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)

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
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?


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: 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!