Monday, August 22, 2016

KOMBUCHA WORKSHOP & TUTORIAL {This Little Estate Workshop}

For as long as I can remember I have been health conscious. It started for me when I grew my own garden full of green beans in the corner of our family yard when I was seven years old. Most recently it has meant making some major nutritional changes for my tricky digestion system.

(I've been sharing all the plant based recipes and the harvest we have been gleaning from our current back yard here at This Little Estate. To see all the bright and healthy goodness feel free to follow along on Instagram at @bethanythislittlelifestyle)

I've always been scouring ways to improve my health and earlier this year discovered the health benefits of Kombucha and haven't looked back.

Not sure what kombucha is?

I wasn't too, but I have done a bit of research and have discovered that kombucha is pretty much amazing!

Here's why: Kombucha is a tea based fermented beverage that is consumed for its multitude of health benefits. It is made by fermenting tea and sugar with the kombucha culture. Over time, and when the drink is ready to be consumed, it will take on natural carbonation. The end result will be that it's taste resembles something like a champagne or a sparkling cider.

This ancient recipe was found being ingested in China centuries ago and is known as the "Immortal health Elixir" in ancient China.. Why you ask? Because the health benefits of kombucha are vast!!

It is believed to boost the immune system, because of it's antioxidants, and is claimed to even revers the signs of aging since it blocks the action of free radicals ie; activated oxygen molecules that can damage cells. The tea detoxifies the body and enhances the immune system and if continued to be ingested, over time acts as a deterrent to disease as it fights off toxins and free radicals that may try to reenter the body.

Other than helping to detoxify the body, other health benefits include:

"reducing arthtitis pain, lowering colesterol , restoring bowel movements, relief from gastric ulcers and various digestive troubles. Antioxidant-rich kombucha possess anti-microbial properties and assists in curing various medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes and contributes productively in maintaining cellular health and strong immune defense of the body." SOURCE

Wondering where to find this miracle drink? Look no further than your local grocery store! Kombucha is sold at health stores country wide and is gaining continued popularity as gut issues continue to rise and well meaning citizens and health enthusiast scour for answers and help.

However, a 500ml bottle will have you handing out upwards of $6! A great deal considering the lengthy process to make the drink and the many health benefits you'll be consuming but not so much if you want to introduce kombucha into your daily living routine.

I have always loved science and have kept an eager mind when it comes to making things. I live that out when we DIY our house and when I'm mixing things up in the salon and now this whole kombucha thing has me so intrigued! I want to know HOW it's made, how can it be so good for my family and HOW can I make it at home and save some major moula!?

 You too?

If something that has been around for centuries and is still getting rave reviews than I am all for it!!

My mother is much like me and loves nutrition and learning about new possibilities to enhance healthy living. A few years ago she became intrigued with the idea of brewing kombucha after researching how amazing and easy it was. (I have had the awesome opportunity to try out most of the batches she has made and my wine loving palette is impressed!)

Health benefits AND yummy? Yes please!

I too really want to see just how those magic carbonated bubbles develop! So, I have enlisted the brewing master and workshop hosting extraordinaire Mama of mine, Judy Grieve to host a handful of wannabe brew masters in her home for an inside look at how to make kombucha the old fashioned way!

If you're local, health conscious, and interested in pursuing the health benefits kombucha has to offer then this class will be for YOU.

We will be hosting a kombucha brewing information session and tutorial on Saturday, August 27th 2016 from 7:30 - 8:30pm in Guelph, Ontario.

In order to cover the cost of the products used in the fermenting process and the easy travel container to start your own brewing, the class will cost $20. You can expect a first hand tutorial in the comfort of a farmhouse kitchen, with a group of like minded health pursuing individuals and take home instructions to make brewing fool proof!

Spots are very limited for our first ever This Little Estate Workshop, so if you are interested in attending you can reserve your spot through emailing me at 

If kombucha isn't for you, stay tuned!

This Little Estate Workshops are going to be offered seasonally beginning in the fall of 2016!! We have got a lot of creative things happening here to share with you! I'm so excited I can barely keep from telling you now.

Check back often for the full reveal coming soon.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Authentic Tomato Sauce {Gluten free/Vegan/and so easy the kids can make it!}

The weekend is here! Hip hip hooray!

Time for soaking up these fleeting days of summer, playing outdoors all day long and going on adventures.

On the weekends we always seem to fit in one leisurely meal. Typically that is devoured on Saturday nights for us since we are some of the unlucky few to work on Saturdays. ;)

However, over time, I have figured out that meal prep is key to enjoying summer weekends effectively. No one wants to waste precious sunshine filled hours stuck indoors making a meal, but on the other hand it is really nice to gather around the table together on Saturday night or Sunday afternoon with a hot plate of something delicious in front of us.

So, we have learned to waste no time and gain all the good summer garden fresh flavours by whipping up this authentic sauce! It is so easy to prepare that my 9 year old son actually made this from start to finish. He is coming pre trained and I couldn't be happier with all the meals he has learned to cook this summer.

(More at @bethanythislittlelifestyle Follow along for recipe ideas and allergy free foods!)

 Here's how you can enjoy summer's bounty in ten minutes total with this authentic tomato sauce.

First, gather your ingredients:

3 cups of garden fresh tomatoes
2 white medium sized onions
5 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of garden fresh basil
1 1/2 tsp of coarse salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp of brown sugar
1/2 cup of distilled water
2 tsp of EVOO
1/2 tsp of chili flakes (optional!)

 Second, wash and chop all ingredients roughly (no skill required!!) and toss into your slow cooker. Turn it on to high for three hours and go outside and have some summer fun.

After your onions are translucent and the tomato's skin is malleable, take a hand blender and gently blend together. (TIP: DO this when your sauce is cooled or with proper care! Your sauce will be hot. Keep hand blender submerged into your liquid when in use to keep splashing to a minimum. If your 9 year old is helping, parental discretion is advised!)

Lastly, cook your pasta, drain, add to your sauce, toss and enjoy!!

We used gluten free pasta to make this meal entirely vegan and gluten free. This dish is the perfect side to a summer salad. The best part of all is you'll get to enjoy more precious time outdoors in the summer sun and less time slaving over a hot stove. Just don't tell people that. :)

Wishing you and yours a happy weekend! Hope its as easy and breezy as this meal!

Happy cooking!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How To Add Instant Curb Appeal To Your Home. {DIY porch part one}

When we first saw our home we knew it was lacking curb appeal.

Not only was it rundown and not updated but its mid century modern flat roof and assymetrical fascade was unappealing to us.
Did I mention the weeds were like something out of a horror movie?
So we picked them all and made some wishes on them!
We had a lot of work to do after all.

My dreamer side went into immediate overdrive upon laying eyes on our house. I knew that with it could be a dream house straight out of the mountains of Vancouver if we updated the mid-century look of our home while still holding on to the homes modern vibe. I pictured another level, popping off the roof....or heck, simply knocking down the house and starting from scratch!
I had a million ideas swarming through my mind along side the dandelion seeds.
Easy fix right? Simple solution, wouldn’t you say??
Source found HERE
Ya my hubby and our bank account disagreed with my enthusiasm.
We decided instead of jumping in full throttle to a major reno we would instead maintain our budget and to do what we could to add curb appeal to our home. We kept in mind utilizing our outdoor space to it's full capacity, as an initial step, and decided that by doing so we would be taking full advantage of our outdoor space!
We knew a front porch would do just that for us.
The addition of a front porch was practical for our family, but more than that it would also add some much needed layering to the front elevation of our house. If you have been following along on Instagram (@bethanythislittleestate) you would have known that as soon as the last snow melted we started building our outdoor space. We decided to get to work in the spring time so we could enjoy the porch all summer long.

I mean, summer parties, right? Family bbq’s to usher in the weekend? Yes please!

Here is where we started ...
and here is where we ended up…

I'm still kind of in shock that my hubby and I actually got this outdoor space completed in such a short amount of time. (We were also finishing our living room and other projects while working full time!)
(Insert crazy nervous laughter here.)
We were driven to get this space done during the evenings of late spring season, because we figured the summer evenings are meant to be soaked in!

Also, we really wanted to sink into our new Leon's patio set sooner than later.
Stay tuned, we cant wait to show you how we built this DIY deck just in time to enjoy summer sunsets, cricket songs along side a pitcher of my famous sangria.
Now the question is, when is the next summer party so we can see how many people we can squeeze on this baby. ;)
It's not too late to enjoy your summer outdoor space! To get more patio ideas and to see more pretty patio furniture check out Hello Sunshine a guide to a bright and happy home.
The crickets are singing your song and the great outdoors are waiting for you.

Stay tuned for all the details on our DIY deck!

Thursday, August 04, 2016


When we got married 11 years ago I never imagined we would gut two houses in five years with three kids in tow.

But somehow we thought it was a good idea.

Together with our let's-wing-it-personalities, along with our-go-big-or-go-home-lifestyle, that goes hand in hand with our die-hard-adventurous-sides we have successfully survived A LOT of DIY renovations in a short time.

Eleven years ago I wish I knew what I know now! I wish we knew that we could survive it! That we would grow closer through it and that our determination would be key to seeing results while doing-it-ourselves (DIY) with babies in tow.

I wish I knew what to look out for, what to do differently and what to avoid altogether.

So today, together with my handy hubby, we want to share with you allllll the DIY insider information that we wish we had of had on hand, along with the hammer, all those years ago.

When I presented my knight in shining tool belt with the idea to share our inside info with our readers he didn't hesitate for a minute.

Read: wingin'it King.

Our texting conversation went something like this...and I QUOTE:

Me: "Hey Babe, just thinking about doing a blog post where we share all that we have learnt while renovating. Can you send me your thoughts on the top five things you have learnt while renovating together?"

2 minutes later (there is never time to waste when wit is on your side...)

Hubby: "#1 patience. #2 patience. #3 patience. #4 patience #5 patience"

Me: "Hardy har harrrrrr"

As with dating, hubby left the appropriate time to respond while keeping me interested without being overbearing...

15 minutes later..

Hubby: "1. Plan out the room and get in writing what every design detail is expected. This way when plans change (which they will, by the wife) it will avoid the "that isn't what I wanted" argument.

2. Have a place for your tools, when two people are using the same tools they will get easily miss placed in the kitchen cabinets, bathroom drawers, in the living room coffee table and no one will admit to placing them in weird locations. I would say that before buying a large tool organizer 60% of my reno time was spent looking for tools.
Now it has been cut down to 30%

3. When your wife calls and asks if you need anything from the hardware store, take pictures of the materials needed. Taking the picture will save time with explanations of what it looks like, what aisle it is in and worst case scenario she could show someone at the store. If I had known and done this sooner I may have more hair on my head....

4. Take breaks... coffee, water and food are all necessary when working together. Coffee will keep you going, especially when the reno's are being done after you both have already worked your day jobs. Water to keep hydrated or your favorite adult drink will keep you going as well. The food is the most important thing to consume as some of us get exceptionally (H)angry when we have not eaten yet. ( insert wife's name here )

5. Time lines for completing reno has an equation that only applies to couples. Keep this in mind.

Estimated time of finishing reno + 1 extra day per child in home + 1 day per week for "Hey honey, Lowe's is having a big sale" + distance travelling to hardware store each time you forget that box of screws.

Also you need to account for some "reset your sanity time" with your spouse away from the stress. Whether it be a movie, taking the kids to the park, going for a pint or just riding bikes away from the disaster zone."

I read his answers and chuckled. How true they are!

Because we want to share the raw and real inside scoop, this is unedited by me (Wifey). But lets clarify for the record, I don't need pictures when I'm searching for thing-a-ma-bobs at the hardware store.....well at least 80% of the time. ;)

My top five tips for renovating with a partner are probably and ironically very similar to my hubby’s. Renovating with someone else is not for the faint of heart. There are different ideas, talents and expectations to manage. Throw some little kids into the mix and that’s a whole other level of crazy town.
If you find yourself in this predicament you will quickly learn how to trade off responsibilities so you can occupy the children, which means super slow progress. For a duo that envisions the end result this can be really difficult. But don’t fret, I've got my own advice if you are about to embark on a renovation DIY adventure with your partner.
1.  Set realistic expectations for yourself. This was key for me and probably for most people who are visual dreamers. You can picture the end result even before you go to the hardware store to pick out your supplies. So the hardware store trips (the planned and the unexpected ones that come up at 9pm) will be much more bearable if you set a realistic time frame for a certain projects completion date.

2.  Never ask your spouse to agree on a timeline to finish a particular project. Now this may seem contradictory to my first tip but SERIOUSLY guys. Don’t. Do. IT.  I cannot even count how many times I have nagged asked my handy hubby to decide on a completion date for a renovation project and then when the time nears and then comes and goes, one or both of us becomes extra frustrated. This isn't always avoidable though. Like when you need that ceiling painted and chandelier hung before your birthday dinner, but, if you can avoid firm deadlines you will enjoy the renovating process  (and each other) so much more.

3. Find ways to occupy the stragglers. Perhaps you have kids like we do or maybe you have pets, if you are like us and you have both it is crucial to set up ways to occupy your dependents. We use to NOT do this. We were dumb. We were impatient. We would simply jump into a project and then we would have to take frequent breaks to feed the kids, water the kids, feed the pets, water the pets and before we knew it the afternoon we had put aside had slipped away. To avoid being dumb like us, set up your kids and family with easy to reach refreshments so you don’t need to stop every few minutes to meet another need. This is the perfect time to also set up Netflix for the kids, or if you're one of those awesome parents who limits screen time, pull out the board games for them instead. Also, bribing them to give you an allotted time to tackle a task is also a fab idea, EVERY awesome parent should do this at least once. ;)

4.  Keep a list of steps that are needed to be completed during a project. I am a die hard list keeper. If you aren’t, now is the time to try to be. Keeping a list of what needs to be completed during a renovation is key to keep you motivated. You will never be so happy to pop off a fruity flavoured marker lid and to strike out #3 on your to do list. Write down every little detail in order to feel extremely accomplished. Soon enough you will feel like a true successful and motivated DIY’er.

5. Make friends with the hardware store employees. This is crucial. I make it a point to be sweet and kind to everyone I meet but I really try to put my best foot forward when I walk in through the doors of the hardware store. If you are deep into a DIY you may be frazzled, hungry and haggard in the middle of a project overhaul. But as soon as I go searching for that one thing we forgot to buy, didn’t know to buy, or lost while waiting for this step of the project to be ready to tackle, I put a sweet smile on my tired face.
      Why? Because my Mama taught me to be sweet and because hardware store employees will become your BFFs. Take the gentleman who works at the paint section, I see him more than I see my relatives. He lets me know when new product will arrive that I have anxiously been anticipating and he offers personal advice from his long history of undertaking his own projects. Not only is that just great human interaction and a fab escape from grueling work, but the knowledge you gain will save you time and money. The sweet lady who works the front desk at the hardware store down the street? She will let you keep a tab instead of running around and having the hard task of remembering your debit card while remembering which size brad nails you need to return with. The guy that wanders the isles asking if  you have found what you are looking for? He actually wants to help you and he has a wealth of knowledge about what product might work better for your project and which new ones might be coming in to the store.

These people are your people and you share the same passions. Treat them as so. Renovations are so much sweeter with little breaks here and there to see familiar faces. Your people even enjoy listening to your reno frustrations and you know your real life friends could care less that you had to make 6 trips to the hardware store in one day. Your people will be happy to see you... again.
     What? Is a visit to the hardware store almost like free therapy? Why Yes, yes it can be. Also, some hardware stores sell subs at each location. Need I say more? ;)
  So there you have it friends and fellow DIY enthusiasts! These ten tips are the very most important things you need to keep in mind before beginning your next reno with your better half! We hope to share with you in the future other things we have picked up while gutting and rebuilding homes. Stay tuned!!
In the mean time, where are all my DIY experts at? Would you add anything to our list? What is YOUR most important DIY tip for a smooth partnership? Which tip do you think is the most relevant? Also, how many times have you visited the hardware store in one day? Is there a world record for that yet? There should be! We would love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Little letters {To my daughter on your seventh birthday}

Little Miss A,

There are so many things I want to tell you, so many ways I could count the ways I love you, but I'm not sure a whole life time will fit it all in. Today you are seven year old and you have your whole amazing life before you. Quite often I find myself selfishly praying that I get to see it all, that I get to grow old with you and that you never know a day without my love. 

I don't want to miss a second of loving you.

I also don't want to miss any of these memories we are making.

The days are flying by however and I wonder if when I am grey haired and I reach for your sweet hand, like we always find ourselves doing, that I will be able to accurately recall these busy love filled days. I hope that I am able to remember you as you are today, seven years old, and that I am able to remind you of how you have always been completely adored.

So my hope is that this love letter and the others I have written you over the years will serve as something you can look back on with admiration at where you have come from and how you have grown.

Truth be told, I am in shock that the last seven years have whipped by us. They have been a blur and yet details about you and your life and personality stand out so raw and beautifully it is as if the world is in fast motion and yet you are at the center of it, day in and day out, calm as can be, easy going, deeply caring and unscathed by the crazy that surrounds us.

You are a sister to two boys after all and your parents never stop creating and changing the home you live in. There is a lot of crazy around you. This past year was a busy one and out of all of us it was actually quite difficult for you.

We moved houses and you reminded us all, as you do when you are persistent and wish to be heard, that you didn't want to move from your childhood bedroom where all your memories lived. You are deeply sentimental for a newly seven year old little lady and I often think that an old soul lives within you. You have always been that way. From birth you had a peace about you and a knowledge that only recently became a little know-it-all-ness....but of course only with your brothers and when you are trying to point out the right way to do something or the faster way to do something or the better way to do something. You are quite possibly a quiet genius. I suppose that makes total sense since you are very intuitive while silently soaking in the world around you. You are both parts meek and bold and I dig that about you. You can be poised and pretty much perfect in nature and then you throw us a curve ball when you are really passionate about something because there is no way of stopping your drive and enthusiasm.

Your independence is admirable. I often say you really didn't need parenting. Even from an infant you were a complete joy to be around. You have never been demanding and you have always been easily soothed or appeased. You enjoy the simple things in life and remark about them too, like how you love when the sun soaks into your skin on a hot summers day, how you appreciate guzzling down a big glass of water after running around the yard with your brothers, how you love the smell of my pillow and freshly laundered clothing, how you marvel at our kitty cats soft whiskers, how you comment on every single pink sunset and how you've decided that frogs smell like grass and grass smells like heaven and how the whole world is a gorgeous place through your eyes

You notice the little things in life and especially the little creatures around you too. You dote on our pets and loved hand raising baby chicks this spring. You were guaranteed to always be snuggling a chicken or walking around the house carrying our kitty like an infant. Your loving giving and caring side is also shown to your little brother in many picture worthy moments. Although he is the same size as you at this point in life, you don't seem to notice. You don't hesitate to pick him up when he falls, to help him get dressed in the morning, to help him locate his missing shoe (every day!!) and you even brush his little teeth for him. We call you "little Mama" and you are quite happy to be just that.

You love helping with household chores and your most absolute favorite thing to help with is organizing. You can't keep a clean room for the life of you, but you do love a good messy cupboard to sort. You are much like your Mama in this way. Creativity blooms every where you go and it is very difficult for creatives to also be neat and tidy at all times. Your bedroom floor is littered with art supplies and markers and a plethora of papers. Your newest obsession is making art collections and you are pretty darn good at it if I do say so myself. I am particularly partial to your abstract line of paintings that you choose to complete with bright colors smack dab in the middle of stark white paper. They are graphic and unusual and we all take turns guessing what they remind us of when you are done and proudly showing them off. Your collection of dress designs actually makes me tear up with pride. I can't really wrap my mind around the fact that a little girl that was made from part of little ole me me can have such an eye for texture and color and style. We talk  a lot about you designing a real life outfit one day and with your determination, and ingenuity I know you will find a way.

This year you turn seven and you are still in the middle of the innocence and sweetness of childhood. You value the company of adults though and love listening and being a part of grown up conversations . You spent a good part of your recesses in grade one walking and talking with your teachers. When I asked you why you preferred their company over playing with girls your own age, you said you had "lots in common with them", and girlfriend, I think you do too. You are wise beyond your years, appreciate the selection at Homesence and can plan a mean party even if it's just a pretend one where we set up the table and cut flowers from the garden and it's just for you and me and your doll collection. Often you're my little sidekick and I'm honored to have you following me around the house and around town.

I love you more than you'll ever know and I am so very proud of who you are. The funny thing is, I believe it wasn't really because of all I have done to mother you because you never really needed much guidance. Your heart is a beauty. You are too, but I'll never stop telling you that a pretty heart is better than your outward beauty. But goodness me, you ARE adorable. You have freckles right now that dust your nose and make your green eyes stand out. You lost your first tooth recently but still have that unique gap in your top teeth that I think is the cutest little detail about your seven year old little girl face. I know you will change a lot this year. I know more teeth will be tucked under pillows and you'll leave detailed notes on every door in the house pointing the tooth fairy in the right direction, because you often snuggle up with your Mama or bunk up with your brothers because sleeping alone is no fun.

There will be lots of inevitable changes this year but I want to always remember your hilarious little girl giggle, your fine wispy hair, the way your wee limbs are so slight but can carry your own body weight in the form of your little brother around, the way you speak matter-a-factly, the way you prance around in frilly dresses and tutus with leggings or jeans with knocked out knee holes in them underneath so you can be discreet when you show off with the cartwheels you've mastered.

I want to remember your little hand in mine when you sneak into my bed in the night and the way you rub the hair off my face and kiss me on the nose. The way you love everything and everyone around you so deeply that you inspire me to do so too.

My Audrey, my girl, my sidekick, my daughter, my friend, today on your seventh birthday and forever and ever I hope you know how much you are adored. And if you ever need reminded, I hope you can look back at these words and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you were one of the three best decisions your Daddy and Mommy ever made. You've changed our lives for the better in every way and we are grateful to God for this front row seat to the love story that is your childhood.

Much love my girl,


Monday, July 18, 2016

How to Make Natural and Safe Cleaning Products for Your Home

We just got back from a week long vacation. It was magical and long overdue. Typically my hubs and I only have one day a week to spend as a family together. We work a lot, for the time being, because with so many renovations happening around here, we love the outcome of overtime. ;) Also, my fellow entrepreneurs know that when you run your own business, you quickly accept that overtime is mandatory in the beginning.  ;)

So we returned home late last night, tired and exhausted, however we were immediately bright eyed and bushy tailed when welcomed into a clean and sparkling house!

I love that.

I love coming home to all things familiar along with enjoying a clean and spotless kitchen sink, table tops that are still sparkling and a coffee table that is as neat and tidy as when we left it last week.

this little estate natural cleaning product recipes

There is something lovely and peaceful about walking into a tidy home that is ready to rest your weary head. Also, a decluttered coffee tables to prop your tired feet up on. ;)

Before we left I whipped up some of my favorite natural cleaners from items I already had on hand. As always when I do this I feel great that the cleaning solutions I am using are chemical free and all natural. What better time than to get the kids involved too!?

You don't need anything fancy to create green products you feel good about using in your house. Say hi to inviting inexpensive effective cleaners into your home, and goodbye to chemical residue and outrageous product prices. 

Also if you are an oil aficionado or enthusiast this post if for you and your friends!

I wrote an article for Leon's Hello Sunshine: A Guide For a Bright and Happy Home that shared some of my natural cleaning tips and how you too can keep your wood furniture fresh and chemical free with green homemade cleaners and polishes. (To see the direct article flip to page 48!!)

Do you guys use natural cleaners? Have you ever made your own? I would love to try some new recipes if you cared to share!

Photos courtesy of Red Suitcase Photography

Monday, July 11, 2016

Breakfast Television Live Television Segment with Leon's Furniture {and a behind the scenes look!}

Once upon a time, myself and my five siblings along with my charismatic mother and father decided that we would mimic the Von Traps and the Partridge family and so we created a traveling music group. We sang in three part harmony and four part harmony and wore matching plaid (read: unsightly) outfits to solidify our authenticity. We took family bonding to a whole new level in the 80's.

Thank goodness YouTube wasn't around yet!

After surviving those awkward preteen years on the stage, I never imagined I would happily find myself in front of the camera again. But, perhaps, I need to high five my siblings and squeeze my parents for those years of singing background vocals, because those times made my most recent Live television appearance an exciting and happily anticipated time.

This past week I had the amazing opportunity to discuss Leon's Furniture's 90 page digital look book on Breakfast Television.

We wanted to share a tiny bit of the look book with their audience and decided the best spot in the house was on the roof top patio at BT where the set is full of lovely Leon's furniture.

With summer here in full force, we wanted to offer some tried and true tips and tricks on how to be a part of the summer parties the television audience might be hosting.

We all want to host fun parties and open our doors to our family and friends, but how on earth do we avoid getting stuck in the kitchen all day or hunting down the items our guests might need, or getting pegged as the bar tender??



Just like our look book suggests, on pages 14 and 15 on how to get your patio party ready, we decided to take our own advice and do so at Breakfast Television.

Here is a little behind the scenes action of the patio getting prepped for a party.

 In preparation for the show I prepped singular serving foods, a custom drink, made sure our set was weather proof with some essentials and decorated with flowers.

As a busy Mama, my party tips are tried and tested. They are always easy and are simple enough so the whole family can get involved!

Once the whole BT patio set was beautified it was time to meet with Frankie Flowers himself. I crossed my fingers the flower expert would approve of the way we were glamming up a grocery store bouquet and as expected he was just as authentic in real life as he seems on television.

(You can read in depth all of my other tips and tricks for decorating with fresh blooms over at Hello Sunshine: a guide to your bright and happy home.)

After a few minutes of setting up our party by putting into action my tips on how to be a part of the next party you're planning, it was time for our LIVE segment.

The knowledgeable BT staff were great to work with.

In a few minutes we were READY....



Here's some behind the scenes snaps you didn't get to see from the segment.

Party planning has always been my thing, so you can imagine who much fun it was to prep a party for television! It was such a fun opportunity to share my tried and true tips on how to prep a patio party and how to be a part of your next summer soiree!

 My supportive hubby and little sister came along for the early morning ride into the big city.
(They didn't even complain that their supportive duties included helping me take all of the party essentials from our home town of Guelph Ontario to Toronto and wayyyyyy up to the roof top patio.)


And of course social media guru and wind swept hair model Autumn Hatchey was there for guidance, support and a few good laughs.

I love that the Hello Yellow digital look book is filled cover to cover with inspiring but simple ways to make our homes bright and happy this summer.

In the end, don't we all just want to get back to the important things in life? Like connecting in authentic and awesome ways with our friends and family, opening our doors to our loved ones and making laidback lovely memories in our homes?

To check out all of summer party planning tips you can see them all in this 90 page digital look book.


In case you missed the LIVE Breakfast Television segment with myself, Bethany Gier and Frank Ferragine brought to you by Leon's Furniture, you can check out the link here:

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