Welcome Basket for Guest Bedroom

We love having guests in our home.  We are so close to our family and friends that we love getting the opportunity to host dinner parties or BBQs at our house.  We wanted that same welcoming experience to carry into our guest room.

I love the cozy feeling of being in a Bed and Breakfast, so I wanted my guests to have a similar experience in our home.  My husband will usually whip up a gourmet breakfast in the morning with freshly cut fruit and all.

 

IMG_1803

I had stumbled across a few welcome baskets for guest bedrooms on Pinterest and I was excited to recreate one of these fabulous baskets for our guests.

To make it extra cozy, I started leaving tea and fruit for our guests…and Godiva chocolates!  Who doesn’t love Godiva 🙂  I loved my pinch minimergency kit so much that I’ve put one in the guest basket as well.  This is me bribing them to come back;)

FullSizeRender (27)

I created a little welcoming note that I put into a photo frame.
IMG_1806

In the next couple of months, we will be having my husband’s cousin G from NYC stay with us as well as my cousin and his girlfriend from Paris!  I can’t wait!

Some of the contents in the basket: magazines, shampoo, conditioner, all the contents in the pinch kit, lotion, Advil, Tide-to-go etc.  One of the magazines is our wedding magazine called OMG (Our Marriage Gossip) that we gave out as wedding favours.  You can be as creative as you wish with your basket.  It was so fun to make because I knew it was going to make our friends and family happy!

Is there something else you would add to your guests’ basket?  Let me know in the comments below!

Love of Laundry…not!

I have a husband who is rather particular about how laundry is done!  When it was just my sister and I living in our apartment, I had one hamper which I threw all my clothes into.  Half of the time I would roll my jeans up and pretend I was shooting hoops, which said a lot about my athletic ability since the clothes would end up around the basket.  I would eventually collect all my random clothes and throw them back in my basket.  When it was time to do my laundry, I would sort my clothes into various piles, darks, whites, colours etc.  My husband was away at school at the time so I was pretty set in my ways.  However, when he returned he was appalled about how I did my laundry.  I would never admit this to him, but his system makes a lot more sense than mine 😉  First, he went and purchased laundry dividers/sorters that he got from Walmart.  He looked at other stores, but only found 3-bag laundry sorters, but Walmart had 4.  Online I could only find ones with 3 dividers, hopefully they still have the 4-bag sorters.

Now when we do laundry, we divide our clothes into 4 categories: Whites, Darks, Colours, & Delicates.  It is important to always wash your clothes in the appropriate water temperature:  Hot water for whites to keep them bright, and cold water for darks to prevent them from fading.  I used to wash everything in warm water, but then my whites didn’t look too bright.

When he’s not looking, sometimes the little thrill seeker in me would roll up my clothes into a ball, shoot, and just hope for the best!  Especially when I am tired, I don’t always follow the sorting rules but this gets me in trouble with the laundry drill sergeant and he’s constantly shaking his head but I still see a little smile hidden there.  He knows that even though my quirks drive him crazy, he’s kind of stuck with me 😉

IMG_1786

IMG_1797
We also use a completely different laundry basket for our clean clothes that we take out of the dryer.  This one folds flat so we can hang it on the inside of our closet door.  Love how it says “CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN.”  Another great HomeSense buy!
IMG_1782
Lastly, I’m loving this rolley basket that I leave in the guest room.  After their stay, visitors throw their towels in there and I can take it directly to our laundry room in the basement.

IMG_1784

Do you have a laundry method/system?  Or are you more of a free spirit like me and prefer to play bball with your clothes? 😉  Do you have any great tips for laundry organization?  Let me know in the comments below!

My Fav Shortbread Cookies!

If you haven’t tried Mary Macleod’s famous shortbread cookies, it should be on your check list of things to do and try in Toronto.  If you want a taste of heaven in your mouth, make your way to her charming  bakery.   Visit her site and read about her story...very inspirational.

Every year, I try to make an effort and make the trek across town to the bakery to share some of Ms. Macleod’s amazingly delicious goodness with someone.  I had stumbled across her shop by accident.  I was in the Queen East area getting a dress made by Tizz, when I saw the Bakery’s sign.  My sister’s client bought it for their team one year and I couldn’t stop dreaming about these cookies she shared with me.  When I saw the sign, it automatically registered as the very one that was imprinted in my memory.  I had to stop so I could re-live the moment of putting these decadent cookies in my mouth!

Everyone that I have shared them with can’t stop talking about how delicious these cookies are!

Today we received a wonderful surprise.  Our good friends, Michelle and Jessica, left these charming cookies on our doorstep because we were not home.  Thank you for your thoughtfulness Jessica and Michelle!

Recently, we were in for a treat when my sister-in-law bought us Coach House Short Bread Cookies from the One of a Kind Show.  I must say, in my opinion, they came a close second to Mary Macleod’s.  I’m curious to know which ones you all prefer : )

If you are unable to get to Queen Street East, you can still get your hands on these marvelous Macleod cookies.  They can also be purchased at Holt Renfrew, Summerhill Market and even Costco.

If you are feeling ambitious and want to try to make your own shortbread cookies, CTV shared the famous traditional shortbread recipe.

IMG_2563
Delicious Assorted Shortbread cookies by Mary Macleod. Thanks again Jess and Michelle!
IMG_2561
I get excited just looking at the packaging!
IMG_2065
This Coach House Shortbread company comes a close second. If you like your cookies super buttery, you’ll love these:)

If you are unsure of that last minute gift, you can’t go wrong with gifting these cookies!

Happy Holidays everyone!  I am excited to spend quality time with my friends and family and I wish everyone a happy and restful holiday!

My pretty tree ;)

I always wanted an elegant Christmas tree but I wanted both chic and rustic elements on it.  Instead of the traditional garland, I used a more modern pearl garland as well as snowflake crystal-like garland.  In my opinion, they worked beautifully together.  Many of the decorations were collected from a few years back.  The ornaments on my tree are from multiple stores: HomeSense, Pier One, Michaels, Starbucks , Chapters, Pottery Barn, etc.  If they are expensive, I’ll usually wait until after the holidays to purchase them on sale for the following year:)

A great tradition to start is one that our cousins Cindy and Becky started with the kids.  They bought clear bulbs and inserted all sorts of cool & neat things into them.  Then every cousin was given a custom-made bulb created by one of the little cousins.  My gift last year contained white feathers in it (add me on Instagram and you’ll see it on there).  There were also pink jewels embedded with the feathers.  Do they know me or what? I loved it…and still do! <3

For this post,  I want to highlight my finds from this year.   Now, I’ll be adding a couple of new stores to the long list for good finds:)

My sis Tiff asked if we wanted to tag along to go to Creative Bag.  I’m so glad we did!  There were so many beautiful things there.  I wanted to buy some pink ornaments but they were going for $5.99/each.  I settled for the gold ones that were on sale instead.  I also scored gold spotted tissue paper for $0.99/small pkg…just what I needed!  My sisters’ purchases included boxes and bags galore!  It was prettiness overload 🙂

IMG_2536
Some goodies @Creative Bag

A few weeks ago, I was picking up art supplies and I stumbled upon these 3″ rose gold bulbs at DeSerres.  They are a craft store very much like Micheals.  I think they may have gone further on sale since I’ve purchased them. I got them for $5.99 so roughly a dollar per bulb…a great deal!  I also posted on Instagram, star-shaped copper cookie cutters that I hung on my tree.  I was twirling one around my finger and one landed on my tree…and it looked perfect as an ornament!  I just added twine around each one of them and the rest was history ; )

IMG_2531
Rose Gold bulbs @DeSerres

If you love the silver and gold combinations like I do, these bulbs below are on sale for $16.74 (reg. $24) at The Real Canadian Super Store.

IMG_2555

I scored ornate picture frame ornaments from Michaels (on sale) last year.  Michaels did not disappoint again this year.  I found the prettiest wrapping paper for $1.50/roll.  They were 20 in x 25 sq ft.  Now my wrapped gifts will compliment my pink, black and white boxes perfectly.
IMG_2533When people come over to our place they ask where I found such pretty boxes with the cutest phrases…HomeSense of course!  Keep in mind with HomeSense, it varies with availability at each location,  so if you see something you like there, make sure you snap it up before it’s gone!  Right now all holiday motifs are 30% off…happy shopping!
IMG_2545

My blog is finally here!

I’ve always wanted a creative avenue to share bits and pieces of my life.  I knew it would be in the form of a blog.  I want it to convey all my love of fashion, DIY projects, and just my love of all things pretty.  I want it to be relevant to the savvy shopper and DIYourselfer but more importantly, I want it to be Canadian and to highlight my city…Toronto!  I want most of the things that I blog about to be accessible in our city.  But also relevant enough for those stopping by, who are not from the city, to be inspired too:)  I’ve been jotting countless notes on topics I thought people would love to read about in this pretty little book:

IMG_2495
Then this year I knew that if I didn’t do it right away, I would never do it.  My sister-in-law started her blog and it really inspired me to execute this little project that’s been in the works for awhile now.  She said “Do it already, sista!”  Thanks Tiff, for the push!

Follow her as well…Tiffany is amazing! Her blog is called “The Paper Suitcase”

In celebration of my new blog, I thought it was only fitting that the new accent colour around our home be pink and gold.

IMG_2422

IMG_2499

IMG_1625

IMG_2497

Follow me on instagram @passionforprettyblog