Posts By: Thalita

Super Simple DIY Ornament Storage

Storing ornaments has to be one of my least favourite things. I’ve done everything from wrapping them individually in tissue paper to keeping them in their original bulky boxes (that just end up falling apart) to tossing them in a shoebox and hoping for the best. Truthfully, none of those worked out too well for me (or some of the poor ornaments), but thankfully I tried something that actually works, and I promise you it does because I have been using this method for the last three Holidays and I can’t ever go back to my old ways now! Alright, so what is it? Well let me start by warning you that you WILL need to walk away from small kids for this for at least 30-45 minutes. Possibly with a hot coffee. And some relaxing music. That may or may not be exactly what I did. Now here’s what you’ll actually need for this: 40-50 Plastic cups (16 oz sized) Double-sided tape Foam board or cardboard A large storage container with a lid Scissors Your dear ornaments The best time to complete this project is long before you actually need to put ornaments away because it will be so satisfying when you’re Read more

How To Make Your Christmas Tree Fuller

Let me tell you a little about my Christmas tree. It cost $38. No, it wasn’t on sale. No, I didn’t get it second hand. That was the full price at the store when I got it. See, I got married in September 4 years ago, and we weren’t exactly in a position to spend a ton of money on a tree, but we definitely wanted one. I waited too long to find anything early on at garage sales or online, so I got this one. I should also mention we lived in a tiny house, so the tree had to be small. I still remember taking it out of the box, so excited for our first tree, and seeing all of the gaps in between the branches. It was a little disheartening, but I was determined to make it work. And I have. You see, we still have this tree. It’s the only tree we’ve ever had, and I dare say it doesn’t look like it cost $38 anymore! I almost never put up the tree on its original base and use a tree skirt, and the main reason for that is our dog. He things the skirt is a new Read more

DIY Gift: Simmering Potpourri

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with finding appropriate hostess gifts around the holidays. With so many dinners to attend (and I do so gladly because a great cook I am not), I often find myself stumped with how to bring a meaningful and useful gift to those hosting. A beautiful candle was my go-to gift until I discovered that I could make something that would smell just as good (or better) than a candle, and it meant I could provide my lovely hosts with a handmade gift - the best kind, in my opinion! The work potpourri brings back memories of foul-smelling dried flowers found collecting dust in powder rooms everywhere. Anyone else with me? But a simmering potpourri is much much different. Simply put, you add fresh ingredients to a pot of water and let it simmer so that they may fill your home with their delicious scent. I’ve tried it. It works. And I have a really simple way you can make some for all your lovely hosts (or guests) this Winter! You’ll need: Fresh or dried cranberries Dried cloves Cinnamon sticks An orange Fresh rosemary Small jars Twine or ribbon Wrapping paper Now, you don’t necessarily need Read more

DIY No-Sew Holiday Stockings

I will never forget the first time my husband and I got one another presents for our stockings. We both filled it with one another’s favourite candies and silly little things from the dollar store. It was pretty much the best part of that first Christmas together as we opened our stockings in bed on Christmas morning before actually making it down the stairs - not traditional at all, but sometimes traditions are ok to put aside! Those first stockings haven’t survived (they both ripped, somehow) and I never replaced them. I have a hard time justifying spending a bunch of money on new ones, so I decided to make some for our twin boys this year. We didn’t get them stockings last year for their first Christmas (I was too pregnant and then too busy snuggling babies), so this year I made them their very first ones! And the best part is there was no sewing, it didn’t take long or cost much! Here’s what I used: An old sweater Peel n Stick fabric fuse Scissors Faux fur If you happen to have an old sweater, bonus. Otherwise, hit up your nearest thrift store like I did! To make my template, I used Read more

Family Room Makeover

‘Tis the season to cuddle up on the couch with a cozy blanket and a cup of hot chocolate topped with lots and lots of marshmallows, am I right? Add in a glistening Christmas tree and a fireplace, and I dare say you might have to pry me off the couch to get me to move from my favourite corner spot with my easy DIY blanket ladder to make sure something warm is always nearby! This room didn't always look quite so cozy, however, and we had to make some big changes to make it into the room it is today. Taking away old wallpaper, dated wood panelling and updating the fireplace were high on the priority list along with finding furniture that would fit this large room that doesn't have many walls to work with! See what I mean? Putting together a family room for our growing family felt like a daunting task, at first. This room has to serve a lot of purposes: play area for twin boys learning to walk, evening relaxation zone for mom and dad, and occasional space for entertaining friends and family. Finding the perfect sectional sofa was priority number one! Something that we can reconfigure into one Read more

DIY Nursery Mountain Mural

I’ve recently become a big fan of wall murals. I never thought I’d say that, because when I think of murals, I think of cartoon characters painted on a wall, or some sort of landscape scene. Well, I guess I like the idea of a landscape scene because it’s what I ended up going with for our twin boys’ nursery, but in a very simple and minimal way. The nursery has always been a space well used by our entire family. In our last house, I even slept in the nursery a few times while I was pregnant, and dreamed of the day we’d have our babies at home to snuggle endlessly in a room to call their own. There’s something so special about planning for and decorating a room for babies, isn’t there? My idea for this room was to make it a place for rest, winding down with a book and snuggles, and that our boys could grow in and into and hopefully share for many years to come. The furniture in this room is in a mid-century modern style, so I also wanted to honour that in the mural by keeping the lines very clean and crisp (and I Read more

DIY Winter Mobile

Our twin boys will be 1 year old this December and I have never hung a mobile for them. Seriously. Never. I made one with the best of intentions, and when I realized I needed to make a second, my tired mama body said “no, thank you” and so no mobile was ever hung. I realize now that a mobile would simply be a challenge in their eyes to see who could hang from it/eat it first (because all things go in their tiny mouths these days), and so I gave up on the mobile thing. Until I realized how useful it could be if used somewhere other than above their cribs! Enter this DIY Winter mobile! One day, while trying to change diapers without anyone falling off the change pad or rolling over and making a giant mess, I haphazardly hung up a toy by its ears, and I very very quickly realized that it actually worked! They were intrigued enough by it to look up rather than off behind me, or at their toes, or try to face-plant onto the floor. I knew that once we moved and got their nursery done, we needed a new mobile. Well, here it Read more

Twin Boys’ Nursery

You never forget your first home, right? Well, true, unless you happen to be less than a year old, as is the case for my twin boys. Though we definitely won’t forget what their first room looked like and the home we brought them to from the hospital that warm December morning, they, most importantly, will make memories in this nursery. It’s the room they’ll grow up in. It’s the room they’ll remember as their own, and so it needed to be special. Our current home is nestled on a treed lot that gets tons of natural light, close to a lake and full of paths to be discovered around the neighbourhood. I wanted this environment to be reflected in their room as well, along with a sense of adventure. The mountain mural was my way of bringing the outdoors in without getting too literal and keeping things minimal, while the blue and yellow are references to the sun and water that surround us. The cool white and greys will serve well to help the boys to relax when it’s time for sleep. I chose these white cribs and dressers by Dwell Studio that are perfectly neutral and bright and that can grow with Read more

Laddering Up: Make your own blanket ladder storage

Blankets are an absolute must in our house. My husband seems to be constantly cold, and our dog, Luther, can be found in a pile of them at anytime - Winter, Summer, it doesn’t matter. We’ve usually got them on the sofa, but in the Summer I like to keep them a little more out of the way since they’re really only used on the occasional chilly night or to take outside if we have a fire going. I would love an old ladder, but these things have become so popular now that they cost a pretty penny, so I decided to make an “old” ladder myself! Here’s what you’ll need if you want to make your own: 4 20” pieces of 1x2” pine 2 60” pieces of 1x2 pine (these can be cut at the hardware store for you) Wood stain Grey or white paint Paintbrushes Paper towel or old rags Nail gun or a hammer and nails Sandpaper It’s such an easy project, and it’ll only take you a couple of hours (including paint-drying time)! To start, I made some dents in my pine pieces using some random tools, but mostly just a hammer. Pine is so soft that it’s easy Read more

This Should Cover It: Floor Mat to Floor Pillow Hack

I’ve never been one to sit on the floor much, but when you have two infants, you’re not left with much of a choice, especially once the crawling begins! My twin boys are constantly on the floor for tummy time and playing, and I wanted a pillow cover that would be tough enough to handle their continued abuse, so I made a floor pillow - out of a doormat! This was (very surprisingly to me, someone who never sews) extremely easy to make! Here’s what I used: A 2x3’ cotton doormat A large upholstery needle Regular thread Scissors An old pillow A medium sized hook to hold the flap closed First, figure out how you want the “envelope” to go. I found this to be the easiest way to sew the pillow cover so that it would be removable without needing a zipper or even a sewing machine! That’s right - this was all done by hand! Sew the bottom part of the envelope on both sides. I used a simple double cross stitch for this. If your rug has a fringe like mine, cut it off on the inside of the envelope. I found it got in the way, otherwise. Now fold your envelope back Read more

Room to Grow: Our Living Room Makeover

My husband and I bought our first house three months before we got married. We literally had a bed and our clothes to bring into it and my mom got us two plastic adirondack chairs, which we ended up using interchangeably as patio and living room furniture for about the first 6 weeks. Naturally, the first thing we went to look for was a sofa. After looking high and low for something that both looked good and didn’t cost a fortune, we ended up at Leon’s and fell in love with the New York Sofa. If that sofa could talk, it would say so much about our lives as newlyweds, dreaming of our future. It has since been moved into our basement family room where we are sure to make many more happy memories. This meant we were once again without a place to sit in the living room! Our living room sofa has always been so much more than a place to sit, though. It’s where I told my husband I was pregnant, where we’ve had several home-cooked and take-out meals on nights when we skip sitting at the table and just veg, and it’s where we’ve had endless cuddles Read more

Hanging At Home: Simple DIY Woven Wall Hanging

If you’re looking for a Summer project for you and your kids, this might be just the thing. The great part about this is that you can make it as small or as large as you want, and in the end you’ll have some great looking artwork to hang on your walls - wouldn’t that make your kids feel so good to see their work on the wall? Here’s what I’m talking about: Woven wall hangings are pretty trendy at the moment, but can cost a pretty penny, so why not make your own? Here’s what you’ll need: Picture frame (I used an 8x10) Cotton string or yarn A variety of yarns, ribbons, trim, rope, etc A plastic sewing needle Scissors Wooden dowel, driftwood, or a wooden branch A fork Start by wrapping the string around the frame and tying a knot. Continue to wrap it fairly tightly with about a ¼ of an inch gap. Tie another knot at the end and cut off excess yarn. You now have a loom to work on! Thread a needle with about two feet of your choice of yarn and start weaving only on the top ‘layer’ of your loom - the string on the Read more

Set Your Vacuum to “Dog”: Keeping the House Clean With Pets

Vacuuming is torture for me. Honest to goodness, if you want to see me unhappy, watch me when I vacuum (or fold laundry). And yet I love a clean floor more than just about anything - even clean clothes! With the arrival of our twin boys, having cleaner surfaces suddenly became even higher priority, especially since we have a dog that sheds! We can put down all the quilts and blankets we want, Luther’s teeny tiny hairs get into everything. So how do I keep our home clean, love my dog, and keep my sanity while doing my most hated chore? Here are my tips: VACUUM OFTEN Yes, I know. You were probably looking to cut down on how often you need to do this, but here’s the thing - vacuuming more times during the week actually means I do it in spurts, and not one giant marathon session, which is what actually aggravates me anyway! If I vacuum for about 20 minutes every day (realistically, every other day), the whole house seems to stay clean, especially the high-traffic areas like our entry and the kitchen since that’s where most of the actual dirt seems to come from. When I get to the Read more

For Such Small Humans, They Sure Have Lots of Stuff: DIY Fabric-covered storage boxes

We live in a very small house with a bit of a funny layout on the main floor. Not funny like “haha,” but it’s a bit strange. We have a big walk-in pantry/closet/everything-we-own-has-at-some-point-lived-in-there storage space at the front of the house, very few cabinets in the kitchen, and basically no storage at all in our living room. No dining room. Very small house, remember? We’ve had to get pretty creative when it comes to storage on this floor of the house, and up until our twin boys were born, we basically didn’t need storage in the living room for anything other than blankets (which we put in baskets) and the occasional magazine, which we kept on the coffee table. As I’m sure many of you can relate, babies change everything. After almost four years of not needing storage in our living room, the time had come for that to change. But in our small and oddly laid out room, where would we put it? This is where the Allison Pine Server came into the picture at just the right time. We had been keeping diapers, wipes, toys and other baby things in baskets around the room, but that just wasn’t working. Read more

Holiday Bar Cart Essentials

The Holiday Season brings out the host in all of us, whether it be for huge family dinners or small friendly get-togethers. Either way, you want to be prepared for your guests, and that includes having a well-stocked bar cart. This doesn’t need to be anything beyond some simple staples, but they will make a huge difference and ensure that everyone feels right at home and has a great time! What you’ll absolutely need: Fresh limes and lemons: garnish is important for delicious drinks, after all! Bar tools: a shaker, ice bucket with tongs, a bar spoon, bottle opener, strainer and muddler. A variety of glassware: think some short, some tall and stems to keep it simple. Cocktail napkins and/or coasters. Alcohol basics: wine, vodka, gin, bourbon, tequila and rum, and a little bubbly never hurt, either! Non-alcoholic choices/mixers: sparkling water, fresh juice. What you’ll want to make it all look good: A cute bowl or glass for your garnishes: go for something sparkly! Paper straws in the colour scheme you’re going for: because they’re fun and useful! Something to bring in colour: try a tall vase filled with colourful ornaments. A little snack for your guests to grab while cocktails are mixed: something as simple as a bowl of roasted almonds Read more

Raspberry Holiday Mocktail Recipe

The Holiday Season is a time for celebrating, but if you (or some of your guests) would rather do so without alcohol, or you find yourself extremely pregnant like me, it's always nice to have a beverage that makes you feel and look good as you raise your glass for a toast. Enter this red and green raspberry holiday mocktail recipe! There isn't much prep for this drink, so let's get started on what you'll need: raspberries white cranberry juice sparkling water fresh mint for garnish optional: mint-infused syrup (not pictured below) a food processor metal strainer (not pictured below) Put your raspberries in the food processor to make a puree. There will be seeds - lots and lots of seeds, so once that's done, you'll need to strain them through a metal strainer to get them all out. This makes the drink all the more enjoyable! When serving, gather all of your ingredients together so that drinks can be mixed on the spot. A simple tray, some small bowls and pitchers will do the trick! Now you're ready to serve your pretty and festive red & green drinks! In a champagne glass (if you're feeling fancy), add about 4 teaspoons of the raspberry puree. Next, fill about half of the Read more

DIY Air-Dry Clay Ornaments

If you're anything like me, you remember bringing home ornaments from school or making them at home during the Holiday Season. It's one of those things I still end up doing every year, even if I tell myself that I won't do it! This year I opted for air-dry clay ornaments, something that required only materials I already had at home and that used my favourite colour combo: black and white, with a hint of gold.   The materials used for these ornaments are mostly found in your kitchen and would make a great craft to try with kids! Materials rolling-pin air-dry clay cookie cutters small bowl of water Not pictured above: rubber alphabet stamps straw small piece of lace or other textured fabric 120 grit (or higher) sandpaper white and gold spray paint Sharpies baker's twine Step 1: Using your rolling-pin, roll out some of the clay to about 1/4" thickness (just pretend you're making pizza!), and use different sizes and shapes of cookie cutters to cut out some shapes. Step 2: Grab your rubber stamps and stamp sayings or words onto your soon-to-be ornaments. Don't worry about perfection - part of the charm of these is in the imperfections. Step 3: Using a straw, make a hole at the top of your shape so that you can hang them Read more

Neutral Holiday Mantle Styling

The mantle is an essential part of Holiday decor, with the possibilities of garlands, the warmth of a fire and a little holiday magic. I want to show you how I styled my mantle using things I already had at home to keep the tones neutral and using texture to bring up the cozy factor in the living room. Even my husband commented on how much he loved the feel of the room when he walked in, and most guys don't notice this stuff at all! First, let's take a look at where this mantle started. It was nowhere near as warm and textured as it is now, and definitely needed a little more personality. By now you've noticed that this isn't a real fireplace (duh!). I pretty much just took an old mantle, added a few pieces of wood to make the whole thing a little deeper and painted it. Voila! The very first thing I tackled here were the candles. They felt a little too low, and the whole thing needed a boost, not to mention a little more texture. You'll notice texture is the number 1 thing I was going after here! All of the books came either from storage or an Read more

DIY Sequin Wreath

One of the most iconic symbols of the Holiday Season is the wreath, and one quick Pinterest search will prove that. With so many materials to choose from, size ranges and ways to add texture to a wreath, it can be refreshing to stick to just one thing and keep it a little simpler - though simpler doesn't mean boring! That's where sequins come in! This wreath is so easy to make that you could easily create multiples of these - I happen to think that a collection of sequin wreaths would be fabulous, don't you? So let's get to what you'll need for this wreath, shall we? Materials: 12" foam wreath form (I opted for one with a flat back rather than the traditional cylindrical form) 3.5 meters of 1" sequin trim (found at any fabric store) hot glue gun and glue scissors ribbon (optional for hanging) Step 1 Apply a dot of glue to the back (the flat part) of the wreath and attach one end of the sequin trim to it. Step 2 Continue to wind the trim around the wreath form, overlapping it slightly and making sure not to pull too hard because the more you pull, the more of the thread around the trim you can see. Read more

DIY Framed Agate

Nothing says "we don't really live here" like bare walls - that's why art is one of the most vital things needed to make a house into a home. Covering large walls, however, can be daunting and expensive, so it's understandable that it gets put on the back burner. I'm here to tell you that covering that large, bare wall is possible, and you can do it on a major budget, too! Agate is having a bit of a moment, and it's lovely to see it in coasters, but the stone is so beautiful that framing it as artwork is a no brainer. Here's how I created these framed agate pieces. Materials agate wind chime (or you could use pieces meant for coasters) 4-6 frames gold foil marker E6000 glue white foam board Step 1 If you're using a wind-chime like me (I got this one at HomeSense, by the way), you'll need to take it apart first. Step 2 Using a gold foil marker, colour in the rough edges of your agate pieces. Don't worry about getting every single little nook and cranny filled in - this is just to add a little tough of glimmer to the stone pieces. Step 3 Get some white foam board and cut to size for your frames Read more