New York International Gift Fair

The main reason for the trip to NYC this past week was to attend the New York International Gift Fair. Although I've attended gift shows in the past, this was my first "big" show and I wanted to see if I could find some new items to broaden the selection in my shop.  Here are a few booths that I drooled over - As you'll notice they are more decor related (what can I say, I'm a decor nut) but I did find some little gift items to bring into the store later in February. With me came my Mom, and Elise - a longtime friend who now lives in NYC but a few years back interned for me.

[PICTURES ABOVE] [1] Spoon Chandelier via Cake. (Picture taken by Elise) [2] Uncle Goose Toys are ridiculously gorgeous. I'm sure I've seen their stuff around before but after seeing the products in person I'm obsessed [3] BlaBla dolls will always be a favourite of mine - I loved how they were all displayed on the wall [4] The entire line (bedding and clothing) by Roberta Roller Rabbit  made my heart skip a beat. [5] Dash and Albert Poufs. Need I say more? [6] This print Fairhope Graphics caught my eye. Beautiful for a nursery.

[7] Jonathan Adler always brings to the table awesome colourful designs - I wanted to walk away with that turtle stool! [8] I first noticed Barr-Co. in Chapters here in Toronto and have since been a fan of their packaging and branding [9] Uncle Goose Alphabet Blocks appeal to the typography nut in me. I'd love to pick this up for our house for a coffee table decor - it's just awesome. [10.] I always wanted the Jonathan Adler giraffe lamp for Oscar's room but it was always too expensive for me to justify, but I loved how they paired the lamp with the bright table.

Anyhow, those are some of the booths that I loved at the show. I'll post more of the exploring I did in the city next week. xo Linds

Our bedroom, currently

Back in August, I shared my plans for tweaking our bedroom. It's taken me awhile, but I bought and painted a metal headboard I found on Kijiji, re-painted our night stands a bright orange-y coral and gilded the hardware, switched up our bedding, and added some new wall art.

The 'You + Me = Awesome' poster was on my Christmas wish list. I did the framing. It's a nice reminder that I've got a great partner and it also balances out the large map of Iceland (from our honeymoon) on the other side of the bed.

I've spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out how to disguise the off-center window behind the bed. I finally just decided to let it be and I *think* I'm happy with it. I have throw pillows to add back to the bed at some point, but between Hannah's pack 'n play and the exercise ball (still part of the bedtime routine) extra pillows are not happening in our room right now.

A few shots of the rest of the room, just because.

The frames on the dresser are filled with personal photos - a couple of wedding photos and one from our engagement shoot. The scalloped frame in front - complete with clearance sticker - will be filled soon, just waiting to get the print.

As a reminder, here's what the room looked like when we moved in (complete with a couple of textured walls - blech).

I'd still like to find a colourful rug and a bench for the end of the bed, but I have a feeling that finding the "right" pieces will take awhile.

Home from New York

I'm back from New York - it was amazing. We visited with friends, shopped the gift show, did some sight seeing, saw a Broadway play. We packed a lot into a short period of time. The weather was perfect - even the occasional rainfall seemed beautiful. I just flew in this afternoon, and I am playing catch up with some work and obviously cuddling Oscar a lot so I'll post about the gift show, sight seeing and just some touristy stuff maybe tomorrow. Or maybe just next week. Anyways, I'm glad to be home - but I think I've caught the travel bug now. ;) xo Linds

Ps. The above photo was shot while in a cab on the first day. 

Sewing in a zipper

Remember my DIY gold chair? It quickly earned a permanent spot in our living room...and Adam has been complaining about it ever since. Like my inspiration, it didn't have a back seat cushion, which looked great but was admittedly quite uncomfortable. I bought a down-filled bed pillow (queen-sized) and one yard of Robert Kaufman fabric and set out to appease Adam make a cushion.

Since the back of the pillow would be visible through the chair, I knew I couldn't get away with my go-to envelope pillow. I would have to sew a zipper. Dun dun duuun! As you can see in the photo above, it didn't turn out perfectly (why didn't I use white thread?!), but it works. And you know what else? When you break it down into steps, it's actually quite easy to do!

If you're ready to conquer your fear of zippers, check out this tutorial (I found this one helpful too). And since every sewing machine is a little different, you may want to check out your machine's manual too (mine has a short section on how to use the zipper foot that I found helpful, especially since it works a bit differently than what the tutorials showed).

So, conquer any sewing fears lately? Ever lose a form-versus-function argument with your s.o.?

DIY handkerchief-style curtain

Last week I showed you the progress we've made in the kitchen so far, but I left out the new curtain I made for our kitchen window. I pinned this image of handkerchief-style curtains ages ago, thinking that I would like to make something similar for our kitchen someday. Well, someday is here and I love how it turned out.

It lets us soak up every last bit of sunlight during the day and gives us just enough privacy at night. Plus, such a simple, casual curtain will contrast nicely with some of the modern touches we have planned for the room - like new hardware for the lower cabinets and a new faucet.

To make your own handkerchief-style curtain, measure your window, then cut your fabric to size and sew a seam on all four sides. Add grommets for hanging. Install hooks in your window's trim (I drilled pilot holes to prevent the wood from cracking) and you're done!

I'd never used grommets before, but it turns out they're super easy to work with. Here's the how-to if you're interested:

  1. Buy a package of grommets with tool
  2. Each grommet consists of a longer eyelet and a shorter eyelet. Make sure you have one of each.
  3. Mark the area where you want to attach your grommet to go and make a small hole (I used scissors). Place the longer eyelet under your fabric (right side down) and work it through the hole.
  4. Place the shorter eyelet over the longer eyelet.
  5. Place your tool over both eyelets and hammer.
  6. Sit back and admire your handiwork.

Now to find another project involving grommets...

bits + pieces

Just some bits and pieces from things from this week... Ps., I`m off to New York City on Sunday for the Gift Fair so next week will be quiet on my blog.
xo Linds

Photo inspiration + links for your weekend

source: lonny magazine

If I have to suffer through the cold of winter, I'd prefer to do my suffering at this Austrian ski lodge. Who's with me? You can check out more of Jagdgut Wachtelhof's stunning decor in the current issue of Lonny Magazine.

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on yesterday's colour conundrum. Your tweets, comments and emails declared Paramount the clear winner, so I'm off to buy some paint this weekend - I just have to break the news to Adam first.

Speaking of weekends, here are a few links for yours. Have a good one!

-A cold-weather coping mechanism I can really get behind.
-I'm always tempted by challenges like these. Maybe something to consider when my 30 Before Thirty list is done?
-I think I love this woman. And I know I love a good fashion slideshow.
-I don't usually decorate for Valentine's Day, but if I did I would totally make one of these.

kids / rocks + paint

I'm all over the place. NFL videos, bathroom renos, photo shoots of Valentine's Day stamps. I guess that is reflective of the fun times over here this week. Anyways, this is such a ridiculously simple craft for kids I resist posting it but I think sometimes the simplest of projects are overlooked. This turned out to be a huge hit with Oscar and resulted in a few days of fun. Collect rocks at beach. Awesome adventure. Bring home the rocks and paint them. Get messy - super fun. While painting talk about mixing colours. Educational. When the rocks dry, you shellac them and the little one now has cool treasures. A lot of "I made that!!" is said by the toddler. End result - awesome, cheap craft. Yup. I just posted about painting rocks.

Ps., Oscar gave Aubrey a rock that he painted and that I shellac'd for his desk at work as a paper weight. They make the cutest gifts.

Ps., Truthfully I thought it was over his head to talk about mixing colours, but a few days later I overheard Oscar was telling family how when you mix red and blue you get purple. I don't give him enough credit sometimes - little ones soak it all in.

Kitchen Progress: Phase 1 Complete

Right before the New Year, I kind of teased you with the progress we were making with the first phase of our kitchen makeover, now that we've decided to update instead of renovate. In case you missed it, you can find that post here. The new beadboard and upper cabinets are now freshly painted (the colour is Sico's Hint of Grey) and restocked. We also installed a couple of new gadgets, including a magnetic knife rack and a handy bar to hang our utensils over the stove, both from Ikea. Friends of ours kindly picked them up for us on their last trip. When you have a teeny tiny kitchen, whatever frees up valuable counter or cupboard space is king.

Phase 2 starts with trimming out and painting the lower cabinets. We've been dragging our feet when it comes to choosing a colour and now we're just stuck. I'm leaning towards Behr's Paramount:

While Adam prefers Behr's Marine Magic:

They're close, but Marine Magic is just a little more blue. We need your help, so which would you choose?


Just something random for your blog reader today. Although I'm not very interested in watching sports, this video had me in tears laughing. The best one is the coach of the 49ers* "I want it noooow! I want cake now!!".  I'd watch sports if it was this funny.

Ps., Aubrey mentioned that the Superbowl is coming up, so perhaps this is well timed.
*I only know he's the coach of that team because I asked Aubrey.

don't you love...a spring clean

Don't laugh, but part of my new years clean up has been reorganising my Pinterest boards.  I have been busy pinning for UrbanBaby (and I think they look great) but mine were looking a little sad and out of date.  Some boards had ideas I no longer need or am tired of, some were inspiration for our build which I want to keep but am not adding to much anymore, and ofcourse the Christmas boards can be put away for another year.  I wanted boards that suit my current goals for house, home and blog.  An inspiration spring clean was just what I needed to make me focus on the projects I want to get underway in this new year.

Storage Storage Storage -  A place for everything and everything in its place
I talked about 2013 being our year to edit, and part of editing is storage.  A place for everything and everything in its place as the old saying goes.  

Top of the list is sorting out the playroom.  I was feeling overwhelmed by the toys before Christmas, now the storage I have is quite simply bursting at the seams.  
I want the toys to be hidden from view when packed away, but easy to get at.  And I would like an open shelf where we can display pretty toys, art and books.  

Riikka Kantinkoski at Weekday Carnival has organised her playroom so well (all images above).  I have lots of these Ikea white boxes in the pantry but I never thought about them for toys.  And that amazing white cupboard - they made it out of different sized Ikea kitchen cabinets.  Super creative.

Next on the list is the garage.  We have made a start but we still need to get a lot of things off the floor.  Easier said than done, yesterday I went out there, looked around, and walked back into the house in defeat.  Not sure where to start.

Finally, the garden shed.  We need to move the potting bench and all the garden equipment out of the garage and into the shed.  But we need a strong friend to pop by and help since I am ten pound weakling.  I am looking forward to that one, its been in my head for months.

Entertaining more
So many lovely ideas on my entertaining board that I want to try.  Lots of little styling tips to make things pretty, like these gorgeous tins with individual drinks and cutlery.  If I do it once they can be reused every time we have an informal get together.  First on my list is going to be courtyard movie nights, the weather has been perfect for sitting outdoors the past few weeks.  Have popcorn, will pop, and lots of other great movie ideas here too.  
(Images from left: fridge tins from a pretty cool life, cutlery tins via Patchwork Harmony, bucket & hose from Martha Stewart

Let me know what projects you are planning, and I will give you updates on mine as they come along. Lets hope that this time next year they are not still on my list.

valentine's day

Just a little photo shoot going on over here of some Valentine's Day stamps that are in the shop. Growing up my Mom made each holiday so special  - we'd wake up to a breakfast table decorated for the day. This stamp was inspired by her, and the little things she used to do for us. Now with Oscar I'm beyond excited to continue that tradition. Honestly, I get all giddy for Valentine's Day.

Ps., You can customize what is beneath that heart - it needn't say Mom Mail. I'm using it for Oscar this year. :) 

When in Santa Monica...

Santa Monica is just like it looks in the movies.  There is Bubba Gumps Shrimp House and the ferris wheel on the pier, just like you saw it in Forest Gump.  Miles and miles and miles of beach and ocean and beautiful sunsets.  Lots and lots of shopping for the Hollywood kids who head to the beach from the hills.  And always the distant magic of the Hollywood sign up in the hills and the possibility that just around the corner you will bump into a star walking his dog or sipping her latte.  Just next door to its clean cut cousin is Venice Beach with its movie famous boardwalk and beach side basketball courts.  Here there is an edge of desperation, everybody seems to have a game you will be on the wrong side of.  Go for a walk in the light of day but look confident and keep your valuables out of sight.  A more upmarket and trendier Venice can be found on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, home to boutique shops and restaurants, the type of place that stars would buy their hip homewares or shop for green produce, or perhaps it's the assistants who do the shopping.When in Santa Monica you should....
- drink agua fresca and margueritas as the sunset lights the sky at the Blue Plate Taco on Ocean Avenue (above)
- walk along the Pier and ride on the ferris wheel
- walk past Muscles Beach where the body builders display their gun show out doors
- watch a game of basket ball at the Venice Beach courts
- drive up to Malibu and walk on the lovely beaches
- dodge the buskers and roller bladers on Venice Beach, don't get a tattoo
- sing a little Sheryl Crow "as the sun comes up  over Santa Monica boulevard"

My Top 5 Birthday Picks

My 30th birthday is only a few weeks away, so of course I've been thinking about what I'd put on my birthday wishlist :) Here's what I came up with:

1. printed chambray shirt - I love this take on the popular chambray shirt. Plus it would look great with my mint-coloured skinny cords.
2. leather tote - I head back to work in a few months and this would be the perfect to-and-from bag.
3. rain jacket - It rains a lot in Halifax. My Hunter rain boots have proved to be a great investment and I think this jacket would be another. I love that I could wear it to a meeting and to the grocery store, too.
4. nude pumps - I've been on the hunt for a great pair of nude pumps for awhile. These could be it.
5. earrings - How cute are these knot-shaped earrings? They go with everything and, more importantly, Hannah won't be tempted to grab on.

What are you pining after these days?

bathroom inspirational pictures

I haven't gone to great lengths to source items for the washroom renovation yet. Truthfully I find that process terribly stressful. The washroom is super small, so we are in a conundrum when it comes to finding pieces that will work. When I get back from New York I'll put some effort into sourcing local items, but in the meantime I have been pinning inspirational pictures to get an idea for what may work and look good in our uber small washroom. Here are some inspirational pictures that I've compiled for our washroom reno over on my Bathroom board over on Pinterest. I'm digging the last picture a lot - I love it. Anyhow, just some bathroom porn.

[Top Photo] Photos all linked to sources on Pinterest [2nd bottom Photo] Source [Last photo] Source

David Corle Photography - Inspiration Photos

I want to keep this professional.
I surely do.
*I'm just bursting with pride though*
I have a special photo contributor today that I am trying to convince to contribute regularly.
He is not only an amazing photographer, but also paints, writes, is proficient in construction, does some pretty awesome graphic designing and best of all, is a father to one my precious little nieces:-)
People, give a hardy round of clicks to my little brother!
David has been involved in photography since he was a teen.
He has done weddings, engagements, portraits, head shots, commercial shots...
Obviously some of my favorites are his home decor and architecture shots.
 David and his wife Laura have been redoing their house over the last few years and I have begged him on many occasion to share some photo's on my blog.
Laura's clean, simple decorating style is so calming and inspiring and I love how David's photo's complement the style of the house.
I am seriously one of his biggest fans and can't wait to see what he sends me next.
David has recently made some career changes that will enable him to focus more on his photography.
David makes his home in Richmond, VA with his wife and daughter.
If you are interested in getting in touch with him, or just want to follow along to see some of his work then here's a few ways to do that.
You are welcome to pin any of the images above.
Share the love is what I say:-)

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