Recipes: Fall Entertaining

Now that I’ve reached my 30s, I realized how much I enjoy cooking and entertaining. There’s nothing like making yummy food for friends. When a few fall recipes popped into my inbox I knew I had to share some of the ones I added straight to my recipe book! Hello apple cider cocktail, bruschetta bar and mini caramel apples!

As the official spokesperson for the LG Door-In- Door Refrigerator, Jillian Harris shares her top no- cook, little-prep hand-made picks for Fall:

Oct. 8 - Jillian with DiD-2

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LIFE’S GOOD APPLE SPRITZER

Ingredients
2 cups chilled club soda
1 1/2 cups chilled apple juice or cider

Directions
In a pitcher, combine club soda and apple juice or cider. Serve over ice, garnished with mint sprigs if desired.

This drink is also great with a dash of whiskey, bourbon, or rye!!!

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FRESH BRUSCHETTA BAR

Ingredients
1 yellow heirloom tomato
1 orange heirloom tomato
1 can of diced tomatoes
5-6 large leaves of chiffonade basil 2 garlic cloves, crushed
å_ cup of onion, finely diced 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
å_ cup olive oil
Focaccia bread, grilled
Salt Pepper

Directions
1. Finely chop heirloom tomatoes and combine chopped heirloom tomatoes and can of diced tomatoes.
2. Place all tomatoes in a strainer and strain juices and place strained tomatoes in a bowl.
3. Add salt, pepper, garlic, and onion
4. Toss mixture with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
5. Serve on grilled focaccia bread (sliced, brushed with olive oil and grilled until brown)

Mini Caramel Apples

CRISP MINI CARAMEL APPLES

Ingredients
3 Extra-large apples Caramels
2 Tbsp milk
 Lollipop sticks
A metal Tbsp coffee scoop

Directions
1. Prepare a cookie sheet with wax paper.
2. Peel the apples, then scoop balls out of them with the metal coffee scoop.
3.Push a lollipop stick into the middle of each ball. Pat them dry with a paper towel and put them in the fridge or freezer while you make the caramel.
4. Unwrap the caramels and melt them in a pot over medium-low heat, with 2 Tbsp of milk. (You can buy bags of caramel bits too if you don’t want to go through the trouble of unwrapping them).
5. Once the caramel is smooth and melted, remove it from heat and dip the apple pops one by one.
6. Place the dipped apples back onto the cookie sheet, and repeat. Put them back in the freezer right after dipping to let the caramel set. Otherwise, it will just slide off.
7. Leave them in the freezer for about 15 minutes, then transfer to the fridge for another 30 minutes or until the caramel is hardened.
Optional: dip them in chocolate, nuts, pretzels, salt etc. for fun


 

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Recent Projects: Popcorn Bar

As you probably know by now, I sure do love myself a cute popcorn bar! Maybe it’s the sweet & salty combo or perhaps I just love any kind of self serve station – either way a popcorn bar totally works for any event. Below are a couple that I did over the last few months at Shopgirls!

I’m installing a super fun window at Shopgirls on Friday which kicks off a big Instagram contest so stay tuned!

shopgirls-yj-popcorn-bar shopgirls-yj shopgirls-popcorn-bar popcorn bar

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Style Ideas: Unstructured Denim

Although I’ve been gravitating toward clean lines and structured cuts in clothing more than ever lately, I still have a special soft spot for a little grunge. Unstructured denim (or a boyfriend jean as they’re called but I’m over hearing this term) rolled up with booties, paired with a chunky knit or tailored coat and oversized scarf is pretty much my ideal fall look.  There is something effortless about unstructured denim and when worn with the right pieces, it can look so put together.

denim street style

 

clockwise from top left: 1|2|3|4|5

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DIY: Party in a Box

A few weeks ago Blush celebrated their 10 year anniversary and I couldn’t be happier for the owner and creative master Michele, a muse to many including myself.

I wasn’t able to attend the celebration due to a prior commitment but I sent along a little party in a box and left this message on my Facebook page:

Many hugs and a big congratulations to Blush in celebrating their 10 year anniversary today! I wish I could be there tonight to pop some bubbly and throw a little confetti with you. 10 years is a huge accomplishment in this crazy retail industry and you did it with class, style and set the bar high for other retailers. Michele has been a huge creative inspiration to me….cheers to another 10! xoxo

party in a box

 

What you’ll need:
– a pretty box
– tissue paper
– gold foil paper
– balloon
– clear mini bag
– patterned paper
– stapler
– small bottle of bubbly
– glue gun
– dollar store party hat (to trace as a template)

1. Cut the tissue paper and gold foil into long skinny strips to fill your box with.

2. To make the confetti, cut little pieces from the tissue paper and gold foil (I cheated and had pre made confetti on hand). Fill the clear mini bag with the confetti and follow the instructions I did here on a previous post to learn how to do the packaging part.

3. To make the party hat, head over to this previous post where I made one for Harper!

4. Blow up a balloon small enough that it fits into your box.

4. Fill up your box with all the above goodies and send away!

 

party in a box party in a box

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Posted in: DIY, party ideas
 

Recent Project: Mini Mioche Fall Window

A few weeks ago I installed the fall window for Mini Mioche. I went with a fun rustic theme that included a whole bunch of pumpkins, gold leafing, washi tape, paper leafs, worn faux floor boards and of course a big branch straight from my parent’s backyard Have I mentioned that I love fall…ahhh <3!

fall window display fall window display fall window display

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DIY: Felt iPad Case

diy ipad case

I had some leftover felt from a project I made last year so I decided to make an iPad case for my bestie. Between the 2 of us we definitely have had our fair share of cracked iPhone screens (mine is currently in very rough shape) so I thought I better get her some cute protection for her iPad asap! So hello felt & neon case!

diy-laptop-case-2

What you’ll need:
industrial felt (I bought mine from the Felt Store)
coloured twine (I found mine from Omiyage)
wool needle
scissors
ruler
fabric pencil or chalk
electric drill and drill bits
scrap piece of wood
2 buttons
sewing thread that is the same colour as your button or felt
sewing needle

diy-laptop-case-1

1. The iPad measures 9.5″ x 7.25″ so cut one piece of felt 12″ x 8.5″  and the other 12″ x  12″. The small piece will be the front of the case and the larger piece will become the back and the flap. Line the smaller one up with the larger one (see picture below for example)

2. On the piece of scarp wood use the ruler and pencil to make markings that are one inch apart – this will be the guide for your spacing when you start drilling holes. Lay the felt on top of the wood and begin drilling holes in the felt one inch apart using the markings as the guide. Make sure you are using a drill bit that is the same diameter as the wool needle.

3. Thread the twine through the needle. Start at the bottom hole and pull the needle and twine through making sure you are pulling it through both pieces of felt. Tie a double knot to secure.

4. Continue threading through the holes doing a blanket stitch technique. Thread the next hole starting at the top and when you pull it through make sure the twine passes underneath itself. Repeat with each hole.

5. When you reach the end secure with a double knot. Repeat this on the other side.

6.  The last step is to sew on the buttons. Start with the bottom button: measure 3 inches down from the top of the smaller piece of felt and find the centre. Sew the button in place. Now sew the top button: find the centre and sew the button 1 inch from the top of the flap.

7. Knot a piece of twine to the top button. To secure flap down just wrap the twine in figure 8’s around both buttons.

diy-laptop-case-3 diy-laptop-case-4 diy laptop bag diy-laptop-case-5

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Spotlight: Spun Studio

I’m a big fan and avid supporter of Sistering and Spun Studio. A few months back you might remember that I participated in a blogger collaboration with Spun Studio that resulted in an event & silent auction to help raise money for the studio.  Now until November 22nd Spun Studio is running a campaign to raise funds to keep the studio running.

love handmade

WHO IS SPUN STUDIO?

Spun Studio is a social enterprise of Sistering; a textile studio specializing in woven and sewn accessories. Working with women marginalized from mainstream economic opportunities, involvement in the studio builds community, a sense ofbelonging and self esteem – the things that many strive for, whatever their situation in life.  The women of Spun Studio are paid when the items they produce are sold. All money received from a sale goes directly to the participants.

WHO IS SISTERING?

Sistering is an organization that offers practical and emotional support to women through programs which enable them to take greater control over their lives. Guided by the principles of anti-racism and anti-oppression, Sistering works to change social conditions, which endanger women’s welfare.

Sistering’s employment and income support programs offer women the opportunity to earn supplementary income, prepare for employment, acquire workplace and business skills and establish links with employers.

Visit Spun Studio’s full site here.
Spun Studio’s Instagram
Spun Studio’s Facebook Page

Visit Sistering’s full site here.

WHAT IS THE CAUSE FOR CONCERN?

Spun Studio has had an incredible year. In June, their first annual Spun Goods event was held. The event garnered great attention and support as the Toronto blogging community partnered with the studio to design a capsule collection of handmade textiles. The collection sold out during our silent auction and Spun Studio participants were paid in full. In September the studio gained even more attention after taking part in this year’s Blog Podium.

We need to give Spun Studio the opportunity to continue to grow after this year’s much needed boost to their confidence.

  • They need the funds to keep the weaving instructor/sales facilitator for TWO DAYS A WEEK for the next 6 months
  • Two days a week for 6 months requires $8,000
  • During the next 6 months the Spun Studio team will also be looking long-term, for additional grant money and/or corporate funding for the crucial role of the weaving instructor and other studio costs like materials, machine repairs etc.
  • Check out our PERKS, depending on the level of donation, you too will get something in return – hint: the print above!
Other Ways You Can Help

We understand that many of you will have causes you already support. While you may not be able to contribute to this specific campaign perhaps you have friends, family or colleagues that our program will inspire. SHARE, SHARE and please SHARE some more.

Please consider donating to this amazing cause and/or helping spread the word.

xo,

Renee

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Posted in: cool shit
 

DIY: Pumpkin Round-Up

Over the years I’ve done my fair share of projects with pumpkins. Using big, small, white, orange pumpkins with glitter, paint, sequins, gold leaf, crayons and the list goes on, to make something fun and festive. And this season the pumpkin obsession continues. If you’ve been following my Instagram, you’ll get a few sneak peeks at a few pumpkin projects I’ve been working on! But, for now I’ve rounded up a few of my faves I’ve done in the past:

diy pumpkins

flower pot | cooler | melted crayons | washi tape | neon + paint | polk dots

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Recipe: Panzanella

I’ve come to realize that one of my favourite places to be is in my kitchen. Meaning when I’m cooking and/or baking – not doing dishes!  Throw on some good tunes, toss me a few fresh ingredients and I’m loving life.

Salad-107

I was itching to make some panzanella and when I came across a recipe on A Cup of Jo titled “The Best Panzanella You’ll Ever Have”, I knew this was the one I’d be making. The key to making a simple dish like this one is to use quality fresh ingredients.

It’s pretty handy to have a friend who is a very talented photographer. All you have to do is invite them over for lunch and bam food photo shoot! Thanks for the amazing pictures Selina!

Salad-10 Salad-20 Salad-37 Salad-38 1 Salad-44 Salad-62 2 Salad-52 3 Salad-80 Salad-101{photography by Selina Whittaker}

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DIY: Recycled Wine Gift Bag

wine-bag-title

If I’m going to give wine as a gift I’m going to make sure it’s packaged super cute! I had a few store bought wine bags kicking around but that didn’t satisfy my need for cool packaging, so I decided to recreate the bag that the wine I purchased came in. Call it thrifty but I did it solely for the cute factor!

recycled wine

What you’ll need:
– paper bag that came with the wine when you purchased it
– stamp
– ink
– twine
– cardstock
– washi tape
– scissors

1. Turn the bag inside out by carefully turning it into itself working with one small area at a time.
2. Once the bag is inside out, use the stamp and ink to create a fun all over pattern.
3. Take the card stock and create a tag using a tag puncher or simply cut out a rectangle and snip off two corners and punch a hole between them.
4. Decorate the tag with washi tape. I used two different ones in a very simple way.
5. Place the wine bottle in the bag and turn the top edge inwards to hide the original labelling on the bag.
6. Wrap twine around the bag and neck of the bottle. Secure the tag on the twine and your gift is ready!

wine-bag-2 wine-bag-3

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Posted in: DIY
 
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