Wednesday, June 18, 2014

finley's second birthday: a ladybug garden party!

Finley is obsessed with ladybugs. She talks about them all the time. She has a beloved Skiphop ladybug backpack. And a few months ago a small wooden craft ladybug fell on the floor in my bedroom beside my desk. I didn't have the heart to pick it up, because it became Finley's muse. She would visit it every day before her nap, just to say hi. So a ladybug party for her was inevitable.

The party was pretty low-budget, which meant I had to get creative. I decided to not go crazy with ladybug motifs, but to decorate mainly with polka dots in red, black and white, and kraft paper for that gardeny feel.

I designed the invitations and had them printed at Staples (note they are available as a DIY printable in my Etsy shop). I love the look of the clean, stark polkadots with the rough brown kraft envelope.

 Our porch decor just happened to match!

I crafted antennae for each little guest out of cheap headbands from Walmart, black pipe cleaners and electrical tape. That is the birthday girl in the red dots, and her older sister in the black dots. (Both dresses from H+M kids, under $10 each! Score.).

Jumbo flowers were made out of tissue paper. Easy decor and very effective! The picket fence was cut out of white card stock, and some inexpensive letters from Michael's were spray painted gold.


Grass cupcake liners held chocolate cuppies, topped with 'dirt' (cookie crumbs) and cute edible ladybug toppers from Sweet Sarah's Boutique.

One more look at the paper flowers because they are just so pretty!

This large 'Finley at 2' poster was printed in black and white at Staples for $8! You just have to ask for an 'engineer print'.

Instead of flowers, I opted for cat grass in dollar store pots. Vinyl (wipeable!) polkadot tablecloth fabric is from IKEA.

I was able to reuse a lot of decor items from Sage's first Picnic Party. I love being able to reuse! And I of course love paper straws.

Washi tape purties up some plain old cups.

Polkadots on the wall.

Kate Spade polkadot puffs found at Chapters! They went perfectly with the red puffs I ordered for the Picnic Party (that arrived a week after the Picnic Party due to a mail strike at the time).

Remember the little wooden craft ladybugs that Finley fell in love with? I had a bunch of them, and some mini terracotta pots hanging around too. I wasn't sure what to do with them so I made some of these weird wee things.

Favourite photos from the year posted on our chalkboard door.

Lootbags, the best part! I love putting these together. This is the girl's version - the boy's version swapped out the hair clips for a creepy crawly bug toy.

I had plans for the kids to make a ladybug craft, and to play pin the dot on the ladybug. But they were all having such a blast just playing with toys in our basement. We just went with the flow, and didn't push any of the activities. Still we all had tons of fun!

Thanks for checking out Finley's Ladybug Garden Party! Up next - Sage's 4th freezing cold Frozen Party next month, in what is usually the hottest week of the year. Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

free printable: father's day card

Father's Day is a bit early this year! Usually it's closer to my sister's birthday on the 21st, and it really snuck up on me. I just created this card for my hubby, an amazing father to my two girls. 

Need a Father's Day card in a pinch? Feel free to download this one and print! The card is 7" x 5" when folded, and will print on letter-sized card stock. Just follow the trim marks to cut, and fold the card stock in the middle.

Enjoy and Happy Father's Day to the wonderful Pops out there!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE PRINTABLE CARD (for personal use only please).

Monday, May 26, 2014

and just like that...

  newborn baby turned 2! Hard to believe this post was written two years ago, and that the little bundle is now a little girl, full of thoughts and quirks and sweetness. Happy birthday to my second born, Finley. An awesome girl, a complete joy.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

ode to my grandma

On Wednesday, April 16th, 2014, my grandma passed away. I want to say a few words here for her, because as far as grandmothers go, this one was pretty special.

Always beautiful and elegant, and so well-dressed, she was wearing heels until her final weeks at 90 years old. My grandma created a magical world for us when we were kids, and 'fairies' were always leaving us little presents or notes. She had a strange gift for finding four-leafed clovers and could always pick us a few from any clover patch.

I can thank her for any artistic genes I may have received. She was the original Martha Stewart, and could sew, knit, decorate, paint, or sculpt anything really. My grandma was a fabulous cook too, and her presentation of any dish was stunning and usually included a cherry tomato, or some sort of vegetable, carved into a little flower.

She was a story-teller, and a master at word puzzles, often beating her computer program at Scrabble.

She was a successful, independent woman. At a time when it wasn't the norm, she went through a divorce and worked to support herself and her two daughters. She did well for herself too, even putting her kids through university.

She was a fireball, clever and so witty - even during her final weeks she had us very amused with her funny little quips. 

She was caring and took care of everyone else. Up until January of this year, she was dropping by with a ready-made meal to help out.

Such a talented, interesting woman. And such a good friend. One day I hope to be a grandmother just like she was. She will be, and already is, very missed.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

100 sales on Etsy!

I just noticed my Etsy store, Olive + Iris, has reached 100 sales. Hooray! And along with a new Etsy banner, I've just added another invitation to the store as well. 

This polkadotty invitation was created for my daughter Finley's upcoming second birthday party. She is obsessed with ladybugs, so we are having a Ladybug Garden birthday party. I'm in the process of planning {how I love planning and designing kid's birthday parties!} but I was eager to add this design to the shop, with it being Spring and all. 

Ahhh Spring, by the way. The smell of mud and cow poo is making me very happy. So nice to have made it through that marathon winter!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014



If you can believe, on my husband's side of the family, there are six girl cousins, 5 years old and under. My husband and his two siblings each have two girls. That's a strong family X chromosome! 

One morning in March we armed ourselves with colourful tutus, treats and bribes in order to take a photo for my in-laws, Grams and Grumps. The morning ended up being quite fun actually, and the girls were amazing. The photos turned out great, and we enlarged one and had it printed on a giant canvas board. Just a little something we will cherish as the girls grow up. Especially during the scary teenage years.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

pretty little settee

Hello there, pretty little settee. I don't usually find good steals like this one ($20!). But one day last summer, I was driving and spotted it at a garage sale, couldn't stop thinking of it, and turned around to get it. Oh the potential it had! It didn't fit in the car I was driving, so I called my sister who also loves a good makeover, and luckily she was nearby and it squeaked into her hatchback. And the best part? My sister offered to give it to me as my birthday gift. So it actually wasn't even $20. It was free!

Although it definitely has vintage, shabby-chic charm as-is, I can't help but wonder what it has seen in its lifetime. It needs some refreshing.

Should I stick with velvet, perhaps a grey, like this beautiful settee from Nickey Kehoe?

Or this lovely geometric Dwell Studio fabric, Casablanca Geo, Citrine.

I'm loving these stripes too, as seen on Little Green Notebook

All would look great in my living room! And as a prop for photos. Now to decide the fate of this pretty little settee...any input is welcome.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

the dining room is coming together

It's been a while since I've shown any of our house improvements. Between two little ones and work, it's taken a long, long while to come together. We aren't there yet! But certainly on our way. Over the holidays we worked really hard at getting our dining room in order. There are still a few more pieces of furniture to buy, art to put on the walls, but here we are so far.

This once was a blank, carpeted room that was a dumping ground for bags, boxes, and a lot of junk. Now it's a fabulous room for family dinners and parties. We are in love with our custom 'roughed up and rustic' harvest table that sits 10 comfortably (remember my quest for a rustic, large table way back when?).

This is a happy room.

Check out our gallery wall too!

Custom harvest table and bench - Heritage Harvest Tables
Chairs - Structube
Curtains - West Elm
Chandelier - West Elm
Chicago Poster - Ork Posters
Custom trim and mouldings - Millard Bautista Designs