I had a really tough time coming to terms with my little baby boy hitting this first major milestone. I was in deep denial that an entire year had gone by since I had held him in my arms for the first time. That, combined with the knowledge that I’d be heading back to work really effected me leading up to his big day. So, planning this party honestly helped me to feel some excitement about the whole thing. I’m so pleased with how it all turned out. The party, the people, and most of all, my first year of being a mommy to my baby.
Is anybody else completely obsessed with the 2016 PANTONE colors of the year??? Not only did they choose one, but for the first time ever they released two colors to be the official trend setters for the year; Rose Quartz and Serenity. I’m slightly partial to the combination seeing as I used a pink and blue color scheme for my wedding almost a year and a half ago – it’s like I knew or something!
I am also partial to a country chic aesthetic in my own home, so when I was introduced to the Big Chill line of retro appliances and fittings, I squealed a little. Out loud. Because c’mon… how cute is this gas-range stove in the Pink Lemonade shade???
I like my home to look lived in and I think of interior design as an expression of who I am and who my family is. So, a pink stove is right up my alley because while the make and model are all kinds of chic, the pink shade is fun and bright and adds just a touch of whimsy. Plus, there’s a bit of nostalgia there for me as I can vividly remember my own grandparents turquoise ice box fridge from my childhood. Even then it was vintage, but that’s not why they liked it. It was just the practical thing to do, to own an appliance for 30 odd years because as they say “if it ain’t broke…
I love that all of the items listed above look refined but not too serious and the farm house look is VERY en vogue right now. From the butcher block counter tops, the nickel finish on the glass pendant lights with a little dash of rustic desert charm from the succulents (which btw, if you’re anything like me and do not have a naturally green thumb, are the BEST plants to keep in the house because they cannot be killed), there’s just enough color and life without looking over done.
I hope you enjoy this board as much as I enjoyed dreaming it up!
A quick little post about the gender reveal party we threw in November, because I’m so glad we did it! We didn’t document with photos as best as we could have, and blogging wasn’t at the forefront of my mind at the time, but for anyone on the fence about doing one, I highly, highly recommend it.
A few people looked at us quizzically when we said we wanted to have a gender reveal party, because it is still a relatively new trend. There is of course the opinion that it is the “only true surprise” we have left today, and while I agree with that in part, we mutually decided we wanted to find out with our first and be as prepared as we could be. After all, there will be plenty of surprises in store once Baby Mosu arrives!
We had everyone write on a blue or pink flag what they thought we were expecting. Surprisingly, most people had a feeling we were going to have a boy!
I picked up almost all of our simple decor from Michael’s and Ikea. These frames were$5 each and the silhouettes were Etsy downloads!
I made blue and pink onesie sugar cookies as take-home favors for our guests. Baby themed cookie cutters also from Michael’s.
This beautiful white cake was made by our dear friend Ofelia, owner of Le Picnic at Market on McLeod in YYC, which I topped with pink and blue pinwheels from Michael’s. We had our friends record the big reveal – I think it’s safe to say, Mike’s reaction was priceless.
When Mike and I first moved into our new place in November, we knew we’d have an extra room to do what we liked with; at least for a while. We finally decided we both loved the idea of having a home office that he could use for studying and I could use for my writing.
Like every other room in our house, it slowly came together one piece at a time. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned ever since decorating and furnishing my first home years ago is less is more. Yes, I’m a self proclaimed clean freak (to the point of OCD status) but for me, the less clutter on surfaces and walls the better. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t like empty space, but I think it’s important that what is on display looks intentional and is both functional and beautiful. I want to feel inspired in my space (particularly important for writers) but I also don’t want to feel inundated and overwhelmed, which is why organization is KEY.
So for the second part of our Spring Cleaning series, I’ve compiled a few tips for anyone who’s office (or any room for that matter) has fallen victim to the clutter bug.
1. Use your space wisely: Office spaces specifically, come in all shapes and sizes depending on the home. Because Mike and I transformed a bedroom, we had more space to play with. That being said, many offices are nooks and corners that can fit a small table and chair only. That’s fine! Being aware of the confines of your space is the first step in using it correctly. If at all possible, make sure the space is by a window for lots of natural light (any area with lots of lights will work too). It should go without saying, but make sure the desk is an appropriate size for the space. Don’t buy something huge because you like how it looks, only to find out later that it can’t be used. Measure, measure, measure! I can’t emphasize that enough.
2. Hide all of the unnecessary stuff (stylishly, of course): There are many elements of a well-equipped office space which could be considered eye-sores and depending on the space your office is situated in (kid’s play area, kitchen, bedroom, etc.) it can feel cluttered even if the desk is clear. I personally don’t care for the look of staplers, three-hole punches, or file folders – the whole gamut of corporate office supplies doesn’t make me feel inspired at home, it makes me feel like I’m back at the office. So, I keep those things at arms reach under the desk, placed away in a basket or on a book-shelf. Ikea has fantastic and very inexpensive baskets and storage boxes that are intended to be seen, so they’re pretty! Which brings me to my next point…
3. Make it pretty: If you have a 9-5 job, chances are you sit in a dark cubicle or office with florescent lights and everything is beige and grey. WHY would you emulate that at home!? My office space at work is full to the brim of personal photos to brighten the space as much as possible, but there’s a limit to what I can do there. When I’m a home the world is my oyster, and I capitalize on that! I love candles (this one from Chapters is my personal favourite), coloured pens and pencils, magazines and because it’s officially Spring, I am never without a fresh batch of Tulips. I’ve literally surrounded myself with the things that make me happy and make me want to come in and sit down to work.
4. Make it personal: Furthermore, make it an extension of your personality! When people see my office, they know it’s mine and that’s the point! I have a collection of wedding photos, family photos and keepsakes from vacations Mike and I have taken together. Inspiration for me, stems from many places; most of all from our personal experiences and memories. I think it’s important to be surrounded by all of that happy on a daily basis.
5. Keep everything in it’s “spot”: The biggest organizational tip I can give is to keep everything a “spot”. My husband (bless his sweet heart) and I continue to argue over whether or not the floor constitutes as a proper “spot” for things. It doesn’t, for the record. Every single item in my office has a designated place, whether that be in the closet completely out of view, under the desk or on a shelf. I like to keep my current magazines on the desk so I can thumb through while I’m perusing my favourite home decor and clothing sites, but the rest of them are neatly tucked away on my bookshelf in chronological order (did I mention the OCD thing?). Every loose piece of paper is in a file, labeled appropriately, in a folder, so when, say, tax season rolls around, we (Mike) has everything he needs in one handy-dandy file!
It may seem trite and a lot like common sense, but it’s hard to keep everything together on the daily. Life has this way of getting busy and it can be hard to motivate yourself to follow through with a few more steps when all you really want to do is toss something down and be done with it. Long-term though, routine will make life easier and prettier!
I honestly could go on and on about this kind of stuff – but don’t worry I won’t! Cleaning is my happy place and when my space is organized and clutter-free, so is my brain! I hope some of these ideas, even if just one, are helpful and inspire you to create a sanctuary of your own.
Welcome to March, y’all! Can you believe we’re already three months into 2015?! Not only that… we’re less than 20 days away from Spring!!!
SO, naturally, we’ve been busy spring-ifying our homes. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be doing a series of Spring cleaning posts to help with the tedious task and hopefully make organizing your home for the seasons ahead as painless as possible!
We’re starting in the kitchen and we’re featuring our favourite current trend: chalkboard paint! I used a ton of it for my wedding last year, and Erin has been busy using it to help sort her kitchen pantry and re-purpose some common things around the house!
If you’re feeling bold, consider painting your pantry door as a play on the typical feature wall – do a feature door instead! It can be intimidating to think about using black paint in your home, which is why a door might feel slightly more feasible than an entire wall. Also, once the chalk goes up, everything will feel light and bright again, we promise.
Why have a chalkboard on your pantry door?
- You can have your grocery list right where you keep your groceries. Out of cereal? Write it down!
- You can leave love notes for your special someone (Awww!)
- Use it as a menu board for your next gathering with friends
- make quick notes that you would otherwise use a post-it for (see, it looks good AND it’s ecological!
The options are endless really. So, this weekend, embrace the paint!
Mason jars are another huge trend right now. We use them for drinking, as vases, and of course their traditional use, preserving condiments, foods and spices. They are very inexpensive and you can buy them in bulk in a selection of sizes from places like Superstore and Wal-Mart.
Not only does having all of your non-perishables in streamlined packaging look great, consider painting the metal lids with chalkboard paint, and voila! You now have interchangeable labels and reusable jars without the hassle of stickers and paper. Once again, guys, the name of the game for Spring is reduce, reuse, recycle… ok, getting off the soapbox.
Another great reason to switch out store packaging for jars? We bet there are some things in your pantry that you’d be surprised are still there, and probably shouldn’t be. PURGE. Get everything that has expired out of there. If you have half full boxes of pasta, pour the rest of the pasta into a jar and recycle the cardboard. Purging feels really, really good. I’m a bit obsessed with it myself, in fact. Give it a try – we think you’ll feel great!
Finally, why not use some of those wine and beer bottles you have all ready to go to recycling and re-purpose them as flower vases or tapered candle holders?? This was a big wedding trend last year for brides who were looking for rustic decor and we say it looks equally great in the home, featured clustered on a buffet or used in a table scape with the candles. You don’t even have to paint these babies. For a more antique look, you could absolutely keep the bottles clear or coloured – we just happen to be big on the look of the matte black and who doesn’t like a little customization?!
Hopefully one or all of these ideas have inspired you to freshen up your own space this Spring! Part two in our series will feature home office organization – so stay tuned!
XO, E & E