Monthly Archives

April 2011


Book Exchange Party by Reid Girls Handmade

book exchange party invite table decor

book exchange party invite table decor

If you’re the kind of person who has a hard time parting with books, you’ll love this idea spotted at Reid Girls Handmade: a book exchange party!

Naturally, all of the party elements are inspired by books – from the invites to the decor and even the favours. Guests received this charming invitation designed to look like library book card. Each guest brought a wrapped book and filled out a bookplate (which was included with the invitation) to write a note to the new owner of their book. Old book pages were used to create a garland and food labels featured quotes from famous novels and authors.

book exchange party table decor

Speaking of food, what does one serve at a book exchange party? Exactly the type of food that makes you want to curl up under a blanket with a good book: homemade soup and grilled cheese sandwiches!

book exchange party decor food soup sandwich

As a party favour, guests received handmade book journals and bookmarks made from pretty paper and scrapbooking materials, stuffed inside an appropriately named “book bag”.

book exchange party favour favor decor

Not only is this a party idea that works at any time of the year, it’s a great option for a “girlfriends” get together, an easy way to clean off your bookshelves and gain a new read all at the same time.

And if you are into books, you may wish to revisit the Book Club Party by Guest Blogger Jennifer Mitchell of Design Hole.

+ Book Exchange Party Instructions and Printables from Reid Girls Handmade
+ Photos: Reid Girls Handmade


Mason-Style Drinking Jars

latte served in drinking jar at griffintown cafe

latte served in drinking jar at griffintown cafe

I wanted to get my own drinking jars ever since I drank a latte served in a drinking jar at Griffintown Cafe. I have been so busy since the start of the year that I did not had the time to shop for them. It just happened that I found them while I passed the kitchen aisles of the Canadian Tire.

mason style drinking jars

I bought a pair to see if they work nicely with our Nespresso machine. As I arrived home, I noticed it is written on the jar that it is not for hot beverages. But they look exactly the same. I guess that means that I am due for a delicious brunch at Griffintown Cafe soon to see if they are exactly the same. This time, I will try one of their eggs Benedict.

eggs benedict at griffintown cafe


Cool Tools | Layer Cake Slicing Kit

cake slicing tools layer dessert

cake slicing tools layer dessert

Ever aspired to create a beautiful, multi-layered cake that rivals your favourite pastry shop – only to end up with a lopsided dessert resembling the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Well hold on to your cake stand!

This 3-piece layer slicing kit comes with an adjustable slicing mold to fit cakes with a 10″ or 11″ diameter. Use the serrated baker’s knife to slice up to 8 layers and the accompanying cake lifter to move and stack layers while you add filling.

If you’re on dessert duty for an upcoming spring event, such as a bridal/baby shower or a Mother’s Day brunch, make this cool kitchen tool your next must-have baking essential. Wowing guests will be (dare we say it?) a piece of cake.

+ Cake Slicing Kit from Kitchen Krafts, $59.95 USD
+ Photos: 14 Layer Cake by Bakerella


MamaRoo Giveaway Winner

mamaroo giveaway winner

mamaroo giveaway winner

We proceeded to the random draw between the 97 entries submitted before the deadline of the giveaway sponsored by 4moms. The happy winner is Lan who likes the green seat.

Congratulations to Lan for winning a mamaRoo! Thank you to all the contestants for your participation. Lan, make sure to check your email since you must respond to our email within 7 days to claim the prize.


Baby Shoe Art

diy baby shoes frame growth chart

diy baby shoes frame growth chart

This super sweet project is one that solves a double-dilemna: where to find inexpensive nursery art and what to do with those adorable baby things you can’t bear to give away.

Shoes are a well-heeled choice for a little girl’s room but work just as well for baby boys, whether framed as a series of pairs or squeezed side-by-side in one shadow box. Either way, it’s a clever way to create a custom growth chart.

+ Framed Baby Shoes photo via Liberty Biberty
DIY Shoe Growth Chart from Real Simple


“Birds in a Nest” and Easter Bunny Tabletops

bird in a nest plate and tabletop

I got you last-minute tabletop inspirations for Easter. This design is based on bird and nest to pair with the housewarming food presentation ideas that I presented earlier this week.

easter bunny themed tabletop

All you need to create an impact is a few tableware items based on your theme. You could go with an Easter bunny or a “bird in a nest” salad plate next to a “birds on a tree” salt and pepper set. Continue Reading


Summer Entertaining at Costco

summer entertaining gears

summer entertaining gears

I went to Costco yesterday to buy essential household products and baby wipes. While shopping across the aisles, I spotted a few items that would make your summer entertaining more special.

First, the BPA-free acrylic beverage dispenser, that almost look like glass, is ideal for outdoor entertaining, especially if you have a pool. A friend of mine bought it last summer. She used it for our annual summer BBQ. I was impressed by how well it works and how good it looks. Your iced tea or lemonade will not be water down since you keep ice cubes on the bottom compartment. And on top of that, it costs only $19.95 CAD (if I am not mistaken).

My second suggestion is based on practicality and affordability. The Bridge Flower Planters ($49.99 for a 5-pack) are great for condo owners and renters since it is tailored for balcony railings. You can also use them to put flowers on fences.

lady susan serving tray

Third, the lady susan serving tray ($19.89) can be used any time of the year to serve crudités, fresh seasonal fruits or nuts.


DIY Personalized Serving Dishes

glass etching serving dish

glass etching serving dish

The season of backyard barbecues and potluck parties is almost upon us – and that means digging out your serving dishes, filling them with your favourite recipes and toting them along to share.

How can you ensure your dishes find their way back to you? Ashley from Make It and Love It shows how to make a basic glass dish stand out from the crowded buffet table with just stencils and glass etching cream. This is a clever way to add a personalized touch to standard glass bakeware – especially if you intend to give this kitchen must-have for a bridal shower or as a housewarming gift.

Check out the step-by-step tutorial for complete instructions and never use a Post-It note or a piece of tape to label your dish again.


Food Presentation Ideas for Easter

food presentation for an easter or a housewarming party

food presentation for an easter or a housewarming party

I came across the wonderful housewarming party planned by Jessica of Modern Moments in collaboration with photographer Courtney Jade. The style of the buffet table was developed around the nest, which is a theme all appropriate for Easter. Look at how a lemon gained interest when it rested on a nest.

food presentation of savory appetizers

They opted for a mix of sweet and savory food. See how original is the way they serve a Caesar salad. Paying attention to food presentation brings its rewards. If you use your imagination, you can keep the food simple and impress without passing too much time in the kitchen. And what I like about this concept is that you can do a lot in advance: shopping for your props and designing the table.

tulip centerpieces

Finally, look at how easy it is to create a wonderful centerpiece with seasonal flowers. Tall wine glasses are a good option if the flower stems are kept short.

I wish that looking at these pictures have inspired you to to adapt the theme to your style of entertaining.

+ Welcome to our little nest housewarming party from Modern Moments – photos by Courtney Jade Photography
+ Arbor Mist Brunch by Hostess with the Mostess – includes free printables


Creative Hardboiled Eggs for Easter

easter eggs hardboiled shapes chicks

easter eggs hardboiled shapes chicks

With the creative work that goes into decorating eggs for Easter, it always seems a shame to crack open the colourful shells to eat the hardboiled egg inside. But it turns out you can have just as much fun decorating eggs once you’ve peeled off the shell!

  • Jenn of JustJenn Recipes tested out the Chickie Eggs from The Manga Cookbook, a popular step-by-step guide to preparing simple Japanese dishes using ingredients found in North American kitchens.
  • It takes a few tools and a bit of patience to create this carton of just-hatched chicks, but kids will love the result (it may even entice them to eat the eggs!).
  • If you’re looking for something simpler, check out Anna’s instructions for these heart-shaped eggs. They’re easier to create than you might think and a thoughtful way to show some love for your guests at Easter brunch. (You may want to stash this idea for a romantic Valentine’s Day breakfast too).

Japanese Egg Molds

easter egg molds japanese bento

Easier still are these adorable, inexpensive egg molds typically used in Japanese bento boxes. Available in a variety of shapes and characters, the bunny is particularly fitting for Easter buffets.

How do you use eggs at Easter? Are they just for decorating or are eggs part of your meal too?

+ Chickie Eggs via JustJenn Recipes
+ Chicken Egg Family How To from Eye Candy
+ Heart-Shaped Eggs from Anna the Red
Kotobuki Plastic Egg Mold,, $3.99 USD
+ Fun with Japanese Egg Molds Tutorial from Just Bento