Leo Birth Announcement + Minted Giveaway!

A lot happens in six months. I can't believe how much Leo has changed, it feels like he just got here and that he's been here forever all at the same time. It also happens to have taken me six months to mail out his birth announcements.... but, quite frankly, I'm okay with that. Really, if they're out before the kid turns one that counts as on top of things in my book and these beauties were worth the wait ;)

So now that most of my loving family and friends have finally received their cards, I can share them with you. I was so excited to partner with Minted again and use one of their gorgeous gold foil pressed cards (as seen in last year's christmas card). What can I say, I'm a sucker for anything shiny!


leo birth announcement - minted
card: subtle hello foil pressed, minted  photo: pink sugar photography personalized blocks, etsy

I added a family photo to the back and left some blank space to leave a hand written note so the cards could double as thank you cards as well. I'm so happy with how they turned out!

Minted has so kindly offered up $250 to one of you to shop away! They have such an awesome selection of holiday cards so really the timing couldn't be better (and you might even get them out in time! You're welcome for my procrastination ;) And if Christmas cards aren't in your plans, check out their printsparty supplies and other goodies. Either way, I'm sure you'll have no trouble shopping away.

Contest closes Sunday, November 30 at midnight.
Good luck!

Sources:
"subtle hello foil pressed card": minted
newborn photos: pink sugar photography
personalized wood blocks: little sapling toys, etsy


a Rafflecopter giveaway


* this post was in partnership with Minted who generously provided me with cards, all opinions are my own and I genuinely think they're pretty great :) contains affiliate links.

Loving... Ice Cream!!

This past weekend my baby girl celebrated her third birthday with an ice cream social with her besties. It may be below zero and snowy outside, but I'm a firm believer that it's never too cold for ice cream! Pics of the party coming soon, but in the meantime here are just a few of my fav ice cream goodies.

I may have had just a little too much fun shopping online - some inspired the party, some were gifted and some are just too flippin' cute not to share. Pics of the party coming soon or you can take a peek on instagram #alicesicecreamsocial.

Loving.. ice cream!


1: ice cream print: max wanger, land of nod
2: ice cream pillow: land of nod
3: freezy dream treats: land of nod
4: ice cream truck puzzle: chapters indigo
5: should I share my ice cream? book: chapters indigo
6: the ice cream t-shirt: the skinny (as seen on our cute party guest here)
7: une glace ice cream illustrated print: the lovely drawer, etsy
8: cardboard ice cream truck "imagine wagon": build a dream playhouses (by far the hit of the party... after the ice cream. You can see it in action on instagram).

Anyone else really need an ice cream about now?

Christine


*post contains some affiliate links

Donut Costume!

I'm pretty sure this costume was made for me... and because they don't make it in my size, I had to pass the donut love onto my child, haha. I hope you're not too sick about hearing about donuts, because this costume from Pottery Barn Kids is all kinds of amazing.

Funny enough, a friend of mine sent me a link to this costume knowing I would love it and the next day Pottery Barn Kids got in touch to see if I'd be open to trying one out. Yes, please! It was donut fate. I've always eyed up their beautiful costumes so I was so excited to get my hands on one.

I definitely paid for the amount of sugar she devoured to get these photos, but it was totally worth it for all this cuteness! I could just eat her up!

donut costume

Despite the whipped cream topped brownie bribery required this day, Alice really does love the costume too. It's soft, comfy and fits perfectly over a snowsuit if need be (and if you follow me on instagram you'll see that is a big plus this year).

donut costume

Thank you so much to my wonderful friend, Justine, for illustrating the beautiful little donut shop. She is so crazy talented and I love every opportunity we have to work/play together! Thanks for being so awesome, friend, and for being patient with our diva of a model ;)

Also, hooray for procrastination because if you're still looking for a costume the goodies from Pottery Barn Kids' collection are on sale! I'm a huge fan of stocking up on sale halloween costumes for the dress up bin, myself.

Happy shopping and happy halloween!!
Christine


Sources:
kids donut costume: c/o pottery barn kids
custom illustration: justine ma design

Family of Four

Hello? Anyone out there? I thought I would pop into this poorly neglected corner of the internet and say hi. Hi! I'll be honest, things have been a bit crazy since our new little man arrived. We absolutely love him to pieces and, I know everyone says this, it's hard to remember life without him. He really has just fit into our family so perfectly.

I also can't remember what it feels like to get a good night's sleep. Life with two kids has been an adjustment. It's been hard. Some days are better than others but, managing a toddler and a newborn in a sleep deprived state is not easy. There have been days that I have been so tired I could (and did) cry and honestly, I just couldn't find the energy or motivation to blog.

So I didn't. And that's ok. I'm miss it though and I hope to get back into the swing of things creatively over here.... when life allows. We're slowly finding our groove and I'm starting to see the end of that sleep deprived tunnel.

Here's a peek at the little man who has been keeping us so busy. Big thanks to one of my best friends, Andrea, for being so stinking awesome and capturing these photos for us. She had me in tears by the third photo... it may have been the hormones, but I really do love them and our new family of four that much. It was ridiculously hard to narrow them down too, take a look...

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leo-collage-02
leo134-w
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leo092-w
leo176-w
leo211-w
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all photos by pink sugar photography

I am forever grateful for these photos. If you are ever doubting whether to get newborn photos, just do it. This stage is so fleeting and these photos and memories mean so, so much to me.

And while I mostly likely won't find the time to blog that often, I'm plenty active over on instagram if you want to pop over there to see what I'm up to.

xoxo!
Christine

Oh Baby! It's a...

BOY!!
Please meet our sweet little man
Leo Robert John
born June 2 at 3:24 pm, 9 pounds 1 ounce.

We are so in love.

birthdayboy

I'm off to enjoy this sweet little man and our new life as a family of four. Eat, sleep, poop - repeat. Throw in some toddler antics and I think things around here are about to get a bit crazy ;)

xoxo,
Christine, Michael, Alice and Leo

Pineapple Smoothie

I've been wavering between enjoying our last moments as a family of three and going insane waiting for this baby to come. I kept telling everyone I was mentally prepared to go overdue again (Alice was 10 days late) but now that it's here, I think I lied. Waiting is the worst! But such is the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy, this baby will come when it's good and ready.

I decided to just focus on the positive today and enjoy the sunshine and this yummy pineapple smoothie (with a flamingo and fancy straw because sometimes I need to justify my random target purchases).

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Recipe via Paula Deen.

1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 banana
1/4 cup ice cubes
2 teaspoons honey, optional

blend it all up and enjoy!


Cheers to the weekend and hopefully a new baby!!
Christine

Practical Gifts For A New Mom

I always hate it when other bloggers feel the need to make excuses for their absence. Not because I don't love them and miss their lovely voices out here in internetland, but because I get it. Life gets in the way sometimes and that's ok. At least this is what I've been telling myself this last month (or two).

I've been a bit preoccupied growing a little human and raising a little toddler one while I'm at it. To say I'm tired is a bit of an understatement. I've been trying to take my own advice and let the blog take a backseat lately and it's been kinda nice. Inspiration will come again and, heck, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be tired for at least the next 18 years so I might as well roll with it ;)

With that said, I'm grateful I'm not the only one going through these changes of motherhood. I've been so blessed to have numerous friends become mamas lately and I couldn't be happier. It's a challenging time and I know moms and dads can use all the help they can get.

It's fun to gift cute baby stuff but I've been erring on the side of practical these days and made up a few of these 'new mama care packages'. Here's a peek inside and some inspiration for the next time you're looking for some gift ideas:

Gift for New Mom

1) Not pictured but first and foremost, dinner: Either make something yourself or pick up a frozen something. I brought along a ready to cook frozen meal from 'Simply Supper'. Always, always appreciated.

2) A little something for baby: This can be something really small like a book or even diapers. I'd purchased these minimocs for this little babe and couldn't wait to gift them.

3) snacks: preferably something that can be eaten one handed - granola bars, snap pea crisps, mini muffins, veggies, cut up fruit...

4) treats: Something for the sweet tooth is a must in my books. These 'crybaby' cookies are go-to family staple (see recipe here). Also welcomed: chocolate, candy, wine...

5) Something cozy and cute for mama: Because you are not feeling your greatest in post-partum recovery mode, I like to throw in a cute pair of new pyjama pants. Just make sure they're nice and stretchy!!

Wrap it up in a cute reusable tote and you're set! I already have a few of these things set for myself when this baby comes (hopefully any day now!!) What's your go-to new mama gift?

Hope you have a great weekend, happy Friday!
Christine

Mother's Day and Poppy Barley

A few weeks ago Alice and I had the privilege of popping into the studio with the girls at Poppy Barley and Stephanie Pasutto Photography. Poppy Barley is a local company that creates gorgeous custom made footwear. I can't speak highly enough of these shoes - gorgeous and ethically made just for you! They are an inspiring group of peeps over there and I'm so proud to see such an awesome local company succeed.

In celebration of Mother's Day, Alice and I got to play dressup in their shoes and pretend (emphasis on pretend) to be models! It was a bit crazy (toddlers don't make the most cooperative of models) but we had so much fun and are so excited to be a part of their campaign!

650x910xPoppyBarley-MothersDay-Christine-Alice-BLOG-4.jpg.pagespeed.ic.Jsw_u6pgUR
650x975xPoppyBarley-MothersDay-Christine-Alice-BLOG-1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.IAE3HZc7hb650x464xPoppyBarley-MothersDay-Christine-Alice-BLOG-6.jpg.pagespeed.ic.vFINVsnAlX
PoppyBarley-MothersDay-Christine-Alice-BLOG-3.jpg

So cute right? Thank you so much for inviting us to be a part of this campaign and for giving me the best gift ever: photos with my babies. I will treasure these forever.

I'm over on their blog chatting about motherhood with some other lovely moms and grandmas, pop on over to see more photos and please share your thoughts too!

Wishing you all a happy Mother's Day weekend!
Christine

BONUS: Right now Poppy Barley is offering Flat Bundles: buy one pair and get $50 off your second pair until May 11th! (maybe for your mama, maybe for you ;) Use code: mothersday14

Fav Things + Mother's Day Gift Guide

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was participating in a 'Blogger's Favourite Things Exchange' just in time for Mother's Day. Jen and Stefanie organized a group of bloggers (and mamas) and we sent out packages secret santa style featuring some of our fav things.

Alex from North Story absolutely spoiled me with this package of pink, gold and crafty goodness. She put so much thought into every single piece and even threw in some handmade goodies for Alice! Dude, you get me. Thank you, thank you so much!

blogger fav things: mother's day

And if that wasn't enough, Stefanie and Jen brought on some generous sponsors that sent along some of their 'favourite things'. Seriously, it was like Christmas over here, I may just go into fun mail denial now that this is over. Spoiled. Rotten. You can see all the fun over on instagram if you search #bloggerfavthings.

I sent a few of my fav things over to Dana from House Tweaking. I had so much fun shopping for her and hope she enjoys these things as much as I do. Yes, I colour coordinated - I can't stop my nerdy self!

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'hey you're awesome' print, notebook, monogram mug, washi tape, one line a day journal, notebooks, mini latte bowls

It was an amazing opportunity to connect with other bloggers and to get some pretty darn great ideas for mother's day gifts. If you're looking for inspiration Stefanie put together this awesome gift guide featuring a few of the gifts included. So many great ideas for your mom, mom friends, or some 'hint, hints' to your husband ;)

Thanks again to Jen and Stefanie for including me. While I did get a lot of great "stuff" I really enjoyed the thought behind everything. Getting a handwritten note (ie. not bills) goes a long, long way to make someone's day. I am definitely going to find more reasons to spread the love the old fashioned way. Nothing beats some good ol' fun mail.

Happy almost mother's day. Hope this inspires you to spread the love too.
Christine


Thank you to all those involved in this fun project:
Bloggers:
Sponsors:

Happy Friday + 35 Week Bump

Exhaustion has set in again this third trimester and with this growing babe, my last month at work, and transitioning Alice into a big girl bed (oy!) things have been a bit nutty around here. Can someone have a big glass of wine for me, pretty please!?!

Alice wasn't so much into the photos (or clothes) this week, but I'm embracing it as 'keepin' it real'. Here we are at 35 weeks, getting so close!!

35 weeks - maternity

35 weeks - maternity

35 weeks - maternity


Happy Friday!
Christine

Spreading the Love...

Spreading the Love
- who knew my pregnancy craving would be so trendy? Lindsay from Penny Paper Co just released this awesome donut print (I may have squealed when I saw it :) I am so crazy about all this donut stuff popping up lately... it sure doesn't help curb the donut eating though : |

- Justine and Mike's wedding was featured on Ruffled Blog this week. I am so honoured to have attended this fun and intimate event and yes, it was as amazing, sweet and romantic as it looks. Beautiful photos by the awesome Blake Loates Photography.

- I woke up to the sweetest watercolour painting of me and my girl the other day and I could not love it anymore. Looks just like us, right? Sarah just opened up a brand new etsy shop, Hazel Ink, pop on over and check it out!

- also loving these words and this awesome mug.

Happy Friday!
Christine

photo credits: penny paper co, blake loates, sarah milne

Office Gallery Wall (+ a little how to)

I'm a huge fan of gallery walls. There is something so fun about curating a bunch of your favourite prints, art and photographs all in one little corner. This little nook in my office makes me so happy I figured it needed it's own little post. It's a combination of prints, Alice art and even framed greeting cards and was surprisingly affordable to make.

justbella-office-wide-08

I love the collected look of a gallery wall but I find they do involve a bit of planning to get it right. I usually start by laying out all my frames on the floor and playing around there until I get the look I like.

Next up I trace all my frames on kraft paper and mark the nail spots on the paper. Then it's onto the wall with tape to recreate what I had going on the floor.

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You can just hammer in your nails into your paper marks and then you're all set to hang. This is a great way to minimize all those random holes in the wall (especially for an eyeballer like me).

As you can see, I ended up switching things up a bit in the end but it's a great way to get started. I'm also a huge fan of painters tape for planning out furniture (see the tapings for my expedit shelf?)... works great on the floor too.

Office Gallery Wall

What's your strategy for gallery walls, do you just wing it? In the end, I think I did a bit of both and there are totally extra nail holes hiding behind some of those prints ;)

Sources:
'let's share our hearts, ok?': justine ma design
carousel photo: tracey ayton:
floral card: rifle paper co.
gold 'A': indigo
abstract art - an alice original 
'only happy thoughts': SS print shop:
'hooray' card: rifle paper co
'love you' watercolour: justine ma design

Christine

Click here to see the full office tour.

DIY Tissue Tassel Mobile

I had so much fun hosting a craft workshop a few weeks ago at 'Nest in the City', thank you to everyone who came to craft with me! For those of you who couldn't make it, here is the tutorial so you can make your own tissue tassel mobile at home.

I'm pretty sure I've made my weight in tassels by this point, so I can tell you they are really so easy to make, we even had some 5 year olds join us and they nailed it! If you're not in the market for a mobile the tassels also look great as a garland for party or room decor (as seen in my office here).

Let's get crafting!

DIY Tissue Tassel Mobile


supplies:
- embroidery hoop (size 8 - 12”)
- tissue paper (20x26”) - 4 sheets = 8 tassels
- scissors
- pencil
- twine, thread, or yarn

DIY Tissue Tassel Mobile Supplies

step 1:
- fold tissue paper in half and then in half again the other way.
- place tissue with fold at top and paper tall and skinny.
- cut roughly 0.5” strips stopping about a 1.5” away from the fold (don’t cut the fold).

*you can also use a paper cutter if you have one, I found that to be a bit faster (mine is kinda like this). Keep in mind it doesn't have to be perfect, the fringe is going to be all clumped together so you'll never notice.

DIY Tissue Tassel Mobile

step 2:
- unfold strip horizontally only and cut in half so you have two fringed sheets (two tassels).
- unfold tissue and lay fringe flat.

DIY Tissue Tassel Mobile

step 3:
- roll tissue down middle of sheet being careful not to tangle fringe.

DIY Tissue Tassel Mobile
DIY Tissue Tassel Mobile

step 4:
- fold fringe in half around pencil and make sure fringes line up along the bottom.
- begin twisting pencil to twirl and tighten fringe.
- remove pencil to create loop for twine.

DIY Tissue Tassel Mobile
DIY Tissue Tassel Mobile

tada! A tassel!

DIY Tissue Tassel Mobile

step 5:
- attach tassel to piece of twine.

DIY Tissue Tassel Mobile

step 6:
- attach three pieces of twine to embroidery hoop to hang mobile.
* I found it easiest to hang it up (using a screw hook like this) and then attach tassels.
- attach tassels to embroidery hoop at alternating lengths to complete your mobile.

DIY Tissue Tassel Mobile

DIY Tissue Tassel Mobile

I'm really happy with how it turned out and how it looks in the nursery! I'm hoping to see how the girls in my workshop used them in their homes too, send me a pic if you make one!

DIY Tissue Tassel Mobile

Happy crafting!
Christine

p.s. if you're in a time crunch or hey, sometimes we just get lazy you can make this project really easy and buy tissue tassel kits (they come pre-cut!). My pal, Cindy, has some great kits available here!

Happy Friday + 29 weeks!

I've been feeling the weight of a never-ending to do-list lately... and a rapidly growing babe. I think I need about 4 more hours in a day and 4x as much energy as I have now, haha. But we are getting excited and plugging away as best as we can!

Thank you all for your sweet comments on my office tour, as you can see below we have already started moving big girl bed pieces into the room. Eee, we are working on a deadline here!

maternity style: 29 weeks


Wish you a relaxing and productive weekend! Happy Friday!

Christine


Shop Girl: Michele, Blush Shop

I am so excited to introduce you to another lovely 'shop girl' today. Michele is the owner of Blush Shop, a beyond gorgeous online and storefront boutique in Guelph, Ontario. I've never actually stepped foot in her shop but this girl inspires me on a daily basis with quite possibly the most beautiful instagram feed I have ever seen (and with over 44K followers I'm not the only one who thinks she's pretty darn amazing).

She has such an incredible eye for styling and literally makes me stop in my tracks to admire her amazing vignettes. Let's all take a moment to jump into her world of pretty, shall we?

Shop Girl: Michele, Blush Shop

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR SHOP AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED?
Michele: I was commuting to Toronto and working for a company as a Visual Director for Canada for quite a few years. In 2004 I decided as much as I loved my job.. it was time to start my own adventure. Blush was created and has been in business for 9.5 years!

Shop Girl: Blush Shop

You have the most beautiful Instagram feed, has social media changed the way you do business?
M: For me Instagram is a creative outlet! I love the people and scrolling through inspirational pics everyday. Social media has definitely helped and improved the business over the years. Now we are able to connect and share pics with people from all over the world. It's pretty amazing!

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Your attention to detail and styling is impeccable, what is your best styling tip?
M: I'm a bit of a display girl.. I have always had an eye for all those little details. I'm sure everyone works differently but my best styling tip is to take your time and take a few pics... and of course...have fun with it!

Shop Girl: Blush Shop


I was giddy when I saw your little BOW trailer, tell us more about your travelling shop, Blush on Wheels.
M: After hearing many people commenting on how they wish Blush was in their city or their location... I thought... ah ha.. mobile boutique. BOW..blush on wheels was created...my vision.. my husband's hard work. We loved that we could take the Blush experience out to our customers!

Shop Girl: Blush Shop

I love how you style your goods with props and accessories (vintage phones, sewing machines, hotel luggage carts) - where do you find these unique items? Any favs?
M: Over 9 years of collecting props for the shop...you can only imagine our Blush prop room! It's a little over flowing! I usually find my goodies at Local antique markets and thrift shops. I have so many display items that I love but I think my favourite are the luggage carts!

Shop Girl: Blush Shop

What’s your typical day look like (or is there one)??
M: My days tend to change up according to what is happening at the shop. Most often I wake up around 6 am, drink coffee, walk the dogs, meditate & stretch, get ready and the three of us head into work. (my husband, Louis P and myself).

Once at work.. get the shop opened ... probably instagram my outfit! ha ha. I attend to my list for the day, blog, post pics of new products, answer customer emails, help my customers, merchandise, take a few more instagrams.. and before I know it.. it's time to head home!

BEST ADVICE TO THOSE PURSUING THEIR DREAMS?
Best advice...regardless of what your dreams are.....Work hard and always do your best!

Shop Girl: Blush Shop

FiveFaves-blush-shop

1. FAVOURITE item in your shop?
M: It changes weekly... this print top is from one of our french lines des petits hauts. Just love the colours and the way it feels on. Effortless!

2. FAVOURITE GUILTY PLEASURE
M: probably chocolate.. or something sweet!

3. favourite/go-to fashion accessory?
M: my weakness.. is shoes.. hands down.. I always have room for one more pair in the closet!

4. FAVOURITE BLOGGERS OR INSTAGRAMMERS TO FOLLOW?
M: amy_stone (IG), lucylaucht (IG), sarakatestudios (IG)

5. favourite thing to do on a day off?
M: When I manage to get a day off from the shop... I love to curl up with a good business book and cup of tea. One other thing I love to do is head to the antique market to poke around to get inspired.
--

*Sigh* So lovely, right? Michele is so sweet and talented and I'm so happy to have her here today.

She has so generously offered up some lovely goodies from her shop to one of you. Pop on over to instagram to enter to win the goodies below - lollia hand cream in WISH, shop ban.do gold star bobbi pin, and beautiful blue and grey spring scarf. Yes, please!

Blush Shop: Goodies

Pretty, pretty, pretty!

xo,
Christine

Shop: Blush Shop, 38 Quebec Street, Guelph, ON
Blog: Lovely & Chic
Instagram: @blushshop (seriously, go follow now)
Twitter: @blushshop
Facebook: Blush Shop


Check out my other 'Shop Girl' features here!