Friday, July 24, 2015

DIY Patterned Cork Boards

I spend a lot of time at my desk.  Scratch that – I spend ALL of my time at my desk.  Or at least that’s what it feels like these days, what with all the thesis writing, exam grading, grant applications, and coursework I’ve been doing.  Needless to say, my workspace simply has to look nice or I get really grouchy and the job seems much more painful! To make things look extra pretty, I made a couple of cute patterned cork boards to hold inspiration, pictures, to-do lists and whatever other junk I have lying around! They’re incredibly easy to make and are both decorative and functional… win-win, right!?

You’ll need:
  •           Old frames (the thrift store is a great place to find these – they don’t even need the glass
  •            Painter’s tape
  •            Cork roll (I picked mine up at Staples)
  •            Scissors
  •            Contact cement or other adhesive
  •            Spray paint

STEP ONE:  take your frame apart and spray paint the outside whatever colour you like! You can discard the glass, but keep the cardboard/chipboard insert because that’s what you’ll glue the cork to.

STEP TWO:  using the frame insert pieces as your guide, cut a piece from the roll of cork to fit inside your frame.

STEP THREE:  apply a liberal amount of contact cement to the cardboard backing of the frame and then stick the cork piece you cut out down on top. Smooth it out and press down firmly. (hint: if you stack some books on top of this while it’s drying, it will come out nice and flat!)

STEP FOUR:  using the painter’s tape, tape off whatever design you like best and spray paint over top. You’ll need a few coats, as the paint tends to sink into the cork a bit. For best results, allow to dry for a while between coats.

STEP FIVE:  Peel off the tape and reveal your beautiful design! Load the piece back into the frame and hang!

That’s it! So easy and totally adorable! Do you have a favourite workspace DIY project? Comment below!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Hot Apple and Cranberry Smoothie

We woke up to a fresh layer of snow on the ground this morning and our little old house was like an icebox! I tiptoed around turning ancient heaters up to maximum, starting up the fireplace, and wrapping myself in a few solid layers, but I still needed something to get the chill out of my bones. I'm a big smoothie person in the mornings, but when it's this cold I just can't bring myself to fill my belly with an icy breakfast. So I came up with a recipe for a hot smoothie! This one is made with sweet apples, dried cranberries, walnuts, and all the wonderful spices of winter. Cuddling up on the couch and sipping on this hot, sweet breakfast treat is just what the doctor ordered for a frozen morning like this one!


- 1 apple, peeled and chopped
- 2-4 tbsp dried cranberries (depending on how sweet you like it!)
- 1 tbsp oats
- 1 tbsp walnuts
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup water or milk

Optional add-ins:

- Hemp hearts
- Flax seed
- Coconut oil
- Spinach


Place all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Simmer about 5 minutes, or until apples begin to soften. Transfer the hot mixture to a blender*, or use an immersion blender to purée until smooth. Thin out with a little more water (or milk, or eggnog!) if desired, and sweeten with honey to taste!


*Note: always be very careful when placing a hot mixture in a blender, and be sure to cool the mixture to room temperature if your blender jar is made of glass! Apparently they can explode!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our Wedding

I am so absolutely thrilled to finally be sharing our wedding pictures with you! We tied the knot back in August, so I'm a little late on the upload but I figured better late than never, right? Our wedding day was the very best day of our lives and a complete dream come true. I know it sounds very cliché and cheesy, but I really think that's just what happens when 150 of your closest buddies and family members come together to celebrate with you as you marry your best friend!

Our wedding was a massive DIY undertaking - from the boutonnieres, to the desserts, to every last bit of decor... you name it, we made it. While it was a significant amount of work it was definitely one of my favourite things about the day. Spending all that time crafting and creating, and then finally seeing how it all came together at the end was such a rewarding and beautiful experience. And humbling too - I sure couldn't have done it all without the help of my leading ladies, family, and friends!  I'll be putting up some more specific, tutorial-esque posts on all the little details of the wedding later, but for now here is an overview of our day!


The Photographer
We chose the amazing Tara Peach of Tara Peach Photography to capture our day and we were absolutely blown away by the fantastic job that she did. She was so much fun to spend the day with and is such an incredibly talented photographer.

The Hair
We had our hair done by my long-time hairdresser and friend, Cassandra White of White Canvas Hair Design. We worked together to design my perfect wedding "do" and I could not have been happier with the result! I had found so many bits an pieces of wedding hair that I liked, but never a cohesive picture of what I really wanted to have. Casi made it so that I got to have the best of all of it - the flowers on one side, and the rustic leather braided into the other side, which turned out so beautifully.

The Makeup
Our makeup artist was Bri Stein of Bri Stein Artistry. She was such an unbelievably good choice! Everyone loved how they looked, we all felt natural and like ourselves, and our faces stayed put through hours of smiling, drinking, and dancing. For my wedding makeup, we chose to go with airbrush for my foundation and I highly recommend it - it was very sunny and hot on our wedding day and my face still looked flawless at the end of it all.

The Venue
We held our ceremony in my parents' backyard. Our wedding reception was held at the historic Laurel Packing House in our hometown of Kelowna, BC. It is a gorgeous old apple packing warehouse with loads of exposed wood and brick. The space is beautiful to begin with, but after stringing up thousands of twinkle lights it became truly magical. We channeled the naturally rustic beauty of our venue with the rest of our decor and the result was stunning - comfortably homey and beautifully elegant at the same time.

The Flowers
Our florist was the fabulous Heather of Mission Park Flowers by Design. To save some money, we ordered a few big buckets of cut flowers and arranged them into the centrepiece jars ourselves the night before. Our bouquets were expertly crafted and beautifully designed. We wanted the wedding flowers to feel gathered, like we had just scooped up a fistful of wildflowers and that's exactly what we got (minus the weeds and wilting and bugs!). My bouquet consisted of white Monte Casino, soft pink Spray Roses, soft peach Garden Roses, white Alstro, soft yellow Stock, and Bupleurum all tied together with a rustic twine.

The Dresses
My wedding dress was purchased at a local bridal salon and was designed by Maggie Sottero (I believe the name of the dress was Tabitha... gross). My leading ladies all chose what they would like to wear, so we had mismatched bridesmaid dresses - I simply specified a soft palette of various colours and suggested that the dresses have some lace elements. All of the girls chose beautifully! We had a group text message system going so that when each girl had selected her dress, the others would know that they had to choose a slightly different colour. For the most part, this went really smoothly and everyone was happy with their dress. I think this is the closest you can possibly get to pleasing everyone, and the result was gorgeous too!

So that's a little glimpse of our big day! Please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts to share, as I'm always happy to talk weddings!