Flower Girl

Someone is going to be a flower girl this weekend! (No, it's not me, I wish!! ;)

Flower Girl Dress

This cutie above is dress #2 that Alice will be rocking for auntie Laura's wedding this weekend. 'Dress #1' is one that Laura wore when she was three years old. I don't have a photo to show you yet, but imagine something from the late 80's - it's big, it's awesome and Alice looks all sorts of adorable in it. Photos to come, I promise.

Hope you have a great long weekend!

dress: posh and luxe, etsy

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

Do you all remember my pal, Justine? The amazingly talented designer/calligrapher/friend seen here and here. She recently got married and had the most amazing DIY paper flowers at her shower and wedding ceremony. I fell in love with them the moment I saw them. They are so beautiful, realistic and they last forever! I managed to swipe one itty bitty rose from her shower but decided I need more, a lot more.

Fate came into play when I got a super nice email from Pottery Barn Canada (yay!) asking me to style some flowers in one of their beautiful vases. Um, yes please. I immediately called up Justine so she could finally teach me how to make those pretty, paper flowers.

We set to work combing our craftiness (not to mention Justine's absolutely stunning hand lettering) to make something pretty out of plain old coffee filters.

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

I told you they were beautiful and they look so real! Justine got her original instructions/templates from the queen of craft, Martha Stewart, and we've added in a few tips based on what we've learned along the way. Here's what we did...

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

- scissors
- floral tape
- coffee filters
- bamboo skewers
- Martha Stewart petal template (download from martha)

*optional: watercolour paint

step 1:
- Using Martha Stewart's template cut petal pieces out of coffee filters*.

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

*note: we only did petal #4 on the perforated edge in an effort to waste less filter.

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

step 2:
- wrap one #1 petal tightly around the skewer.
- pull floral tape tight and wrap around skewer and petal to secure to the skewer.
- wrap tape downwards as you go.

- take one more #1 petal and make sure the points don't line up with the first one.
- wrap around skewer and secure with floral tape.
- always try and keep petals at about the same height.

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

step 3:
- take one #2 petal and wrap around skewer.
- secure with floral tape (make sure it's nice and tight!).
- make sure to adjust so that the petal points don't line up.

- take one more #2 petal and repeat.

step 4:
- take one #3 petal, wrap around skewer and secure with floral tape.

- take one more #3 petal and repeat.

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

step 5:
- take one #4 petal and carefully pull apart at perorated edge to open petal.
- wrap around skewer and secure with floral tape.
- it's ok to fold and bunch a bit at the base, just make sure everything is secured with tape.

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

step 6:
- take three #5 and #6 petals and stagger around rose (pointy side down).
- wrap floral tape around all three and secure (you can do these one at a time as well).

- repeat with petals #7 and #8. Fill in gaps as needed.

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

step 8:
- separate petals using your fingers (or a skewer for the middle bits) to fill out the rose.

step 9:
- Use bamboo skewer to curl the edges.
- curl tips downward onto skewer and pull upwards.

step 10:
- wrap floral tape all the way down skewer to create a green stem. Ta-da, a flower!

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

step 11: optional painting.
- Dip the whole thing in a bowl of watered down water colour paint. Hang upside down to dry.
- Once dry, paint the edges of the petals with watercolour paint (not watered down) to create a darker natural edge.

- or you can see what Martha Stewart did here.

Phew! That sounds like a lot of steps but it's really not that bad. Don't worry if your flower doesn't look perfect, flowers aren't perfect so this will make it look more natural. Have patience and make at least two, trust me, your second one will look better.

DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

Man, I love having crafty friends, thank you so much for teaching me how to make these, Justine (and for putting up with the photos along the way).

Happy crafting!

Evleen Mercury Glass Vase: c/o Pottery Barn
Hand Lettering: Justine Ma Design

Around Here: Summer

As much as I like back-to-school shopping, I am just not ready to give summer up!

Around Here: Summer

blueberry and elderflower cider: pretty and delicious, cousins, beach bum, epic beach play date, bucket heads, beaching in Penticton, exploring in Toronto, water + paintbrush = minutes of entertainment, icecream (because it wouldn't be summer without it).

Happy Friday!

Meal Plan Monday (+printable)

I wish I could say I loved cooking. I don't hate it, but I certainly don't love it and I really don't love doing it every night. Pre-kid days I would dread coming home from work and having the inevitable, "what do you want to do for dinner?" conversation. Blegh! The worst.

Now that I have a child and am working part time, ordering pizza at 7:30 at night is no longer an option. I needed a plan. Enter weekly meal planning. I had attempted doing this before (and failed miserably) but, I think it's safe to say, I have successfully nailed a routine. Every Monday I scour my recipes, make a list and head to the grocery store. Complete sanity saver, I tell ya.

Weekly Meal Plan Free Printable

My lists were starting to show up on random pieces of paper or the back of a colouring page so I decided to whip up a fancy printable, which of course I'm going to share with you.

Click here to download the weekly meal plan pdf.

Weekly Meal Plan Free Printable

I've also created a board on Pinterest called 'weekly meal plan' where I've started saving tried, tested and yummy weekday friendly recipes. I'll keep cooking away and posting on my board as I go.

So now it's your turn, what are some of your go-to recipes? How do you manage dinners in your home? Please share your knowledge, I can use all the help I can get!


Spreading the Love

Spreading The Love

- Holly never ceases to amaze me with her creativity, I suddenly want to "release my inner mermaid" and dip dye all of my furniture in yummy pastels.

- I spotted this awesome print (from Old English Co) over at 'Honey We're Home'. This is basically my summer motto and I'm doing my best to consume as much ice cream as possible before the sunshine dwindles away (who am I kidding, I will continue on into winter).

- did you see this? Jen created a 'make believe station' for her daughter Chloe and it's so great! I would have absolutely loved this as a kid. Super impressed with all the mad skills from this Home Depot challenge. Jen, Janice, Shannon and Brittany, you are DIY queens!

- also, thank you to my personal dj's for the week, Caitlin and Jason.

Happy Friday, now go get yourselves some ice cream!

Winner! Baba Souk Giveaway

We have a winner.... congratulations to Erinn T. who has won some shopping time at Baba Souk! I know first hand this gal will have no problem shopping away - am I right, Erinn? ;)

image via baba souk

Thank you again to Stephanie from Baba Souk for sharing her lovely shop with us and for the generous giveaway. And thank you for entering and spreading the small shop love. I'm so happy to have found such a great Canadian shop with so many creative, unique items.

I'm wishing I was at the beach with that cute tote up there right about now. Am I the only one feeling those dwindling days of summer?

Happy Wednesday!


*winner generated using random.org

Workin' Our Big / Little Style: Stripes

I thought I'd attempt to actually wear another of our big / little style posts, well, a similar version. Alice hasn't seemed to grasp the concept of "completer pieces" (maybe she needs to watch more What Not to Wear ;) The denim vest lasted about 10 seconds, it's either all the way on or all the way off. Here we are workin' our black and white stripes. Close enough.

Big / Little Style: b&w stripes

Also, keepin' it real with the day 3 no wash, messy top knot hair. Excuse the frizz ;)

Check out the original black and white stripes style post for full source list.

Happy Monday!

p.s. this one might be bordering on too matchy matchy to leave the house in, what do you think?

p.p.s. have you entered the baba souk giveaway yet? There is some great shopping to be had!

Baby Toes, Cute Slippers and a Giveaway

I have a weakness for baby shoes. Seriously, adorable pint sized shoes just get me every time. I received these handmade moroccan slippers from Baba Souk and oh man, are they cute (and in the cutest packaging). They're teeny, sparkly, gold and, for extra cute factor, are traditionally called "babouches"!

I could not wait to get them onto the feet of my new niece, but baby Norah had other plans... liking kicking and squirming and you know, not wearing the slippers.

Baba Souk Baby Slippers

It was laughable. In fact, I laughed a lot before finally deciding cute toes beside the cute slippers was as good as it was going to get. Any mom will tell you babies and shoes are a constant struggle, these backless beauties were no exception.

So, are they tote around the grocery store practical? No. But they are ridiculously cute and would make a fantastic keepsake and decor item (I'm all about decorating with shoes). Plus, I'm pretty sure it's an auntie's job to gift ridiculously cute, impractical items, right?

Baba Souk Baby Slippers

Thanks to Norah for being my model and to Baba Souk for the slippers!

I'm a huge fan of this lovely Canadian shop. Owner, Stephanie has curated some unique finds from local and international designers and some amazing handmade items from Morocco. She handpicked these little "babouches" from a moroccan souk market! How cool is that?

Stephanie has so kindly offered up a $50 gift certificate to one of you, make sure you pop on over and check out all her goodies. I'm loving this totevasepillow, 'jimmy the hook' and of course, the baby slippers.

Good luck and happy shopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest closes Wednesday, August 14.


Three things she loves... hugs, nana and purple.

Alice has insisted on watching this video over and over again, hope it makes you smile too :)

Happy Friday, y'all!

Loving... Global Style

One of the many things I love about traveling is picking up some unique handmade items. I'm not talking seashell mobiles or palm leaf hats. Nope, there are those rare moments you get lucky to come across that unique gem that not only fits with your style, but that you actually love. And because we can't all go on a trip every time we want a one-of-a-kind item, I am thankful to come across some beautiful, inspiring shops featuring stylish handmade goods. Check out these gems:

Global Style

So pretty, right? These shops not only have beautiful, fashionable products but beautiful, inspiring stories too. I think you need to meet them...

Dignify is a local (based in Calgary!) company who has curated amazing products from around the globe. They focus on selecting handmade goods made by real people and provide "dignity and livelihood to the person who crafted them". Shopping that makes you feel good and, in turn, helps others. I like that. And I love what Shelley is doing with her shop. I'm a huge, huge fan of these one-of-a-kind kantha blankets, hand crafted from old saris, they are so beautiful. I think I may need to cuddle up with one of these come fall (I know, don't hate me for mentioning fall!).

photo by anastasia photography

Interwoven was founded by the lovely Kera who lives in Abu Dhabi with her adorable family (seriously, this is a family of models). Constantly inspired by the beautiful textiles she found in her travels abroad, Kera shares her fancy finds with us in her shop. It's kind of like having your own personal overseas shopper! The fabrics are gorgeous (I'm partial to this rug) and would definitely add some character to any room.

photo via interwoven

Lydali is another great shop, founded by friends Lydia and Ali, that shares beautiful, ethical products made from talented artisans from around the world. There are a ton of stylish products on their site and fantastic stories about the producers. It's so great to be able to connect these items to the actual people behind them. How cool are these colour blocked spoons?

photo via lydali

Please pop over and say hello to these sweet ladies! Happy shopping!


* note: this is not a sponsored post, I just think these shops are pretty great. 
* bonus: Lydali is kindly offering 15% off products with code 'JUSTBELLA15' and you can use code 'JUSTBELLA' for 20% off at Interwoven.