F O L L O W by E M A I L

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


I had this lonely photo above my couch and knew instantly I wanted to create more of a gallery wall there.  But I didn't want to just throw up a few pics and call it a day.  I really wanted to incorporate a little watercolor text and maybe a marquee light.  So this winter break, I finally decided to sit down and draw out a few things.  Super easy, just had to make the time to do it.

So here's the wall that needed a bit of help and was looking a titch boring!

.....so I started collecting a few things to use......a marquee arrow from Michael's and a few watercolor ideas....

got this for 50% off, but figured it needed a bit of dry brushed white paint to make it more at home in my place :)

No big science to this for me......I just keep moving things around until they look right.  I also do not intentionally have any thing line up too correctly, so it saves me from measuring.....I'm more of an eye-baller, so this little trick works for me.

Love it so much more now.  I wanted to keep all the finishes light, gold or natural so they would all work together and not look too busy, even though there are lots of different pieces together.

Found this quote about family on Pinterest so simply hand wrote it.  Made a little heart, which took about 5 seconds and 2 brush strokes.  All created with watercolor paper and paints/brushes from Walmart.  So no big investment.

Light, bright, and more interesting than that one lonely photo from before :)

Rethink some large walls in your own home and decide if a gallery wall might be right for you!

Saturday, December 26, 2015


We recently had a little games night at our house and thought it'd be fun to give away some sort of little prize to all the kids.  Just didn't want to spend a bunch of money that I don't have kinda thing!  So I remembered seeing different ideas out there on Pinterest that dressed up little jars, and thought that might work.  So this is what I did to create a super easy, inexpensive and pretty darn adorable little "prize!"

I bought some baby food jars, got rid of the baby food, cleaned the labels off and was left with the perfect size jar.....

decided on some colors.....also ended up using a white, not pictured here.....

I bought some dollar store animals and glued them to the lids.  I tried gorilla glue, assuming it'd be strong, but after 4 hours, it still hadn't really "stuck" so just opted to use hot glue as a quick fix.  Didn't use it originally because I assumed it wouldn't be quite as tough as the gorilla glue.  But it seemed to work.  Then gave them a coat of spray paint!

Filled the jars with bulk candy from the grocery store, and voila.....a delicious little treat.

Once the candy is gone, the jars could be used to hold other small items, so a win win :)

Cute hey?!  

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No go create a little something!

Monday, December 21, 2015


Who doesn't love OREO's?
So if you like baking, like I do.....why not make them from scratch?
Of course they don't taste "exactly" like the storebought....but that's kind of the point too!  Fresh and delicious!

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar .....................mix these 5 ingredients together with an electric mixer.
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons room temp butter...................add into the above.
  • 1 egg..............add into the above.  It will appear very dry.  Keep mixing....even use your hands.
  • Form very small balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.  With damp fingers, press down cookie balls, slightly. Bake 7 mins in a 375' oven.
  • 1/2 cup room temp butter
  • 1/2 vegetable shortening
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
(You will probably need about 3/4 of the icing recipe.....I usually end up with a little left over and I do apply a generous amount to each.  So you can opt to freeze it for another time or cut back on the recipe)


Thursday, December 10, 2015

drop sugar cookies

who doesn't love sugar cookies?! right?
i've made this little recipe since i was a kid.  super easy.  no rolling, chilling, cutting out.....just make up the simple batter, drop onto parchment and bake.  i then glaze them to make them a bit more fun to eat!


- Cream 2/3 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.
- Add 1 egg, beat til light and fluffy
-Stir in 4 teaspoons of milk.
-In seperate bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt.
-Blend into creamed mixture.  Press with floured fork if desired.  (I don't usually)

Bake at 375' on parchment paper or greased cookie sheets, for about 10 mins.

Make a simple glaze, by combining 1 cup of icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk or water.  Thin or thicken as needed.  Add a drop of food coloring if desired.


Friday, December 04, 2015

5 minute lava lamp

when i was a kid i remember making these super easy "lava lamps" with my brother.  we failed to ask my mom if we could use all her oil, but other than that, they were a fun little craft!  so today, my little guy was "bored" as he often claims, and i said "hey, let's make a little lava lamp!"

so easy.  takes about 5 minutes and uses things you have around the house.  best part.

here it is:

so in order to get this, all you'll need is an old jar, bottle or some sort of container that will achieve a good seal.  i had a mason jar around, so used that.
then you'll need, some water, some food coloring of your choice, and some sort of oil.

see how easy?  fill jar with some water, color it, and then top with oil. voila!

happy crafting!

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

new house - main floor - before shots!

ok, i'm back!  i'm blogging several months later than i had stated in my last post! but truthfully, life in a reno is no time to haul out the computer!  i didn't even unpack it for a month.

so here we are.  been living here since june 2015.  we set aside time and money to tackle some big stuff right off the bat.  and we did.  but like all reno's, they take more time and more money than you think!  even if you're experienced in this department, like we kinda thought we were....we still didn't have enough time and money and energy (equally important) to get all our wishes crossed off our immediate wish list.  but we did a ton. so we're proud of what we were able to accomplish!  i can't wait to share all of this with you guys!

ok, so we bought a home in an older area of calgary than we were living.  not super old though.  our house was built in 1990.  kind of a perfect age in my mind.  i say that, because we're not having to rewire the entire home or spend a ton of money on plumbing and areas that cost money but aren't impressive to show off!  also great, because you have some older trees and larger lots that what we were used to in the tuscany area.  so we're in hawkwood.  love this area of calgary.  loved the house as soon as we drove up to it. great location, great yard, across a quiet street is the elementary school and in my mind: the perfect family home.  great bones.  i walked into the main entrance, and was so frustrated it smelled like smoke, b/c i already knew we were going to buy the house from first glance.  however, i hate the smell of smoke, and my son and i are both allergic. so putting that aside, assuming we could remedy the smell issue, i knew i wanted the house.  also knew every inch of it was going to have to be renovated!

so here's some before shots of the main floor to get us started! and to give you a quick idea of what we've been doing around here, at the end of this post, i'll provide one snapshot of the kitchen in an almost "after" state, so you'll see the vision start to come to life!

family room:

tons and tons of oak!  white paint here we come!

other angles:

couldn't wait to rip this wall between the kitchen and the "formal" dining room out!


formal dining room:

 so that gives you an idea of what we were working with!  lots of oak, with a side of oak!  plus a ton of caramel and clay colors.  literally my least favorite.  but i love the foot print.  two more rooms on the main floor....down the hallway:

 my office:

and the main floor bathroom/laundry:

that's it for the main floor, and that's a whole lotta nasty so i'll leave you with that for now!  trust me, it looks so much better as i write this, i can't wait to share the transformation!

and as promised, here's a quick glance at an "almost-after" shot of the kitchen!

better right???  ok i'll blog the finished kitchen soon and break it all down for you guys who love that :)