on food and drinks (fill a few extra water bottles for good measure) and any clothing/ gear you’ll need for your activities of choice. It’s easy to forget, but making sure your vehicle is ready to hit the road- whether for a long or short drive- is important. Since your vehicle is going to get you to and from your destination it’s a good idea to make sure it’s in good working order and this is a good time to check the oil and do a DIY oil change if needed. You can get everything you need at your local Canadian Tire (they’re made for life in Canada after all 😉 ), including oil change supplies plus other essentials for road trips (coolers, camping chairs, etc).
Tips for Performing an Oil Change
check your car’s owner’s manual before you start to ensure you pick up the right oil for your car
make sure you have all the supplies you need including funnel, drip tray, wrench, jack and jack stands or ramps, latex gloves, oil, oil filter, and any other items specific to your vehicle (like a drain plug washer)
take the safety precautions necessary to perform a DIY oil change safely, such as using blocks behind the wheels of the vehicle so it doesn’t roll if on a ramp
What Oil + Where to Buy
If you’re looking for a quality oil, Quaker State® Ultimate Durability™ Full Synthetic Motor Oil is a great choice and you can stock up for a great price at Canadian Tire. Their oils have been tested in severe driving conditions to ensure they help your car perform to the standard your family needs and protects your engine through it’s use- and then some. It’s not the first few kilometers after an oil change that you’ll appreciate the difference, it’s the thousands you drive after- think stop- and- go traffic, idling, and extreme temperature changes (hello Canadian weather!), that test the quality of the oil you use.
Quaker State puts quality first and tests their products (they tested their oils in taxi fleets throughout North America, with the results proving their oils provide twice the protection of the industry standard throughout its life) to ensure they provide the performance and durability you need:
Durability- oil remains fresh thanks to the fuel- saving additive
Engine life- heat- activated viscosity improvers and anti- wear additives kick in as the engine temperature increases to maintain oil thickness/ help extend your engine life
Performance- superior lubrication flow and pumpability in below- freezing temperatures
If you have never done a DIY oil change before, ask a staff member at Canadian Tire to help you find everything you need, including the right oil for your car. Quaker State is a great option, and whether you plan a long or a short road trip it will help your car get your family everywhere you need to go. I hope this post has given you some ideas for places around Vancouver to visit (and a friendly reminder to keep your vehicle maintenance up to date)!
Now I want to know: What are some of your favourite day trips to take with your family?
It’s hard to believe that this evening- The Secret Dinner– was almost two weeks ago already. After months of preparing and planning, the evening celebrating the launch of the Captured In Squares website (the photo styling company I run with friend and blogger, Janette of Ava to Zoe) came and went in a flash- don’t the best kind of nights always go by too fast? A lot of love and time went into planning what Janette and I hoped would be a creative way to launch our website and we’re sharing some of the details on our blogs.
The catch of The Secret Dinner was that hostesses and location would be kept a secret until the last minute (hence the name), but hints were dropped on the event’s Instagram page so guests would have some idea of what to expect. I had the task of taking Janette’s idea of a secret dinner (all credit goes to her for the idea) and bringing all the details together while she hustled away on getting the website ready for the launch. Inspired by a wall of dreamcatchers, we wanted to go with a style that was a little bit boho/ rustic/ vintage with a white, gold, green colour scheme with accents of dark red for drama/ contrast. Let the pinning marathon begin!
The theme of the evening was ‘a night to inspire’ and we wanted to use it as an opportunity to bring together some of our supporters and clients since starting Captured In Squares as a way of saying thank you. It was a chance to enjoy an al fresco meal in good company while swapping stories and experiences from being in business. Hose d’oeuvres from Fork & Knife Catering and flatbread from Rocky Mountain Flatbread were served alongside wine from Evolve Cellars, followed by a show- stopping naked cake by The Cake Mama.
We wanted the dinner to be outside to make the most of the last of the late Summer nights and our date in August didn’t disappoint. As a final way of keeping everything a secret until the last minute, guests had to walk down a path to enter the dinner area, turning a corner to see the set up. We opted for a low- lying palette table set with white and gold, vintage wine glasses, and wooden cutlery; menus were placed at each setting topped with a fresh sprig of greenery from my parent’s garden. Pretty finishing touches included a table- length runner of fresh seeded eucalyptus (Budget Blooms) from placed on top of sheet music and fabric, tea lights (Canvas Candle Co), the words ‘inspire’, ‘ignite’, ‘achieve’ in gold calligraphy (Paper + Parties Co) at each place setting, and a notebook topped with a mini dream catcher (Shop Ava to Zoe) for each guest. Since it was a low table, piles of cushions and blankets surrounded the table so the ladies could lay them out as desired and sit comfortably.
We kept the decor simple, using a palette to display a selection of the photos from Impressed App we’ve taken since starting Captured In Squares, and decorating the food table in a vintage lace tablecloth and fresh flower bouquet provided by Budget Blooms. Fresh greens and a dream catcher (another Shop Ave to Zoe piece) served as a backdrop, with a vintage magazine wrack as a wine holder on the table. The cake made for a pretty focal point, finished with fresh flowers from Budget Blooms and a gold ‘Captured In Squares’ calligraphy cake topper from Paper + Parties.
We ended the evening with prize bags contributed by some of the event’s sponsors: The Handpicked Home, Canvas Candle Co, Kristina Benson Art, Marsh&Mallow, and Budget Blooms, and a heartfelt thank you to the ladies in attendance. The notebooks and mini dream catchers from the table were sent home with the guests along with a swag bag of goodies as our way of showing our appreciation for everyone who came. And just like that, the evening was over. Janette and I couldn’t have been happier with how everything came together and how we marked the milestone of launching our website. It was a heart full moment and we are both so grateful for everyone who helped us bring it together and attended. For more details about The Secret Dinner, see below and visit this post on the CIS website.
Thank you to these sponsors for helping us bring together The Secret Dinner 2017!
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? Pin it!
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.