Easy DIY Birthday Cake Bunting Banner // Pinterest Challenge Part 1

I’ll admit it, I’ve been won over by the bunting craze that seems to be everywhere on the blogs these days. The cheery little flags make everything a little more festive and upbeat.  

I’d been looking for an excuse to try my hand at creating some bunting banners after seeing so many beautiful and seeming simple tutorials on the blog. My chance came this weekend when I hosted a birthday party for my oldest friend, and of course provided the all-important birthday cake (a poppy seed cake with blueberry glaze, more on that in a later post!).

This beautiful bundt cake was the perfect place to add in some bunting, and after spending so much time on Pinterest for the Pinterest Challenge, I knew exactly how I was going to decorate my little cake.

I took inspiration from this pin:

Source: etsy.com via Christine on Pinterest

It seemed like a quick and easy way to gussy up my little summer celebration.

What you’ll need:

  • Scraps of paper
  • Writing tool to add the name on the flags (e.g. sharpie, stickers, stamps etc)
  • Scissors
  • Scrapbooking glue/tape
  • Twine or string to hang the flags
  • 2 Skewers  ( I used wooden ones that are meant for BBQ kebobs)

Here’s how:

  1. I went through my scrapbooking supplies and chose a bunch of scrap papers I had leftover from previous projects in a variety of colors – I chose white, pink, blue and purple
  2. I cut out one little flag by folding the scrap paper in half and free handing the size I wanted
  3. I then used this flag as a template to cut out the rest of the flags – enough to write out my friend’s name with a couple extra on either end
  4. I used my silver sharpie to write out the letters on each flag after deciding in what order I wanted them to hang. You could also use letter stickers or stamps, whatever you have on hand
  5. I cut out a length of bakers twine about double the width of the cake, so I had room to attach the flags and tie the twine to the supports
  6. I attached the flags to the twine by slipping them over and then putting a tiny spot of glue in between the two sides so they would stay put. Once they were all glued, I put a heavy book on top of them to make sure they dried flat
  7. After the glue was dry, I tied the twine to two wooden skewers and trimmed the twine before inserting the skewers on an angle in the cake so the bunting hung nicely

And you’re all done! So what do you think, is this bunting thing overdone? Does this count as a successful Pinterest Challenge? Because I also tried a second project which, I’ll be honest, did not go over exactly as planned. Stay tuned for that almost disaster learning experience shortly.

ETA: The projects are rolling out and they are amazing! I’m still in love with my little banner but have got a ton of inspiration to tackle something bigger with my next project. Check out this amazing work: Katie’s, Emily’s, Lana’s, and Sherry’s



Weekend Update

Hello friends!

Did everyone have a nice weekend? Hopefully it was sunny where you are like it was in Montreal. As the boy is out of town, I had a productive and relaxing (I know it sounds impossible) weekend filled with puppy love, great books and fun projects. I even managed to sneak in my longest run yet (only about a month before the half marathon) and a couple amazing Moksha practices.Things I didn’t do – vacuum. Choose a picture for the blog header (I’m having such a hard time doing this – how do you pick one?? Maybe I’ll pull a Dooce and change it every month).

I’ll be posting both of my Pinterest Challenge projects this week as well as a delicious summer cake recipe. I’m excited to share them with you.  Hope your Monday is quick and painless.


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.


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.


Weekend to-do

I have a confession to make: I love lists. Like, loooooove them. Maybe a bit too much. Maybe a lot. At any given time you can find post-its and napkins and torn sheets in my purse covered with things to do, or get, or where I need to be, etc. You name it, I’ve listed it. So I thought it would be a good idea to raise my list obsession to the next level by posting them here on my blog. I’m going to try and do a Friday post of my weekend to do so I can stay accountable (mainly to myself).
So! This weekend. It’s going to be H.O.T. here in MTL so I’m going to try and stay outside within leaping distance of the pool.

  1. Try out the stain testers I got for the deck and PICK ONE ALREADY
  2. Head to the depot and get full size bucket of chosen stain (is bucket the right word? I don’t think so. Alas.)
  3. Pressure wash and prep the deck
  4. Start staining!
  5. Change light fixture in master bedroom (it’s been out for months and I just keep ignoring it and bumping into various things/animals on my way to the night stand lamp)

Ok so that’s not too ambitious right? Especially if I add in ‘quick dip in the pool’ between all of those items. I also need to run at least twice (I’ve got a half marathon coming up) and Moksha at least once.
Hope your weekends are productive and you’ve got your own way to beat the heat.

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


A Red Door, At Last!

Oh, hello. I’m still here! I know it’s been a long time. Let’s just write that off to finishing off my M.A. (woot!) and move on, shall we?

So yesterday I finally tackled a project that’s been on my list since I moved into this house over two years ago. I wanted a red door! I’ve seen so many adorable brick houses with their doors painted a gorgeous red, and I couldn’t wait to add mine to that list.

First off, sorry for the crappy Blackberry photos. In my excitement and enthusiasm I couldn’t be bothered to run upstairs and get my actual camera.

Now, the entryway to the house has always left something to be desired. It has been obviously neglected by the previous owners and, more recently, myself. The frame was peeled and rotting, covered in spiderwebs and filthy.  Here is what it looked like when I started:

The first step was to sand down the wood trim. I used my hand sander to get most of the old peeling wood off, and then went at it with sand paper to get the last little bits off. Then, I cleaned like nobody’s business. Let me tell you, that door was filthy.

Once I had the old paint taken care of, I painted the trim white. The white I used was Behr Polar Frost, in their exterior semi-gloss paint and primer in one. I love the crisp white and somehow it managed to make my old beat up trim look delicious. After two coats, the entryway already looked a million times better.

I cleaned the whole thing up and spent some time considering the door. See, the problem with painting something a beautiful crisp white is that inevitably it makes everything else around it look shoddy. I knew it was time to paint the door. I headed back to Home Depot and picked up my chosen shade of red (chosen after much debate) – Behr’s Apple Polish. Again I chose the semi-gloss exterior paint ‘n primer.

Putting that first coat of red on my white door was definitely a scary thing. It felt so, I don’t know, bold? And the first coat looked like craaaaaap. I figured this was going to be another thing added to petition to get me kicked out of my neighbourhood next to ‘doesn’t mow her lawn’ and ‘skips the Canada day block party’.

Despite how horrible it looked, I knew that there was no turning back. Three coats later and I ended up with this:

And I love it! There are still some touch-ups left to do, I think all told it’s going to take 4 coats to really get a smooth coverage.  I’m going to get that done this weekend and I’ll be back with non-blackberry photos after that. I also spray painted my numbers black, and plan on taking down that light and doing the same to it.

I can’t believe what a difference it’s made in my house, even without being completed.

Some tips if you want to paint your door red:

  • Just go with it. It’s going to look bad at first, but I promise, it will get better
  • Semi-gloss shows every single brush stroke. I did the whole thing with a brush and I think I may do the last coat with a roller to try and even it out
  • Try not to paint at dusk like I did, or you’ll be picking bugs out of your paint more than you’d like

Be back soon with more updates! I’ve got a bunch of things in the works – staining my deck, taking down a wall…can’t wait!