12 Halloween DIY’s That Aren’t Totally Lame

12 Awesome Halloween DIY's

Halloween is sneaking up on us fairly quickly, which means I’m feeling that familiar pull to get my holiday craft on. And though there are a TON of Halloween DIY’s out there, I think we can all agree that the vast majority are, well, a little lame. So I’ve made it my mission to uncover some of the best of the best there is. From homemade costumes to tiny but adorable details, one thing’s for certain: Halloween is about to get a whole lot cuter around here. 

Click on each image to grab the details!

DIY cotton candy costume. Heart explosion. Beautiful DIY decoupaged pumpkins DIY gilded treat bowl DIY malachite pumpkins DIY pumpkin mugs DIY masked animals DIY pumpkin place card holder Free printable Halloween treat bags DIY calligraphy pumpkins DIY jack-o-lantern pops DIY felt masks DIY donut pumpkinsline

Black Pumpkins: Style Me Pretty Living | DIY Cotton Candy Costume: Style Me Pretty Living | DIY Decoupage Pumpkins: Poppytalk | DIY Halloween Glasses: Sugar and Cloth | Trick or Treat Basket: A Merry Thought | DIY Malachite Pumpkins: Design*Sponge | Masked Animals: The Merry Thought  | Gold Pumpkin Place Cards: Style Me Pretty Living | DIY Treat Bags: Coco & Mingo | DIY Calligraphy Pumpkins: Style Me Pretty Living | DIY Pumpkin Pie Pops: Freutcake | DIY Felt Masks: A Beautiful Mess | Donut Pumpkins: Studio DIY

CATEGORIES | DIY, Holidays
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DIY Halloween Treat Boxes

Sound the alarm! Start the music! We’re taking on monthly contributors around here and the excitement is virtually palpable. First up: my darling Jess of Coco and Mingo. Chances are you’ve already seen some of Jess’ work in the past as she’s guest posted for me on a few occasions. And my love for her? Well it runs deep. Since DIY projects and I don’t always jive, Jess is going to pick up where I lack with a monthly DIY post. Woot! So hold on tight, and let’s get our craft on… 

DIY Halloween treat boxes (a free printable!) | coco and mingo for Lark & Linen

Hello, Lark & Linen readers!

…and hello Fall! It’s my favorite season and contains one of my favorite holidays…Halloween! Besides the whole dressing up thing, I actually love handing candy out to the kiddos, or to friends! I usually decorate the treat bags, but this year I thought I’d give out Halloween treat boxes instead.

I created these printable treat boxes for you to put whatever you choose in – whether you’re the type who gives out loads of candy or even non-candy (i.e. stickers, floss, cute erasers), these printable boxes will hold it all. Simply click here to download and print them yourself! 

Enjoy and happy Halloween! xox, Coco and Mingo 

DIY Halloween treat boxes (a free printable!) | coco and mingo for Lark & Linen DIY Halloween treat boxes (a free printable!) | coco and mingo for Lark & Linen DIY Halloween treat boxes (a free printable!) | coco and mingo for Lark & Linen DIY Halloween treat boxes (a free printable!) | coco and mingo for Lark & Linen 
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Do you have a love for all things pretty? Are you interested in being a monthly Lark & Linen contributor? Feel free to e-mail info@larkandlinen.com with a few examples of your work! 

CATEGORIES | DIY, Holidays
COMMENTS (23)


Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

With Mother’s Day on the approach, I felt it only appropriate to take a quick minute to round up about a few little tokens made just for mom. Though, ultimately, I know that gifts aren’t what’s important, showering those we love with little treats here and there happens to place high atop my list of favourite things.  So without further ado, here are a handful of goodies I’m certain mom will love!

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ps – I still love last year’s Mother’s Day gift guide
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Rhodes Pillow: Nine Space | Striped Robe: Nine Space | 36 Hours Book: Amazon | Moroccan Canister: Project Bly | Thumbprint Necklace: Womily | Coffee: Indigo |White Wine: Colio | Instant Wine Chiller: Amazon | Wire Window Box: Terrain | Travel Throw: Terrain | Notecards: Sugar Paper

CATEGORIES | Gift Guide, Holidays
COMMENTS (15)


St. Patricks Day DIY’s That Aren’t Totally Lame

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I’m certain I’m not alone when I admit that I find the majority of St. Patrick’s day projects slightly lame. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love an excuse to gather with friends and enjoy a green beer (or a boozy shamrock shake), but the DIY’s that go along with it tend to feel more cheesy than chic. Clover this and leprechaun that – I could easily do without. But this year? This year I’ve made it my mission to unveil a handful of clever St. Patty’s day DIY’s that are anything but tacky. And if you ask me, I’d deem this mission a success!

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Shamrock Whoopie Pies: Style Me Pretty Living | St. Patricks Day Cereal Bars: Sugar and Cloth | Lucky Succulents: Snap Creativity | Lucky Treat Bags: Oh Happy Day | Shamrock Wreath: The House that Lars Built | Pot of Gold Printables: Oh So Pretty | Rainbow Cupcakes: Freutcake

CATEGORIES | DIY, Holidays
COMMENTS (14)


Shades of Pink

If you haven’t figured it out by now, pink is kind of my love language. I’m not talking baby-girl pink here, I’m referring to the sophisticated version you’d find gracing the pages of This is Glamorous and Bijou and Boheme. Shades of coral and blush; petal pink and the like. You know, the grown up kind! And in light of this pink-infused holiday, I’ve rounded up a few of my very favourite items – if for no other reason than it’s a serious dose of pretty. Happy, happy Valentine’s day my dears!shades-of-pink

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Flats: Tieks | Pants: J CrewLipstick: Tom Ford | Heels: Shop Bop | Lace Top: She Inside | Boots: Shop Bop | Blazer: She Inside | Wrapping paper: Waiting on Martha | Basket: Far and Wide Collective | Earrings: Far and Wide Collective | Napkins: Far and Wide Collective | Bathing suit: Anthropologie | Pillow: Anthropologie | Lingerie: Anthropologie | Pink Salt: Weddbook | Hand Lotion: Williams Sonoma

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ps- past Valentine’s day posts: DIY’s | Party | Cute Ideas

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CATEGORIES | Fashion & Beauty, Holidays, Round Up
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Valentine’s Day Ideas

Floral-Outfit

Though I’m a Valentine’s Day advocate, it’s one of those “holidays” that always tends to sneak up on me, leaving me scrambling at the last minute for cute meaningful gifts for my loved ones. But this year? Well this year I’ve done my research, I’ve come prepared, and I’m more inspired than ever. Whether you celebrate with your significant other, your very best friend or your family in it’s entirety, here are a few fun projects from around the web that are guaranteed to get you in the spirit. 

ps – If you click on the heart it will take you to the original post

Be-Mind-CupcakesFree-Valentine-PrintablesHeart-Shaped-Linzer-CookiesHeart-Shaped-Tea-BagsValentines-Day-Garlandheart-shaped-pillow-diy 

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Inspired Outfit from Could I Have That | Be Mine Cupcakes from Better Homes & Garden | Raspberry Linzer Cookies from Freutcake | DIY Heart-Shaped Tea from Coco/Mingo | Valentine’s Day Garland from Coco/Mingo | Heart Shaped Pillow DIY from Design Love Fest | Candied Valentine Printables from Oh So Pretty via Sugar & Cloth

CATEGORIES | DIY, Holidays
COMMENTS (9)


Happy Holidays!

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Before I take off for the holidays, I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for all your love and support. I don’t think you’ll ever have any idea how much you all mean to me! For those of you celebrating Christmas, I hope it’s everything you could ever wish for. And for those of you who are struggling this year, please know that you’re in my thoughts. 

I’m going to be taking off next week to snuggle all up on my family, and then I leave for two weeks to South Africa! Next week will be a little quite around here, but I’ve lined up some pretty epic guests posts while I’m travelling. I have a very good feeling you’ll want to stay tuned.

Happy, happy holidays and ALL of my love. 

xoxoxo, Jacquelyn

PS – in case you missed it, I guest posted over on Darling Magazine the other day. Head on over to read up on 5 ways to get into the holiday spirit (FOR FREE!) and you can enter to win a years subscription. I hiiiighly recommend that you do – the magazine is beyond fantastic.

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Photography: Paige Jones Photo for 100 Layer Cake

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Vacation
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Martha Stewart’s Holiday Entertaining Tips

There’s no question that this year has been a good one, but this next post absolutely, unequivocally is the bright red cherry on top of it all. My love for Martha Stewart? Well, it knows no bounds. She is aces in my book and having the opportunity to chat with her is one that I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined. If this is the only thing that ever comes of this here blog, I’ll consider it a success. Martha, the hostess with the mostess, is here today chatting all things Holiday entertaining tips and I truly could not be more excited!

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When it comes to the holidays, what’s your number one entertaining tip?
Martha Stewart: Make things easier on yourself and serve drinks from pitchers. Having cocktails premade ensures you won’t spend the whole party fixing drinks and you can instead devote your attention to your guests.

I feel like I’ve been invited to a holiday party every day from now until new years. Do you have any great hostess gift ideas that will go easy on my bank account?
Martha Stewart: I like to give things that I’ve made or that come from my farm – baskets of eggs, jars of homemade jam or honey. Baked goods, like the Cranberry-Orange-Walnut Tea Cakes from Martha Stewart’s Cakes make terrific hostess gifts around the holidays. Simply wrap them in pink glassine paper and tie with waxed twine and you have a great holiday treat.

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As an entertaining newbie, the thought can oftentimes feel like a daunting task. I’d love to pick your brain on how you entertain with minimal stress!
Martha Stewart: Good planning is very important – leave nothing to chance. Have all the ingredients, read the recipes, and read your list. Enlist help when entertaining for a large group. When things don’t go as planned, don’t announce it – it’s likely that no one even noticed it.

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Your favourite Christmas cookie recipe. And go!
Martha Stewart: Gingerbread men with Royal Icing. I’ve made these cookies to eat, to decorate, and to make a gingerbread house. They’re easy to roll out, the dough is so fragrant and spicy, and the cookie shapes stay true if they’re chilled after cutting and before baking.

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While I won’t be in charge of the turkey this year (phew!), I know there will be plenty first timers out there. Any fabulous foolproof recipes you care to share?
Martha Stewart: To ensure supermoist meat throughout, wrap your turkey in parchment to create a cozy steam packet. I plan to use a 35-pound, fresh turkey from the farm and give my grandchildren – Jude and Truman – their first bites of the bird.

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What’s your favourite holiday tradition?
Martha Stewart: Every year, I try to do an open house at some point during the Christmas season where friends drop in during a weekend afternoon. It’s a great way for me to bring my diverse group of friends together.

What do you most look forward to come Christmas morning?
Martha Stewart: Now with my two grandchildren – Jude and Truman – Christmas has become all about them. Everything is still so new for them. It’s such a wonderful time for family to gather and enjoy being together.

And lastly, if you had to create your perfect holiday menu, what would it include?
Martha Stewart: No holiday is complete without Croquembouche. The tower of cream puffs makes a seriously impressive and decadent dessert. Everyone always enjoys pulling it apart, piece by piece.

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Floral Arrangement: Sacramento Street | Stockings: La Petite Cuisine | Chocolate Souffle: Martha Stewart | House: Martha Stewart | 

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Parties & Entertaining
COMMENTS (31)


House Envy: A Pink Christmas

interior-elegant-pink-mirror

Though my love for the colour pink has been well documented over the years, there’s no denying that it’s one of those things that has to approached carefully as it can quickly turn from lovely into a little girls’ barbie dream (and, consequently, my nightmare). Had you of mentioned a pink Christmas prior to me actually seeing it, I would have probably turned my nose up at the idea. But this Christmassy home, complete with the hottest of hottest pinks I ever did see, is elegant and classy and all around amazing. 

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Found: Style at Home

CATEGORIES | Holidays, House Envy
COMMENTS (7)


House Envy: Christmas Magic

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As much as I love a lush, traditional, red and green Christmas, there’s something about a crisp white one that I always find appealing. A hint of garland, a bit of twinkle and a plate full of cookies are sometimes all you really need to really get in the spirit.  

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Found: Mokkasin

CATEGORIES | Holidays, House Envy, Interior Design
COMMENTS (9)


An Ode to Halloween

Ode-to-Halloween

Perhaps it’s the fact that I only procured my Halloween costume last night (in lieu of weeks ahead of time, per usual), but it’s taken me a little longer than normal to get in the festive spirit. With a friend’s annual Halloween party tonight, and more candy in my cupboards than deemed acceptable, I do think I’m finally ready to begin celebrating! And in case the rest of you are struggling to get in the spirit, here’s a mini ode to Halloween, to help ease you along.

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Shirt from Zara | Candlesticks from Terrain | Skull Wine Stopper from Waiting on Martha | Cake Plate from Waiting on Martha | Onyx Flatware from West Elm | Branch Candelabra from West Elm | Skull Placecard Holders from William Sonoma | Skull Tea Towels from William Sonoma | Pumpkin Candies from William Sonoma | Ghostly White Chardonary from Elk Creek | Black Lipstick from Asos | Cat Ear Ring from Asos | Fedora from Rag & Bone | Cat Headband from Crown and Glory

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Round Up
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A Guide to Fancy Pie Crusts

fancy-pie-crusts

I’m sure you’ve heard it from a million and one other bloggers already this week (we’re so informative, aren’t we?), but fall is officially here! And, I’m happy to admit, I’m finally ready to welcome it with open arms. It turns out that all it took was a few cool days and lots of warm tea to get me in the spirit.

I’ve been holding on to this amazing shoot we did last year with SMP Living for what feels like forever. I’ve been sitting on pins and needles waiting for the perfect time to share it and I’m thinking that today’s the day. Because, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no better way to ring in my favourite season than with a day filled with baking. And who needs traditional pie crusts when you can get creative? Not me. Not when we have THESE guys to chose from! I am now, more than ever, ready to get my bake on. 

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Herringbone Plaid Ruffled
For details & step by step guide, click here. 

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CATEGORIES | DIY, Holidays, Recipes
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Mother’s Day Brunch

1 2013_04_26_smp_mothersday_0165We recently put together a Mother’s Day backyard brunch over on Style Me Pretty Living and I simply couldn’t resist sharing it here too. Because, honestly, is it not the prettiest thing that you ever did see? Our resident event planner is seriously a styling genius – I am constantly blown away by all of the things she whips up in no time flat. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend my dears!

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CATEGORIES | Holidays, Parties & Entertaining
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Easter ideas

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cupcakes | cinnamon buns | place cards | tulips | egg cup | easter eggs

With Easter just around the corner I thought it’d be fun to round up some of my very favourite festive posts from around the web. How clever are these guys!? They make me embarassingly happy

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Round Up
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A Valentines Day Party

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You might have seen this party on Style Me Pretty at Home not long ago, but I just couldn’t help but share it here as well. As far as I’m concerned it’s just far too lovely to not have its fair share of time in the spotlight! Inspired by all things copper, pink, and white, our resident DIY’er and crafter extraordinaire threw together this fantastic Valentines day inspired party  (go Jess!). Whether you’re celebrating Valentines day this year with your man friend, girl friends, or very favourite aunt, this makes for the perfect fete for all involved. I don’t know about you, but just thinking about it makes me all shades of happy.

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Happy Holidays!

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I’m going to take a mini blog break over the holidays, but I’ll be back with lots more goodies next week! Before I go, I just wanted to take a moment to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and all the very best in the new year. If the holiday season happens to bring about heavy hearts for any of you, please know that you are in my thoughts this year.

ps: Thank you all for your wonderful words on my announcement last week. You sure do know how to make a girl feel special

With love,
Jacquelyn

CATEGORIES | Holidays
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inspiration: advent calendars

 

clothespined gifts | boxed treats | a decorated window pane
24 days of tea | shadow boxed ornaments
a burlap sack filled with surprises

With December around the corner I’ve got advent calendars on the brain. That’s right. I am twenty-seven years old and I still look forward to advents. Each year my parents gift* my brother and I with one and I sincerely hope they never stop, no matter our age. Whether in the form of a shadow-box ornament display, a sweet surprise, or simply painted on ones window theres no shortage of ways to creatively count down the days.

*This year my mom picked up the David’s Tea 24 days of tea advent calendar for us and it might explain my over-eagerness for December to finally arrive. 24 days of different holiday-inspired tea? Why I never! And as an aside? If you’re feeling gluttonous, you could grab the oversized heavenly Lindt one. The thing is almost as big as I am. It’s fantastic!

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Round Up
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inspiration: a black & white halloween


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Who ever said that Halloween needed to be tacky? Though fake spider webs and caution tape have their respective time and place, a simple black and white approach to the holiday is a surefire way to get it done in style. I’ve never really been a fan of orange anyway.

Happy Halloween you guys!

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Inspiration
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inspiration: Easter brunch.

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If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ll have noticed that I embrace holidays to the umpteenth degree. I don’t often struggle to find reasons to celebrate (Saturday mornings, for example, are totally celebration worthy), and I love any excuse to get together with loved ones over a meal. Easter brunch has always been one of my favourite activities (chocolate? family? it’s a no brainer!) and I can’t wait to enjoy it in full this weekend. If I had it my way, here’s how I’d decorate my table top for the occasion:

And just in case you need some inspiration, here are a few more ways to take your Easter brunch up to the next level:

{succulents & gold-dipped glasses}{shades of blue & green and a suspended wreath}{white on white with small bouquets of lily of the valley}

cutlery | plate | napkins | glasses
flowers | vases | burlap | table | chair

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CATEGORIES | Holidays
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celebrate: valentines day.


I am far from what you would call a Valentines day enthusiast, but I do appreciate any reason to do something special for those whom I love. While I don’t partake in lavish gifts and over-the-top celebrations, I like to recognize the event in little ways. Whether it’s for your significant other, your best friend or that neighbour who simply needs a pick-me-up, here are a few great ways to celebrate in a simple fashion. Besides, everyone could use some additional love now and again:

one:: heart-shaped egg in a hole
two:: paint edible hearts and messages on your dishes at brunch
three:: heart-shaped sugar cookies
four:: diy sugar cube hearts (for their morning coffee)
five:: cupid’s arrow red velvet cupcakes
six:: diy glitter cards

CATEGORIES | DIY, Holidays
COMMENTS (25)


all is calm, all is bright.


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I want to thank each and every one of you for the love, encouragement and support you’ve all shown me throughout the last year. It’s been a whirlwind and I feel so lucky to have gotten to know so many of you. I wish you all a very very merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and everything in between. I’ll be taking a few days off next week to curl up with my friends and family but I’ll be back in the new year with lots more to share.

Love and flannel pyjamas,
Jacquelyn

CATEGORIES | Holidays
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all wrapped up.

I’ve mentioned before that I love incorporating some additional effort while wrapping my Christmas gifts. It isn’t difficult to add a little extra touch to your gift and the results are always well worth it. Today I’ve rounded up a few inexpensive, simple things you could do to spice up your present in a pinch.

Consider:
1. Tying a cinnamon stick or two to your package. Not only will they look great, but they’ll smell festive too.
2. Using tree trimmings, misletoe or boxwood bits to add a little special something (here’s an example).
3. Using twine for an organic feel (take a peek at this pretty gift here).
4. Purchasing some japanese washi tape in lieu of scotch tape. Using it on simple wrapping paper makes a great statement.
5. Felt (or fabric) flower adornments (as seen here; also, here’s a tutorial for making your own)
6. Stringing together your own garland with found objects (bits of wood, dried leafs or berries) and wrapping it around your gift.
7. Using newspaper. Add a bright red bow and you get instant Christmas at little to no cost (so festive).
8. Using bakers twine to attach gift tags

and while we’re on the subject; here are a few gift tags I’m loving:
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Happy wrapping!

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Round Up
COMMENTS (23)


inspiration: a golden christmas.


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Funnily enough, as a child I thought the idea of gold anything was repulsive. It was only recently that I began embracing it in all its glamorous glory. Whether it’s in the form of twinkling lights, perfectly wrapped parcels* or oversize mirrors, this metallic hue always adds an instant hit of class. These days, I just can’t get enough.

*to date, my grandmother is the only one I know who still refers to any wrapped box as a parcel. I kind of love it and I’m secretly hoping it will catch back on.  Note: she also refers to pants as slacks and the couch as the chesterfield. I love grandparents. 

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Inspiration
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diy: sparkly gift tags.

Considering the notion of a well plated dish tasting better than one that was just haphazardly thrown together, I believe the same is to be true for the presentation of ones Christmas gift. The packaging surrounding it always seems to make the contents that much more appealing (obviously there are exceptions: hi aunt Betty and your hand knitted kitten sweater! I’m not sure a pretty package could save this one.) With that in mind, each year I try to take that bit of extra time to assemble my gifts. While not all of my ideas end up being well thought out*, I am pleased with how my gift tags fared this year. They’re simple, inexpensive and add a little bit of sparkle to the organic vibe of my wrapping.

*One year I wrapped all of my gifts in tinfoil thinking they would look sparkly and glamorous. They didn’t. People still bring it up. 

here’s what you’ll need:
a scrap piece of cardboard
a sharp exacto knife
blank gift tags
spray adhesive
colourful glitter

and here’s what you’ll do:

step 1: cut desired shape out of cardboard using a sharp exacto knifestep 2: place your template overtop your gift tag
and spray a thin, even coat of spray adhesivestep 3: sprinkle glitterstep 4: brush away excess glitter. Yes, it’s that simple!

CATEGORIES | DIY, Holidays
COMMENTS (21)


house envy: white christmas.


found here 

This year I seem to be drawn to the less is more approach to Christmas decor. This may be a result of over-doing it at Christmas in years previous, I won’t lie. Nevertheless, a hint of green garland, some candles to set the mood and a little bit of sparkle here and there (you must never forget the sparkle), and you’re set for a beautifully simple holiday.

CATEGORIES | Holidays, House Envy, Interior Design
COMMENTS (10)


friday round-up.

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A few festive goodies from around the web
that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit:

::The prettiest homemade wreath
::The most wonderful garland selection
::A luxurious advent calendar
::Alternatively, you could make your own using this DIY
::This would make wrapping gifts infinitely more fun
::Make sure to follow Leah’s five weeks worth of holiday cookies 
(she’s already posted some goodies)
::Head over here to help Lauren and her great cause
::Looking for some creative gift ideas?
What about this bacon of the month club.
::Also fun: a coffee of the month subscription
::A lovely “joy to the world” free printable
::The cutest Christmas brownies - complete with Santa hats
::Some gingerbread snowflakes
::And so. many. gift. guides!!

Happy weekend lovelies!

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Round Up
COMMENTS (6)


inspiration: tiny trees.

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There’s no denying my love for all things Christmas. When you combine a great idea with my very favourite holiday it’s like my mind explodes. Whether you’re an apartment dweller and don’t have room for a full sized tree, or you’re just looking for an excuse to utilize those extra Christmas tree bits (you know the ones), here’s a great solution. These teeny Christmas trees are the perfect example of a little bit of festive decor that goes a very long way.

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Inspiration, Interior Design
COMMENTS (17)


house envy: winter white.

found here 

While Anna’s home isn’t decorated for Christmas in the traditional fashion, there’s something about the low-key festive vibe that I’m really into. The mixture of whites and deep greens are immediately appealing, classic and tasteful. With the addition of white twinkly lights, this would classify as my kind of Christmas.

CATEGORIES | Holidays, House Envy, Interior Design
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my grown up christmas list.

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When I was little, I knew Christmas was around the corner when the Sears Wishbook arrived in the mail. The extra-large catalogue would show up on our doorstep chalk full of all the toys a small child could dream of. After fighting over it with my little brother (and obviously winning. superior being and all ) I would excitedly go through it, diligently cutting out every item I hoped to find under the tree come Christmas morning.

I like to think that my taste has been somewhat refined since the era of popples, play-doh hair salons and newborn nancy dolls. While I no longer tear through a sears catalogue around this time, I do manage to get excited for the anticipation of what’s to come and couldn’t help but paste together a collection of items that are on my radar this year.

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Round Up
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keeping cosy.

one | two | three

While the majority of you are off eating your weight in turkey and stuffing, I will be stuck at work (pity party, right here!) It’s in an around this time that I wish that Canada celebrated Thanksgiving a little later in the year (if only because I am totally craving said turkey). Instead of cuddling up with family and friends wearing stretchy waistbands and drinking spiced cider, I’ll be daydreaming about all things comfy cozy the likes of what you see above. Even if it only makes me feel a little better. Happy Thanksgiving to my wonderful American friends! Oh and here are some suggestions, just in case.

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Interior Design
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inspiration: halloween decor.


found 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 

Whoever said that Halloween decor needed to be tacky? Stray away from the go-to black and orange  palette and opt for a touch of gold instead. Some black feathers, a few white pumpkins and a hint of moss? Instant glamour and a lot of class!

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Inspiration
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thanksgiving 101.

.
a few suggestions to help you celebrate this thanksgiving weekend appropriately:napkin | plate | cutlery | salt and pepper shakers | wine | mug | scarf | candle | boot | throw | socks 

While I know it’s only us Canadians who are celebrating this weekend, there’s no reason that these simple guidelines can’t apply to those of you who are not. Kick back, relax, wear a pair of cozy knit socks and have a most wonderful fall weekend. And happy thanksgiving to my lovely Canadian friends!

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Round Up
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india part IV: udaipur.

{the view from our hostel rooftop}{taken on our boat cruise}
{i’m thinking this may not need a caption}{bats + sunsets. quite amazing, actually!}{the city palace, and a happy man!}{the city palace}{views from the monsoon palace}

The final leg of our trip took us to Udaipur, considered to be the most romantic spot in India. Surrounded by lakes, portions of it reminded me very much of Venice. It was shockingly beautiful (quite the dramatic change from the desert town of Jaisalmer and the big city of Jodhpur/Delhi).

We had dedicated this portion of our trip to relax and rejuvenate before I had to head back home. With many palaces, both on land and on the water (literally. in the middle of it), it made for the perfect backdrop to enjoy long dinners right on the lake. One evening, we sat and watched the sunset underneath a tree filled with bats (we realized this after we had sat down). As the sun set behind the mountains, hundred and hundreds of oversized bats began to emerge. It was eerie and beautiful at the same time. The perfect place to end an incredible journey.

(See Part IPart II & Part III)

I’m headed up to the cottage for the long weekend, but I’m hoping to post the rest of my pictures on my Facebook page. If I don’t get them up before I leave, they will definitely be up on monday. (click here to like lark + linen on Facebook and to be notified when the pictures do make their way up!)

Have a wonderful weekend lovelies, and thank you for letting me share my Indian experience with all of you! I’m humbled by all of your incredible comments. You guys are seriously awesome.  

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Vacation
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india part III: jodhpur & ranakpur.

{piles of the most incredible fabric}{the mehrangarh fort}{the blue city}{the market}{the clock tower}
{ranakpur’s jain temple}

Next up on our whirlwind tour of India was Jodhpur, the blue city. We barely had a full day to see it, so we made the most of it that we could.

On our way to visit the Mehrangarh fort, we stopped in at what we thought was a small antique store. We quickly realized that we had stumbled upon a gold mine. Eight stories of the most lust-worthy fabrics, shawls, scarves and blankets that you’ve ever seen. (It turned out that we had found the manufacturer for many of Luis Vuitton and Hermes’ products – of course my aunt would find such a place. She has a nose for these things). Much to my cousins dismay, us girls spent far too much time selecting the items that needed to make their way into our homes. I ended up purchasing a handful of pashminas and an incredible hand embroidered bedspread that would surely cost an arm and a leg had it been purchased here (note: it was $50. I feel guilty for paying so little).

After touring the (quite spectacular) fort (which still had many dents in the stone walls from where canons had tried to penetrate years ago), we rented a car and hired a driver to take us to Ranakpur. Hiring a driver sounds so fancy, but really, it’s the norm in India and it’s actually extremely cost-effective (like $40 between 4 people for a six-hour drive kinda cost-effective). Never in my life would I ever attempt to navigate through the traffic and intensity of driving in India. The drives themselves almost deserve their own post!

Initially we had intended on heading straight from Jodhpur to Udaipur, but after talking to a handful of locals, we were convinced we had to stop halfway to see a Jain temple in Ranakpur, a sight unbeknownst to many. While the Taj Mahal was overwhelming and did every bit of justice to the hype surrounding it, I truly believe it’s safe to say that it didn’t hold a candle to this temple. Imagine 1,444 two to three story white marble columns holding up turrets and domes and the like for as far as the eye can see. Each and every column intricately carved with the tiniest little detail, and each being drastically different from the next. Every visible remaining surface equally beautiful, equally intricate and meticulously carved. I feel confident when I say that I don’t think that I will ever again see another man-made item quite as incredible as this one. I have far too many pictures of it, but none of them do it even the smallest bit of justice. I’m so pleased that we made that detour.

(See Part IPart II & Part IV)

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Vacation
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india part II: jaisalmer.

{colourful details lining the streets of jaisalmer}{deserted streets – save for a lone cow, naturally}{an efficient way to carry ones parcel (the beginning of some impressive balancing acts we witnessed)}{views of the city from the jaisalmer fort}{rows of turbans just dying to be photographed}{my camel, daniel (I couldn’t have come up with a more suitable name)}

{trekking through the thar desert}

The second leg of our trip took us south to Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. We stayed in a $10 a night hostel that was easily nicer than most hotels I’ve visited in Canada. I shared a room with my aunt and we lucked out by being placed in a room with thick stone walls, hot pink silk curtains and bright cotton bed spreads.

After touring the Jaisalmer fort and palace (at 850 years old, it’s the oldest fort in the world that still has inhabitants living within its walls), scoping our many a pashmina and spending an evening sitting atop our hostel roof with the owner, eating and drinking some of his personal specialties under the stars, I didn’t think the trip could get much better.

Our second day in Jaisalmer brought about a camel trek that we had previously arranged. We were driven into the centre of the Thar desert to meet our trek leaders and our respective camels. Mine was named Daniel and he was quite handsome, if you can’t tell.

After a three hour camel ride further into the desert, we stopped to set up camp on top of the dunes. While we watched the sun set over the sand, our trek leaders began to cook our meal over a small fire, and proceeded to bring us cups of hot, homemade chai while we relaxed (and maybe played in the sand… a little).

Next, we feasted on an incredible meal of dal, rice and homemade chapatis (did I mention all of this was done over the fire?!), we hung out telling stories before retreating to cots that had been set up for us under the wide open sky. We drifted off to sleep after watching countless shooting stars, and it was easily one of the best nights of my entire life.

(See Part IPart III & Part IV)

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Vacation
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love. love. love.

found via unknown, white cabana, simply breakfast, unknown, aged and gilded, emma dime

Happy Valentines Day my loves! Whether you’re single, taken, or somewhere in between (limbo, shall we call it?), todays a day to hold the ones you love extra close. Your boyfriend, your husband, your dog, your mother… Give em all a big sloppy kiss. While this “holiday” has a lot of controversy surrounding it, I personally could never turn down any excuse for a good quality love sesh. I love you guys and if I could give each and every one of you your own personal Valentine you bet that I would. But since this is not physically possible, please allow me to give you virtual hugs and kisses instead.

xoxo
Jacquelyn

ps. scenes from my weekend will be up tomorrow! I didn’t forget, I’m just busy cuddling all of the people in my life (watch out: you may be next).

CATEGORIES | Holidays
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scenes from my holidays.

images via lark + linen

The holidays were perfectly imperfect. I accomplished almost nothing that I originally intended on doing and instead spent more time than I’d care to admit lounging in my pj’s until inappropriate hours.

Christmas was amazing. Busy, as can be expected, but filled with family, friends, laughter and intense games of catch phrase. On Christmas morning I opened up a Nikon D90 DSLR camera and immediately burst into tears. My dad followed suit (he’s such a suck sometimes). I feel so lucky.

New years was spent in a sparkly dress with my dapper newly-bearded boyfriend and a handful of great friends at Pravda, a vodka bar downtown Toronto. With flame throwers, ice sculptures, burlesque dancers and unlimited quantities of champagne, it too was pretty incredible.  

The rest of the week was equally split between watching movies in my sweatpants and meeting girlfriends for brunch. Morning Glory, my favourite brunch spot in the city, always promises to offer coffee or tea in vintage pyrex mugs, the ones you’d surely find in your grandmother’s cupboard.

While I was originally a little disappointed that I didn’t fully take advantage of my week off, I truly believe it’s what my body was craving, and let’s be honest, it was a little awesome. I’m happy, I’m rested and I’m ready to face 2011 in full force!

CATEGORIES | Holidays
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resolutions + such.

found via 1st dibs

While I’m still technically on vacation, I couldn’t resist stopping by to wish you, my lovely readers, a happy New Years. I am so thankful for all the support you have given me in the past nine months. You guys truly keep me going each day. So take a sip of champagne (on me!).

The past few days I’ve noticed an interesting turn on new years resolutions. A lot of bloggers are stating the things that they’ve done in 2010 that they want to keep about themselves in 2011. What a lovely thought! While none of us are perfect, I truly believe that we all try to do the best that we know how to. I’m going to embrace this positive spin on the idea of resolutions and share my list of my abilities that I’m proud of; the things that I want to keep within myself for the upcoming year.

. Keep building my blog and inspiring people each and every day (whilst being inspired by them in the same breath)

. Keep growing my business in china and taking on new clients

. Keep my ability to find the positive in any given situation

. Keep on facing my fears, taking chances, working my little butt off and having faith that it will all be worth it in the end

. Keep recycling! I’m getting really good at it

. Keep saving money, while splurging a little here and there (celebrating life is necessary)

. Keep trusting my instincts and following my gut. It knows what’s up.

. Keep my passion for life, keep making the most of it and keep appreciating each and every day I’m given.

. Keep appreciating my friends and family. They are the priority in life and so far I’ve done a great job at not taking them for granted.

What are some things you did in 2010 that you’d like to keep on doing for this upcoming year? I’d love to know.

Happy New years sunshines. I’ll see you back here on Tuesday!

CATEGORIES | Holidays
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free stuff!

Well, I’ve done it! The presents are wrapped and under the tree. I spent three consecutive hours wrapping 22 gifts with only one ice cream break. That alone deserves more ice cream, methinks. I’ve mentioned before that gift tags are important (here) but gift wrap is a whole new ball game. A few years ago I set the standard for wrapping my presents (I like my things pretty). Over the years, I’ve used homemade paper, craft paper and tin foil (yes, tinfoil) and people have begun to expect something fancy from me when they receive my gift. In fact, I’ve already gotten messages wondering what household item I’ll be using this year (tin foil was a bust btw). Well, this year I’ve gone au naturel with real wrapping paper (and leftover craft paper from years past)! I purchased stripped paper covered in cutout snowflakes (at Canadian tire no less), wrapped brown paper packages and tied em with string (um. twine. Thick, fuzzy, serious twine) and used homemade gift tags. I’m so very pleased with how they turned out. And because I love you guys, you can go here to download my gift tags for your own personal use. Simply print them out on some heavy letter paper, cut along the grey line, and tada! All done. Happy wrapping loves.

CATEGORIES | Holidays
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country cozy.

found via Country Living

Generally, a place like this wouldn’t hold my attention for long. It’s cute. It’s cozy. It’s very, very country… But at this moment? Things are a little different. There’s nothing that sounds more appealing to me than packing up and getting away for a few days with just my family and a few close friends. On Christmas eve we’d toboggan and snow shoe while the turkey cooks in the oven and steams up the windows. On Christmas day, it would snow. Big fat snowflakes. We would sit in our pyjamas with cups of hot coco as we open our stockings. We would take multiple naps and drink champagne in the afternoon. All afternoon. Right now, this country cottage in the middle of nowhere, with its too small dining table for us to crowd around, grandma observing from the rocking chair, it’s looking pretty great.

CATEGORIES | Art & Design, Holidays, Interior Design
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inspiration: non-traditional christmas trees.

found via a merry mishap, wood wool stool, style files, fffound, emmas design blog & simply grove

Sometimes a non-traditional Christmas tree is more satisfying than a real one. Only sometimes though.

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Inspiration
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hey, it’s Christmas!


Guys, here’s an online Christmas CD that you can listen to all the live-long day while you’re pecking away at work. Your co-workers will LOVE you. I know mine do.

But for real, the songs are surprisingly refreshing. At this point in the month I find that many of us are getting sick of hearing the same ol’ songs over and over. These will take a little longer to play themselves out, I feel. Click here and enjoy!

ps. In case you need more, our friend Jason over here has put together his own Christmas playlist that you can easily download. (Thanks Christine for pointing me in his direction!)

CATEGORIES | Holidays
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gift guide: hey big spender!

And I present to you my final holiday gift guide! I hope this helped relieve a bit of stress that often finds its way in between the cups of hot chocolate and heavy family dinners we get to enjoy throughout the month. Happy gift hunting, and keep checking back! There will be plenty more holiday spirit where this came from.

update: I’ve been informed that some of the links were not working. I believe I’ve fixed the problem, but if it persists please let me know!

for him
1 teak dining room table $2,669
2 m0851 worn leather duffel bag $480
3 sleek & sexy tabletop fireplace $749 
4 spice rack $190
5 watch price unknown
6 wassily chair $2,020
7 harlequin yasmine lamp $222

for her
1 Michael Kors Hamilton Tote $298
2 crystal serving trays $325
3 pouffe $115
4 teapot $114
5 branch bracelet $168
6 horn jet set watch $195
7 eames molded plastic chair with rocker base $479

for theirs
1 pendant light fixture $220
2 eames coat rack $190
3 kid’s chair $415
4 tree coat rack $110
5 coco baby chair $200
6 dresser/change table $999
7 eames plastic elephants $340

CATEGORIES | Holidays
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gift guide: less than $30.

When I was younger, my favourite time of the year was when the Sears Wish Book came in the mail. I would tear through that thing in an instant, diligently cutting out all the toys I wished to see under the tree on Christmas morning. I would then take my little cutouts and glue them onto pages and pages of green and red construction paper (I was so festive). As I got older, I began to add a little legend, with stars next to each item, denoting how badly I wanted said toy. * obviously meant, it would be cool if this was my gift, and ******* meant I would run away from home if this wasn’t under the tree (you’re welcome mom). While I feel I’m a little old for Christmas lists such as those, I just couldn’t help doing something this year. So to celebrate the kick off to the holiday season, I present to you my three days of holiday gift guides!

for him:
1 lightswitch coverplate $8
2 rock ice cubes $19
3 the book of awesome $28.50
4 black playing cards $29
5 hedgehog bottle opener $18
6 queue metal lighter $30
7 cashmere scarf $25

for her:
1 tie tea mug (note, you wrap your tea bag around the little cutouts. so nifty!) $25
2 linen napkins $18
3 wooden nesting bowls $23
4 cashmere hand warmers $15
5 mistletoe candle $25
6 damn heels (fold up ballet flats that fit into your clutch for when you can no longer bear your heels) $20
7 ikat bowls $14

for theirs:
1 mobile $27
2 ducks $14
baby teeth box (for the tooth fairy) $14
4 wooden beaded toy $12
5 sophie the giraffe $22
6 wooden toy $30
7 wood bake set $22

CATEGORIES | Holidays
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rue number two.

images found via Rue Mag

If you have yet to be informed, Rue’s second issue was launched yesterday morning! I spent far too much time than I’d care to admit perusing through it last night. These girls are seriously talented.

Above are a few of my favourite shots from this months issue. If it isn’t obvious, I had a hard time narrowing it down; so please mind the bombardment of pictures. If you feel so inclined, take a look for yourself here. Oh, and if any of you know who sings this song, please let me know. And, because free things are awesome, head here for some of your own!

CATEGORIES | Art & Design, Holidays, Interior Design
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a cabin retreat.

found via Emmas Design Blogg via Skona Hem 

The perfect place to spend the holidays, in my opinion. I wouldn’t mind curling up with a good book amongst any or all of those furry throws. I’m also picturing family, friends, a day of snow shoeing followed by sweat pants (apparently you can get cashmere sweats if you want to be fancy-like), and bottomless glasses of champagne. With that owl throw pillow, I could surely get my dad on board.

CATEGORIES | Holidays, Interior Design
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gifted.

found via Creature Comforts via Gifted

I know that many of you are severely opposed to the mention of Christmas this early in the game. “It’s only the beginning of November!” you say. So let me begin this post by apologizing. There. I’m Sorry.

Remember when I told you (just the other day) that Halloween was my favourite holiday (this post here)? Yeah. I lied. Sorry, again. Christmas is my bff. If I could become one of Santa’s little elves, trust me, I would. It’s the most wonderful, glorious, joy-filled holidays of the year! Plus, if you’re anything like me, you can make the spirit last for two whole months.

Last year at this exact moment, I was studying for my LEED exam until just a few days before Christmas (totally passed, by the by). As a result, I had my nose buried in books instead of whip cream laden hot chocolate and gingerbread dough. So as you can see, I need to make up for it double this year. I promise I will do my best to keep the Christmas posts to a minimum, at least until December (after that it’s fair game). But for now, I just need to get this out of my system. And as a thank you for letting me burst in Christmas tingle, I will share with you an online magazine that I stumbled upon that gives you a number of great, unique gift ideas. Not only that, but the photography is fantastic, there are over 25 free printable giveaways (gift tags and such) and all sorts of links to help you, too, get in the festive spirit. So head on over to visit Gifted magazine, so kindly brought to us by Creature Comforts blog.

Phew. Thanks guys. Now back to our regularly scheduled programing (ahem, until December).

ps. as of this morning, I’m in first place by just a smidgen for the Design Refuge challenge! Please take a moment and vote here, if you feel so inclined. You may want to check out the other blogs too, because there’s some good stuff going on over there!

This is so very exciting. It’s almost as exciting as when I got a ribbon for my kindernastics dance routine to the Hippy Hippy Shake when I was four years old. (note: everyone got a ribbon). You better believe I still remember that routine.

CATEGORIES | Holidays
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