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

Categories
Beauty Holidays Lifestyle Photography

Mermaid Makeup Look + Photoshoot

Looking for a last minute easy Halloween costume? Look no further! At the end of the summer my sister and talented photographer at Magic in Colours Photography, Christina, put together a ‘colour-bomb’ photoshoot. Each model had a theme and a colour story such as Galaxy (pink and purple) and Sunset (red, orange and yellow). My theme was Mermaid. AMAZING. With my love of makeup and doing makeup for others, I immediately volunteered to create the looks! The photos turned out so well. You should definitely take a look at her Facebook page to check out some of her other photography shoots!

Take a look below to see how they turned out along with instructions on how to recreate the look.
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As for the Mermaid makeup…here’s what you’ll need:

  • Aqua, turquoise, navy blue, green and purple eye shadow
  • Black eyeliner
  • Mascara
  • Fishnet Stockings
  • Highlighter
  • Blue lipstick (optional: I used the eye shadows to create the lip look!)

I started the look by creating a smokey blue eye, defining the lashes with eyeliner and then applying many coats of mascara. I then placed the fishnet stockings where I wanted to add the effect of scales and dusted a layer of light blue and then added deeper tones such as the green and purple. I found it easier to wet the brushes so that the eye shadow stuck well to my face! Once the scales were in place, I added a blue lip to tie the whole look together. Since I did not have any blue lipstick, I simply wet the eye shadows on the back of my hand with a lip brush and then applied directly to my lips. I added highlighter on the high points of my face and lightly over the scales to add some sheen and dimension.

For my hair, I wanted it to look wet and slicked back, as if I had just surfaced from the water (did I mention I have a really big imagination?). So I used gel and mousse to slick my hair back with a comb and hair sprayed it in place. I used a couple of bobby pins to keep some stray hairs from slipping out. But overall, the look was very simple to do.

The shots definitely speak for themselves! They turned out great.

Fun fact: the shoot took 10 times longer than planned because wasps were attracted to the colour bombs and we had to keep running away! Okay…I had to keep running away…they are my #1 fear!

For a more detailed guide on how to recreate this look check out this video here by one of my favourite beauty bloggers, Melissa Alatorre. Want the outfit too? Check out Lauren Conrad’s DIY post here.

What are some of your favourite Halloween costumes? Leave me a comment below!

Happy Halloween!

lxiv

Categories
Crafts Decor Holidays Lifestyle

Must Have Items for Fall Decor

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With October in full swing, I wanted to show you some of my fall decor pieces that I purchased this year to decorate our home. I like to find a good deal – so most (if not all of these pieces) were found at local vintage shops, Winners or the good old local Dollarstore! I like to change accessories throughout our space since I am constantly switching things up! I can’t help but be a little indecisive with decorating. There are just too many different options and I happen to love them all. So finding great deals on items are definitely worth it for me.

Below are my Top 6 Must Have Items for fall decorating!

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1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

1. YouTube Fall Tutorials

I love browsing YouTube to get inspired for upcoming seasons! I usually skim through until I see a thumbnail that grabs my attention and then eventually end up on a never-ending spiral of YouTube videos.

2. Fake Florals

I purchased those potted plants at The Real Canadian Superstore at the end of last season, but you can find similar ones at Ikea or your local craft or dollarstore. I opt for fake flowers because I can re-use them year after year for different purposes. Real flowers are costly and they do not last as long! This way I can have the look all season long without having to constantly purchase new flowers.

3. Scented Candles

These are a definite MUST HAVE item for any season. I purchased my “Pumpkin Clove” candle last year from Anthropologie along with the mercury votives. If you’re looking for a great scent, their Pumpkin Souflee Candle by Boulangerie is the perfect scent for fall.

4. Fall Garland

Adding a string of garland is an easy way to spruce up your home without going overboard. Best part again is that they can be reused in so many different capacities. I used my garland on our TV stand, but you can use it on your table, above a doorway – anywhere really!

5. Fall Table Runner

This year I decided to purchase a table runner instead of a full table cloth. I love the natural wood of our dining table and wanted that warmth to show through. I purchased the table runner at my local Homesense. They always have so many options to choose from to suit your colour story.

6. Fall Prints

I find a lot of my prints online for free from Pinterest, where the artist has allowed people to print and share them as long as they do not sell them or make any profit from them! Like I said, I change things up often, so it makes more sense to print them at home than to spend a lot of money on prints that I will eventually recycle. You can get the Fall Compass Print here and the Thankful Print here.

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Frames from Ikea.
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Print from Chicfetti.com

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I love changing up our home for fall. The crispness of the weather, wool sweaters, hot apple cider, warm blankets, scented candles and the changing leaves are just a few things I love about Fall, so it just makes sense to give my home that same inspired feeling!

What are some must have fall decor items on your list?

PS. Here’s a cozy little fall inspired picture with the pup!

lxiv

Categories
Crafts Lifestyle Wedding

Floral Monogram DIY

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With my wedding day officially selected (October 2017) I have been on Pinterest for embarrassing amounts of time searching for crafts, colour schemes, DIY projects, anything wedding or decor related.

Creative projects are not new to me as I’ve been crafting, knitting, sewing, woodworking and all of that fun creative stuff since I was young. I was privileged to have grandparents who taught me a lot about what I know about ‘Doing It Yourself’.

This time around, I wanted to create large monogram letters made of flowers. Since I am doing this DIY so far in advance (and also on a budget) I opted for fake flowers. This way they will not only last until next October, they will also be easy to store!

Follow along to see how I did it myself with these floral monogram letters! This is perfect for a fall wedding (or even just as some fall decorations). You can switch up the flowers and colours to suit whatever season or occasion you want them for!

I was able to get all of the materials I needed from my local Dollar Store here in Canada. You can also get these supplies at any craft store near you.

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What you’ll need:

  • 3 Foam Boards
  • 1 Foam Paintbrush
  • Gold Paint
  • Fake Flowers (LOTS!)
  • Hot Glue Gun

Step 1: Trace or sketch your letters onto your foam board. You can make your letters as large or small as you prefer. I wanted mine to be fairly large as they will be acting as a backdrop on our entry table.

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Step 2: Cut out your letters! I found it a lot easier to cut out the letters with an X-ACTO knife.

Step 3: To ensure the white colouring on the foam board didn’t show through, I opted to paint the cut-out letters with gold paint. Since the paint is just to soften the stark white background, it does not have to be perfect!

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Step 4: Take all of the stems off of the flowers! It’s easier then you think! All you need to do is pull the flower off of the stem since they are not glued or permanently attached. I also removed some of the leaves off the stems to be able to layer those in where necessary.

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Step 5: Glue the flowers onto the letters.


*Tip: You can use the little stem still attached to the flower as a “pin” by pushing it down into the board where you want it to go, then fill that hole with hot glue and secure!

*Tip: Set your large flowers first and then build off of that. It was easier to arrange the flowers in mini clusters and then fill in afterwards.

Continue with Step 5 until your letters are full of flowers! Here’s what the final project looks like.

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Here’s a little snap of our dog, “Ace”. You can follow him on Instagram @ace_the_red_dog!

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Have any other creative DIY ideas? Share in the comments below!

Happy Crafting!

lxiv