December 10, 2016

Story time: I’ve moved around this country a whole bunch of times over the past 10 years and each time I would get more and more ruthless on what belongings I would keep or get rid of.

Can I get it in the new city for the same cost as shipping it? If yes, then to the donation bin it went.
Does it hold any sentimental value that I will truly miss if I don’t keep it? No? Add it to the giveaway pile.
Is it something I can live without over the next couple of weeks while I move? Yes? buh-bye!

Pretty ruthless.

In my last move I had my whole life’s contents down to about 5 boxes and a suitcase.

However, I have this set of generic linen-lined wicker baskets that I got for Christmas when I was a kid (I was a weird kid that was obsessed with baskets for time).

Baskets that I could easily buy in any city.
Baskets that don’t really have any sentimental value.
Baskets that I can definiltey live without at any time.

But yet I’ve gotten rid of other things so I could keep them. I’ve paid to move them around to seven different cities.

So what’s the point of this long-winded story you ask? I love a good looking basket, box, or bag! Yep, all that to show how seriously I take containers ;)

(PS want to see the infamous wicker? Take a look at my nursery reveal and you’ll find them)

I first got connected with UASHMAMA (pronounced “wash-mama”) through Instagram earlier this year, and when they reached out to me to collaborate I was all ears!

If you haven’t heard of UASHMAMA yet it is a small family owned brand based in Italy. They make a variety of gorgeous products, but it’s their process that I think really makes them stand out.

“UASHMAMA washable paper looks and feels like leather, but washes with ease. Our bags are soft yet resilient, where the manufacturing process is similar to leather as the paper is stretched and tanned making it durable to withstand washing and daily use.

… Paper that washes like fabric holding it’s form so it can be used over and over again promoting sustainability perfect for catering and home wares. Originally designed as bread bags, over time the uses, finishes and designs have become so much more. Their usefulness is limited only by ones imagination. Countless and ever new, depending on taste and trends, which do not follow any fashion, only the inspiration of its creator: Marco Marconi.”

It’s pretty much paper that’s been transformed into leather! How cool is that?

I have the paniere in grey and found so many different uses for it. I’m always a sucker for gift baskets especially when the packaging is just as pretty and useful as the contents :)

Since the bags are washable it’s okay if they get wet – which makes them great for planters! (although they aren’t waterproof so I would suggest keeping the plant in it’s original pot and then put it in the bag so it doesn’t sit in water)

Who doesn’t love a good tote bag! I think my knitting projects should live in there this winter… and then get kicked out for picnics and evenings strolls in the summer time. 

Yes, I know. It’s another gift basket. But look how cozy it is! Hot chocolate, marshmallows, blanket scarf, and that adorable little mug ornament. A perfect Christmas gift for … well, you probably ;)

I took it into the nursery and saw about 100 different ways I could use it… toy bin, blanket storage, book basket, change table organizer. The list goes on…

And here are a few of my other favorites that can be found in their online shop too. Look at that metallic! As much as I love the neutrals I can appreciate some shiny rose gold once in a while too :)

With Christmas being only a couple of weeks away they’re offering free shipping until the end of the month. Woo!

Or if you’re in Ottawa you can find the bags locally at JV Studio, Boogie + Birdie, and Vincent or you can check out their holiday pop-up shop that’s happening on December 15-18 at Patrick Mikhail Gallery (2401 Bank Street).

You can find a list of their other stockists across Canada on their website.

*this post has been sponsored by UASHMAMA.ca. All opinions are my own

baby + family lifestyle

…and then there were three

December 10, 2016

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been over a month since my last post went live. There are so many things I could talk about – so many things that have happened and so much that’s changed.

For starters, we have a baby boy! He arrived very quickly in the early hours of October 31st. Just a few hours before my last post was scheduled to go up which makes what I said in the end kind of it kind of funny and amazing to read back on now. Also, those letters were written about 6 hours before baby boy was placed in my arms!

It’s so crazy how huge changes can be right on your doorstep… hours, minutes, seconds away and you don’t even know it until afterwards.

Anyway, I’m still debating with myself whether or not I want to write about his birth story on here so stay tuned for the verdict on that.

But for now I thought I’d do a quick introduction and start easing back into this blogging thing. I’ve missed it.

Say hello to our little Bash!

lifestyle simply lovely

Simply Lovely // October

October 31, 2016

Simply Lovely October // www.thelovelythings.com

I meant to write this last week, but time got away from me as usual. But seeing as how it’s still October for one more day I thought I’d squeeze it in quickly.

This month has been the busiest of the year in (mostly) the best ways possible. I was super busy with work – new clients, repeat clients, and getting to shoot a lot of things that I really love.

I had always thought that I would gradually slow things down in this last month of pregnancy, but I just kept saying “yes” to people and booking more jobs. Looking back I’m still so glad I did though! I’ve mentioned before how fortunate I am to have been feeling great the past 9 months, so I was happy that I was able to keep working this long.

Simply Lovely October // www.thelovelythings.com

Being self-employed my version of maternity leave will look quite different than most people’s too I think. Right now I’m planning on taking November off… something about needing lots of rest and taking care of a tiny new human ;) And work usually slows down over Christmas for us too, so I’m thinking that if all goes well I’ll be getting back into things in the new year. Kind of crazy to think that last new years I wasn’t even pregnant yet, and this one coming up I’ll have a baby and be trying to figure out some sort of home-work-momlife balance. Just goes to show how life can change in a year :)

My bff also came to visit me last week for a whole week! We’ve known each other since birth, lived together for 3 years in our 20’s, were maid-of-honors at each other’s weddings, and have a a friendship that lives on even though we now live 3,205km apart. She came and cooked and cleaned for me (because she’s awesome). We shopped, watched movies, and did all the homebody things that we love to do. Also distracted us from waiting around for this baby to show up :)

Simply Lovely October // www.thelovelythings.com

It’s been a while but tonight I did something on my 30 before 30 list! I was planning on waiting until my birthday to write a letter to my future self, but then I thought it would be fun to write one before the baby too. So that’s what I did.

It’s not long or overly sentimental, but it felt good to get a few things down on paper about what life looks like now. I also wrote one to the little guy… I don’t know if he will care about it or think it’s cool one day, but either way I know that I will look back on it one day and probably shake my head at how simple I thought life was way back in 2016 (insert gramma emoji).

Letter to my future self - 30 before 30 busket list // www.thelovelythings.com Letter to my future self - 30 before 30 busket list // www.thelovelythings.com

And now I’m ready for November to come. Ready to see how life will get turned upside down in all the best ways. Ready to make myself take some time off and really enjoy all the ‘firsts’ that are coming our way.

With all that being said, this might just be the last post for a little while too. I was planning on scheduling a bunch of posts so that I wouldn’t miss a beat, but that didn’t happen and I’m just going with it now. The blog won’t be forgotten, and I’m sure it won’t take long before it’s flooded with a million photos and stories of a chubby new baby (#sorrynotsorry), but I’m also giving myself permission to let it go for a time without guilt.

But I will be back! And in the meantime you can follow along on Instagram @thelovelythingsblog if you want updates :)

diy home

DIY nursery wall art

October 30, 2016

Modern and minimalist nursery Wall Art - To the Moon and Back // www.thelovelythings.com

The nursery is done!

I mentioned in the last post with the room reveal that there was one empty wall that I needed to do something with and I’m happy to say that I actually finished it. And with 1 day until my due date to spare ;)

Instead of something complicated or expensive I decided to go with simple and easy: the engineering print.

I’ve made them for our house before (check them out here) and I love how fast, inexpensive, and easy they are! Not to mention that you can customize them and make them fill a big space too.

If you’re not familiar with it an “engineering print” is basically a photocopy-quality, black and white print that you can get made for a couple of dollars at most print shops. In Canada, Staples is the place to go (they should really be paying me for sponsorship at this point. Ha!).

They can print up to 24″ on the short end and as long as you want, and you pay per foot. For example a 24×30″ print is roughly $3.

I knew that I would need 2 prints to fill the space so I went with this quirky whale in space, which is actually album artwork from one of Matt’s favorite bands AND the tattoo he got earlier this year so it seemed kind of perfect. I also love quotes so for the second print I went with part of the quote “I love you to the moon and back and more than all the stars” which I thought also tied in well with the planets.

And now for a little DIY on how to “frame” and hang them!

Modern and minimalist nursery Wall Art - To the Moon and Back // www.thelovelythings.com

DIY nursery wall art

What you need:

Download the image and copy it onto a USB drive. Take it over to Staples or your print shop and ask them to print it full size. Our store usually has it ready within a couple of hours.

Cut your dowel or wooden piece in half with a hand saw. The ones I bought were actually 47″ so I ended up having to trim down my print a bit so that the paper wouldn’t go past the wood.

Use your hot glue gun to glue the dowels to the top and bottom edges of the front of the print.

Flip it over and glue the string or ribbon to the top corners of the back of the dowel. Let it dry/cool completely before hanging it up.

Because they’re so lightweight I just used a flathead thumbtack to hang them on the wall. Command strips also work great.

Modern and minimalist nursery Wall Art - To the Moon and Back // www.thelovelythings.com Modern and minimalist nursery Wall Art - To the Moon and Back // www.thelovelythings.com

baby + family lifestyle

Nursery reveal

October 25, 2016

Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com

With my due date being exactly a week away now (ah!) I thought it was finally time to share our nursery!

I was putting it off for a while, first because I’ve been super busy this month and didn’t have time to take photos, and then because it’s not completely done yet. But seeing as how the little guy could show up any day now I finally decided that it might be a now or never kind of thing.

And it also gives me an excuse to share a few of my favorite baby things too :)

Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com

You’ll notice pretty quickly that we opted for more of a neutral, non-babyish kind of room. I know that eventually there will probably be colorful plastic toys everywhere, but I wanted to stay away from that for now.

If you’ve been following the blog for a while then that triangle wall might look familiar too. This room used to be our office and I DIY’d the triangle decals using contact paper (aka removable shelf liner). You can check out to how-to HERE. It’s been up for over a year and a half now and still going strong!

And yes, I’m aware that it doesn’t go all the way to the floor. Our desks were at that height before so I didn’t need to stick them all the way down, and now with the crib and chair there I don’t really notice it. Except in photos where it’s super obvious ;)

Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.comGeometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com

We scored this Dutailier glider rocking chair on Kijiji for just $25! It came with faded yellow cushions, so my wonderful mother-in-law sewed new cushion covers for it and now it’s as good as new.

The back pillow is from IKEA and the camera pillow was a Christmas present I got a looong time ago so I’m not sure where it’s from. The rug is also an IKEA find.

Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com

I have this thing against hanging shelves on our walls (renter problems) so I was on the search for a freestanding shelf that could hold cute things for now and stable enough for toys and probably climbing later on.

I originally wanted this one, but was having a really hard time justifying the $130 price tag so eventually we decided to just go with this IKEA classic instead.

Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com

I made those felt banners this summer and love the bit of personality they add to the room :) DIY here

The books are mostly from Matt and my childhoods and some I’ve collected over the years. I wanted to be able to have them out for a while before baby can start crawling around and destroying things so they’ll live here for a while before getting moved to higher ground. Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.comGeometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com

Tiny baby shoes have to be some of the cutest things ever made! A few posts back I said something about embracing the whole “first child so buy all the impractical things now” thing and I’m pretty sure baby Nike’s fall into that category ;)

Also baby-sized cardigans. UGH. Why does everything get so much cuter when it’s small! H&M has become out favorite place to shop for these little man clothes. They have the best selection and good prices. Now I’m just crossing my fingers that the sizing works out for us too. Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.comGeometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.comGeometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com

We got this blanket (above), bandana bib and teether (below) from Matt’s cousin and I love them. They’re all from Modern Baby, a shop in Victoria, BC that has so much awesome stuff!
Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com

Our current diaper bag (below) all packed and ready for the hospital!

I say “current” because we have three different bags now that we could use as diaper bags, but this is the favorite. I learned that unless you want a huge, bright patterned one with a billion pockets, and a $200 price tag then the better way to go was to just find a bag that both you and your other half would actually be okay with carrying around. Matt found this one and it seemed to fit the bill.

It was on clearance when we got it, but it looks like you can still find it online: Dakine Hemlock Shoulder Bag in Rockaway
Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com

Another baby shower gift was this whale muslin blanket that matches the basket that’s in the cube shelf. They’re both from Chapters and come in other prints, but the whales are really the best one ;)Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/baby/muslin-swaddle-whales/882709285540-item.html?ref=item_page%3abundle%3a792

This blanket (above) that matches everything perfectly was handmade by a friend of ours. Isn’t it perfect! And it feels absolutely amazing – so soft.

Check out her Facebook page, Coui Couture, to see all of her sewn creations.https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/baby/muslin-swaddle-whales/882709285540-item.html?ref=item_page%3abundle%3a792

You may have noticed that I’ve only shown half the room and that’s because the other wall that’s not shown currently just has a change table, a pile of boxes, and some other stuff that I don’t think will be staying there. Oh, and a huge blank wall. Not very photogenic ;)

So once I figure out what’s happening with that wall, and clean up the other stuff a bit more, I’ll hopefully have time to take some more photos and add those in!

*EDIT* I finished that side of the room! I made some engineering prints (DIY here) for the wall and cleaned it up so now I feel like it’s finally really finished :)

Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com

These picture ledges from IKEA were put up when this was still the office to display the hockey pucks from the tournaments Matt has photographed. But since our office is now split between the living room and guest room I didn’t want to move them and just have them sit in a corner somewhere until the office is altogether again. So they will stay in the nursery for now and the pucks can live there too.

Isn’t that bear sweater the cutest?! It’s from Joe Fresh, but I can’t find it online anymore. It’s still in stores right now though! He may already have multiple Christmas sweaters to wear this year ;)
Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com

I also didn’t show the closet either because it’s really not exciting. We’re using 2 of these hanging closet organizers for his clothes and some extra blankets.

Now all we need is a baby and we’re all set! :)
Geometric modern gender neutral nursery reveal // www.thelovelythings.com