Friday, 26 May 2017

Fashion Friday: Graphic Tees and Skirts

I absolutely adore the look of graphic tees and skirts together, see another option here.  It's hard to believe that only a couple of years ago I didn't have a single graphic tee in my closet and now I want to collect them like I collect coffee mugs from places I have traveled.  While in Florida last week, I put this little outfit together and received several compliments while shopping at the outlet mall.  The tee I purchased from the Gap right before our trip to Paris last year and I was drawn to the peasenty (not a real word) look of the skirt.  I adore the look of high-waist skirts and tucked in, or cropped, tops.  Also the vertical stripes are a great twist to the traditional stripes and the length is perfect for chasing little children around I purchased it at Marshalls but I have linked a few other options for you below; the Twik  option below is fantastic, especially as a set.    And the fun shoes came from my aunts closet, score!


Shop this look:
Skirt:  Option 1 (similar); Option 2 (Twik option)
Graphic Tee:  Simons (many options)

Don't you love how graphic tees just give skirts a fun, modern twist? 







Wednesday, 24 May 2017

DIY: Teacup Fairy Garden (Birthday Party)


I want to welcome my wonderful friend Heather as my guest blogger today.  Heather is a mother to two wonderful children, a wife, teacher, a friend, a person who values the outdoors, physical activities and embraces life and all that it brings.  Heather has taught me to be more laid back and calm in my life.  She rarely seems to get caught up in the societal pressures of keeping up with everything and has inspired me to say 'NO' more often, in order to keep myself sane.  She is sharing how she made these adorable teacup fairy gardens for her daughters 8th birthday.


The birth of an idea

My nearly 8 year old was first inspired to create a fairy garden after a trip to our local Peavey Mart. We saw the fairy garden section and the large diorama on display, which led us to reminisce about one of our favourite summer activities at the cabin; painting rocks and creating fairy furniture from twigs and moss. 

We talked about the possibility of creating a fairy garden for her guests. I’ve seen beautiful fairy gardens made with succulents and real flowers but I knew the cost of doing that would be too much.  Although the fairies and the furniture at Peavey Mart were adorable, it wouldn’t be cost effective to purchase these items for a birthday party craft. So we took to Pinterest and discovered the Tea Cup Fairy Garden


Keeping it Cheap and Easy

I was a bit worried when I agreed to this type of craft before actually researching how to make a tea cup fairy garden and where to purchase the necessary items. The teacher in me knew that it’d have to be a pretty streamlined craft because we had a time limit. So off to the local dollar stores and thrift shop I went.





Pre-party Prep


*Tools needed: wire cutters (to precut popsicle sticks and doweling), hot glue and hot glue gun (to assemble houses ahead of time), pen, sticky tack, scissors

#1.  Create the house from popsicle sticks.

-         Use wire cutters to cut 1 popsicle stick in half to use as the backing of the house which is 5 popsicle sticks wide

-         Use wire cutters to cut 4 popsicle sticks (cut about 1/3 of the stick off) to create the roof of the house

-         Glue backing onto house, glue the handle onto the back of the house (this will later be glued or sticky tacked to the cup or stuck into a chunk of oasis at the bottom of the cup)

-         Glue the ends of the small sticks one on top of each other into v-shape to make a roof

-         Fit the house inside the roof and glue if necessary

-         Attach a chimney from left over popsicle sticks.

-         Place all houses in a bag for easy unpacking at the party



#2 Trace doors onto cardstock or provide a tracer for child to trace their own door.

-         Place all doors, door knobs, and stickers / pens and scissors into a bag for easy unpacking at the party

#3 Prepare the ladder for assembly

-         Cut doweling pieces in half, cut small sections of pipe cleaner so that kids can easily assemble the ladder together

-         Place all ladder pieces in a bag for easy unpacking at the party


#4 Prepare the sign

-         I opted to pre-glue the flag onto the dowling to avoid wait time at the glue gun at the party. Children will need a pen and probably some example words to copy (ie. Welcome, Happy Place, Home, Fairy Home, Hello)

#5 Use wire cutters to cut small flowers off of plastic stems and gather decorations.

-         Create a bag of d├ęcor (rocks, shells, aquarium gravel, gems, miniature mushrooms, plant pots, etc.) that children can rifle through and choose the ‘just right’ elements for their own tea cup garden.

#6 Trace a circle onto the back of the artificial turf tiles. I got 4 circles / grassy tile and cut them out ahead of time.


At the Party

At the party while the kids ate supper, I set out the craft items on the table. Then I gathered everyone around to show them the ready-made example and explain the steps. They used the pre-made pieces to create their own teacup fairy garden and we were there to support them.



Thanks Heather for sharing this cute idea with us.   My girls and I are going to be making these with their friends during their end of the school year party.




Thursday, 11 May 2017

Fashion Friday: Romper Style


I love, love, LOVE rompers, see here and here.  Seriously it's like wearing p.j.s that are considered stylish.    The only downside I see to them is going to the bathroom, but I can live with that.  I picked this little  romper a couple of weeks ago at Marshall's while browsing with my BFF. I have linked the same one at Swim Outlet for you.  This beauty may not be work appropriate but the detailing on it was too sweet to pass up.  Not only do I adore the soft color palette, but the cute little buttons and the tassels around the waist are just pure perfection.  I wore this little number last weekend and it's all packed up and ready to go with me on our family trip to Disney World!!!!!!


Yep, we are off to Disney World tomorrow morning with the girls and my mom and dad.  My parents joining us is especially significant for me.  Four years ago we took the kids to Disneyland and my dad was scheduled to join us but he got really sick and was hospitalized a month prior to our trip.  It was a very scary time for our family as we didn't know if our future would include him but today he is 100% better and enjoying life.  My mom and dad have been an immense support to me my whole life.  I feel so much debt to them, not that they ever make me feel that way, but they have sacrificed so much for us and I rely on them literally on a daily basis.  Logan and I are very excited to have them share this holiday with our family. 

2013 Disneyland.  Our nephew Alen joined our family to make 5!


All that being said, I am going to take a week and a half off from blogging.   Feel free to follow me on INSTAGRAM to see daily outfits and to share our magic.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Gluten Free Oreo Cookies!

I came across this Oreo cookie recipe by Kara over at Creations By Kara over a year ago.  It quickly became a favorite family treat but I haven't made them since I was diagnosed with Celiac.  Honestly missing out on treats didn't bother me or even tempt me as much as I had imagined it would so I didn't really do much GF baking.  Then a month ago my 10 year old received the news that she had Celiac disease as well. She cried and was flooded with emotion.  She thought about all of the things she wouldn't be able to enjoy anymore.  Treats friends brought to school.  Certain Halloween candy.  Birthday parties.  Hot lunches.  Pita (a Bosnian dish).  Baka Zlata's birthday tortes that have become tradition for her/our family.  Since then she's been a trooper and we are learning to adjust and I have become much more motivated to experiment with our old baking recipes and trying new ones. 

A couple of weeks ago I came across the Betty Crockers GF Devils Chocolate Food Cake mix at Superstore and I though I'd give it a try and just make a  few modifications to the Oreo recipe by Kara. 



Cookie dough:

*Box of GF devils chocolate cake mix

*1 Tbsp. GF all purpose flour (I used Pillsbury GF flour, I will try Robin Hood GF flour next time)

*2 eggs

*1/3 C oil

*sugar for rolling the dough into

Preheat the oven to 350 .  Using a stand-up mixer mix all the ingredients.  Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, roll around in sugar to coat and place on cookie sheet that it sprayed with Pam or lined with parchment paper.  Bake 10-14 minutes depending on your over.  They are pretty soft once you take them out of the oven, let them cool completely, or overnight, before icing. 



*block of cream cheese (I used light), softened

*2 Tbsp. butter (softened)

*2 C icing sugar

*1 tsp. vanilla


Tips and Tricks:

* Triple the cake mix and double the filling for a perfect portion of cookie; approximately 36 cookies.  (I found that one batch of cookies wasn't enough for our family and there was a bunch of left over icing. Doubling cookie mix then there wasn't quite enough icing for all, so the above is perfect but does take a  bit longer to bake them all)

* Leave cookies overnight to cool before icing them; or start baking early in the day.

* Freeze cookies, they keep super well but taste even better once they sit for a day or two.


I hope you all enjoy these and please share any yummy gluten free options you have for me to try. 


Friday, 5 May 2017

Fashion Friday: Maxi Dress 4 Ways

I've been working on wearing each item in my closet for the past couple of weeks and staying away from stores until we go on our trip to the Disney World.  I have more than enough pieces in my closet, not a crazy amount,  but enough that I don't need to be reaching for my credit card for a while.  Anyway one of the items that came up in the rotation was this maxi dress.  I was fretting about whether I wanted to keep it anymore, it's not super trendy, but I really do find it comfortable and easy to throw on.  As I was thinking about what outfits I could create, I ended up coming up with four different ways that I could style it and make it work appropriate.   

Style #1- Dress, cardigan and floral scarf

I love pattern mixing, it's an easy way to add flare to any outfit.


Style #2- Dress, bomber jacket (my on trend piece) and a chunky statement necklace


Style #3 Dress, chambray shirt and long necklace

This might be casual for work but it's totally weekend/patio drinks appropriate.  I also had a little fun playing with different ways to style the chambray top,  mine is a pretty light material so it isn't too bulky.


Style #4- Dress, fun scarf & statement earnings

I think this works for work because it provides lots of cover around the shoulders and neckline; plus as the weather heats up so do some of the buildings I go into.

How do you style your maxi dress?  Do you still consider it a trendy enough piece to hold on to?

Maxi Dress combinations

Shop This Post:

Maxi Dress (Old Navy) Option 1; Option 2Bomber Jacket Option 1 (Lord & Taylor); Option 2 (Guess)
Chambray Shirt (Old Navy)
Floral Scarf (Gap) Option 1;  Option 2