Monthly Archives

April 2012

HOME + GARDEN OUTDOOR space

Orla Kiely Garden Collection for Wild & Wolf

orla kiely garden collection

orla kiely garden collection

I wish that I could give or receive the Orla Kiely for Wild & Wolf for Mother’s Day. I am particularly fond of the Orla Kiely Flask; it would be great for picnics.

The signature pattern plant pots are available in small (orange), medium (grey) and large (green). A hand trowel and a garden fork complete the collection.

SOURCING:
Orla Kiely Flask £19.95
+ Orla Kiely Hand Trowel £19.95
+ Orla Kiely Plant Pot from £14.95 to £24.95

 

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Yuri’s Night in Montreal

hoop danse with yuri's night banner

hoop danse

Two weeks ago I attended the fifth edition of Yuri’s Night in Montreal. This is a party to commemorate the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin. The party was organized by my artist friend Bettina Forget. I must say that she raised the bar this year. The theme was spaceport. We had to fill an online visa information form to be admitted to the party. She made out fun questions.

spaceport travellers information

As we entered the party room, we were greeted with a travellers information screen. I estimated that she made about 20 different slides. Bettina went as far as associating planet names with sci-fi series using their specific stardate. That was cool!

Costumes

yuri's night costumes

Guests are encouraged to wear costumes at a Yuri’s night party. Bettina even brought some costume accessories, wigs, boa scarves that people can borrow for the night. Doing this encourages more people to dress for the occasion. Aluminum foil was very popular as a last minute material. I saw many imaginative uses of aluminium that night.

yuri's night

I dressed as a stylish space traveller. I wore a yellow and beige dress that reminded me of the fashion used by space TV shows in the 1960s, a blue wig, my stylish sci-fi inspired Anemone handbag that I wore as a backpack and a scrolling LED name badge to display a space political message on my belt. Sadly, we did not took a photo of my outfit. But you can see the style of my hair.

Activities

hoop danse with yuri's night banner

Bettina used acrylic paint and a projector to make a large banner with Yuri’s Night logo. This way, she can reuse it every year. The banner is used as a photo booth. It provided a nice backdrop for the lively performance of Hoop Danse. The girls gave us a good show.

The shadow wall was a cool activity. Bettina Our host Michealson covered a big sheet with blacklight paint. You could stand in front of the canvas and turn on the black lights towards the canvas for 5 to 10 seconds. Turn off the light and move. You will see your shadow. You can also use a laser pointer to draw on the canvas. They  He posted an instruction sheet that explained how to proceed (see above, next to my picture).

Yuri’s Night was a wonderful party. I can’t wait for the 2013 edition.

+ photos by Kim Vallee

HOME + GARDEN OUTDOOR space

For the Birds: Five Stylish Bird Houses and Feeders

modern bird houses

Squirrels should not be able to eat the material of these bird houses. I selected two glazed ceramic bird houses and three made of metal available in several colours. Except for the Piep Show XXL, which is designed to feed large group of birds, these bird houses should provide good protection for the birds that move to your backyard. The Piep Show XXL transforms into a bird bath if you place inside a big bowl of water.

I am not sure if Roost is still in production since I could not see it at Hepper’s Web site. If so, this would be sad since this is one of my favorite.

If you are a fan of Jonathan Alder’s Modernist Lantern bird house but you wish for one with a smaller price tag, the fluted birdhouse at Indigo can be your answer. The fluted birdhouse is definitely more rustic but it still looks good. Plus, I feel that the smaller hole would be safer for the bird family.

For more bird feeders, revisit this post from last summer that featured the bold J Schartz Egg Bird Houses and more.

SOURCING:
+ Fluted Birdhouse $39.50 CAD at Indigo
+ Piepshow Home designed by Sebastian Herkner for Radius Design EUR 59,90
+ Roost designed by Jed Crystal $69 USD at Generate Design
Lantern bird house by Jonathan Alder $128 USD
+ Piep Show XXL designed by Ralph Kraeuter for Radius Design EUR 149

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Party Must-Have: Confetti Bunting by Engel

confetti bunting

confetti bunting

I am pretty sure that if you hang these retro fabric confetti buntings, they would be a hit with your party guests as much as the giant balloons of two weeks ago.

Since they seem to only be available in The Netherlands and in United Kindgom, you may consider making your own with your fabric leftovers.

SOURCING:
Confetti Bunting € 16,50 at Engel
+ Confetti Bunting £18 at The Balcony Gardener

FAMILY KIDS party

My Son’s First Birthday Jungle Party (Part 2): The Food, the Cakes and the Party Favors

1st birthday snack food :: jungle theme

Click here to read part 1 of my son’s jungle theme birthday party.

1st birthday jungle themed snack table

I do not think that kids party are about food. For one thing, kids birthday parties are often scheduled in the middle of the afternoon and set to end before supper time. This is why I chose to serve healthy snacks for my son’s first birthday party. I went for food that the kids and their parents would equally enjoy.

1st birthday snack food :: jungle party

I also want to devise a menu that shared my party color palette. After contemplating several options, I opted for a fast and easy to make crowd-pleasing menu. I served crudités with a succulent dip, caprese salad on skewers, old cheddar grilled cheese, and as a testimony to my son’s play habit at the time, a tower of marbled cheese cubes.

Two DIY Decorating Projects for my Savoury & Sweet Table

The first project can hardly be called a project since it took two minutes from start to finish. But the raised platters is an important design element of my table. I made the raised platters by simply taping PAPAJA plant pots from IKEA to my collection of Thomas Paul Sea Life melamine plates. Double-sided tape works perfectly for this type of job. Make sure to check that the base of the pots is straight and that the plates sits well on them. I paired the dishes with some IKEA melamine bowls that I bought 2 summers ago — sadly for you, the bowls are no longer available. I was not lying when I told you that I used many items that I already owned for this party.

paint dripped utensils

My main DIY project are the paint-dipped utensils. I did it before dinner the night before. Although it works out, I should have started earlier. I will share what I learned by paint-dipping wood utensils in a future post. For now, let’s talk about two Montreal-based bakers that did an incredible job.

The Cake and Cupcakes

zack 1st birthday cake :: jungle theme

It was important to me to have the right cake for the occasion. I am glad that I bought the cakes at Les Glaceurs. I did not consider Les Glaceurs a contender until I saw the jungle animal cupcakes they did for a kids birthday party. Their style fits with mine. But I also want a cake, not just cupcakes. I inquired and they showed me their portfolio of nicely decorated 6 inches round, 3-layer cakes. I was sold!

The design of my son’s first birthday cake was a collaborative effort. I sent a photo of my party hats to their cake decorator in order for them to match the colors. I told her that I want an elephant on the top and circles on the side. I let them do their magic for the rest. I like the green grass at the bottom of the cake. The character of his first cake turned out to be cheerfully modern and playful, which was exactly what I was looking for. I also want to point out that working with Les Glaceurs was a breeze.

jungle theme cake and cupcakes

I imagined that it would be easier for my son to eat a cupcake. So I ordered one with a giraffe. Plus, I ordered vanilla cupcakes for the kids. It turned out that many moms ask for a cupcake instead of a piece of a cake. I bought cupcake toppers but I did not used them. At the end, I felt that it would have deter the attention from the cakes. I found another good reason to have a supply of cupcakes when a family had to leave before we blow the candle. They went home with two cupcakes for the kids.

The Party Favors

1st birthday crocodile cookie favors

A week before my son’s birthday party I received an email from Isabelle Quinn, the founder and head chef at Sweet Isabelle. I had planned to make goodies bag for the kids. Instead, I took this opportunity and asked her if she would supply me with her cute animal lollipop cookies. Isabelle said yes! I received (for free) an assortment of crocodile, monkey and elephant cookies that the kids were pleased to take home. They all love it!

Isabelle delivered it to me with a batch of mini cupcakes the night before. I got an extra cookie in order to taste it. Sweet Isabelle’s cupcakes are simply delicious. They were the first cake that my son ever ate — I wanted him to have a test run before the big day. Sweet Isabelle’s vanilla shortbread lollipop cookies are as delicious as they look.  The animal collection is always growing. I counted 37 animals at the moment.

If you live in Montreal, take note that she organize cookie decorating party at her shop. Isabelle told me that I should wait until my son is at least 3 years old to plan one.

SUPPLIERS:
+ Cake and cupcakes: Les Glaceurs
+ Animal cookies on a stick: Sweet Isabelle

 

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

LookBook: Geometric Orange At Your Table

retro orange and blue

It is no secret that I love orange as much as I love modern style. I like so much the clean lines of the city tea towel that I present you to way to mix geometric patterns with it.

Option 1

retro orange and blue

Shown here: City Series Tea Towel $22 USD at Lekker Home | Blocks Fabric from Melinki Two collection by Scion (part of Harlequin Group) |  Circa Aqua Bowl $9.95 USD at Crate and Barrel

Option 2

retro orange inspired table linens

Shown here: City Series Tea Towel $22 USD at Lekker Home | Studio Oh! Heavyweight Paper Placemats $19.99 USD at Amazon.com | Atom Art Bowl $8 USD at Anthropologie

Which board do you prefer?

FAMILY KIDS party

My Son’s First Birthday: The Making of a Jungle Party Theme

zack 1st birthday with Kim Vallee

zack 1st birthday with Kim Vallee

Last month, my little boy reached 1 year old. You can imagine that I wanted to celebrate it in style. I had a look at my party supply stack when came the time to select a party theme. I often buy party supplies online as extra items when I need to reach a limit to get free shipping. This time, my past purchases paid off. In fact, I mostly used items that I already owned to decorate the savoury and sweet table.

The Invite

my son's first birthday invitation card

The jumping point of my party decor was when I realized that the alphabet garland from Petit Collage shared the same color palette as my Meri Meri Birthday Party hats. To sweeten the deal, a tablecloth that I bought for my husband’s birthday a few years ago has the same color tones. I also keep a collection of tablecloths. Keeping a party supply reserve is not only handy for impromptu parties!

After I decided which tiles I would use for my son’s birthday wish garland, I designed the invite by first scanning two of the tiles. I converted them into balloons on the card. From that, it was clear that he was having a Jungle birthday party.

I keep everything in the same palette, even the snacks that I served. The party was from 2 to 5 PM. I opted for crowd-pleasing, simple food.

Entertaining the Kids

zack 1st birthday craft and play area

It was important to me that the kids feel welcome and have fun. Since I had a huge age gap between the youngest (my son) and the oldest kid, I planned for two main activities: a colouring/drawing station and a play area with toys. I opted for activities that would be safe for my son and the 2 years olds who were attending while keeping fun for everyone.

kid's castle built  in lego

The big hits were definitely drawing and constructing structures with his Mega Bloks collection. Towards the end of the party, the girls built him a castle with a huge entrance and a courtyard where Zack could sit.

For the activities, I only bought fingertip crayons (mostly for him), 2 packs of Crayola triangular crayons and a pack of thicker drawing paper. My splurge was a MAMMUT play table with a few stools and chairs at IKEA. I cannot stress enough how it is a great purchase. Even at his age, my son plays on it every day.

Blowing Out the Candle

I have a lot of fun memories of Zack’s first birthday. Next week, I will tell you about the food, the cakes and the party favor. In the meantime, I am leaving you with cute photos about eating his birthday cake.

zack 1st birthday cake with mom

zack 1st birthday eating the cake

Click here to read part 2 of my son’s jungle theme birthday party.

FAMILY KIDS rooms

Liberty of London Fabric Garlands Made in Quebec

les triplettes garlands

les triplettes garlands

This morning I had breakfast with Sophie Manessiez Guinet, the co-founder of minibulles.ca and Les Triplettes and the other panelists to prepare our e-Commerce and women panel at Webcom Montreal in May. On our way back, I walked home with Sophie. So we chatted on our current projects. This is where I learned about her new venture, Les Triplettes.

I wish to introduce their fabric garlands made with Liberty of London textile. Sophie is fond of these fabrics. The Liberty of London is a high quality cotton with delicate patterns. I usually buy my fabric garlands on Etsy but it is good to know that they are some produced in Quebec.

Available in 10 patterns, Les Triplettes garlands will cheer up any playroom.

SOURCING:
+ Les Triplettes Garland $36 at Minibulles.ca

BEVERAGE FOOD + DRINK

Must-Have this Easter: Euphoria by Kusmi Tea

euphoria tea

euphoria tea

Here is a perfect Easter gift idea since it will please even people who count their calories. To be safe I suggest that instead of showing up at the Easter brunch where you are invited with a chocolate Easter bunny this year, you show up with a box of Euphoria, the latest addition to Kusmi Tea’s Wellness collection. Personally, I plan to end my Easter brunch with a cup of Euphoria tea.

Their Quebec PR agency sent me a box of Euphoria this week. My husband made us a tea pot after dinner yesterday night. We both like it. Euphoria is made with roasted maté, orange peel and chocolate. The chocolate taste is just present enough to appreciate it.

Euphoria is sold at Kusmi’s Montreal store and online. They operate a Canadian online shop and an American online store.

SOURCING:
+ For Canadians:  Euphoria Wellness Teas by Kusmi Tea
125g tins $22.90 CAD, 250g tins $37.60 CAD, pack of 20 sachets $17 CAD
+ For Americans:  Euphoria Wellness Teas by Kusmi Tea
125g tins $22.90 CAD, 250g tins $37.60 CAD, pack of 20 sachets $17 CAD