Friday, November 30, 2012

Fancy Friday Love

Friday, Friday... and Christmas decorating is in full swing over here! I hope to be able to share it with you next week. For now, check out what I loved online... plenty of Christmas inspiration included...

A wise post about what not to decorate with at Christmas from Thistlewood Farm... along with plenty of gorgeous Christmas decorating inspiration. Love this idea for a candle "advent calendar" - light a new candle each night until Christmas Eve and your mantel is lit up beautifully...


Christmas-Mantel via Thistlewood Farm

Michaela shared a great post with some fun decorating inspiration as well. Everything was lovely, but this picture was my favourite... and really makes me want to find a great hutch that we can use in the kitchen or dining room. Watch out Craigslist... I'm on the hunt...

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A pretty light and airy Danish home from 79 ideas. Despite all of the white, it just seems so cozy to me... I bet it's that rug, and all of those pillows!

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Are you a bit more of a minimalist when it comes to Christmas decor? This post from Birch + Bird Vintage Home Interiors has some beautiful inspiration for you. My favourite is this cozy image that comes from West Elm.

west elm Christmas

My list is a little shorter than I hoped, but this week has been a busy one. Between a teething baby with a cold, and starting some research for wedding planning... it's been crazy! We'll be finishing decorating for Christmas this weekend, as well as squeezing in some fun "Christmasy" activities. I can't wait to share all of it with you next week. What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In Planning Mode

With our big move to the West Coast this year and so much to see and do, we have certainly been in travel mode. I've been loving every second of it, and we had some big plans for 2013 as well - we were thinking maybe a California trip, or even Hawaii, in February... but sometimes plans change. When plans change for the better, that makes me even happier. We won't be taking any big trips... at least not early in 2013 anyway...


November 25,2012

So after 5 years together, 1 house purchased, 1 baby and a move across country... B and I are finally getting married! We are so excited, and believe me, it was hard to not say anything before now. 

He popped the question on Sunday evening, when my parents were also in town, so we were able to share in the excitement with both sets of parents. 

Nov25

I'm excited to start planning, and we're already discussing date and location. You can be sure that as we make progress, I'll be sharing projects here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Our Week Away

Happy Monday all. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We sure did, and we are currently on a plane on our way back to the West Coast. It's a little bittersweet, as always, leaving family and friends, but we are so happy to be heading back home to see our Pups, sleep in our own beds, and of course start preparing for Christmas.

So, while we soar through the friendly skies, I thought I would give you a brief look at our visit back in Massachusetts.

Our first couple days were lazy. We enjoyed spending time at B's family home with his parents, and sneaking out (just the two of us), whenever we could to do a little Christmas shopping. Then, Tuesday was our big day. We pretty much enjoyed a full date day in the city. We arrived in Boston (via the Commuter Rail) around 3pm. We strolled down Newbury St., enjoyed some Berry Line frozen yogurt...


PicMonkey Collage

Afterwards did some more shopping and a bit of bar hopping before met up with some friends for a fantastic dinner at TICO on Berkley. If you're in Boston, do it... and get one of the taster deals. We went for the "Forgot to Eat Lunch" - $55/person, but probably one of the best dinners I've ever had! Such a great night in the city.


November 20, 2012

Wednesday B and I got out to do quite a bit more Christmas shopping. We were successful and Halle really enjoyed her afternoon with Grandma - she even napped for close to 2 hours in her playpen. Very rare even in her own crib, so we were all very happy about that.

Thursday was the big day, and Halle made sure that she was nice and rested up for all of our guests...

November 22, 2012

Then it was all the fun stuff. Food, family, drinks, football... and more food of course...

November 22, 2012
{1. B and my Apple Cider Mimosa (apple cider, prosecco & caramel syrup), 2. Family by candlelight, 3. Turkey Cake Pops - so yummy!}

November 22, 2012
{Chocolate Pecan Silk Pie and Chocolate Shop Wine - a great dessert combination!}

We aren't big Black Friday shoppers, so we had a quiet morning at home... until B's Mom asked the boys to work on a little home project for her. Come back tomorrow for more on that. In the afternoon we ran out to do a few errands and then headed to Milford to meet a couple of friends for dinner and drinks (we took full advantage of having Grandma and Grandpa itching to have time with Halle). It was a great night catching up, and we arrived home to my parents who came down from Toronto for the weekend.

Saturday started off lazy with some playing at home, and then a walk to the duck pond to feed the ducks again. It was a tad chilly, so the whole visit was rather short.

November 24, 2012

November 24, 2012


We returned home to warm up and eat some lunch, and then we prepared for the family party - what a fun day. Sunday was a whole other day of fun that I will have to share later this week... we celebrated Christmas a month early. I'll share all the details later.

How was your weekend? How was Thanksgiving for all of my American friends? Would love to hear what everyone else got up too!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fancy (Black) Friday Love

One great thing about visiting family is I usually get a little bit of extra time in the mornings to enjoy my  coffee or tea and catch up on some blogs. Here is what I found and loved while doing some reading this week...

I simply just adored this photo of Big Ben on This is Glamorous last week. My heart aches and I long to go back to that city... it's just not in the cards for us at the moment with the wee one + us living on the West Coast. Too long of a trip right now...


via this is glamourous

I think I may just have to attempt this DIY Advent Calendar that I spotted on Apartment Therapy. Looks pretty simple and I bet the price tag works for us too. I like that I can put whatever I want in the little packages - I can make it a little more toddler friendly without loading Halle up on sugar and chocolate.

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I'm pretty sure Joy has the cutest family portraits ever...


via oh joy

A beautiful kitchen, from Daily Dream Decor. My favourite bits are the wallpaper and green chairs. How about you? 

artsy kitchen via daily dream decor

How perfect and beautiful is Caitlin's new Gold Holiday line of textiles. Seriously, to die for!

GOLD DETAILS


I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this weekend! My parents arrive today for a weekend with us here in Massachusetts. We'll be seeing all kinds of family and friends and officially kicking off our Christmas season. There will be yummy food, gift giving and hopefully a visit to La Salette Shrine to see all of the lights. We'll be back in BC early next week and I look forward to sharing our week away with all of you! For now, I wish you a happy weekend. What do you have planned?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving - Round TWO!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Most of you probably guessed that Halle Handmade is on vacation this week because we are in Massachusetts celebrating with B's family. It's been a great and busy week so far, with still more fun to come! My parents will be joining us tomorrow for an early Christmas celebration this weekend (since the three of us will be in BC this Christmas). 

So, I'm off to watch the Macy's Day Parade, enjoy some delicious food with some wonderful people, have a turkey coma nap (I think I can get away with it again this year), and if I don't sleep for too long, enjoy some Patriot's football as well.


Happy Thanksgiving via Oh So Beautiful Paper

So Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers and friends... and for those of you elsewhere in the world, Happy Thursday I guess! :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Head's Up!

Hi friends! No Fancy Friday Love this week since it's been absolutely crazy... and still is. I'm preparing for a shopping night tomorrow that I will be a vendor at, both with my Stella & Dot jewellery, and my Halle Handmade gift tags. As part of this, as of tomorrow my little Etsy shop will be "on vacation" for a week. Any tags that are not sold by the end of today will be coming with me to the shopping night and be up for sale! 

If you are interested in shopping my Stella & Dot site, feel free to do so at any time! It's a great place to grab some Christmas gifts, and have them shipped directly to your home! You can find some of my favourite picks for Christmas below. So why not cross some items off your list with my two little shops today? 

S&DPicks



{1. Love Bracelet - Friendship Bracelet: $19} {2. Geneve Lace Bib Necklace: $138}
{3. Bryant Park Scarf - Poppy: $64} {4. Mercer Zip Wall - Poppy: $84}
{5. Joy Candle: $32} {6. Secret Garden Ring: $42}

Shoot me an email if you have any questions and I'd be happy to answer them, or help you find the perfect gift for the people on your list! Happy Shopping & Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Other Little Shops

Since opening up Halle Handmade, it's fair to say I've been spending WAY more time on Etsy. I'm definitely not complaining though as I've come across some really great shops and have been finding some great pieces that may make it onto my wish list or gifts for others. 

I thought with all of the pretty stuff I've found recently, it was high time I did a quick round up of some of my new favourite items/shops - check these out...

I came across the sweet little shop of Layla Amber, last Thursday. These handmade creations were so cute and won me over immediately! Though everything made me "oooh" and "awww", this sweet little British Bunting Necklace was the star attraction for me. Adorable, don't you agree?


via Layla Amber on Etsy

Last week I was lucky enough to win one of Sara's giftaway's that she is doing this month. I was extra excited that it was something that I myself could gift to Halle for Christmas. How cute is this sweet doll from the shop, Melissa Love? If you are looking for a sweet doll for a little one in your life, I highly recommend her shop! You can even customize your own doll, but I was able to pick a ready made one and this blonde hair blue-eyed Holly was perfect!

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cabin + cub is another "wet coast" shop, and one you may recognize as Valerie was a featured seller the other week. Each piece in her shop is beautiful and fun, but my favourite piece has to be her Map & Pin set! This is something I've wanted to add to our home for ages, and I may have just found the shop to purchase it from! 

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You may already be familiar with the stunning work from the shop of Eye Poetry Photography. Her work is beautiful and I would love her Wanderlust Calendar to adorn my wall for all of 2013...

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There are just so many treasures to be found on Etsy - I could spend as much time on there as I do on Pinterest (usually pinning the things that I find and love). 

What are some of the great Etsy shops that you have stumbled upon recently? I'd love to hear what some of your great finds are (so I can check them out), and what's on your wish list for this Christmas season!

AND if you haven't already, be sure to swing by Halle Handmade. I've just added a new design and restocked the shop after my first couple of sales. I'd really love to hear what you think of my work!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another Weekend Road Trip

We did it again. We snuck off this weekend for some more exploring and family time. We were up bright and early on Saturday and began our trip southwards for a weekend in Oregon. Our first stop was in Washington state where we enjoyed breakfast. We tend to plan the places we eat based on shows like Diners, Drive-In's and Dives, Man vs. Food and Eat St, and this trip was no exception, since we started off at Voula's Offshore Cafe.


PicMonkey Collage

We were lucky we arrived just as they opened, because by the time we left people were starting to line up outside to wait for a table. The food was delicious, the service was fast, the staff was friendly and the whole thing was easy on the wallet - that all added up to the perfect start to our weekend. When we were finished there, it was pretty much a straight shot on down to Oregon (with only one stop to change a fussy Halle and let her stretch her legs). Our first stop there - you shouldn't be surprised to hear that was also for food. 

Our lunch destination was Cartlandia - a whole food pod dedicated to delicious food trucks (which I later learned were scattered ALL OVER Portland). We enjoyed some delicious eats from three different carts, and Halle enjoyed playing a little basketball. It was a win/win situation and the perfect opportunity for Halle to once again stretch her little legs and burn off some steam...

November 10, 2012

November 10, 2012

Then again, she really didn't need to burn off too much steam. We decided that since it was still before check in time, we'd make another stop before heading to the hotel. Where to? The Portland Children's Museum. I've been dying to bring her to one, and when I read about the one in Portland I knew this was our chance. So - what did Halle think about the experience? I'll let the photo's do the talking...

PicMonkey Collage
{The cow outside the Museum . Playing with the "Pups" at the Animal Hospital}
{Looking at the fish with Daddy . Playing on the wobbly bed}

PicMonkey Collage
{The toddler slide was a hit . Looking through the plexiglass holes in the tree house}

PicMonkey Collage
{This giant lite-bright was the biggest hit of the day... for all of us}

PicMonkey Collage
{Driving the ambulance . Driving the bus}
{Playing trains . Digging in the "dig pit" with Daddy}

Yup! It was a BUSY day and I think Halle really, really enjoyed it. The next best part of the day for me? When we headed to "The Pie Spot" that evening. I'd seen them on "Eat St" and begged B to visit when we were in Portland. I even went so far as to state if we ate dessert there - it would be the only dessert I wanted. Let me tell you, it was well worth it. I will forever think about their delicious Lemon Vanilla Bean hand pie - like my own personal lemon meringue. Heaven! (Yes, I wish I had photos but we just DUG IN).

Sunday we spent at the outlets and a few other places just getting on shopping on. How could we not when Oregon has 0% retail tax. Love that! Halle loved lunch where she would dump all of the crayons out of the cup and then put them back in. In between B was often found collecting all of the crayons off the floor...

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After all our shopping, we badly needed to refuel, so we headed back to a place right next to The Pie Spot that we had eyed up the previous night, called 24th and Meatballs. YUM! The food was fantastic and the place was empty (everyone else was getting their food to go), so it turned into the perfect dining experience for us. Halle walked around the table (mostly watching the boys in the back of the restaurant) and running over to me whenever she wanted another bite of pasta. It was all so good and exactly what we needed after eating all kinds of things the last couple of days - a simple, delicious meal. Definitely recommend this place!

PicMonkey Collage

The rest of the trip was just filled with more of our favourite things - cuddling, shopping (Halle will have a great Christmas), eating and colouring...

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It seemed like a pretty quick trip, and we didn't see as much of the city as we had originally planned. At the end, we did accomplish what we went for - we got a lot of Christmas shopping done (especially for Halle). I'd like to go back and visit in the warmer months, and next time Voodoo Donuts will definitely be on our list.

Have you been doing any travelling or planning trips recently? I'd love to hear what everyone else has been up to recently!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Up On the Mantel

Happy Monday! It's a long weekend for us, so today's post will be short and sweet, about a project I mentioned a while ago. Back when I shared our autumn mantel decor, there was a big empty gap just begging for something to fill it up. 


IMG_9839

In that same post I talked about how my ideal solution would be to get a large canvas of Halle up there. I had a photo in mind, but I just couldn't pull the trigger with the cost of getting a canvas being so high. Then, one wonderful Groupon was the answer to all of my prayers... a great deal on a 30" x 20" canvas for only $49. How could I possibly turn it down. The deal was purchased, and then I jumped on the company's website, ArtsyCanvas, uploaded my photo and ordered it the same night.

Last Wednesday, when Halle and I returned home from a great afternoon play date, I was thrilled to find a large box on our front step. I immediately cut into it, and was thrilled when I pulled out our new canvas.

The quality of the canvas itself was incredible, and the photo looked beautiful. It went directly up onto our mantel and I couldn't be happier with how it looks...


November 8, 2012

Though I have the photo in colour as well, I opted for the black and white version. I figured this way we can leave it there all year round and it will always match our seasonal decor.

November 8, 2012

The photo was taken by the fabulously talented Nicole of Bittersweet Photography during Halle's one year photo session way back in July. It's one of my favourites and I knew it would be canvas worthy as soon as I saw it.

Yes, the space could have used a larger canvas, but this was the largest size available, and to be honest I didn't want something TOO large that may eventually not fit into whatever space we end up in. I think this is just perfect and will be easy to hang wherever we would like in the future - our bedroom, Halle's bedroom, a playroom, the options are endless!

Have you turned any of your own family photos into a canvas? What website did you use and where does it hang now?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remembering...

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What an important day. Today I remember all of those who have fought and served for our country. Those who have made life what it is today in our free country. For those who have fought, and those who lost their lives, today we remember and honour them. Please, take part in a moment of silence today at 11am. It's such a small act in comparison to what all of those men and women have given for us.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fancy Friday Love

Happy Friday friends! I am SO excited to be sharing another Fancy Friday Love post with you today. It's been far too long since I've had a chance to scour the web and blogs and bring you some of my favourites. Right now is such a great time to get back into it though, with everyone really gearing up for the holidays - what an inspiring time! Here's what I was loving this past week...

Loved this post on desire to inspire over the weekend. It included a bunch of interior shots from a magazine in France called MilK, that is directed towards parents. Seriously, there are family interiors, and this is what I want MY home to look like (but seriously, two dogs and a baby girl who gets into EVERYTHING - not happening)...


milkmagfranka via desire to inspire

I hope you are all familiar with the incredibly talented Staci from Switch Studio. If not, you are in for a treat. This lady does everything from making lovely pillows to reupholstering some really gorgeous furniture. Most recently, Staci has released a new line of modern Christmas Stockings in her Etsy shop. They are absolutely lovely! Make sure you swing by her shop to see all of the beautiful different stockings she has!

StockingCreative

This dress, from Ruche, is way too cute! Would be great for so many of the holiday's coming... especially for a fun New Years out! Even better - it's only $54.99!

via Ruche

Christine's peek at Alice's first birthday invites, has me itching to see all of the photos from the party. I know it will be awesome, and I hope they all have a great time celebrating Alice's first year. What a fun and bittersweet milestone!

via just bella

This beautiful modern home in Oregon is not something I would normally gravitate towards. However, the more I poured over the photos on 79 ideas the other night, the more I fell in love with it. Maybe it's just the part of me that is craving a clean and organized home (lord knows it's nearly impossible right now with a 15 month old running around)...

79ideas-dining-area-with-great-chandelier

The most perfect Elmo themed birthday party ever, over on On To Baby. I love that it's not overkill...

elmo-birthday-party-9

Hello gorgeous kitchen, found on House of Turquoise...

via House of Turquoise

I would also like to extend a big HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has supported my little Etsy shop! Not only have I been receiving the kindest words and comments about Halle Handmade and my products, but I've had some great mentions as well, including this sweet little write up over at Stimuli Magazine, and a mention on my good friends blog! I also made my first sales (yes plural) on Wednesday, which was incredibly exciting! Thanks for all of the love and remember to swing by my little old shop often! I already have some new designs up since I launched it on Monday!


PicMonkey Collage

We have MORE family fun planned for this weekend, and I'm so looking forward to it! It's a long weekend here on the west coast, so I'll be back on Tuesday to share everything with you! What do you have planned for this November weekend?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

In This House...

It's hard to believe, but we've been in this rental for over 6 months already. Time is certainly flying by, and we're still working on making this place feel more like home. One of my biggest initiatives has been to get artwork that is unique, personal and meaningful up on our walls. I've already shared our bedroom art project here and here, our hallway gallery wall here, and the updates we've made to Halle's gallery wall here. Next on my list was this big blank space next to our entertainment unit in our living room...


July 18, 2012

Just like everything else we have put on the walls, I wanted it to be something we loved and something that really reflected us as a family. Everything worked out perfectly when I attended the BLEND event back in late September, and won this beautiful decal from Danielle's shop, Urban Walls.

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A decal is the perfect solution for art in a rental. It's a great way to get something on the wall that isn't permanent, and it won't cause any damage. Plus, options are endless so you're sure to find something that speaks to you, especially in Danielle's shop. 

For us, it would've been easy to just slap it up on the wall and call it a day, but that wasn't what I wanted. Since we're not too sure how long we'll be in this home, or where we'll be next, I wanted to do something to ensure we could take this message with us wherever we go. It all started on a rainy Sunday when we made a trip to The Home Depot...

November 4, 2012


That melamine coated pressed board was exactly what we were looking for, and we were thrilled that we didn't even need it cut. It was larger than the decal, but would leave us the perfect border all the way around, and it put us out only $26!

Election night was the night to get this project going. While the TV kept us up-to-date in the background, we got to work preparing to apply the decal. B measured everything so we could get it nice and centred. Then we gave the whole board a wipe down with a slightly damp cloth and then began to apply the decal.

PicMonkey Collage

We had some problems with keeping the decal straight on the board. The easiest way to fix this was to actually cut the decal in between the lines of text, and apply it in sections. You can see B cutting it in the middle picture on the right, and it's obvious in the picture on the bottom left that we have two separate pieces. Cutting the decal really helped make this whole process easier. In the end, it worked out perfectly and the whole thing looked great. Halle loved helping too...

November 6, 2012

With the decal on, it was time get our big heavy board up on the wall. B would guess it weighs around 30lbs, so we had to be sure to get something sturdy to keep it up on the wall. B had picked up some of these corner braces at Canadian Tire when we were out on Sunday...

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Then, there was a whole lot of measuring, drilling and inserting of anchors...

November 6, 2012

What B did was place the braces in the wall so that the board would rest on top of it, not cradled inside of it. Then he took the two braces for the top and attached them to the board first. Lastly, he put the board in place and attached the top braces to the wall, and then screwed the bottom braces into the board. One night of a little bit of dedication and we ended up with this beauty in our living room...

November 7, 2012

November 7, 2012

I am SO in love with it. I have always loved how decals look on walls, but I really love how this one looks on our melamine coated board. It's thick and heavy and really has presence in the room. I think it's a statement piece, and the message is a perfect reminder for all of us on how we should approach each day. Halle really loved it too. Once it was up on the wall she kept running over to look up at it, then she would laugh, run away and repeat. I wish I'd got a video of it. The best part for me though, is knowing that I will get to take this with us wherever we go in the future.

If you're looking for something great to spruce up your space, check out Urban Walls. I'm already eyeing up these awesome polka dots - I think they'd be perfect for Halle's room!

urban walls polka dots

Have you been adding artwork to your places? Getting up to anything besides preparing for the holiday's? I can't lie... I have Christmas on the brain these days, I'm just not allowed to decorate until after American Thanksgiving! ;)
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