Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday inspiration

Maybe it's the first signs of fall, but I can't stop thinking about redecorating... The first place I want to re-do is the bedroom. It just need a little facelift.

grey-bedroom_lynda reevesMy bedroom

Photos from Flickr (click on the photos for direct links)

After having an aubergine purple bedroom for three years, I feel it's time for a change. I'm feeling more and more drawn towards grey. We'll see what happens.

What colour is your bedroom?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Breakfast of champions

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We also hear how we should always eat breakfast. Yup, makes sense. No, I don't have time for that!

So, in my effort to eat better (I'm still at it, believe it or not) I tried hard to eat breakfast. But, since I felt like *making* something was too much work, I ended eating a lot of cereal bars. I was all happy doing that for a while, until I mistakingly read what's in them... With that much sugar I might have been eating pancakes or something else yummy instead of something "healthy". (Ok, there's still a lot of good things for you in them, but wanting to drop a few pounds, the bad things were not helping)

Homemade granola bars

So, all this resulted into an odd moment of hippiness from my part and I bought a ton of ingredients to make my own. I did a lot of research, read tons and tons of recipes and a lot of them seemed somewhat complicated. Until I saw once sentence in one of the recipes (I can't remember which one, I'll add the link if I find it again):

1 cup of "glue" to 3 cups of dry ingredients

That was the one that made the most sense to me (honestly, it was the easiest), so I decided to try it out. Lo and behold, it worked! And it keeps working! Fantastic!

Let me explain; "glue" in this case is what binds the bars together. I've used unsweetened applesauce, either with just apple or apple-strawberry, apple-mixed berry or any other combo with a few tablespoons of honey.

Healthy shopping

Here's what you need:

3.5 cups of rolled oats
2.5 cups other ingredients
- dried fruit
- nuts
- seeds
- dark chocolate
- flax seed / wheat germ (only a few tablespoons if you use either one of these)
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
honey to taste
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon

First measure the rolled oats into a bowl. Start adding your other ingredients. This is not an exact science, so use what you like in amount you like. I basically just started filling a measuring cup with different things, first a few tablespoons of wheat germ, then a few crushed pieces of dark chocolate (I used organic 70% chocolate) and top off the cup with sunflower seeds. Then I added 1/2 cup of raisins. Finally I added 1 cup of finely chopped dried fruit. I love dried peaches, so I added those, but whichever you like will surely do just fine (not sure about dried banana, since it's hard, I'd use any soft fruit/berries). I've used apricots, kiwi and cranberries. Just test out what works.

Then throw in a pinch of salt and some cinnamon. Finally mix the honey into the applesauce and mix everything together. To make sure your bars stick together, make sure you pack the mixture tightly into a pan lined with parchment paper. (The parchment paper is there to make it easier to remove the granola block from the pan after)

Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes. Once it's cooled, cut into bars (squares, whatever shape you like).

Homemade granola bars

Score! You're done!

Have you tried making granola bars yourself? What's your favourite combination?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I love books

It's probably pretty obvious to everyone by now, but I do love books. In my dream home, one day, there will be a library. Even though, I have to admit, I also own a Kobo, nothing beats a book.

You can imagine my joy when I met a real live librarian (who was awesome, by the way) who asked me if I would like to come rummage through some of the books she has to weed out from her library.

Would I ever?!?

I squee'd with sheer joy and was ready to barge in immediately. She's the librarian at a private school here in Montreal and was getting ready for the new school year. I went to visit on Friday and was tempted to take all of the books home. I tried clinging on to the last fleeting scraps of sanity and only picked the ones I knew I could use (and maybe a couple I just absolutely loved...)

library books

I came home with 45 children's books and an assorted pile of lose pages... These are mostly from the 60s and 70s, but there are a few newer ones in the mix as well. They are the books that have suffered over the years (loose pages, binding coming undone) or the ones that no one has checked out in years. They were looking for a new home and how could I say no...

I'm so excited and can't wait to start using these! Stay tuned for pictures once I get the work properly started!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gift wrap pack

Are you guys familiar with the Plaid Barn? It's an online shop for crafty goodies and daily deals. Every weekday there will be a daily deal on something crafty. It's a good deal, but it only lasts that one day. Once the counter runs out, or the item is sold out, that's it.

I've been a fan for a while and as you might have noticed I recently added a link to the shop over there on the side bar of the blog. The reason why I'm writing about it today is that I really dig today's deal! It's a 28 piece gift wrapping kit, in either chevron or polkadot and it includes 2 rolls of washi tape! I'm thinking that it would be worth it for the tape alone, not to mention the other cute things it includes... Selling today for $7.95 + shipping.

CLICK HERE to order

Photos by the Plaid Barn

Missing writer and Mail on Monday

Hello! Remember me?

Another hectic weekend done. This time I was at a wedding and a baby shower and a birthday dinner to top it off!

Next weekend should be more quiet (I hope). I've been planning a major overhaul of our place, so I'm thinking next weekend might be a good time to get it done. We'll see though, things tend to come up unexpectedly.

To start this week off, I'll show you a few cool pieces of mail I got last week:


Incoming mail
All my mail came from Finland this week. A post card from the zoo, another one with monster stickers and a parcel.


Outgoing mail
These are mainly orders. It was a good week for my shops, so I sent out quite a bit of mail.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Inspiration

I bet you didn't know that I made my own wedding bouquet! I made it entirely out of vintage jewelry. Keeping this in mind, I can't believe I never thought of this:
Photo from Betwixxt

How gorgeous is this mirror?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wedding Henna

This weekend I attended a nikkah ceremony for our friends. They have their full-blown wedding next weekend, but wanted to have the traditional ceremony as well the weekend before. I attended with my camera and am just going through the photos. They are mainly of the happy couple, their family and friends, so there's not a whole lot I can share. However, I loved this one;

Wedding henna
The bride got her hands painted with henna. Isn't it gorgeous?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mail Monday

Last week was a good week for mail. I wanted to share the mail love here too!


Mail Love, incoming

Mail from hong Kong. This was actually my Korean stickers, but the envelope was pretty. I have a weakness for airmail stickers...

Mail Love, incoming

A super fantastical package from my friend in Finland. she sent me some candy (which was gone in about 5 minutes of opening the mail) and some of the Pantone postcards. I was tempted to buy them and while I was still thinking about it, she sent me some. It was awesome. Thanks Susanne!


Mail Love, outgoing
I sent some mail to someone (sort of) new. I've bumped into her and her work online and just got an opportunity send her some mail.

Mail Love, outgoing
Some outgoing mail to Finland.

Mail Love, outgoing

A few orders from the shops... 

So, did you get anything good in the mail recently?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Inspiration

I've always had a special fondness to the colour green.

Photo from Heart Handmade UK

And I have a well-known affection for colour coordinated things.

Photo from Kontorkontur

I think I need to put together a mood board.

Do you have a colour that appeal to you over all the others?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stickers all kinds

I wanted to show you a couple pretty cool things.

Today was a good mail day... Remember the eBay bucks I had to spend a little while ago? Well, I got my Korean stickers today. How awesome are these?

They came in a little booklet. So adorable!

So, anyone I might send mail to, be afraid, very afraid (of the attack of cuteness)

 I had a meeting yesterday a bit further away and (as it so often happens) I dropped by my usual charity shop on my way home. I found a few cool things I can use in my work, but I especially wanted to show you this:

A roll of vintage wallpaper. How awesome is this? I have so many ideas how to use this... It's actually the kind that has the adhesive on the back already. I'm pretty excited. I just realized this could make pretty cool address labels...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

All systems at work

If you send as much mail as I do, I'm sure you've wondered how the whole mailing process works. (Or you either know already or are not a nerd who needs to know how things work, like I am) I found this really awesome video explaining the process. Admittedly, it's about the USPS (United States Postal Service), apparently delivering almost half of the world's mail, so their systems are probably pretty hi-tech compared to smaller postal services. However, it's a really cool video about all the different steps that goes into getting your mail delivered.

I thoroughly enjoyed the video. Did you?

Monday, August 13, 2012

The most beautiful shoes in the world!

(or at least one of the most beautiful shoes in the world)

I've been feeling a little under the weather, nothing serious though, just general ickiness. It happens sometimes and hopefully it'll pass soon too.

So, I'm trying to focus on the good things, so let me share something exciting. I went shopping yesterday for a baby shower gift. I'm going to be an aunt as my sister-in-law is expecting, so I went to get something for the family. (I don't think she reads my blog, but if you do: Hi! I'm not going to tell you what it is! You just have to wait and see!!) I found something good and then went to look for a dress. I have a few weddings coming soon, so I was hoping to find something to wear.

No dress, but check these out:

I am in love

They are simply stunning. I couldn't help myself. My feet might fall off after wearing these all night, but it'll all be worth it. These are by Sam Edelman and called Scarlett.

Any other shoe-enthusiasts out there?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mail day

I've been reading a lot of mail related blogs and I really enjoy their incoming/outgoing posts. I thought I'd try it out too...


A letter from the lovely Laura and a postcard from my sister and her roommate from Paris (those lucky peeps)


This is a letter going out to... I'm not going to tell who, since I'd like them to be surprised. Also, it probably won't make a difference who it is going to.

Actually, I sent quite a few other things, but only realized I should try this out when I mailed all but the last one. It took a little longer, since I obviously felt like covering the entire thing in stickers...

Have you sent or received any cool mail recently?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Inspiration

I love notebooks. I have several that I use and obviously dozens I've made for the shop. I try to keep my notebooks for specific purposes. I have one for ideas for the home, another for fashion, one for crafting ideas, you get the idea.

I've also started one for just general inspiration. Then I saw these photos from Heart handmade and was smitten. As you very well know by now, I love things colours coordinated, so this colour journal is just perfect!

Photo from Heart handmade

I do have to try this out.

Do you keep journals?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A few snippets from Quebec city

I wanted to share a few photos from our weekend in Quebec city.

Chateau Frontenac, which is now a hotel. I'm sure it would be a cool place to stay at, but maybe another time. It does look impressive though.

 Quebec City is a walled city, so you could see (obviously) walls, towers, cannons and other defence structures all over the place.

And, naturally, I was true to myself and basically kept taking a ton of photos of buildings. There were a lot of very quaint little streets and cute shop fronts.

And, the history nerd that I am, I chose one museum we would go to on Sunday before driving home. I picked the museum of civilization and found their samurai exhibit fascinating. I'm not sure if I've mentioned before, but I love, love, looove historical novels and read a lot. Basically anything I can get my hands on... One of my all time favourites is set in feudal Japan in the 1600s, so needless to say I loved every tiny bit of this exhibit. The others were fine, nothing too spectacular, but this alone was worth it for me.

I also tracked our walk on Saturday, this is the route we walked that day. I did forget to turn it on for a few bits, but it gives you an idea.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

More tape

I can't really explained what happened, but there was a sale. And I had an additional coupon for 20% off on everything...

That's not too many, right?

(Let's not talk about the fact that I also got some pens and paper and stickers and whatnots...)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Quebec City

I just spent a weekend in Quebec city. I've lived in Canada for over 6 years and this was the first time I visited.

It's such a pretty city.

We decided to go since we can't really take any 'proper' vacation this summer (perhaps at all this year) so we decided to get out of town, even if it's just for a weekend.

It was an awesome mini vacation and definitely feel energized now.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

ebay shopping

So, as it happened, I realized the other day that I had some ebay bucks that were just about to expire. I noticed it a few hours before they would be gone or good. Now, I'm not one to waste money, so off I went into the wonderful world that is ebay.

I only had around $7 dollars, so it's not like I could go nuts over there, but to me $7 is still money I'm going to use. So, I figured I'll just buy something I wouldn't buy otherwise and make sure I only spend the money I have. I decided that I'll try to get as close to the sum as possible.

As you already know I do have a weakness for paper goodness. You know, stationery, envelopes, etc. And, I've recently been writing a lot of snail mail. So, what did I buy??
Photo from the seller, olcollection
Korean stickers.

Don't ask me to explain. I can't. I guess they were random enough for me to really think this was a good idea. In my defence though, I didn't spend a penny of my own money.

So, now you can expect me to send some mail with random Korean stickers on them. Speaking of which... I just thought that perhaps there would be some dear readers of mine who would also like some snail mail from me... I like writing very random letters, so if there's interest in receiving a letter/card/random stickers from me, please let me know! If there's interest in this, maybe I'll organize something... Just leave a comment if you like the idea!

(Funny enough, I have a few people in my life you share my love for random paper/sticker awesomeness. Which means that this purchase is even more justified! This is also why I won't show more of the stickers yet, so it'll be a surprise for them...)

So, what do you think? $6 well spent? (I also bought some craft tape for a dollar)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday inspiration

Maybe it's the hot weather that made me soft in the head, or maybe it's something else, but I can't help myself. I've caught myself, more than once, looking at floral dishes and pretty teacups.

I'm not a "pretty" kind of a person at all. In fact, I'm not a "dishes" kind of a person either. Here (as in North America at least) it seems the norm to pick dishes as a wedding present and I certainly didn't want any. I have plates, they work just fine (dishwasher safe), end of story. I never really even thought about it.

Photos from Want

However, I am in some really odd way liking dishes that are not my style at all. Some fun colours maybe, or a funky pattern...

I don't know, maybe this will pass. I know myself well enough that I would get bored of one style very, very easily. So, I think I might just see if I can find a few colourful plates (probably more like a cereal bowl) and leave it at that... I do love the aesthetic of mixing and matching...

So, what's your thought on the topic? Colourful, mixed plates and a few teacups or stay with white/neutral?

Do you put any thought on your dishes?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bridal getaway - part deux

So last weekend was the bridal shower and then we headed to a spa on Monday.

At the bridal shower, the bride opened a card from the husband to be which said he's sending her and her sister to a overnight spa getaway. What she didn't know at the time, we would should up as well.

The place we stayed at, Wakefield Mill, was beautiful. The spa/hotel consisted of a number of small buildings and a pool area. We reserved the small eco lodge (the red building in the photo below) for a few hours for lunch, a bit of wine and massages for all 5 of us.

Besides spending time at the spa, we lounged around the pool and ate well. It was really just about relaxing and spending some quality time together. We all live far apart from each other, so it was good to spend this time together, catching up.

Once we packed our stuff on Tuesday and lounged around the pool a little longer, we wanted to check out Wakefield itself. There is a little cluster of charming shops and restaurants just outside of the mill, so we spent a little time looking around. The biggest hits were the old-fashioned candy shop and my personal favourite; bacon jam. (it's exactly what it sounds like, jam made of bacon. And let me tell you, it is ridiculously good!)

The area is beautiful and had we stayed longer, I think a long walk by the water would've been wonderful.

All in all it was a great long weekend!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Showers and flowers and parties, oh my!

I don't even know where to start really. Well, the start tends to be the traditional place to begin and even though I'm definitely not a traditionalist, I guess I might follow the norm for now.

The last few days have been a whirlwind. There's been so many things going on. I wanted to write about all these things while I was working on them, but I really couldn't as I was planning a series of surprises (*I* wasn't planning them by myself, but with a team of wedding elves*) for my friend. We organized a bridal shower for her as well as a bachelorette spa getaway. I've actually been in Ottawa for the last few days and only got home last night.

The brisal shower, which you saw a few photos of already, was organized at the bride's (future) mother-in-law's home. We selected theme colours of pink and green for the decorations which we tried using them in absolutely everything. I bought a ton of pink and green paper lanterns from Chinatown and made teeny tiny paper flags out of washi tape. I also made the party favours in pink and green of course.

The favours seemed to be a hit. Each one had a biodegradable planter, seeds to plant into it (four choices; jalapeno peppers, oregano, basil and rosemary), chalkboard clothes pin and a chalk (wrapped in coordinated scrapbook paper)

There was a ton of food, including a pink and green tea party cake and edible arrangements. We all wore hats and played some party games.

It was a great day! The bride was surprised and happy (after she got over her shock of seeing so many people at her mother-in-law's backyard, where she was supposed to have a relaxing day by the pool). The festivities didn't end there, but we also took the bride away for an overnight spa getaway filled with massages, champagne cocktails and some much needed time by the pool. There's so many photos, so I'll show you some of those in another post.

Let me know if there's something you want to know more about, be it food, decor, games or any of the other details of the shower. I learned a lot of things organizing this one, so I'll happily share if you're organizing one or are just curious!

What did you think of the decor?

* elf [elf]
Noun, plural elves
1. mythical creatures, often said to appear in wooded areas and forests
2. a small person
3. a mischievous creature

Wedding elf [elf]
Noun, plural bridesmaids
1. mythical creatures, often said to appear areas near a bride or open bar
2. a tall, majestic person, in 4 inch heels
3. still mischievous