Finds and Favs

What I’ve bookmarked/pinned/loved this week:

30 Minute DIY Dress Tutorial

An amazing simply tutorial to DIY a cute dress with a tiny budget. I love that you can make it the length you want (I’m a tall girl and constantly have to walk away from adorable dresses because they make me look like I just stepped off a street corner). Another reason I need to find a sewing machine ASAP!

 
IMGP0580
 DIY Paper and Linen Art from Bryn Alexandra

Another simple, low cost tutorial with high impact results. Bryn has amazing taste and this project is no exception. I love that this could be easily recreated in any colour scheme or size by visiting a local art store.

Beer Mac and Cheese - How Sweet It Is

The perfect way to ruin your plans for healthy eating this weekend, Easy Beer Mac and Cheese from How Sweet It Is will definitely be making it to my table this weekend. I may have to eat the whole thing since the boy is SUPER lactose intolerant…what a shame really. Tons of other amazing recipes on the site too if you’re looking for something less cheese heavy (but why would you be??? Just accept the cheesy goodness).

I know what I’ll be doing this weekend! Any other recommendations of great projects from the interwebs this week?

Happy Friday everyone!

-C

Listen: Beirut – The Rip Tide

Beirut's new album, The Rip Tide, comes out August 30.

photo from Beirut via NPR

I’m the type of person who can’t work without listening to music. I constantly have my ipod playing and at least one earbud in, blocking out the hustle and bustle of the office. Even when I’m at home I can’t be without music. I feel like my life needs a constant soundtrack in order for me to focus.

Recently, I’ve been switching from my ipod playlists to NPR when I’m at work. I love that I get to hear music which I wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to, and that they don’t just play the same Rhianna song over and over again (I’m looking at you, every Montreal radio station).

NPR has some amazing features, and while I generally listen to All Songs Considered because of the variety of music they play, I’ll also check out their First Listen offerings from time to time. First Listen features include full albums, usually before their widespread release, from albums of all different genres.

This week I’ve been listening to, and loving, the new album from Beirut. I’ve never really listened to their stuff before but I love that it is a little bit uplifting, a little bit different and so, so pretty. Check it out here, hope you enjoy!

I’ve got a couple of DIY projects to write about, and some more baking, so stay tuned for that.

-C

The Pinterest Challenge: Summer Edition!

I’m assuming that unless you’ve been living beneath some sort of rock where there isn’t any wifi you’ve heard of Young House Love. YHL was one of the very first design/DIY blogs that I started reading, when I came across their DIY wedding post (they did it all in their backyard! There were lemon centerpieces and cupcakes!), and I’ve been hooked ever since. So when I saw that Sherry and some of her fantastic fellow bloggers were issuing a challenge, I decided that I would actually participate in something (cue every teacher I’ve ever had gasping in shock) and tackle the awesome Pinterest Challenge: Summer Edition.

You can watch the fantastically awkward video by clicking the challenge link above, but the gist of the challenge is pick one of the (in my case) hundreds of pins from your boards and instead of just exclaiming how gorgeous it is for the millionth time, actually make the project happen THIS WEEK! They want everyone to come back next Tuesday, August 2nd and post their completed projects (soooo much repining will be done on that day, I can hardly wait) for all to see.

So, I’m debating between a couple of projects. I’ll either tackle that grey and yellow duvet cover I’ve been talking about for years

 

Or maybe a DIY light fixture for my bedroom? No, that didn’t get done last weekend…quelle surprise.

But the frontrunner right now is a DIY roman shade

What do you guys think? Anyone else joining the challenge? The more the merrier! I’ll be back on Tuesday with my hopefully not disastrous results.

-C

Cottage Dreaming

Here in Montreal we’ve been going through a record breaking heat wave. Last Thursday the temperature got up to 38 C without the humidex – felt like a sweltering 48 when you counted that in. Have I mentioned that my old awesome house doesn’t have AC? Well, it doesn’t. All that to say, my progress on the big projects has stalled completely since I melt into a little puddle whenever I enter the front door. Puddles don’t get a lot of things crossed off a to-do list, let me tell you.

So instead of actually accomplishing things, I’ve been dreaming of lazy days in a cottage by a lake.

 

Days where I could wake up and drink my coffee on a porch swing

 

Read a novel sitting in an Adirondack chair on the end of a dock

 

Fall asleep curled up under an old patchwork quilt, listening to rain fall on a wooden roof

 

I’ve been using Pinterest to help foster these fantasies. My cottage inspiration board is rapidly filling up. This is where I want to be living right now.

-C

Grey Deck Inspiration

I’ve been thinking about fixing up the deck in the backyard since I moved into this house. However, I didn’t realize that it was going to take me two years just to get the hang of keeping the pool clean and running. Now that I’m getting better at the science experiment that is my pool, I’ve been spending more time out in the backyard and the deck has become a top priority on my to do list.

I’ve power washed and cleaned the wood, which has already made a huge difference, but I can’t seem to pull the trigger on a stain colour. I’m going back and forth between staining it a classic light wood colour, like a pale blonde, or going with the bolder (well, bolder for me) option of staining it a cape cod grey.

I’m definitely leaning towards the grey because, as my house will show you, I love grey. My bedroom, office and kitchen are in various shades of grey with pops of bold colour and crisp white trim. I like the cohesiveness it provides and the neutral backdrop makes it easy to play around with my furniture and accessories. I’m thinking this would also happen with a grey deck, but I’m worried it might end up looking dull or dingy rather than crisp.

So, in need of inspiration, I’ve turned to Pinterest, my newest obsession. Here are some inspiration photos of beautiful grey decks. What do you think, modern and awesome or dull and depressing?? If you’d like to see what else is inspiring me, follow me on pinterest.

Source: houzz.com via Christine on Pinterest

-C

Etsy Friday – Get Cooking

Hi friends!

I am trying to make good on my resolutions for 2010, one of which was blogging more. Another one was to cook/bake more often rather than spending money on going out to a restaurant (related to the third, save some money!). So, to resurrect Etsy Friday, I am going to list the cooking related items I currently have my eye on.

Recipe Book by BethBee (15.95$)

This super cute recipe book has been on my Favorites list for quite some time. I love that it is simple and adorable, and that you can expand it easily by adding your own cards or upgrading the bindings.

Sweet Treats – A Typographical Cookbook – amandawoodward (20$)

Wait a minute, typography AND baking? My two favorite things, come together into one delicious (both the visuals and the recipes) package. I was lucky enough to receive this as a gift for Christmas and I can’t wait to try some of their recipes. Even if I don’t have time to bake, I love to flip through it and enjoy all the eye candy with none of the calories.

Pair of Birds Cupcake Stands – Whitney Smith (84$)

These beautiful cupcake stands would be the perfect thing to present the fruits of your labors in the kitchen. Simple, white and lovely – what more can a girl ask for? Please someone buy these for me for my birthday (it was Wednesday, but I promise I won’t be mad about the delay) 🙂

Cupcakes Make People Happy Print – YeeHaw (21$)

I just had to throw in some letterpress artwork. It wouldn’t be an MTLhome post without it! This pretty little print would be the perfect compliment to your kitchen and really make the party complete.

Happy shopping my dears! Hope you all have a great weekend. Looking forward to more and more posts this year.

-C

A Handmade Christmas

This year, I am taking the pledge. Are you? After Christmas I will do a list of the handmade gifts I gave out this holiday season. I think this is such a great idea.

Feel free to link to your shop in the comments if you offer some cool handmade gift ideas!