Spice Drawer Makeover: Is Organization the Spice of Life?

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I’ve been meaning to get some organizing done this summer and finally got down to business. I love to organize, or more importantly love the feeling of an organized house. It’s something I got into years back, probably the same time Martha Stewart was in her heyday. It can become a bit overwhelming once you start, I felt like I needed to do everything all at once. This can definitely lead to some ‘over-organization,’ or unnecessary time spent. Taking the time to think through the best, most creative plan of attack for those untamed and unruly junk drawer pays off in the end. You need to plan to avoid overdoing it, i.e., if you find yourself labeling a clear glass mason jar that holds pencil crayons… ‘pencil crayons,’ you’ve gone too far. The bottom line is that organizing, if done right, can really make you feel happy and more comfortable in your home. It has to fit your lifestyle and usually reflects how you use objects, making your everyday life easier.

Always start with a huge purge. Recycle and donate anything you are not using or has no sentimental value. Then figure out a plan.

My most recent master plan to organize my spice drawer had me really rubbing my hands together. I could definitely justify using the label maker which got me pretty enthused. I knew the current system I had wasn’t working but it did take time to settle on a new way to organize. Now I’m going to sound like a true infomercial. “Tired of always sifting thought the dozens of little spice bags stuffed in your pantry?” That’s me. I had a system in place where I would buy those little bags, and stuff them into a large Ziploc in my cupboard and just fill up my spice containers as needed. The bags were always falling out, looked so unkempt and I ended up buying duplicate spices because I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Worse was the spices in unmarked plastic bags from the bulk store. Trying to identify those was a nightmare, I’d open the bag take in a sniff and end up with cayenne pepper in my nose for the whole day.

Let’s start. This kitchen drawer is filled with sturdy plastic containers from an organization store. To get the best fit for these I took the inside measurements of the drawer and taped together several large pieces of white paper to replicate the size. I took it into the store and laid it out on a table and started to play with different sized containers and configurations until I found the best use of space. When I got home they fit perfectly!

 

I had previously used magnetic spice tins with twist lids that dispensed in two areas. Over time, with friction, they became impossible to twist and open so I needed a better system. I don’t often shake spices, I’m either measuring or pinching so I found jars with screw tops. I found these white ones at the dollar store and liked that they were a thick sturdy glass with clear lids.

 

I went to town with my label maker and was in my glory neatly labeling all of my containers. I love my label maker, its compact and easy to use but let’s be real, the option to have a border with rounded corners is the draw of this machine.

The bags of spices never fill up my little spice containers so I got these mini mason jars for the overflow spices left in the bags.  I put thought into this step. It could easily have gone one of two ways. It could end up being brilliant or go to the other side, the overly obsessive world of organizing (two spots for the same spice?) It ended up working great, when the mason jars are empty it’s time to add the spice to the shopping list.

 

I wanted to highlight some of my favorite gadgets that I try to keep organized in this drawer, the list is below.

  1. Grams tools -these cooking and baking tools are antiques and bring back so many memories. I can’t say I use them often but making space for them reminds me of cooking with gram and makes me happy
  2. Silicone lids -I use these in the summer to cover drinks outside, I have larger ones to cover leftovers and they are a great alternative to saran wrap
  3. Measuring Spoons -Having several sets helps when cooking for a crowd and the metal set I like for baking to run a knife across for precise measuring
  4. Garlic Rocker -This is the best way to mince garlic. I remember the old ones with the box-style end that was impossible to clean, this one is so easy to clean and works so efficiently
  5. Sporks & straws -I love a good Spork and they are for more than just camping. I use them for work lunches, regular flatware always seems to get mis-placed in bagged lunches but these bright little guys always come home. Sometimes a certain drink calls for a straw, these are fun and can be used over and over again.
  6. Measuring spoons -I always break the set up and separate the tablespoons, so I can have easy access to them

 

I’m off to work on a few more summer projects, hope you are having a great summer!

Lv, Julie♥

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Canada Day Brunch or Lunch Tablescape

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Tomorrow Canada turns 150 years old! It’s been fun over the past few months seeing themed displays, décor and gift items in stores to commemorate this special event. I had never really decorated for Canada Day, I’ve just celebrated by going to a cottage, watching fireworks or having a simple BBQ for the long weekend. There were never any decorations beyond a few flags. This year more than anything I felt inspired to go all out and have fun and be festive.

I have a philosophy on tablescapes, decorating and planning for special occasions. The theme for my blog is to ‘enrich the everyday.’ I have always felt that setting a nice table and putting effort into special occasions makes for a more memorable experience. Simply put, living life to the fullest also means going the extra mile with creativity. The trend of minimalism looks amazing, clean and polished but you can go too far in stripping too much away. By ‘keeping it simple,’ it can also end up feeling incredibly void of personality. Placing a value on ambiance puts more importance on the event itself and always creates a fun and meaningful atmosphere.

On Canada Day it’s our 10 year anniversary. My husband and I have been married for 2 years and have known each other since we were teenagers but didn’t start dating until July 1st 2007. We’ve got some plans for that but will definitely head over to a community fireworks display for some Canada Day celebrations!

I thought it would be fun to put together a little mock tablescape as I was so inspired with all the excitement surrounding the 150th this year. I’ll use some of the elements on the day of but really just wanted to share in all of the excitement and show some ideas for a Canada Day brunch or lunch.

I’ve never bought Canada Day decorations so I checked out some party stores, grocery stores and dollar stores for inspiration. I started by finding a cute wood utensil box at Winners with a gold flag on the side which I knew could be used for years to come. I got a few more small things and decided to make my own garland. I mostly used things I already had in the right colors, putting together a table that was more what Canada was to me than all red and white.

Instead of using the plastic garlands I saw at most stores when out and about I decided to make a more sturdy paper garland that I could get multiple uses out of. I stumbled upon some Canadian flag playing cards and knew they would work. I simply glued two cards together, punched two holes and then strung them with some red and white bakers twine. I thought it was pretty inexpensive and quick for something with such a big impact.

 

The utensil container I found worked well for holding straws, water and a simple mason jar of wild flowers. When thinking of what Canada means to me, I’m reminded of my childhood cottage. Summers up in Carnarvon, Ontario on beautiful Lake Boshkung will forever be etched into my mind as the place that makes me feel most like myself and so proudly Canadian. The landscape in Ontario’s north is so unique to Canada that my mind always goes there..any cottage really… when thinking ‘Canadian.’ I always picked wildflowers for dinner every summer and still have the vase I used. It’s been glued back together but I will always treasure it for the memories. 

 

I love this Canada tray that I got last year from Indigo. You can still buy the navy version, check it out here.

 

I found a little maple leaf cookie cutter and used it to cut out some cute watermelon slices!

I also used my Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) napkins as there is not a fabric more quintessentially Canadian. They are the same stripes used on the famous HBC wool blanket used for over 200 year in homes across Canada and passed down generation by generation.

My wood chargers, place card holders and napkin rings really tied everything together for that Canadian cottage feeling.

I loved sharing this tablescape! It was so much fun to create I was on cloud nine through the whole process! I’m feeling patriotic and ready to share in the big day, I can’t wait to make decorating for Canada Day a new tradition!

Hope you have fun on Canada’s 150th birthday!

Lv, Julie♥

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DIY Personalized Floppy Beach Hat

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Last year we had a pretty hot summer. As always I slathered on my sunscreen not caring how ridiculous I looked and wore my extremely thick white-patched layer with pride. I set out to the beach and quickly realized my sunscreen just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I am a self-tanner now but sometimes you can’t protect yourself enough. I made up my mind, I needed to finally become a hat person.

Last summer I saw so many amazing personalized floppy beach hats with initials, ‘cutesy,’ expressions and color options. Most were inspired by designer Eugenia Kim’s amazing over-sized hats with sayings such as ‘Talk to the sand,’ ‘Greetings from,’ or ‘Do not Disturb.’ They were an instant trend (check them out here) and became so popular for their sequined relaxed script writing and simple black band of ribbon. Since then many versions have popped up on Etsy and have been recreated on bloggers websites.

Last fall I set out to make my own, I wanted to try making a version with a lighter colored script, something a bit less of a contrast. I got the idea to use rose gold colored sequins (they look gold in the photos) with a pink ribbon just to make it my own. I knew hand stitching on the sequins would be the most durable and long-lasting option but that method was way out of my wheelhouse. Since I decided to try gluing my first hat I didn’t want to invest too much money in an item I know won’t last too long. I ordered a floppy straw hat, sequins and ribbon all from AliExpress. Their orders take a long time to be delivered (over 3 months for these items) but in Canada it’s really hard to find unique colors and sizes of ribbon and craft supplies that are readily available in the U.S. This was definitely the way to go and I was so happy with the quality of what I received.

I decided to use a glue gun to attach my sequins, although next time I will try jewelry glue as someone suggested online. The heat of the glue changed the color of some of the sequins and there wasn’t much chance to adjust the placement of them as they dried so quickly. Here are some step by step instructions on how I made my own personalized beach hat.

Step 1: I started by printing out several photos of hats I liked online. I tried to find as many letters in the alphabet as possible in the script I wanted as a reference guide for my sequin placement.

 

Step 2: I wrote out my expression ‘Julie on holiday,’ several times on scrap paper just to get used to how I would like it to look.

 

Step 3: Looking at my reference photos, I started to play with the sequin placement one letter at a time until each letter looked good (lesson learned…you will see in the photos I didn’t leave enough room for my ‘y,’ I think I got too excited! I caught it early enough to make some adjustments)

 

Step 4: I carefully traced under the strand of sequins with a thin  marker just to have a guide of where to glue (this is a very tricky step as the sequins move around so much). This needed to be done section by section. I traced a small part, glued it and laid down the sequin strip. The hat took a long time to complete but it really is better to go very slow.

 

Step 5: I removed any glue gun ‘webs,’ and took a few loose sequins and glued them over places where a sequin had been covered in glue or damaged by the heat. This step really made a huge difference in some areas

 

Step 5: Cut the ribbon to fit with some overlap. Fold under one end and glue the rough edge. Glue one end over the other (covering the remaining rough edge) and make sure it is fairly tightly fit around the hat. I first tried adding glue over the entire ribbon which led to sections buckling so just gluing in one spot at the end looked the best.   

 

Step 6: Leave the hat until it fully dries and go back and touch up any areas that didn’t fully stick. I found the first letter of my name when the glue gun wasn’t very hot, didn’t hold up so well.

I’m so happy with the results of this hat! It is delicate and is not the type of hat you can just ‘throw in a suitcase,’ or in a beach bag as I’m sure the sequins would come off. That’s why Eugenia Kim’s bags are not cost effective…hand-sewn sequins…need I say more? I’ve got plans to make another one in different colors, I hope this inspires you to make your own beach hat too!

Happy Hat Making!

Lv, Julie♥

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Spring Brunch Tablescape

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Spring is here and I’ve been pretty excited about it! I’ve opened all the windows, started to use the BBQ and am keeping an eye out for buds to appear on our new backyard trees. When you live in a new subdivision, new trees are more exciting than you think-believe me! Spring has never been my favorite season though. I love the summer and fall but find spring is always so damp and dreary. It’s a great season to prepare for the few short months of warm weather we have. The term ‘spring cleaning,’ really embodies making the most of the season by planning and tidying up outside, in anticipation for the warmer and longer days ahead. More so than January I find spring is about renewal, a true fresh start and the promise of many summer adventures and memories outdoors. There’s also nothing that lifts my spirits more in the Spring than strolling around a garden center or nursery, seeing whats new and planning color schemes for my hanging baskets and urns. I just love seeing all those little plants starting out amidst a sea of color and thinking about how beautiful they will look in everyone’s garden.

With all my spring thoughts in mind I put together a little tablescape for a seasonal brunch. I love that its a time of year when pastel tones can take center stage. I’m rarely a fan of just a ‘hint of a color,’ or overly bright colors, preferring colors somewhere in the middle in milky or chalky tones. 

 

I knew I wanted to use pastel colors and combine natural and traditional elements but had no idea how it would all come together. I started to play around with it and my vision slowly came to life. I found a really beautiful card table cloth of my grandmas that was stored away. I also used an old sugar and cream set she had and a set of antique tea cups, each in a different color. Anything antique always ‘makes,’ a tablescape for me. These are one of a kind items that when mixed with readily available, trendy and traditional things, make your table so unique. Acquiring these older items whether passed down, in antique shops, or at garage sales I’m never quite sure where or how to use them in the moment. If they speak to me I make an effort over time to work them into some theme or time of year. I always feel a little sense of accomplishment when I find a use for some of these things.

 

For this tablescape it’s all about the mixing and matching. I mixed an old set of pottery plates with antique gold-rimmed lunch plates and my new white plates. I pulled out these green compote dishes that I found one year at a garage sale, I got a great deal on them because there were only seven in the set. Its amazing the things you stumble upon when you are not looking, and just grow to love. 

 

I have a few charger plates (like this wood slab) in multiples of two. I love tableware so much but keeping up with every trend can be expensive as you are usually buying everything in sets of four or six. The idea of having two of something allows me to try something new while forcing me to be creative by adding them in with other sets. I often use charger plates for table centerpiece bases like I did below. For the record, I have a bunch of ‘cute,’ salt and pepper shakers that I rarely use. They were part of a phase and  I was happy to still have this mushroom set as they fit in perfectly.

I have so many ideas saved up for future tablescapes, I can’t wait to share more! I absolutely love setting tables, I should have gone after some sort of career in event planning or designing. I am glad to be able to use my creativity on this blog as it’s such a great outlet for me!

Happy Easter & Spring,

Lv, Julie♥

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Entryway Gallery Wall

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A few months ago I redid a gallery wall in our front entryway and I wanted to share! The old wall had the same layout but needed a serious refresh. The original had some of my hand paintings from four years ago and although those seemed like a great idea at the time-let’s just say there are times I should have put my artists brush away!

I used a few of the existing prints and got a few new prints and frames for Christmas. I also printed a few wedding photos and used the map from my wedding invitation in a frame. I really didn’t know how it would turn out until I saw it all together and was so glad it worked out! The theme is travel and the outdoors (not planned) and I tried to keep the colors in the same palette.

In 2012 when we moved from a very old smaller house to a newly constructed much larger home I was pretty excited to decorate. In retrospect I was so excited that I may have gotten carried away stuffing every design idea I’d ever had in my life, into one space! Basically every room has a different color and there’s a lack of flow from room to room. I will never give up on color, no trend would ever make me deviate from that and I’m not a person who could feel comfortable in a stark white or all neutral space. In saying that, I have learned that with more muted tones, my pops of color can really take center stage. In 4 years my palette has calmed down (hard to believe with these shots) and through much trial and error I have a better sense of what I really like. It will take time to redo the whole house but room by room I hope to make little changes over time with my new vision in mind.

In our old house I stored a lot of acquired antique furniture in the garage knowing one day I would be able to put it into use in a larger home. That was part of the excitement, this furniture sat unused for so many years! After we had settled into our new house I looked to Pantone’s color of the year ‘emerald,’ to paint a few Muskoka chairs for our front porch and the really cool storage cabinet seen here in the front entrance way. It was a bold color then but still speaks to me now, I love a punch of color and am obsessed with green so no changes here! This cabinet came out of my cousin’s garage and was built to store nails, nuts & bolts & etc. I love all the little drawers and we use each one in the top row for a different storage use. It’s great when we need a flashlight, battery or extension cord, we know exactly where to go.

 

Once I had all the new prints, photos and frames ready I set out to redo my gallery wall. I laid a blanket on my dining room table and just stared to play with the different configurations. I kept it pretty much the same as the old layout with the circular gold mirror in the middle but really had to switch up all the frames to get the best balance of light and dark prints, size and frame color.

 

With the new layout of prints there were quite a few of the old nail holes to putty and paint. A challenge to the project began the moment it occurred to me, that on a whim I had mixed my own small batch of paint for the wall four years ago! It all came back to me that I had mixed some white primer with a touch of the emerald green to create a feature wall color. Little did I remember I had used the whole amount of mixed paint! It wasn’t fun testing small batches of paint on the wall one day until I got close to the original. At first I thought it would be a quick fix as I had the original base paints. The batches all looked close until they got on the wall and dried! I kept mixing and mixing. Wishful thinking and lesson learned! I never want to do that again!

 

To decorate I kept the existing lamp and trays. I added a cute brass deer I found at an antique shop, and a wedding photo. The large amethyst is special as it is from a memorable road trip we took across Canada. We bought it just outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario, an area known for it’s amethyst since the 19th century. I love buying souvenirs such as this, that I can use in my home that are unique to a certain area.

 

It was fun to start my redecorating in such a small area that was manageable and had a big impact. My favorite time to look at this space is on a weekend morning, coming downstairs for my coffee. The light is usually pouring in and it just looks so alive and happy!

Lv, Julie♥

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Creating a Wellness Bedside Table Tray

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I wanted to share a bit about what I’ve created for a bedside table tray to help with a new sleep routine! I’ve never been a great sleeper, even when I was younger I was never an amazing sleeper. In recent years I’ve had bouts of insomnia. It is pretty frustrating when you want to sleep so badly but just can’t. I’ve made a commitment to find ways to combat this. I’ve had sleepless nights for many reasons from not being able to shut my mind off, stressful times in my life and just simply drinking a late afternoon coffee. I’ve tried a lot of things but have never wanted to take a sleeping pill. What has worked the best is creating a night time routine centered on clearing my mind and finding calmness. I set out to create an environment conducive to my new routine that reflects the mindset I want to be in before I go to bed. When I look at my bedside table I remember my intention-I specifically placed these items here to create a peaceful atmosphere and provide tools for myself with this purpose. I find just looking at the tray even when I don’t need help sleeping reminds me to keep up with the routine.

 

My routine is as follows. First I do a bit to help my skin feel better the next day (I have dry skin) making sure to moisturize. Following this (as of the new year) I have been meditating for 10 minutes using an app on my phone. I have talked more on this on a previous post which can be read here. If I can’t sleep I use my earphones (so I don’t wake up my husband) to try a bit more meditation or listen to a podcast. If I really have trouble I’ve found using a ‘sleep,’ essential oil really helps.

Organizing my tray by adding some pretty objects along with some healing/wellness items has helped to create a little vignette that is focused on having a calm night’s sleep. It’s also the first thing I look at in the morning which symbolizes the intention of making my day great.

Here’s a little more info on what’s on my tray…

1.) Healing Crystals & Stones-Some may believe in them or not believe, but I’ve been giving these little guys a chance. If anything, they bring a beautiful part of nature inside. Thought to have metaphysical values, having them close by can provide healing effects. In this little dish I have quartz, rose quartz, amethyst, pyrite and green calcite.

2.) Moisturizers-I have very dry skin, if I don’t moisturize at night I feel it the next day.

3.) Brass four-leafed clover-Lets be real, this is just pretty. Having things that are aesthetically pleasing makes you feel good! I got it for Christmas and it’s from Indigo.

4.) Wedgwood ring holder-Just pretty again! I was amazed when I found it at an antique shop. Is there a more beautiful place to put your rings?

5.) Lip balm & Sleep Oil-I try to find organic lip balms that work well, the search is always on for the best one! The sleep oil is ‘Sleep 18,’ by ‘21 Drops.’ The instructions say to breathe it in and then put it on your forehead, wrists & neck. It really works!

6.) Apple iPhone EarPods-To meditate these really shut out all outside noise, I use calming music from my phone or an app for guided meditation.

7.) Coaster-Just pretty again! This one is from Anthropologie and I’ll reiterate, the things you find beautiful can’t be overlooked, the sight of some of these things can give you a little boost and create a fun-loving and familiar space!

 

 

Since creating this routine I’ve found to have a healthier sleep pattern. Putting in a conscious daily effort to combat sleep issues makes the world of difference! The bedside table tray has helped with this and was fun to create! Let me know any ideas you have found to help for a good nights sleep!

Lv, Julie♥

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Our Wedding: Outdoor Details

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To finish my series of wedding posts I am sharing some of the outdoor details from the ceremony and wedding site. You can read through all of my back to back wedding posts to find out more about the day starting here.

I’ve talked so much about how lucky we were with the weather and from the photo below you can really see how nice the day turned out. There was a nice breeze off Lake Ontario and the grounds are covered with mature trees, making the whole day feel very comfortable.

 

While getting ready we had a nice view of the lake from our bridal suite. I loved looking at all the sailboats passing by throughout the day.

 

I painted a wooden sign to put at the entrance to the driveway for the day of. I found the site was not an easy location to find as it was on a busy street. I had passed by it a few times trying to locate it myself so I can’t imagine trying to find it the day of!

 

I found an unfinished wooden arrow sign at Michaels craft store. Sold in the same section were wooden posts that we glued and nailed to the back. I painted it a minty green with a metallic gold trim and painted the lettering using a Martha Stewart cursive stencilling kit. I used basic acrylic paint and made sure to lacquer spray a nice clear finish on the top to protect it.

 

For the wedding programs we did a fan style in case it was a really hot day! The program itself is on the reverse side of the photo below. I really wanted to provide something fun for the guests to do while waiting at the ceremony site. I have always enjoyed doing the ‘Jumble,’ inside The Toronto Star newspaper. I set out to find a wedding themed version and located one in a ‘Jumble,’ book that I found at Indigo.  With some graphics help I found a way to make the background pink, size it properly and add the logo. We found the pink golf pencils online and I made sure to get them with erasers just so the bakers twine had the metal grip to better attach to and not slip off. We found the little wooden paddles at Creative Bag and sprayed them gold. The program was glued together with the paddle in the middle! I really loved how they looked and thought it provided a bit of an activity while waiting.

 

It was special to have four ring bearers, all siblings be a part of our bridal party! I wanted to make sure they each had a little job. Two held the ‘here comes the bride,’ sign on either end and then two each held a ring pillow. It was a pretty cute scene!

 

I found this sign at BHLDN and thought it was beyond perfect for the ceremony. It was in my exact colors (it even had some gold metallic thread detailing) and had an old-fashioned feeling. On the reverse side is written ‘Just Married,’ which the boys switched to for the walk back up the aisle. This is definitely an item I have kept as a keepsake!

 

We made these pillows in the seersucker fabric I found online that was used for wrapping our tree favors and added a pom-pom trim. The ring bearers had little pink and white seersucker bow ties that I found on Etsy which looked really cute and tied it all together!

 

At the ceremony site there wasn’t a walkway to the seating area and I thought it would be nice to define some sort of pathway. I also knew because of the steps on the aisle at the site I couldn’t have an aisle runner. On Pinterest I saw a few ideas of people who put chalk or plastic decal markers right on the ground to guide people to their wedding sites and used it as an opportunity to tell their story, with each marker having a different piece of their story written out.

What I created I sort of viewed as a preliminary aisle and thought it would be nice to put the story that led us to this day on wooden markers. It was quite a bit of detail work to paint all five markers and I’ll be honest I almost didn’t use them. I was worried it was too sappy and sentimental for most people. In the end one of my bridesmaids reminded me it was a wedding and she had such a great reaction I felt silly for ever thinking not to use them (I’m an overly sentimental person)! It really set the tone for the wedding giving people an interesting timeline of our relationship.

 

In the photos below are some small ceremony details! I really like this photo of the calm before the ceremony, it was a really beautiful spot to get married!

 

Our pew arrangements were pretty cute with lots of trailing ribbon in hanging mercury glass vases!

 

 

We did a hand-fasting ceremony and I made a sash for it that was pretty unique. I found 12′ tartan squares online and ordered several from our ancestors family names. I took it a step further, and (not pictured here) ironed on patches from each country our families immigrated from. It was a nice connection to our past!

 

 

I am really happy I found these vow books so that we could keep them as a keepsake. It was a nice touch and there was no way I would have remembered my own written vows!

 

I love this photo! It’s at home a day after the wedding! I really recommend waiting a week or two before going on a honeymoon. We were really able to come down after all of the festivities, rest and reflect. I finished all of my thank-yous and got my dress in to be cleaned and took care of unpacking all of the decor. It was fun to bring all the extra flowers home and really enjoy them. I set up a little tablescape and made a nice dinner and we really had a chance to enjoy some of the details just the two of us!

Wow, this has been a fun little step back in time! I’m glad I found a way to divide all of the decor photos into several different posts. When I began this month long series I was a bit overwhelmed as to how I would do that! I wanted to post some of my wedding photos as I feel a blog is somewhat a story or snapshot of your life. The wedding was already over a year and a half ago so I thought getting it up a few months into the birth of the blog helps to begin my story and define an important event in my life. I’m excited to get back to ‘real time,’ because I have so many ideas- too many that I have started to have to write them all down!

Lv, Julie♥

 

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Our Wedding: Indoor Details

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This week I’m continuing with my wedding theme that I have been sharing this past month! I am writing about all of the ideas and decor from the inside reception area of my wedding!

When thinking of a guest book I wanted something unique. Most people are finding alternatives to using a book as they typically just sit on a shelf and aren’t as likely to be looked at as the wedding photo album. Since I like my tablescapes so much I thought of doing a table runner so that I could use it on an anniversary and reflect back on the day. I also remembered my grandma’s friend having a beautiful tablecloth she used from a club they all belonged to. I will never forget seeing it, all members signed the tablecloth in pen and one woman back stitched over the names in embroidery thread. I always loved how it looked and thought the idea was so unique! I found a white table runner and researched how to stiffen it so that it wouldn’t bunch when people were writing. I ended up using a method where you iron on freezer paper to the back and it worked great. I made sure to put our names and wedding date in the middle in larger lettering so that people knew they really could write anywhere, that we had already included those details. I had my mom and a few family members write their well wishes the morning of, so that people would see exactly what to do, and not be afraid to go for it and write on the fabric! It turned out amazing and is a real keepsake for years to come.

 

For our card box, I bought a wooden box at BHLDN. It wasn’t too big and had a key shaped opening at the top which looked cute. I decorated it a bit with ribbon and pom-pom trim. Its a great size to store all of the shower and wedding cards in it as a keepsake.

 

We had a candy station at the wedding and it was fun to stick to the color theme with all of the decor and candy. I made some bunting for the table in the same seersucker fabric used to wrap the favors and make the ring bearer pillows.

 

 

To honor our grandparents that were not at our wedding we displayed their photos on a table in the venue. Looking at them before and during the wedding brought back so many great memories.

 

Here is a close up of our table centerpieces. I wanted lots of color and went to a flower wholesaler to look around and get ideas. I really suggest this as it gives you a sense of what you like from seeing a broad range of color and variety. A flower shop cannot hold a wide inventory and they stock typically what they know can fill their orders for the week. Its important to be looking not only for flowers but for the filler flowers and greenery that can make any floral choice fit a particular theme. I fell in love with the garden roses used throughout the wedding when I first saw them. For the arrangement our florist used Sarah Bernhardt peonies, O’Hara garden roses, coolwater and lavender roses, queen anne’s lace, pink rice flower, peach hypericum berries and boston fern.

 

For the menus I really liked the idea of printing them on a round piece of card stock, this is a more expensive option, so I set out to make them on my own. I researched many ways to get the size needed for underneath the rented charger plates. I tried to finding a circle cutter, pre-cut card-stock and even considered hand-cutting them all on my own. I was lucky a family contact who worked for a publisher was able to print them for us as a favor. This made for a really nice touch as the guests could refer to it throughout the night and see what they were being served next!

 

We decided to fold our napkins so I wanted a little accent to go on top. I had been thinking of using rough-cut crystals to continue the enchanted forest theme and thought this was a perfect tie-in. I set out to find them in our colors and went to a rock wholesaler just outside of Toronto called Stonebridge Imports. I found these which are green calcite and included rose quartz stones on every other seat to fit in with the color scheme.

 

My table numbers were a nod to a terrarium in a little cloche. I made them on antique plates and used moss, lichen, crystals and little details to make it look like a miniature forest. I made miniature Ontario road signs that had names of the lakes that are special to us as a couple or in our family. I sourced stick on numbers online and tied a bow at the top. These were definitely a bit different but I really was thinking about my childhood cottage here and it was just a whimsical element that I enjoyed making.

 

For my favors I had always envisioned having tree saplings. I found Pineneedle Farms, who specialize in these little trees for weddings. I decided to get them with just a cellophane wrap at the bottom so I could decorate them myself. I wrapped them in green, pink and purple seersucker fabric and tied them with corresponding bakers twine. I made a little tag and put a little thank-you on one side and care instructions on the other. 

 

In writing this post I’m reflecting on how much work went into these little details and how many people helped to make it come together. The planning was such a creative process and I really enjoyed the design and crafting elements.

Next up I’ll be sharing some of the ‘outdoor,’ details!

Lv, Julie♥

 

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Our Wedding: Getting Ready & a Few Small Details

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I’m continuing with my wedding decor posts! I had such a great time planning it all that I want to share in a few more back to back posts. You can read more about my ideas for my wedding theme here.

We got married on July 4th, 2015 and chose that day as it was the closest Saturday to the anniversary of when we started dating, July 1st, 2007. We got married at a beautiful golf club on Lake Ontario. I had wished for good weather for our outdoor ceremony and was lucky the day was sunny with a nice breeze!

Setting up for the wedding was a true highlight for me (a time I did not think would be a highlight!). I will never forget spending that morning with family members and my bridal party. We had bins upon bins to unload and I was worried we would forget something or not have enough time. I was so surprised how calm the morning went. The setup was done so fast (many hands make light work) we even had time to stop and take everything in. We walked around the grounds, and I was able to really ‘de-stress,’ and live in the moment. We got ready on the second floor of the main building and there was a balcony where we could look out to see the whole ceremony space, I remember the quiet calm there was to the morning, just looking out at the trees and the water, it was a surreal experience. There wasn’t a huge staff there that early in the morning so it felt like we had the place to ourselves.

When choosing a venue it’s really hard to reach a decision. I had always wanted to get married in cottage country overlooking a lake but knew that wasn’t an option logistically. I set out to find something a little less remote that overlooked the water and had some charm and history. We had our heart set on a local resort close to where we live but due to renovations it wasn’t available. I was pretty heartbroken as I had really envisioned that space for months. I started to research more and I stumbled upon our wedding venue online. It isn’t advertised as a wedding venue and both of us grew up in Toronto (Scarborough to be exact) so it started to make sense for many reasons. It’s a smaller space and the beauty in that is there is only one wedding at a time, so we were the only ones there. The main building isn’t visible from the street, you can really only see a glimpse of the golf course through dense hedges. When you drive down the long, winding tree-lined driveway, tucked beside a forested area is the historical main building right on the lake. It was a beautiful setting for an outdoor wedding.

My maternal grandparents were born in Toronto and my grandmother had grown up on a farm (acquired by our family in 1834) at Warden Ave. & Eglinton Ave. exactly North of the main intersection of the site which is Warden Ave. & Kennedy Ave. I know my grandmother would have loved it, and I always wondered if she had ever known about the property. I always heard her talk about the nearby Scarborough Bluffs and Rosetta McClain Gardens so it was nice to think about my ancestors having been in that area.  I live over an hour away but it was a nice feeling to get married near to where I grew up. That morning I felt connected to my family and rooted in the space we chose. Here are a few shots of some of the small details and flowers for the special day!

There are so many things you forget when planning a wedding. You can plan and over plan but ultimately there are things out of your control. We were grateful to have so many people help us, a beautiful place to get married and great weather. We really couldn’t ask for anything more! I knew our venue provided drinks and lunch for us while getting ready but was so thankful they had coffee & tea brewed and drinks available all morning. To be able to offer your vendors and others helping a drink made everyone comfortable. This made the whole process feel like we were true hosts, almost like we were entertaining at home. I know one of my bridesmaids found the groom downstairs and brought him a little snack too! It’s the little things that make the difference!

Pre-wedding champagne toast

 

My bridesmaid’s went way above and beyond for our special day. They were so thoughtful leading up to the wedding and on the big day, were my right hands. This little lady (below) also showed up on the day of! She floated around and it brought some fun to getting ready. Two of my favorite photos are one I have with an umbrella that one of my bridesmaids brought me from her wedding and beside this little bride which one of my bridesmaids brought as well! I still have her to this day, she’s a little deflated but I just can’t part with her.

 

At the wedding my photographer did an amazing job using what was already at the venue as a great backdrop in the photos. This shot with the pink pillow is perfect as the color and logo of the club matched my theme to a tea!

One of my favorite photos!

 

Below is a photo of my shoes, I wanted to take the chance to note how much I underestimated the importance of heel stoppers! The whole day my heels were getting stuck in the grass as it had rained a few days before. I ordered them online but they didn’t arrive in time and I thought it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. If you are a bride please, please buy these! I tried them out after and they really do work as they say they will and you can walk freely on the grass as you would on pavement!

I wanted my shoes to have a ‘pop of color,’ and found these pink ones with a manageable heel height. I really loved my little clutch with its pink lace detailing over a gold metallic surface. I knew no one would really see these items so I didn’t go for off-white to match my dress. The idea was to be able to use them again, which I have!

Wedding shoes

 

When purchasing items for my wedding I really tried to think through my purchases as I didn’t want to regret any of them afterwards. It is easy to get swept up in the moment and buy unneeded things when you are surrounded by such cute things and great ideas in magazines, stores and wedding shows. I have a wedding bin in my basement where I kept some of the things I really wanted as keepsakes. I have also used some of the things (picture frames, vases, candle holders) in my house and have sold some things online. These hangers were definitely something I got caught up in when seeing them over and over on Pinterest. I fell in love with them and bought them on BHLDN. They were so beautiful and looked so old fashioned just like the venue. I am happy to say I found another use for them. I have them on hooks in my closet as a decorative accent and every day I can look at them as a reminder of the special day.

 

I found these little lockets online and got one for myself and the two mothers’ bouquets. We shrunk sentimental photos on the computer and just printed them on paper and cut them in circles. I chose some childhood photos, one was from the cottage we had growing up. It was a special touch that really added meaning to the bouquet.

 

I loved my bouquet and these shots really capture it. I have one in a frame displayed at home. I have a posed bride and groom shot in a frame as well but I like using photos like this that are just a subtle reminder of the big day.

It’s been fun walking down memory lane, I really enjoyed making sure there were lots of details that were fitting to the theme and colors of the wedding! Thanks for reading!

Lv, Julie♥

*All shots are from Silverlight, based in Toronto

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Our Wedding … DIY Seating Chart

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Last week I started to share details about the decor from my wedding. Its fun to share my ideas as so many people online inspired my ideas when it was time to think about the big day. I can picture so many brides right now scurrying around finding just the right decor accents and ideas for upcoming spring and summer weddings. I’ve been there! Although it can be stressful, I really enjoyed the planning as a creative process. You can read all about the decor inspiration for my 2015 wedding here.

Today I wanted to share my DIY wedding seating chart! I had seen similar versions on Pinterest at the time and loved how unique they were. This seating chart was made mostly of antique finds. We had our reception in a historic space that was built in 1911, using some antiques seemed fitting! 

We found the frame at an Antique Mall (Roadshow Antiques North if you live near Toronto), and it was an old wood frame that used to have a mirror. It was very heavy and may have been attached to a dresser or vanity table at some point. The size was perfect and since it was in need of some TLC we got it at the bargain price of $30. I didn’t feel bad painting it as the wood was pretty damaged. In the back there were a few areas we tightened up to make it square again. I wish I had a photo of the before but here is a close up of some of the pretty detailing, spray painted gold!

 

First we cut a piece of plywood to fit the opening. I ordered some fabric online and measured a piece of cotton batten to go under it so it had a bit of cushion. We then stapled the fabric to the plywood evenly. I chose a pink and white toile in an upholstery grade so that it was less likely to fray when the nails went in for the plate hooks. 

 

Once it was all assembled I started collecting plates. I wanted lunch sized plates with a gold rim or a scalloped edge so that when the seating chart cards were attached there was a bit of detailing. I used a few of my own, borrowed a few from my mom and picked up some inexpensive ones at a local antique shop. I bought plate hooks online in small and medium sizes so that I had a variety. Antique plates can change in size from a typical lunch or dinner size up or down depending on the pattern and age. I used a small bread and butter plate for my husband and I as we sat at a sweetheart table. We liked the idea that our bridal party could sit with their significant others.

Once we had a final number of who was attending we assembled it all a week before. I laid out all the plates and played around with them until they fit as best as possible. We measured and attached picture hangers in the right spots all along to hold the plate hooks. Each plate represented a round table at the venue. I created card stock circle cut-outs with everyone’s names. At the venue we attached these cards with foam circular stickers (see the very first photo). We used a substantial easel that my mom had at work as the whole seating chart with plates was very heavy.

I really loved my seating chart, it was unique, fit my theme and looked at home in its historical surroundings. I had never thought of what I would do with it afterwards! I took all the plates off and it is waiting in the basement for a special future project! I know this item can be re-purposed, something will eventually come to me, its just not an item I would get rid of!

Thanks for visiting,

Lv, Julie ♥

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