Yearly Archives



5-Minute Martha: Peter Callahan’s Bite by Bite

salmon pork and hot dog canapes

amuse-bouches for kids

At last, you can get a finger-sized hors d’oeuvres cookbook that will not require you to stay up all night or cook all day. Why do I say that? It is not obvious when you look at the stunning food presentation but the recipes proposed by Peter Callahan have shortcuts. For example, his peace of pizza contains only 4 ingredients, which includes store-bought pizza dough and marinara sauce.

bite by bite stylish hors d'oeuvre

Who knew that spaghetti and meatballs could become so stylish? You can save time when hosting a dinner party by preparing one type of hors d’oeuvres. You can stretch it to two hors d’oeuvre types, if they are simple to make. Select one bite as your show-stopper element, plus prepare a batch of simply tasty canapes.

\salmon pork and hot dog canapes

For the soccer game night or your Super Bowl annual reunion, get inspired by his Pigs in a Blanket canapes.

mini margarita served with fish tacos

It is really simple to serve personal vodka with caviar blinis. Individual alcohol bottles add panache to a common drink. As a bonus, you do not have to clean the glasses after the party. I love this idea!

This stylish entertaining cookbook can also help you organize your next kids party. All kids will be in awe when they see the cute doggy canapes or the tiny fudge pops.

+ via Glam
+ cookbook photos: Con Poulos and Glam
+ For Americans: Bite by Bite: 100 Stylish Little Plates You Can Make for Any Party from Peter Callahan $18.92 USD [affiliate link]
+ For Canadians: Bite by Bite: 100 Stylish Little Plates You Can Make for Any Party from Peter Callahan $25.08 CAD at Indigo


Sleeping Under The Tent Vignette

Oh To Dream Bedding

Oh To Dream Bedding

I am not into quilt bedding. I am aware that quilts are experiencing a revival thanks to more modern designs, but quilt bedding is not me. Having said that, I was seduced by the charms of this styled picture for the Anthropologie catalogue. It must be the nostalgia of seeing the last warm days summer; we just had Indian summer in Montreal.

Oh To Dream quilt Bedding

Rebecca Rebouche, a native Louisianan working in New Orleans, designed the “Oh To Dream” line of hand-quilted voile and poplin bedding. You could reproduce her “sleep under the tent” vignette for an indoor camping pajama party. I am sure that the kids would love that idea.

Oh To Dream Quilt Bedding $118.00–$448.00 USD at Anthropologie


FAMILY KIDS products

Petit Collage Garlands and My Ultimate Baby Book

Deluxe Baby Book with Memory Box by petit collage

petit collage garlands

I stopped by Indigo yesterday. I could not pass on Petit Collage alphabet garlands. I like the fact that it is reusable. With 80 alphabet and animal tiles and 5 yards of ribbon, it is easy to custom made the party garland to fit the occasion. I suggest that you tailor even more the garland to your party scheme by updating the color of the ribbon.

My Favorite Baby Book

Deluxe Baby Book with Memory Box by petit collage

While I was there, I explored the rest of the collection. It is when I saw the best made baby book. It provides room for fun facts about mom, dad and the baby plus, photo pages for milestone events and for each monthiversary of your baby’s first year. The baby book comes with a keepsake box. It would make an awesome baby shower gift.

inside pages of baby book

+ Petit Collage Garlands $19.95 CAD at Indigo
+ Deluxe Baby Box with Memory Box by Petit Collage $50 USD at Petit Collage
Deluxe Baby Box with Memory Box by petit Collage $60 CAD at Indigo


Three Things I Like about Viola Park’s Kitchen Islands

viola park island details

First, I like the minimalist design of Viola Park’s kitchen systems. I wish I could live in a house where my floor plan would allow for that type of kitchen layout. In fact, I would make it my priority if we ever move to another house.

viola park integrated bread box

A cool thing about these airy, open islands is that they have more in common with furniture than kitchen cabinets. It suits me since I would use an island more as a food preparation area and a buffet station. I have never been keen about including a cooking surface and to a lesser extent, a sink, into an island. What I crave is to have access to a long uninterrupted work surface.

Their optional accessories are a sweet bonus to achieve that goal. The recessed bread box could be used to store onions, garlic, potatoes and root vegetables. The pivot storage units neatly keep cooking knifes and other cooking tools at reach, without reducing your work surfaces.

viola park pivot storage units

Lastly, the end shelving units enables you to keep your cookbooks or your favorite serving ware close by. You could opt for a drawer unit if you need more closed storage for plates, kitchen linens or small appliances.

As you can imagine, it is an upscale American made kitchen system, manufactured by Henrybuilt. Island B is available in lengths up to 11’ and widths of 24”, 30” and 36”. Island C can go up to 12’ in lengths and widths of 24”, 36” and 42”. Viola Park also produces a mobile island with a variety of drawer configurations.

viola park mobile island

+  Viola Park’s Kitchen Islands



5-Minute Martha: Halloween Haunted House Party Decor Ideas

no-bake halloween haunted house

halloween haunted house party decor

Being a 5-minute Martha starts by knowing where to spend your time for ultimate impact and where to use shortcuts.

Halloween Cakes: From hard to easy

haunted house cake by martha stewart

Martha Stewart proposed here an awesome Haunted House cake. But let’s face it, I do not have the time, nor the patience, nor the baking talents to make something as complex. To give you an idea of the number of steps involved, I included one of the cookie templates that you will need to bake. I applaud women you can do this, but I am not ashamed to say that I am not one of them.

no-bake halloween haunted house

Having said that, I looked for another way to impress guests at a Halloween Haunted House party. If you are time crunched or if you have minimal cake decoration skills, you will appreciate the ease of this no-bake haunted house kit available at Williams-Sonoma. You simply need to glue the prebaked, precut cookie pieces with sugar icing and affix the decorations. Everything is included in the box. Now, this is something I can fit into my agenda!

Decorating Ideas for a Haunted House Halloween Party

ragged looking spider webs

Since I did not spent too much time on my cake, I can concentrate on decorating the room for the occasion. A must have for an haunted house party are these ragged-looking spider webs made by pinning, snipping, and tearing cheesecloth.

creepy flower centerpiece

You can assemble, in advance, a spookycenterpiece by affixing a few vinyl bugs and a snake with basic craft supplies. Buy fresh roses a couple days before your party. I feel that the insect-infected bouquet would be more realistic if the flowers would show signs of aging. Finally, I would add artificial cobwebs to show that the bouquet has sit there for a while.

coffin treat boxes walmart

From there, it is easy to build on these craft projects and to complete the look of your party. To cut corners, head to a local department store to buy more props. Walmart carries plastic bat cutouts, Halloween cobwebs and coffin treat boxes.

+ photo:  Haunted House Cake by Martha Stewart
+ No-Bake Halloween Haunted House Kit $19.95 USD at Williams-Sonoma
+ How to make cheesecloth spider webs by Martha Stewart
+ How to make an insect-infected Halloween centerpiece by Martha Stewart


Umbra’s Little Black Dress Jewelry Storage

umbra little black dress jewelry storage

umbra little black dress jewelry storage

The concept behind the jewelry organizer designed by Matt Carr for Umbra is cute. You will not lack space to store your earrings, necklaces and bracelets with 39 clear vinyl pockets plus 24 hook and loop closures. Hang this double-sided canvas jewelry storage on a hook attached to the back of your closet door or on a clothing rod.

I almost bought the Little Black Dress but I went instead for the icelet jewelry hanger and a mirror storage box because my closet rods are pretty full. Time will tell if I made the right decision.

+ Umbra’s Little Black Dress Jewelry Storage $25 USD
+ Also available at The Container Store – currently backordered


The Puzzle House by Modern Playhouse

puzzle playhouse

puzzle playhouse

Modern Playhouse will add this November a new model to their collection of wood playhouses. A cool feature is that the maple plywood playhouse will require no tools for assembly. Being sensible to the fact that many urban parents (like me) simply do not have the space to keep a playhouse in permanence, the emerging industrial designer Svend Nielsen designed the Puzzle House to be set up for a day of play. When kids are ready to go to bed, it can be stored under the bed or inside a closet.

Furniture and a puppet theater curtain set will be launched before the Holidays. I am looking forward to see it all.

+ Puzzle House by Modern Playhouse – Price to be released


Three Rustic, Organic Wedding Invitations

organic rustic custom made wedding invitation

organic rustic custom made wedding invitation

It has been a while since I featured wedding invitations on the site. I feel inspired by these three. Wedding invitations are so much more fun than when I got married. I envy today’s brides for the vast amount of options that are available to them.

wedding invitation

Designer Yvonne Pingue created for Ryan and Leslie a wedding invitation kit that incorporates their love of music and where the wedding celebrations would take place. I adore this tailored touches. If I had a nice, personnel wedding invitation like that, I might even frame it.

save this date card ryan and leslie wedding

Kate and Steve wanted to incor­po­rate kraft card­stock and twine. A cute mini bunting come out of a mini envelope for the save the date. It is nice to include unique details like this.

laser-cut rustic organic wedding invitation

DIY wedding invitations are big. If you are willing to invest the time and money (since you may need equipment and some external help to implement your visions), you can produce extraordinary pieces. Chris­tine and Ian used a laser cut­ting machine to make a pop-up for­est that surrounds the head­line mes­sage on their invites. The laser cut cover stock was then sewn to laser cut kraft paper for an impressive mul­ti­di­men­sional effect. Great work!

laser cut forest wedding invitation

You can find more inspirations by exploring the real life galleries of wedding invitations and save the date cards on Oh So Beautiful Paper.

Leslie and Ryan’s Modern Woodland Big Sur Wedding Invitations – photos: Scott MacDonald
Kate and Steve’s Organic Modern Wedding Invitations – photo: Ruby & Willow
+ Christine and Ian’s Woodland Wedding Invitations – photo:


More Comfort in Economy-Class Flights

Qantas footrest

Occasionally, I browsed the Web for articles on what are the innovative ideas from airline companies around the world. While the more impressive upgrades happen in first-class, there are still cool things that are implemented for the economy class travelers. I am always sad to notice to see no Canadian or American companies. It seems that passenger comfort has been forgotten by us. But comfort is not a luxury, it reduces stress and improves our quality of life. In a tiny attempt to revive a sense of style for the average travelers, I will share the best innovations from my reading.

Today, I present you the foot hammock, a little net that act as a footrest. Elevating your legs like that will provide you better circulation, which is an important things to do when you are in the sky.

Air New Zealand economy class 3 seats bed for 2

Then, an economy row of three seats could convert to a “comfy” bed for 2 with the touch of a button. The arms retract, the seat base extends and the seatbelts lengthen to buckle up when reclining. Air New Zealand says that two passengers can snuggle horizontally, leaning against the wall or lying flat. I do not know if you can pay extra to guarantee this option or if you need to be lucky to enjoy this feature.

See more innovations in economy-class flights at BBC.

+ photo: Qantas
+ photo: Air New Zealand


Introducing Parson Gray: New Fabrics by the Husband of Amy Butler

curious nature parson gray

curious nature parson gray

David Butler, the husband of the well-known fabric designer Amy Butler, will launch shortly his own line of fabrics. David is the man behind Amy’s photography and graphic design. They worked together since 1992. Curious Nature is his first collection of quilting/fashion and home décor fabrics for Westminster/FreeSpirit.

curious nature fabric collection by parson gray

Amy described his collection as his folk modern interpretation of natural elements weaving together a balance of hand-drawn patterns inspired by Japanese indigo and mid-century fine art. Curious Nature is divided in 3 groupings: Rare Earth, Ocean and Mineral.

rare earth by parson gray

The collage  and groupings make you appreciate how you could mix and match the patterns. The muted colors he used are soothing and energetic. Curious Nature has a good mix of manly and gender neutral patterns, which speaks to me since I live with two boys. The Home Décor line will be larger prints on weight cotton. The line will be available this winter. I will keep my eye open since I need to reupholster a chair that sits in my living room.

ocean by parson gray

Ocean is filled with various blues and greens while the Mineral series is made of tone of bone, smoke, silver and dark grey (or black, I am not sure).

mineral series by parson gray

The Parson Gray’s Website is not ready yet. In the meantime, you can like Parson Gray on Facebook.



Architect Lamps and Stools in Bold Colors

flamingo berry stool

architect lamps

Here are two items that are sure to cheer up your work/study desk area or a craft room. First, the classic architect lamp gets a boost of colors. Then, you can use the flamingo stool as a guest sit or as a coffee table next to your reading chair.

flamingo berry stool

Each one is available in 6 bright colors. The big question for me would be to decide which color to take between orange, aqua, green or berry. Notice that the Flamingo stools are only sold online.

+ Architect Berry Lamp $32.95 USD at Crate & Barrel
+ Flamingo Berry Stool $16.95 USD