Poppy Barley Holiday + Just Bella Bash

I first met Poppy Barley when they approached Alice and I to be a part of the mother's day project nearly two years ago. We had such a great experience (we both loved playing dress up in pretty shoes) and I instantly connected with the kind, smart and thoughtful people behind the Poppy Barley brand (not to mention, the gorgeous shoes).

So when Kendall approached me to work with them to promote their holiday collection, I didn't hesitate one second to get on board! And the icing on the cake? They were enlisting my two besties, Andrea Hanki and Justine Ma to help bring the vision to life. Win, win!

Poppy Barley wanted to create a look that was warm, classic and inviting. I envisioned a cozy, luxurious home hit by a crazy fun holiday party with beautiful, fun script, and pops of strewn tinself and confetti. How's that for longest theme description ever? The space totally came to life in a fun, festive (but, not too "christmas'y") way and I think it's just as awesome as they are. 

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Fabloomosity came in and worked their magic on the faux mantel we installed. Love the greenery garland they created!

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Also, I can now add foot model to my resume, haha. Don't I look glamorous with my skirt tucked up above my chest? In addition to the show room decor, I worked with Caroline, Justine (hand lettering) and Andrea (photography) to style their holiday collection photo shoot. It was so much fun, though I have to say foot modelling is not as easy as it looks! Big props to all those real models out there!

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I can't thank Poppy Barley enough for entrusting me with their vision and for seeing the potential in me to bring that to life. It gives me encouragement and makes me so excited for the things to come for Just Bella Bash. As one of my first official clients, Poppy Barley will always hold that special place in my heart. Decorating, photo shoot styling, pretty shoes, confetti... this was pretty much a dream job. 

Pop on over to the Poppy Barley Magazine for more beautiful photos and a breakdown of the holiday styling plan. Be prepared to add a few things to your wish list too, I know I certainly did. (I've got my eye on you beautiful handbag. *hint, hint* Mike ;)

Big thanks to the amazing team who made this all happen - Poppy Barley, Fabloomosity, Justine Ma, and Andrea Hanki. #dreamteam

xo,
Christine

all photos by Andrea Hanki.

MADE SOCIAL. a modern craft community

I cannot thank you all enough for your warm response to my last post announcing Just Bella Bash and some fun changes going on in my life. It's a scary thing putting yourself out there and it means a lot knowing I have some great supporters. I even got a few notes from people in similar situations who were inspired by my post. If putting myself out there encourages even one person to make that scary leap, I'm a happy girl.

So I think it's safe to say I've been busy, because along with Just Bella Bash my bestie, Andrea Hanki and I have come together to create the event of our dreams and I've been bursting to tell you all about it. Introducing MADE SOCIAL - modern craft workshops designed to bring people together to meet, mingle and make stuff!

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Andrea and I have spent so much time crafting and planning parties together - kids parties, holidays, business launches - and we realized this really is more fun when done with a friend or two... or 12... and thus, MADE SOCIAL was born. We saw a need for a unique way to spend a night with some girlfriends and to bring people together in a fun and creative way.

So what is it?? Essentially it's a craft party - you come, you make something, you eat/drink, you throw some confetti in our photo booth. It's all about getting out, getting creative and having an awesome time. Not only will we be getting crafty, but it's about the party too. Each event will be uniquely styled to reflect a theme or season and have a craft project to coordinate.

What if I'm not "crafty", you say? Don't worry, these fun and easy projects are for everyone and we will provide you with everything you need to make it happen. No experience necessary!

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MAKESHOP. the social co.

A few weeks ago we hosted our first official workshop and celebrated with some amazing bloggers and talented women in our creative community. We were excited and a little bit nervous, but these girls were so kind and enthusiastic that we had an absolute blast!

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MAKESHOP. the social co.

Thank you to HollyJennaDianaJustineKasseyKassandraAmanda, Kelsy, JennaErinnLinda, and Stephanie for being there to support us and celebrate our launch! We admire each and every one of you and are so grateful for this wonderful community.

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Supporting local creative businesses is also so important to us, a big thank you to all the businesses who worked with us for our launch. Carousel Paper & Co., Confetti Sweets, Contessa French Macarons, Fabloomosity, I Love the Moon, Justine Ma, Plum Home and Design, Pura Botanicals, The Project Loft and Uppercase Press. P.S. We're giving away one of those awesome bags over on instagram.

Want to get in on the fun!? Registration for our next workshop on October 24 just opened and it is filling up quickly! Click on over to register, we would love to meet, mingle and make stuff with you!

Thank you so much for your support, see you at the workshops!
xo, Christine

photos by Andrea Hanki

Making Things Happen - Just Bella Bash

Having kids really changes your priorities. It puts things into perspective in a way I never thought possible. My time is precious and finding time to do things for myself is so rare that I've realized it is important to really make it count.

I knew I wanted to make some big changes in my life since my maternity leave with Alice, but I was scared and I just wasn't sure exactly what that change was going to be? I wanted to follow some of my creative passions and do something new and exciting yet still have flexibility and time for my family. I struggled for a really long time trying to figure out what that was. What am I good at? What do I enjoy? How can I make that a reality? [insert stressed out head spinning here]

Well, I did it. I quit my job.

OR I just didn't officially come back from maternity leave (somehow that was slightly easier). But on the whole, this move was super hard for me. I liked my job. And I loved the motion graphic design company I worked for. My boss was (is) an awesome guy. Things were good. It was creative, it was enjoyable. Making a change when nothing is essentially wrong is hard, but it was time.

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That quote above really spoke to me "You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go DO THEM". Right. What was I waiting for?? It was time to stop being so scared and just make things happen.

So, I did. I am.

I'm starting my own business.

Introducing Just Bella Bash. You know all those things I like to do? Well, I'm making them happen. Just Bella Bash is an event design and styling biz focusing on making those small (yet important) events just beautiful. I finally decided to take my love of design, parties, and decor and turn that into a reality. I'm so excited to work with some really cool people and small creative businesses and make their events look amazing. Lots of fun things happening (including a super awesome workshop collaboration I'm bursting to tell you about), I promise to share all the details soon!

I'm so, so thankful for all my family and friends who have supported and inspired me to make this decision. I've got some pretty awesome peeps in my corner including some amazingly talented, creative women that I look up to so, so much. I truly would not have done this without you. Thank you.

It was kind of a long, winding road to get here but I'm so happy with where I'm going. I played around with the idea in my head for a long time before I even spoke the words out loud. Then it became, "I WANT to start my own business" (which I still find myself saying) but you know what,  I AM starting my own business.

Eek. Sh/t is getting real and I'm so excited to follow my heart and see where it will take me.

If you're reading this, thank you for following along with me and supporting me in even the smallest possible way. Just Bella Bash coming soon!

xo,
Christine

Cozy Reading Nook with Canadian Tire

A few months ago I snuck away to Toronto to team up with Canadian Tire to promote their new fall CANVAS Home and Dining Collection

I had so much fun last time styling my glamping party for the CANVAS Patio line that I jumped at the chance to work with them again and see what they had in store for fall. I was not disappointed. There are so many great new pieces - chairs, desks, and the lighting (swoon!). Nicely done, Canadian Tire. I am so impressed with the new stylish pieces they are coming out with and the innovative ways they are promoting it. 

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For my project I was given the Xavier collection and chose to style the pieces to create a cozy reading nook. I imagined the space as that room you can escape to, either to work or curl up with a good book and a cup of tea - a mom cave, if you will. I was floating away to dreamland pinning reading nooks and cozy inspirational images. (see my pinterest board). 

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I'm so happy with how the room came together. Canadian Tire was so great at bringing my vision to life and really encouraged us to make the space our own. I think I raided every wall in my home to create that gorgeous gallery wall (there's even some Alice artwork!)! It works so well with all the elements in the room. 

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Isn't that floor lamp gorgeous?! I think this one may need to make an appearance in my home too.

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As an added bonus, I got to hang out with the beautiful, Julie and Monika. Their rooms turned out equally as stunning. I had so much fun with them and the whole Canadian Tire group and crew. Thank you all for making this such a fun (and slightly less nerve wracking) experience for me!

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Follow along on social media @canadian tire #mycanvas and please pop on over to the Canadian Tire website to check out my full project - there's video again! Eeek. 

Christine

Loving... A Touch of Wood.

We try and get outside as much as possible in the summer (trust me, huge sanity saver) and all this outdoorsy time has me inspired to jump on the wooden accessories trend. Here are a few of my faves... leave it to me to find the pretty in wood, right?


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1: 'walk in the woods' print: swell made co
2: 'never stop exploring' wooden flag: justine ma design
3: kids wooden necklace: coral and cloud
4: wooden watch: c/o jord watches (Mike got one for father's day and we love it!)
5: blonde wood water bottle: s'well
6: wood trimmed sunglasses: ray-ban
7: wood cluster earrings: kate spade
8: gentlemen's trio facial spritz: happy spritz
9: wooden notebooks: modern fort

Christine


*post contains some affiliate links

Cool Watches

Leo: Monthly Photos

A few weeks ago my little man turned one so I figured now was as good a time as any to share his monthly photos. I learned from Alice's monthly photos to have zero expectations for this project because once those kids start moving there is no turning back, haha.

This little boy certainly has kept me on my toes! It may be a bit of a gong show trying to a get a photo but, in the end, the most imperfect ones are always my fav.

Monthly Photo Collage

Who is this toddler staring out at me? *tear*

Love you, little Leo!

Mama


Hip Hop Hooray Easter

I'll be honest, I had much more productive things I could have been doing with my time a few days before Easter, but you know what, this fills my cup. The work, the laundry, the cleaning can all wait, am I right? I kept it simple with a garland for the mantel and some pre-made goodies from Pottery Barn Kids. Bonus, Alice loved everything and I'm pretty sure she doesn't notice when her laundry gets done ;)

Hip hop hooray for Easter!

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easter decor, just bella
easter decor, just bella

I swear holidays just get more and more fun as the kids age. I hope you all had a very happy easter!

Christine


Sources:
hip hop hooray garland: crafted by me
bunny garland, personalized baskets (softest ever): c/o pottery barn kids


Spring and Canadian Tire, My CANVAS

Back in January I snuck away to Toronto for an experience that was exciting, inspiring and just a little bit nerve wracking. Along with three other fantastic bloggers (VanessaJennifer, and Tanya), I collaborated with Canadian Tire and styled an outdoor room to help launch their Spring CANVAS Patio Collection.

This truly was such an incredible experience for me. The folks at Canadian Tire are so awesome. They treated us like gold and really encouraged us to bring our own style and personal touches to make the outdoor space our own.

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I created a 'glamping' inspired backyard party with lots of rustic elements and touches of glitz and glam thrown in for good measure. For me, one of the joys of summer is spending as much time outdoors as possible. As much as I'd like to say I go camping all summer, let's be honest, I don't. This little space brings all the fun without all that work. Plus, I'll take any excuse to break out the s'mores ;)

Let's pretend party in my rustic retreat, shall we?

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This project was so up my alley, I had so much fun coming up with a theme (see my pinterest inspiration board), putting my party planning hat on and, of course, getting crafty. We all know I'm no stranger to gold spray paint and this project was no exception.

I added some gold touches to mason jar mugs and created some gold jars for trail mix too. Check out that fancy tag my pal, Justine Ma whipped up for me!  Be sure to check out my DIY video on the CANVAS site for more details and for your own jars of snacks you can download this free printable of those beautiful trail mix tags (thanks, Justine!).

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I am so impressed with the quality content Canadian Tire produced and am really excited to see them work with bloggers to promote their product in such a personal and innovative way.

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This was the first time I've ever been in front of the camera on a shoot like this and, while I don't see any tv shows in my future, they did an awesome job editing probably a million flubs and rambles. It is SO hard to watch myself... I can hear the nerves in my voice. Do I really sound like that??


The weekend was definitely a whirlwind, but I had so much fun partying it up with VanessaJennifer, Tanya and Design Manager, Tracy who hails from Edmonton too (yeg, represent!). Thank you ladies and the whole crew for easing my nerves!

I left this weekend creatively fired up, totally inspired and with a wee bit of a summer shopping list as well. Please pop over to the Canadian Tire website and check out my full feature, the CANVAS line and the fantastic work from the other ladies as well.

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Now, who's ready for spring!? I know I need that fire table and a giant tray of s'mores in my life ASAP.

Christine

A Morning With Alice - "in motion" by Andrea Hanki

Guys, I feel like I should be throwing confetti over here! One of my very best friends, andrea hanki, has launched her new photography brand today and I am over the moon excited, amazed and so so, proud of her.

This girl's talent is what brought us together eight years ago when I first hired her to photograph my wedding. It has been a total of nine more sessions since then and it makes me teary thinking about all the special moments she has captured throughout our lives. I am forever grateful for the memories.

Andrea, you mean a lot to me. As a photographer and, more importantly, as a friend.
Thank you for being you.

In celebration of her launch, I'm sharing a special little 'in motion' film that she made for us almost a year ago when Leo was still warm in my tummy. It is a 'day in the life' right before our little family of three became four. It makes me so, so happy and I pretty much cry every time I watch it.



Please pop over to the new www.andreahanki.com, it's pretty special.

Congratulations, Andrea! Love you to bits!

xoxo,
Christine


Pink Dino Terrarium + Edmonton Home & Garden Show Giveaway

Meet my "pretty prehistoric pink" terrarium. The Edmonton Home & Garden Show hosted a lovely terrarium making event last night and, in spite of my notorious black thumb, I had so much fun digging in the dirt and getting creative!

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Luckily, I don't have to worry about keeping this one alive because, along with all the other fantastic terrariums created, it will be auctioned off at the Edmonton Home + Garden Show with all proceeds going to the Edmonton Public Library's 'Welcome Baby' program. We received one of these amazing packages when Leo was born and I'm so thrilled to help support early literacy and such a fantastic program. Be sure to check it out at the show and bid on my pink dinos!

The show takes place March 19 - 22 and I have four tickets to giveaway that include VIP seats plus a meet and greet with Paul Lafrance, the main presenter and host of HGTV's Deck Wars.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest ends Sunday, March 15 at midnight.

Good luck!
Christine

Loving... Backpacks

The other day Alice and I went out to the rec centre and I threw all of our stuff in one of her backpacks. It was quick, it was easy and it was amazing. Oh man, I see why they invented these things! It was so handy to be hands free! I've noticed that they've been making a bit of a comeback and there are actually some pretty stylish options out there.

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1: leather rucksack: zara
2: floral backpack: bagdori, etsy
3: striped backpack: bagybags, etsy
4: matt & nat backpack: chapters indigo
5: herschel khaki sequence backpack: east dane
6: 'ellie' vegan backpack: nordstrom
7: leather backpack: kokosina, etsy
8: fiorelli backpack: asos

I have to admit, it makes me pretty happy when style meets function. Anyone else rediscovered the joy of a backpack?

Christine


*post contains some affiliate links

I Only Have Eyes For You Valentine's Printable

I'm purposely ignoring the fact that I haven't blogged in um, months and moving straight on to the fun that is valentine's day! I love all the hearts, I love all the colours and I love getting crafty. I couldn't miss this one.

I came across these googly eye rings at Michael's and thought they'd make a super simple valentine's day card. I ended up doing a day before the preschool party collaboration with my friend, Andrea who is creative, inspiring, talented.... and, like me, pretty good at procrastinating. We make a pretty great team.

We designed these cards together and attached the rings with some washi tape. They turned out pretty darn cute (and I got all super sappy watching Alice actually sign her name on them)!

i only have eyes for you - free printable valentine
i only have eyes for you - free printable valentine

If by chance you're still in need of a valentine (technically, it is tomorrow) we created a free printable for you to download here! So you're either just set for this year or really prepared for next year. Either way, Andrea and I wanted to spread the love.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Christine

photo credit: bottom three photos by andrea hanki