Friday, August 29, 2008

a little inspiration

I was going through some of our previous projects that Avocado Kiss has made and I came across this one that we did for my daughter's 2nd birthday. It reminded me that sometimes soft and simple can be so pretty...the look of something so feminine just makes me think of bunches of dainty roses, little cupcakes with pink frosting and strands of white satin ribbon. It would be such a great look for a shower!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

a worthy cause!

It's an amazing what a community of bloggers can do.  Everyone reaching out to help someone many of us have never met, but somehow we've come to know through this wonderful world of blogging.  Please read this post "Love For Nie" and see how you can offer your support and do some shopping at the same time!  You can check out the list of auctions on Design Mom. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Etsy treasures!

It's been a while since we have done a post on one of our favorite things...Etsy.  

The first treasure is this sweet shop, For The Love Of All Things Creative.  These beautiful glass creations are definitely something I have not seen before...and she also does custom work if you are looking for something special.

Next up is Kelly Vivar.  Her line is called Inu Jewelry.  It's beautiful, delicate, hammered silver and brass.  I love this set of five rings, but there is so may different things to choose from.  Again, this artist will make custom pieces, perfect for your wedding party.

Finally, Paloma's Nest.  We have posted about them before, and they always have such unique treasures.  These monogram bowls would be perfect for your bridesmaids....a great way to store their earrings, rings and other jewelry.

Monday, August 25, 2008

a little spa treatment

I was looking for some small, inexpensive gifts for some girlfriends who were coming over for a girls night and I thought I would share what I came up with. Using the clear tube, labels and baker's twine from Garnish and a loofah cloth from the local dollar store I made mini "spa treatments." I filled them with some bath salts, massage oil and cleansing gel and gave instructions on filling the tubes with hot water, shaking them and adding them to a hot bath or foot soak. They look fantastic if I do say so myself (and I do). Each gift cost me about $3.00 and for a night at the spa, how awesome is that?

Friday, August 22, 2008

a good laugh for the day...

I bought the new edition of Real Simple, and one of the first things I read was a little blurb they had on Daily Candy. Daily Candy is a website that you can subscribe to for free daily email on fashion, food and other sorts of things. So, they wrote in the mag about a book by Daily Candy on "Words that Don't Exist but Should" and this made me laugh all morning. These were some of them...

crappuccino - A poorly made coffee beverage that costs upwards of 4$.

mapquestionable - (C and I can totally relate to this) Word describing directions provided by MapQuest that somehow cause you to drive in an enormous figure eight.

yellular - The loudness adopted in response to a bad connection in the misguided hope that talking louder will improve it (Ok...this totally cracked me up because the husband yells when he uses his cell phone - he just assumes the other person can't hear him...too funny).

cause you know you'll never wear it again!

So you want to have the most amazing designer wedding gown, but you can't quite afford the price? Well have I got the place for you! Encore Bridal, New and Nearly New Couture. They have the most gorgeous selection of new, sample and nearly new dresses. And seriously, if it's nearly new, you know it's only been worn once! They have all the top designers, Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, Reem Acra, Judd Waddell, Amsale and so many more. And you can save a lot, just take a look at some of the selection...

Marissa 737 - size 6 $1198(save $302)...n.b. this is a NEW dress, probably a sample

Pronovias Bangkok - size 14 $1150 (save $850)

Vera Wang Couture - size 2-4 $1970 (save $2030)

This in an online store, and I know some of you are thinking that you could never buy your dress from somewhere will you know it will fit? No worries, Encore has extensive measurements on some of the dresses, and a detailed size chart as well.

There are also lots of accessories to choose from...veils, jewelry and even shoes! Like this Russian Birdcage veil, new at $90.

So don't worry about trying to rework that budget, because you can afford the dress of your dreams!

Monday, August 18, 2008

more than the mall of america!

I just got back from a long weekend in Minneapolis with my sister in law, P. The great thing about travelling with P, is she does a lot of the legwork, finds the cool things to do, and the best places to eat! Usually a trip to Minneapolis is either about the Husband's soccer team or shopping at the Mall of America. This time our trip was an amazing adventure!

The Walker Art from here

Spoonbridge and from here

First stop was the Walker Art Center. On Thursday nights, admission is free (thanks to Target!). This museum is contemporary art, some of it was a little hard to understand, but still, very enjoyable. We started our tour with the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (always free!), and saw the famous, Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

After our tour of the museum, it was off to dinner at 20*21, a Wolfgang Puck restaurant located in the Walker Art Center. It's kind of Asian fusion, and I had some of the most amazing food I have ever eaten!! If you go, I highly recommend sharing a couple different plates, we had the pork pot stickers, shrimp and scallop spring rolls and the beef. Can I just tell you it was the best beef I have EVER eaten....melt in your mouth YUM!

Hell's from here

The next day, we had breakfast at Hell's Kitchen. I highly recommend the Huevos Rancheros, it was sooooo good! Then, of course, we shopped till we dropped along Nicolette Mall. It was a beautiful day, and was so much better than dealing with crowds and the air conditioning at the Mall of America! Did you know there is a two story Target downtown, you can even put your carts up the escalator!! It was pretty cool.

112 from here

Dinner was at 112 Eatery. This place was very nice! It was in the Warehouse District, and had maybe 35 tables (reservations recommended). Though we had an amazing meal, I still wore jeans, so no stuffiness at this place! Again, P and I shared our meal...we had the cauliflower fritters, pan fried gnocchi (I almost died, it was so good), french fries and we each had a cheese burger. It was so good, P and I barely talked to each other during dinner. All topped off with my Kir Royale, it was pretty near perfect! Our waiter was amazing, and made some very good recommendations!

Cathedral of Saint Paul...picture from here

Saturday afternoon, we took a drive along Summit Avenue in Saint Paul. Close to the Saint Paul Cathedral, this avenue has all the stately homes of the gilded age. There is the James J. Hill House which is open for tours, and you can even take a historic walking tour of the neighbourhood. We topped off our visit with a coffee at a sidewalk cafe on Grand Avenue.

Guthrie Theatre

Saturday night we headed over to the Guthrie Theatre for a performance of Little House on the was a musical! If you're going to be in the Twin Cities, you should go and see it, it was really good! The Guthrie houses two stages, and our theatre was very intimate, every seat was a good seat. The Guthrie is a marvel of architecture, and take a drive across 3rd street to truly appreciate the Endless Bridge.

Foshay Tower...picture from here

All that was left was a yummy breakfast at Key's Cafe in the famous Foshay building (which now has the W Minneapolis, very cool, and will definitely have to have a drink there next time!) It was a great trip, I will never stay at the Mall of America again, downtown is where it's at! Thanks P for the great food, laughs and good times. Where are we going next year?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

how cool are these? hopefully we haven't posted about this before, but anyhow, these are the pictures I took of some super cool decals that I ordered from Tasty Suite. They are really great looking vinyl wall words that come in all sorts of different colours and styles. I chose "get to the point" in "tight whitey" and these other really neat signs for your light switches (I couldn't find them on the website but am totally sure that you can call and order them). Since the last time I visited their website they have a whole bunch of new uber trendy urban decals too, so check them out. Their prices are really reasonable and the orders came in really quick.

Friday, August 15, 2008

the sauce

Every summer our family (and thousands of others) get together to make tomato sauce. At first, this comes as a daunting task having to take the whole weekend off from any other sort of function, and spend 3 days working with your in-laws (in my case). With all that being said, it is a really important tradition in my husband's family, which has been done for centuries. My mother-in law has 5 sisters living here in our small city in Canada, and they all take turns helping each other out to prep and cook the tomatoes...and we get free sauce so why not. It involves a lot of tomatoes (the people line up and wait for the tomato truck to show up - I shouldn't laugh) like 30 pounds, a lot of cutting, cooking and eating. We all bring our kids so they can run around getting sunburned and delirious. It's a good time!

Last year, which is where these pics came from, our nieces and nephew came here from out of town, so it was an exceptionally good year, as they hadn't been a part of it before. We are on duty this weekend and are totally looking forward to getting together and eating lots of fresh cheese, bread and pasta!!!


Just about 1 week ago, the husband's aunt asked Avocado Kiss to design some surprise birthday invites for her hubby's 70th (and I can blog about this without fear I think, that Zio Francesco will be surfing the net and reading the blog and I'll have ruined the surprise). The catch was that she needed 60 pieces and they had to be ready in 5 days for them to bring with them when they visited some family out of town. Not to toot our own horn or anything but we're quite speedy and the results were super!!! We chose a number 10 size and went with a multicoloured look with a lanscape style. The envelopes were white and we used simple black writing in one of my new fave fonts, "broadway". So check out the pics and toot, toot.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

are you in or are you out?

Once the giddiness of the engagement has worn off (well...hopefully it doesn't!), it's time to get to the business of planning a wedding. Before you can book a venue, you need to figure out how many people you want to invite....and so...the dreaded guest list begins! My husband is from an Italian background, he's a first generation Canadian. Let me tell you, the Italians where I live, have many traditions, most of which I love. And one of them is to basically invite anyone and everyone to your wedding. Our venue was only able to accommodate 240 people, which may seem like a lot, but in a city where upwards of 350 invitees is the norm, it's not very much. Needless to say, we ended up with 207, and I was VERY happy about that!

So if you're wondering who should make the list and who shouldn't, here are some tips via CNN. My faves are #5: Do you know my fiance? and #4: Do I have any kids?

picture from Martha...check out the fabulous forest inspired wedding here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

fashion inspiration

I just recently returned from a trip to Montreal, QC and it was the first time I had been there. It is such an amazing city, though I didn't get to do a whole lot of touring in 4 days we still got the whole french vibe. The people were super friendly and there was so much culture. We spent an afternoon in Old Montreal and the restaurants with outdoor terraces alone were very cool nevermind all the singing and dancing and artists along the water.

One thing I really noticed is how great people dress in Montreal. There is such an eclectic mix of styles and looks that it doesn't really matter how you dress - it looks good! On St. Catherine's the whole street (and it's a long street) is loaded with Gucci, Prada, Puma, BCBG, Mexx and a tonne of other shops. It was a really great trip and I have some renewed inspiration for my closet!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

going for gold

No, this is not another post about the's time for some more colour inspiration! Today we're talking gold. It's the perfect colour for a fall or winter wedding. You can use varying shades of gold, or do a classic black and gold for a more formal look. Here are some pictures to inspire you. The invitation is from Avocado Kiss Stationery + Design, the other three pics are from The Knot.

helpful advice

Thank you to Ritzy Bee for blogging about this article, 10 Things To Never Do At A Wedding

The day two people exchange vows may not be your special day, but it's someone's special day, so be on your best behavior -- all the way from the I -do's to the obligatory Gloria Gaynor dance marathon...

  • Don't Be Fashionably Late As the song says, get to the church on time! Allow enough time to get to there 15 minutes early or more no matter what weather, traffic, or other acts of divine intervention pop up. Print out directions to both the ceremony and the reception (if it's at a different location). Many a wedding has been hampered by guests who got lost and showed up an hour late.
  • Don't Produce Sound Effects While at a wedding and reception, turn off your Blackberries and cell phones, put them on vibrate, or better yet, don't even take them!
  • Don't Talk Trash It may sound obvious, but it happens all the time. No matter how big or how loud a wedding is, things get overheard. So, be on your best and most polite behavior. No gossip about any of the other guests. No complaining out loud about anything -- whether it's the food or the long line at the ladies' room. And no comparisons to other weddings! As far as the bride and groom are concerned, this is a perfect day, and so it should be!
  • Don't Come Bearing Gifts Whether you're planning on gifting the happy couple a Cuisinart or cold hard cash, do them a huge favor and don't bring it on the wedding day. If you do, they have to keep track of it and haul it home at the end of the night. Send the gift ahead of time, or after the actual ceremony -- at a time when they can really relax and enjoy it.
  • Don't Dress Down Whatever you choose to wear, make the effort to look your best for the bride and groom. They'll appreciate that you got dolled or duded up for the occasion. If the invitation doesn't specify dress code, put in a friendly email or call to the bride, groom, their parents, or attendants to get more info. Black Tie means you've got to dust off that long silk dress or rent a tux. If it's an outdoor affair, there may be more leeway, but get details on the location, so you can come prepared (because it's isn't fun to be traipsing around in the sand in your stilettos!).
  • Don't Bring Mr. or Ms. Random If you're single, choose your date carefully. If it's someone you've only been out with once, it may not be the best idea (could be awkward for you, your date, and the newlyweds). Same if it's someone you recently "sort of" broke up with. Weddings are intimate affairs and bringing in a stranger should be done with thought. Let the bride or groom know if you decide to come alone so they can seat you with other fun "ones!" And as much as you may love your kiddos, don't take them if children aren't invited.
  • Don't Steal the Show Wedding ceremonies take all forms -- from religious to poetic, musical, or humorous. Whatever the vibe, let the bride and groom set the tone and follow their lead. If you're normally a loud, life-of-the-party type, bring it down a notch and let the wedding couple stand out. If you're a weeper, bring tissues and sit where you can sob without disturbing the I Do's. If the ceremony includes religious rituals, find out what you should do (or not do) ahead of time.
  • Don't Pig Out If food is serve-yourself, avoid the buffet line stampede and wait until the crowd dies down. Also, avoid going back for thirds. Take a break and save room for cake! Seconds might be okay, once you've seen that everyone has eaten. If the food is served sit-down, eat what is served without requesting substitutions or omissions, unless you have a food allergy. Otherwise, pick delicately or chow down, but don't gripe that you "don't like fish." Worse comes to worst, you can hit Burger King on the way home!
  • Don't Drag Out Skeletons If the bride blushes, it should be from pride, joy, or sheer love. Not because someone just stood up and told a humiliating story about the loser she dated in high school! Ingratiate yourself to the lady and her groom by avoiding any potentially embarrassing or juvenile behavior -- no bawdy jokes, no tales about their dating habits or exploits, no overdrinking, and no overly sexy dancing. Have fun, but don't have it at anyone else's expense.
  • Don't Stockpile Party Favors At the end of the night, as you're saying your thank-yous and farewells, avoid the urge to hog all the super-cool (or yummy) party favors! You don't need to take some for people who weren't able to attend. You don't need extras. Take one for yourself, unless someone in the wedding party urges you to do otherwise.
This article is kind of appropriate today, this past weekend I attended the 3rd of the 4 weddings we were invited to this summer. And at these 3 weddings, I have seen everyone of these golden rules be broken...hmmm...I think more people need to read this article!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympic Fever!!

I love the Olympics! I love to watch sports that I would never usually watch, I love the stories about all the athletes (thank you CBC sports...for doing features on everybody!!), I love feeling proud to be a Canadian! I also love all the commercials...this one from Nike I find particularly inspiring! Click here to see the commercial, and be sure to read the stories about all of the amazing athletes!

p.s. I've tried to make this post from You Tube and it's showing up, so hopefully you won't see the post a dozen times!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

red hot!

Here is another colour combo for some inspiration. The colour of the day is red. Now, I think I've said this before, red is probably my least favorite colour used at weddings. But, it seems my opinion might be changing. There are so many new ways to use red besides the traditional winter wedding combo of red and white. I'm LOVING red and turquoise, or different shades of red used together, and even red and gold.

Though I couldn't find any pictures for today (I will keep searching), red also makes me think of the rich jewel tones found in Indian saris and fabrics. A perfect red, combined with a deep orange and yellow could be really nice too. I'm inspired, by my own blog post, how awesome is that!
photos {the knot}

Monday, August 4, 2008


ClearView Envelopes 2 for $20.00
Eco Shopper $16.00

Parachute Storage Sleeve $28.00
Freight Box Lunch Cube $22.00

Okay, so we all know that Oprah featured LUG in her magazine and that they've been around for a bit but this is the first time I've been to their website. Of course, I want to buy it all but I thought I would share some of my faves...I have been looking for some travel pouches to hold my liquids when flying, I have to admit that I have been using sandwhich bags and to be quite honest, they don't cut it!!!! I'm also thinking I look kinda budget. So, off I go tomorrow to go and purchase my pockets - yay!!!