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decorating

Cheers! A Grown Up Lemonade Stand Party

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:

Photos & styling- Captured in Squares

‘Party’ ballon, paper cups + plates, treat boxes (used for candy boxes)- Joonie & Joe

Florals- Sophie’s Flower Shop

‘Lemonade’ sign- Pacific Coast DIY

Lemonade stand print- Love Designs

Watercolour lemon candy tags- Emily Cuthbert Designs

Lemon Squares- The Lemon Square

Lemon marshmallows- Marsh&Mallow

Wine (in lemonade- Evolve Cellars

Meyer Lemon lavendar Cordial (used in popsicles)- The Handpicked Home

See the other blog posts from this collab:

Sparkling lemonade lavender popsicles- OHP

Lemonade Mimosas- Ava to Zoe (coming soon)

Pink Lemonade + Lemon stamped bunting/ napkins- Discovering Parenthood (coming soon)

Candy Treat boxes- Claire Krista (coming soon)

Lemon Ice Cubes- Raising Jay and Abel

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August 10, 2017
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My New (Old) Home Sweet Home {with Piya from THH}

In the world of Pinterest and Instagram, who doesn’t catch themselves getting major envy at some of the beautiful, perfect, magazine- worthy homes they see? It makes for nice eye candy while you scroll through, but it can also leave you feeling a little bummed about your own home:  ‘My house totally doesn’t look like that’. We don’t all have big budgets to tackle that reno or a limitless credit limit to splurge on all the things to make our homes picture- perfect. And let’s face it, some days it’s worth a celebration that the house doesn’t look like a bomb zone with kids running around as you attempt various chores/ cleaning, etc (‘let them make one mess while I clean another’ sound about right? 😉 ). And having an older home that comes with a few quirks can definitely make the process more interesting and challenging. My friend Piya who owns The Handpicked Home and I both have vintage 70’s homes that came with a lot of personality. Over the past year we’ve worked together on a few projects, but comparing notes on updating an older home has been something we’ve laughed and joked over as we discover bumps in the roads of our various projects.

I’ve loved being a part of and watching Piya and Pav transform the home they bought a year ago and we wanted to share about the process along with some tips for anyone who’s got an older home, or one that just needs a little TLC. It can be exciting to renovate/ redecorate, but it can also sometimes feel overwhelming when you’re trying to figure out what to do. So over the next couple of months we’ll be sharing different tips and ideas from Piya’s experiences that you can hopefully use in your own home that are simple, don’t break the budget, and help make your house your home in all it’s imperfect glory (and let’s face it, probably have a laugh over as well, because what home project ever goes as planned?). Piya and I chatted about a variety of things to do with moving and home renos and she’s sharing about her experience so far below along with some before and after photos to show the progress they’ve made. It’s really amazing to see the difference some paint and creativity can make to a space and Piya’s home is a great example of what you can accomplish, regardless of how quirky your home might be

What was your previous home like compared to your current one? How did you want to make this home the same/ different in terms of style and personal touches?

Our condo in Morgan Crossing was a show suite; it had never been lived in. It was a two-level, two-bedroom, two-bath home with a beautiful, large kitchen that included a gas range and quartz counters. Our house needed a lot of TLC when we purchased it, but Pav knew that I could work my magic to design a space we could both love. The condo was easy to make sparkle because it was already shiny and new! This house was going to be a little more challenging, but I love a challenge. We went from always entertaining in the open-concept kitchen and family room in the condo, to focusing on the seating area in our living room of the new (old) house as an alternative. It’s not worse, it’s just different. 

I knew I had the opportunity to have even more fun with our house, like adding wall decals, which I had always wanted to do in our condo but never got a chance to. So even though we no longer had our sparkly dream kitchen, we had something else; something with a lot more character and charm and history that we could make our own. A few months after we had moved in and made some changes, the daughter of the previous owners came by to pick up some mail and when she walked in the door, she was blown away by how great it looked. What a difference a fresh coat (or three!) of paint can make!

What was the timeline from finding the house, moving in, and completing the facelifts?

My husband was on the hunt for a house, right when the market was picking up but still before the real craze of bidding wars and no time for inspections. We were in a condo in South Surrey, beautiful and new; a gorgeous space. Pav (my husband) knew, though, that this was the time to try and purchase a house with a decent size lot when we still could. As White Rock and South Surrey were at the top of our wish list, we started looking there first, but worked our way back to my old ‘hood in Cloverdale where we found her. Older, and in need of some serious love, we made our offer and it was accepted.

Because it was at the beginning of December 2015, we waited to get through the busy Christmas season at the shop, so we rented it out and stayed in our condo until January, when we put it up for sale and accepted an offer fairly quickly. We had until March to move out, which gave us a lot of time to pack and say our farewells (even though it’s always left until the last minute anyway) and we moved into our new (old) house in April. We began painting right away: every single wall and our brick fireplace, and replacing all the light fixtures. The bathrooms upstairs were not holding up, so we decided to renovate those sooner than expected in June, and that took about a month to complete.

Decorating is always an ongoing adventure, especially with a space that’s almost double the size that our condo was. But I wasn’t really finished enough to be truly happy with it until probably September. Things always take longer than expected; shop life keeps us really busy, so trying to squeeze in time for the house can be a struggle – emotionally, too, since I do take pride in making our space less house and more home. There were plenty of frustrations along the way, but it’s looking so cozy and sweet now that it was all worth it in the end!

   

 

What drew you to this house?

Most certainly the lot size. Ultimately, our plan will be to tear down the house and rebuild our dream home (yes, we will be those people on the block!), which might also be the only way we are able to afford the space we really want. I am more about quality over quantity, so the rebuild will be about the fixtures and special features over the high square footage. Who needs extra, bare rooms to keep clean? Not us!

What also drew us to this house is the unique layout. It’s a ‘70s three-level-split home but not like any others out there we’ve seen. It boasts a large foyer and dreamy living room, with a dining space along with a bar area we created. An original, three-sided brick gas fireplace keeps us cozy, and the master bedroom even has a walk-in closet! Not the largest walk-in around, but I’ll take what I can get!

What were your priorities/ on your ‘must change this’ list when it came time to renovate? 

The bathrooms were high on the list; painting was probably first since it seemed easiest at the time (ha ha ha – Pav will have a laugh over thinking it would be easy) as well as changing the lights. The house also needed updated blinds – we went way too long without real window coverings, but did put curtains up in the meantime for at least a little bit of privacy. Meanwhile, I was finding some additional furniture for the space and planning our feature dining room wall.

We also decided what we wouldn’t be focusing on, which was the kitchen. We figured since we were planning on tearing down eventually anyway, and it already came with stainless steel appliances, there was no use in increasing the value of a room that wouldn’t exist in five years. Five years – that’s the plan: live in the current space for as long as we can and hopefully not longer than five years. We tend to work quicker than we think, so we will see how things eventually turn out!

What do you love/ hate about renovating an older home?

The hate is for the delays; the things that go wrong; the new things that need attention when you’re still working on the “old” things. The love is the satisfaction from seeing your work complete; the joy of accomplishing projects on your own home; the chaos of working on it with your husband – and enjoying the space together each night after a long day at work.

How is this home different from your previous place?

It’s old! It’s also twice the size. There have been a lot of additions made to the house over the last forty years and not all of them were done well. There have definitely been some challenges, but we also saw a lot of potential. It’s unique and homey, and the yard is a huge plus!

How did you make changes on a budget?

We took on a lot all at once, so we knew we had to stick to a strict budget for updating the house. Pav took on the painting (as much as he doesn’t love it) with his parents helping out, to save some money on labor. We did have a team helping us manage the bathrooms, but we were able to use the same group that is currently working on the new build of Pav’s parents’ house and piggyback off of a larger project, so that helped us save some costs as well. Some of our feature light fixtures were a splurge (like the chandelier above the dining table), but because we bought several for different rooms, we were actually able to negotiate a better price which helped us save at least $200 – that was a bonus.

The hardest part is working one month at a time and not being able to buy everything all at once – isn’t that always the case? Pav had to remind me that we needed to wait some purchases out, like bringing sweet new pieces home from the shop (always a struggle) or our dream sofa. Good things come to those who wait – and, for now, we are enjoying the space and the fact that we can take a break from maintenance work.

 

How do you make your house ‘yours’? 

Putting a room together doesn’t come easy for everyone; there are some things to remember about the placement of chairs in a living room or how rugs can make a space warm and cohesive. But, for the most part, do what you love. Does that art make you feel good? Throw it on the wall. Not sure if the cushion matches but you love it so much? Grab it for your couch! Magazines are meant to serve as inspiration, not rule books. You don’t have to worry about making your place “magazine-perfect” so long as it’s perfect to you, and your quirkiness and love will show through to whomever steps through your home.

Can you put a dream rug over existing carpet (which, by the way, you can!)? Do it, if it feels right to you! You’ll make it perfect with your own charm and personalization. I say, don’t be afraid to make some design moves. And, honestly, a fresh coat of paint can make anything, anything, look great. Got a China cabinet or headboard that’s dated but you can’t part with? There’s nothing a little coat of FAT paint (a local chalk style paint company) can’t fix! You’ll be hooked and want to paint everything you own!

 

What are the quirks and fun thing about decorating an older home vs a new, all- white house? Do you love it, hate it? Or both?

We got lucky with our place; it came with all these rooms that we could do whatever we wanted with. We can turn the downstairs into the man-cave (or Pav-cave!); we can have a bar area for extra seating when we entertain for dinner; we get to have an extra-large foyer that we can make pretty for guests as they first enter our home. It’s not new, it’s not white and pristine – it’s old and a little rickety (in a good way! There can be a good way, right?) and charming as hell!

It was full of wood paneling that we painted white (for our own makeshift wainscoting) but also included cedar ceilings which add something unique. There is a tonne of space (our condo furniture basically fits into one room- our family room) that we get to work with, and also a lovely yard and deck that we can eventually redesign as well. I do miss our condo sometimes, I just loved it so much. But now we get to have an adorable new space to call home, and even though it came with some struggles, we know we made the right decision (especially Pav– I don’t think I could get him to pay another strata fee again!).

What’s next on the list?

Adding to the décor! We also still (still!) have some unpacking to do, so we will complete this hopefully early in the New Year. We are borrowing my Mum & Dad’s couches right now in our living room; we already have our dream sofa picked out so hopefully we can pick that up in January as well. I plan to move the current furniture downstairs, and grab the new sofa along with new coffee/side tables to update the living room to complete it. Working in the environment I do, it’s definitely hard to not bring one of everything home with me every day!

The value of our home is in the lot. With the eventual plan to tear down and rebuild, we focused our attention on cosmetic changes like new carpet for upstairs, paint, light fixtures, blinds, heat vent covers, and, soon, little things like new door handles upstairs for all the rooms and matching light and plug covers. The bathrooms were the biggest job, and while we tried to keep the renovation budgeted, we knew we could spend a little more on things we could keep for the rebuild, like good toilets and shower fixtures, and spent a little less on the tiles, which we can’t later salvage. The soaker tub was new but we found it on Craig’s List (hooray!) and both vanities were from IKEA – we saved on these and I love them! I would not hesitate to keep them for some spare bathrooms in our future new home. If we do decide to update our kitchen next year, we will likely limit it to painting the backsplash and counter tops, just to make them more liveable (and likeable!). I found some pretty great tutorials on Pinterest that would make for a fun project!

What tips do you have for anyone looking to redecorate/ renovate/ do a facelift?

Get a lot of quotes! Talk to as many people as you can about your project list, especially people you already know– there are always great recommendations to be made through word-of-mouth. If it weren’t for the team that was already working on Pav’s parents’ new place, we would’ve worked with the same contractor that built our shop. That was a dream-team!

Also, try out some new DIY ideas (like painting your backsplash in the kitchen!), especially if you’re in a situation like us where you will eventually tear down anyway. They will probably turn out great, and you can spread the word and help friends and family with their DIY inspiration!

Finally, take your time. I had to come to terms with the fact that not everything could be updated at once, and that’s okay – you will learn to love the space and your guests will likely not even notice all the details that you know are still missing. Enjoy the adventure, whether you are doing it with a partner or experiencing it on your own. In the end, it’ll be the satisfaction of your own hard work and dedication that’ll make you smile everyday.  


Piya and I have more home- inspo coming to you in the new year! Stay tuned for more in our home sweet home series soon!

The Handpicked Home

1406 Johnson Road, White Rock, BC

Instagram: @thehandpickedhomeshop

Facebook: The Handpicked Home

Twitter: @handpicked_home

Photo credit (‘after’ photos): Akane Kondo Photography

Facebook: Akane Kondo Photography 

Instagram: @akanekondophoto

December 22, 2016
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Easy Wreath DIY

DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath 
Who’s decked their halls already? I think I’m still in denial that it’s mid December already and Christmas is less than 2 weeks away (!?!?!). But that doesn’t mean you have to stop adding to the festive atmosphere. When I decorate for Christmas I always seem to keep adding. I’ll think I’m finished and then find something else that I can’t resist adding to the festive decor. I’m a big kid when it comes to this time of year and I love the smell of having a fresh tree in the house. The next best thing is having fresh greens or a wreath to bring that amazing smell into your home or to great guests when they arrive for your holiday party. They are so beautiful and surprisingly easy to make. (Tip: you can also lie a wreath flat for a pretty low- lying centrepiece for Christmas dinner). This just might be the best- smelling DIY you’ll ever make. 😉
 
Materials
Fresh greens
Ivy, red berries, and any other fresh embellishments you’d like
Small branches or a wire wreath frame
Ribbon
Twine
Floral wire
 
DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath supplies

 

Directions
1. If you’re using a pre- made frame you can skip this step. Begin by laying out the branches to form a  circle the size you’d like.
DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath tutorial
 
2. Use twine or floral wire to tie together the branches.
DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath tutorial

 

DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath tutorial

 

3. Start adding your fresh greens and secure to the frame/ branches
DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath tutorial

4. Go around the whole frame until it’s full; trim away any excess to get the shape you desire

DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath tutorial

5. Add in other decoration such as ivy, berries, etc to get the look you want

DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath tutorial
DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath tutorial

6. Finish off with some pretty ribbon & loop a piece at the top to hang the wreath

DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath
 
DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath

 

DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath
 
DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath tutorial
 
7. Adjust the ribbon length so the wreath will hang where you want it on the door
DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath tutorial
DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath

 

DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath
 
DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath
 
DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath
 
Like it? Pin it!

DIY fresh greens Christmas wreath

 
 
 
December 13, 2016
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Lifestyle Meets Comfort: Gallery Wall How- To

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I’m excited to share that I’ve contributed a guest blog post over on the La- Z Boy Comfort Meets Lifestyle website! If you’re looking for some design inspo, it’s a great resource to check out with articles on a variety of topics including trends, tips, and DIYs. 
My post is a simple how- to for creating a gallery wall, with some tips and tricks to help make the process a little simpler (I always find it takes me way longer to hang photos, etc than I think it will). A gallery wall is a stylish way to display photos, art, and other pieces while adding a personal touch to your home. See below for a little sneak peak and head over the Lifestyle Meets Comfort website for the full post!

Visit the Lifestyle Meets Comfort website for this and other decorating and organizing ideas.

May 19, 2016
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Ari’s Room

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Decorating Ari’s room has been a work in progress for a while but a lot of fun for me. We knew that we would keep the nursery the same and make the 3rd bedroom Ari’s when it came time to have another baby, giving us a blank canvas to work with. It took us a little while to pick out paint colours, but once that was done the walls and the bed were my jumping- off point for everything else. It wasn’t until about 2 months ago, when we took down the crib and set up her bed, that it felt ‘finished’. Her room really has been a labour of love, and I loved searching for the furniture and everything else that’s gone into it. I also love how well everything came together within a pretty tight budget: her vanity and bookshelf were Craigslist finds that my Dad refinished, her bed was bought on sale, as was her duvet set, there’s a few garage sale finds, and the curtains, pillows, and a few other items were bought at Homesense (who doesn’t love Homesense???). Added into the mix are some sentimental items, gifts, and a few DIY projects. I loved it when I’d find something and add it to the room, layer by layer. Decorating within a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your vision, you just have to get a little creative. I loved creating a fun space for Ari and how her room turned out. We love snuggling up on her bed or in the reading corner and going through piles of books- it’s somewhere we all love to spend time and most importantly that she loves too. Source info for some of the photos is included at the end of the post. <3

Sources:
Bed- Pottery Barn 
Duvet- Target
Mosquito net- Ikea
Dreamcatcher- VMD Jewellery 
Canvas bucket- From the Seeds
Throw cushions- Homesense
Vintage trunk- Garage sale
‘Classy’ print- Kardz Kouture
Tassel garlands- Fun Fiestas by Ili
Necklaces (on vanity)- Glitter & Spice
Bracelet (on vanity)- Rachel Rainbow
Flower Monogram- DIY project
Vanity- Craigslist & refinished with FAT Paint
Confetti wall decals- Urban Walls
Paper lanterns- Target
Gold fairy prints- Elk & Elm Home
Ari’s Outfit:
T- shirt- Whistle & Flute
Necklace- Glitter & Spice
Mocs- Minimoc
February posts sponsored by

February 14, 2016
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Ombre Photo Backdrop DIY

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There are some pretty amazing photo prop/ backdrop ideas out there. For my recent Valentine’s Day photo collab with Creative Wife & Joyful Worker and The Cheerio Diaries, we each pitched in to create a pretty & delicate party for 3 very cute little ladies and I offered to create a backdrop we would use for some of the photos (check out these sugar cookies by The Cheerio Diaries and this tassel garland cake topper by Creative Wife & Joyful Worker that they made for the shoot). After scrolling through trusty old Pinterest for inspiration, I decided on one made with dip- dyed coffee filters & streamers. Since this was a girly Valentine’s photo shoot, the obvious choice was pink, but I’ve seen other versions in different colours that are equally beautiful. This backdrop would be great for weddings, parties- pretty much any excuse you have to take photos. It costs only a few dollars to make and you can make it as full or spread- out as you like. All you have to do is run out to the dollar store for a few supplies and you’re good to go. My only tip is to give yourself a little bit of time when it comes to stringing this together- maybe pop in your favourite movie or Netflix so the process doesn’t get too repetitive. See the how- to (and some of the cute photos from our shoot!) below. 
Materials
Coffee filters (I just used a pack of 100, use more for a fuller look)
Food colouring
Fishing twine
Stapler
Cool glue gun
Optional:
Shower curtain
Streamers
Wooden dowel or wrapping paper tube

Directions
1. Start by separating your coffee filters into four groups; keep one pile aside that will stay white
2. Fill 3 separate bowls with approx. 2 cups of water. Add increasing amounts of food colouring to each bowl to achieve the vibrancy of colour you’d like (I used 15 drops, 10 drops, and 5 drops)
3. Take the coffee filters in groups of 3- 5 and fold them into a fan shape

4. Dip the coffee filters into the dyed water about half way, holding them in the water for a few seconds so they can absorb the colour. Set aside as you dye the others. Repeat the process with the other two batches of coffee filters and allow to dry overnight

6. When dry, begin making the coffee filters into cones. First fold them in half…

7. … Then fold in each side to create a cone

8. Staple to hold in place (you could also use a dot of glue or use double- sided tape so you don’t see the seam as easily)

9. Continue this process until all of the coffee filters have been shaped into cones (see why I suggested the movie/ Netflix? 😉 ). Then measure out pieces of fishing twine approx. 10 feet long and string on the cones from lightest to darkest to create an ombre effect; secure them on the twine by pinching the top of the cones with a dot of glue (this is why it’s best to use a cool glue gun, so you don’t burn your fingers). Vary the spacing, grouping some closer together and spreading others farther apart

10. At this point, you could simply use the strings of cones and hang them in front of a wall to create your backdrop. But if you’d like a solid backdrop where you can’t see what’s behind it (such as in front of a door, or to cover a non- photogenic wall), see the following steps
11. Attach a plain shower curtain to a cardboard tube or wooden dowel and then tape varying lengths of streamers to create a pretty layered effect (start with longer pieces, then add shorter pieces on top)
12. Once you’re happy with the streamers, layer on the strings of coffee filters, spacing them out based on how full you’d like it

12. Secure your backdrop where you want to use it (make sure the lighting is good/ away from shadows), find some cute models to pose & snap away! 

It was so much fun getting to work with two of my blogger friends for this shoot- we all had a blast and so did our little models. Make sure to check out The Cheerio Diaries and Creative Wife & Joyful Worker for more great blog reading.
Thanks to these great shops for helping us style this shoot (some aren’t shown in these photos):
Dresses- Over The Loom
Bracelets- Rachel Rainbow
Noisemakers, Fiesta Balloon & Tassel Garland- Fun Fiestas By Ili
Party Straws- Dixie + Twine
Glitter glassware & gold- dipped wood cutlery- Grace Miller & Co
January posts sponsored by

January 31, 2016
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DIY Flower Monogram

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I’ve been having fun adding some finishing touches to Ari’s room now that her big girl bed is set up and I couldn’t resist looking for some fun and easy DIY projects on Pinterest that I could pull off. This flower monogram was super easy and cost peanuts to make (I think I maybe spent $5 on materials at the dollar store- everything else I had on hand). To personalize, you just pick out fake flowers & colours you like (how pretty would this be to make with fresh flowers for a party or shower???). See below for instructions. 
Materials:
Cardboard tube* (I used a wrapping paper tube, but for tricky letters like ‘G’ a store- bought paper mache letter will work)
Scissors/ exacto knife
Tape
Fake flowers
Glue gun
*In one of the projects I saw, they used a paper- mache letter and cut off the top, which would be good for letters that are harder to shape out of cardboard
Directions:
1. Flatten the tube in half to create a crease, then do the same in the other direction so the creases from your first fold line up- when you hold up the tube it should be square- shaped instead of round. 

2. Using the exacto knife/ scissors, cut the tube into the pieces to make your letter. It may help to draw a letter on a piece of paper so you can lay out the pieces as you go. Tape together to hold shape.
3. With your glue gun, glue the pieces together and allow to cool. Then use your exacto knife or scissors to cut down the middle of the cardboard. Fold the edges in/ down and secure in place with more hot glue.

4. Now for the fun part! Trim the stems of the fake flowers so you can fit them into the letter (the tops of the flowers should sit a little above the cardboard). Place the flowers in the letter to check for spacing, then use the glue gun to secure them in place. Allow to cool. If you prefer a fuller look, add some smaller flowers to fill in the gaps. To hang, you can simply cut a notch in the back of the cardboard to go on a hook, or glue a loop of ribbon/ twine. These are also pretty displayed on vanities/ dressers. 

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January 15, 2016
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Adding to Your Gallery Wall with Canvas Pop {+ GIVEAWAY}

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How many Instagram photos do you have that you want to get printed? If you’re like me, they’re probably some of your favourites and deserve some space on your gallery wall. I like all the options out there for getting Instagram photos taken, and love that you can get them enlarged so you can  add them to other favourites on display.
My favourite gallery wall style is one where a variety of items are incorporated: framed photos, shadow boxes/ framed items, and canvas prints. I also like to use different styles of frames; basically I like a gallery wall that looks like a wall- mounted collage.  I’m in the process of adding to ours (finally!) after picking favourites of Liam, and got a few photos printed on canvas thanks to Canvas Pop. Not only did they turn out great, they’re as easy it gets when it comes to hanging- no frame required. Canvas prints also make great gifts and save you having to hunt down a frame you like (or paying for framing- yikes!). Canvas Pop ships right to your door and their prints come ready to hang with everything you need. All you have to do is pick the canvas size you’d like (some cropping may be required) and upload the photo(s) you want made into prints- they don’t have to be from Instagram, but I love having this option. The hardest part is figuring out your gallery wall layout! Check out one of the prints I had made below.

Just in time for the holidays- and the family photos you’ve probably just had taken for Christmas cards- I’ve got the chance for a reader to win a 16″ * 20″ canvas print shipped right to their door. 
Click here to see all the ways you can enter. Contest open from November 25- December 9, 2015. 
Canvas Pop has also offered TPB readers a 35% discount towards their print orders (does not apply to shipping costs or purchase of gift cards). Use promo code THPMPRDBB35  at checkout to receive your discount. Promo code valid until December 13, 2015.
Thanks to Canvas Pop for my beautiful prints & for sponsoring this giveaway!

Canvas Pop creates gallery- quality prints using archival quality canvas stretched by hand. With no additives or agents their canvas prints are created to last more than 100 years without fading. Canvas Pop uses Canon printers and high quality laminates applied by hand to protect the finished print. This laminate is scratch resistant and protects against UV so prints don’t fade. Canvas Pop provides a 100% Love Guarantee with their products and service to ensure customers love everything about their experience. Visit the Canvas Pop website to get your order started. 
Find them on social media: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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November 25, 2015
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Treats of the Holidays: 7 Ways to Have Fun With Candy at Christmas

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If you haven’t already started decorating for Christmas, chances are you will be soon. It can be hard to decide what my favourite thing is about this time of year, but the festive atmosphere is definitely up there on my list. I love coming up with fun ideas each year for the holidays, and this year I’m collaborating with Karameller Candy Shop to add some sweet touches to the holiday season. Candy doesn’t have to equal a constant sugar rush (and it’s not just for kids!) and there’s more to the season than candy canes and chocolate coins. It can also be a colourful and cheerful addition to your Christmas festivities. I’ve got ideas for everything from the classic gingerbread house to party favours, and so much more. Read on for 7 ideas to have fun with candy this holiday season.
Candy Garland
We’re all familiar with the popcorn garland but for a fun and colourful twist on a classic swap in candy instead. Use twine, ribbon, or string and a needle to make a pretty garland with festive gummy candy. Lay out your pattern before stringing it so you’re happy with the design. You can make a solid garland or space the candy out. You can also use a glue gun to add gingerbread cookies or salt dough decorations to the mix (you’ll want to glue the cookies since they could crumble if you try to use a needle); colour- coordinated beads are also pretty to use. These are beautiful hung on the tree (I loved how mine looked on our mini live tree), from a mantle, or from branches grouped in a vase for a splash of colour. Tip: Use gummy ribbons to make pretty loops (see below).








Stocking Stuffer Shapes 

This is a cute way to include some sweets in your kid’s stockings without them getting a major sugar rush. Simply trace out a festive shape on 2 light- medium weight pieces of paper large enough to hold a hand full of candy (you’ll want it to be strong enough to fill with candy without tearing). Cut out the shapes and use a glue gun to glue around the edges, leaving about a 2″ gap to fill with candy. Once filled, glue the rest of the edge so candy can’t spill out (this would also make for a cute gift tag idea, just use a hole punch so you can thread through some ribbon).

Marshmallow Pops
How pretty are these??? Another simple & sweet treat idea for holiday parties, these also make cute gifts & stocking stuffers. Simply pop a large marshmallow (I used two of Karameller’s for each) on a straw and dip in some melted chocolate (pick colours to match your colour scheme- I went with white, mint & pink). Twirl & tap the marshmallows so the extra chocolate drips off and dip in something fun for a pretty treat (I used sprinkles and shredded coconut for mine). Allow to dry flat side down then pop in a pretty vase or wrap a bunch on cellophane for a marshmallow pop bouquet. I love how the white sprinkles pop on pink/ mint coloured chocolate.

Gingerbread House 

You can’t talk about candy at Christmas without a gingerbread house! The possibilities really are endless, but I love going with a theme. This is a classic Christmas activity to do with the kids, but why not grab some wine and make a date night out of making and decorating one? They’re a beautiful addition to your Christmas decor and easily customized to suit your style. Another fun idea is to have a gingerbread house party & set up everything guests (big or little!) need to decorate their own: graham crackers or gingerbread cookies, icing, and candy. Set up on a long table covered in craft paper for a cute decorating station and to make clean up super easy.

Party Favours

Send your guests home with a sweet treat! These candy cones are festive and so simple to make. Simply cut a piece of wrapping paper into 8.5 * 11″ and roll it up, securing with a dot of hot glue, washi tape, or a sticker. You can fold over the top and decorate with some ribbon or leave open so your guests can choose their own sweet filler. They’re beautiful when grouped together in coordinating papers and your guests will love the sweet token to enjoy after the party.

Candy Kebobs

Candy’s not just for the kids! How cute would one of these be with a Christmas cocktail? Swap out a swizzle stick and add one of these instead. Or serve up some sweet treats at your holiday party and include these on your dessert table. Display in pretty jars or vases & let guests pick their favourite. All you need are some cocktail picks & a variety of gummy candy. Wrap in cellophane or pop in Chinese takeout containers as a sweet party favour or stocking stuffer (just make sure to stick a candy on the sharp end!).


A big thank you to Karameller candy for collaborating on this post & providing the candy for all of the projects included! Their jars of candy make beautiful gifts and are great to give as hostess gifts.


About
Karameller is located in the Yaletown neighbourhood of Vancouver, inspired by owner Louise’s nostalgic memories of her childhood in Sweden. Each week she would bike to the local candy shop to splurge her weekly allowance on ‘lördagsgodis’, Swedish for ‘Saturday sweets’. Bringing this tradition to Vancouver, Louise stocks her shop with candy imported from Scandinavia, made from high- quality ingredients, and free of GMOs, trans fats, and high fructose corn syrup; there are even sugar- free and gluten- free options. Buy the candy by the bag or jar (great for gifting!), it’s perfect to stock your candy buffet or in pre- measured bags. Karameller also offers weekly office subscriptions and will put together candy bags curated around party themes- a perfect time saver for busy parents when planning kid’s birthdays. If you’re in the area, Karameller is worth the visit- you’ve never tasted candy like this!- and you can also purchase certain varieties on their website.

To learn more and order online, visit the Karameller website.

You can also find them on social media: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Photos: Catherine Hilcove Photography

November posts sponsored by

November 20, 2015
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My Side of the Bed: His & Her Bedroom Decor

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Let’s be honest, when you’re married with kids keeping the romance alive can get pushed down the list (hands up, who looks at their bed and yearns for more zzzzzs?). Our bed is usually a pile of blankets, pillows, books, and kid’s toys. A cozy, comfy nest it may be, but a sanctuary it is not. And I’ll confess: I love how a made- up bed looks, but rarely make ours. It’s just one of those things that has inevitably become less of a priority. 
But we can all dream of a perfectly tidy and styled bedroom can’t we?  Calming, cozy, and serene are three words I like to think about when it comes to this particular room of the house. And I think this room might have that covered. Thanks to Old Barn Rescue, I had the chance to style a bedroom around their ‘Mr & Mrs’ pillow shams which totally had me thinking back to my wedding registry and all of the fun I had picking out things for our home. I love having accents in a room that compliment the overall style while showing the individual personalities of the occupants. For example, using the same lamps but different night stands for a more masculine/ feminine touch. I hope you like these photos as much as I liked having an excuse to decorate this room! See below for all the details.
About Old Barn Rescue
The story behind the company goes like this: In 2003 a barn on one of the co- founders’  family farm had to be torn down, (the inspiration for the name), and  rather than letting the 120- year- old wood go to the landfill, the co- founders gathered it up and started creating unique pieces using reclaimed materials. They now source materials from a variety of sources to create upcycled vintage- inspired signs and decor. The company also offers vinyl wall decals and recently added clothing and fabric decor items to their stock. In Spring of this year the brand added their Threads line and now offers everything from onesies, t- shirts, pillow shams, and more featuring their heat- pressed vinyl designs. All of the products are lovingly handmade using vintage and new materials. 

Bedroom Styling Tips:
Make it cozy– Blankets and pillows are an inexpensive way to add colour and texture, plus are super cozy to snuggle into. This is the room you sleep in after all, and you want it to be somewhere you love to curl up. 
Easy update- If you don’t want to invest in an entire new set of bedding, sheets,  etc, buy some new pillow shams as a simple way to freshen the look of your bed. They are an easy item to replace and there are lots of options out there to suit your style. The same goes for your nightstands: swap them out and pair with some new lamps for a quick and simple update.
Colour vs texture-  A classic styling tip: If you love lots of colour, keep the shapes and textures in the room simple, so it doesn’t become visually overwhelming. The opposite is true if you like a simple/ monochromatic palette: add in textures and shapes to create visual interest (think faux- fur, fabric textures, and accent materials such as glass and wood for starters).
Show your personality- It’s your bedroom, so enjoy having some fun! Add in details that show you and your hubby’s tastes. To avoid it becoming too busy/ cluttered, pick accents that compliment each other, even if they are on opposite sides of the bed (see tip #3 above). Storage containers such as crates and boxes can also help store items to avoid mess and clutter.
SOURCES
Mr & Mrs Pillow Shams- Old Barn Rescue
Items provided by & available to buy at The Handpicked Home:
Arrow Toss Cushion- Raggy Girl Vintage
Throw Blanket- Forest & Waves
‘Choose Happiness’ Wood Sign- AllyBeth Design Co
Dreamcatcher and Candle- The New Mercantile 
White Antlers- Townsend Rowe
Mountain Clock- Florid & Fallow 
Wooden Crate- One Wooden Wall
Rugged Gentleman Spray- Happy Spritz
White/ Gold & Gold Wooden bowls
Jewellery Box
Initial Mugs- Chapters Indigo
Lucite Tray- Homesense 

Visit the Old Barn Rescue website to learn more and to view their complete product line.

A big thank you to Old Barn Rescue for these pillow shams and inspiring this post, and to The Handpicked Home shop for providing items to style this room. 


October posts sponsored by

October 30, 2015
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