Categories
Decor Lifestyle

Bedroom Refresh: DIY Wall Art

Hello!

Thank you for all patiently waiting as it has been quite some time since I have blogged. Not going to lie, I felt a little uninspired after Christmas and didn’t quite know what to blog about. With the weather getting warmer (It’s currently 12 degrees here in Toronto!!), I felt inspired to change some things up in the house to give the space some new life.

I am not an artist by any means – I couldn’t draw to save my life, but being crafty – well that I can do! I’ve been searching for new art to put in our apartment to give the space some life, but haven’t found anything that I loved. I’m also incredibly indecisive when it comes to decor, so spending upwards of $200 on a canvas that I wasn’t head over heels about was just not realistic. The one thing I knew for sure was that I loved water colour! Light bulb moment – I could DIY that myself. See the photos below to see how it turned out!

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Originally I had the grey pillows on the bed, but to pick up more of the blue from the canvas, I switched them out for the baby blue pillows that you see in the other photos!

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All you need to recreate a similar DIY is:

  • Canvas
  • Acrylic paint
  • Water
  • Paintbrush

I mixed 1 part paint with 3 parts water in a cup and painted! I was still able to get deeper saturation of colour by simply adding more paint directly on the canvas where I wanted it, then used water to blend it out. I’m no expert at water colour painting, but there are plenty of tutorials online. I just kept painting until I was happy with the final product. There was truly no rhyme or reason for how I achieved the final look.

Happy Painting!
lxiv

Categories
Decor Holidays Lifestyle

12 Days of Christmas: Oh, Christmas Tree

Can you believe only 5 more sleeps until Christmas? How has December flown by this fast? And, only 5 more days left to post for the 12 Days of Christmas!! I hope you’ve found some inspiration and joy from the posts so far. A huge thank you to those of you who have been following along! For today’s post, I will be sharing our Christmas Tree and some of the ornaments I added to our collection this year.

img_2056_2img_2057img_2059_2img_2062img_1814Our theme this year was metallic (lots of warm golds, bronze and silver) with classic red and green plaid with flecks of gold.I purchased the ornaments (in order) from Anthropologie (both “Merry” and “falala”), Urban Outfitters and Winners! The Christmas tree is from Canadian Tire from a few years ago.

I feel like everyone puts on their ribbon differently on the tree and at different times of the entire decorating process. I started my decorating by placing the ribbon, then adding the shiny, matte and sparkly ball ornaments and then added my special pieces in areas that were highly visible! I continue layering until I like what I see…it’s never about making it perfect – trees should be unique!

As you already know from previous posts, I love sparkle during the Holidays. It reminds me of the look of freshly fallen snow on a crystal clear night that sparkles when you look at it. I’ve also come to realize that Winter is my favourite season…Don’t be too mad at me for that!

What’s your favourite theme/colour story to decorate for Christmas? Let me know in the comments below!

Merry Christmas!

lxiv

Categories
Decor Holidays Lifestyle Photography

12 Days of Christmas: The Toronto Christmas Market #tcm16

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I always found it so interesting that people tend to already live in such amazing cities or towns but choose to travel around the world. I have lived in Toronto my entire life and have to admit that I do not know my city very well when it comes to what makes people want to travel here. I’ve been making a serious effort to explore my city and to visit some amazing places at home! This year, I was determined to go to The Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District. So, my finance, fur-baby and I ventured out on the coldest night (so far) and explored!

I was so happy to discover that dogs are allowed and welcomed at The Christmas Market! Ace was definitely a crowd pleaser in his cute little Christmas sweater. We couldn’t get very far without stopping for people who wanted to say hello to our handsome little fellow.

Our first stop (no doubt) was a Grilled Cheese station. I can’t even express in words on this blog how yummy our grilled cheese was. We ordered “Christmas Dinner” grilled cheese, which was turkey, cranberry sauce and brie. I promise to post about how to make this amazing sandwich. I have a few favourite food groups and grilled cheese is absolutely one of them!

We wandered around some more, looking at the different markets and new light displays. Overall it was a beautiful sight. I just wish there was a few more things to do…as it got a tad boring by the end and only ended spending just over an hour there. I think it would have been too cold to stay any longer anyways!

But, it’s definitely worth checking out and will certainly put you in the Christmas spirit!

Next on my Christmas Market list is Nathan Philips Square (somewhere I also have never visited!!).

Take a look at some of the photos I snapped (in between trying to keep my fingers warm – I definitely need the touch gloves for Christmas).

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What are some of your favourite places to visit during the Holidays?

Merry Christmas!
lxiv

Categories
Crafts Holidays Lifestyle

12 Days of Christmas: How to Wrap the Perfect Gift

Now that my Christmas shopping list has been checked once and almost twice, it’s time to start wrapping them! I love selecting beautifully designed wrapping paper, tying the gifts with ribbon and finishing it all off with a bow! After the final touches, I add my homemade gift tags so that I know who gets what! Gift wrapping is not always easy, so I’m showing you my tips and tricks on how to wrap the most beautiful gift!

What you’ll need:

  • Wrapping paper of your choice
  • Box
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Ribbons and Bows (optional)
  • Candle and hot chocolate for a festive touch (also, optional!)

img_1826Step 1: Roll out your wrapping paper and place your box on top. Ensure that your paper completely covers the box.

img_1827img_1829Step 2: Once you have measured, make the first cut length-wise.

img_1831Step 3: You will now make your second cut to ensure that the wrapping paper will not be too wide to make your fold for the sides of the box. My rule of thumb is that the sides of your paper should hit at approximately half of the height of the box.

img_1834Step 4: Ensure that the box is flipped upside down. Then take the longer side of the paper, fold around the box and tape to secure in the middle. Repeat with other side.

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img_1836Step 5: Turn the box so that one side is facing you. Fold down the top edge.

img_1838Step 6: Now take the right corner and fold towards the center (follow the folds that will naturally be made from Step 5). The top and right edges of the box should be smooth. Repeat for the left side.

img_1839img_1840Step 7: To make a nice, crisp point on the bottom, you can fold the excess paper (the paper that sticks out beyond the nice line you created) underneath the one fold, or you can just simply cut it out.

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Step 8: Fold the bottom point upwards towards the center and secure with tape!

img_1843Step 9: Repeat steps 5-8 on the other side!

Step 10: Final step is to use ribbons and bows to add your special touches!

img_1845img_1848Attach the tag to the gift by using the ribbon you added, or simply tape it on the box. I chose to leave extra ribbon, cut it in half and use that to tie a small knot!

img_1850img_1851There you have it! I chose to attach the bows and ribbon onto the “side” of the box to make that the top since it was a cube. However, you would normally flip the box over (especially with a rectangular shape) so that the side without any folds or tape is on top. You can repeat the same steps for any shape or size. The most important step is measuring the paper to your gift box!

What’s your wrapping style? Do you like to decorate with ribbons and bows? Or do you prefer a gift bag and some tissue paper? Let me know in the comments below.

lxiv

Categories
Crafts Holidays Lifestyle

12 Days of Christmas: Holiday Gift Tags DIY

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Every time I go to buy Christmas tags for all of my thoughtfully purchased gifts, I can’t get over the price tag! Tags are SO EXPENSIVE! I’m not just being frugal….I genuinely think that they are overpriced (yes, I know you can get some at the Dollar store…but they aren’t as pretty!). My sister and I decided last year that we were going to try to make our own tags! We loved the way they turned out, so I’m going to share how to make them with you!

Here’s what you’ll need:

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  • Bristol board (white…or whatever colour you want)
  • White glue
  • Loose glitter
  • Foam brushes
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Pencil
  • Sissors
  • Hole punch
  • Hairspray (yes, hairspray!)

Step 1: Trace out a tag template (you can find them on Pinterest for free or just hand-draw your own. Cut out the template and use this to trace onto the rest of the bristol board.

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Step 2: Cut out each tag.

Step 3: Paint each tag with the colour paint of your choosing! We chose gold as it made the tags look like they had a wood grain finish! No need to be precise – and this WILL get messy! Make sure the one side is completely dry before painting the other side of the tag.

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Step 4: Once the tags are dry, use the foam brush to apply the white glue where you want your glitter to go. We opted to only apply the glitter to the bottom of the tag. However, we have done polka-dots or other designs in the past!

Step 5: Apply the glitter! Ensure that the glue you applied is completely covered by the glitter. Tap off any excess.

*TIP* We used a plastic bag to “catch” the loose glitter so that we didn’t waste any and so that there wasn’t as big of a mess!

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Step 6: Hairspray! With an aerosol can of hairspray, spray the tags where you applied the glitter to ensure it stays in place and sets the glitter.

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Step 7: Last but not least, hole punch where you will want your ribbon or string to go through.

Simple but cute DIY and easy to get the whole family involved!

Alternatively, you can use the glitter paper that I mentioned in my Garland DIY post and cut out the tag templates. You can still paint it if you would like or leave it white!

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Stay tuned for the next 12 Days of Christmas post where I show you how to wrap the perfect gift with these tags!

Let me know if you’re going to try this DIY! I’d love to see your creations in the comments below!

lxiv

Categories
Holidays Lifestyle

12 Days of Christmas: Easy Christmas Fudge

I love to bake during the Holiday season, but sometimes I don’t have all day to dedicate to baking. This was the case a couple of days ago before I hosted my “Cookies, Cocktails and Christmas Cheer” party with my cousins and aunts! I wanted to still make something home made, but didn’t have the time to make a full assortment of holiday baked goods. Solution? Easy and quick to make treats that will impress your guests! First up for Post #2 of #12DaysOfChristmas is Cookies & Cream Fudge!

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This recipe is only 3 ingredients! Yes, you read that correctly! So simply and such a crowd favourite! I followed the recipe from Hidden Ponies Blog, check out her version of the recipe here.

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What you’ll need:

  • 8″x 8″ round or square baking dish (I used round since that’s what I had and it worked just as good!)
  • Large bowl
  • Parchment paper
  • Spatula
  • Ingredients!

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages White Chocolate Chips
  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 package Oreo Cookies (approx 20 Cookies), chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, add the chocolate chips and can of condensed milk.
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  2. Place in microwave for 45 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir. img_1924
  3. Place back in microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir.
  4. Repeat step 3 until the mixture is smooth. DO NOT OVER MICROWAVE! (I only needed to repeat step 3 once!).
  5. Chop Oreo cookies. img_1926
  6. Add half of the chopped cookies to the bowl and combine.
  7. Line baking dish with parchment paper and pour mixture into dish.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining cookies on top of the mixture in the baking dish. Press down lightly to ensure they are firmly in the mixture. img_1931
  9. Place uncovered in the fridge overnight.
  10. Remove from dish, cut into pieces and serve!

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That’s it! Do you have a favourite fudge flavour? Or easy to make holiday recipe? Let me comments below!

lxiv

Categories
Lifestyle

#30DaysToHealthyLiving Live Facebook Session

Hello everyone!

With the Holidays right around the corner and holiday parties already happening, I thought I would share a live tweeting session that I did about #30DaysToHealthyLiving with Arbonne and Peyton Mott. Peyton is a Executive Regional Vice President with Arbonne and someone who I look up to #goals!! This post was NOT paid for or sponsored in any way. I just find her super inspiring and wanted to share some of her healthy tips regardless if you use the product or not!

Below, you’ll find all of my tweets from her Live Facebook Session! Follow the link here for all of the tweets nicely curated in one place!

Happy Healthy Living! What’s your best tips for eating healthy during the Holiday Season? Leave me a comment below!

lxiv

Categories
Lifestyle

12 Days of Christmas: Garland DIY

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I’m sitting here, drinking some hot chocolate, listening to Christmas music and absolutely EXHAUSTED from working 5am-2pm on Black Friday. But, I LOVE Christmas, so I’m here writing Day One for the 12 Days (aka posts) of Christmas. Since our apartment was decorated on November 1st (yes, that early), I thought it would be nice to show you the first DIY project I worked on this holiday season to decorate our home. This is so very easy and makes such a great impact on the space. ‘Tis the season for anything with a little (or a lot of) sparkle!

Follow below to see how I made this “Merry and Bright” Garland. Since we don’t have a mantel, I opted to hang this from our large living room windows. You can make any saying you like, just cut out the letters accordingly!

What you’ll need:

  • Foam Board (1)
  • White Glue
  • Glitter (loose) or Glitter Paper
  • Hole Puncher
  • Scissors
  • X-acto Knife
  • Ribbon (Length will vary on size of your phrase. I used one role)

Instructions:

Step 1: Make the letters!

You can do this a couple of different ways. I initially was going to cut out letters from foam boards and glue on loose glitter. But, I found sheets of gold glitter paper at my local dollarstore! I printed out letters individually from a Word Document and traced them on the glitter paper. To make the letters more sturdy, I glued the paper onto foam board, let it dry overnight and then cut out the letters.

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Step 2: Prep the letters.

I bought some cream and gold ribbon for the garland. I used a hole punch to punched two holes on the outer corners of each letter.

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Step 3: Assemble the garland!

String the first letter of the first word. In this case it was ‘M’, so I threaded the ribbon through the holes and slid the letter all the way to the very end of the ribbon. Continue this until your entire phrase is on the ribbon. Don’t worry about spacing, you can fix that once it is up!

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Step 4: Decorate!

Tie or tape each end of the ribbon to your desired location. Then you can space out the letters and words to how you like it.

img_1802img_1803img_1800img_1798There you have it – a DIY Garland in 4 easy steps!

Do you have any fun DIY’s that you look forward to creating each Holiday season? Let me know in the comments below!

Merry Christmas!

lxiv

Categories
Holidays Lifestyle

The Best S’Mores Bar Recipe

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I’m sitting here dreaming of Christmas, and what better way to kick off the Holiday Season than by posting a yummy, cozy, gooey treat?! I adapted this recipe from Wine & Glue and made these on a whim! I am so happy with how they turned out. This is a simple recipe to follow and I break it down into three separate layers to complete the entire bar.

The final product is 100% messy to eat – but well worth it! I thought this would be a nice post before I kick off the 12 Days of Christmas here on lxiv. Christmas is absolutely one of my favourite times of the year. I love the cozy warm glow from the Christmas tree, to the crisp cool air and the hot beverage in a beautiful mug. It’s a time to bring people together and enjoy the company and laughter of others. Stay tuned for some fun DIY, Christmas decor, recipes, some collaborations and more!!

Follow along below to see how I made these tasty treats.

Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients

  • Graham crackers (enough to line your pan, then crush!)
  • 6 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Cookie Layer Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Top Layer Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cup mini marshmallows

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9″ x 13″ baking pan with cooking spray or coat with butter or coconut oil.

Graham Cracker Crust:

  1. Crush the graham crackers (easiest way is to put them in a bag and use a rolling pin to crush them!).
  2. Mix together the crushed graham crackers, butter and sugar. Then press onto bottom of baking pan.

Cookie Layer:

  1. In a new bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking powder.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until creamy on medium speed with a hand or stand mixer for about two minutes.
  3. Add egg and vanilla until just combined. Next, add flour mixture until completely combined.
  4. Ensure you do not handle the cookie dough too much! You will need to spread the dough on top of the graham crust. This was the trickiest part! Work your way from the corners of the pan into the middle by spreading dough in your hands and gently pressing it on top of the crust. In other words, make mini pancakes by flattening the dough between your hands and place on top of the graham cracker crust. You cannot move or spread the cookie dough once placed, as it will start to lift the crust off of the pan. Another idea would be to pipe the dough onto the crust, using a clear plastic bag and cutting a little hole in the corner.

Top Layer:

  1. Next, spread the marshmallows and chocolate chips over the cookie dough. Then pour the condensed milk.
  2. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the marshmallows turn golden brown.
  3. Wait for the pan to cool before cutting! The bars are very crumbly, so don’t be surprised if they do not cut or serve perfectly.

Et, Voila! Yields approximately 20 squares (depending on the size you cut them!).

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What’s your favourite holiday dessert? Let me know in the comments below!

 

lxiv

Categories
Lifestyle Photography

Our Fall Adventure

I’ve always grown up with dogs as part of the family. When we lost our family dog, Bear, five years ago, it was one of the hardest things I had to go through. He had been in my life since I was six years old.  Always there to greet us when we got home from school to show his unconditional love. I had always pictured my life with a dog in it, and when it wasn’t, I couldn’t help but feel like there was something missing.

We adopted Ace two years ago this coming December. I cannot tell you how much joy he has brought to our life, but more importantly how amazing it feels to love something so unconditionally. Taking care of a dog has been a lot of work and has taken a lot of patience. And I mean a lot of patience. But our training is finally paying off. Everyday there’s something new and everyday his personality shows us something new.

My favourite time of the year is Fall and dare I say Winter! I love being outdoors hiking and exploring with my fiancé and our pup. I’ve always had an attachment to nature and country-like settings as it reminds me of spending my childhood, spending summers up north at my Grandparents house.

Take a look to see our little mini photo shoot by Magic in Colours Photography.

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Ontario is so beautiful during this season. How do you enjoy fall? Let me know in the comments below!

lxiv