Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy 1-year bloggiversary to me!

November 24th marks the 1 year anniversary of this little blog of mine.  I don’t feel as though this is a huge, monumental occasion or anything, but I do see people write about their “bloggiversaries” so I thought I would join the club.  If nothing else, it is an opportunity to reflect on the past and set goals for the future.

Do you think I should suggest Derek get me a 1 year bloggiversary gift?  Or maybe I should just get something for myself.  I love any reason to give and receive gifts (especially when I’m giving them to myself!)

So a lot has happened in my life since November 24, 2011.  Here are some events that stand out in my mind:

  • we said au revoir to our little bachelor(ette) after 2 and a half years of sharing 475 square feet, and moved into our condo

  • my other bff got engaged to the man of HER dreams!

  • Derek and I traveled to NYC
  • I started a new job
  • I participated in my first try-a-triathlon (and it will not be my first and only!)

  • some amazing women brought new people into the world (summer 2012 could also be dubbed "the summer of births"!)
  • my dad is successfully recovering from hip surgery
  • Derek survived his 10 day bachelor party in Myrtle Beach

It's been a really positive year.  And even though I stressed over having such a jam-packed (and expensive) calendar at times, it was filled with awesome events and celebrations.  So I am taking this time to reflect on how lucky I am to have so much good in my life.

As for my blog, I am happy where I am and what I’ve been able to accomplish.  Through writing I’ve learned that it’s something I really enjoy!  I always loved keeping a journal while growing up and this feels very similar.  I never put too much pressure on myself to spin out a certain amount of blogs per month (although 1 per week was an unofficial goal), and I don’t think I ever forced a post if I wasn’t in the mood.  I tried to be as honest as possible in my writing which was one tip I read multiple times when researching about starting up a blog.

So I do hope that you, my readers, find my writing to be honest, enjoyable, sometimes informative and never too heavy.  I hope to make you laugh, too!

I love my little blog and the fact that it’s so simple keeps me from feeling pressured.  But I would like to see improvements and upgrades in some areas.
  •  I haven’t put much effort into learning html or the tricks of  I don’t want to be a programming genius, but simply knowing how to make a nice banner with my own photos would be nice!
  • So I like arts and crafts, I knew this.  And I think I’ve mastered the glue gun (I hardly burn my fingers anymore).  But I think it’s time for me to tackle some bigger projects.  Maybe get to know my power drill a little better so that I’m not so intimidated when I see that it’s needed for a certain project.  With our wedding date approaching; putting some love into our condo is going to become a larger priority and I would like to tackle some more involved DIY projects.  And of course share them with you!
  • I need to keep it real.  I know I just said that I’m honest and myself in my writing, however my posts are mostly positive.  Not to say that my life isn’t mostly positive, because it is!  But I am going to try to be less shy about sharing mistakes, learning experiences or topics that make me feel queasy (budgets and money for example).

And before I forget, I would like to thank anyone and everyone who has ever read (or even just skimmed) through my blog.  I think it’s so cool that people I don’t even know, not to mention friends and family, take the time to read what I write.  If I could make you all yarn wreathes and my mom’s butter tarts and send them to you in a beautifully wrapped parcel, I totally would!

So there we have it.  My first bloggiversary post!  I wonder how many more there will be.  Maybe one day I will be famous like Sherry and John Petersik of YoungHouse Love!  But probably not.  And I’m totally ok with little lovelee honeybee remaining as my online journal.  It's my nice little place where I can keep track of and share special events, pictures, learning experiences, and accomplishments.  

But I do secretly want to be just like Sherry Petersik.  She has mad power drill skillz.  I'm just sayin'. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

On white walls

Interior design (like weddings nowadays) is so personal, which is one of the reasons I love it so much.  There are many spaces that I see in magazines, for example, that I love but wouldn't use in my own home.  The most important thing to keep in mind is that although we may like to follow trends or make our guests feel at home, we should really decorate our spaces for ourselves - the people who spend the most time there!  

A few weeks ago, I was at an event hosted by the amazing Hive Girls, which was centered around home décor.  One of the presenters, an interior designer, suggested that everyone take a look at what they were wearing which would provide a sense of what our unique design style is.  

I thought that was interesting, especially since my girlfriend was wearing a soft knit sweater with jewel toned accessories.  She just happens to live in a cozy wood home, complete with a wood burning stove and is drawn to warm tones.  I was in a straight cut black and white dress which I feel was a good indicator of our condo’s modern, classic decor.

Which leads me to the topic of this post: our white walls.

It’s so funny.  One of the first things people ask when they come to visit our new place is “so are you going to paint!?”  Maybe you think the answer would be an obvious “yes!” but Derek and I both actually enjoy our white walls.  For some reason though, I felt self-conscious telling people this.  Maybe they will think we are lazy and that’s why we aren't painting.  Or that we have bad taste or are boring and bland.  

I casually stuck a paint chip I had on hand by one of our light switches - the universal sign that you are at least thinking about painting - just so I wouldn't be judged.  SO silly, right!?

After over three months of living in our new condo I've decided to take down that paint chip and own the white walls.  To us, they don’t feel cold or sterile or unfinished.  They feel warm and clean and keep our space feeling open and bright.  

With our all white kitchen cabinets and appliances, having white walls helps create a continuous view which creates the illusion of space (although maybe one day we will be looking for contrast).  I think the dark floors and counter tops help ground the space, while the pops of colour I’ve added with accessories like pillows, vases, kitchenware and art keep things happy and playful.

We are happy to say that we are owning our white walls and love them!  

Here are some inspiration photos that I referred to, and further down are some updated photos of our own place!

I think the gallery wall behind the gray couch looks awesome here.  This is the look I would love to have above our couch in the den.

This entrance looks so fresh and sophisticated.  The white/gray walls feel anything but unfinished in my opinion.

White Walls with White Chair and Mahogany Pedestal Table

I love this white kitchen and how casual yet clean it feels.  The art, bright fruit and fun little chalk board really pop against the white walls.


This room feels fun and colourful.  I think they achieved this by layering textures and adding pops of colour through their accessories.  The room feels casual and inviting with the leaning art and cushions on the cozy looking rug.  I'm really loving the long shelf above the french doors.  What a perfect place to display vases.  I think grouping them by colour and style keeps it from feeling cluttered.


And now for our own white walls!

I had my girlfriends over the other weekend and along with taking care of some wedding crafts we also put up some art!  Talk about a productive sleepover!

When our dining table finally arrives I am going to look around for a large scale mirror for that wall. 

Here's our entrance.  I was getting tired of our fall display and so this is how it looks now.  I'll keep you posted on any improvements!

I love how everything I add to the kitchen really pops against the white base.

Here's what you see when you walk through our front door.  It's our den, a little Canadiana inspired with my Bay blanket and matching pillows.  I think a gallery wall would look great above the couch!

To keep it real, it realy is a tiny little space that usually looks like this:

You see, that closet holds our washer and dryer, so our den has inevitably become our laundry room.  But it also acts as a good guest room.  And call us crazy, but one day we plan to stick an infant in there.  

The den got some loving too with this cute little bee mail holder.  It was a very thoughtful wedding shower gift.

So cute, right?!

Our last little piece of white wall that got some love was right in the entrance.  We had the perfect piece to cover up the ugly fuse box.  Perfect, no!?

So there you have it.  A little over-due somewhat-of-a-house-tour and my thoughts on our white walls.

How do you feel about white walls?  Stark and unfinished or clean and crisp?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Playing catch-up

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving?  I am not late on this post due to death-by-turkey.  More like death-by-dessert!  There were about 8 dessert options at both (yes there were 2) Thanksgiving dinners Derek and I attended.  And since I didn’t want to hurt any of the hard working chefs’ feelings, I had to try them all! 

We had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend, aside from Derek and both having a slight cold.  We enjoyed the outdoors and beautiful fall colours by hiking the Luskville Falls Trail, I visited the Vanier Farmer’s Market, and we spent time with our wonderful family and friends.  Thanksgiving may be one of my favourite holidays.

Here are some pics we took during our hike.  I don't think I've seen the colours so vibrant!

Like I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I really wanted to get our home feeling seasonal, and I am happy to say I accomplished just that!  

Project #1: frame leaves
Project #2: yarn wreath

It is easy to be inspired by our beautiful view.

Friday, on my way home from work I collected leaves like a 7 year old in the park across from our condo.  This was a lot of fun, actually; choosing the most pretty colours and patterns.  Then, once Derek left for a late hockey game I got my crafting on.  To make myself feel better for staying home, doing crafts on a Friday night, I made sure to enjoy a couple Coors Lights.  This may or may not have increased production time...

I drew inspiration for my wreath colours from this really pretty piece of scrap booking paper I found at Michael's.  With all the yarn and felt choices available (there are seriously aisles and aisles at Michael's!) I think having a pattern helps decide on a colour scheme.  

Following the lead of Tanya, Danielle and Yvonne I wrapped (and wrapped and wrapped) yarn and spun my little pieces of felt to create my wreath.  I would love to add a welcome bunting using stencils and pretty fabric one day like Myra.

At the beginning my wreath was looking just like Ashley's wedding colours!

It took a while to get the hang of creating these little rosettes.  But once I made a few they started looking more like flower buds.    

I strung my wreath up using twine I had on hand.  One condo-living bonus: I don't need to worry about my door décor being damaged by the outdoor elements.  Downfall: jack o'lanterns don't really work. 

Our door is looking extra nice compared to our neighbour's accross the hall!  Maybe it's the beginning of their Halloween décor?  Just one has moved in yet - it's still under construction.

I also framed my own pressed leaves and put together a little fall vignette in our entrance.  When Derek got home around 1:30am I was just finishing up.  The yarn wreath took a while!  But it was totally worth it.  I would love to create one for every season and maybe give them as gifts to my craft-loving friends and family members.

Also - I've decided that our little microwave cart near the entrance is going to be like the mantel we'll never have.  We can dress it up depending on the season.  One day I think I will paint it.  Maybe stain the top so it's nice and glossy and paint the base white?

I am also thinking of painting that wall in black chalk board paint.  I think I mentioned this before.  I would be able to add to the seasonal décor with messages and chalk drawings.  I'm still mulling it over...

Framing the leaves was a lot of fun too (and they are still looking fresh!)  I used scrap booking paper as background.

And here's a little gebera daisy in my honey tin on our dining table.

Are you into seasonal decorating?  I love bringing the outside in, especially in the fall.  And I loved making my wreath so much I'm already looking forward to doing one for Christmas, which really is not that far off!  Which means either is the wedding!  EEEK, I better get to the gym!  Kidding, it's Friday, that's not happening...

Happy weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The most lovely bridal shower

This past Sunday was my bridal shower, and it was better than I ever could have imagined.  My bridesmaids, maid of honour, family and friends did such a wonderful job organizing this event, not just for me, but for all the guests who attended.  I heard from more than one person that it was the best shower they've attended!  (I must say, in all fairness, they did not attended Ashley's shower which I organized.  Just kidding!  hehe)

The theme was Perfect Pairings of Wine and Food.  I'm not sure if these were the exact words they used, but this is the theme I took away from the event.

My mother's BFF, Marie-France, is a Sommelier, and played a huge role in the shower.  With the help of my and bridal party, she lead my guests and I through a fun, interactive and informative wine tasting.

Each wine was paired with the perfect appetizer which included cheeses, smoked salmon baguettes, bruschetta, mushroom tarts, fruits and nuts.  All the food was homemade with lots of love.  And even though we were pairing our wines with quite fancy appetizers, Marie-France said we should really just eat whatever we like with our wine.  Even if it's potato chips and champagne!

Here are some of the people who made my day so special:

Ashley, my MOH, and the ring leader of this fabulous event, with Jenny and Lisa my bridesmaids

A nice group shot, with Sacha my sister in law to the right

Here I am with June, Derek's mama

And receiving a nice toast from my own mama

I am lucky enough to have a second mother in law - here's Heather with my cousin Dean

The work put into all the little details was so sweet.  Upon arriving, guests were greeted by an nontraditional guest book.  Everyone wrote an encouraging message on a piece of paper and slipped it into this wine bottle which is meant to be opened by Derek and I on our 1-year anniversary.  So sweet!

Here are the adorable wine charms Ashley made by hand.  On the reverse was a number which was used to draw a prize.

There were also 2 quizzes for guests to participate in.  One was based on the information we learned throughout the wine tastings.  And the other was how well everyone knew me. 

Dessert was delicious: lemon and lime cheese cake tarts, fresh fruit and cake.  All home made and to die for.

It was an overwhelming day filled with my favourite people, delicious food and so many generous gifts.  I know everyone had a really great time, and I did too.  What it did make me realize is how fast time flies when you are the guest of honour at these types of events.  It's something I hear time and time again from brides about their wedding day, and I experienced it a little bit at my shower.  I couldn't believe how exhausted I was by the end of the day, even though I felt like I hardly did anything.  Socializing is hard work I guess!?

So again, a big thank you to everyone who attended and all the work everyone did.  I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart!