Photo inspiration + links for your weekend

all images via To and From Magazine

You might recognize these shots of Amber Lewis' dining room from the holiday issue of To and From Magazine. Her ability to mix colour, pattern and texture is obviously unreal (that woman is seriously talented), but these photos are also great inspiration to think outside the box when it comes to holiday decorating. And do I spy pom-poms on the corners of those napkins? Love!

Onto the links!

-I wish they had puppy rooms when I was in university.
-Chelsea tweeted a link to this oldie but goodie post by Emily Henderson (warning: it's a long one) about the ins and outs of prop styling. Really interesting and, as is usually the case, the job is much more involved than you might think at first glance. I was exhausted just reading about all the work that goes into a single shoot!
-Is Pinterest making you less creative?
-I was excited to see my modern tree from last year in this round-up of pretty Christmas trees.
-I wrote a piece for Chic & Cheap Nursery this week about the dark nursery trend. Soothing and stylish or dark and depressing?

We're taking a mini road-trip with Hannah to visit friends tomorrow and Sunday I'm hoping to tackle a DIY project that I'm strangely nervous about. Cryptic enough for you? Happy weekend friends! 

Ikea's Ornaments

Ikea kindly invited me to shop their Holiday collection to see if I could find any items that I could have fun with. Always up for a challenge I popped into Ikea a few weeks ago and I instantly fell for the JULMYS red breasted birds ($8.99 for 4) as they reminded me of my Mom. Mom has a love for birds during the holidays, and finds the cutest ways to incorporate them into her decorating. .
Read more »

Do I still have time for this advent calendar?

I had a plan for an advent calendar, it involved paper bags, string, number stamps.  It was going to happen.  But then I saw this genius giant advent calendar from Oh Happy Day.  Genius and gorgeous all in one.  Do I have time to get to Ikea to buy the fabric and do one myself?  It would look amazing at the front door, and how genius if you don't have space for a tree.

Oooooh I want to make one right now!!!  Fabulous instructions and more pretty pictures at the post here, and they have even made suggestions for cute things to put in the pockets here.

Trend to try: pom-poms

It shouldn't come as a surprise that I'm digging the pom-pom trend. After all, pom-poms are basically a 3-D polka dot :)

I'm thinking about adding some dark green pom-pom fringe to the curtains in Hannah's room (you can check them out here). I was inspired by the gorgeous curtains from Christine's #projectscarlett reveal...

source: bijou and boheme
...and this more subtle approach from Yellow Brick Home.

source: yellow brick home

Of course, if pom-pom curtains aren't your thing, there are plenty of other ways to try this trend. Here are just a few examples:

source: shoppe by amber interiors

source: desire to inspire

source: the purl bee

source: trendtation

source: akong london

So, would you try this trend? Or have you tried it already? And most importantly: adding pom-pom fringe to Hannah's curtains, yes or no? 

the busy mum's advent calendar

I have loved advent calendars since I had those cardboard ones from the grocery store as a child.  You know the ones, a picture of the Three Wise men with angels, stars and manger scene,  and little numbered doors that each hide a single sticky foil wrapped sweet.  Mine was always stuck on the wall next to my bed so that I could open my eyes and immediately enjoy the normally forbidden treat of sweets before breakfast. 

Since then advent calendars have become much prettier and cleverer, a feature of the home Christmas display.  I know we have all been pinning our favourites for months.  Does this mean I have made one?  Not yet but I do have a plan.  But if you are out of time and energy have a look at the online calenders below.  I promise neither you or your children will not feel short changed.
Granny S sent the first online advent calendar to us three years ago and we are waiting eagerly for the 2012 one to begin.  These gorgeous interactive calendars by Jacquie Lawson begin with a pretty scene, this year there is an Alpine scene (above) and a London one (below).  Every day has a numbered ball, when pressed a little scene unfolds as the town gets ready for Christmas.  
Of course I don't know what happens yet either but I remember last year: carol singers sang hymns ...

...through the town and people came out of the houses to listen; Christmas decorations went up in the stores; all the trees were lit up.    There are little hidden games like designing your own snowflakes that then fall across the screen, or choosing the colours of the fairy lights in the trees.  I am as just as excited to see what happens as Miss E.

They have become part of our Christmas tradition, Miss E springs out of bed and runs to the computer to see what will unfold each morning.  This year we will be sending them to our niece and nephew who are an ocean away from us so that they can share in the fun too.

Only a few days to go...

Sponsored Post / Reallite candles

Like the candles on my console table? Want to know something? They are fake! Shut the front door. Read more about the candles, plus a video bomb moment from Oscar after the jump. (It's a long post with a long intro, which is why I do the "read more" links)
Read more »

30 Before Thirty Update

It's been awhile since my last 30 Before Thirty Update, so I thought I'd check in. Here's how my list has changed since you last saw it:

#7 - I'm calling this one done, although technically I never made a salad with the vegetables from our garden. Over the summer, we grew and ate peas, lettuce, yellow beans, carrots, zucchini, cucumber and a few tomatoes. For some reason our green beans didn't sprout, and our tomato and zucchini plants were too overcrowded to yield much. We learned a lot and we're already planning to add more raised beds (and more veggies) to next year's garden.

#15 - Hannah's birth story deserves a post of its own (and I really should write it down, whether I end up posting it or not). My labour was long, tiring, painful, emotional and involved a few scary moments, but it was all worth it. It's by far the hardest thing I've ever done, but it was one of those experiences that show you how strong you really are. Adam took the picture below just moments after Hannah was born. My face is swollen, I'm exhausted and my skin looks terrible, but I love this picture. I know what I went through to arrive at this moment and the picture is a reminder of the joy, relief and awe I felt holding Hannah for the very first time.

{the moment we first laid eyes on one another}

#18 - I managed to sneak this one in before the weather turned too cold for painting. I love how it turned out and I've been pleasantly surprised by how well my paint job is holding up (you can find my tips for painting any door here).

#23 - As I shared in this post, the guest room is officially painted and decorated (next up: installing new baseboards, quarter round and door plinths). I love hosting overnight guests now that we have a cozy, relaxing space for them to stay. We've had a few overnight guests since we (mostly) finished the room and the feedback has been very positive!

I really don't have a lot of time left before I turn 30 (a little more than two months - eek!), so I've got to get my butt in gear if I want to finish all the items on my list (I'm still trying to figure out the logistics of going on a picnic in the winter). Wish me luck!

breaking out the bunting

Miss E can't wait to put up the Christmas tree.  She has been begging to put it up since early November but I am sticking firm to the first weekend in December.  Finally, when we received this gorgeous Oh Joy bunting from Minted in the mail, I took pity on her and allowed her to unpack just one box.  She chose the white birds (which recently had a staring role in my Melbourne Cup fascinator) and silver bells, and we spent a happy morning stringing them in the pear trees and making a festive grotto for picnics, playing and snoozing.
Unpacking Christmas ornaments is always nostalgic.  Remembering carefully unwrapping the fragile glass balls as a child, the dusty smell of tissue paper and old shoe boxes, the delight of rediscovering forgotten favourites.  I am glad Miss E enjoys this time too, we are both looking forward to this weekend.  Fairy lights and tinsel ahoy!!!


Last night I hosted a two hour wine and cheese shopping night for girlfriends in my neighbourhood. It was a last minute event that came to be when I realized I had left over stock from my gift show. Sometimes you need an excuse to throw a party - so I thought it would be a nice opportunity for Moms in the area to meet other Moms as sometimes it is terribly hard to make those connections. Although many people knew each other already I was really happy to see new faces and see connections and friendships being made. The shopping part of the evening was low key - but I thought it was an integral part of the event as it made it a common denominator for people. You could come, browse, and then chat. It gave the event a little bit of a focus.

Aubrey prepared all the food and an hour before the event and took Oscar out for a boys night so I could have the house to myself. I hired my brother to take jackets, serve wine, and do sales should anyone like to purchase anything. It was awesome hiring help as it meant I could mix and mingle and not worry whether my guests were being taken care of. I think this will be an annual tradition. :)

Eating in: Smoked salmon pasta

We're trying to be better about emptying the freezer before running to the store. We're those people who end up at the grocery store every other day, which is both time consuming and expensive (turns out impulse buys really add up). We had some smoked salmon we'd been avoiding, so I did a little searching and found this recipe for smoked salmon pasta on Pinterest (you can follow me here). I made a few tweaks - whole wheat pasta instead of white, a large handful of fresh parsley instead of a couple tablespoons, and no pine nuts (only because we didn't have any in the house).

The verdict? Yummy and really quick to prepare (it's a great option for weeknights), but it probably won't make it into our regular meal rotation (we like smoked salmon, but we don't like like smoked salmon, you know?).We both found it quite lemony, and while I think the strong lemon flavour is a nice balance to the strong flavour of the salmon, you may want to hold off on that second tablespoon of lemon zest until you've had a chance to taste the dish.

DIY chevron stool (+ an easy drawstring laundry bag)

 Ottomans are great pieces to own because of their versatility, but cute ones are usually pretty pricey. Luckily, you can customize an inexpensive faux leather ottoman (I've seen them for as little as $20, brand new) easily and affordably with a DIY slipcover. I found this ugly, but sturdy ottoman a couple years ago at Value Village for $10:

It's had a couple of different looks since I bought it (another reason I love slipcovers) and recently I decided to move it into Hannah's nursery. I already owned a blue chevron fabric that suited Hannah's room, so I created a pattern by tracing the ottoman's shape onto some wrapping paper. I made one piece for the top and another long piece for the sides by rolling the ottoman along my paper and tracing as I went. Then I just pinned my pattern to my fabric and cut around it.

I also decided to try making my own piping for the first time. I followed this tutorial and if you can sew a straight line, you're ready to make your own piping. I shouldn't have waited this long to try, but I had convinced myself that it would be really hard (definitely not true). Anyway, once my piping was done I pinned and sewed it to the top piece, then pinned and sewed that to the side piece. The last step is sewing the ends of the side piece together and hemming the bottom.

Now I have a nice low seat when Hannah's hanging out on her activity mat, or a place to put my feet up when Hannah and I are sitting in her rocker, or a spot to keep Hannah's favourite books within easy reach.

While I had a sewing machine (I've had to borrow my mom's since mine bit the dust), I also made a quick and easy laundry bag. Hannah's room is quite small, so I wanted something that I could hang on the hooks behind the door - still within easy reach of the changing table. You can find a detailed tutorial here, but the condensed version is that I cut out four rectangles (two from my liner fabric and two from my outer fabric), stitched them together on three sides, hemmed the top and fed my string through the hem with a large safety pin. Super easy, looks great and now we have a place to stash Hannah's dirty laundry without using up valuable floor space!

The Dining Table Sneak Peek and A Sweet Holiday Party

Happy Monday, guys! Hope you all have recovered from pounds of stuffing, cranberry sauce and turkey and had time to relax this weekend with family and friends. What? Was that just me who ate pounds of food that day? Oh, well!

Our family picked up our Christmas tree the other night and I've finally gotten around to the beginning of turning our home from drab to fab with holiday décor! Of course, I'll be sharing that with you all as the weeks pass on. It's always such a process for me as I change my mind about what I like and don't like. What needs to go where, etc.

I'd also like to take a moment to say thanks to you all for your kind feedback and comments on my last post. Makes me so happy and fulfilled to know that what God places on my heart to share, is such a blessing to so many of you. Really is amazing. Thank you.

Now, on to the dining room. If you'll remember this post, I was in quite a dilemma trying to figure out how to begin decorating the dining area in our home. I really had decorator's block, if you will, and could not think of which way to go in the space so I sent out an SOS to you all!

I decided to begin with what will be the "centerpiece" of the space-the dining table.

I follow Kelli over at Restore Interiors and have gotten to know her a bit {she's a Bama Girl BTW} and absolutely love her personality, her talent, style and her love and passion for design. She posted a tutorial a few weeks back about how to achieve a faux zinc look. I had to try it. At the time, I wasn't really sure what I would paint.

I remember a few years back I was literally salivating over a table in the Ballard Designs catalog. I think it was over $1,000 and I knew there was no way I was going to spend that much on a table for a home that wasn't our permanent home. And, if you're like me, I always take it as a challenge to duplicate the look and style of expensive pieces. {Not a bit competitive, not at all...}

So, once I'd decided that my next project would be our dining area, I remembered the tutorial from Kelli and set out to get it done! Or, at least start it! Here's a pic of how it turned out. I really like it and it was even kid approved by my daughter. She walked in as I was waxing it and said, "Wow, mom, it actually looks like metal!" Yes. Yes, it does. Thank you very much! Always feels good to get the thumbs up from your kiddos!

I love how the finish makes it look like real metal.
Now, do you remember what the table looked like before? I really should have taken some close-up before photos. It was pretty bad. Chipped. Original wood beginning to show through. We've had it for over 6 years. It was time for a change.
Looks way better in this pic than it did in real life.
And another pic of the after...
I call it my galvanized metal look. Mine didn't turn out much link zinc but I am still absolutely in love with it!
Thanks to some major computer issues, no watermark on this one or full images of the entire space or table today. So sorry but I promise that as I continue to pull the room together you'll get to see everything!

Moving right along...
Now, what about this amazing holiday party? Well, you can read more about it here.
I am hosting the Home for the Holidays Linky Party with some pretty awesome women. The party is will be a series for the rest of this month through December and the first day is today! Our first host is Lorraine from Miss Flibbertigibbet! Do any of you follow her? Heard of her? She is one talented woman and is sharing holiday recipes over at her place today. If you've got something to share...hop on over and link up! And don't forget to leave a comment or even follow to show Miss Flibb some love! You seriously won't regret it!
And, here's a button for you if you'd like to share it over on your blog, FB page, Instagram, Pinterest...did I miss anything? Ha!
Can't wait to see all the yummy goodness everyone links up!
Party on!

kraft + bells + greenery

Gift wrap inspiration - Grab Kraft paper from the business supply store, white string (found anywhere) some bells and of course, some greenery - and voila!. A pretty awesome wrapping job. This is a little scene from my dining room - I'm hosting a wine and shopping night for girlfriends so it looks like a gift show in my dining room right now. More pictures to come in a bit. xo Linds

alt summit 2013 shooting for the moon

I am going on a journey.  Specifically I am going to Alt Summit in Salt Lake City Utah this January.  Less specifically this blog is taking me on a journey and I am loving the ride.   
I have met wonderful people in the blog community, become a social media consultant, & found a very satisfying creative outlet for all the projects and images in my head.  I have been asked to write, interviewed lovely creative people, collaborated with other bloggers, and been published in a magazine.  All from taking that first step, jumping in and joining the conversation. 

Sometimes its a bit daunting, will I have anything else to say?  Are there any ideas left in my head?  Sometimes you just need to put your feet on the road and see where it goes.  Like these gorgeous vintage travel labels that I didn't know existed before this morning.  Wish travel was still this stylish.

I am getting very excited for Alt, only a few months away as we speak.  Last year I watched the Alt buzz online, this year I get to be a part of it for the first time.  Dear Miss Modern is helping me design the all important business cards and media pack.  I have admired Christine's work for years and its a pleasure to work with her.   Can't wait to see the finished product.  And I can't wait to be at Alt meeting all the other bloggers who love this world.  There is something about the blog community, and the Alt community particularly, that is so supportive & so inspiring.  Have a look at this clip of the recent NYC Alt to see what I mean.
Can't wait!!!

Bamboo globe via the DesignerPad, selection of vintage luggage labels: TWA, La Baule, Pan American Grace Airways, Continental Palace Saigon, United Air Lines, Yellowstone Park, Moana Hotel, KLM.

1000 Followers Giveaway!

Some things are worth waiting for...
Even though I hit 1000 followers a few weeks ago, I'm just now getting around to hosting a giveaway to celebrate that amazing fact!

I decided to make it worth your while with
not 1,
not 2,
but 3 great items for one lucky winner!

First off a beautiful bracelet from my friend Sheldon, local artist and owner of The Silver Craftsman!

Then a neat book called French Country Living.

And last but not least, a weathered gray, oval cloche.
Perfect for breads and cheeses!
So what do you need to do?
Well since this is a celebration of followers, then you must be a follower!
If you fall into that category then just leave me a comment for 1 entry.
You are welcome to, blog it, tweet it or facebook it for multiple entries as well.
Just make sure you leave a comment for each one!
(let me know if you are a new follower too, I love those:-)
Giveaway ends Monday, December 3rd at 12AM central time.
Thank you all for following along!

Hold My Hand Tighter...

*I'd set this post to run on Thursday morning but my auto scheduling somehow didn't post so, instead, I am sharing today. Enjoy!*

I am certain that God uses our kids to grow us into who He has created us to be. Last week was no different for me when I was out shopping with our 4 year old. 

We've always taught our kids to hold our hands in the parking lot and when younger, it's second nature for them. We normally don't have to ask them, it's like a knee jerk reaction whenever we prepare to walk into a parking lot whether coming from or going to our own car. 

As we began to walk toward our car, Logan, my four year old, grabbed my hand. As we got closer to the car, he squeezed my hand tightly, look up at me and said, "Mommy, could you hold my hand a little tighter, please?" 

Honestly, I wasn't sure why he would ask me to hold  his hand tighter than I already was. Was it that he was afraid that if I let go too soon that he would be in danger? Or, did he simply just love me so much that he wanted me to hold on just a little longer? 

I finally asked why he needed me to hold on to his hands tighter. He began to explain, "Sometimes I want to let go and run in the parking lot. I need you to hold my hand tighter so I don't let go." 

Whoa. Now, that was a profound statement from my son. 

Later on that evening I began to ponder what that really meant. Now, naturally, I know that our kids need and seek healthy boundaries in their lives. They need to know that they are safe, loved and secure in order to grow into the amazing world changers God has created them to be. I totally get that. 

I couldn't, however, stop comparing what happened earlier that day to my very own relationship with my Creator. 

Like my son, sometimes I just need God to hold my hand a little tighter. I just need to feel Him. Just need to be reminded that He's there and that He's looking out for me. 

Now, don't get me wrong...I mean, I KNOW God is always there. Always looking out for my best. But, sometimes I just need to be reminded. 

Sometimes when life feels a bit overwhelming. 

When I cannot make a decision.

When I don't want to do something He has called me to do just because I am afraid. 

When all seems chaotic, crazy and I'm just a little...frazzled.

I'll think about that walk across the parking lot with Logan...

And I'll ask God to hold my hand just a little tighter. 


bits + pieces

A little roundup of what happened here this week. A little bit late but for me it's still fun to post. Numbers correlated to photos up until number 6.
  1. New ribbon is arriving into the studio. I'm obsessed.
  2. My front planters are done. Although I could add more to it, I'm happy with how it looks. 
  3. I'm seriously in love with Oscar's little white Christmas tree that sits in our Eat in Kitchen. We're finding new decorations daily to create. I love that it's just his tree. 
  4. Oscar and I unintentionally have matching jackets for the winter. They are both from the GAP. My jacket is from last year and I bought Oscar's online when they were having a 30% off sale. I seriously LOVE the hoods. 
  5. It's busy in the shop - Holiday shopping is in full swing. In the last two weeks I've had waves of exhaustion and the occasional sense of being overwhelmed. It's hard to complain about any of it because the bottom line is, it's all a great deal of fun. I love running my shop and me being busy means my little shop is busy.... and that is a good thing
  6. Oscar has been pretty sick this week with a cold. What's made it so much better is the fact that we have the Nose Frida. I can't stop recommending it. If you're a parent, I highly suggest this for your medicine cabinet. 
Anyhow, that's what our week was! Have a great weekend. xo Lindsay

Ps., I'm totally stealing the title of my post from  Blubird Vintage. I feel as thought "Bits + Pieces" just totally fits this style of roundup. 

Photo inspiration + links for your weekend


There are so many things to love about this room (hello, polka dots), but I'm really digging the unique bedside table and gorgeous styling. It's pretty, but still functional (like, you could actually read one of those books).

I've been thinking a lot about going back to work lately and what that will mean for this blog. Funnily enough,  I've decided that if I want to keep blogging regularly, I need to expand my scope. I'll still mostly be sharing house progress, DIY projects and design inspiration, but you may see a few posts about other stuff I like too. Think food, style, and more regular posts about my life. I hope these tweaks will make the blog more fun to write and more fun to read, and of course I hope you'll keep following along :)

On that note, I stumble across all kinds of interesting/funny/helpful/inspiring things during my internet travels and I'm going to start sharing some of them here. I like it when other bloggers do it, so I'm hoping you won't mind me doing it too. Happy weekend!

-I wish I read this article when I was pregnant. Turns out I probably didn't need to worry about that occasional glass of wine.

-For anyone who celebrated turkey day yesterday, these light and healthy recipes are part of a post-Thanksgiving detox (I'm not saying you need one, I'm just saying it's there).

-This explains why my hydrangea bush didn't flower this year. Oops.

-If you've ever wondered what a Romney yard sale would look like...

-Now that American Thanksgiving is over, here are 150 stocking stuffer ideas. Chalkboard paint? Genius!

-If you live in or near Halifax, make sure you mark this event on your calendar for next weekend.

-And finally, have you been following the Air Rihanna fiasco? Catch up on Julieanne Smolinski's very funny dispatches from Rihanna's 777 tour here.

in the pink.....again

I didn't have time to buy flowers.  I was to busy pinning.  Did I tell you I am being paid to pin?  Eva Burgess - social media and Pinterest strategist at your service.  How cool is that!
So its pink again.  Peonies with succulents in mercury glass, a vintage pink table via Design Sponge.
Do you ever crave a colour like this too?
Peonies in little buckets with vintage napkins, so lovely for an informal but special dinner.
The prettiest playroom storage I have ever seen - love the animal jars - but I bet it doesn't look like this every day.  Vintage sheets again, and finally a blossom and glass wedding display via

I think I may be all pinked out.  

I'm loving: Polka dots

Happy turkey day to all my American family, friends and readers!

Polka dots are everywhere right now and I think I need some of this trend in my life. I love classic black and white, but metallics have been catching my attention lately too. Check out this polka dotty inspiration and tell me, are dots a do or a don't?

{Nicole's sweet polka dot shower curtain}

{this pillow needs to be in my living room}

{and these wall stickers need to be in my bedroom}

{DIY polka dots}

{anyone who speaks Spanish want to tell me how to make these polka dot cupcakes?}

{and it's on sale!}

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