Welcome to The ladybug Picnic!!

So we decided on a Ladybug theme for Isla's birthday and thought that a picnic would be a fun way to celebrate.  So we made pre-packaged picnic foods and provided baskets for everyone to make themselves a picnic.  Guests were asked to bring a picnic blanket for their families.  Enjoy the beautiful photos taken by SN Photography.

Everybody started by grabbing a plate and basket and filling their basket full of yummy premade picnic foods.

Picnic foods for the Little Bugs..........

These were Lunchables that we made labels for and transformed into "Kid's Picnic Packs".  We just removed the cardboard cover and replaced with our own label.  A genius idea given to me by a friend...great idea Jenn!
There were little bags to fill with Goldfish and Honey Grahams and pre wrapped fruit snacks, Jello cups and chips.
I made little ciabatta buns with fresh cheddar cheese in them for the kiddies.

Picnic Foods for the Big Bugs........

The "Bug"uettes were a variation of Turkey & Swiss, Mortadella & Provolone and Ham & Cheddar.  We served Potato, Pasta and Bean Salads and little containers of cucumber, tomato and carrots (Veggie Gardens).  We also served Kentucky Fried Chicken at our picnic!!
We came up with cute little themed nicknames
to call all of our drinks

The Sweet Stuff....

The cake, cupcakes and brownies were made by Jenn from Heavenly Sweets.  The Ladybug oreos and pretzels and all of the cake pops were made by Julie from Bakers Ma'am.  The cookies were made by Michelle from Michelle's Cookies.  Everything was so beautiful and tasted so yummy.  I also want to say a big thank you to my friend Janice who showed up early to lend  a hand.  Without her, the dessert table would not have looked so amazing!  Thanks ladies for making the party extra special.

The Fun Stuff.........

We set up a cookie decorating station with sugar cookies shaped like lady bugs, red icing and black smarties.  We also had wooden ladybug and daisy magnets for the kids to decorate.  Oh yeah...and a Ladybug Piñata full of yummy sweets!!!
Some of the parents probably didn't love that we let the kids go crazy with red icing.......but come on....Avrie looks pretty cute!!!

Ethan spent lots of time on his ladybug magnet...pretty impressive!!!

We had ladybug tattoos and stickers and little ladybug necklace charms for the kids too!!  There were ladybugs everywhere.  ladybug balls, ladybug water toys and a large board for photos and a ladybug bean bag toss.  It was fun!

The Party Favours.......

These daisy sugar cookies were placed in a styrofoam ball to fill the pot and topped with chocolate pebbles from Bulk Barn.  Yes those rocks are edible!!!  They looked so real and tasted soooo yummy.

Enjoy this slide show of our Ladybug Picnic Birthday Party.....

Press Play Below
Last year I hosted our very first "Pinterest Brunch".  The basic idea is that you choose several yummy recipes from Pinterest and create a board and then everyone makes something from the board.  This year we decided it would be fun to have a theme........so Welcome to our Parisian Inspired Brunch!  I hope you enjoy the photos.  It was a great time!!
This Paris sticker decal was a perfect way to incorporate our theme.  It stuck to my existing art and came off easily.
I love these little food markers.  You just write on them with a sharpie and then wash them when you are done. 
Thank you Benix and Co.
The cake was made by our friend Jenn at Heavenly Sweets in Keswick.
I raided my aunt's house for decor items and serving dishes, as she has a wonderfully creative and pretty style. 
The Paris signs were purchased from Homesense (and then returned afterwards......shhhhhh!)
The linens were curtain material that I got on sale at the clearance section of Fabricland for $2 a metre!!! Best deal Ever!
The printables were from Etsy and cost $5!! What I loved about them was that I could edit them myself.  
This beautiful frame was another score from my aunt's house.
The Chocolate Croissants were a bit of a cheat as they were purchased ready made from Sobeys.....but so yummy.  The French Breakfast Puffs were crazy good.  I highly recommend looking them up on Pinterest and giving them a try.
I found these cute chocolate wrappers online for free. 
Jodie wrapped  Cookies and Cream bars as party favours.
These Blackberry Cabarnet Cupcakes were unique
and tasty.  Main Ingredient: WINE!! Love the French.
Crepes were filled with Nutella, Berries & Whipped Cream
Mini French Toasts made with Baguettes were so tasty
and Proscuitto wrapped Quiche....yum.
Parisienne Potatoes seasoned with Sage and Rosemary
French Onion Soup a la Epicure.  Best Soup Ever!
The Cheese Fondue Jodie made was to die for and was served with lightly toasted herbed Baguette pieces.
The French Macarons and Eiffel Tower Cookies were made by our friend Julie at Baker's Maam in Keswick. 
I thought they looked cute displayed in these candle holders.
Pam dyed doilies with instructions from Pinterest.  They made the place settings extra special.
We took an old painting and sprayed the frame pink, turned the painting backwards and used chalk board paint to create this cute board!
A vase and flower from Dollarama and a little bit of glitter and... Voila....centrepieces!
  Pam is so creative!
We forgot to get a group shot this year but managed to get a shot of the organizing committee. 
Thank you Jodie and Pam for being so creative and wonderful, and particularly attentive to the details.
So I recently went to a birthday party thrown by a friend and I was so impressed with the details that I asked if I could blog about it.  I thought it was really creative and fun!  So here it is......
This was such an easy concept but looked so great!  She tied streamers around green balloons and glued eyes on them.  Brilliant!!  What a great way to make a huge impact without spending a lot of money.
The cake was so cool and was baked by our friend Julie from Bakers Maam.  She also made the fun cake pops below.
These water bottle label printables were creative and had a fun label on the back...see below.
Little touches like Ninja Turtle napkins and green plates kept the theme consistent. 
The party favours were boxes filled with candied popcorn.  Yum!
Candied Popcorn!
Pizza Slice Cookies.........so fun!
It was a fun party and full of cute little details that made it extra special for the Birthday Boy!!
A friend asked me to help with a small gathering she was having at the beginning of May.  Her brother in law was getting married and they were going to have the ceremony in her backyard.  She wanted to do something special for this small gathering of six people.  Together we decided on a purple and green colour scheme and a very simple menu of appetizers and dessert.  After the ceremony they planned to go out for a meal so we kept the food simple and light.
We scattered beautiful white tulips.  They were so pretty and were perfect for this Spring event.
These tissue paper flowers were so easy to make.  We used command hooks and fishing line to hang them.
The menu was very simple since the guests would be going out for a lovely dinner directly following the ceremony.
Caprese Salad Bites
Asian Sesame Meatballs
Shrimp Cocktail.  These were my favourite! 
They were so easy.....just put a small amount of cocktail sauce in the shot glass and pop a shrimp in them. 
The cake was classic and elegant and made by my friend Jenn at Heavenly Sweets. 
                      Chocolate Covered Strawberries...yum!
There were tiny silver balls on the cake..pretty.
These are the cutest little cupcakes and they were super easy.  You will need: Cake Mix, Whipped Frosting, Shredded Coconut, Mini Eggs and Cupcake Liners.  Yes I know there are those people who bake everything from scratch and make a lovely homemade buttercream frosting......I say 'Good for them!!' lol.  Today I was just trying to make cute cupcakes.........so boxed mix and ready-made frosting did the trick for me.  Feel free to substitute for your own recipes to make them extra special.
Bake your cupcakes as per the instructions. We made mini cupcakes as well as medium sized cupcakes.  You can make whichever you prefer or a mixture of both.
Put your coconut on a cookie tray and toast it in the oven on 300 Degrees for about five minutes and then turn it and toast for another 5 minutes until it is golden.
Frost your cupcakes making sure you get all the edges as well.
Sprinkle your coconut over the top and around the edges.
Pat it lightly so it sticks.
Place your mini egg on top and press it into the cupcake slightly.  For a mini cupcake you will use one mini egg.
For larger cupcakes you will need to use three mini eggs......so cute!
They were so easy and tasted yummy.  We made some with confetti cake and some with lemon cake.  I think that the lemon and coconut are a nice combination......but kids love the confetti cake as well.
So this weekend we threw a 13th birthday bash!!!  Six girls for a sleepover party!  It was so much fun.  Here is a little taste of the fun they had.........
My loot bags did double duty as decoration for our birthday table.  The colourful cellophane was bright and added lots of colour.  We threw in a few party crackers and some birthday tiaras to add to the fun.  The cake was made by my friend Jenn from Heavenly Sweets and had one layer of chocolate and one layer of vanilla.  We threw some chocolate covered cheesecake bites on the table because the birthday girl loves cheesecake!!

The Food..............

Teens are pretty easy to feed...........junk, junk, and more junk.

The Loot............

The loot bags were super easy and I got everything I needed at Dollarama.  The cute boxes were perfect for filling with goodies and the cellophane made it look extra special.  They ended up costing about $7 each, which I thought was pretty good.  See below for the pre-wrapped pics.

The Mocktail Bar.......................

Okay so this was definitely the biggest hit of the party........we got three different "non-alcoholic" flavour mixes and a bottle of grenadine and some pop and juice and let the girls create their own custom mocktails.  The mixes came from our local Zehrs grocery store and we picked up little cocktail swords and umbrellas at Dollarama.  We sliced up some garnishes.......and Voila.........hours of fun!

The Party..............

The girls played Wii, made mocktails, munched on pizza and goodies, danced, sang, made videos, opened pressies, had cake and watched a couple of movies before crashing for the night. 

The next morning..........breakfast awaits.

So in the morning the girls awoke to a little breakfast buffet.  Again I used the party favours to decorate my table.  I got triple duty out of those favours!  The breakfast buffet consisted of Purple Pancake Stacks (the birthday girl's favourite colour), Mini Eggos Stacks with banana and chocolate chips, froot loops and orange juice.  Super easy!
We used the extra garnishes left over from the Mocktail bar to make the orange juice look extra special.
Putting the Fruit Loops in little plastic wine glasses made them look so cute!!
Purple Pancake Stacks...........yum!
Mini Eggo Stacks.  I had hoped to put Nutella in here too but time was not on my side.  I put a banana slice in between and topped with whipped cream and some chocolate chips....so easy.  Chocolate shavings would also have been a nice alternative.
A good time was had by all.........yes even the grown-ups enjoyed it.  The clean-up....not so much......but the party was fun!
I love seeing houses all decked out for the Holidays.  Okay I admit it.... I am the owner of the car that, ever so slowly, creeps past your window at night.  I am admiring your Tree and trying to catch a glimpse of the other decor you have adorned your house with.  I'm a bit of a 'Christmas Creeper'; so I though I would even the scales by inviting you into our home to have a peek.  I've included this year's Christmas decor and a little of last year's as well.  Enjoy.

We decided to go with a Pink and Blue theme this year as it tied in nicely with our art. The decor in our dining room is pretty minimalistic.....just a pink pointsetta and a vase with branches and snowflakes.  Just enough in my opinion. 
Our Great Room......I think my favourite addition to this room over the holidays are the hanging snowflake tealight holders hanging from the ceiling.  They just feel magical.
We have always had a white tree in this house.....it just seemed to go with the house.  This year we decided to go with a green tree and I am just not quite sure yet.  I still put up my white tree in the other room.......couldn't leave the poor thing in a box.  There is just something special about a white tree.  I'll show you photos of the white one further down.
This has nothing to do with decor, but I just couldn't resist including a photo of the mug of hot chocolate you would be offered if you were sitting infront of our fireplace!
The feather trees on the piano are whimsical and fun.  A friend recently told me that everytime she looks at them she thinks of Dr. Suess's "Whoville".  I love that!
Can I tell you how much I love Dollarama?  I got these three white wreaths there and these giant snowflakes.  The wreaths are stuck to the middle of the mirror with command hooks (awesome) and the snowflakes are hanging from fishing wire (also attached to a command hook on the window frame).   The person who invented command hooks is a genius!  Gone are the days of putting holes all over your walls to decorate for the Holidays.
Love candles all over the house during the holidays.  The broken glass vases shimmer so beautifully with candles in them.
These beautiful Pointsettas were only 50 cents each at Dollarama.  I used them to spruce up my garland and wreaths.
Again, thank you Dollarama for this fab wreath.  I just put  a couple pointsettas on it to give it a bit more interest.
This dish is usually filled with shells through the rest of the year.....we just threw some pretty ornaments on top.
Thanks for visiting!  Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season from our family to yours!
So it's that time of the year again.......parties, family, friends, laughter, food, love and pressies!!!  I LOVE the holidays.  The beautiful decorations, the sweet smells, the joy that brings people together.....the sound of strangers singing in the aisles of stores.  I love all of it!  Did I mention how much I LOVE the Holidays? 

My first Holiday Celebration this year was with my colleagues from work.  I hosted a Team Day at our house and it was such a lovely day.  Here  are some pics of the goodies we enjoyed.

I made these little cupcakes.  I cheated a bit by using ready made buttercream frosting from Bulk Barn to save some time.  It was super easy.  I thought the snowflakes looked really nice (also from Bulk Barn).
These were so amazing.  These beautiful Cake Ball Ornaments were made by my friend Julie.  They were so stunning and the chocolate inside was so yummy.  The detail on these just amazes me...she is so talented!
These are two bite brownies....I just topped them with icing and little snowflakes.  They were the ultimate cheat......bought a tub of them from Walmart and quickly iced them with Buttercream from Bulk Barn.  This can literally be done in no time with very little effort.  For some reason, these little guys get lots of attention.  Try it for your next party.
This is a pretty terrible photo of the sweet table(some of it on the ends is cut out) but it's the only one I have, so it will have to do!  I ordered snowflake sugar cookies, from my friend Amanda, and planned on hanging them from branches.  I got the idea from Pinterest.....my inspiration photo is here. The cookies would have looked like this.  Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be, as she got sick and couldn't make them.  So I was just going to abandon the branches all together.   Luckily, the morning of this event, another friend returned some items to me (that I had lent her for her daughter's party) and she threw a bag of snowflake ornaments in.  They were perfect.....so I hung them on the branches and Voila!!  I was pretty happy with it.  The rest of the dessert table had pink frosted sugar cookies, cinnamon rolls and macaroons...YUM. 
I thought I would just throw in a closer view of these beauties.  I think they deserve another appearance......they are just so darn cute!  Julie at Baker's Ma'am is just so talented!
My co-workers all brought something.  There were two lasagnes: a chicken lasagne with hollandaise sauce (so delicious and unique) and a traditional spinach and beef lasagne (so hearty and tasty).  We enjoyed Garlic Bread, a light mixed salad and a rich Caesar Salad.
 Nothing like coming together for the holidays and spoiling each other.  It was a really nice treat to spend time with the people I work with in such a relaxed way.  Great day!
My work had a Halloween Fundraiser Party and my contribution was the cake and a couple of punches.  It was tons of fun to play around with the Halloween Theme!!

Here are the cake inspiration pics I got off of Pinterest.......

I decided on a chocolate cake with an orange buttercream filling....yummy.  A friend of mine was generous enough to offer her time to help me with the cake.  If it wasn't for her, this cake never would have turned out so well!!  Thanks Jenn!! 
I purchased a few packages of cobwebs that came with a handful of spiders in each and they were perfect for the cake.  They had circular grips on the back that are used for hooking them onto the webs....they worked perfectly as they pushed right into the cake.
So here it is.........our Halloween Orange Spider Wed Cake!!
This punch was just frozen Grape Punch....nothing spectacular but the colour was perfect.  I used the packages of cobwebs to cover the containers in webs to give them that spooky vibe.  The labels were super easy to make....I have included the design at the end of this post.
The Witches Brew Punch was made with Lemonade and Green Food Colouring.
The labels for the punches were super easy to make.  My hubby did a google search and found a couple of stock images and used those with a font called Herculaneum. We printed them on regular paper and they stained them with a wet tea bag and burnt the edges.....and Voila!!  It took less than 5 minutes.  Here is the design below so you can make them yourself.
So my Baby Girl turned one and we had a nice party for her.  I couldn't decide on a theme for the longest time and kept changing my mind.  Nothing I picked seem to really come together when I started thinking about it.  So I decided to just choose colours that I loved...pink and turquoise.  I also knew that I wanted a cake with roses iced on it so decided to run with that...........so here are some photographs of our Pink and Turquoise Rose themed party. 
My friend Amanda made these gorgeous cookies.  Beautiful roses on top of yummy sugar cookies....heaven!  Honestly, they were almost too pretty to eat.  I said ...  "almost" :)
My other friend Jenn made these delightful cupcakes (and our gorgeous cake).  These were so cute and the paper printables were a nice touch.  I found those printables on line for free!!  Amazing right?  They made the sweet table look extra special.
Yet another friend of mine, Julie, made these adorable cake pops and the ones in the pic below as well.  The pink were vanilla pops and the turquoise were chocolate pops.  I just filled a vase with jelly beans and placed them....it was so easy and made a great impact.  Again, those printables added a nice finishing touch!
The gorgeous little rose shaped meringues were made by the same talented friend who made the cake pops.......she also made the tasty macaroons in the picture below!  The meringues tasted like little bites of cotton candy and the macaroons were so delicate and light...perfect.
Now everyone has to cut corners sometimes......but I like to try to fake it so everyone thinks I worked long and hard on every detail.  Well the next two pictures are examples of sweet little ideas that took virtually no effort!  These two bite brownies were purchased from Walmart and then iced with little rose designs to 'fancy them up'.  The truth is that I didn't even have to ice them because one of those super talented friend's of mine did it for me!  Thanks Jenn!
These Coconut Marshmallow Treats.....biggest cheat of them all.  I bought these in a large sized bag from Walmart and put them on a plate and stuck sticks from Bulk Barn in them....Voila!  I had hoped to tie pretty ribbon in a little bow on these sticks.......but time just ran out....I still think they look pretty cute.  I got the cute little plate at Dollarama.....what a deal....and it matched my colours too :)
The drinks were tasty and displayed in plastic juice containers I purchased at Costco.  I just wrapped some ribbon around them and used one of those free printables.  One was just pink lemonade (perfect for my colour theme) and the other was a mixture of yellow lemonade and blue-rasberry flavoured Kool-Aid........made the perfect turquoise colour!
Now here is something I normally would not have done but they came as part of the free printables packages........so obviously I couldn't just throw them away.  These mini chocolate wrappers and water bottle wraps were so sweet that I just couldn't resist!
I put old fashioned watermelon candies in this rose dish.  Why you ask?  Just because the dish is so darn pretty and I had to use it for something!  The candies were pretty tasty!
The party favours were bubbles.  We just wrapped them in one single roll of tissue paper and tied the ends with ribbon.  In the end they kind of looked like bonbons.  It wasn't intentional.....but it looked cute!   I picked them up at Walmart for $1 each (bargain!).  The kiddies had a blast with them.  They were in long tubes and a huge wand for the bubbles......so fun....bubbles everywhere!
I have to give a shout out to IKEA.  I purchased my backdrop there (you can see it well in the next picture of the cake) and it worked out really well.  It is actually a throw blanket but it was just so pretty and looked like little white ruffles.......so I thought it might work.  I also got these cute little plant pots from there for super cheap.  I loved the lace detail and on them and thought they worked perfectly for cutlery and napkins.  All the cutlery and pretty napkins were from Dollarama.......I loves me a bargain!
Now for the big hit of the party................the cake!!  It was so beautiful on the outside and the inside was two-toned pink, with the most amazing  raspberry and white chocolate flavour.
Of course no first birthday party is complete without the smash cake....so cute!
Well okay....if you are going to twist my arm.....here are a couple of pics of her enjoying that pretty little smash cake while everyone watched.  She's such a little ham!
We set up a photograph of Isla's cake smash session (which we did a week before her birthday) on a pretty easel.  It looked perfect sitting next to her newly painted pink high chair.  My sister in-law bought the high chair for us on a recent trip to Scotland and when we got back I took it on as a little project.  That's a whole other blog post that I will share with you sometime.  A little bit of pink spray paint and some fabric paint for the straps really transformed this highchair.  I was really happy with how it turned out.
Here's a better look at the Smash Cake Storyboard that was displayed in the frame....
We also made a little Gallery of Isla in our front hallway.  We already had picture shelves there (which we use to display family pictures) so we emptied them and added pictures of our little princess from different stages of the first year of her life.  Here is what the wall looked like........
While we are talking about photographs of Isla...I just can't resist showing you (close up) the ones we just had taken of her for her first birthday by the very talented Deborah Chambers.
So that's it folks....I am all done.  Well....... until next year anyway ;)  Hope you enjoyed the pictures!  Oh yeah.....after the party, right before bed, she took her first few steps!  What a great day it was.  Thank you to all our friends and family for celebrating with us!