Monday, December 17, 2012

It's just not happening

So, I feel like an explanation is in order. I haven't given into the "frumpy dumps" but I also haven't been taking photos of any outfits. My dear husband, Jesse usually takes my tummy photos for me, but he has been working late these last few weeks so we haven't been able to get any photos before the sun goes down.

We did get one yesterday though! It's a bit blurry but its the best we could do.

Enjoy the craziness of the last week before Christmas everyone!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Free Printable gift labels - hand drawn from me with love

Christmas is on its way and I doodled a whole page of gift labels. I thought I would share them with love as a gift to my readers so that you guys could print off some of your own. Either print them on regular white cartridge paper, coloured paper or sticker paper. I even included a round label to add to mason jars for those of you who are like me and like to give gifts from the kitchen. 

There are lots of uses for these little guys, get creative! 




Please respect my rights as an artist and use these labels for personal use only. Feel free to share them with family and friends, but please do not use them for commercial gain.

1. Select image from Blog (right click).
2. Save image as... on to your computer.
3. Open file and print.


Would anyone be interested in getting a workable EPS file? I would love to know what people think. When I use these little tags for my gifts, I'll make sure I add pictures to my post.

Enjoy!



Friday, November 30, 2012

Curtain Tieback Blooms - DIY

It has almost been a year now since we moved homes. It has taken me a long time to finish the curtains in my kitchen/dining room area. Moving from a very dark, one windowed basement suite, to a half above ground, bright, 5 windowed basement suite, we wanted to keep the light flowing throughout the main living area.

One of my goals in decorating the kitchen area, was to keep things fairly monochromatic (with pops of colour with the use of small objects), in a light colour palette so that the space would appear as large as possible. I wanted the curtains to be a feature, but not to overpower the space with a busy pattern or bold colour. I decided to use the same fabric I used for the curtains for the blooms so that I would be creating visual interest in a subtle way with texture.
What you will need for each tieback:

4 pieces of 6"x 12" sheer. lightweight fabric
72" of ribbon
clear nail polish

makes one 6" tieback bloom Instructions:


1. Lay all four layers on top of one another.


2. Fan fold along the width of the fabric pieces. Each fold should be about 1" wide.


3. Hold the bundle tightly by the middle.


4. With the other hand, bring the centre of the ribbon to the middle of the fabric bundle. Tie a double knot tightly around it.


5. Pull the layers apart from one another, fluffing them up to make the bloom.
6. Run a thin coat of clear nail polish to the ends of the ribbons to keep them from fraying.


7. Tie up your curtains and enjoy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

28 weeks Mama Style


28 weeks and its been getting harder to get outside to take belly pictures before the sun goes down. Here I am though, picking up Jesse from work. We took a few shots before jumping into the car to grab a bite on Main Street. We love it there. If we could, we would live there.



 Outfit Details:
dress/ worn as tunic - the Bay - Vera Moda
maternity jeggings - Thyme Maternity
boots - Urban Outfitters
pewter bangle - was purchased on Granville Island in the 60's from a local artisan (I can't tell who made it from the maker mark though)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Homemade Chai - From My Kitchen


Make your home smell absolutely wonderful and have a cup of chai to boot. This recipe is one of my favorites during the holidays and I have been making it for guests for years. Its always a crowd pleaser.
So far since the weather has turned colder, I've had a pot of the chai spices simmering on my stove almost constantly. Many store bought chai mixes or bags have unwanted junk or nutmeg in it. I usually adore nutmeg, but apparently it is toxic to babies while they are in the womb and not good to have while breastfeedng? I was very suprised to learn this since I had no idea about this for my first pregnancy.


What you will need

4 cups of water
1 stick of cinnamon
1 slice of fresh ginger (a chunk of candied ginger would work too)
1 small handful of cardamom pods
6-10 whole cloves
6-10 whole peppercorns
2-3 whole star anise
4-6 whole allspice

2-3 teabags (any plain flavor teabags work - black, rooibos,decaf black are great choices)
2 cups of whole milk (almond milk or soy milks work great with this too)
1 Tbsp of sugar (or to taste)


Method
1. Boil water with spices in medium sized pot for at least 30 minutes. The longer the better I'd say (just make sure it doesn't dry up) down to 2 cups of liquid.
2. Remove from heat.
3. Strain spices from pot.
4. Steep tea bags in liquid for 5 minutes.
5. Remove teabags and return liquid to stove. 6. Add sugar and milk. 5. Heat back up on medium heat to be sure not to scald the milk.

Serves 4

Once you have made my version, maybe consider personalizing it by adding more or less of what you would like!

Other considerations:
Vanilla Bean/Extract
Nutmeg
Fennel Seed
Orange Peel

If you aren't sure what the effect will be if you add more or take away, here is a brief description of what each or the spices adds to the Chai spice blend from my recipe.

cinnamon - slightly spicy, sweet, very aromatic. Gives it that warm cozy feeling.
ginger - spicy/hot
cardamom - is the exotic base spice for this blend. It is slightly spicy, herbal and kind of citrus-like.
cloves - strong flavored, warm and spicy. A little of this goes a long way. Very aromatic. In my humble opinion it is slightly floral tasting.
peppercorns - its a classic... its spicy and warm. 
star anise - aromatically sweet. It tastes a bit like licorice and fennel.
allspice- I used to think that this spice was a combo of a bunch of spices because of its name... but it turns out its named that because others agree: it tastes like mixture of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg

Its fun to play around with recipes and create something truly unique. Maybe your version will end up being your family's next best kept secret?

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

27 weeks Mama Style

 
This weeks photos are special since they are part of a family photo shoot my dear talented friend Andrea did for us. Her and I go way back to our elementary school days; fighting on the playground and chasing boys. We have watched each other grow up, get married and have babies! There are few friends that I have been able to keep in touch with as long as I have with her, and I am truly thankful to God to have a friend like her. Its a friendship that is as "good as gold" as they say.


I didn't even know that she started to do wedding/ special event photos until a couple weeks ago while our sons were enjoying a play date. Her site with her work is here: http://anestephotography.carbonmade.com and is definitely worth checking out.




Outfit Details:
- ivory silk blouse - was my grandma's
- red cardigan - Target
- skirt - thrifted
- vintage brass locket - my mother gave it to me when I was a tiny little girl.

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Vintage Pyrex Collection


The obsession started with these three nesting bowls. My mom had the same set given to her on my parent's wedding day and I can remember them all through my life. She lost the smallest one a long time before I was born for some reason though. SO! in 2003, I was away at school and came across a very cute little antique store that was selling a new set, and an individual of the smallest size. Perfect right? I think at the time I paid around $30 for all four bowls.












I always use my vintage Pyrex for meals, parties and for baking. One of my passions is thrifting and I really can't pass up a pyrex dish in good condition.
A great online resource for naming the pattern of vintage Pyrex and taking care of it is Pyrex Love.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

26 weeks Mama Style


I'm only 26 weeks pregnant?! I'm definitely starting to feel larger. The great part is though, is feeling the baby move around. I am so thankful for this little one and its movements are a great reminder that all of the discomfort isn't for nothing.

 Up until now, in this 2nd trimester, I have had energy to get stuff done in preparation for the third trimester like deep cleaning our home, making and packing away food in the deep freezer and reorganizing spaces to make space. It feels really good. Today, when Jesse came home, I just looked at him and said, "I think I'm done." I meant, the crazy "get things done" nights. I still have lots on my to do list before the baby comes, but they will have to wait for the weekends.





Outfit Details:
- vintage dress - thrifted
- sweater - Target
- boots - urban outfitters
- belt - Old Navy
- focal necklace - handmade by me PiecesIEnjoy

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Vintage Milk Glass Collection


Milk glass vases has become a small obsession of mine over the last five years. There are so many interesting patterns and they are so nostalgic, I just can't help myself when I go thrifting and I see one of these beauties for a buck. 



 This collection is on display in my pantry cabinet. I like the way they look, all different shaped, pattered, but all the same milky white colour.

Enjoy Collecting!
Gabrielle

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

25 weeks Mama Style




I love the rain. I've got to growing up in the Lower Mainland. But we had an incredibly sunny and mild day this last Sunday so we were able to get some shots in at the Lost Lagoon. It is so beautiful there with all of the leaves that have changed colours and the swans. Its definitely a gem of Vancouver.

Ezra was playing in the yard the other night and it just struck me... you are the little boy that I've always dreamed of being a mommy to. It was pretty simple, but I felt like I've been taking him for granted when I had that thought. He is amazing, my role in his life is a precious and so important. This baby will be too. I can still remember missing Ezra's little kicks and nudges a few days after he was born. I am sure I am going to feel the same when this one is born too. I have now though... and that is all that matters. I am really enjoying it.




Outfit Details:
- plum dress - Spank
- skinny black belt - Old Navy
- maternity leggings - Assets
- necklace - pressed forget me nots handmade by my dad

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

24 weeks Mama Style


Its been super rainy here in the Lower Mainland, which is why I had to skip out on week 23! Here is week 24 though. All bundled up at the park.

Might have been just me, but when I was a little girl I had a pretty good appetite. Some people would even comment on it, "She's a growing girl." I kind of feel like that again since I am hungry almost all of the time right now.

I have also been nesting this week! Its kind of crazy because its seems really early to be baking, cooking and cleaning more than normal. It makes sense though. With my first pregnancy I felt like I couldn't do ANYTHING for the last couple month so maybe I'm just preparing for that happening again. Hopefully not. Hoping for the best this time around as the third trimester approaches.






Outfit Details:
- vintage coral coat - thrifted
- striped cream cami - Romy
- ultra light pink cardigan - Plenty
- spotted scarf - Esprit
- black rubber boots - Joe Fresh
- white belt - second hand

Thursday, October 11, 2012

22 weeks Mama style


This is week 22. The time is just flying by! I have hardly had a chance to even start thinking about getting stuff we might need for baby #2. I guess we pretty much have everything we really need though from baby #1 still, unless its a girl? I really couldn't say if I 'felt' like it was one way or the other. It kind of seems unreal to me still...






Outfit Details:
- stripey vintage sweater - thrifted
- denim button up - Dex
- black skinny maternity jeans - Zara
- brown hiking boots - Thinsulate
- vintage anchor pin - my mom gave it to me. she bought it when she went to Hawaii when she was a teen!

Monday, October 8, 2012

2nd Trimester Buddies

 I'm almost out of my second trimester now for my second time around. So far it HAS been the dreamy trimester that I've read about in pregnancy books and online helps. YAY! I have definitely not been as tired or nauseated, but sometimes it is still hard to stay motivated to stay positive with crazy hormones and an ever changing and GROWING body.

Here are some items I have found helpful during this time:

1. Lip Stain - By Benefit. Its a repeat item from my 1st trimester collage and its a goody for similar reasons. Instead of not needing to be concerned about smudges because of things coming out though, this time its not needing to be concerned about smudging lipstick when things are going in. It definitely helps fight the Frumpy Dumps like I mentioned in my post about the Maternity Style Dilemma. It helps to have a bit of makeup to enhance that maternal glow.

2. Stay Don't Stray - Eye Primer by Benefit. This stuff is amazing! With hormone levels escalating I've found that my skin is oilier than usual. The outcome is drudgey eye make-up by the end of the day. This product has really done what the title claims. It also has helped in the aid of covering up the redness of some pesky angry little zits that have popped up this trimester.

3. Brita Water Bottle - Is another repeat item from my 1st trimester collage. I have been busy this trimester making up for lost time from my first and in preparation for the third and ultimately baby time! With so much to do, its easy to forget something as essential as drinking water! This water bottle can be filled up anywhere and filters on the go since the filter is inside the bottle and works as you drink.

4. Maternity Pants - So I had two pairs of maternity jeggings that stretched out during my last pregnancy. In searching for ways to alter clothes for pregnancy I came across this wonderful blog called Cotton and Curls. She has regular feature articles on her maternity looks, how to alter or refashion clothes for maternity and non maternity and easy to follow free DIY's. I used her tutorial on how to tailor your trousers as a guide to alter my pants so that I could wear them again this time around. I just couldn't see spending more money again on something I am only going to wear for five more months! I am so glad we live in a blogger age where people can share such helpful information!

5. Sports Cross-over Bra - During this trimester the ladies grow, get heavier and need support, even at night. I have seen a lot of these bras marketed specifically for pregnant/nursing women, but they really are exactly the same as the ones you can find in the non maternity active wear sections of department stores for half the price. I got both my two cotton bras for $20 at the Bay. I will probably use them all through the nursing stage like I did the first time around. They really make a difference at nighttime at holding it all in while I thrash about, trying to find a comfy spot on our double bed.

6. Lavender and Tea Tree Essential oils - By Escents. Back to those pesky little zits... These two versatile oils do a number on them. I get a q-tip with a drop of each oil on it and dab those little suckers before bedtime. They usually dry up or at least shrink dramatically... even those "I hate you" underground hard ones that show up. Lavender aids in healing the skin, and Tea tree is a strong disinfectant, well they both are, but the combo rocks!

7. Stretch Mark Prevention Oil - By Escents. Prevention is the best treatment. I lathered my tummy up with this oil and I did still get some stretch marks, but probably not as bad as they could have been. What I WISH someone told me though, was to put it not just on the tummy, but the hips, thighs, lower back, and breasts!  This oil has super great ingredients: Evening Primrose Oil, Almond Oil, Mandarin and Lavender, and most importantly Vitamin E, help prevent scars before they appear.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

21.5 weeks Mama Style


21 and a half weeks? Okay, I probably won't do this too often but I guess I've been feeling so good that I have done this feature twice in one week! 



Outfit Details:

- dress - Plenty
- cream cami - Romy
- black cardigan - Dynamite
- gray maternity jeggings (taken in to be slimmer at the ankles) - Thyme Maternity
- moccasins - Winners
- necklace - handmade by my dad for my graduation outfit (it has little forget-me-nots pressed between two pieces of glass)