10.27.2014

DIY Air Plant Makeover

I finally gave in a little while ago to the succulents trend. Specifically, air plants. There's a woman who sells them at my local farmers market and they're beautiful and apparently hard to kill. With my black thumb, I figured it was worth a shot. And I was so right! 

Watering an air plant is both incredibly easy, and in my case, incredibly annoying. The plant came with some decorative fake moss and a couple of shells. All set up, it was absolutely adorable. But watering it meant taking out the plant and shoving it back in, causing everything to shift in the container (vase? Maybe I'll call it a vase) and be less cute. Watering it twice a week meant readjusting all the little pieces twice a week, and I'm far too lazy to do that.





So. In keeping with my love of gnomes and fairy realms, I wanted to add some whimsy to my plant while also making it less annoying to water. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a post a few months ago about my mini air-plant makeover.  It went a little something like this.




I started by emptying the vase. Then I cut a piece of clear plastic from my scrap stash slightly smaller than the base of the vase to use as a base (I think it's a scrap of laminating plastic). I also tried using some craft foam, but I preferred the clear base for my clear vase. It's also very flexible which helps to squeeze it into the vase.





Using hot glue, I attached the moss to the plastic circle. I then positioned and attached the decorative items to the moss. My choice decor were the shells it came with and amazing toadstool beads I purchased on Etsy.




Folding the base slightly, I put it back in the bottom of the vase and shoved the air plant back in. Voila! An extra cute air plant that keeps it looking adorable at all times. And all it cost was a dollar or so in buttons!




This plant is the perfect little accent for my guest room/library which is almost ready for its big blog reveal (you can read a bit more about that right here).


Have you given any house plants a makeover? I'd love to hear your stories!



SOURCES:
Air plant teardrop terranium - The Urban Bird
Toadstool beads - Super Draven on Etsy

10.24.2014

Friday I'm in Love: Spaceships and Laserbeams

Hallowe'en is only one week away! I hope you are all as pumped as I am to fatten the neighbourhood kids up with candy after luring them to your home. It's the one day of the year Hansel and Gretel would have had the right idea. Also, kinda creepy.


In honour of this wicked awesome holiday being so close, I am featuring Canadian party kit goodness designed by Stephanie of Spaceships and Laserbeams. If you aren't familiar with Spaceships and Laserbeams--you are missing out. The shop has everything you need to throw an awesome party, and with themes that won't make boys pout.

Here are some party kits that would make for an awesome kid-friendly Hallowe'en--worth making a quick purchase of today, or something to keep in your back pocket for next years festivities:







Check out the Spaceships and Laserbeams here:
Website: http://spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com/
Etsy Shop: spaceshipslaserbeams.etsy.com
Twitter: @SpaceshipsLB


Happy haunting!

10.20.2014

Dia de Muertos: Menu and a lazy Horchata recipe

For those following me on Instagram, you were privy to photos of the dinner menu I put together for my fella's birthday. Over the last few months, we have developed a bit of a romantic relationship with all sorts of Mexican food, and so I carried that love into his birthday dinner. I couldn't resist following up last week's Dia de Muertos post with the full details (scroll down to the end for a Horchata recipe).




After having a beautiful sugar skull clock custom made for him, I knew a subtle Dia de Muertos themed evening was pretty much the greatest idea ever. Nothing like a good gift to set me up for a themed adventure! I ordered a cute little party banner from Kiwi Tini on Etsy, draped a cute scarf and fabric over my table, put a fun Mexican dance/salsa mix on Songza and voila! My kitchen oozed with colourful, spicy atmosphere.




Here is a shot of the menu I doodled for the occasion:




After a few requests for recipes, I thought I'd be a doll and put all the links in one place. Below are the menu items and the links to the websites/blogs I found them on. For once in my life, I followed recipes pretty closely and so there are limited substitutions to report!! The one exception is the Horchata rice pudding--see notes below for details (and my take on a Horchata recipe).

If the thought has crossed your mind to host a Dia de Muertos dinner party for Halloween this year, look no further than this menu:




Dia de Muertos Themed Dinner Menu


Drink:
Pomegranate Mojito Mocktail (via www.soberjulie.com)


Starter:
Gorditas "Little Fat Ones" (via www.justapinch.com)
with chorizo cooked in red wine, queso fresco, pickled red onion, radish, and tomatillo salsa



Main:
Pulled Pork Burritos (via www.simplyrecipes.com)
with refried black beans, guacamole, shredded cabbage, queso fresco, homemade salsa fresca and lime crema


Dessert:
Mango Horchata Rice Pudding (via www.bhg.com) **Recipe for Horchata Below

Banana Taquitos (via www.afewshortcuts.com)



The entire menu was amazing. Gorditas are my new obsession, and I suspect my new dietary staple. 
So. In. Love. 

Despite all the yumminess, I highly recommend the Horchata Rice Pudding recipe from Better Homes and Gardens... I made mine dairy-free using homemade sweetened condensed coconut milk and an easy Horchata "hack" that I am absolutely in love with. Scroll down for the recipe!





After researching what Horchata is, and the best ways to make it (this post from Noshon.it is amazingly detailed), I decided on a short cut that would do in a pinch. I used the ratio from the Nosh post to come up with a quick solution that required only a mason jar.




In a 1L mason jar, I mixed 3 parts almond milk to one part rice milk, and added two cinnamon sticks. I then closed it up, gave it a shake, and refrigerated it overnight. In the morning, I had a delicious mild Horchata that was the perfect base for a spiced rice pudding.



Lazy Horchata Recipe
(Loosely adapted from Noshon.it

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups Almond Milk
  • 1 cup Rice Milk
  • 2 cinnamon sticks


Materials:
  • 1 Large (1L) mason jar

Directions:

  1. Add almond milk, rice milk, and cinnamon sticks to mason jar.
  2. Close the jar and shake gently. Refrigerate at least overnight, or up to two or three days. 
  3. Serve cold with ice, or use in recipes like rice pudding.
Makes 1L (just enough for the Rice Pudding!)


Enjoy!



10.17.2014

Friday I'm in Love: Bones Nelson



If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am hella in love with Mexican folk art and Dia de Muertos culture overall. My fella brought sugar skulls in to my life, and from there an obsession began. An obsession with incredible food and vacation ideas. In other words, an obsession with no downside.


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The awesome sugar skull clock I had made for #dougalove's bday present. This baby is beautiful.



While planning the perfect Dia de Muertos birthday dinner (details coming soon!), I stumbled upon an awesome Etsy shop with Rockabilly Dia de Muertos style art. The store/artist goes by the name Bones Nelson and totally rocks my world.

The style is vivid and unique, and the characters/stories the pictures tell are fascinating. There is a wonderful blend of colour, culture and cuteness that I absolutely can't get enough of.

Halloween is still two weeks away, so if you order asap it might not be too late to get your hands on some of this awesome art to have a classy Dia de Muertos celebration of your own.

Here are a few of the beauties I have my eye on:

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Check out the Bones Nelson shop here: bonesnelson.etsy.com and follow the artist on Twitter here: @nelsonfineart


Happy Friday!

10.14.2014

DIY Wall-Mounted Holiday Dining Table

Happy Tuesday World!!

As you may have heard, we just had Thanksgiving long weekend in Canada. I had an amazing weekend with family, fully catered by yours truly and my kitchen-smart fella. I have zero pictures of the end results, but I promise it was delicious. We even threw together this brussels sprouts recipe from Megan at Stetted blog last minute and it was delightful!

For once in my blog life, I am not here to brag about the food I ate. Instead, I am here to talk about the surface we served the food on.



It always blows my mind seeing pictures of large family gatherings where everyone appears to be eating on one long table that seems pretty permanently fixed within the house. Let's face it. I have a small house (square footage-wise) and don't host a lot of formal dinners. Devoting an entire room to a ginormous table for hosting Thanksgiving dinner seems like something I would be all for... but I do have a shred of sense left in me. In a pinch, I wanted to be able to turn my living room into a room big enough for family dinners--which, in my world, usually means space for between 12 and 20 people. But I have to be able to live my life the rest of the time!

After seeing a post on Apartment Therapy about mounting a folding table to the wall, I came up with a similar solution: a wall-mounted table top for use on special occasions/holidays.




After deliberating material options, I finally decided on unstained cedar planks. It adds a bit of rustic charm in a dining setting, and the wood is super light and resilient (not to mention smells amazing).

To make the tabletop, I went to Home Depot and picked up six thin planks of 8"x10' cedar and a couple of 1"x4"s. Boards/planks of whatever length and width to suit your purposes will also work. Sand down the rough edges before beginning, since you will probably avoid that task like the plague once it is on the wall.




To make the tabletop, I laid the 8x10's down on two sawhorses, and cut the 1x4s so they would fit perpendicular to the cedar boards, stopping mid-board on the ends. Using basic wood screws, I attached the 1x4s to the cedar, using two screws per plank. I made sure to keep the boards as tight together as possible to avoid gaps. 

I then attached two metal french cleats to the underside of the table top and to the wall. The packaging for the cleat states they can hold up to 150 lbs, and I would be shocked if this table weighed even 50 lbs. I erred on the side of caution by using two cleats to balance the weight and give me some added peace of mind. I originally planned on making my own french cleat out of wood using 2x4's, but I don't have any fancy saws. So, I shelled out the extra $20 for metal ones.

Below is a shot of the tabletop on the wall, and off the wall where you can see the cleats. You can also see my weirdly placed vent. One of the perks of having an old house.



The tabletop sits on top of a smaller table in order to create enough surface area for eight or more people. Last year, we sat 17 bodies around it, and this year we only needed 12 and it was an easy fit. I'm sure with a bench or something to conserve space, we could easily fit a full 20 people around the table for a holiday dinner. We aren't afraid of getting cozy in my family.




Now, as with any improvised system, there will be downsides among the perks.

Downside number one: this table is not as wide as your standard table. I keep the turkey etc on my smaller every-day-use table in the kitchen for serving purposes, and the table itself is strictly plates and elbows. I made use of a console table to hold extra napkins and cutlery within arms reach (and to make a pretty display of it with the Sea & Lake print that I won!).

Downside number two: Any table with this tabletop added to it will completely eat the room it is in. My living room, as you can see in the pictures, was devoured by table. I measured the max length before deciding on a ten foot table... And I lucked out when I realized I could fit it in the room two different ways (last year it was the other way, to fit more people).

Downside number three: This is not something that is easily taken down or put back up alone. If you don't have backup, this might not be the best solution for you.

Downside number four: There will be no table dancing on this bad boy... which may or may not be an issue in your family. Keep small children and intoxicated adults from jumping on the unsupported sides and you should make it through your gathering injury-free.





I've been playing with the idea of painting a quote or image on the cedar, to jazz it up a bit when it is on the wall. But there is something nice about the simple wood grain, so I haven't touched it. Do you have any ideas for whether I should add a design or keep it plain wood?? Would love to hear your thoughts!


10.10.2014

Friday I'm in Love: Thanksgiving Roundup

Happy Friday! Happy Friday-before-Thanksgiving (in Canada)!!!!

Thanksgiving is my favourite. By far. Pumpkins and happy thoughts and yummy food and twenty people in my house.... my favourite!



In honour of Thanksgiving, here are a few Etsy finds that will extend the cozy Thanksgiving vibes into what is left of the fall.


{Pumpkin Patch Sisters Print via The Poppy Tree}


{Cinnamon Orange Soap via Soap Utopia}


{Pumpkin Spice Perfume Oil via The Green Alchemist}


{Apple Tarte Loose Leaf Tea via LuxBerry Tea}



Also--just for fun--here is a gem you might not have realized is on the interwebs.




Happy Thanksgiving!!