packing essentials

Good Morning Everyone!

Although this blog was created to share tips, recipes and inspiration related to the home and entertaining, it has become a creative outlet for me and a way to share some fun aspects of my life as well.

As I prepare to start packing today I made a list of things I cannot forget! And then I turned to my friends on Pinterest and saw what they had to say about packing essentials.  I saw some great tips and “inspiration boards” so I’m going to share them with all of you who may be travelling in the near future.

Enjoy!

pack

I love every outfit in this beach vacation essentials- only thing they are missing is a few bikinis!

packing

packing essentials

travel

travel girl guide

Want to see more like this? Check out travelfashiongirl.com

stay tuned for beach themed inspiration tomorrow wishing you all a wonderful day!

delicious bread recipes

I had a family friend bring over a loaf of cheese bread last night and it was so good! It got me looking up recipes that I could bake this week.

So I know we’re getting a little fancy here with homemade bread but I am sharing only simple, delicious recipes!

Chocolate Walnut Espresso Loaf: omg. this may be the first one I try. Check out the recipe here.

Pretzel Bread: twist on the classic. This sounds so good.

Rosemary Foccacia: one of my bakery favourites. Try this recipe.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Yeast Bread: This would be so good for breakfast. Check out the recipe.

I have so many great recipes for pumpkin loafs but I am saving them for fall so they will be coming soon!

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Happy baking, wishing you all a wonderful day!

DIY home organization

Good Morning Everyone!

My blog has become a creative outlet related to pretty much everything domestic along with some tid bits of my every day life. Part of being a good host/mother/wife/homeowner/business person is being organized! and thanks to Pinterest we can now make this a fun project. I’ve collected a few DIY home organization ideas, tried them and thought I would share the best ones with all of you.

But first, a few organization tips:

LABELS- seriously label everything, it makes it so much easier for you and everyone in your home.

chalk labels label craft jars label drawers label tool kits

This can be a little bit of a craft if you don’t want to purchase labels- you can make them or print cute ones. Use labels in your kitchen, craft room, closet, everywhere.

Next, have a calendar/menu board. This lets you and everyone else know what the plan is for the week. Having a routine makes life less hectic (check these ones out-this can be a craft too).

DIY menu   fancy DIY menu

Now, some fun projects to keep things tidy. The kitchen tends to be the number one space people struggle with.

coffee can bags   cuttingboard shelf

DIY heat pads

inside door hangers   magazine file in cupboard door

roll out shelves   scarves

mason jars-dishwahser

wineracktowes

using a wine rack for hand towels- love this.

I hope this helps some of you- if not, check out Pinterest. There are so many cool ideas!

wishing you all a wonderful day!

* I do not own any of the photos posted above, I have collected them from various sites.

my favourite italian recipes

Good Morning Everyone!

As I mentioned in my post about macarons, I am leaving for Europe on Friday and so excited about the food in Paris & Italy!!

This inspired my post for today and I thought I would share some of my favourite go-to italian recipes :

Maria’s Italian Meatballs (these are so good and can easily be adjusted to your preferences):

find the recipe here.

Slow Cooker Italian Casserole: I use The Cookin’ Chicks recipe.

Easy Mushroom Risotto: so yummy! try this recipe.

Penne alla Caprese (penne with cherry tomatoes, basil & mozzarella) : here’s the recipe.

Tiramisu Cupcakes: delicious! Check out the recipe here.

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Happy cooking, wishing you all a wonderful day!

 

what’s for dinner tonight

Tonight is date night in our home. We are cooking together and then heading out to wander the streets for a festival happening in town. The post I had planned for today just doesn’t seem fitting- it was a little too “fall” for the summer weather so I decided to share a meal recipe instead.

Here’s what’s for dinner in this house tonight:

Garden Salad with Olive Garden Dressing courtesy of The Country Cook. Find the recipe here.

Creamy White Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna courtesy of Tasty Tidbits. Find the recipe here. (I add chopped spinach to this and it is delicious!)

For dessert: Lemon Cookies with Vanilla Frozen Yogorut. I use this recipe.

Remember the small balcony decor post? I think we are going to have dinner out on ours.

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wishing you all a wonderful day!

product spotlight: essie

For all the girls who love having their nails done.. this post is for you. Having your nails painted instantly makes you feel a little more dressed up. I am a big fan of Essie (but I also love OPI).

Today’s spotlight is Essie- as the seasons are about to change I thought I would share some color trends with all of you.

For the past few months my nails have looked like this:

off theshoulder

sundayfunday

For the warm summer months I love a bright pink that is still work appropriate. Essie’s Off The Shoulder & Sunday Funday are great.

But as the fall is on it’s way, I’m going to have to trade in my pinks for something a little warmer.

These are some of the beginning of fall colors I love right now: 

ladylike

Essie’s Lady like- still pink and feminine but in a warmer tone.

mademoiselle

I love a good nude! Classy and perfect for any occasion. Essie’s Mademoiselle.

pearlywhite

Essie’s Pearly white.

shespampered

A warmer red- this is She’s Pampered.

vestedinterest

Not ready to give up the blues and teals of summer? Essie’s Vested Interest is a great pick.

Stay tuned for some of my favourite Italian recipes tomorrow

wishing you all a wonderful day!

simple party apps part 2

Do you ever wake up and have the urge to try every new recipe you have saved?? That was me this morning.

All of a sudden I felt the need to cook up a storm! This may be great for those around me but I also have other things to get done.. But, before I get to those things I thought I would share a few great recipes with all of you! I love these posts because I can share great recipes and promote some awesome foodie blogs and websites.

Remember the simple party apps post? Well today is simple party apps part 2. Simple, yummy recipes to impress your guests while they mingle before dinner. Missed part 1? Check it out here.

Panko Mozzarella Sticks from Tasty Kitchen : Check out the recipe here.

Pretzel Bites | Parmesan or Cinnamon Sugar courtesy of Just Get Off Your Butt And Bake: I love this recipe.

Picky Palate’s Baked Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls : recipe is here.

So tasty and so easy to make.

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wishing you all a wonderful day!

pirate party theme

Good Morning!

For those of you who have been reading this blog you know I try to share simple tips for everything related to entertaining. I haven’t posted much about kids yet so I will start today! For most you, birthday parties will be the reason to get creative and plan something fun for your kids and their friends. I personally don’t think you need a reason to have a party but if you do, a birthday is a pretty good one!

So, for all you moms, aunts, friends, cousins etc. who may be in charge of planning a child’s party, how about a pirate theme??

I am loving this theme right now because the young ones get so into it and it is super simple to make it look fabulous.

Here’s some inspiration:

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invitation

invitations invite

Set the tone for your party with a creative invitation, this has your guests looking forward to the event way in advance!

(the message in a bottle has to be my favourite- so cute!)

signs costumes

Have signs and costumes there upon arrival, kids will love this.

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I always tell my clients food tables are the easiest to incorporate theme. Use simple foods and get creative, add some flags, signs, wraps etc.

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Every party needs games, print out a map or a list of clues and set up a treasure hunt for the group. Pirate ring toss looks fun too!

loot bags

Loot bags are a must. Make your own party mix or buy a caramel corn mix and add some chocolate gold coins to the bags. Setting them in a box or chest ties in the theme.

All of these ideas are so simple to do! Check out your local craft store, dollar store, Target. Or contact me and it will show up at your door in one pretty package 🙂

Stay Tuned- tomorrow’s post features some great party appetizers. 

wishing you all a wonderful day!

* I do not own any of the photos posted above. I have collected them from various sites and brought them together for inspiration.

inspiration: small balcony decor

Good Morning Everyone!

Back to work today but I thought I would make the morning a little better by sharing an inspirational decor post.

For those of you who love sitting on your balcony to have a coffee and read a book or enjoy a drink with a friend, this post is for you. I want to show you how even a small space can look great and comfortable in just a few steps!

First of all, decide if you want to have a bistro, cafe style seating area or if you want a comfy couch area.

If you decide to go for the couch all you need is to buy or build a simple bench and add some fun pillows! Lots and lots of pillows!

bench with cushions

corner couch

simple balcony chairs

I really like the idea of a corner couch, it is the best use of space and can seat multiple people. Using a round table with this corner unit is aesthetically pleasing and very convenient! If you choose to go for a bistro set, look for folding chairs, that way they can easily be stored if you need the space.

Next, add some color, patterns or themes! You can do this inexpensively by purchasing cushions, umbrellas and outdoor rugs or accessories.

balcony lanterns

blacony rug

bw blacny

bw decor

umbrella

Final tip: be sure to look for items that are made for small balconies/outdoor spaces. This will ensure you use the space the best way you can.

balcnoy shelving

balcony table

balcony table2

Looking to have a romantic night with your loved one? Add some candles, lanterns, drinks and snacks and have a beautiful setting in the comfort of your own home.

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This makes me happy.

wishing you all a wonderful day!

* I do not own any of the photos posted above. I have collected them from various sites and brought them together for inspiration.

french macarons

Hi everyone

I hope you all had a great weekend.

Have I mentioned I am going to Paris & Italy at the end of the month? I absolutely cannot wait! As I was talking about my trip today I got to thinking about all the yummy food that will be had (don’t worry I will try to share lots of pictures and recipes upon my return). One thing I am looking forward to in Paris is a real French macaron. I have come across some great simple recipes for these and thought I should share a few of them with you.

Next time you are feeling a little fancy, french or simply want to try something new and different for dessert, try one of these! I will.

French Chocolate Macaron with Chocolate Ganache

http://www.chow.com/recipes/28339-french-chocolate-macarons-with-chocolate-ganache

French Lavender with White Chocolate 

http://freshnewengland.blogspot.ca/2013/08/lavender-white-chocolate-macarons.html

Pistachio Macaron

http://dailydelicious.blogspot.ca/2011/10/pistachio-macarons-to-you-my-sister.html

Early Grey Macarons with Cream Cheese Frosting (YUM!)

http://whiskandknife.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/earl-grey-macarons-with-cream-cheese-frosting/

Cashew Dulce de Leche 

http://www.cafejohnsonia.com/2013/05/cashew-dulce-de-leche-french-macaron-recipe.html

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pink macarons

macaroon

oh my, I am craving a sweet treat now! If you happen to try one of these, let me know what you think!

wishing you all a wonderful night!