Friday, August 31, 2012

Refurbished Tray DIY

Hey guys! Yesterday, in the midst of doing laundry, I came across this little wooden blue tray in what is supposed to be the apartment building's book exchange area. Apparently people just throw their junk in there instead of books. Once I saw it, I knew I could make it look much nicer!
One of the corners was breaking apart so I stuck some tacky glue in there. Didn't know if it would work, but it's working so far :)
I wasn't entirely sure what color I wanted to paint it, but it needed to be done! In the end, I chose black. It's the most versatile color and I could add whatever I wanted to it after. 1/ Clean off the tray. 2/ Drizzle paint and spread!
{ps. Sorry for the crappy pictures, the first two were taken at night} So your tray should look pretty spiffy. I had an idea of mod podging (that a word?!) a picture of Rob and I in the center, but I don't have a printer and I don't have mod podge. Stencils it is!
3/ Lay your stencils down after the paint is dry, and paint some more. Just try not to move the stencils, otherwise there's a big mess. It happened on my second O and the D :(
4/ Garnish with your favorite mug and maybe a little plant. You may also bask in it's glory and then decide whether or not you actually want to use it for serving someone breakfast in bed (or yourself) or you can even find a way to hang it on the wall. I had thoughts of hanging it on the wall in some weird position and use it for bills or important papers, but I really don't know how it would have been hung. 

Oh, and that pile of laundry from yesterday? ROCKED IT.

Have you refurbished anything lately?

xo. Nicole

Thursday, August 30, 2012


1/ Sleeping on the floor. 2/ So much laundry! I thought I enjoyed doing it, but I'm really not in the mood today. 3/ I keep receiving post cards from my friend who has been back in town for a week now. She traveled Europe for 7 weeks! 4/ Serious wedding planning went down. Caterers, tent rentals, tables and chair rentals, etc.. 5/ Pre made lasagna for dinner tonight. 5/ Sleeping under the mat.

Maybe today is a day for some Netflix while we eat our lasagna? But I am definitely going to continue on my wedding planning streak while I read some blogs. Today is my only day off this week and I am taking full advantage. I've got another guest post coming up as well, stay tuned! x

What did you do on this beautiful Thursday?

xo. Nicole

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Guest Post - Samantha

Hey guys! Today, I'm featuring one of my sponsors, Samantha. She was my first ad swap and since then, I've become a regular reader of her blog and I'm never disappointed. I love her Instagram Style posts and her recipes! I'll let Samantha introduce herself :)

Hey there! My name is Sam and I blog over at 
I write about all of my “latest obsessions” most of which fit into the categories of crafts, clothes, and life tid bits. Today, however,  I’m going to share with you one of my hugest obsessions. His name is Brandon and he is my lover / fiancĂ© /baby daddy. Brandon and I met yeeeeeears ago during high school in our theatre program. It was our junior year of high school during the production of My Fair Lady when we started “talking” backstage. 
After just a few short weeks, we became absolutely inseparable. Brandon and I would spend as much time as we could together (after school of course), until about the 5th call from Brandon’s mother telling him to come home now!  And then times we couldn’t be together, we would constantly be on our phones, texting one another.
It was 24/7 communication. Oh, to be a teenager in love. Eventually though, the school year ended and summer began which meant we could now spend ALL day, EVERY day with each other. And I don’t think it ever got old. During that summer, we got extremely spoiled with our ability to see each other. Really. When it was time to go back to school, it was… rough. But in a way, it made the time we did see each other, much more meaningful. So we got back in the groove of going to school and then before we knew it, I got pregnant! This was a huge deal… well obviously. We were both completely in shock and didn’t quite know what to do or where it would lead us. 
But we were always in it together, separating was never a thought. So, neither was giving up our baby. We made it all the way through high school and had our daughter a month after graduation. Fast forward 3 years and we are living on our own in our very own apartment, making memories and creating a life as a little family. But it wasn’t always this way. We started out living with my dad. We went to school and got jobs. Everything was going ok but then we started to get a bit restless. And then Brandon proposed!!! This kind of kick started our life and got us back on track. We started thinking of the future and got the idea that we needed to move out! Soo, despite some disapproval on my dad’s part, we found an apartment 15 minutes away. We have lived here now for almost 2 years and are thoroughly enjoying being on our own. 
We struggle a lot. Balancing school, work, and a little one is not for the week of heart.  And it’s not so easy supporting ourselves but it’s made us appreciate all the little things in life! Having a place to call our own is worth every single hour worked and bill paid. We are now, thriving as a family. And through all the fights, the stress, the let downs, Brandon and I are still a team, plowing through life, hand in hand. 
We've grown so much as individuals, it’s cool to look back and be proud of all of our accomplishments. It’s great to think about all the obstacles we faced and overcame. But the best part is, is that we did it together. Brandon and I.  I absolutely love my life and a lot of that, I owe to Brandon; it wouldn't be the same without him in it. He is my number one partner in crime… but most importantly, my partner in life.

Thank you Sam for sharing such a wonderful story. I am so happy that things have worked out for her, Brandon, and Eliza. Eliza is such a lucky little girl to have such a loving family!

xo. Nicole

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vegan Cupcakes!

{All photos courtesy of Aimee Franson}

My younger sister made my mom and I some vegan cupcakes yesterday! My mom is still in the hospital, but she is getting better. My mom said they looked delicious (and they were) but was unable to eat them, so the nurses got them!

For a vegan cupcake, these were amazingly moist. I'm not sure where my sister got the recipe from, but she emailed it to me.

Ingredients: Makes 12!
Cake Part:
  • 1 cup soy milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line the cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the soy milk and vinegar. Set aside for a few minutes for it to curdle.
  3. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Whisk together until foamy.
  4. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk together until no lumps remain.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the liners. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a clean toothpick comes out of the center. Cool completely before frosting.
  1. Mix all together until fluffy.
  2. Garnish with a blueberry, blackberry, and mint leaf. This is totally up to you what you garnish with, though!
I really hope you guys enjoy these as much as I did. Please post the link in the comment section if you've made anything vegan lately! :)

xo. Nicole

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pinterest Sunday

This week's post is all about the cake stands, as we just put the deposit down on our cake! I found some good ideas for the stands (and they're basically all the same) that tie in to the rustic/nature/campground theme of our wedding. 
I really like the fact that they're just stumps!
I love the moss on the bottom, it really adds to the idea of a tree stump for a cake stand.
I've requested that my sister make her amazing vegan cupcakes, so this is a must!
This is one of my favorites. Less chance of the stand falling apart ;)

My future step-dad-in-law (haha) has agreed to help me make the stand. Now all I need to do is actually come to a decision about how I want it. I think the best bet will be the last one, as there really is less chance of the stand falling apart in case the glue was old or something.

What was your cake stand like? Do you have a DIY for one?

xo. Nicole

Friday, August 24, 2012

Life Lately

The past couple days have been pretty hectic. I had orientation and work, then found out my younger sister was assaulted on the Skytrain and my mom has been in the hospital since Wednesday morning at 9am. 
Some old man started yelling at my sister, stepped on her feet, and hit her with his cane. I don't care how freaking old you are, there is no excuse for being a complete asshole. If I was there, or if it happened to me, I probably would have had a few choice words for him.
My mom is going to be in the hospital for another couple days while they wait to see if antibiotics will help her. If they don't, then it's surgery. I don't think my mom wants her medical problems broadcasted on to the interwebs, so I'm not going to go in to details, but it's not super life threatening or anything. I have the day off tomorrow so I am going to bring her magazines and one of her blankets and then spend the afternoon with her.  
I haven't really thought of anything wedding related the past couple days, except for when my new manager and I spent an hour of my 3 hour orientation talking about our upcoming weddings ;)
Even though life was a bit busy and unexpected for the past little while, I managed to find some sandals for $5, go out for dinner with Rob at one of our favorite restaurants, snap a picture of my cat being weird (how did she even manage getting UNDER the mat and pot?), and pick up my diploma!

Things will hopefully be getting a bit better. I have another orientation shift on Saturday and then my maid of honor, who just got back from travelling in Europe, is sleeping over! I can't wait to see her pictures, hear her stories, and start actually brainstorming things for the wedding. 

How has life been for you lately?

xo. Nicole

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Cake

One of the most fundamental parts of a wedding is the cake. Have you been to a wedding that doesn't serve cake? Though lately, I've seen and heard that most people are doing cupcakes. I had some ideas for cupcakes, but in the end Rob and I decided on having a traditional 3 tier cake. One of my friends from high school started up her own business of baking. Her name is Stacy and her website is called Rustic Designs. (Psst. You should check it out.) We had an appointment on the 17th for a cake tasting and consultation. We were messaging each other back and forth on Facebook because I knew she had taken up baking and decorating, and I wasn't sure of her prices. She mentioned that she charges less than half of what most bakeries do for a wedding cake. Sold!
We tried 3 different kids of cake and decided on using all the flavors on a different tier! I forgot to mention to Stacy that I wasn't allergic to dairy or eggs anymore (or rather, I didn't care about eating those things), so she had made each flavor vegan! They were super delicious already so I'm super excited to try the cake when it's not made vegan.

What we've decided for the tiers was that the bottom layer will be mango filling with vanilla cake. The middle layer is going to be boston cream filling with chocolate cake, and the top layer will be butterscotch filling with butter rum cake. I'm beyond excited! Everyone is going to love it.

The design is going to be kept a secret until the big day. I've had a couple people ask me to go in to detail but it's just too much to really explain, too much for me anyway, haha. Hint: it goes along with our nature and campground theme. 

Overall, Rob and I had a really good consultation with Stacy and we're very happy with our choices. To keep within our budget (which I'm not super sure we really have anymore...oops) it's a really good idea to network and keep in touch with old friends. You never really know what kind of career or business your friends will open up. We were given a wonderful opportunity to have our cake made the way we want it for super cheap. Most bakeries, from what I've heard, will charge around $1,000 for a cake that will feed 130 people, but Stacy is charging us around $300! 

Did you get a good deal on your cake? Link up some pictures!

xo. Nicole

Saturday, August 18, 2012

House Tour - 1

I've decided to accept Kylie's request to do a house tour. I'll be doing a series of posts that will document the decorating that will be going on. I hope you're as excited as I am :) I figured I might as well tell you the story of how we got this place...
Rob's friend chillin' with a beer in our living room

Rob and I were living at his parent's house from September 2011 to February 2012. We started looking for our own place in January. He told me that he didn't want to carry me through his parent's front door on our wedding night (lol) and would rather have it through our own door. We looked on Craigslist for a couple weeks and had a couple viewings. There was one place that we LOVED, but it was in Whalley (which is the worst part of Surrey) and we didn't want to get shot. It turns out that the guy was showing us the apartment, even though someone had just bought it. What was the point in that? We had a couple more viewings of some places that were horrible. Why do people show apartments that are full of holes from rats and shotty wiring?
We had a viewing of this place we decided we wanted it. It's in walking distance from everything, and it turns out it's a 5 minute drive from both of our jobs! We thought it was a manageable rent, but Rob's friend screwed us over and we were left with the whole thing for a good 4 months. I'm still pretty choked at his friend over that. I really enjoyed living with just Rob and I was hesitant about letting our current room mate move in, but I stopped being dumb and realized that we needed the room mate to make rent cheaper. We just signed a one year lease with him and rent is even more cheap now! :) One day we will be getting our own home or condo, but for now, this is working.
These are pictures from our move-in day. Some of Rob's friends helped us out, so we got some pizza and beer to relax with after everything was done. I think all the guys were trying to play with the Xbox but couldn't find a cord or something, so Rob made a game out of it. He had every one look through the boxes for it, and if they opened a box, they had to unpack it and put everything away. I enjoyed it.
These are all from February 18, 2012.
So this was our place the day we moved in! I had, and still do have, so many decorating ideas! We had only signed on for 6 months at the time, so I didn't really hang any pictures or anything. Now that we're here for a year, I plan on some bunting and paper lanterns or something! I'll be sure to share my progress with you :) Did you do a house tour? Link me up!

xo. Nicole

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Things Will Get Done

Alright, I have told myself I will start working on wedding and Christmas crafts. We plan on making all the decorations for our wedding (well, I plan on it). Hopefully this means there will be a ton of DIY's on here in the near future! What sort of crafts are you interested in seeing for a wedding? I'm making the bouquets, the centerpieces, the arch, etc.. Next week is crazy, though. I've been scheduled Monday to Thursday at one job and then probably starting the second job next Friday. I have orientation tomorrow, so papers will be signed and things will get rolling! 
Yesterday was my last day doing volunteering. I realized it's going to be too much on my plate and two of my jobs have a very high burnout rate. I've thought long and hard about what I should do. I feel horrible about starting this volunteering and then having to stop, it's not fair the youth. I also feel selfish about needing 'me time' but I really don't want to burn out. As our last day together, we went bowling, had Starbucks, and then visited the new library in Surrey. The library had a teen lounge going on and they were offering some free Henna! It was really nice to spend a good day with the youth.
One of my coworkers and fellow bloggers, Kylie, requested that I do a house tour post on here. Does that sound interesting? It means I have to super clean the apartment, but I'm interested in doing the post! Rob and I just signed a 1 year lease with our room mate, so we're stuck here for a while. Decorating is definitely a possibility and I have some ideas in mind. Let me know in the comment section below or shoot me an email at!

On Friday, Rob and I are going with my mom to friend's house for some cake tastings! I graduated with her and she has since opened her own business. She charges almost less than half of what bakeries do, so this is perfect for our budget! I can't wait and I have so many ideas for cakes. I found an amazing cake on Pinterest and I basically want her to just recreate it for us, but I hate copying...What's a bride to do?

xo. Nicole

Saturday, August 11, 2012

It's Never Too Early..

It's really never too early to make a Christmas list. I had a productive morning that included getting things ready to mail off, paid some bills, figured out some bills (ugh!), and started brainstorming ideas for Christmas gifts. Yes, it's August, but by November last year, I had no idea what to make people or what I wanted. I've decided to start both lists! This is when Pinterest has been the biggest helper. Last year, I tried to make everyone's gifts and this year will be no different except that I will be more organized and on top of things.
How cute is this? I know a lot of people who could use this to relax.
I know a few people who need these..
Mini mason jar snowmen. Cute!
Such a good idea! Definitely what I'm doing this year. [source unkown]
Perfect for our niece and nephews!

There are so many ideas running through my head! This could be considered Pinterest Sunday as I'll probably be too busy tomorrow to get around to it and I missed last week. Now to get on the phone with my mom and discuss our potential caterer! Picking menus is kinda fun. I'm torn between using their dishware, about whether or not it will clash with my decorations and table settings. Hmm.

Congratulations to Allison and Mike on their wedding day (today)!! It's super exciting and I'm so happy for them!

Happy Saturday!

xo. Nicole

Friday, August 10, 2012

An Update

Do you guys remember when I bought that little garden? So it's been one month and nine days since I put it together! It's come a long way and I read that I can start using the Garlic Chives because they're over a centimeter long.
Arugula (Roquette) - No idea what this is...
Bulls Blood Beets - I need a bigger pot soon...
Garlic Chives - Yummy!

This gives me hope that one day I could actually keep a child healthy ;) Today, Rob and I went to the bottle depot and got $20 for about 2 months worth of beer bottles. Geez, that's a lot of beer. He mentioned "Nothing like returning your empties to make you feel like an alcoholic." Well said Rob, well said.

Now onto something that's been roaming through my head for the past couple weeks. I'm wondering, as readers, if you would be interested in actually seeing how much everything is costing? I could do monthly posts about how much money we've spent and how everything came to be for the wedding. Is this something you'd be interested in seeing? Would it help you plan YOUR wedding? Let me know! 

xo. Nicole