An Epic Road Trip Playlist

Road Trip PlaylistRyan and I are counting down the days until we set off on our road trip across Alberta and British Columbia. We plan to stop in the mountains, at our family’s cabin, then to Vancouver with a quick stop over in Seattle. We are so excited to hit the open road and discover some new gems along the way. Road trips are a lot of hours but so much fun…a summer essential! I decided that in honour of our trek I would put together a series of posts inspired by road adventures!

Now, everyone knows that the key to a great drive is having the perfect music to help pass the hours. Ryan and I don’t always agree on music choices but we decided to spend some time creating the perfect road trip playlist that we could both agree on. Now the full playlist is well over 8 hours long but here is an abbreviated version of our epic road trip playlist for you to also enjoy!Road Trip PlaylistImage 1 source | Image 2 source

What do you think of our road trip playlist? Any other suggestions for us to include??

Decorating with White

When House & Home came out with their Special Edition magazine, Decorating with White, I felt like they were speaking directly to me. In fact, there is a running joke with some of our friends that whenever I bring up something interior design related, they immediately say “let me guess, it’ll probably just be white, right?” And 9 times out of 10, that’s true! I admit, I absolutely love neutral design schemes – the more white, the better. And it seems like a lot of people are agreeing with me. Doesn’t it seem like Pinterest is just a constant flurry of beautiful, white interiors? Well, I’m not complaining because it constantly inspires me and reinforces the reasons why I personally love decorating with white.

“There’s a reason why white is the #1 choice for our homes: white works.”  House & Home

1. White will always be classic!
Decorating with White

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First thing’s first, white interiors can really withstand the test of time. Just look back at some old magazines and you will see what I mean. White is radiant, airy and fresh no matter what and that really helps with keeping a space looking up to date. But just because white is a safe bet, it doesn’t have to be boring. I love how Sarah Swanson chose to lay her simple white subway tile in a unique pattern. It made her kitchen fun and unique.

2. White decor is restful and relaxing!
Decorating with White

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How much do you want to just cozy up in that beautiful bed? It’s because white is soothing and restful, especially when combined with the right textures. When we live the hectic lives we do, it’s so important to come back to a space that calms us. And the same concept applies to bathrooms. Clean, fresh, and calming? Yes, please. foxgrove_bigzoom15

3. White and black is a match made in heaven!
Decorating with White

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Black and white can be dramatic and make a huge statement. But it can also be calm, timeless or even glamorous. I can’t see white matting and black frames ever going out of style! And a little black accessory here or there will always help bring a space into focus. My current obsession is an all white space with industrial style window frames in black. Beautiful!ABBYWOLF_WEISS_2

4. White makes old new again!
Decorating with White

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Whether it’s a brick fireplace surround, wooden furniture, or even an outdated sofa, white can change an old piece you may have otherwise written off. I love how Holly from In the Fun Lane updated these side tables to create a modern looking solution to her living room. Without lots of white paint we never would have been able to make the panelling in the Forest Heights home look current…and clean, for that matter.Home Renovations Before and After

5. White makes colours pop!
Decorating with White

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Whether you love pastels or bright hues, setting colour against a white backdrop is sure to make the right statement without being overpowering. White is a blank canvas, ready for some creativity through colour! And the best part is, adding colour to accessories or artwork is a much quicker change down the road than say, repainting your entire space. Like in the photo above – a quick pillow and pouf change will reinvent the space.

colorpops3Now, before you run to your nearest Home Depot to grab a gallon of white paint, make sure to do some research into the many options out there (and there are soooooo many!). I have used a few Benjamin Moore white paints that I loved and would recommend. Paper white is great if a bright, stark white is not your thing. It ends up looking like a very light grey. Great for a bathroom! I love Chantilly Lace, which we used in our basement and home office. It has a bit of a warmer base. And finally, Decorator’s White is a pretty tried and true option!

So go on…have some fun with white this summer season!

DIY Pom Pom Pillow

I have a confession. I love pom poms. (big release of air) Wooo, it felt good to say that! lol! Quick story…When I was a kid, my Nana taught me how to make them and we would put them (in vibrant colours no less) on our luggage. Any time we travelled, we would spot our bags right away because of the bright pom pom bouncing around. How brilliant is that? Recently, I was perusing the internet and I saw some adorable pom pom home decor and it inspired me to create my own pom pom project. Today I’m sharing with you all my DIY Pom Pom Pillow!

DIY Pom Pom PillowBest thing about this DIY is it’s super affordable! I just grabbed a striped pillow case and insert from ikea. Using my trusty Michaels’ coupon app, I got my white yarn at 40% off. And lastly, I grabbed scissors, needle and thread. Quick tip right off the bat: make sure your scissors are sharp sharp sharp!

PomPomStep 1: Wrap that yarn around your 4 fingers with a bit of space to allow for the yarn to easily slide off when you are done. To get nice full pom poms, you should probably wrap around 100 times.

PomPom2Step 2: Slide the yarn off gently, trying to keep the nice circular shape. Then tie another piece of yarn around the centre. Tie as tight as you can!!!

PomPom3Step 3: Push the scissors through the loops and cut away.

PomPom4Step 4: You will now have a very messy looking pom pom that will need a good trim. Here is where you can also play with the size of the pom pom. Cut it down as much or as little as you want.

DIY Pom Pom PillowDIY Pom Pom PillowStep 5: Voila! A beautiful pom that is ready to be sewn to the inside of your pillow cover. I decided to do about 6 pom poms across each of the white stripes and having a nice big knot at the bottom of the pom allowed me to easily tack it on the pillow. PS…it doesn’t have to look nice on the inside (mine sure didn’t)!

DIY Pom Pom PillowThere you have it! A fun addition to your couch or chair! I like that it doesn’t need to look perfect either!DIY Pom Pom Pillow

I plan on keeping mine for the downstairs couch since I want to keep the space fun and unique! I could also see it being really fun in a kids bedroom or playroom.

DIY Pom Pom Pillow

Now…to make sure my dogs don’t get a hold of it….

Home Office Inspiration

cushandnooks - home office inspirationI have been dreaming about a beautiful home office for awhile now. And with Pinterest and so many amazing blogs out there for inspiration, my dreams of the perfect space seem more attainable than ever. Especially since Ryan and I blew out the wall between the two tiny bedrooms in the basement. We saw the possibilities in this new and improved room immediately! After months of slow and steady renos, we are finally getting close to having a complete home office and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Now it’s about really finishing off the space with those details and added touches. I can’t wait to show you all! But first, I thought I would share some of the images that sparked my home office inspiration and my own design scheme.

Scandinavian Home Office Inspiration My Scandinavian Home Office Inspiration alaina-kaczmarski- home office inspiration

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Great home offices are both organized AND beautiful. Everything needs a place and the space needs to function well – but for me, it also needs to be inspiring. A place I want to be.

ssprintshop - home office inspiration

Details matter! How can you not absolutely love the desk of Stephanie Sterjovskihome office inspirationFound some great tips for a chic and tidy workspace here.

And now for my design.

home office inspiration-DesignChandelier | Office Chair | Parsons Desk | Area Rug | Task Lamp | Typography Art

Home Office Inspiration-Accessories

The Inspired Home | Notepad and Weekly Planner | Candle | Organizing Ceramic Jars | Acrylic Pieces 

What do you think of my inspiration? Is a beautiful home office important for you? Thanks for sharing!

The Wedding Chronicles: Our Top Edmonton Wedding Venues

So where did we leave off last in the wedding chronicles…oh yeah! We realized mountain weddings are ridiculously expensive LOL! So, a couple of months ago, we started to look at possible wedding venues here in Edmonton and were pleasantly surprised by the unique options. Yes there are some great hotel choices like Hotel MacDonald, the Matrix Hotel, Union Bank Inn or even somewhere like the Oasis Centre. But we wanted to search for something a bit more intimate, interesting and reflective of us as a couple. After all, the venue often sets the tone for the whole wedding and the people running everything behind the scenes can really make or break the big day. So we did some research, we visited some places and came up with our top Edmonton Wedding Venues! Here they are in no particular order…

Top Edmonton Wedding Venues1. Blatchford Hangar at Fort Edmonton Park

Why we love it: We felt like we stepped back in time! How wonderful to get married with a bit of history surrounding you and your guests. It’s open and airy, with an adorable loft space perfect for a photo booth or games area. We could very well see ourselves getting married right there in front of the big hangar doors or even in the small, intimate 1910 St. Michaels Church. For the reception, the open ceiling looked stunning and when I asked about hanging lights or other decorative options, they were really supportive. Ryan’s favourite part was that guests could visit some of the park on the day as well!

Something to consider: It is massive! Perfect for large weddings but may feel a tad empty for smaller parties. Also, there is a large mural on the main wall…easily covered by beautiful white fabric but you would have to consider that in your budget.

Top Edmonton Wedding Venues2. The Trans Alta Arts Barns

Why we love it: A bit theatrical like me? The people at the Barns are like family because of all the shows that we have put on there from Scona and because of how much I love and cherish the performing arts in Edmonton. They are very supportive and willing to make your day beautiful. It is basically a blank canvas! My mind was racing with ideas of how we could decorate. Basically getting married here would almost guarantee a day that no one else in Edmonton would ever have. I mean look at the two photos above! It doesn’t even look like the same place! Also, you can bring in whatever caterer you want. One wedding I attended at this space had Marble Slab come in for desert instead of the traditional cake. It was amazing!

Something to consider: The Arts Barns has loads of events going on throughout the year including the Fringe, which you may have heard of! That event alone basically knocks out the majority of the availability in summer. Book far in advance or think about a less hectic time of the year. Also, remember that because it is a theatre, no natural lighting!

Top Edmonton Wedding Venues3. The Yellowhead Brewery

We we love it: Ummm fresh microbrews? Need I say more?? But really, this venue boasts more than awesome beer. Located downtown, it offers a hip loft space in what is basically a restored warehouse. Exposed brick throughout speaks to my heart and the delicate hanging lights are magical. The owner Ido, met us with a cold glass of beer immediately and was very down to earth. All the catering and alcohol is taken care of in house…making planning a cinch! And did I mention the brick?

Something to consider: The space is intimate…small wedding parties only!

Top Edmonton Wedding Venues4. The Old Timer’s Cabin

Why we love it: If you can’t afford a mountain wedding like us, this may just be the next best thing! A beautiful log cabin, not nestled in the mountains, but rather in the heart of the river valley. The views from the cabin are gorgeous and inside is not half bad either with its rustic charm and large stone fireplace.

Something to consider: The secret is out on this little place. Booking may be difficult if you are looking at high season. Make sure to read the additional costs that come along with this venue!

Top Edmonton Wedding Venues5. La Cité Francophone

Why we love it: Yes, it may seem like just a hall. And it is. But what we love about this venue is the access to the beautiful rotunda and patio & terrace. La Cité is located in the adorable French Quarter in Bonnie Doon and when you see the large windows of the venue its hard not to love it. And having La Café Bicyclette cater your event is sure to be delicious. Ryan and I often ride our bikes there for Sunday brunch.Top Edmonton Wedding Venues

Something to consider: Decor will be important here to make the hall itself look unique!

So I know you are all wondering….WHICH ONE DID WE CHOOSE FOR OUR BIG DAY?!?!

THE YELLOWHEAD BREWERY!!!!!!

With the size of our wedding, we opted for intimacy. Though we loved some of the other venues, this one worked the best for us. It matched our style, it was easy to communicate with the manager and we knew that this space would set the best tone for us and our guests. We want no time in between the ceremony and reception and this venue allows us to get married in the evening and then flow right into the party! Ido is also allowing us to customize our menu which will be served in a more cocktail fashion…no formal sit down here! And, best of all, it fit our budget!

Oh and did I mention the brick? :)

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