Apr 17 2015


16-52  I made Lucy an adorable kimono style jacket and tried photographing her in it this week.  Wouldn’t you know it, 1.5 year olds don’t stat still long enough to take pictures!  It’s hard to tell in this shot, but it’s longer in the back.  I plan on putting a little tie in the front because it kept sliding off her shoulders.

Also…I may or may not have made a matching one for myself.  I don’t plan on wearing it at the same time though.  Pretty sure that crosses a line…haha.

I’m aware that this blog has been pretty sparse lately with the exception of the 52 Project.  We are just at the tail end of our house hunting process.  I’ll be sharing about that in due time, but for now we are very much in limbo so blogging has taken a backseat.

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Nov 19 2014

[try this] hair extensions for short hair

I’ve wanted a set of hair extensions for a long time and finally bought myself a set this summer.  A friend of mine had bought them for herself for her wedding but couldn’t get them to match her hair colour, but wouldn’t you know, they matched mine perfectly!

Last Autumn just before Lucy was born (ok, technically I guess it was still summer) I chopped off all my hair from below my shoulders to a short pixie cut.  I had logical reasoning behind the cut.  I figured being a new mom, I wouldn’t want all that hair to take care of (and I have a LOT of hair). What ended up happening though was that with all the changes that come from being a new mom, I did not feel like myself at ALL.  I had gained weight, pregnancy had made my skin angry, I was tired all the time and my pretty long hair was gone.  To add insult to injury, my lovely hairdresser went on maternity leave as well shortly after she cut my hair off, so I bounced around from hairdresser to hairdresser until February when I decided to just grow it out.

In retrospect, it was not a good move.  Pro-tip:  If you are thinking about chopping your hair, wait till a few months after you have your baby to settle in to your new life.

So here I am, growing my hair out again.  It was a pixie in February, and I have had it trimmed three times since then to even everything out.  Because I want the look of long hair, I have come up with a few ways of wearing extensions with my bob length hair without looking like I have strange layers.

Here’s what my hair looks like before the extensions.

Here are my extensions freshly curled.  I try not to curl them too often because it just dries them out too much.  After wearing them I brush them lightly and store them in their box.

1.  Start by pinning up the crown of your hair.

2. Spray and tease the bottom half of your hair, to keep the extensions in.

For this hairstyle, I tease the entire back and pin it up in a kind of french roll, to hide all the short hairs.

3. Pin in the extensions.  Even though this style is more of an up-do, I stagger them so that there aren’t any weird gaps.

Looks cool, eh?

4. At this point, if the extensions are freshly curled, I pull them a bit and run my fingers through them so that they aren’t so Shirley Temple- ish.

5.  This step probably could have (or should have) been done first.  At this point I curl the top layer strategically to match the extensions.  I don’t do too much, just to blend the hair.

6.  Pull the hair to one side to a low side pony.  It should cover up all the short stray hairs.

7. Pin all the loose bits for the finished look.  I usually put a couple of bobby pins at the back, pinning the extensions to my actual hair (to keep it all in place).

All done!   This usually takes me about 5-10 minutes in the mornings (depending on whether or not my extensions were curled to start with).  If my extensions are starting to look a little limp, I’ll opt for a braid instead of a side pony (again, I try not to curl them too much). Sometimes I will pull it back into a low loose bun as well.

This has been a great option for me as I grow my hair out!  It certainly doesn’t replace having my hair long and curled, but it’s a good in-between until it’s long again.


Sep 21 2014

We Love Lucy: A first Birthday Party

The first birthday has come and gone!  We are very thankful (that it has come and gone) but also for the many people that came and celebrated with us.  I always said that birthday parties would be small and simple but we really felt in this case we needed to do something special to thank all the people that have helped us in the last year.  What better way to thank people, than to load them up with homemade sugary treats?  If there’s one domestic ability that I am confident in, it’s my ability to make fabulous desserts, so a dessert party was obvious.  Since Lucy basically still doesn’t eat, I wasn’t worried about really making things that were baby friendly because she would just throw them on the ground anyway!

My “theme” (if you can call it that) started from a print that I made that is in Lucy’s bedroom that says “I love Lucy”.  We used the hashtag “we love lucy” when instagramming when she was first born and going through hospital stuff, although I stopped because a million other people used it too. Because Lucy is also a heart baby, I loved the idea of incorporating hearts into it.  I picked a colour palette of pink, red and gold (although the pink, as per usual, took over).

The weather was perfect–if not maybe a touch too warm for myself and my porcelain daughter.  But everyone else seemed to really enjoy it.

In all, it was pretty budget friendly since everything was handmade with a lot of supplies from the dollar store.

I drew and cut out the letters that made the “We Love Lucy” sign out of glitter vinyl, and they were strung together with fishing wire.  The streamer backdrop was just draped and stapled over twine.  The pom-poms were made out of dollar store tissue paper (lots of tutorials on Pinterest for that).

The birthday cake I was extra proud of.  I’ve always loved baking cakes, but decorating cakes has always been a bit of a mystery.  I always stick with simple decoration to save me from disaster!  This was a four layer red to white velvet ombre cake.  For the heart I used a cookie cutter as a stencil and put sprinkles on it.  The pendant banner was a quick project and is just craft paper and twine.

(…and there was only one piece left, so that’s a good sign!)

The cupcakes were made by my mom and decorated by me.  They were vanilla with raspberry filling, or lemon filling.  I made the heart picks myself out of glitter vinyl.  Oh, and PS: that “make your own glitter sprinkles” DIY that is so popular on Pinterest, doesn’t work.  It just looks like coloured sugar.  Oh well.

Lucy’s “smash cake” was just simply a box cake that I didn’t care about because I knew that she would either A) throw it on the ground or B) not even want to touch it.  It was mainly so that we could put something in front of her while we sang.  I made the “1″ pick myself out of glitter vinyl.

Homemade sugar cookies with royal icing.

(Left) Homemade Chocolate Raspberry Truffles (made by my mom) and (center) homemade red velvet cookies.

Chocolate dipped pretzels!  A Pinterest win!! So easy and pretty too!

Dave’s contribution to the food was sweet and salty kettle corn that we served in cupcake cups.  A favourite in our household.


I bought inexpensive flowers (carnations and baby’s breath), and used the ever popular and cheap mason jars for vases.  I sprayed a bunch of them gold and it looked really sharp!

I set out a table for gifts with a picture that I made of Lucy with her  milestones.  Her first pair of tiny Minimocs are there, with a rag doll that I made her for Christmas (that has a matching dress that I made to what she was wearing that day)

We planned on having a lot more balloons, but they just started exploding all over the place!  We think it’s because they were dollar store balloons, plus it was warm.

I hung up pictures from the last year with clothespins that I put sparkly red hearts on.  An easy and simple project.

Here’s Lucy getting “Happy Birthday” sung to her!  She was weirded out.

That icing on her face was my doing.  I really wanted her to at least try!

Eventually, once the crowd disappeared she touched the cake.

…but didn’t like how that felt.

Trying out her new rocking horse from mommy and daddy!  It was scary at first, but then when no one was looking she got in to it.

A card with animals on it!  Her favourite!

Her tambourine, which is a new favourite.  I have no problem with that kind of sound!  As long as it promotes creativity and isn’t a loop of digital sounding kids music I’m happy.

We asked for books for her birthday, and we sure got a good haul!  I’m so happy that we received such lovely gifts for her.

Testing the rocking horse when the crowd stopped paying attention.

Lucy’s dress was designed and made by me a few months ago–for Easter, actually!  But it was too big and too cold for her to really wear it.  I did have to let the elastic in the waistband out a bit for her to wear it for her birthday, but other than that it fit her really well.

And that’s it!  Wow!  I feel like this is as much as I would post about a wedding.  We are definitely exhausted after the day and will probably never do something as elaborate as this again–but–it was fun to be able to plan the event and see it come in to fruition!  Here’s to one year survived!


Jul 22 2014

{♥} inside our house: mid century rocking chair refurbish

A few months ago I was cleaning out Dave’s sock drawer and found his old watch.  Upon showing it to him, he remarked “I forgot how much I loved wearing a watch!”  And all of a sudden, this spawned a whole new obsession interest in watches for Dave.  (**this is going somewhere, I promise**) One day, after he had just bought another vintage watch online, I told him that I didn’t think it was fair for him to be buying watches when I had been asking for an arm chair for the living room for two years.  Our old ikea tub chair was okay, but the slipcover was wrecked and in our tiny living room it made that corner feel very cramped.  Dave told me that if I could find a vintage armchair like I was wanting for under $50 (the price of a vintage watch) I could get it.  I think Dave sometimes underestimates how determined I am.

I kept a constant craigslist window open on my computer with two tabs: one searching “vintage armchair” and the other “retro armchair”.  I refreshed them regularly (read: hourly) and it paid off:  I found this one for $20!  Although…it didn’t look like the picture above.  It looked like this:

The vinyl was not only in bad condition, but it was a really poor upholstery job.  They made no effort to hide staples, and it was just all around gross.  The wood had also been “refinished” at one point and though you can’t see it in the picture it was pretty terrible.

So somehow** I convinced Dave to strip off the finish of the wood and refinish it.  I bought fabric to recover it (from the thrift store no less!  It cost me $5!) and though it was the first time doing a reupholster that was more than just stapling (ie, dining room chairs) I think it turned out pretty nice!

Our tub chair now lives in Lucy’s room which is a bonus for when she wakes up at 3:30 in the morning and we need a comfy place to crash.


**I told Dave that if he wasn’t going to refinish the wood, I would.  Because, after all, how hard can refinishing wood really be?


May 12 2014

sew: boys button up shirt to baby dress

I’ve seen a couple pins on pinterest showing how to make a toddler dress from a mens button up shirt.  I liked the idea, but wanted to make something a bit more detailed.  I was also frustrated with the lack of blue girls dresses, as well as dresses without cartoon characters, logos or words.  I found this boys size small button up for $2 at the thrift store and loved the blue gingham, and lucky for me, a boys size small neck fits my chubby baby girls neck perfectly!

This DIY is great if you are already pretty familiar with the sewing machine.

Here’s what I did:

Step 1:

Measure where you want the waistline to sit, and cut.  Try to be mindful of where the buttons will go.  I cut just above a button so that when I sewed the waist, there would be a button just at the waist (to avoid puckering)

Step 2:

If you want to avoid what I did in the first picture, get your screaming baby to stop crying first.

And then cut the shape pictured in the second image.  My pieces ended up being side panels (and I cut the pieces from one of the arms)

Sew the sides (obviously leaving the armholes open!)

Step 3:

Sew a baste stitch along the top of the skirt section and gather to fit the bodice.  I did this in panels (the back, and the two front panels) in order to keep the gathering even.  Pin to the bodice, and sew.

Step 4:

Finish off arm holes.  I also hemmed the dress (but left the fabric).  I left some room to take out the dress at the sides, as well as the bottom because I want the dress to grow with her.

I also used bias tape to finish off the seam at the waistline on the inside, as well as in the arm holes.  I like to have baby clothes as sturdy as possible, because they need to be able to get thrown in the washing machine without me worrying about the edges fraying.


The sash around the waist was an afterthought (so I didn’t photograph instructions).  I noticed the cuffs from the arms had a smaller gingham fabric and thought that it would be cute to use as a sash.  I cut them off, opened up the seam to remove the raw cut edge and re-sewed it shut.  I then sewed them together at the from, and used the button holes to attach an adjustable tieback.  I sewed on two of the buttons down the front of the sash where the seam was.