Thursday, April 4, 2019

3 Ways to Set Your Table for Spring

This past weekend on my Instastories, I shared 3 Different Ways to Set your Dining Table for Spring.

I got some great feedback on the post and was glad to see people loving the idea.  So I figured I would do a little recap here as well.  I really wanted to create 3 very different styles since my followers are very diverse.  So I set about envisioning 3 different scenarios:  An everyday natural table, a bright and colorful girly table and a more formal Easter table Setting.

Setting #1:  Everyday Natural

For this place setting, I wanted to do something really natural that would work for everyday.  Or at least every day at MY house.  It’s not too fussy, with some nice natural texture and simple dinnerware and glasses.  Even the centrepiece is as natural as you can get:  leafy branches!

I left the table free of any tablecloth or runner and really let the wood grain of my table take center-stage here.  For some addition texture, I picked up these">">these woven chargers
and they were the perfect base for simple, unadorned dinnerware.  The place setting is Royal Doulton “Just White” and while it doesn’t look like it’s in stock anymore, I’m going to track down a couple more pieces as I have a chip and a missing side plate.  Any simple, white set with little to no detailing would work fine.

I layered a white linen napkin between the salad and dinner plate and while I got mine at HomeSense you can find these anywhere (but HomeSense prices are great!) The gold flatware is another HomeSense find as well.   Many retailers are carrying different versions of these at many different price points. 

The water glasses I’ve had forever and they are my favorite.  I believe my parents purchased them for me when I first moved out years and years ago, and I have been looking for another set of the same since.  The weight on these is perfect and the full set had 4 different sized glasses.  If I can find them again ever, I will share.  They have a simple ribbed- look detail on them.  

The centrepiece is a simple large clear glass vase with rope knotted around it and has a Coastal/Nautical vibe.  It is also old from Home Sense.  (Are you seeing a theme here? )   

Setting #2:  Whimsical Floral

For this next tablescape I knew I wanted to use these pretty Martha Stewart plates with a pink and green floral design.  They are VERY OLD (I was maybe 16 when I asked for them) and just scream Spring to me.  So I decided to play on the pink theme and just go all out.  I had the fun ribbed placemats from Ikea like 20 years ago.  The pink cotton napkins are probably just as old and from Jysk .  They’re another inexpensive place to look for home decor pieces. I apparently forgot to add glasses here and used the same flatware.

The base was set with a Damask Stripe Table cloth in white.  Mine is probably HomeSense but every home store carries a similar version of this.  I spotted these pink Gerbera daisies while out grocery shopping and they looked great in a simple Mason jar.  Tip:  We love Classico pasta sauce and save all our jars to reuse. 

The fun leaf-shaped platter and side plates are discontinued and were Princess House, which is not available in Canada any lingers. But I would suggest looking at Home a Sense and Pier 1 for similar pieces.   I added in some white ceramic birds I’ve gotten as gifts throughout the years (Michaels is great for this).  The owl salt & pepper shakers were from Target (also long departed from Canada) 

I think it’s fun and super cute! 

Setting #3:  Elegant Easter 

This tablescape was actually modelled after one I did a few years ago.  I found this beautiful paisley tablecloth and napkins many year ago at...... (take a guess...) and it’s held up wonderfully.   It’s a very busy pattern so I wanted to use rather simple cream dishes, but still something more formal than the white ones I used previously.  So I went for these cream Princess House Pavillion plates.  I like the combination of the scalloped dinner plate with the square side plate.  I also put out the matching mini butter dish and salt & pepper shaker.    The cut crystal glasses are Princess House as well.

I kept with the same gold flatware as I did in the other two settings, which I think work well here since they look super elegant with the paisley tablecloth. 

Of course, one of the cutest details is the sweet vintage looking bunny napkin ring.  I got them a couple years ago from Home Outfitters but I am sure you could find something similar at HomeSense or Pier 1.

For my centerpiece, I simply pillaged stuff from around my house:  various mercury glass candlestick holders from Ikea, a sweet blue bird and painted birdhouse from Dollarama, and lastly a clear rectangular vase full of cream mini Gerbera daisies.

I feel like I covered a good variety of styles and events.  I did not buy anything new for these, I just used stuff from around my house.  I wanted to show that it's easy to put together a cute/elegant, festive table on a budget.

Hopefully I've managed to inspire you.  Let me know which looks is your favorite.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Bee & Willow Home

Guys, have you seen the new  Bee & Willow Home collection at Bed Bath & Beyond?   I happened to be in the store a couple weeks ago looking for drapes and happened to notice this beautiful new linen.

Full of vintage looking, slightly rustic farmhouse-esque pieces, I pretty much wanted to pick up one of everything, even stuff not in the colours I use in my home. Full of rustic white, cream, greys and soft blues, the palette is subdued and looks like your favorite linens that have been washed 100 times for optimal softness.   The furniture has a farmhouse vibe- a mix of worn wooden finishes, iron finishes.  Exactly what you’d find in a farmhouse in the South of France!

With linens, home decor items, dishes, rugs. Drapery, candles and furniture, it’s all a dream!  I found it fairly well-priced, with the furniture being a little on the high-end.  I’d have to see the pieces in person though to see if the quality warrants the prices as I didn’t see any furniture in my store, just online. Here are a few of my favorite pieces:

Thursday, February 28, 2019

What’s Next? Where I’ve Been

Wow! It’s been almost two years since I stepped away from this title old blog of mine.  What started out as something to do at a job that had no work me, and a way to chronicle the DIY projects my ex and I had planned after purchasing our first home, became a source of sadness for me.  I started blogging long before Blogs were ever even popular or a “thing”.  I had several even before this one.  

Then something happened and things took off with the blogging world and I felt I couldn’t compete with the hundreds of gorgeously designed blogs full of beautiful photography and brand partnerships, etc.  I was just a single gal with her dog, working her ass of at 2-3 jobs, trying to get by while still be creative and inspiring to not only others but herself.  My blog was super basic, with a modified free template.  I had no formal training on site design or coding or really anything required and had really just been winging it.  I didn’t have the money to commit to one or getting a photographer or anyone to help me.  So my daily blogging became less and less until One day it just wasn’t, and I couldn’t.... and the soul-crushing feeling that came with feeling that no one really wanted to hear or see what I had to offer was there and it was hard to break free of. 

I still followed and read or watched blogs and Instastories from HUNDREDS of bloggers/influencers and style makers.  In fact, I’d say I made it a full-time job lol.  I was inspired and in awe of all the people I watched who were doing what I had wanted to do so long ago, turning their blogging hobbies into full-fledged Full-time Businesses and Empires.  I was so proud of all these amazing people for following their paths.  Now why couldn’t I have done this for myself? 

Truth be told, I missed being a part of it.  I missed sharing a piece of myself here for the world and interacting with my followers, which weren’t many because I never shared my blog with friends and family back then.  I was nervous about it, so if someone came across it, then great, if not, well then nothing.  The reason it never grew is that I wasn’t putting it out there.  Which, if you know me, is very unlike me.  So secretly, I’ve been dreaming up a way to rebrand, redesign and get back to blogging in a way that truly reflects me.  Who I’ve grown into.  What my taste and style has evolved into, etc.

So I’m working on a new site. A new brand.  But in keeping with my “brand” (I hate that term but I guess it’s the best way to describe it), I plan on  doing it myself, which will take a while... especially since my computer but the dust... so in the meantime, I want to keep sharing here.  I want to get back to putting out content and posts and hopefully inspiring some, if not only myself.   I hope there’s still some of you around.  For those of you who are new, welcome!   

Stay tuned for some exciting new stuff coming soon! 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Arrow Table Makeover

About a year ago, I decided I needed a very small accent table next to the loveseat.  With the living room being so wide, it's actually rather inconvenient to reach the coffee table when you're sitting down, never mind if you're laying down, watching a movie.  So off to HomeSense I went and found a great little arrow table that I was in love with. While I loved the idea of the crossed arrow legs, I was a little skeptical about the color (gold) and the heavy black granite top. But I bought it with the intention of trying it out, and then possibly returning it if it wasn't a good fit.

Of course, when I brought it home, it was clear that the gold just wasn't right... it was a little more copper than gold and I just don't really have a lot of warm colors or tones in my place so it didn't look right.  I kept really wanting to love it, but it just never grew on me. But the size, shape and style were very "me" so I just couldn't bring myself to return it. Instead it sat there, annoying me for weeks.....
(of course, I went to load the original photo, only to find it had been deleted... sad face)
Unit l one day, I walked over, taped up the granite top and took it in the garage. One coat of primer later, I panicked: what had I just done to this beautiful table?!??

But I kept going and after several coats of white spray paint, brought the now white table back inside.  It was like night and day! The white sort of made it blend into the space, which was important since there was already lots of furniture in this small space.  Plus, I had started making the switch over to a more neutral, brighter, lighter space and knew the white would work well with my overall vision for where the space was going.

But even months later, something still bothered me about the table: that black granite top.  It was just so dark and heavy....not to mention it was secured on there pretty well, so replacing it was not going to be an easy task. So I just lived with it and tried not to think about it.  :(

Then today, I was at the Dollaram picking up a few odds and ends and right when I walked in, they had a stack of different patterned adhesive drawer liners and I saw exactly what I needed : a faux Bianca Carrara marble liner! It was perfect! Exactly what I wanted for the top and at $1.25 for the roll, I figured I could try it and if I hated it, no biggie!   I would just use the test of the roll for crafting if it all failed!

Literally the minute I drove home, I ripped the roll open and got to work.

First step was to wipe the surface of the table top which was a little dusty. Next, I just cut off a piece of the liner that was larger than the roll and simply just adhered it to the top, using the edge of a credit card to work out the bubbles.  Once it was all on there, I simply ran my scissors around the edge of the granite and then used my credit card to push the edges into the space between the frame and the granite. Then, VOILA! It was done!!!

This new upgrade could not have been easier (or cheaper) and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE how it turned out!!   Not only is the lighter look more my style, but it looks a lot more luxe now than before.
This goes back to my theory that if you really love something, buy it and you will find a way to make it work for you!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Fashion: French Terry Tie Dress

If you buy nothing else this summer, make sure you snag yourself one of these super cute dresses from <a href="">the Gap</a>. 

I went clothes shopping for the first time in months last weekend and grabbed something a little unusual for me, off the rack. It was a t-shirt style dress with short  sleeves and a drawstring tie waist in an unusual, bright watermelon coral color made of a sport fleecey terry material. 

I figured it couldn't hurt to try it on.... If for nothing more than to immediately veto it from my mind.  Well would you know, I was pleasantly surprised!! 

It fit really well ( a little snugger than on the model cause well, I have curves...) but I liked it!  The color suited me too which was a surprise as I always assumed coral was not my shade. I LOVED the material- the terry was both warm and cool but incredibly comfy at the same time. The style was exactly what I always look for: dressed up casual. I figured it would work for running weekend errands with a pair of flip flops or even for the office with dressier, heeled sandals and a blazer or a cardi.

Then of course on my way to check out, they had it in navy as well in the clearance section.... Well of course I threw it on my pile as well.... The whole store was an additional 60% off!! 

My store only had the two... Cause at this point I had started quizzing the sales staff... But they have a couple other colors available online. Like this cornflower blue, or cream or grey..... But I'll stop there because before I know it, I'll own them all!  Which isn't actually a bad thing, and how I like to shop! :) 

Looks like the sale is still on, so go now! Snag yourself a dress or three or four! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Brass Bee

Spring is here and we have been blessed with some unseasonably warm hot around here lately!

I'm currently working a temporary contract that requires me to be outside, so I've been incredibly thankful.  But sadly, that means I haven't been able to devote much time to my outdoor spaces yet.  In the meantime though, I figured I would bring the outdoors in, in the form of this brass bee. (Although, technically I think he looks more like a wasp, it doesn't sound as good ;) ) 

I saw him at the store where I work and immediately fell in love. I waited about 3 days after he first arrived, checking in every day and then after a couple days off, noticed there were only 2 left and the other one has wonky and didn't sit flat, so I snagged up the last good one and didn't look back! 

When I got home, I immediately placed it on the stack of books gracing my coffee table, and there it's sat since, putting a smile on my face every time I look over.

It's actually quite a large trinket, which I love cause it makes such a statement. Especially since it's very detailed - even the underside has been etched.

I'm not sure if this is where he'll stay as it's about time for me to swap out the seasonal decor and that usually means birds for spring. Maybe I'll do a little play on the Birds & the Bees hahaha? 

I've long been a fan of animals in my home decor for a cute, fun, whimsical vibe.  But am I the only one who also love insects for home decor? 

I'd love to hear what you think ! 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Best Dressed: Oscars 2016

Yay!  It's one of my favorite Sundays of the year:  Oscar Night!!  Per usual, I am excited to share my Top 10 Best Dressed with you tonight. So without further ado, here they are:

1.  Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive
 I may not be in the majority here, but I DON'T CARE.   This dress was an absolute dream and definitely something I would totally wear if I had the opportunity to attend an event of this caliber.  The color was perfection with her skin tone.  The floral appliques are just so pretty. Doesn't help that she's got that long, lithe sinewy body type and this dress was without a doubt made to measure!  I also appreciate that she went incredibly simple on her hair and makeup since her dress was so ornate.  Of course, the perfect way to complement such a feminine dress?  Jewels by Tiffany & Co. of course!  Love it!  I appreciate that Ms. Blanchett always takes a chance and chooses something out of the box and extraordinary.  Haute couture at it's finest!!!

2. Naomi Watts in Armani Prive

Although completely different in style, I'm not surprised that my top 2 for the evening were created by the same designer.  I will also say that I had a heck of a time deciding between the two.  I absolutely LOVED the blue/pink/purple colorway combination of this dress - as everyone knows, I adore color so this isn't a surprise.  But it took such a simple column gown to something absolutely STUNNING. Fuschia lip?  Check?  Bulgari diamonds and clutch?  Check Check!  This gal always looks great in a column gown and tonight was definitely no exception.

3. Saiorse Ronan in Custom Calvin Klein

She says she chose the dress' color in Emerald to honor her Irish heritage and let me just say it's working for her!  This beautifully cut sequined gown looks stunning on the Oscar nominee and what makes it even more special is the cheeky back-side!  I really loved that she paired it with mis-matched Emerald & Diamond Chopard earrings.  My only wish was that her hair was a bit less "beachy..."  I look forward to seeing this up and comer on the red carpet in years to come.

4. Brie Larson in Gucci

The Best Actress nominee was definitely one to watch tonight and I was glad to see that she definitely didn't disappoint.  Joining the ranks of lovely women wearing jewel tones, in this lovely cobalt blue ruffled gown that made me think of a mermaid for some reason.  I love that she paired it with a pearl and crystal belt - most would have worn the dress as is.  The cut was lovely on her and I love a young person in a dress with a train!  Her jewelry was so simple:  a ring, drop earrings and jewels holding back those tresses.  She owned this lovely dress and looked so much more comfortable and confident than she did in the gold dress I loved at the Golden Globes.  She's my top pick for best actress tonight!  Fingers crossed.

5.Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton

This was the first dress I saw, as it  was trending online with multiple comparisons to Belle from Beauty & the Beast, and I have to say, I agree!  The lovely Ms. Vikander floated along the red carpet in this lovely yellow gown that perfectly suited her age.  She managed to look so elegant and comfortable and causally chic all at once.  I really liked the fact that the front of the dress was shorter, which I am sure helped navigate her walk to the stage when she **** SPOLIER ALERT** won for Best Supporting Actress.  Goes to show that dressing like a Disney Princess just might make you a Hollywood Princess as well!

6.  Isla Fisher in Marchessa

I was shocked to hear that this beautiful floral gown ended Ms. Fisher on some Worst Dressed lists.... I whole heartedly disagree. What this dress lacks in color, it makes up for, in lovely floral pattern.  I love with a little silver belt, complimenting the soft colors and detailing in the pattern. She knows how to work that drapey, off-the-shoulder style with aplomb reminding us that this gal knows how to work an ethereal look. 

7.  Tina Fey in Atelier Versace

Okay, so this silhouette is one that Ms. Fey often chooses, but this is the first time I think that she has landed on my list.  Why's that?   Two reasons:   First, that amazingly regal purple!  Secondly, the cut - the ruching on this gown is to die for!  She looks absolutely beautiful.  Pairing it with a beautiful, coordinating Diamond & Saphire Bulgari collar was a stylist's dream, but my only wish was that she had worn her hair down cause she knows how to work a Retro-glam Rita Haywood wave.

8.  Olivia Munn in Stella McCartney

If the list above is any indication, one would say that I love a dress with some sort of beautiful ornamentation - so I surprised myself a little in being so drawn to this dress!  With nary a sequin, floral applique, ruched detail,  in site,  this lovely Tangerine frock relied on it's one-shoulder/cape style and phenomenal cut to bring out all the stops.  Munn looks so lovely in this show stopping color that she even color coordinated her lipstick!   The only ornamentation was that lovely Forevermark serpent cuff that I would LOVE in my own collection!! 

9. Priyanka Chopra in Zuhair Murad

The only other white dress in the bunch - this floral showed off her bangin' bod!   Like her other white-frocked friend Isla Fisher, Ms. Chopra paired her white gown with a silver belt.    This was a risky move as the style of the belt and dress here were quite different, but somehow seemed to work! Maybe it had something to do with the sexy sheerness of this look?  The floral pattern of this dress seemed very exotic and I thought it was a perfect choice for her beautiful skin tone!  I really wish though that she had brought out the Bollywood glam and worn her hair loose instead of in a simple ponytail though.

8. Jennifer Garner in Atelier Versace
It's very unusual that I chose a black gown.  However this dress had a nice combination of stunning details and Jennifer Garner looks so elegant.  However to be fair, I find she rarely misses on the red carpet.  This one-shouldered look with beading on the bodice, pleated detailing, train and slit made this dress a hit for me!  Diamond earrings and cuffs to add some much needed bling, making this classic Old Hollywood-style glamour.  While I typically prefer long, loose waves with this look, I actually like this pulled back hair due to the fact they gave her a lot of volume!  Also, her best accessory?  That smile of course!!
Well, that my friends is my round up of the Best Dressed list from this year's Oscars.  What are your thoughts? Did I miss anyone?  Do you disagree?  Who were your LEAST favorites?  I'd love to hear you share!!