Le Petit Prince Baby Shower

Hello and welcome to another fun event related decor post! In my spare time, I love pinning party ideas on my Pinterest page and sometimes I am lucky enough to host these lovely events for close friends! Recently, myself and another bff co-hosted a Le Petit Prince themed baby shower for our all time favourite mama-to-be, Sabrina. She is a fellow decorator like myself and you can check out her beautiful heritage home here.

When we started planning this shower – we had no clue which direction to go in! Sabrina is easy-going and didn’t have any specific themes in mind or preference for one over the other. Which.. somehow made it more difficult. We bounced around ideas of doing maybe a “French Patisserie” themed shower or a “Vintage Parisian” theme.. but nothing felt quite right or meaningful.

In December, while I was away I was talking about children’s books to my husband and during that conversation I thought “hmm how about a book themes shower.. whats Sabrina’s favourite baby book again?”. I could recall it was something with the title prince, and a quick google search showed that it was most likely “Le Petit Prince” – I had not read the book until now! I texted Sab’s husband who then confirmed that yes, it was indeed her favourite because he had just mentioned it to her and she wouldn’t stop talking about it!

PROBLEM SOLVED!

Thank goodness for wonderful shops on Etsy and lots of creative minds, we ordered the invites from Design with Susana to get the party going!

Next up was the venue – we went with the Old Mill Toronto  for two reasons – 1. They have INCREDIBLE lighting in one of their dining rooms and were willing to accommodate us there .. gotta think about the photo ops, am I right 😉  and 2. They have a fabulous brunch spread and if you ask me, at any event the cake and the food are really what stick with people!

For the decor, since we would have limited space, we sought inspiration again from Pinterest and decided on simple place settings for each individual and that pulled in the elements from the book – simple print outs of pages of the book with crowns and faux roses (dollar store FTW!) and little labels I hand wrote on blue card stock. No.. that is not my handwriting.. its a font I downloaded and now i cant find the name of it. But iI did copy it.. so does that count?

We also had a cute “Capsule” box for the baby to open when he is older and guests could write their wishes for the baby, on little cards that you can download here [Wishes for baby]. Also this box was a super quick DIY – wooden box from the dollar store, chalk painted and the “Le Petit Prince” design simple hand traced on top with sharpie glitter pens. Cute right? I kind of want to make one for myself!

Here is a shot of the dessert table and how stunning is that cake by Humaira of Cake Couture – it tasted even more incredible than it looks!  The adorable framed print was also an Etsy find, which you can get here

Also, Sam – (our friend who co hosted with us) made that AMAZING flying dove prop that we used for the cake backdrop, and with which the Mom-to-be took some cute photos like this one – how cute is she!!

Next up we have favours – which was incredibly difficult to figure out so I went with something that you have probably seen before.. home made sugar scrubs. Lavendar is the mom’s favourite scent, so I went ahead and followed this tutorial and made some for our guests.

And last but not least, Sam, also made these photo booth props with which the guests took photos – all inspired by character’s from the book… go on, order a copy and get reading!! You will definitely be inspired.

Hope you enjoyed this post and leave your comments below to let me know what you think <3

xoxo

Areeba

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Taking care of tulips – the run down!

Nothing screams spring like a vase of fresh tulips. Around here in Toronto, we start seeing tulips pop up in our local grocery stores and florists around mid to late February until mid April. As soon as I spot them, they have to come home with me 🙂 There are now so many pretty colours and varieties like ruffle tulips and so on. But, at the end of the day like any fresh flower arrangement, they require care and typically only last 7-9 days in the best case scenario. I thought I would share some of the tips that our local grocery store’s talented florist has shared with me over my many trips and what I follow to keep the tulips going for the full 9 days if possible. 

First and foremost, when buying these flowers, get the buds that are the most closed – they will take longer to bloom and hence give you more days of foliage. If you are like me, you will also enjoy seeing them flowers bloom open. The bouquet below is an example – they buds are quite tightly closed but they could have been tighter and I was a day late in buying them. Typically if they are tightly closed they will start opening on day 2 of your purchase.

Next, once you have brought them home – ensure that the vase your are setting them in has been thoroughly washed with hot soapy water to kill any bacteria from your previous arrangement. The tulip is a delicate flower and quite susceptible to wilting due to other bacteria. Once you have this, fill your vase with ICE COLD water. Yes.. you read that right! Ice cold is the way to go with these flowers. Trim the ends of your tulips and ensure that they are the correct height for the vase you are putting them in. Because the stalks are susceptible to wilting, you want to provide them as much support as possible and by getting them the right height you will make sure they last longer.

Next order of business is to NOT put in the flower food that you are typically given at the stores.. I don’t know if this is a do or die rule, but my florist told me this once and my tulips always last at least 7 days. Theres something about the flower being sensitive that she told me about.

The last thing is to make sure that you change the water every 2-3 days or whenever its decreased as tulips drink a lot of water. Again, replacing with ice cold water is the way to go and don’t forget to trim the stalks every time you do this.

I hope this post helps you make the most out of your fresh tulips! Let me know whether the tips worked or not 🙂

xoxo

Areeba

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Spring at the Farmhouse Tour – A Blog Hop Series

Hello everyone!! Today I am so excited to be bringing you a Spring themed blog hop featuring some incredibly talented ladies I have had the privilege of befriending on Instagram. If you are here from Megan at The Definery Co,  Hello! And thanks for stopping by!

As you have probably guessed, I am sharing my spring decor for my suburban, builder grade turned farmhouse. My whole goal for this post and for decorating for this season was to spend $50 maximum. I don’t like accumulating a lot of decor that is going to stay shut in a closet for majority of the year (other than my Rae Dunn mugs, of course). And I also don’t like breaking the bank for what is a fun hobby that keeps me sane outside of being a full time student, wife and mom.  And no on most nights, I am not sleeping thanks to how over stretched I feel sometimes.. Blog post on life coming soon.

Keeping what I said above in mind, for this season I did the following three things, which you can also easily do to spruce up any room seasonally:

  1. I bought fresh flowers – tulips and baby’s breath to just bring some colour into the home. I also bought some faux flowers to change out when the real ones died (like three days ago haha!) and until I get a newer batch of fresh flowers.
  2. I hit the dollar store for greenery! This is a completely underused resource – I am Canadian, and unlike my American friends, we don’t have Hobby Lobby for reasonably priced faux foliage. We have Michael’s where I don’t like half the stuff or its too expensive.. and like i said, I like to be frugal. So I went to the local Dollarama, where everything is at least $2 and I found some cute faux potter succulents. I bought three pots and you will see them in some spots in the photos.                                                                                                    
  3. I shopped my home. I went through my kitchen cabinets, my candle collection, my decor cabinet, old books I have been collecting and I pulled out ALL the things that seemed spring. And then I just played around with everything until I liked it. Just by shopping my house, I spruced up the decor to feel like new, without spending a single penny!                                                        

So without further ado, here is my Spring’ed out home!

Starting from the entry way – I kept it simple, and just changed out some pillows for an easy seasonal change.

Moving into the house, you see my favourite console table. I used spray painted mason jars as vases and adorned them with ribbon from the dollar store and little tags on which I wrote out “Spring words”.  Literally, these are old pasta sauce jars.. which means I spent ZERO dollars on them. Amen to that. And in between them, I snuck in some silver bird shaped salt and pepper shakers.. thats right, straight from the kitchen and ready to season my morning breakfast the next day for my long work car rides.

And onto, the living room/kitchen – where I again went with simple and decorate with what I already had PLUS fresh flowers. Nothing changes the look of a room like when you add some beautiful blooms. To me, it brings life to the decor in a way that no inanimate object can.

And the last room that got some Spring love was my bedroom 🙂 Nothing fancy here, except I spruced up our bed tray.

And that’s all for this post – Now head on over to my friend Meeghan’s Blog at Cali Girl in a Southern World to continue to be inspired by more spring decor! Also, show the rest of the ladies in this Blog Hop some love and check out their pages below! Also make sure to stop by on Instagram and check out my daily home decor inspiration.

Until next time,

xoxo

Areeba

 

 

     
     
 

Valentine’s Gifts for Her

Hi everyone!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and there is still time to gently nudge your special someone in the right direction for what to get you! I put together some amazing finds from some of my favourite small shops on Instagram and my favourite store, Sephora.  All these speak to my love of… typography (can ya tell?!?) but also to the farmhouse lover!

1. ” You make loving you easy sign” – Queen B Home | 2. Wander Canvas Utility Bag – Thirteen and Market | 3. Mason Jar Candles – Inspire Light Candle Co | 4. Handmade Wood Tray – The Gulley Farmhouse | 5. Queen of the Farmhouse Mug – Swallows Grace | 6. Dainty bracelets – Bip and Bop  | 7. Fresh Sugar Lip Spree – Sephora 

Whether its a box of chocolates or breakfast in bed, don’t forget to spoil your special someone this year!

xoxo

Areeba

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Home Tour – Master Bedroom

Hello everyone! Hope everyones having a great start of the week so far. This week I want to share our master bedroom as part of the home tour series. Almost everything in our bedroom is either from Ikea or HomeSense. I’ve tried to keep it simple as on a daily basis, I don’t like an unkempt bed.. so if i had 10 pillows, the bed would never get made! Needless to say I can never get it to look like the fancy magazine shots haha, but its perfectly imperfect in all its glory 🙂

 

Sources:

Headboard, lamps, side tables, “love you forever” pillow, bed tray, Scentsationals candle, airplane, world map wall canvas, captain mirrors – HomeSense Canada

Bedding and pillows – Ikea Canada

Mini “Family” sign – Bexley Boys 

Large sign above bed – House on 77th

Anniversary Date Roman Numeral Sign – DIY you can find here

“Mama” and “Baba” mugs – HafsaCreates

Mason Jar Candle – Inspire Light  Candle Co [get 10% off your order if you use the code “WINTERAREEBA10”

See y’all next time!

xoxo

Areeba

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The heart of our home!

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday.. we made it to the middle of the week! So, Im sure most of you have a very similar experience to me, where your home’s family room is where you spend most of your time at home. In our current home, our family room  is attached to the kitchen which makes that living space, truly the heart of our home. This is where you will find me writing this blog post with my morning mug of tea, where my daughters 500 toys are spewn all over the carpet and I have just stopped picking them up at nap time.. because who are we kidding? This is where, we spend majority of our time given that meal prep, cooking, eating, watching tv, playing games and so on all happens here! This space is not perfect, but its comfortable and its baby friendly to say the least now that our little one has decided that she can stand up by pulling herself on any and every thing.

In this room, we had a sectional sofa, which was not working. Since buying new couches is out of the budget for now, we split up the sectional so it can fit on either sides of the room and removed the hooks that usually connect the sofa. The big black box i.e. the TV stays above the mantel, given the configuration of the room.. if it was up to me, there would be no TV on this floor of the house! We barely turn it on and it doesn’t let me go wild with decorating the mantel. Alas, until we finish the basement, the TV will stay here.

I made this winter garland for the mantel using ikea curtains that we were not using from our last move, but you could easily make it from fabric you purchase. My goal in decorating seasonally is to be as frugal as possible and first shop the house! Once the holiday season was over, the garlands I had on my dining table (you can see them here ) came onto the mantel.  I purchased the snowflake candle holders from Home Sense. To continue the snowy theme,  I added snow flake shaped chalk boards from the dollar store to the garland. The buffalo check fabric is actually from an old shirt dress that I was donating.. so I literally just cut it up and used it here to add some contrast.

The other half of the sectional sofa sits on the other wall to the right. The mosaic above the couch is a hand made work of art by my sister, who gave it to us as a wedding present. She individually cut pieces of glass and created that design which reads ” Bismillah ir Rahman ar Raheem” which translates to “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful”.

Then, if you turn yourself around, you are in the kitchen/eat in space where the most action happens. The exit to our yard is here too, so we get tons of natural light in this room.

 

 

 

I try to keep our kitchen table simple because we eat here all the time, and now with a 9 month old, food flies everywhere.. so anything that goes here is relatively inexpensive in case of an accident hehe. This centre piece is all from Ikea (candles, candle tray, sprigs of their popular lambs ear plant) except for the pine cones, which I picked up from campus in the fall. One day I came home with my pockets full of pine cones and then spent the evening baking them to get them to open up. Don;t they look lovely? 😀

Here is our stove.. we still don’t have backsplash installed. Its sitting in the garage and is calling out to be displayed in all its marble arabesque glory. Another project waiting to happen!

Isn’t this tea towel this stunning? Its made my Kendra at So Vintage Chic who makes the cutest tea towels and pillows. I got this during a flash sale post-christmas. Its winter-y enough to hang around until March.

And obviously, no kitchen photo is complete until we have some Rae dunn! Here is our tea corner as we don’t drink coffee or own a coffee machine of any sorts.  This cute mini was hand painted by Brooke of The Painted Birch and its one of my favourite mini signs!

So that concludes the home tour series for at least the main floor of our home! I hope you found some fun decorating tips/ideas and some small shops that you can find awesome hand made items at. Hope you have a lovely rest of the week and see you next time!

xoxo

Areeba

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Winter Home Tour – Part Deux

Hi everyone!

This week has simply been a whirlwind and I literally did not turn on my laptop for 3 days! In my PhD life, I am just swamped with courses, placement and obviously research and this week was one of those jam packed weeks.

Last post, I had shown you our home’s front entrance with some winter touches. I am trying to simplify decor around the house, both in an effort to keep things simple and also stay within my teeny tiny budget. I don’t want to blow my budget every season changing things out and so on, so now when I am looking at buying something, I think ” Can I use this for at least 2 seasons?”.

So once you have made it into our home through the front entrance , towards the right is our dining room, which is slowly coming together. It is an odd shaped room where neither of the 2 main walls are continous – they have these odd nooks/recesses in them, which makes getting a full picture incredibly challenging.

Some of my favourite farmhouse pieces are in this room. Our dining table was a steal from the Restoration Hardware Outlet, followed by the Ikea chairs I bought off Kijiji. The hutch is a 1920’s refinished piece and was a lucky find from a friend who refinishes furniture to sell at her booth. I also purchased the frame (that is now a chalkboard on the wall) and the teal scale from the same friend – I will share a fun post on my adventures in this friends junk filled garage!

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Here you can see the other side of the dining room – as you can see.. no continous long wall which drives me crazy sometimes! I had been looking on how to make the walls flow and also define the room for a while when I came across Christina’s tutorial on how to make those simple DIY ledge shelves . Well, lets just say that I loved them! I saw the blog post on a Friday morning, bought the lumber on Friday night (yes, I love home depot date nights!) and the shelves were up by Sunday. Isn’t that how the DIY world is?  You see something you love, and then you just cant stop until its finished!

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Here is an example, of a simple centre piece that can be restyled all year long! The dough bowl, vintage aqua mason jars, deer antlers are all staples in my decor and you will see them throughout the house as I post more entries. The only seasonal things are the deer salt and pepper shakers and the (free!) christmas tree clippings.

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Here it is, all decked out for the holidays in December with a flocked garland thrown in around all the same decor. Simple is the motto for 2017! Also, the table setting is my absolute favourite, I love love love colour and incorporating that in my farmhouse-inspired-decor for my very non-farmhouse builder grade, cookie cutter house. I can’t do white on white on white everything, and thats just my personal preference. So, when my husband’s aunt generously gifted us this Old Country Roses bone china dinner set, I was over the moon! Its hand made and has been collected by her over the past 30 years. And its perfect for all the tea parties I like to host! It makes its appearance during the holidays and occasionally throughout the year!

 

 

So here it is, our perfectly imperfect dining room as it is now. As is the journey in any home, any one room is never finished and never perfect. Its always a journey in adding or taking out things, until it feels like home.

Stay tuned for next week, for a virtual walk through of the heart of our house – the family room and kitchen!

Until then,

xoxo

Areeba

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Winter Home Tour – Front Entrance

Hi everyone!

I am taking the leap and doing a “home tour series” with all the winter decor. As many of you probably know from following me on Instagram, we don’t celebrate Christmas. So post-thanksgiving, when everyone else starts sharing their decorated trees, plaid decor and all the twinkly-good-stuff, I am stuck figuring out a way to be festive, but not festive – if that makes sense? I love changing up decor seasonally because lets face it – I love consumerism and HomeSense should just take all my money while its at it. So here it is, my non-christmas, winter-esque decor that works for our family with all the toys of an 8 month old (sneakily hidden out of view, obviously. If you can spot one, bonus points to you!)

First up, this week I am going to share the entry way/ main hallway of our home. This is the first section that you walk through when you enter our home.

Right at the entrance, we have glass double doors that have a lead window insert. I love them so much, as they let so much day light in during the day. As our home is part of a new development, the sides of our home do not get as much sunlight (due to the proximity to our neighbours). So maximizing day light from the front and back of the house was a big criteria for us when we were choosing our front doors. Here you can see the light that comes into the main hallway of our home

 

The entry way has three sections: Right by the entrance, we have a bench which serves as a place to dump all our snow shoes and winter coats on a usual winter day.

Then, as you walk in, we have a console table with a painting – these were our very first purchases for our home and both chosen by my husband! And they really set the “blue” colour tones for our home. They are also my favourite pieces in our home, and I love changing out the decor seasonally here. Also, since this is the area of our home that gets the most sunlight, its perfect for Figaro, our fiddle leaf fig, gifted by my best friend, Sabrina (go check out her Instagram Page!)

Then, as you walk in, I have created this little seating area at the base of the stairs. I am still actively searching for the perfect arm chair for the corner, but for now, one of the dining room chairs from Ikea, are serving as a place holder.  Some of my favourite things here are my vintage crate from a farm in Ontario,, the DIY chalkboard and the pillow case is from Porter Lane Home. 




So that is our front entrance! Its got a mix of both modern and rustic, as I love both these styles and am still trying to figure out how to integrate them both into our home, all while being functional and staying in my teeny tiny budget. I particularly love the little seating nook at the base of the stairs, because I can change out elements as I like, which lets be real, is my favourite about decorating.

Stay tuned for the next post featuring our dining room!

Until then,

xoxo

Areeba

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Almond Cake

If you are like me and love tea, you inevitably want something to nibble on when you are sipping your mug of tea. In my case, since the Rae Dunn mugs I love so dearly are HUGE (almost 16 oz’s of tea), I need something light and delicious as a snack. Hello, almond cake! I first had a version of this at Ikea and immediately fell in love. It was light, but creamy and had my favourite topping – almonds! Literally, I will eat almond anything. But the one thing I didn’t love so much was the cream, which also makes for a calorie-full snack. So I found a recipe on Pinterest and made it my own using ingredient that are a pantry staple in our home. And lets just say since I made this, it’s been on repeat for almost three months!

 

How to make the Mint Candy Designs Version of Almond Cake

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup white sugar
  2. beans from 1/2 a vanilla bean scraped out OR 1 tspn vanilla essence (OR if you have 1/2 cup vanilla sugar, use that instead of (1) and (2)
  3. 1/2 tspn almond extract
  4. 1 cup flour
  5. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  6. 2 tbspn slices almonds
  7. 2 tbspn coarsely crushed pistachios
  8. 2 tbspn coarsely crushed walnuts

Directions

No separate steps required – Literally, toss everything except the nuts, into a mixing bowl and mix well.

Your mixture will be a thick bread-like mixture. Pour into a parchment lined pan of choice – I use a shallow 9 inch round baking pan as the mixture isn’t enough for a larger pan.

Garnish with sliced almonds, crushed pistachios and walnuts.

Bake in 350 F pre heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy warm,

xoxo

Areeba

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