I always look for ways to track my time more efficiently. I am torn between the paper agenda and a Web tool. It is a constant switch between the two. Lately, I started to miss the use of a pen.
What I like about the Watch Diary is that you can visualize your day. You can see if what you plan to do can fit and compare your estimates to the actual time it took you to do a task. Since time management is always tricky, I like a method that enables me to better schedule my time.
sourcing: Watch Diary $17 USD at Connect design
Wonjune Song imagined a different type of agenda. His Watch Diary serves not only to track your time but indicate how you are doing in regard to your schedule. The “red hand” of the watch indicates what you should be doing now (your current task), the “before hand” refers past chores and the “forward hand” indicates what you should be doing next. It is a tool to 1) Schedule your time more carefully and to 2) Check it more efficiently.
The Watch Diary contains two sections: 126 pages for scheduling and tracking your time and 70 pages to write ideas and collect slips. If your work requires that you are on the run often, it could be handy to keep everything in one place. I am tempted to try it to see how well its performs.
To Manage your Priorities and Keep Notes
If you need to keep a to-do list nest to your computer, have a look at this cute note pad. This long sticky note pad is designed for writing memos as well as resting your wrists while you type. 50 sheets of “Post-it style” paper rest over a sponge pad.
sourcing: Desk Plus Note Pad $5 USD at Connect Design
You know that you have a great toy when you see smiles on your kid’s face. Zack is at an age where kids are constantly on the move. He likes to get in and out of the doors of his new playhouse, sit for a moment, look by the many windows, decorate the interior with furniture. Today, we coloured some walls and we played peek-a-boo while he was inside the playhouse. He laughed so loud! Like one credit card company would say, these moments are priceless!
sourcing: My Pretty Playhouse $34.99 at Cascades
My Impressions as a Parent
My Pretty Playhouse is made in Canada of 100% recycled cardboard recovered in Canada and in the United States. The playhouse comes flat in a box. Make sure to keep the packaging. You can reuse it to store the pieces when you don’t use the playhouse.
The assembly went smoothly. The instructions say that it requires two persons for assembly It’s true that having an extra pair of hands is helpful. If you are alone, my guess is that you could be able to use a corner wall as a support for assembling the two wall sections; that is the only time where being two persons is handy. My husband and I did it in 5 minutes. Zack was so excited to see the playhouse that he was always in our way.
As many urban parents with young children, our play room is a dedicated area in our living room. I like the fact that the playhouse is not too big. A few kids will have no problem to sit inside. I sit with him inside the house and there is a little bit of space left.
You could win your Pretty Playhouse by entering before Monday, October 22nd, 2012 noon.
Disclosure: Cascades gave me the cardboard playhouse for me to test. I shared my experience with the playhouse because my son truly enjoyed it.
Though we’re in store for a few more weeks of winter, spring flowers are already showing up at markets and in stores – we’re already thinking about spring decorating!
If you’re eager to brighten things up with a bunch of blooms, and want to learn how to transform potted plants and bulbs into something spectacular, don’t miss two new workshops at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto this spring with writer, stylist and creative wrapping pro Corinna vanGerwen.
Known for her genius wrapping ideas that have been featured in Canadian Living and Style At Home, Corinna is pairing her love of paper with petals for two one-day workshops.
On April 21, you can learn how to create a spring wreath from Japanese watermark tissue , or join her on May 12 to learn how to “wrap” daffodils, tulips and other spring flowers for gift-giving, party favours and other decorations. Learn more about the workshops and register at the Harbourfront Centre website.
Do not forget to check out the Corinna Wraps blog for more creative wrapping ideas. An idea to steal is her yellow striped suit gift wrap.
+ Corinna Wraps Blog
+ Harbourfront Centre Spring Workshops
We’ve all been there: that panicked moment when you realize you’ve overlooked a friend’s birthday, or are long overdue to send a handwritten thank you.
Cards may have come a long way in recent years, with a myriad of designers, studios and print houses creating gorgeous prints for every taste, but with so many beautiful options available, it’s the choosing that presents the biggest challenge.
Parchment Post is a subscription-based service that offers a curated selection of modern greeting cards by small, independent artists from across North America on a seasonal basis.
Each collection contains six handmade cards from six different designers to cover a range of occasions, from a simple “Hello” to “Congratulations”. Choose just one collection ($28), or opt for a six-month ($55) or one-year subscription ($100) to keep a steady supply of cards ready to send.
We love the idea of receiving a collection of pretty paper goods in the mail a few times per year, and sending them back out to deliver a bit of joy to their recipient.
+ Parchment Post
Have you fallen for washi tape yet? Crafters and DIYers have found so many creative uses for this Japanese tape made from handmade paper.
Available in a variety of colours, patterns and prints, washi tape can transform gift wrapping, paper crafts, wedding and party accessories, and even simple decor items.
Apartment Therapy posted a fun collection of ideas for decorating with washi tape, including everything from DIY wall art, to an easy vase makeover featured on A Creative Mint.
How About Orange posted two fun vases in her signature colour – the variations are amazing, inspiring and – best of all – temporary, so you can change things up to suit your style or the season. This is a fun option for winter months, when you may not be able to find your favourite blooms.
Because of its new found popularity, you don’t need to take a trip to Japan to pick up a few rolls. Major craft stores and art supply stores have made washi tape a regular part of their rotation.
Online paper shop Omiyage has an amazing selection (plus other fun Japanese paper supplies) and Etsy is loaded with cool patterns and colours.
Are you addicted to using washi tape in your crafts or DIY projects too? Tell us how you’ve put it to use!
+ 5 Ideas for Decorating with Washi Tape on Apartment Therapy
+ Vase Makeover on A Creative Mint
+ DIY Decorating wit Masking Tape on How About Orange
+ Washi Tape on Omiyage
+ Washi Tape Photo: Chiclectic
If you plan to host an Halloween party this year, I suggest that you stock up on these stylish skeleton paper cones designed by Wendy Addison for West Elm. At $8 a piece, they are a splurge but they would definitely add elegance to your Halloween theme.
+ Skeleton paper cones $8 USD / 8.42 CAD
Only if you tried to stop and smell them would you ever guess these flowers were anything but the real deal.
And while there’s certainly no shortage of DIY paper flower tutorials available, this bouquet is something truly special: the variations in paper, colours and flower shapes, plus the addition of faux fern leaves, make it look authentic.
The bouquet, and the coordinating stems in simple vases, are a wonderful option for brides on a budget, or sentimental ones who want to preserve memories of their special day.
And though carnations aren’t as popular a petal pick as, say, roses, there’s something ultra feminine about this ruffled version made from floral wire stems and twisted cupcake liners.
Check out MarthaStewart.com for complete instructions on how to create this quick and easy DIY.
+ DIY Sticker & Cupcake Paper Flowers from Martha Stewart
This is a wonderful project to do with your kids or to decorate a nursery. The design is by Joel Henriques of MadeByJoel.com. You can learn how to make your own by watching the tutorial video produced by Etsy.
You could use the template to sew the birds or make them with felt if you prefer that to paper birds.
+ How-Tuesday: Kid-Friendly Bird Mobile
With gorgeous photography and clever text, cookbooks are the new coffee table books. The only downside? Actually putting them to use in the kitchen, lest they fall prey to a sauce splatter here or a grease spot there.
That’s why I loved this “Good Things” tip spotted in the February 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living: just slip your favorite cookbook inside a large, zippered plastic envelope – available at specialized office supply stores and packaging stores – to protect pages from kitchen messes.
+ Clear Zippered Envelope at the Container Store, from $2.99 USD
+ Filexec Zipper Envelope from Amazon.com, $13.99 USD (set of 6)
+ Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes cookbook from Amazon.com, $14.04 USD
When I first laid my eyes on the 6-layer rich chocolate cake by Sweetapolita, I immediately recognized the style of the kitchen paper placemats by Cake Vintage. I received the Italian Scroll Placemat Pad at Christmas. The styled photos of Sweetapolita show this product in all its splendor.
What is cool with paper placemats is that you can enhance the design to fit the occasion by writing on the paper. You could write down the menu or use them to assign the place of your guests at your dinner table.
If you are having a bug party is an affordable solution to dress your buffet or dining table. Each 50-sheet placemat pad costs about $20. They are made with soy based inks and 30% recycled content. They make coordinating menu notepad. You can buy the Perfect Setting Placemat pad used for the cake shoots on Cake Vintage or at Anthropologie (they are called Fine Dining placemats on Anthropologie’s Web site).
Oh, and do not miss to check the recipe of the rich chocolate cake on Sweetapolita.
+ Kitchen Papers Collection by Cake Vintage – $20 USD for a placemat pad, $10 for a menu notepad
+ Fine Dining Placemats $24 USD at Anthropologie
+ Campfire Delight: 6-Layer Rich Chocolate Malted & Toasted Marshmallow Cake from Sweetapolita
Pets are like kids, they like to be entertained. Pet toy makers do not always pay attention to style. This is not the case of Loyal Luxe, a Montreal-based company that produces adorable recycled cardboard cat houses. I introduced last year, their first product, the Cat Cabin. A couple months ago, they launched a cute teepee. You know how I like teepee (or tipi) for kids and grown ups.
Loyal Luxe also added a beautiful faux-bearskin for cats and small dogs to their collection. I know for a fact that cats go for anything with fur or faux-fur. We bought several years ago two RENS sheepkins for our cats. They were delighted! Since then, I repurposed the sheepkins as small bed carpets for my husband and I. During the colder months, I now lay a faux-fur throw at the end of our bed so the cats know where to sleep. What I like about a cat rug is that it takes less space than a pet pillow. Plus, it is easier to store away when you do not wish to have it in your decor.
Going back to Loyal Luxe, they transformed a traditional Canadian icon by mixing a synthetic bearskin on one side with a red plaid fabric on the other side. More bearskin colors and fabric patterns are available on their online shop to suit your taste or decor.
+ Native American Teepee $24 CAD
+ Faux Bearskin $30
+ Canada: RENS sheepskin $39.99 CAD
+ USA: RENS sheepskin $24.99 USD