PEACH CROSTINI WITH WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE

Breathing new life into this old recipe and it feels oh so good! Originally adapted a few years ago from my grandma's simple late summer favourite- peaches on toast, this sure to impress appetizer is simple, easy and delicious. Can be made according to the directions below for a party or on the fly for a quick and easy meal. For a very simple adaptation- buttered toast with a pinch of sugar topped with peaches was my granny's favourite this time of year! Enjoy!

Peach Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese | Host Winnipeg
Peach Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese | Host Winnipeg
Peach Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese | Host Winnipeg
Peach Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese | Host Winnipeg
Peach Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese | Host Winnipeg

PEACH CROSTINI WITH WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE

Serves 8-10 as an appetizer

You'll need..
4-6 fresh peaches

1 crusty french baguette (alternately whole wheat french bread cut in half or slices, pictured above)

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Drizzle of honey

Salt and fresh ground pepper

For the Whipped Goat Cheese..

12 oz of goat cheese

4 oz of cream cheese

1 clove of garlic – peeled

1/2 lemon – about 2 tbs of lemon juice

8 twists of fresh black pepper from a pepper mill

For the whipped goat cheese..Crumble goat cheese into the bowl of a food processor and add cream cheese, garlic, lemon, and pepper. Pulse until everything is combined and you have a smooth, creamy cheese.

Directions..Lay baguette slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees F for 5-8 minutes until bread is toasty and lightly browned.

To assemble, spread a spoonful of whipped goat cheese on each baguette slice, then add a small pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper to bring out the flavors.

Top cheese with two or three peach slices and chopped walnuts. Drizzle with honey and serve immediately.

 

 

PIN IT!

Peach Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese | Host Winnipeg

OUTSIDE THE LINES WITH JENNIFER BIANCA CALLIGRAPHY

For those that know me well, you know my obsession with design and stationery. I remember stumbling upon Jennifer Bianca Calligraphy while I was working on the launch of Host Winnipeg in the fall of 2015 and I knew it was only a matter of time before I would be seeing some gorgeous wedding stationery and invitations flying out of her studio. Fast forward to this past Monday and Jen released her first line of semi-custom hand calligraphed stationery styled and photographed by Brittany Mahood. What wedding stationery dreams are made of folks! I couldn't resist sharing her gorgeous work and entrepreneurial journey with you. Enjoy!

You know I absolutely love your work, Jen! Tell us about your design business, where your career started and what led you to stationery design… You’re so kind,  Jaclyn! It’s been a crazy journey with many changes in direction. Since starting my business in 2015, it’s taken some time for me to find my stride and I’ve learned so much along the way. I started out by offering hand lettered prints on Etsy but quickly realized I was drowning in a sea of businesses offering similar products. I switched to selling hand lettered downloadable pieces on my website, and that didn’t quite click either. At the beginning of 2016, I switched completely away from hand lettering to calligraphy and began to move closer to the direction I am headed today. I began with offering calligraphy services for weddings including place cards, seating charts, program signage, etc. and near the end of the year I made the leap into the field of stationery design and worked toward creating my latest endeavour- my semi-custom wedding stationery line you're seeing here today.


Have you always had a knack for the creative? Yes and no. I grew up feeling like there was something creative within me, but I wasn’t sure what it was or where it was hiding. Art classes throughout school never seemed to pull out the creative side of me that would thrive, and didn’t show me all the possible creative avenues the world has to offer. I started my creative journey in junior high by hand lettering quotes all over my bedroom walls in pencil because I was bored of all the white. Those wall quotes turned into notebooks and pencils turned into nibs, and suddenly I’d found my creativity in calligraphy. Discovering this path has opened me up to new ideas and hobbies like watercolour painting and I’m dying to try out weaving on a loom!

Tell us about your new line of gorgeous semi-custom invitation suites… What was your inspiration? As I began dreaming up these suites and brainstorming I did a lot of calligraphy practice, experimentation, and playing. I played around with different styles and letter formations until I came up with a few I thought I could base an invitation suite on. From there, I based the rest of the design on the feeling that came from the flow and shape of the letters. So, I guess you could say I was inspired by my own work!
My line of semi-custom suites feels like custom for a smaller budget. I calligraph every couples name by hand and then add it to the suite, and personalize every colour and detail to their specifications. I flat print everything myself, address the envelopes, assemble and add wax seals if requested, and mail out the suites for my couples. My goal is to make the invitation process as easy as possible. 

 

What does a typical day look like for Jennifer Bianca Calligraphy? When you run a business on your own, you wear all the hats. I’m my own web designer, my own strategist, my own bookkeeper, my own social media coordinator, my own teacher, my own everything. That being said, all my days look different depending on the season and the needs of my business and my clients. The past months have been all about planning and dreaming for the future. Creating designs, designing my website for new suites and products, preparing the systems I use as a business to run smoothly for the year ahead. The next months will change dramatically as wedding season approaches and I begin designing wedding invitations and day-of details for all the weddings coming up this summer. I’m looking forward to this change of pace and I thoroughly enjoy every different season that comes along.

Invites-40.jpg

What’s the best advice you would give to someone looking to start their own business? Be ready to never be done. Be ready to never quit. Be ready to keep learning. Be ready to feel completely incapable some days and completely empowered other days. It’s not easy, but it is rewarding and worth it.

Also learn what the value of your work is, and price it accordingly. Don’t undercut yourself or others in the industry. Don't price according to your feelings. Sometimes, you might be shocked how high your invoice is for a client and wonder if you are worth it. You are. Your client is paying you to do something they can’t do themselves, and you need to price it according to the value your services bring.

 

Tell us something about you that would surprise us… My whole life, I’ve felt a calling to teach. I thought it meant I had to become a school teacher but after one semester of university, I ditched that idea and started my business. Though I do still believe teaching is in my future. Calligraphy workshops, anyone?! For real though. Also, I got married at 18. That usually has some shock factor, ha!

Where does your inspiration for your designs come from? For custom stationery, the details about the couple and the wedding inspire me. The lace details on the brides wedding dress that were recycled from her grandmother’s dress, the stonework at the venue, or the flowers that will surround them. I want to create paper goods that tie the whole event together.


How would you like to see your business evolve in the next five years? As I hinted at earlier, one of my biggest dreams is to begin teaching calligraphy to others and my hopes for that may be realized sooner rather than later! I'll be sharing more information on that very soon!

Another goal of mine is to restore an old letterpress, begin my own letterpress printing studio, and print my own designs on my own press for my own clients. It’s amazing to see how far my business has come in the last two years, and I honestly can’t imagine what the next five will bring. 
 

Invites-8.jpg

What is the best business advice you have ever received? Done is better than perfect. It's easy to get lost in the creative process and I have learned to stop myself from chasing perfection. I am the professional. If something isn’t exactly how I pictured it, or exactly perfect, I’ll be the only one who notices and my clients will still be beyond thrilled with the work I’ve created just for them.

 

 

Photography + styling - Brittany Mahood | Stationery + calligraphy - Jennifer Bianca Calligraphy

SPICED GINGER AND PEAR COCKTAIL

I love offering my guests a signature blend when they come to my home and this festive cocktail with delicious notes of ginger, pear, honey and cinnamon is perfect large gatherings as it can be made into a pitcher for easy serving. Garnish and done! Enjoy xx.

hostwinnipeg-141.jpg

SPICED GINGER AND PEAR COCKTAIL

For the cinnamon-honey syrup..
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks

For the cocktail..
3/4 cup Grey Goose La Poire vodka
1/4 cup Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups fresh pear juice
1/4 cup cinnamon-honey syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ice
1 1/2 cups chilled soda water
2 1/2 cups chilled dry sparkling wine
1 to 2 pears, sliced for garnish
Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

For the cinnamon-honey syrup..
In a small saucepan, combine the honey, water, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat and then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat, and let cool completely. Remove the cinnamon sticks.

In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine the pear vodka, ginger liqueur, lemon juice, pear juice, cinnamon-honey syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir until incorporated and chill in the refrigerator until you're ready to enjoy. You can even make this portion of the cocktail a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator; just give the mixture a good stir before serving.

For the cocktail..
When you're ready to serve the cocktail, fill your pitcher or punch bowl with ice and add the chilled cocktail mixture. Quickly top with the sparkling wine and soda water and give the mixture a gentle stir. Prep individual cocktail glasses with ice, add the finished sparkling pear cocktail, and garnish with pear slices, mint sprigs, and cinnamon sticks.

{Recipe via kitchn}

 

 

Photography - Janine Kropla Photography | Florals - Stone House Creative | Glassware, tray, bowl and furnishings - HutK

COPPER AND SLATE HOLIDAY TABLE

One of my favourite things is having a cozy holiday home. I was inspired to design a table scape to inspire beyond the traditional red, silver and green colour palette by using copper tones, crisp white florals, slate and cement for a fresh take on setting your table this holiday season. Stone House Creative crafted the most perfect floral arrangement to accompany and these images by Janine Kropla Photography are stunning. HutK generously hosted us and provided their gorgeous table top wares and furnishings. Here are a few simple ideas to inspire you as you plan your table tops this week.

Get creative with coverings.. This table runner is actually a wool blanket! It gives the table a cozy feel and provides a fresh take on a traditional table runner. 

Incorporate a simple DIY.. You don't have to be a master crafter to incorporate a DIY in your table setting. Something as simple as using fresh berries accompanied by place cards or creating a simple napkin tie out of leather will impress your guests and not keep your hands tied crafting leaving time to stay on top of important details. Aren't those Menu Marble and Cement Chunk Candle Holders everything?!

Have two (or more!) centrepieces.. We all know how the guest list tends to grow by the minute this time of year so surely there will be room and/or additional tables to incorporate more than one centrepiece.  I love fresh florals but I also love fresh fruit on the table as a statement piece. This is as simple as using something from your menu and tucking in some loose ingredients from your floral arrangement. Lauren from Stone House Creative styled this beautiful arrangement in the Menu Circular Bowl from HutK using fresh pears which are part of our cocktail menu. 

This festive Spiced Ginger Pear Cocktail is perfect for large gatherings! Happy table styling!

 

 

Photography - Janine Kropla Photography | Florals - Stone House Creative | Venue, table top and furnishings - HutK

TAKING RISKS WITH STONE HOUSE CREATIVE

Stone House Creative is a locally based boutique floral and wedding design business specializing in botanical, natural-inspired designs and intimate events. I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to dig deep with owner and founder Lauren Wiebe on entrepreneurship, risk-taking and not settling. I am continually inspired by Lauren’s drive and dedication to her work. There is no doubt she has put in the time and paid her dues in the Winnipeg wedding industry to gain the entrepreneurial freedom she now relishes in.

20160609VAP019-2.jpg
20160609VAP049.jpg

What was your first job in the wedding industry and how did you land that position? I started working in the wedding industry in my last year of university, in 2009. At that time, a local bridal magazine called Weddings In Winnipeg (later, called It’s Love) was just starting up. I was an Honours English major, and saw how desperately they needed a writer. I worked there for about 3 years, most of that time as the Editorial Director. That solidified my plans to work in the wedding industry, as well as helped me connect with plenty of people throughout the industry. A few years later, I made the move into florals by working as the wedding coordinator for a retail florist.

What ultimately led you to the decision to become an entrepreneur? I always knew that I wanted to own my own business — it was just kind of in the back of my mind as something I knew I’d be good at. I just didn’t know what I wanted that business to be about. For a time, I was sure that I was intended to be a wedding planner. Woah nelly, am I ever glad that I didn’t go down that path! I’ve assisted a few wedding planner friends on day-of coordination, and I’m just not cut out for it. Let me tell you, ladies — your wedding planner or coordinator needs to have a very specific temperament to be good at what they do! One day, I came across a florist in North Carolina who was hosting a flower design workshop, specifically for wedding designers. I was so intrigued — I loved her style and work, and thought that I would go just for the fun of it. While I was there, the whole thing that is Stone House Creative just came into being! It was like a pre-formed entity had just floated down into my brain and I loved it.

From there how did you start Stone House Creative? On the plane ride home from that workshop, I mapped out my entire website and business plan. I officially launched my company in spring of 2014 — aside from my husband, I hadn’t told a soul. Not even my parents! 

Were there any lifestyle changes you had to make in order to make the leap? One thing that you have to be willing to adjust to when you work in the wedding industry is not having any weekends to yourself. This summer, I had one Saturday off, and it was at the end of September! But I never doubt my decision. I love what I do, and the fact that I get to do it while working for amazing clients and owning my own business makes the lack of weekends more than okay!

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice before launching your business, what would it be? I wouldn't change anything about the way that I started my business, but if I were to give myself any piece of advice, it would be to tell more people about what I was doing when I was getting ready to launch Stone House Creative. To brag a little more, and be a little bolder. And learn more about SEO from the get-go.

What is one thing we would be surprised to know about you? Floral design was not on my list of career options! I originally intended to go into orthodontics until university chemistry got in the way, and that would have been a much different career path. I’m also a classically trained singer, so you can expect your wedding flowers to be designed in a very musical environment.

What does a typical day look like for you? Wedding season in Manitoba takes place from May through October. So, a typical workday during those months looks like an early morning wakeup call and a pair of sweatpants. You will pretty much never see me in real pants or makeup if I’m working on flowers! Early in the week, I trek out to my wholesaler to pick up all of my product for the week, or I accept a delivery of locally grown flowers. Those days are devoted to cleaning stems, adjusting the pH of water in buckets, trimming stems and thorns, and getting everything into my cooler. I typically start to design wedding flowers on a Wednesday, pulling all the ingredients for bouquets and centrepieces, lining up vases and again, trying to find a place for everything in the cooler.

On a wedding day, I wake up even earlier to get everything packed properly. You’d be amazed at how many things I can pack into my Honda Element. I have hung garlands from the ceiling! I typically have 2-3 weddings per weekend, and I’ll first deliver all of the bridal party and family flowers to the bride’s getting ready location, and then head out to her ceremony and reception venues to instal all of the decor items. My favourite things to design are the bridal bouquet and really unique ceremony decor.

Wedding season is full of long hours, lots of thorns, and an achey back. My studio is an oversized, double garage in my backyard. It’s the reason we bought the house! It was already set up as a workshop and it’s perfect, so during the summer, I keep the overhead door completely open. I get so much sunshine and fresh air, and once in a while a bird accidentally flies in so I have a little freakout while the bird swoops around trying to find its way out again.

There’s also a lot of emailing back and forth with my brides, planning my flower orders and figuring out stem counts, sending invoices and scheduling consultations, and coming up with great flower plans for new clients.

What advice would you give to aspiring florists looking to start their own business? First off, everyone interested in flowers must to pay their dues by working in a retail shop. You learn so much, have to work so quickly, and have to do all the crumby jobs like bleaching buckets and packing vases before you get to move on to designing flowers. There is a misconception that floristry is all about the pretty. Of course a big part of our jobs is the flowers themselves, but there is also a lot of blood, sweat, and tears- literally. I snipped off a tiny sliver of my finger this summer while setting up a wedding and it was quite an experience!

I’d also suggest that people consider whether what they really want is to work in their chosen industry, or to own their own business, because these are two completely different things. Just because you might be a good floral designer or a good wedding coordinator doesn’t mean that you are capable of running your own business, and that’s okay. Just be aware of what you’re actually good at, and allow that help you make the decision.

What is the best moment of your career so far? There are so many good moments. When first I launched the company, I had so much positive feedback from people. Booking my first wedding was amazing. Sending my first delivery out the door was thrilling. This summer, I completed my largest wedding to-date and I couldn’t have been happier with how it all went down. There was a moment when I looked around at my setup crew, who were placing all of the centrepieces, and I was just so proud. That was a really great moment.

Isn't she something? Thank you Lauren!

 

 

Photography - Victoria Anne Photography | Florals + Styling - Stone House Creative

GENDER NEUTRAL NURSERY IDEAS

This nursery tour is very close to home.. in fact it's in our home! We are expecting our little one any day now and we decided to leave life's sweetest surprise for the delivery room. Having been through this before with our daughter and not knowing if we were getting a girl or a boy I was so lost as to how to decorate that I just painted the walls yellow and called it a day. This time around I intentionally used a more masculine palette to start with as I have endless baby girl decor that I can add in if it is a girl, and very little work to do if we have a little boy.

Choose a neutral palette you can build on.. We have always gravitated towards designs with a bit of a punch for our home so we went with a midnight colour as our anchor for this space paired with crisp whites, greys and camel tones. For a little girl this palette pairs perfectly with all shades of pink and yellow- all of which I saved from big sis's baby room. The one thing I have to buy for this space if it is a baby girl is an area rug and I have had the Cloudy Sachiko Pink Area Rug from Wayfair in my shopping cart for weeks to instantly give this space girly vibes. 

Here is our neutral palette that won't change if we have a boy and the evolution it will take on if we have a baby girl.

 

 
 

 

Include something handmade.. Even if you're not the most crafty person, there are endless DIY tutorials out there from framing the simplest artwork to tackling the most difficult and complex cloud mobiles.. ha! I am super proud of this DIY wall mobile. It sure was a labour of love and I will definitely be sharing the process with you within the next few weeks. I'm certainly not uptight when it comes to parenting but for some reason something hanging above my baby while it sleeps has never sat right with me so this was the perfect alternative. Also, we have gotten some heck about this 'J' from loved ones.. I swear we DON'T know the sex.. but both of our baby names happen to start with J!

Make a statement.. The one thing I knew I wanted with this space is to have a statement piece. I ended up with several because I became obsessed with this colour by Benjamin Moore. This space used to be my office so we kept the door and installed a privacy shade on the back and the painted the textured wallpaper. For an extra punch we painted the doors and drawers on our shelving unit and added inexpensive knobs to tie it all together. 

Special thanks to my stylish friend Kailey Mymryk for her help pulling items to finish off this space!

We can't wait to meet you baby J! xoxo.

ON MOTHERHOOD AND BUSINESS

Nearly every mompreneur shares their perspective on navigating motherhood and business at some point and it has been super helpful following women's journeys whom I haven't even met but I respect and have watched flourish despite juggling it all. Today I'm sharing my personal experience and how I have handled finding out we were adding a new member to our family of three just a few weeks after launching what I thought would be my second and final baby, Host Winnipeg.

It wasn't a complete surprise. I hope that stage of my life has passed! But the timing was. We had been anticipating 'the news' for just under two years. But like so many out there.. crickets.. crickets..(hugs!). Pregnancy is tough, birth and that first month of recovery is tougher and newborns are a complete mystery. I was reeling for a few months. Wondering how it would all work. Eventually the dust.. the hormones.. settled and I knew I had to start to focus. While new motherhood definitely has it's challenges I remember it being the most rewarding, cherished and relaxing time of my life. I really found myself in that first year. I got to learn how to be a mother with the sweetest most mildly tempered little girl. I realized that my other half really was my person and we got engaged. I learned how to craft, cook and the joys of entertaining. And I started my first business. This time looks a lot different because I am seven years wiser, but I knew I had to focus on keeping those defining elements similar because I am a creature of habit and I will go right back to that special place of loving on my husband and daughter, crafting, entertaining and growing my business. Here are the three areas I focused on to stay grounded pending this shift for my family and business. 

Planning + personalizing.. Having a creative, primarily home based business is the absolute perfect job for a mompreneur and the main reason I made the leap from planning weddings. We always had baby plans in our back pocket but came to accept that it wouldn't happen for us again and that was reflected in the direction I had planned on taking Host for the next five years. Now with my due date approaching on Thanksgiving weekend, I couldn't imagine not incorporating motherhood, babies and kids into my daily blogging and creative pursuits because I will continue to work from home while caring for my baby and Host Winnipeg is moving forward as planned. I had to take a good look at the direction I had planned on going and make a few shifts. Of course weddings, interiors and entertaining will always be the way around here, but I have also added a Kids + Baby section(!). On the business end my goal here is to share all the great local resources for mothers and babies and personally I have a feeling this outlet will help ease the mom-guilt of not taking a maternity leave this time around. You'll also find this post under our new Career section. More on that very soon!

Staying disciplined.. The tough part about owning your own business is that the wheels never stop turning and there is always something more to do. I am basically a pro at focusing on creative endeavours over handing necessary daily tasks. In the last month I’ve focused on creating a schedule that I know will work for me once baby comes and really disciplining myself with my time working to best serve my readers and clients. I know how life is about to change and I plan on being incredibly intentional about the time I get to work on my business.

Hiring.. I've always known my need to hire and in what area though out of all of the challenges I have faced this year, creating the perfect position within Host, finding the right person, and pulling the trigger has been the hardest. Not because opportunity and interest has been lacking but for most of my adult life, I have worked alone which has been so blaringly obvious throughout this process. I have had to learn to share my business angle and all that comes along with that and delegating clearly which has never been easy for me. Thankfully I have found the perfect partnership to keep things fresh and moving forward around here. More on that this week!

If I could go back and really accept one piece of advice from my husband in the beginning of all this it would have been to trust the timing of our lives. Despite the terrifying first few months wondering how.. with a lot of planning and a lot of trust everything really has come together as it should and the future of our family and Host Winnipeg is so bright. Now.. waiting on baby J..

ONE ON ONE WITH BRITTANY MAHOOD

Today is about being real, putting in the work and getting acquainted with one of the finest wedding + lifestyle photographers I know. Brittany of Brittany Mahood Photography is candidly sharing what inspires her lifestyle, her work and her one on one workshop experience. I long for our coffee, lunch or work dates where I always leave feeling enriched and inspired. I am so thrilled to be sharing Brittany's perspective and these stunning, beautifully styled images from one of her coveted one on one workshops.

You already know I love your work, and I must admit, I am envious of your lifestyle! How do you balance business, working on + sharing your craft, travel and all of life's extra’s? I know I wouldn’t be happy chained to a desk, slaving away 20 hours a day. And while the hours I put in are long, especially in the summer months, they are completely manageable when I have other outlets. For me, that’s travel and outings such as concerts or festivals. I create my best work when I am inspired by things outside of the wedding industry, and also a little stressed to be honest. I have always worked better under pressure and feeling the weight of balancing my personal time with my business always forces me out of my comfort zone. That’s one of my favourite things about this work, it never feels easy. I am still nervous before every wedding. I always say to some of my vendor friends, the day we stop feeling that nervous pressure is the day we should quit. We are there for some of the biggest moments in someone’s life, I don’t want to ever take that for granted. And lastly, I want to put the work in. I think having a voice in this industry is a privilege and I want to have paid my dues. 

Tell us something about you that would surprise us.. I started photography because my other life phase had come to an end, hockey. I come from a hockey family and I played into college. Life changes and some injuries made me realize there was more to life than the sport but up until that point, I’m not sure I was aware of that fact. So I needed something to fill that void. I had taken a film photography class in high school and decided to buy a camera on Ebay to play around with. And years later, here we are. 

How would you describe your one on one workshop offerings? There's two sides to what we as photographers do, the magic and the money. The magic consists of all the reasons we got into this in the first place; the light during golden hour, the first perfectly composed frame of a bride laughing into the groom's chest, the landscape photos that give the story context. And then the money. How this magic pays our mortgage. My job in these workshops is to marry those two together. My one on one workshop is tailored to meet photographer’s where they’re at. I love delving into: the art of film including metering, client interactions and directing your couples, lighting and locations, post processing and workflow, pricing for your target market, styling and direction, marketing and branding. We tie it all together with a styled editorial, catered to an area or style the photographer would like to invest more into. It’s intimate. The best part of a one on one workshop is just that, it’s one on one. 

What tips do you give your workshop clients to prepare? Prior to the workshop, I ask the photographer to give me three areas they’d like to focus on, such as directing/posting, learning to see light, editing, etc. I ask them to bring in photos, both RAW and edited, so we can see where they started and where they’re finishing with a session. With these RAW images, I will edit them myself with them and talk them through why I’m doing each step. And I encourage them to come with questions. I am an open book and I love sharing. I am so passionate about this career and industry, my goal is to light the same fire in them.

What kind of environment can they expect? The ‘teaching’ part of the workshop I hold in my home. It acts as my office, home studio and meeting space with clients, so having another photographer in my home seems natural. Also, unlimited coffee. So, bonus. The shoot portion of the workshop is of course shot at a location that fits the shoot’s aesthetic. 

How have your personal experiences affected your work? I had the honour of living with my grandparents until my grandma passed away and my grandpa went into assisted living due to dementia. Those years changed my perspective a lot. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the whimsey and romance of the wedding industry, without really looking for those deeper moments. The past couple of years I have really learned to value things such as family photos, the dad seeing the bride for the first time, grandparents in the pews, etc. Those are the images that make a wedding whole. That is my legacy. 

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in business? To be proactive. A bride and groom are new to this. They aren’t aware of the best light, timeline woes and logistical issues. You are, so tell them. The more proactive I am with timelines, logistics and the little details, the smoother everything goes. 
And stick to your gut. It’s never wrong. 

Is there any one experience that stands out as shaping your business into what it is today? Not to quote Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ but to quote Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade,’ she says how she ‘tried to close her mouth more, to be softer. Prettier. Less awake.’ Eluding that these were mistakes she made. And I couldn’t agree more. When I started speaking my mind and taking control, my business started to work for me. It’s easy to sit at home and say ‘yea I could shoot a wedding that way if someone booked me for a wedding like that.’ But those ‘ideal’ weddings don’t just fall into your lap. You have to grind to get there. And that includes styled shoots and vendor collaborations. I started enjoying the outcome a lot more when I started speaking up more. Little things like ‘let’s move the table into better light,’ ‘Is there another way we can tie that ribbon?’ etc. I continually am learning the art of ‘styling’ and pushing myself to see things in new ways, to curate an entire story instead of just one pretty photo for Instagram. It takes a lot of work to own it. But when I do, it comes back ten fold. Show up early, stay late, pay your dues, suck it up, keep pushing and smile. Repeat. 
 

Brittany Mahood Photography | Host Winnipeg

What advice would you give your twenty three year old self on starting a photography business?
Follow less photographers. Go to more art shows. Listen to more music. Write more. The things that are going to pull the best work out of you aren’t living on the interwebs. They’re outside. Music inspires me more than anything else. I want my work to feel like a Volcano Choir album. And of course the receptions to feel a little bit like Drake. 

So pay less attention to the ‘noise.’ I was looking back on some of my early work the other day and recognized something in a lot of the sessions, and that was freedom. Big wedding blogs and respected industry peers weren’t following me at that point, so I was blissfully unaware in my attempts for artistry. 
I read an interview with Justin Vernon from Bon Iver/Volcano Choir last year where the reporter asked him if he wished he could go back to a place before ‘Skinny Love’ blew up to become this mainstream hit. And of course his response was ‘yes, getting to that place and staying in that place where you aren’t ‘editing’ yourself is hard. Without bending to any of that noise and knowing that is has to be real. It has to be real.’ (paraphrased and minus some profanity). So in essence, be more real. It’s something I’m constantly striving for. 

 

 

Photography and styling - Brittany Mahood Photography | Florals - Oak & Lily | Treats + macarons - Jenna Rae Cakes

THE HEART AND THE HOME

If there's one thing I love more than a good ol' kitchen party it's Simply Rosie Photography's life at home sessions. Not only does she capture the most precious moments like this family making cookies and enjoying the fruits of their labour but what a perfect opportunity to capture the heart and the home simultaneously. Especially if you've put your soul into beautifully building and decorating your dwelling like this family along side their designer Priscilla from The Home Workshop. I have some major kitchen, couch and wood burning stove envy over here. Gimme!

Thank you for having us Rachel, Lee and family. Lucky for those of you house shopping in the country- this gorgeous home is actually for sale!

 

 

Photography - Simply Rosie Photography | Black Kitchen Lights - Ikea | Bar Stools - Amazon | Kitchen Shelves - Salvaged | Brick - Rogers Brick | Bed Frame, Dining Room Lighting, Table, Chairs and Buffet, Living Room TV console and couch - The Home Workshop | Living Room Rug - From a local Bison farmer

INTIMATE DINNER PARTY

Who doesn't dream of hosting a professionally planned dinner party? Clearly I am not alone here! Corin and Jeremy recently snagged a gorgeous location to build their forever home along the Red River, and did it ever turn out beautifully. To celebrate the fresh new season, they invited Emily of Feast & Festivities into their home to design an intimate dinner party for their neighbours with Gabrielle Touchette Photography along to capture it all.

From Corin and Jeremy... We love entertaining and wanted to spend some time with our neighbourhood friends before things get real busy around here. We're expecting a little one in June! We are lucky to have some fun neighbours that we have gotten to know since moving into our new house last summer. We spent a lot of time together finishing our yards and basements and always enjoy hanging out, so we wanted to have them over for a unique dining experience. We shared funny happenings from our respective workplaces, talked about our experiences building with Maric Homes, and had some good laughs over stories of babies and kids - a taste of what's to come in our future.

Working with Emily was easy and surprising! It's really neat to let someone else create a theme and decide on all the decor and details that really make the event special. I decided on the menu and the rest was taken care of. The result was so beautiful and something that I would not have thought of. Definitely worth it if you want to make your event unique and memorable.

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Crostini  1 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp chopped garlic 1 large onion, sliced in half circles 1/2 tsp sugar 1/8 tsp salt 4 tsp balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup beef or veggie broth 1/2 tsp thyme leaves  1 cup grated Gruyere cheese 1 loaf Ciabatta bread  Preheat oven to 425 degrees Celsius.  In large skillet, heat olive oil. Add garlic and onion and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until onions soften. Stir in sugar, salt, then balsamic vinegar. Add broth and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Stir in thyme leaves and remove from heat.  Remove ends of loaf and slice into 16 pieces. Put a spoonful of onion mixture on each slice and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake in oven on parchment lined baking sheet until cheese is bubbling and golden (10 minutes). Serve immediately.

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Crostini

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 large onion, sliced in half circles
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup beef or veggie broth
1/2 tsp thyme leaves

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 loaf Ciabatta bread

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Celsius.

In large skillet, heat olive oil. Add garlic and onion and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until onions soften. Stir in sugar, salt, then balsamic vinegar. Add broth and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Stir in thyme leaves and remove from heat.

Remove ends of loaf and slice into 16 pieces. Put a spoonful of onion mixture on each slice and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake in oven on parchment lined baking sheet until cheese is bubbling and golden (10 minutes). Serve immediately.

160326GT3774.jpg

From Emily... When not working with brides and grooms on their dream wedding day, we're working with hosts on planning and designing their intimate dinner parties and other special occasions. Our process starts with a meeting to discuss basic details, then we take it from there to pull together the overall look and feel, source decor, suggest menu items, coordinate logistics, and help with day-of set-up and tear down. Whether you are a seasoned entertainer, or hosting your first event, Feast & Festivities ensures guests feel extra special and hosts have fun planning their guests' experience along the way.

Thank you for having us Corin and Jeremy! Congratulations on your little bundle coming this June!

 

 

Design & Styling - Feast & Festivities | Photography - Gabrielle Touchette Photography | Florals - Stone House Creative | Stationery - Jessica Alcantara

PEACHY KEEN GIRL'S ROOM

The pretty little room tour I have for you today is absolutely darling. I have such a soft spot for beautifully decorated little girls' rooms as this was my favourite project in my own home. There is something so sweet about creating a child's first space of their own that they can grow into. The ladies over at Golden Butterfly outdid themselves for Livia's perfectly peach oasis captured by Lilli Thiessen Photography.

From the designers.. We are a team of two sisters behind Golden Butterfly- a business all about handcrafted items.  We love making pretty products that range from baby and kids accessories to wedding accessories to home décor; a wide spread variety that includes headbands and clips, bandana bibs, kids infinity scarves, pacifier clips, baby blankets, car seat covers, throw pillows, wreaths, floral crowns and more! But most of all we love creating and designing kids and baby rooms, where we can use our creativity to combine our talents to customize every room to make it unique.

This girl's room project was created for 4 year old Livia. The inspiration came from the bed, which used to be her mother's when she was just a little girl.  So with that and some of the items she already owned from her nursery we went to work and came up with this soft, elegant, dreamy room. A room that is all about little details and different textures found in wallpaper, a range of fabrics and accents.  We sewed the curtains, all throw pillows, the coverlet and the ruffled throw.  We refinished the console table and the table lamp with a new coat of paint, and added a recycled light fixture which used to be her aunt's. The pin board was also customized for the room by re-creating an ordinary cork board to display her pretty headbands, cards and pictures. The art was also hand painted. 

We take pride in doing the work we do, re-creating and decorating on a budget! We hope you love it just much as we do!

Thank you for having us Livia and family! xo.

 

 

Photography - Lilli Thiessen Photography | Dress – TJ Maxx  | Shoes - Old Navy | Gold Clock + Console Table - Liquidation World | Bedside Table - Ikea | Bedside Print - Golden Butterfly | Peach Drapes, pillows and throw - Golden Butterfly | White Lamp - Home Depot | Flower Mirror - Homesense | Wallpaper - Graham & Brown {Elegance in Cream}

BRIGHT AND HAPPY HOME

At home lifestyle sessions are quickly becoming a favourite around these parts and this one from Simply Rosie Photography is no exception! From the excitement of bringing baby Lyvia home to the sweet disposition of big sister Aveline to the wall-to-wall immaculately decorated dwelling, this session left me speechless. Not to mention the sweet flower crowns and garland by Academy Florists. Swoon.

Thank you for having us!

 

 

Photography - Simply Rosie Photography | Florals - Academy Florists | Headboard - Overstock | Mirror - Joss & Main | Bow Headband - ZoZu Baby | Bedside Lamps - Ballard Designs | A's room headboard - West Coast Kids | Gold A - HomeGoods | Netting - DIY | 'You will always be' poster - Etsy | Shelf and gold hardware - Ikea and gold spray paint | Wall letters -RH Baby & Child | Wallpaper - Anthropologie | Rug - Urban Barn | Crib- Pali Gardena Sheep - Gilt | Bumper - RH Baby & Child | Frames - HomeGoods | Playroom Tipi- House Inhabit | PLAY - Land of Nod | Rug - Target | Tassel garland - Etsy | Wall dots- Land of Nod | Lamp - Land of Nod | Kitchenette- Custom made by local cabinet maker | Accessories- Pottery Barn KidsGilt | 'Places you'll go' map print- Etsy | 'Be Kind' print- Etsy | Bassinet - West Coast Kids | Shelving unit - Overstock | Hanging chair - HomeGoods

 

SWEET ANNIVERSARY SESSION

Having been married just six months these two decided to document their milestone with a winter anniversary shoot. I'm not sure if it's the excitement of their wedding just passed, the fluffy white back drop or the cozy embraces but I am loving every bit of this session by Esther Funk Photography

From Esther... Us ‘Manitobans’ know that the beginning of December normally brings the white stuff – and the cold! To me, it's magical! I love how nature transforms into such a fresh look of peace and harmony. And when you add a newly married couple to the beauty you get the most adorable images. Yes it was cold – VERY cold! But with frequent breaks between our three minute sessions plus hot French vanilla it worked so well that now you don’t even notice it.

 

 

Photography - Esther Funk Photography | Film Scans - The FindLab

SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKES WITH BROWNED BUTTER GLAZE

I think we can all agree that everything is better in mini form. These mini bundt cakes are no exception! They are equally delicious and adorable and the perfect treat for a cozy evening at home. 

20160204KMD-9576.jpg

THE RECIPE

Recipe via How Sweet It Is | Yeilds 8 mini cakes or one bundt cake

Ingredients

Streusel
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Cake
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugr
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream

Brown Butter Glaze
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk, if needed
pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10-inch bundt cake pan and set aside. Butter and flour is KEY! Don't use cooking spray.

Streusel
Whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, cocoa and salt. Add the butter pieces and using your hands, mix together the flour and butter until the flour is incorporated and in tiny pieces. It's okay if the mixture looks like SAND!

Cake
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, then add the sugar and beat for 4 to 5 minutes on medium speed until fluffy, scraping down the sides if needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well for a minute or so after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat well. Beat in the sour cream, again scraping down the sides if needed.

Gradually add the dry ingredients with the mix on low speed. But until they are just incorporated. Spoon half of the batter into the greased bundt pan, then sprinkle with two thirds of the streusel. Add the remaining batter on top then finish off with the remaining streusel and swirl it into the batter with a knife. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes. My cake needed the full 55 and it was perfect. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Invert the pan on a wire rack and allow the cake to cool completely. Don't attempt to move it or it will break apart!

Brown Butter Glaze
Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the butter begins to bubble and as soon as brown bits start to appear in the bottom of the pan, remove it from the heat. This will take about 5 minutes. Add the brown butter to a bowl and whisk in the sugar and vanilla extract. If the mixture is too thick to drizzle, whisk in the milk if needed. Pour over the cake once it has cooled and serve!

 

 

Photography - Keila Marie Photography | Florals - Oak & Lily | Bowls - Mud + Stone Studio

COZY VALENTINE'S DINNER

I don't know about you but my ideal Valentine's day would be staying cozy at home with good food, good wine and good company. A few of us creatives came together last week to inspire you to do just that. Beautiful photography by Keila Marie Photography, florals by Oak & Lily, and table ware by Mud & Stone Studio

Baby Kale + tomatoes + walnuts + goat cheese. What's not to love?

This Skillet Chicken Pot Pit with Butternut Squash recipe is divine! Perfect dish to warm your home and heart on this frigid weekend that awaits us.

Mud + Stone table ware is just as gorgeous and functional in person. You can find a list of local stockist's here and you can also find them on Etsy!

These yummy little Sour Cream Coffee Cakes with Browned Butter Glaze deserved their own post!

I hope everyone's Valentine's weekend is full of love!

 

 

Photography - Keila Marie Photography | Florals - Oak & Lily | Table Ware - Mud + Stone Studio

AT HOME MATERNITY SESSION

Do I ever have a treat for you today. Brittany Mahood Photography did such an incredibly beautiful job capturing my dear friends perfectly during their most special season of life. From the delicate lace on Whitney's bridal veil to the endless sweet embraces I can't help but well up whenever I look at these photos.

WG Maternity-34.jpg
WG Maternity-25.jpg
WG Maternity-81.jpg

Whitney and Glen have since welcomed a sweet baby boy and they just celebrated his first birthday. Congratulations you three!

 

 

STUDIO TOUR - MYÜZ ARTISTRY

Today's feature is everything feminine, delicate and beautiful. We caught up with Tina aka Myüz Artistry on all things business, family and beauty. This gorgeous studio is right here in Winnipeg (lucky us!) and we jumped at the opportunity to share this inspiring space captured by SambaJoy Photo & Art

Myüz Artistry is home-run located in South Winnipeg. The word Myüz is Tina's personal take on the word ‘muse’. In the dictionary, muse means: a woman who is the source of inspiration for an artist. She chose to call her business Myüz because her clients are essentially her muse. Each bring a different and unique canvas – they are every-day women who perpetuate Tina's love for beauty. How perfect. 

JOY_0233.JPG

Let’s talk about your studio! How did you come up with the vision? My eye always tends to draw towards delicate and feminine artifacts and colors. Keeping this in mind, I knew I wanted my space to include hues of pink, ivory and gold. Now that I reflect back on my wedding, these colors were used to help me celebrate my special day. In keeping with a budget I was able participate in some fun DIY projects to bring more life to the studio. The gold spray painted hooks and the mirror were done by yours truly.

What services do you provide? I’m a fully licensed esthetician so my services range from manicures, pedicures, 2 week gel polish (Shellac), waxing, brow and lash tinting. As of this year I also perform facials. In addition, the flexibility with my work and studio allows me to offer private and group makeup lessons and full makeup application both at the studio and on site during wedding season.

A new service that has popped up in Winnipeg is Microblading, also known as eyebrow embroidery which is a semi-permanent tattoo. I also love brow shaping and helping women find the perfect shape for their face. Before this brow craze began I’ve always helped my clients to achieve the best brows possible. Having the correct shape for your face can make us appear younger, frame your face and open those beautiful eyes.

What is your favorite part of your studioI love the entire space. It’s a humble studio but even so I love coming down to have quiet moments to myself within the walls. The artwork, furnishing and little touches make it a space that I really love working in. Every square inch of it makes me proud

What are your go to products? Why? Orange corrector by MAC, NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer, a foundation (currently I have the following – don’t judge – MAC face & body, Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder, Marc Jacobs Genius Gel, NARS Luminous Weightless, YSL Touche Eclat & Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk. I finish off my look with a blush and my current mascara, YSL Shocking in black.

 My orange corrector is a necessity. It’s the only thing that counter acts the blue dark circles I have but then I need a concealer to correct the orange. So the process is a little tedious but for a flawless look this is what I need to do. I love experimenting with foundations hence my collection. I pick the one that I’m in the mood for depending on what kind of finish I want on my skin. The process sounds long but this literally takes me 8 minutes or less. Once you get the hang of makeup it’s pretty darn easy to create an everyday look – just change it up by using different colors of blush.

 How would you describe your style as an artist? Natural. I attract a lot of clients who desire a light and sunkissed glow. I’ve never loved the “Barbie” cake face flawless look. I prefer to show the skin through the products I use. Although my signature look as an artist is “au natural” I do love creating a sultry bold eye.

I am in love with Tina's stationery and branding by Keeks Paper Co.!

What does a typical day being a mother, wife, and small business owner look like? Every day is different which is great! Some days are jammed packed with my myüz’s while other days are filled with play dates, household chores, enjoying quiet time with the Mister and most of all creating memories with my growing toddler. No matter the situation being a mother is a priority every day. Being a wife and taking care of myself continues to be a work-in-progress. I think a lot of women strive daily to achieve this “balance” but my life has many moving parts so I feel quite content in being able to take each day in stride. With the addition of my second child, I’m sure I’ll need to reboot and find time to nurture my own personal growth.

What is your background prior to having your home studio? I’ve always worked as an esthetician at other salons. Although I’m sincerely grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, I felt unsettled. Being there only made me work harder to manifest my own vision. I wanted to expand my makeup skills by taking courses outside of Canada and I really wanted to be in the bridal industry representing myself, Tina Cable.

What kinds of challenges do you face working from home? What are the greatest rewards? Any work environment is going to have its challenges; working from home is no exception. I do this by ensuring the entryway is free from clutter and that the door to the studio is always shut. One challenge with working from home is that it can be very difficult to “disconnect” from work. My mind is constantly thinking about booking clients, managing my marketing, developing strategic alliances with other businesses etc. It can become all-consuming so I’ve found ways to “turn off” by putting my phone away or staying in the upper portion of my home.  I take pleasure in how my clients interact with my daughter, she has already learned in her own way with how she can help me at Myüz. Working from home allows me to dedicate time to my growing family but also be the kind of entrepreneur I choose to be. The greatest reward about working from home is that I’m able to spend time with my daughter and enjoy watching her grow. I’m not commuting anywhere nor am I asking for permission to spend time with my family.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? It’s funny, I ask myself this question every day. This past year I was on a trajectory to build my clientele and I’ve done well. Now, I have a vision for Myüz in that perhaps one day I can sustain a storefront operation. It’s hard to definitively say what my next steps will be but Myüz Makeup Artistry & Esthetics will very much be alive and thriving. Meanwhile, I hope to enjoy the small (and big) things in my life.

Thank you for sharing your world with us Tina and family!

 

 

Photography - SambaJoy Photo & ArtStationery and Branding - Keeks Paper Co. 

 

CHEERFUL BABY WELCOMING

We all love a good party and this colourful and unique baby welcoming honouring sweet Enzo does not disappoint. This perfect day planned and executed by Vendor Guide member Emily from Feast & Festivities and captured by Gabrielle Touchette Photography is absolutely darling.

The colours, textures, details and backdrop brought together seamlessly tells me that this is only a snippet of the beautiful events we will be seeing from Feast & Festivities. Not only is Emily the planner- but also Enzo's mom!

151115GT9317.jpg

From the planner and momma herself - Despite starting to plan my son's welcoming before he was born, I was unable to grasp a theme for the celebration without yet knowing his character. Once Enzo joined us I quickly came to see him as a bright, active boy with a love for all kinds of activity. I knew the celebration needed to have lots of colour, and fun activities for all. With mine and my husband's love of fast cars and racing, and surely a future interest of our son too, a luxury auto and art gallery was the perfect place to hold it.

We invited family and friends of all ages and genders to stop by and meet our newest member of the community one sunny Sunday afternoon. A bright palette — orange, baby blue, teal, yellow, and red — with hints of copper carried through the décor. Balloons, paper chain garland, napkins with baby hand prints, and fun A-Z letter blocks curated and styled by myself added youthfulness, while the florals, designed by Stone House Creative, added a more formal whimsy.

Furniture was used to create several areas to mingle, including a lounge with a bookshelf for guests to place their favourite childhood book to share with Enzo. Guests were also invited to write some life advice on fabric that I would later sew into a blankie, as well as colour a page for a one-of-a-kind A-Z letter book. And, after all the eating, mingling, colouring, and writing, the showroom full of luxury vehicles and art was open for exploring.

Guests nibbled on home-cooked bites; indulged in cake and bright pumpkin spice, bubblegum, and strawberry donuts from Laugh Love Cakes; and sipped fresh-made sparkling ginger apple cider. The cider was such a hit I had to share the recipe!

151115GT9131.jpg

Our little honourable guest donned a DIY miniature yellow crown and was welcomed into the community through a sweet ceremony perfectly communicating our hopes and wishes for Enzo performed by Marry Me Hunnie with mom and dad by his side.

Pretty Mama's with little ones on the way, consider a welcoming for them for all to meet! It's a totally fun and sweet alternative to the traditional baby shower and whole families can join in the fun. Just leave it to Feast & Festivities to start planning your first celebration together as a family while you navigate your new life and try to catch up on sleep. - Emily

And a darling video by to pull it all together by JAG Video Productions!

I love this city.

Congratulations Jeff and Emily! What a sweet prince Enzo is!

 

 

Planning and Design - Feast & Festivities | Photography - Gabrielle Touchette | Venue - Nott Autocorp | Videography - JAG Video Productions | Florals - Stone House Creative | Cake and dougnuts - Laugh Love Cakes | Commissioner - Marry Me Hunnie | Stationery - Jessica Alcantara Design

AT HOME WITH KAILEY MYMRYK

This is by far one of the most favourite projects I have been a part of to date. Kailey Mymryk's personal style is swoon worthy and her home is nothing short of show stopping. This busy realtors home is flooded with natural light, clean lines, and filled with chic details. She is a dear friend and I am so excited to show you her world captured by Victoria Anne Photography. Come on in!

Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg

Let’s talk about this home! You currently live in a Westwood bungalow you bought in 2015. What sold you on purchasing this particular home? The size, vaulted ceilings and windows! We had been keeping our eye on houses closer to our sons’ school and daycare, and when this one came up we just couldn’t resist. The house was in need of lots of love, and luckily we had a great contractor to tackle this huge top to bottom project.

Where did you shop for the items in your home? What are some of your favourites? I’m always scouring the Internet, and I make weekly visits to Home Sense- which is the way to do it if you want the good deals! Though most of our findings have come from Urban Barn, EQ3, Ikea, West ElmAnthropology, tiny feast, and etsy.

What items are important to invest in? What items do you recommend saving on? Invest in the items that are hard to change and timeless- a good couch or flooring and over the years replace the other pieces as needed. Save on trendy items. Once you’re over it you don’t want to have to break the bank to replace it. Also, I think that painting a room is always over looked. It’s an inexpensive, quick and easy way to change the whole vibe of the room.

Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg

You have done extensive renovations to this home, what was your experience like? This was the second house we renovated, so we had a little bit of experience under our belts and knew exactly what we wanted and what we didn’t want in terms of style. Ryan from ICAN Construction had a lot of patience with me while I searched for the perfect materials- and then again when I exchanged those materials for even more perfect ones! Renovating a home is a daunting task, and is surprisingly very emotional. Ryan did a great job keeping me on track and stayed calm and happy even on the days I was driving him bonkers.

Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg

What is your favourite part of your home? My favourite part hands down is the beams and the windows. Who doesn't love a sun-drenched living room? 

What is a cool project or DIY that you’re particularly proud of? I love a good DIY and projects keep me on my toes, so I have a lot! I work best under pressure- so if life ever slows down a bit I always seem to get the urge to paint something, or re-arrange a room. Recently I did an Ikea hack out of an Expedit cube shelf, some pine and 4 cute legs.  It makes for a functional toy storage unit in out living room but still looks sleek.  I love blurring the lines between kid and adult furniture and this worked perfect.

Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg

What is your favourite scheme and go-to sources for inspiration? I really love monochromatic schemes. I change my mind so frequently, it’s easier to have a neutral backdrop and be able to swap out throws, pillows or a rug to adapt to whatever I’m going for at the time. My favourite sites for gathering inspiration are Pinterest, Design Sponge and Apartment Therapy.

How would you describe your personal decorating style? It’s a combination of several styles. I tend to lean towards Scandinavian inspirations, but it always comes off a bit more rustic. I really love clean lines, and light, neutral colours. I love cooler tones and my husband prefers warmer tones. Were both pretty stubborn but we have come up with something were both happy with.

Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg

What does a typical day being a mother, wife, and realtor look like? There is nothing typical about my days, which can be a blessing and a curse. It always starts off with lots of coffee and getting both kids out the door to school and daycare. When you are self-employed, and especially with real estate no two days are the same- and there are never enough hours. Hopefully I eat lunch at some point and have enough foresight to prepare something for dinner that two picky eaters will enjoy. Then out for a couple showings after dinner, and back for bedtime, hopefully, and then tidy up! Lets be honest, ill probably end my day with a glass of wine.

Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg

How do you find work-life balance? When I find it, ill let you know! I've been getting by just winging it- but I have a whole Pinterest board with great ideas I hope to test out in the new year. Our families all live within five minutes and they are a huge part of our work-life balance.

Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg
Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg

What advice would you give your 23 year old self on buying your first home? My aunt was my real estate agent when we were buying our first home. Six months pregnant, and a small budget she told me to pick my battles. You can’t have everything you want, you have to pick the best of the bunch. Your first house is special, and will be nothing like the one you end up in. I think that is something first time buyers often overlook. I love working with first time homebuyers and helping them see the potential in a home. It’s a stepping-stone, a learning experience, and far from perfect. But I guarantee you that you will love that house more than you thought possible. I still wish I could curl up on the couch in that tiny little living room, and sometimes I still drive by it maybe a little too slow.

Kailey Mymryk - Host Winnipeg

Thanks for having us Kailey, Jay, Max and Jake! xoxo

 

 

Sources

Curtains + Rug - Urban Barn | Lighting - Robinson Lighting | Flooring - Flatlanders | Couch + Chair - EQ3 | Coffee Table - Eames | Console - Ikea | Lamp + Side Table - Bouclair | Dining Table - Ikea | Kids Table + Dining Chairs - Wire Home | Bar Stools - Urban Barn | Cutlery + Napkin Rings - West Elm | Blue Bowls - Anthropology | Recipe Tin + A Great City Print - tiny feast | Teak Master Bedroom Dresser + Duvet - EQ3 | White Dresser - Ikea | Lighting Bolt - Little Letter Light Co. | Batman Decals - Urban Walls | Go To Bed Young Dreamer Print - One Plus One Design | Cross Blanket - Spearmint Baby | Bathroom Vanity - Home Sense DIYTee Pee - Ashley Gabby

JENNA RAE CAKES x COAL & CANARY

When I discovered this scrumptious collaboration between Jenna Rae Cakes and Coal & Canary I jumped at the opportunity to share this lovely product with you. It's a well known fact that the teams over at JRC and C&C are masters at their craft. Anything coming out of Jenna Rae Cakes, the gorgeous and delicious family owned bakery at 580 Academy Road or the Coal & Canary studio is a masterpiece to be treasured and this is no exception.

The scent is inspired by Jenna's spiced browned butter icing featuring notes of vanilla, browned butter, cinnamon and sugar, and makes for the perfect gift this holiday season. Whether you need a stocking stuffer or a hostess gift - this is it! Fill your loved ones homes with this delicious treat!

If you haven't already entered, be sure to visit the Jenna Rae Cakes instagram page for information on their giveaway including two (!) gift bags filled with these lovely candles, sweet treats, Sugar Blossom Jewelry bracelets, holiday greeting cards and a gift set from Sloane Tea - all together valued at over $300! The winner will be chosen at random on Friday December 18th in the evening. Only a few more days to visit their shop before the holidays! 

Thank you for sharing your beautiful work Jenna, Ashley, Amanda and Tom!