Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian Friends. I hope you’re all enjoying some much needed down time with loved ones and indulging in delicious food!
So this year, I had the honour of hosting my very first Thanksgiving; and if I may be completely honest, I was terrified! There is a lot of thought, care and planning that goes into hosting a dinner, but I am happy to say it all went as planned! We had a great day filled with laughter, great food and perhaps a little too much to drink!
The Turkey: I used Alton Brown’s recipe. It was loaded with flavour, super moist and most importantly the step by step instructions were easy to follow.
Table Setting: waiting for the guests to arrive.
Table Setting: These crackers were a hit!
Turkey aromatics….my home smelt amazing!
One of the best parts about hosting a party is a fridge full of leftovers! But there is only so much roasted Turkey one can eat. So… I got creative! My Mom’s signature salad has been a staple in our family ever since I can remember. Traditionally it’s made with cooked chicken, but I thought why not use the leftover turkey?! Sure enough, It was a hit! This salad is great as a side, or stuffed into a pita or wrap with some lettuce and I promise you will love it!
A twist on Mom’s chicken salad
2 Cups of left over turkey meat. white meat will work best for this recipe. (traditionally made with 1 cooked chicken Brest)
1 cup of diced pineapple
2 cups of diced celery washed and strings removed
1 1/2 cups of peeled and diced Granny Smith apples. (may use any other tart/ firm apple as desired)
1 1/2 cups of sultana raisins
1 1/2 cups of finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup of table cream
1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon
2 full tablespoons of Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt (or as desired)
1 teaspoon pepper (or as desired)
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl and refrigerate for one hour before serving.
Once it’s ready to eat, place the salad in a desired serving bowl and garnish with celery leaves and walnut halves. And most importantly…Enjoy!!
Thanks for stopping by!
I don’t know what it is about the change of seasons that always makes me crave a new hair style. I’ll go to the store, try on new outfits and think…”humm, this outfit would look so much better if my hair was like…” (so I chopped it)!
I have actually been thinking about this short cut for a while. I have curly unruly hair; So I can never just wake up and go. For those of you who can….I am seriously jealous!! My hair is a process, and for the longest time I have just been throwing it up in a bun for simple lack of time. Enough was enough; it needed to come off.I needed a change!
I wanted a cut that would be low maintenance but still look edgy. So I turned to Pintrest. My amazing Stylist, (Suzy at Essence Salon in Cambridge) was (and always is) on board with my drastic decision. As always, she cut it exactly as I envisioned and it felt like 10lbs were lifted off of my shoulders.
I love this cut! Its easy to maintain and takes me 5 minutes in the morning.
so here is the new me!
On a side note: It’s Friday….so have a good one!
Welcome to Blog Podium. My name tag and the sweetest table decor.
As I write this, I am still in complete disbelief how far this Blog has pushed me outside my comfort zone. For the record; I do love to talk, I wear my heart on my sleeve and if I have an opinion, believe me it will be shared. However; I am by no means a risk taker. I dislike change and second guess every decision I make. So the fact that I got up enough courage to attend one of the largest blogging conferences in Canada was a huge deal. And if I may say so; I’m proud of myself for doing so! I do however, owe so much of this experience to my dear friend (Special K) who convinced me to start this whole blogging adventure in the first place. I am forever indebted to you.
As excited as I was to meet so many talented bloggers; I have to admit that I was a complete nervous wreck the entire week leading up to the event. Truthfully, the only thing that gave me comfort was knowing my friend Lilly Cordeiro (Elle Cee Design) and I were in this together!
We’re here! Miss. Elle Cee Design and I at our first Blog Podium!
Blog Podium 2014 was everything I expected and so much more. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with warm smiles and a welcome package, which instantly made all of my apprehensions disappear. From then, I knew it was going to be a great day. And it so was! Jennifer Flores (Rambling Renovators) and her talented team went above and beyond to ensure that we as “New Bloggers” would be informed by the best in the industry. With a jam packed itinerary; the day was filled with helpful seminars, informative vendors/ sponsors and a talented panel of speakers.
The beautiful Jennifer Flores of Rambling Renovators.
I found it inspirational to listen to the success stories of all the speakers. The handsome Scott Mcgillivray reached his goal of twenty five properties by the age of twenty five and now owns over 100 properties. Monika Hibbs (formally Doctors Closet) quit her job as a Doctor to turn her passion of all things pretty into a successful blog, business and online store called (Shop by Monika). But it was Donna from Funky Junk Interiors who really struck a chord with me. She got up on that stage wearing ripped jeans, cow boy boots and a flannel top and instantly had my attention. Her ability to turn junk on the side of the road into a successful blog and business is nothing short of amazing. She spoke about branding and how as bloggers we need to brand ourselves and be original in order to stand out and make it in the industry. And boy will I ever think of her every time I see a wood pallet!! Above all, she taught me that I need to put love into my blog and give it the time it deserves. So Donna, if you ever happen to read this, just know that I think you and your funky junk are pretty damn awesome!!
The oh so cool Donna form Funky Junk Interiors.
The best part of the day for me however, was finally getting to meet some of the incredible Bloggers that I follow, while making some new Blogger friends in the process!!
Having way to much fun in the Etsy photo booth with Elle Cee Design, Designs by Dima, Katie Spinks and Bethany from This Little Estate!
Top Left: Taking selfies with the beautiful Monika Hibbs. Right: True beauty inside and out Bethany of This Little Estate. Bottom Left: Posing with the Queen of Blog Podium Mrs. Jennifer Flores. Bottom Middle: The lovely Julie from Elliven Studio.
These guys do not need an introduction! The men of HGTV Canada!
Jennifer Flores, Scott Mcgillivray, Monika Hibbs and Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault
Home decor display at the Chapters Indigo booth.
Black and white table setting at the Linen Chest booth.
Create your own place setting with Urban Barn.
Table top photography 101.
There I am!
Gift bags full of goodies.
The food was to die for! The Royal York Toronto did an amazing job! Kudos!
I learned allot at Blog Podium, but the main thing that stuck with me is that my blog is not going to blossom over night. As is anything worth achieving in life, it takes time, patience, love and persistence. I have a long and fun road ahead of me and look forward to where this blog will take me to next.
Thanks for stopping by!
Labour Day Long weekend….can someone seriously please tell me how it’s September already?
So, I would like to share with you my absolute love affair with black and white. Truthfully, I’ve always been a sucker for simplicity. Oddly enough, I can actually pin point the exact day that black and white became “IT” for me. I was 7 years old attending a baby shower at a relative’s house. I walked in and was instantly taken back by the black and white checker floor that stretched from the front foyer to the back of the house. Oh, FYI it was the 80’s. Any-ways, I remember being mesmerised with it and thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. So for years I dreamed of having a house with a black and white checker tile floor.
I have since outgrown my desire for that lovely 80’s black and white tile (thank God) but, I still very much love the use of black and white in a space. It can be classic or it can give your home a completely modern feel. Either way with black and white, you just can’t go wrong!
Here are my favourite black and white picks for the week.
Have an amazing long weekend Friends!
Chapters Indigo you make the prettiest pillows.
Doesn’t it make you want to jump right in?! Cosy bedding by Anthropologie.
This lamp by West Elm is everything!
So close to home! These Eiffel chairs are now available at one of my favourite local stores, The Art of Home. Best part is…they also come in black!
Chapters Indigo hits the nail on the head yet again with these black monogram letters.
Congratulations! You’ve worked hard, you’ve saved your pennies and you’re finally ready to renovate your kitchen. But before you dive in and make the same mistakes I have seen over and over again, here is a step-by step guide that I’ve prepared to make the entire process run smoothly from start to finish.
STEP ONE: Determine a Budget:
This is by far the most crucial. Be honest with yourself about what you can afford and try to stick with that budget. I have seen far too often jobs going over budget by thousands of dollars simply because the “want list” trumps the “budget”. Keep in mind that the average cost of a kitchen renovation will run you on average between ($20,000.00- $40,000.00) so be prepared to spend at least that. Here is a list of what you will need to budget for.
1) Renovation/ Material Costs: This would include flooring, back splash, new sink, new taps, new moulding and trim for baseboard/ windows, moving electrical or plumbing, removal of existing cabinets, removing walls, bulkheads, gas lines etc. And the list goes on.
2) Cost of new appliances: New appliances can sometimes cost more than the actual cabinets, so by determining what you can afford to spend will keep your mind focused when it comes time to buying.
3) Determine a cabinet cost: Always make sure to get delivery and installation included in the quote.
4) Counter tops: Most solid surface counters are sold by groups and each group has a specific price per square foot. Letting your granite supplier know what your budget is, will help them guide you to choose the group within your budget.
STEP TWO: Access the Problem:
One of the first things I ask my clients to do is identify what works and what doesn’t. Determine how you will use the space and what type of features you want and must have. Do you need a kitchen table? Do you prefer an island? Do you need a second sink? Having a vision for the final product will help when it comes time to actually designing the space. This takes me to my next point….
STEP THREE: HIRE A DESIGNER!!
I can write an entire blog post on what to look for when hiring a designer, but to keep it simple you need to hire someone that you feel comfortable with and who knows their stuff, end of story! We (Designers) are trained and have full knowledge of the building code and know how to properly design a kitchen. I know that designing a kitchen is not rocket science. But I also know that if attention isn’t given to the smallest of details, it can potentially end up costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Designers think beautifully but design practically. You want a space that reflects you your tastes and style but it also need it to function. So don’t be surprised if that 10’ island you so badly wanted isn’t going to fit into your 8’ kitchen. This is the stuff you need to hear, trust me. Just have faith that your designer will come up with a solution that better suits the space and your needs. One of the best things about hiring a designer is they generally have a group of trade’s people that they trust and feel comfortable working with and can put you in contact with the best of the best. Contractors, cabinet manufactures, etc, etc, etc. You will have peace of mind knowing that you are working with skilled and reliable professionals who are going to get the job done right and on time. That my friend is invaluable!
STEP FOUR: Determine Appliances Before Quoting the Kitchen:
Why you ask? Because the size of your appliances will affect the design and price of your kitchen. For example, if you are purchasing a built in oven and a cook top, most companies will charge more to customize cabinets to accommodate these units. One size fits all doesn’t always apply when it comes to appliances. Fridges, stoves, dishwashers, microwaves and built in ovens will all vary in size depending on the manufacturer and model number. It is crucial that the cabinet manufacturer receives a full package outlining all the required cut outs and openings. Most appliance dealers are very helpful in preparing this information, so be sure to ask for it. On another note; the look of your appliances could also determine the style of cabinet you end up choosing. Companies such as Mielé generally have a clean streamline European feel and look amazing with sleek slab modern doors. On the other hand, manufactures such as Wolf or Viking will give you a much more industrial look. So really determine what type style you are trying to achieve.
STEP FIVE: Shop| Compare | Get Educated:
It doesn’t hurt to shop around when it comes time to quoting your appliances. You need to know what you are paying for and what features are offered for the price you’ve been given. Is the company quoting custom cabinets, or are they quoting pre-fabricated cabinets? This is very important to know as there is a huge difference between the two. For example, custom cabinets give you the option to build any shape to any size. It generally also comes at a higher price point. On the contrary, prefab cabinets are typically sold in increments of three inches without the ability to modify the width, height or depth and use fillers to close in any gaps. Equally as important is the thickness of material the manufacturer is using. The last thing you want is ¼” shelves bowing and giving in with the weight of your dinner plates. I always recommend ¾” construction for the doors, shelves side panels etc. This will assure a sturdy construction that will last a lifetime. So be sure to ask what thickness has been included in your quote. Lastly, the cost will also be determined by the type of door and material you use. Let the manufacturer know the look you want to achieve and they will be able to price accordingly.
Following these guidelines will definitely help to ensure a smooth renovation from start to finish. So now that you know what questions to ask and what to look for, I assure you that you will enjoy the process and be thrilled with the final outcome!
Thanks for stopping by!
Photo courtesy of http://www.yaochengdesign.com/caption
So I swear I have not been MIA on purpose. My blog was being hit with an abundance of spam messages on a daily bases. With every new post it got worse. We had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of spam messages to delete and block and I believe the issue has has now been corrected.
I just wanted to send out a heart felt Thank You to everyone who has been checking in and leaving messages and comments. I am only seeing them now for the first time and was finally able to write back.
Be sure to stop by in about a week, new blog post is in the works!
“Let her sleep For when she wakes, She will move mountains.”
Baby nurseries have always been one of my absolute favourite rooms to design. There is just something so special and exciting about preparing a new room for a new baby. Regardless of your taste and style, a nursery is a space that allows you to be as creative as you want and it always looks cute when it’s all put together.
I was recently given the honour of designing a nursery for my sweet baby niece Clara. Needless to say, I was thrilled with the opportunity.
When it came to the overall design, both my sister-in-law and I decided that we didn’t want a “themed” nursery. Instead, we preferred a room that felt soft, serene, feminine and glamorous with touches of gold. Most importantly, it needed to be on budget! It took a while with many shopping trips, but when all said and done I was so happy with the way it turned out!
First things first…deciding on the furniture! This was the hardest part. We originally thought to purchase everything separately and have unique pieces that were all mixed matched. But, the only concern was that my sister wanted good quality solid furniture that my niece could grow into. So after much research, we chose this beautiful and feminine set by Pali. To create a high-end look, we switched out the knobs and replaced with these beautiful blush glass knobs from Anthropologie.
Baby Clara’s sweet nursery.
When it comes to designing a space, I like to pull colours and patterns from one inspiration piece. In this case, we fell in love with this crib bedding set from Restoration Hardware and used it as a guide to pull all the other pieces together.
All you need is love…
Next we had to decide on a rocking chair, which to me (besides the crib) is probably one of the most important pieces in a nursery! Wanting a custom look (but not wanting to pay custom prices) we found a perfect fixer-upper on Kijiji for a whopping $40.00!!! The adorable linen polka dot fabric cost just under $100.00 and the labour and new foam came to $300.00. All in, this amazing chair cost $440.00….A-MAZING!!!
Here is the before and after…
Love the way it turned out.
A cosy spot for Momma and Babe.
With all the main pieces out of the way it was time to decorate and accessorize!
The shelves and brackets were purchased from Ikea. I white washed the (natural pine) shelves and spray painted the (once black) shelf brackets! A little paint goes a long way!
Love print from SS Print Shop. Heart canvas hand painted for my sweet niece by yours truly…
Found this mirror by total fluke, it fits in perfectly!
Lastly, I have to give full credit to my sister-in-law for designing the sweetest closet for her baby girl. The heart decals are my favourite.
Clara’s closet….I’m jealous!!!
I had so much fun working on this room. It was a true labour of love! I hope that Mommy and Clara enjoy this room for years to come.
Thank you so much for stopping by!
Bedding-no longer available
Canada Day! What a beautiful weekend to celebrate this amazing Nation that we live in! Festivities were being held everywhere and my Instagram and Facebook feeds were flooded with friends showing off their Canadian pride. I loved seeing all your photos!! Surly, any Canadian would agree that we are blessed to live in such a gorgeous and diverse country.
Wanting to take advantage of some much needed rest and relaxation, we decided to keep things pretty simple and just enjoy our time with our family and friends.
With our matching top knots, we’re ready for a BBQ at Vavo’s (Grandpa’s) house!
Spider dogs over the worst home-made Portuguese BBQ ever! He was so proud…Vayda loved it!
She will out eat anyone that I know.
She was so excited to hold a real Canada flag.
Daddy took us out for ice cream…we love him!
We tried each other’s ice cream…mine was better…
She even shared her ice cream with her sister…now that’s love!
I loved everything about this weekend. Happy Birthday Canada!!
It’s Friday!! The long weekend is just a few hours away and I am preparing for some down time with my little family!
I work from home on Fridays and In between emails and drawings I like to plan fun activities that my kids and I can do together. Sometimes we feed the ducks or learn about nature. Some days we’ll go to the park and other days we simply decide to stay in and make things.
So, few weeks ago, I decided that it might be a fun idea to plan a simple monogram craft for Brisa’s nursery. I thought it would be a perfect way to be creative and practice letters all at the same time. It was a win win!
I grabbed some leftover paint that I had around the house and picked up the rest of the supplies (canvas and buttons) all at the Dollar Store. $1.50 for a canvas?! $2.00 for a bag of pink buttons?!…Yes please!! This entire craft cost me $3.50. Score!!
Well…some one was excited!!
Next, I traced the letter “B” onto the canvas. Vayda had the important job of dabbing tiny amounts of glue and sticking on the buttons. She did a pretty awesome job!
Glueing down buttons like she’s been doing it for years!!
Then it came time to hang our masterpiece. This is where Hubs comes in….its his duty!!
He hates when my projects become HIS projects!! lol
Everything in its place…
Fits in perfectly!
I think someone liked her new monogram canvas!
Be safe and enjoy your long weekend everyone!!
Thanks for stopping by.
So before we dive into the weekend, let’s talk about paint colour……!
I am loving the influence of 70’s and 80’s vintage glam in Design right now! Everything from lighting, furnishings, window treatments and even wall colour have all caught wind of this fresh and avant-garde trend! Offering high impact, these paint colours create a luxurious feel and offer a much more feminine look than we have seen in the past.
So here are my TOP 5 paint colour trends…
This Classic Deco inspired black room was designed by the amazing Christine Dovey
No one does White quite like Erica Cook. Love how all the details just POP off the clean crisp white walls.
This blue room by Colleen Mcgill is absolutely stunning. Love how she painted the moulding and walls in the same colour to create impact.
This Dreamy Mint bedroom belongs to Michele Lee of Blush Shop.
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your weekend!!