Weekend Plans and Happy Thursday Happenings

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy Friday!

I feel as though I'm once again neglecting my blogging buddies, I'm sorry.  This girl who typically doesn't even consider a nap during the day to be an option has wanted nothing more than to take several naps throughout the day.  Exhausted.  There's been a lot to do, a lot going on, but hopefully we will tackle much of our to do list this weekend.

We are going to get started on our front walkway.

Only we would have asphalt in the middle, not paving stones, we wanted to flank the sides and top of the driveway in paving stones.  Well, I apparently didn't do my homework so well, because "oh it will cost about this much" quickly turned into "it will cost HOW much?!".  Yeah.  Long story short, I'm slightly bummed, but we have decided to only do the walkway itself.  I'm happy with the design, but it would have been so awesome to go ahead with our original plan.

The other tough decision was which stone to go with and what colour.  Good heavens there are a lot of choices and combos!  I find that I'm not very good at making decisions without seeing things in place or together first.  We are going with the same stone that is used in the photo above and have chosen to go with a dark charcoal stone to border everything instead of red.  Done.  Hoping to order it and delivered today to start tomorrow.

Then we will be tackling the footings for the new deck in the backyard.  We are getting there.

I'll leave you with two things that made me smile yesterday.  Seeing the beautiful irises in our yard blooming, they are my absolute favourite.  My MIL transplanted some from her garden for me to plant in ours.  Adore.

Then after being caught in a downpour during kiddo 2's baseball game (which was quickly cancelled) we headed over to the ice cream shoppe to indulge in our favourite summer treat.  We were greeted by the most beautiful rainbow when we exited the building.  Great way to end the day.

Have a fantastic weekend, friends!  What are you getting up to?


And Scene! Long Weekend Recap

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Whoa nelly, what a busy couple of days we had.  I'm exhausted, we all are, but man did we ever get a lot done.  The focus: operation backyard oasis.  We dug a new garden, widened the existing two, displaced 30 bags of dirt, planted a slew of new plants and more.  It was a lot of work, but the results are amazing and exciting.  Outdoor living is important to us and I'm happy to have a space that we will be able to enjoy.

A few snapshots:

New Emerald cedars (a steal of a deal at Home Depot).  We did this in Winnipeg and it was my absolute favourite part of the deck.  We still need to build planters for them.  I also love how they look paired with wave petunias.  Heart fluttering moment here.

Our rehearsal dinner for the wedding was held in hubs' parents' backyard.  They had a gorgeous weeping jade crabapple that just so happened to be in full bloom for the big party.  I still remember how beautiful it was, so we decided to buy one for our own backyard.  Voila! Swoon.

Peonies. I love them.  Even after the flowers have bloomed, they have beautiful leaves.  I planted three this weekend, fingers crossed they all thrive!

Next up for the backyard:  the new deck & conversation set, creating a stone walkway and ordering mulch.

This week will mark the end of a busy month for me in terms of blogging.  It's by far the busiest month I've had, which I'm thankful for, but goodness, I've got to do a better job of balancing it all.  I'm learning to handle the stress of deadlines, family life and such, but it's still a huge adjustment.

What did you get up to this past weekend?


Happy Friday, Happy Long Weekend

Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy Friday!!!

This past Wednesday I had the wonderful opportunity to work with a great group of people.  The talented ladies behind Melvik Lingerie came here to shoot their collection and lookbook in our living room.  So much fun and an amazing experience!  Their collection is simply gorgeous and I can not wait to see it all come together!  Here's a sneak peek (the model was stunning):

This is a special weekend for us.  11 years ago tomorrow, hubs and I said "I do".  Hard to believe it's been 11 years.  Wow!

We don't have any mega plans, dinner with the family (this is something we love to do, celebrate with the kids) and since the forecast looks great, we plan on getting some gardening done.  Is it weird that we get totally excited when a few yards of dirt are delivered to our house?  I love the May long weekend not only because it's our anniversary, but because it's when we typically get to work outside...tending to the gardens, enjoying beverages on the patio, barbecuing and moving at a leisure pace.  No "real" agenda,  just enjoy our time together and the extra day off.

So, I plan to do a lot of this this weekend (the result of my girlfriend and I spending the afternoon at the garden center):

And a lot of this in the evenings:

Have a lovely weekend, friends!


Canadian Living June Cover Recipe: Char Siu-Style Ribs

Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's Thursday, which means that the weekend is almost here and let me tell you, this month's Canadian Living cover recipe may just be on your weekend menu after you see it!

One word:  Ribs.

Oh my goodness, yes!  I love ribs, but I typically stick to either bbq sauce or some type of honey glaze.  So I was pretty interested to see how this style of ribs would taste.   It's safe to say that the recipe did not disappoint, the entire family really enjoyed this one!

The recipe:  Char Style Siu Ribs.  I have to tell you I wasn't even sure what char siu-style even tasted like or meant, but what I can tell you is that it's so good!

What I loved: the fact that you can prep the sauce ahead of time and that you can easily re-heat the entire meal.  The ribs need to marinade for 12-24 hrs, so you do need to plan ahead of time, but the sauce prep time was minimal and the steps were simple and easy to follow.

The recipe called for few ingredients.  Easy to follow + minimal ingredients = win, win!  I also learned how to peel ginger...did you know you can easily peel the skin off with the edge of a spoon?  Yup, true.

The flavour was tasty, but not overwhelming (even with all of the garlic).  I'm pretty sure that I over-blended the sauce as it was a little on the watery side.  So next time I will definitely puree it a little less.  Otherwise, it turned out so well.  (I chose to not use the grenadine)

After marinating the ribs in the fridge, you then cook them in the oven for just under 2hrs (be prepared for your house to smell fantastic!) after which you throw them on the bbq.  

But!  You also have the option of letting the ribs cool completely after cooking them in the oven and then re-heating them on the bbq whenever you are ready to dig in.  So to have a meal that takes under 15 mins (if you choose to cook them before hand) is so awesome.

I'm truly all for this recipe.  Great for an upcoming party, perfect for a family dinner.  Our kids play baseball in the late spring/early summer months and we don't have much time from when they get home from school to when we have to leave for the baseball field.  So I'm thinking that this meal will be great since I can cook the ribs in the oven during the day and then throw them on the bbq as soon as the kids get home and they will be ready within 15 mins.

You can find the recipe here on the Canadian Living website and read what other CL bloggers thought about it here.  Mmmmm, ribs...


*sponsored but opinions are completely my own

Style At Home & Home Depot Outdoor Living Twitter Chat

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hey friends!

Today's the day!  If you're on twitter, please join myself, Style At Home & Home Depot for a  twitter chat all about outdoor living!  Not only is it a great topic, but there are prizes to be won! Giddy up!

The chat starts at 12pm EST and will be an hour long.  You can view the rules here.  Be sure to use the hashtag #chatwithstyleHD to join in!


An Outdoor Space With Mega Style.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The theme of the month: operation backyard oasis!  I mean, how can it not be?  Sorry if you've had enough, but I've got to be honest, I'm just getting started!  I currently can not wait to get some flowers and to add a little colour to the deck and the gardens.  Maybe later this week?

Now, you want to see an amazing outdoor space?  Say yes, I promise you won't regret it:


Kristin is the out of this world talent behind this amazing Outdoor Oasis Makeover.  I'm such a huge fan of everything Kristin does, her design aesthetic is so unbelievably awesome.  You can see more images from this gorgeous makeover here.

And don't forget!  This Wednesday is the Style At Home & Home Depot #chatwithstyleHD twitter chat!  It's from 12pm-1pm EST and the chat will focus on creating a beautiful outdoor space!  I'm really looking forward to it, these chats are always so much fun and leave you inspired to tackle your home decor projects!


April Update With The Help of Instagram

Friday, May 9, 2014

April went by super fast, crazy super fast.  I'm longing for warmer weather, but I do love spring.  The weather has been pretty inconsistent, I'm hoping we don't jump from rain & cool temps right into summer, but I suppose I shouldn't be complaining because really, anything is better than winter! ha!

Here's a little instagram recap from the past couple of weeks:

the easter bunny was here!

afternoon beverages on the deck, in the sun, are priceless

unscripted pretty moments are also priceless

#afternoonteawithellivenstudio is my new thing, I cherish it

new fiddle fig and new pot, I'm one happy camper

butter tarts to get me through the emails I'm way behind on replying to (sorry if I didn't reply to your email in a timely manner, trying to improve on that)

plotting out our front walkway, so many paving stone styles to choose from

hooked on demijohn's thanks to Sarah and Erica xoxo ladies

new mini succulent. so so cute.

Can't wait to see what May has in store.

You can follow me on instagram here.


Lounging In The Backyard & A Twitter Party!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I've got my eyes set on a few different outdoor love-seats and couches for our new deck.  Gosh, just the idea of having one makes me happy.

I know I want neutral, I know I want comfy and I know I want the frame to have some type of weave.  For a while I was really wanting the fabric to be black and white stripes and I still love that idea but I'm not running with it.

I spotted the Northshore Collection at Home Depot and love it, it is gorgeous.  It pretty much meets the criteria to a T. I especially love the couch:

(ps also loving the hedge and the windows in the background)

Then there's the chaise.  I've never really been one to love outdoor chaises, no clue why, but I always feel awkward sitting/lying on them if I'm not on the beach!  But then I realized that having one would actually be pretty useful.  You could lounge on it, but you could also use it as a bench for guests to sit on or you could even use it as a coffee table.  Multifunction is always good!

See what I mean?  I think both would work perfectly and would go so well with our adirondack chairs that will definitely be staying.  Thoughts?

Speaking of outdoor spaces, I'm pretty excited to invite you all to Spring Twitter Party!  Yes!  If you haven't ever taken part in a twitter party, they are super fun!

Style at Home is partnering up with Home Depot to talk all about outdoor spaces!  You'll have a chance to chat with Style at Home editors & experts who will be tweeting about the latest trends in outdoor living!  It's honestly so much fun, the hour goes by so quickly!

I will be joining in (and am really looking forward to being inspired as we gather ideas for our own backyard oasis) and I hope you will too!  Be sure to use the hashtag #chatwithstyleHD so that we can follow your tweets!  It's all going down on Wednesday, May 14th from 12pm-1pm EST.  Please join in!


Inspiration: How To Create Your Very Own Urban Backyard Oasis

Monday, May 5, 2014

With the planning and plotting of operation backyard oasis, I can't help but to have backyard spaces on my mind.

So when I saw this amazing transformation of a backyard by HomeSense, my jaw pretty much dropped.  I mean, it's no secret that it costs quite a bit to build any type of structure or addition to your outdoor space, so if you can save money when it comes to furniture, accessories and decor, by all means, do it!  (this my friends is why I love HomeSense so much. You may be paying less, but you're not getting less).

With a little planning, you can easily have the outdoor space of your dreams.  Perfectly chosen colourways, patterns and textures bring this backyard to another level.

Outdoor dinnerware has come a long way.  You can easily mistake it for your everyday pieces (fantastic option for those with young children btw, use it indoors, everyday, I promise not to tell anyone).

The addition of a lower deck in our yard, which will provide us with a space to dedicate towards relaxing is probably what's got me most excited.  Cozying up with a cup of coffee and the newspaper in the morning or a glass of wine and an amazing read in the evening is something that I've dreamt of being able to do for years.  I love our patio set, but there's something to be said about an outdoor couch and coffee table, or a beautiful, perfectly placed bench.  I definitely need a gorgeous stool like this one:

I just love everything that HomeSense has done with this lookbook.  It's relatable, achievable and inspiring.

You can view more here.


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