Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween friends! We were never really big on decorating for Halloween until we had kids. Needless to say, we’re still building our Halloween decor items, and we’re all happy with the small touches of Halloween throughout the house. Picked up some spiders and webs from the dollar store, skulls from walmart and we were given some great Halloween treats courtesy of The Home Depot.

happy halloween mantel cinema


Happy Halloween via Desire to Decorate

I reused the orange shredded paper that The Home Depot package arrived for our mantel and entryway displays… and the orange mini lights were from them too. There’s a Haunted House sign outside too, but I didn’t capture of picture of it just yet.

We tackled pumpkin craving last night…  Liam chose a spider and Evan the witch, and daddy made it all happen. I tried to steer Evan for the skull cut-out but I lost, so witch it is.
Have great night friends. and try to leave some candy for the kids!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Joanne Fabrics

Last week I attended the Joanne Fabrics seminar at The Decorating Centre in Burlington. This session featured a line up of fabrics across a variety of books, not to mention new wallpapers and more.

IMG_2733

This fabric on these accent chairs… fabulous.

Joanne Fabrics lobby chairs

This sundown fabric has black out built in. Love the champagne colour…

IMG_2737

Gone are the days where wallpapers fade in to the background. Today's wall coverings are bold and electric, creating instant focal points and absolutely fabulous. Although, I still adore the neutral palettes… Joanne Fabrics Wallpaper Fresco

Joanne Fabrics Wallpapers

Also impressive was the sneak peak at their new menswear inspired collection, Highlands. With touches of plaids, houndstooth and herringbone, what’s not to love? I love how this collection looks totally current by using the trendy colour palettes like grey and blue, cream and biscuit… love.

Joanne Fabrics @ The Decorating Centre 3

Pop over to their website for more photos. Joanne Fabrics is available to the trade only, so find your designer friend and visit Joanne Fabrics showroom for more inspiration.

Joanne Fabrics is a client of Juice Marketing Group. We’re gearing up for their social media debut in the coming days, so I hope you’ll check us out once we’re up and going. Exciting times.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

Happy Friday! We did make it to the apple farm last weekend, but I haven’t yet made the apple pie I was hoping to. In any case, we enjoyed the Carrot Cake I made.

This morning my little man, Evan, and I made this Pumpkin Bread. It was so delicious the first time, so we’re making it again… hope you enjoy it too!

pumpkin bread via desire to decorate

I didn’t have a recipe for pumpkin bread, so I turned to Pinterest for my search. Found this simple one from The Charm of Home. Pop over to her site for the recipe. And, for more on things on my menu list, visit my eat pin-board. Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Creative Thursday

I bought my first piece of artwork for Evan’s room from Marisa at Creative Thursday two years ago.

Since, her illustrations have made there way onto fabric, ceramics, books and more! Marisa’s story is truly inspiring; how the unknown gave her fruits of plenty, in more way she every thought possible. Her recent video ‘ I believe everyone is creative ‘ is humbling. Pop over to her website and have a look around, I’m sure you will be pleased you did.

creative thursday

window of opportunity via creative thursday

oscar & lewis via creative thursday

sweater dress series via creative thursday

fabrics via creative thursday

ceramics via creative thursday

Fabulous, right? I encourage you to pop over to Marisa’s website, just fabulous.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Holiday Stockings via Switch Studio

I recently helped my girlfriend Staci photograph Holiday items for her Switch Studio shop. Not only does she offer fabric, sewing & upholstery services, she has a line up of fabulousness for 2013. Check out her blog for more on what’s to come or be the first to know by subscribing to her e-newsletter.

Give them as gifts or keep them for yourself… either way, I think there are fabulous!

switch studio Holiday

 switch studio holiday 2

switch studio holiday 3

switch studio holiday multi

Fabulous right? Here’s the best part… you can pre-order yours via her Facebook page… just mention Wendy sent you. Enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Carrot Cake

Remember I mentioned I was going to make carrot cake with cream cheese frosting?

Well, viola! I made it and it was inhaled by all. It was delicious and the frosting was heavenly.

Carrot Cake via Desire to Decorate

Here’s the carrot cake recipe for you…Carrot Cake Recipe

We hope to hit an apple farm this weekend, so perhaps next week I’ll share an apple pie or crumble recipe with you. But then again, I also made pumpkin bread for the first time ever so I have that to share as well.

Did I mention, I love the Fall? It’s my favourite season. It brings on the goodness of comfort foods like, stuffed peppers, chilli's and stews… the deliciousness of home-baked goodies like, apples and pumpkin pies and more {like carrot cake!}. It also brings on boots, sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes… also favourites of mine. Happy Weekend all!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Two Parties :: One Night

Last week Christine, from Bijou and Boheme, and I hit downtown Toronto for two special events.

First up was the Style at Home book launch party for the The Novogratz. We got a chance to chat with Robert and Cortney for a while, it was so fabulous. They’re both friendly and down to earth, dinner and drinks with them would be so easy. Our conversation started so easily both Christine and I forgot to get a picture with them. Although, Robert did take a picture of me, he was taken back with how similar I look to a friend of theirs from home. Funny.home_by_novogratz_cover

Devoured most of their book over the weekend. I love their mix of modern with vintage, and I especially love that they share the design budget! The timing of the book release couldn’t be better… perfect, for Holiday gift giving! {Intentional I’m sure, great Marketing!} Check out their website, Facebook page or Twitter for more book launch locations, and of course, check out Home by Novogratz HGTV.

The Novogratz Book Signing

Second on our list… the grand opening of the FLOR Toronto Store. Until now, FLOR has only been in the US and I’ve been following them for a least a couple of years. Needless to say I was excited to go to this grand opening. Here’s a little excerpt from their recent Press Release…

“FLOR is a dynamic design system of coordinating 50cm (19.7-inch) carpet squares that allows people to mix and match colours, patterns and textures to customize rug,runner or wall to wall solutions for their homes.”

Here’s how the Novogratz have used FLOR in one of their design projects…

girl bedroom with FLOR by the Novogratz

via

Christine and I met up with more fabulous design bloggers, and we had a little fun with the FLOR photobooth…

FLOR-snapshot-photo-booth-L

Ana from Second Wind, Christine from Decor by Christine, Jennifer from Rambling Renovators, {me}, Vanessa from Decor Happy and Christine from Bijou and Boheme.

Here’s more photos of the fabulous FLOR product…

Lasting Grateness

Line Please

Heaven Sent

And, more options just in time for the Holidays season…

Petal Pusher F11PW FLORug_Holiday

Wrapped in Red F12N FLORug_large

Love it, love it… now, I just need to figure out where could I add a touch FLOR in my home.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blog Brunch

I participated in my very first Blog Brunch last weekend. Have you heard of it?

It’s a twitter meet up {aka tweet-up} that occurs on the first Saturday of every month. With each month comes a new topic for discussion. This months topic was Staging and Styling :: “the ins and outs of how to stage and style photos and events you may use for your blog and social media.” You can read the questions from Saturday’s Brunch here.

blog brunch {staging and styling}

From the registration to the live stream, it was exceptional. I’ve never participated in a tweet-up that had so much energy and good hearted sharing of ideas among the group. I walked away from my computer with loads of ideas, some new,  some building on existing ones, and feeling inspired.

In the spirit of sharing, here’s some tweets from the session…

Q3: For any shoot or event, how do you plan or identify the theme, style, location and lighting of your staging?

  • Start w/ a location that enhances the details of your shoot or event. Every detail needs to evoke mood you are trying to convey
  • Ask yourself who is your audience and what type of mood or feeling do you want to evoke. Then get inspired, Create mood board.
  • Always have my inspiration board on hand to refer to as the photos are being styled and taken

Q5: What’s the best way to submit your work to be featured on other blogs websites?

  • Build relationships with bloggers you like & respect. Bloggers will reach out to each other for collab opportunities
  • Keep pitch emails short and sweet. Attach a few images of your best work. Be genuine and make sure it's a good fit
  • Know the blog's focus and audience and tailor your pitch accordingly

For more tweets from Saturday’s brunch have a browse through the stream…

The next Blog Brunch is November 3rd :: Finding Your Blog Voice. Register for it here. You won’t be disappointed. Also, want to know more about one of the founders of Blog Brunch? Pop over to Mimi + Meg and read their post on Megan of The Fresh Exchange.

FYI: It’s funny how things come into your life when they do. The discovery of this event couldn’t be more perfect for me. The wheels are in motion for something similar coming from Juice Marketing Group, I’m so excited. More good times ahead. Oh, the balancing act is in full swing these days.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Carrot Loaf

Last week I made banana bread and carrot loaf, and by second day both were gone. I know banana bread is a favourite around here, so I make it regularly, but in light of how quickly the carrot loaf went, perhaps it too will be favourite.

banana bread & carrot loaf

A friend told me that these recipes will freeze well, so this weekend I’m planning on whipping up a few batches of both and storing some for a rainy day. Since carrots are in season, I’m also hoping to make Carrot Cake {with Cream Cheese Frosting!}. Right, who am I kidding? Yes, it’s all about the frosting!!!

Here’s the Carrot Loaf recipe for you…

carrot loaf

I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup and it was still delicious. You can find the banana bread recipe I use here. There too, I reduce the sugar and it’s still great. Hope you will give these favourites a try.

Do you have any favourite regulars in your house?

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Taking Pictures via Your iPhone

Over the last couple of months I’ve been trying out new techniques for taking pictures from my iPhone.

I love the fancy camera I got for my birthday a couple of years ago, but the reality is it’s my iPhone that’s with me 24-7. So I thought why not learn a little more about the camera apps available and give them a little test drive. Here’s a little about my trials… I should mention, high on my picture-happy list are; my kids, food, the outdoors, pretty items and spaces.

At first I was only using my iPhone camera, which by the way is really good, and editing my photos via Photoshop Express. Sadly, I don’t remember if I’ve ever posted any photos on line using this method so needless to say, I don’t have any to share now.

Moving on. Instagram. Then I jumped on the Instagram bandwagon, and like many people I was instantly hooked. I loved how an otherwise, ordinary photo got a new take once a filter was applied. I dabbled with a handful of filters, my photos looked something like this… 

photos using instagram 2

Prior to taking the picture, I thought about composition and all in all, I was happy with my photos. Then my marketing persona took over and I thought, perhaps my photos needed a little more cohesiveness and branding…

Moving on. Camera+ with Instagram. Then I started taking the photo and editing the photo in Camera+ prior to importing it into Instagram. Once I had the photo in Instagram, I applied the Hudson filter and viola, here’s what my photos looked like…

photos with hudson filter in instram

Do you like the cohesiveness by using the one filter idea? Hudson filter.

Moving on. Camera+ with no Instagram filter. This is the method I’m using today. I like the idea the idea of using one filter however, I wanted to try for better lighting and lighter edge. Here I take the photo and edit the photo in Camera+ and apply no filter once imported into Instagram. And, by editing the photo in Camera+, I mean… adjust the lighting, crop, apply a FX effect {aka a filter}and choose a boarder. For almost every picture I apply the depth of field filter which has no colour tint and apply a white boarder. Here’s what my photos look like…

photos with white boarder no instagram filter

How about cohesiveness with no filter and a white boarder?

Finally, although a little more time is required for editing, I really like Camera+. The added bonus to using this app is that the publishing isn’t immediate as with Instagram, although there’s a workaround for disabling publishing. Camera+ retains the photo in the ‘lightbox’ for continued editing and / or sharing if desired at a later date.

There you have it, my trials for taking pictures via your iPhone. Admittedly, today I spend far more time on composition and adjusting lighting versus trying different filters. I’m still working on capturing a better photo for my perfectionist side. You can see my full Instagram feed here, via Followgram.

How are you taking photos today? Do you have a tip to add, please share.

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