Wit + Whimsy: Art for Kids’ Rooms

October 16, 2013

Happy Wednesday to you! We’re plugging away at our home renos over here and between our busy schedules, Brad and I have wished more than once that we could hire a contractor to keep the momentum going for us. Alas,  it’s all on us this time ’round and the snowball effect continues. As many of you can relate, it’s tough to finish one room at a time and every room in the house is a wee bit topsy turvy right now, something I’ll just have to let go of for the next couple of months. Gabe’s room is sooo close to being done though and I promise to share some pics next week. His old room is empty and ready for a fresh coat of paint before Lilah moves in and I’m really excited to get some fresh art up on the walls.

Rise Art recently asked me to take part in their Blogger of the Moment series and it was pretty fun being interviewed about my artistic taste. As you know, I’m a big fan of gallery walls and bits of wit + whimsy thrown in for good measure, especially in family homes and kids spaces. It was tough to narrow down to just one, but I absolutely fell in love with this “Art from the Menagerie” print by Kareena Zerefos up on the Rise Art website…

Birch + Bird: Rise Art Interview. Art from the Menagerie by Kareena Zerefos.“Art from the Menagerie” by Kareena Zerefos, available at Rise Art

Both of my girls are super creative. Sadie is more hands-on in her approach to art and creates a frenzy of paintings, sketches and journal entries everyday whereas Lilah is much more into imaginary play, a performer by all accounts. They are both beyond excited to finally have their own bedrooms and it’s pretty fun watching their personal styles evolve. Sadie has been set on incorporating the Eiffel Tower, gold polka dots and anything French since day 1 (she’s already set her sights on moving to Paris one day!) while Lilah’s tastes range from Rainbow-Sparkle-Unicorn themes (all together, of course!) to her current What-Does-the-Fox-Say obsession. So we’ll just have to see how her room comes together ;) Here are some great prints and easy framing ideas (love the chalkboard “frames” below!) that I’ve got my eye on for both of my girls’ spaces…

Birch + Bird: Kids Stuff WorldKids Stuff World

Birch + Bird: TrendenserTrendenser

Birch + Bird: Longfellow DesignsLongfellow Designs

Birch + Bird: Planete DecoPlanete Deco

Birch + Bird: Pottery Barn (prints currently not available)Pottery Barn (prints currently not available)

Birch + Bird: Keep Calm GalleryKeep Calm Gallery

Even though those adorable Pottery Barn posters are discontinued, I bet they’d be a pretty do-able DIY and I’ve been obsessed with this La Lune print forever…I really should put it on my Christmas list one of these years! Anyway, kids rooms are the perfect place to play with colour and art and I’m all for letting my kiddos have a big say when it comes to decorating their rooms…within reason, of course :)


Week + End: Giving Thanks

October 11, 2013

It’s Thanksgiving weekend for us Canadians and I have ever so much to be thankful for. Life is busy and it’s easy to focus on the things that I’m lacking, the house projects we can’t afford or the to-do’s that I haven’t checked off of that list when I should really be making a conscious effort to count my many blessings each day. Today, I’m especially thankful for my beautiful kids, husband and family (they’re healthy + happy + they’ve always got my back), my amazing friends and business partners (they support me and help me grow in oh-so-many ways), my own health (I may have a head cold + a few spare pounds but I’m strong and well), our cozy family home (it keeps us safe + warm + inspired with endless projects) and for the past incredible year with Spruce Collective (it was truly meant to be, in every way possible).

While I’m ahead of the game and already cooked my first turkey dinner last weekend (phew!), here are some inspiring tables and settings for your festive feasts:

1. These tree ring chargers are simply beautiful:

Birch + Bird: Wedding ChicksWedding Chicks

2. Absolutely in love with Shanna Murray‘s new collaboration with West Elm:

Birch + Bird: Shanna Murray for West ElmShanna Murray for West Elm

3. The combination of florals, vegetables, cutting boards + individual baguettes at the wedding table are perfection:

Birch + Bird: Photo by Clayton Austin for Style Me Pretty.Photo by Clayton Austin for Style Me Pretty

4. This chalkboard runner is a sweet and personal touch for any table setting:

Birch + Bird: Jeanne Oliver DesignsJeanne Oliver Designs

5. Mildly obsessed with demi-johns and these ones look extra festive with fall trimmings:

Birch + Bird: Vibeke DesignVibeke Design

This weekend, we’ll be plugging through our basement renos, celebrating a good friend’s birthday and sharing a yummy turkey dinner with my side of the family. Lots to do but we’ll be taking time to enjoy each moment as it comes. What are you thankful for and how will you be spending the long weekend? I’d love to hear :) Happy Thanksgiving!


The Domino Effect: Greenwich Glamour

October 9, 2013

Although I haven’t actually flipped through the new issue with my own two hands, I couldn’t be happier that Domino magazine is back on the shelves. It was the first go-to design website (pre-blogging) that I visited regularly, (especially while studying interior design) and I was sooo sad when it closed down…especially when my collection of deco files disappeared with it! Before Pinterest, it was my favourite way to “collect” inspiring interiors. But it’s back and based on this stunning Greenwich Village townhouse, it’s better than ever. Come take a look…

Birch + Bird: Domino MagazineAll photos by Brittany Ambridge for Domino

While this family home is definitely more glamourous than those that usually catch my eye, it is anything but pretentious. The fine finishes (those herringbone floors!), neutral palette and gold accents throughout are seriously pulling at my heart strings and I love that they could translate into the average home just as beautifully as they do here….

Birch + Bird: Domino Magazine

Birch + Bird: Domino MagazineAll photos by Brittany Ambridge for Domino

Owner Ali Cayne worked alongside her architect throughout the extensive renovation and made all of her own decorating decisions. “The whole idea behind this house is to nourish and feed people, “ says the busy mother-of-five and restauranteur.

Birch + Bird: Domino Magazine

Birch + Bird: Domino Magazine

Birch + Bird: Domino Magazine

Birch + Bird: Domino MagazineAll photos by Brittany Ambridge for Domino

Beautiful, isn’t it? Although, somehow I can’t quite picture 5 kiddos running through it! You can see more photos over at Domino too. Hope you’re having a wonderful week so far!


Early Bird: Thanksgiving at Our House

October 7, 2013

Well, I did it! My first turkey dinner is now officially checked off of my life-accomplishments list and it turned out even better than I’d hoped, if I do say so myself! The Ultimate Dry Brine Turkey recipe I found in this month’s House & Home magazine truly was the ultimate…crispy on the outside, juicy and flavourful all the way through. The recipe’s not up on the website yet but it is in the current October issue…so good! I also made the sweet-and-sour red cabbage and the pumpkin pie, minus the pecan crunch (I thought I had pecans but they were actually walnuts) and both turned out really yummy too. I cheated on the stuffing (full disclosure here!) and bought freshly-made maple sausage and cranberry stuffing from Lepp’s Farm Market. It wasn’t cheap but it was sooo delicious that it was worth the splurge, not to mention it saved me from making one dish myself!

Birch + Bird: House & HomeHouse & Home

Decorating the table is hands down the best part of any gathering for me, obviously. Thankfully, I’ve got a warehouse full of vintage furniture to “borrow” from at times like these and we swapped out our everyday dining table for one of my fave rentals, The Margaret Table…if only it could stay! We also moved our credenza in front of the fireplace and now I’m dreaming of a harvest table to replace our current round one…one day!

Birch + Bird: My Thanksgiving TableMy Table

In addition to the turkey and other sides, I also made these Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes (mine didn’t look nearly this good but they still tasted fantastic!), creamy herbed mashed potatoes, a green salad, fresh bread and my sister-in-law Amy brought a delicious Shiraz Cranberry sauce compote. Let’s just say, no one left hungry!

Birch + Bird: What Katie AteWhat Katie Ate

I was a bit too busy to take any other pics of the evening but thought I’d share some Fall-inspired pics from around the shop, since I’m in such a Thankful state of mind. We restyled and de-cluttered our shelves and displays last week and all found it pretty therapeutic. It’s always amazing to me the effect that our surroundings have on our mental state, whether we realize it or not. You know, that feeling when you’ve walked past that annoying stack of paperwork on your desk for weeks and then finally take 5 minutes and sort it out…it’s like a breath of fresh air!

Birch + Bird: Spruce Collective, Abbotsford BCSpruce Collective

Birch + Bird: Spruce Collective, Abbotsford BCSpruce Collective

Birch + Bird: Spruce Collective, Abbotsford BCSpruce Collective

Fall neutrals are a win-win with decorating in general and you really can’t go wrong. Add some greenery and a few splashes of colour for good measure and you’re good to go! Will you be cooking Thanksgiving dinner this coming weekend (or next month, for my American friends)? If so, what are your favourite dishes and/or turkey techniques? Enjoy your Monday!


Week + End: 5 Faves for Friday

October 4, 2013

And here we are, it’s Friday again! This week bustled on by pretty quickly, which is a good thing because I must admit that I was in a bit of a funk. Nothing major, just feeling a little overwhelmed. Both my home and the store have a lot on the go and my list-loving-self gave up at some point and just had to roll with it. I’ll feel much better once our basement renos wrap up…it’s amazing how projects suddenly take over the entire house, isn’t it? It’s Brad’s birthday this weekend so we’re celebrating Thanksgiving with his family a week early (renos will be put on hold) and I’ll be cooking my first turkey dinner EVER! Admittedly, I’m a little freaked out but found a yummy (and simple-ish) looking brined turkey recipe in the latest House & Home magazine and will start prepping it today. Nothing to it but to do it, as my hubby would say! Before I head into the kitchen, here are five of my favourite links this week:

1. Loving absolutely everything that the girls over at Spread Love Events did with this West Coast inspired wedding shoot:

Birch + Bird: Spread Love Events/100 Layer CakeSpread Love Events

2. I’ve really been trying to eat well but dang, these look good:

Birch + Bird: Call Me CupcakeCall Me Cupcake

3. My love of nautical + paint-by-number collide in this amazing kids room:

Birch + Bird: Strawberry MohawkStrawberry Mohawk

4. We’ll be needing a new living room couch once our basement TV room is finished and I can’t help but be drawn to navy blue ones like this:

Birch + Bird: A Beautiful MessSarah Sherman‘s home via A Beautiful Mess

5. It’s getting chilly but Fall camping sure would be fun! Loving this DIY camp mug candle:

Birch + Bird: PoppytalkPoppytalk

Off I go to brine my turkey (can’t say I’ve ever uttered those words out loud…) so wish me luck and have a wonderful weekend :)