Category Archives: monthly highlights reel

the highlights reel: may 2013

31st May 2013

Happy last day of May! As usual around here, I like to do a round-up of what has been going on on the blog for the last 31 days.

The big project that got under way this month was our nursery room makeover. We’re taking the former office-come-guest-bedroom and turning it into our nursery-with-a-small-office-space.

We bought and put together a new IKEA desk,painted the closet pink and built some custom shelves


re-did a used dresser

dresser - collage

…and installed some removable wallpaper from Chasing Paper.


I also did a roundup of some fun DIY artwork ideas geared toward nursery decorating. I’ve got a few art projects started as of last night, so details in the next week or so on how they turn out!


There are lots of things left on the nursery to-do list, but we’re definitely chipping away at them. Not only is artwork underway, but I have broken out the iron-on hem tape for a “sewing” project, have started some spray painting (yay for spray painting weather again!), and we have put together the crib. Details next week!

I also shared our “before baby” to-do list this past month. Who knows how much of this we will actually accomplish before Baby Sprout makes her appearance, but it would be nice to cross a few things off.


I did get around to a non-nursery DIY project in May, which was to finally paint out the floor transition to our bathroom. Why oh why did this take me over a year to do? Who has two thumbs and is a procrastinator? This gal.


And as always, a few “inspiration” round-ups for eye candy. This mint+pink+gold colour scheme one


… and this one on interior sliding barn doors (love, love, love).


I can’t even believe it’s almost June! I’m so ready for summer, so it’s totally welcome. Oh, and also happening this month around here? A lot of belly-growing. Our little gal is around 3 pounds now (the weight of a large cabbage, apparently). She is kicking a fair bit – mostly at night and when I’m relaxing. It’s so fun to watch my belly pop out in different directions as she dances around in there. I’m still feeing good – a little less energy now that I’m into my third trimester and some pain in my low back (which I’ve had since the beginning – so nothing new), but otherwise no complaints! I’m still happily doing yoga, aquafit, and lots of walking. Here’s a snapshot from the other day at my 30 week mark.

week 30

What about you guys? Did you have a good May? Do any travelling? Get any projects checked off your list? Are you gearing up for summer? 

the highlights reel: april 2013

2nd May 2013

I don’t know about you, but April has somehow flown right by. I’m not altogether disappointed though, as we had a suuuuper long winter here in Ontario and now it’s finally beautifully warm, with lots of sunshine and chirping birds. Happiness.

I feel like I didn’t get much done around here in April. The “to-do” list is still about the same as it was in March. Just the ebb and flow of a DIYer I guess (plus our vacation this past month snuck in there!).

Well, here are the highlights.

I did a roundup of some of my fave free printables, so if you’re looking for new artwork, make sure you check out the post.


available here

I hit up the Ottawa Antiques Show with a couple of gal pals and brought home a few blue mason jars and vintage postcards.


I gave a baby bump watch update (up to week 22) and the scoop on how I edit those pics, so you can create a similar type of collage or photo project.
pregnancy collage - weeks 13 to 20

The summary of our blogiversary survey went up. Thanks to all of you who filled it out – it really helps me get to know you guys and make sure I keep doing more of what you’re digging!


Then we took off for a week for our NYC babymoon. OOooh it was so lovely! We basically ate and strolled our way through the city. Click here for the full recap of our little holiday.


And then I capped the month off earlier this week with a quick and easy housewarming gift idea.

DSC_0586 (2)

And that’s it! A pretty sparse month over here on the sweetest digs. Now that we’re ramping up the nursery and a few other projects, there will be plenty of DIY goodies for May – promise!

Despite the slow DIY month, I actually had a pretty busy month with my little etsy shop, and have added a few new chalkboard and other customizable prints. Head on over there to check out what’s new!

chalkboard print collage

PicMonkey Collage

Do you guys have any projects on your to-do list to get done before summer hits? I know I’m trying to get a lot of the indoor stuff out of the way, as I hate being stuck inside in the summer! 



the highlights reel: march 2013

2nd April 2013

April already!!!! Can you guys believe that? Time is whizzing by – though I’m quite happy to get closer to Spring/Summer. I am ready to say goodbye to chilly days and this last bit of snow that seems to be sticking around (I don’t know about you – but winter is lasting FOREVER in this neck of the woods this year).

Time for a little March recap of the blog.

We started out crafty, making this music sheet bunting for the wed by hand trade show.


Finally finished up our basement project – check out the after of project basement organization here.



I made the switch to velvet hangers – it’s a few weeks in and I’m still love, love, loving it.


Gave you guys some instructions on how we DIY’ed our digital photostrip pregnancy announcement.

baby announcement

Found out that our little Baby Sprout is a girl and revealed it to our family with a pink cake.

baby sprout is a girl (small)

More deets on how I made the cake here.


Got crafty for the holidays and whipped up an easter egg garland out of paint chips.

easter egg- edited

And lastly, you got to know a little bit more about me as we celebrated the 3-year blogiversary here on the sweetest digs!

3rd blogiversary

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend! Ours was super. My birthday fell on Easter Sunday this year (happens every so often!), so it meant an extra long birthday weekend and lots of chocolate to boot. The hubby and I went and stayed at a swanky Ottawa hotel for a night (we had a gift certificate so it was free!), went out for a yummy dinner and delicious brunch the next morning, and just had an all around lovely day. Then a big Eater egg hunt was on over at my parents place for my nieces and nephews – such a joy to watch the kiddos get so excited as they try to solve the clues and find their eggs.


How about you guys? Did you have a nice Easter weekend? Feeling a little bit ill today from food overload? I know I am.. this belly I have this morning ain’t all pregnancy, that’s for sure! Haha.

the january + february highlights reel

6th March 2013

Apparently I totally forgot to do a January round-up of my fave posts from that month… way to start off the year, Gemma. Can I blame pregnancy brain?

Anyway, here is a slightly beefy post with the highlights from both January and February.

I finally got around to tackling the other side of the hallway with Ribba frames. Still need to patch and paint the ceiling, and I owe you another post about that light fixture. I’ll get to it, promise.


We finished up the first phase of our side entrance spruce-up project — check out the before, the painting, the artwork, and lastly, the lighting. Still to do in this space? Fixing up the stairs (I’m thinking paint + new runner?), staining the rail darker or painting it, and touching up the white paint on the walls.


I up’d the pretty factor of our few house plants. I don’t have the best green thumb, but these guys have been staying alive and look all kinds of sweet in their new planters.

plants 3

I whipped up a few more buntings in February, like this no-sew fabric guy and this sweet little paper one. Can’t. Stop. Making. Buntings.


We did a little apartment crashing in Emily’s super stylish Vancouver pad.


We (and by ‘we’, I should really say my two gal pals Alana and Marianne) made some seriously darling terrariums.

terrarium 8

And in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been all about organization here since the new year.

I turned this previously unused space into my own little spot for my fabric stash

…and we have started tackling our biggest storage problem area – the basement nook. Here is the beforeclearing things out and painting, installing the algot system, and starting to organize. Stay tuned to see how this area turns out!


The new year has also been full of announcements! I shared my new business venture, Pieces of Love – a vintage and decor rentals business- with you guys (thanks for all of the supportive comments!)…

wedding collage 1

.. and also our most exciting little piece of news, baby sprout (due on August 6th)!!


Besides weekends away to the adirondacks (upstate New York) and around Ontario (Kingston, Merrickville, etc), I also got to do a little girls trip to Vancouver, to hang with my lovely gal pals who I hadn’t seen in a long while. There were all kinds of celebrations (birthdays, baby, engagement, oh my!). So much fun.


All in all, a pretty busy couple of months and a fabulous way to start off the year!

What about you guys? Getting off on the right foot this year? Gone on any trips or planning any? Tackled any of your new year resolutions?


the november highlights reel

3rd December 2012

Somehow November has come and gone (seriously, I feel like I can’t even remember the last 4 weeks?!) but you know what that means? December is here. Holla! This is definitely one of my favourite months of the year – sparkly decoration overload is the norm, cookies seem to make an appearance at every meal, and so much fun time spent with family and friends. It doesn’t get much better. Beware grinches, I’m a full on holiday lovaah (I cozied up on the couch and watched Serendipity this weekend… man I love that cheesy movie. Anyone else with me?).

Before moving on to all of that though, let’s do a quick recap of november, 2012 styles.

Apparently I had a serious love affair with mason jars (more than usual, I guess?). I’m not sure which of these projects I am more smitten over: the faux snow globes or soap dispenser. It’s a tie.



Coziest moment of the month? This round-up of wintery/holiday interiors from Pinterest. I’m still drooling over that knit blanket and white pendant.

The most fun project this month? Going to my hairdresser and saying goodbye to my blond hair. I’m not promising that the blond won’t make a repeat appearance down the road, but for now I’m loving my new auburn tresses. I’m all mysterious and stuff. Ha.

Hands-down the sweetest shop I have been to in a while was Bluboho in Oakville, Ontario. I was totally snap happy, checking out every corner of their little store and all of their gorgeous jewellery. And the good news? They are doing a trunk show here in Ottawa on Dec 6th at Pure Yoga (in Westboro)!! I’ll definitely be going (check them out on facebook here).

Most giddy moment of the month? Meeting Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love (check out where they wrote about their Toronto visit – including a pic of me, yikes!! – here). The book signing in Toronto was tons of fun – lots of other sweet YHL readers there and pretty West Elm goodies to drool over. Oh and for those who had asked after it, I now have a print similar to the worm watercolour I did for Clara up in my etsy shop here.

Despite all of the black friday and cyber monday deals, the best buy for me this month were definitely my replica eames eiffel chairs from HomeSav. And spoiler alert – they may or may not have arrived this past weekend!!! Squeeaaaal!! Pics to come this week. Promise. (If you haven’t already, I recommend signing up for HomeSav so that you get their emails with their daily deals).

 And that’s it folks! November all wrapped up and time to get in the full holiday swing. Cue the carols.

What about you guys? How was your November? Super busy? Do any particularly fun? Tackle a new project? Go on any trips? 

the october highlights reel

2nd November 2012

October has flown by. I think that maybe I always feel that way, but seriously, where has fall gone? We have been super busy lately and I have to admit, I’m sort of looking forward to hunkering in for some cozy cold-weather nights at home, not rushing around. I’m sure once the snow is here I will be dreaming of warmer weather again, but for now it’s nice to look forward to the winter.

Let’s look back at October on the blog.

Best free project? This yarn light fixture I grabbed in the ‘free’ box at a yard sale then stripped, sprayed, and hung. The not so great thing? We still haven’t actually fixed it (broken wiring) and so we have a very dark hall. Whoops. Need to get to that one in November.

Then we got ourselves organizing for ‘organization week’ on the blog. Tackling my makeup drawers, pantry, and dusty magazines piles was a total win. Having the house organized = a happier and more chill me, which also = a happier hubby. Ha!

We got our butts outside and did a few projects that had been niggling us for months: installing shutters and a roof repair. Both were DIY, didn’t break the bank, and totally amped up our curb appeal.

We decorated for halloween with a couple of dollar store finds and stuff from outside/around the house. I stashed the skull and ravens away last night, which has me itching to do up another ‘tablescape’. I’ll keep you posted.

And last but definitely not least? Probably my best DIY project ever. Building my own harvest/farmhouse table with my Dad. I’m still petting and cooing over it every time I go into the dining room. So. In. Love. See how we built it, finished it, and styled it.

Are you guys finding yourselves as busy as we are? Ever since we moved back to Ottawa (in the summer of 2011, after living in London, England for a year) we have progressively gotten ourselves more and more busy. For example? I work a 9-5 job in public health, have taken on the role of Webmaster for an organization (and have just launched a brand new site for them), write this blog, run my little etsy shop, volunteer for 2 organizations, and have a new business venture in the works. Phew! I love being busy and I’m not complaining, but it’s definitely nice to slow down every now and again. I have carved out a few weekends this month to do just that.

What about you guys? Knocked any projects off the list in October? Finding yourself busier than ever? Have anything exciting planned for the weekend? Do tell.

the september highlights reel

3rd October 2012

Now that I have been blogging for 2+ years and have a bevy of DIY projects, house tweaks, and other events documented here, I thought it was time to start doing the monthly recap. Lots of other bloggers do this as a way to summarize the highlights from that month. It definitely makes it easier to go back into the archives, especially if you’re new to a blog.

So without further ado, the September highlights reel.

The first DIY project of the month: painted sliding closet doors. The two-tone colour scheme with the right placement of tape totally makes them look like they have some mouldings and gives them so much more depth. Oh, and this was the first blog post with a video!! Still a little embarrassed by it… but I have gotten over the initial trepidation of actually being on camera, so a house tour video is next up on the to-do list.

We made some  major tweaks to the living and dining rooms lately, including a new couch, rug, pillows and a furniture switcharoo. Even though there are still things on the list for both of these spaces, the rooms are feeling so much more pulled together, cheerful, and more like us.

Definitely the best thrift store find of the month was this pendant light fixture. For $3.99 I grabbed that thing and pretty much ran out of the store. A “start the car!!” kind of moment for sure. With a coat of matte black spray paint, it was good as new. I love how it looks on our chevron ceiling (SO much better than the boob light of yore). We still need to do something about the ring around the fixture on the ceiling where the old light was, but we’ll get to it.

Another good thrift store find, these horse bookends get the award this month for best makeover. Definitely a tacky to pretty kind of story.

We were gifted a new-to-us plant (Benjamin Ficus tree) in September, and needed to find a home for this new guy. After dropping about $10 for a terra cotta planter and plate, I finally got in on the dipped trend and did a gold and turquoise number. The planter still looks great and the little peak of gold is perfection.

Best room makeover for the month goes to this nursery I designed for my two pals who were expecting their first kiddo. The room turned out to be all kinds of cheerful and sweet, and was so much fun to do. And the best part? Their little guy, Sawyer, arrived on Monday of this week (!!!!!). The little dude is already getting to enjoy his new pad.

The other September highlight for us was our 4-day trip to Boston with my parents to celebrate my Mum’s birthday. I still have to sort through those photos, but here is a shot of the four of us about to go on a harbour cruise. Pretty cheesy, but I love it.

And there you have it. September 2012 on the sweetest digs, all wrapped up in a little bow.

Can you guys believe that September has come and gone already? Holy smokes I can’t believe how quickly the summer flew by. Here’s hoping we can slow down and enjoy some lovely fall weekends with the beautiful colours at this time of year. Wearing a cozy sweater, having a hot chocolate, decorating pumpkins, and going for walks in the trees is definitely a fall favourite. What about you guys?