Easter in the Garden 

DIY

I’m excited for the chill that is absent in the spring air. I can see the grass greening up. I love a good hand-drawn aerial map of the flower beds. It’s time to reinvent, after a long winter. 


This is phase one. After borrowing my sister in law’s spray paint, attacking some old, tired-looking pots and getting a few starter plants to help me see it coming into focus, bright and boho yard transformation is well-underway! 


DIY pots in two-tone jewel tones and gold. Mixing old and weathered with the new. 

What is your yard up to? Patio or balcony? Indoor nook with some indoor gems?

All Patched Up

DIY, style

I did it. Got out an old jean jacket and started sewing. The inspiration:

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Don’t have $1,300 for a D & G version? Grab your sewing kit for a DIY party of 1. I am so thrilled with my final product, and it’ll keep getting better as I find new patches to jazz up my one of a kind beauty.

Check out these, and more images like ’em, with links at my Pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/alisonjc/style-sa-vie/

Kombucha? Why don’t ya?

DIY, Foodie
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photo credit: mountainroseblog.com

 

My friend, Lindsay, is always ahead of the curve. In middle school, she was channeling Drew Barrymore in “Mad Love,” with sunflowers in her hair. By grade eleven, she was  driving an olive green VW camper van. At the end of high school she left a semester early to work on a sailing ship docked in Cadiz, Spain. She was the coolest best friend a wholesome gal like me could ask for.

Now, as a Sommelier and world traveler, she is always making sure that our trips are full of excitement, especially in the wine department, with great tips and recommendations. She even phoned ahead for us to arrange a tour and tastings at Quinta Nova winery in the Douro Valley, to make sure we got the VIP treatment. Check out the Portugal trip log in the ‘Indulge’ section of the blog for more pics and details o that. Here.

Lindsay is always game to try something before others catch on, in grade school it was tahini and bread making, now it’s homemade Kombucha. If you can get over the repugnant appearance of this stuff, and have a friend who will set you up with a pre-made jar to start you off, it’s pretty easy; I’m actually thrilled by how satisfying it is to see my little science project magically (seemingly) reproducing – in the dark of my pantry.

A few basics:

-it brews in the dark, left alone for a few weeks

-brewing occurs by some scientific fermentation process (magic) through interaction between the liquid (black tea, distilled water and sugar) and the scoby

-the scoby is a booger-y-looking, yeasty layer of good bacteria that multiples and grows in the container, to produce the kombucha tea

-kombucha is getting more and more popular (read: trendy) and is being sold for a pretty penny, but you can make it at home at minimal cost (8 tea bags, some water, a cup of sugar and some glass jars)

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photo credit: mygutsy.com

I enjoy the low-maintenance aspect of this fizzy, tangy drink; plus it tastes pretty great …and I picture it transforming my guts into the hip-shaking, happy-dancing lady from the Activia Yogurt Commercials, while bringing me untold, mysterious health benefits. I haven’t noticed huge changes in my health, but my stomach is looking pretty flat (despite my unchanged carb intake) and I look forward to my daily dose of Kombucha flavour.

Though you can buy it in an array of flavours…

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I bought two of these so that I could get a sense of the ideal ‘flavour’ and have a bar to compare the normalcy of my own batches; plus I’ve reused the containers, after cleaning with boiling water, because the ones I bought have plastic tops (the scoby shouldn’t come into contact with metal), and they are a perfect size to store my finished brew.

As explained by the author of the site Cheeseslave, there are many health benefits; to read the full article, click here. She does an awesome job explaining these perks in detail, so I recommend checking her site out. In short:

  • Kombucha Health Benefits #1: Boosts the Immune System
  • Kombucha Health Benefits #2: Natural Detoxifier
    • Kombucha has probiotics and enzymes that promote detoxification. One of the main jobs of the good bacteria in your gut is to detoxify. By adding more beneficial bacteria to your gut, you’re getting the job done faster. Kombucha promotes detoxification. Regular consumption of kombucha tea also supports liver function.
  • Kombucha Health Benefits #3: Rich in Vitamins and Enzymes
    • B vitamins can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, boost memory, and relieve PMS.
  • Kombucha Health Benefit #4: Energy Boost
  • Kombucha Health Benefits #5: Increased Metabolism
  • Kombucha Health Benefits #6: PMS Relief
  • Kombucha Health Benefits #7: Relief from Arthritis and Joint Pain

It has been around a very long time… really long, and a renewed interest in healthier living, and taking the care of our bodies into our own hands, has seen a resurgence of home-brewing and greater availability of commercially prepared Kombucha.

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If you’re even a little intrigued (like I was), check out the link above. If you’re game to start your own brewing at home, here is a helpful site with video how-to’s:

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/kombucha/how-to-make-kombucha/

 

Summer to do – day 1

DIY, Indulge

A project a day keeps the lazy away. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good party.      

    
   
This was just another Monday.  The official start of summer, post Pride. 

But what I’m most looking forward to is getting shit done. Today’s project: rearrange the furniture in the master bedroom and switch to summery linens. Sweep out all the dusty corners, flip the mattress and wash the curtains. 

   
    

Tradesies

DIY, style

i love free shit. Samples. Love em. Gifts.  Loooove them. Surprises.  Love them, too. 

I have always expected to pay my own way, knowing even before I knew that I’d marry a woman that marrying anyone who’d ‘take care of me’ wasn’t my style. 

But I’m a frugal girl. Raised my a discerning father who taught me to save. So, when I first discovered clothing swaps I was in heaven. 

I’ve since attended and hosted many a swap. People often ask how I seem to have an endless wardrobe… Part of the trick is creativity and being willing to look in unusual places… Like the bin (yes, a literal bin) FULL of gorgeous, gently used clothes from a colleague’s friend. Can you really get something for nothing? Yes. Here is what good vibes and social-Eco consciousness can get you: 

   
Even if I just wear this blinked out halter once ( Hellooo bachelorette party) before passing it on, it can be a ton of fun to wear something unexpected that you’d never pick out yourself. 

   
    
    
I love a retro bow blouse with a chain pattern  and the peplum top below is a classic. 

    
 This pink skirt goes with so many things in my closet and although it will require some opaque black tights to make it more wearable – I just happen to have some.   
Truly excited about my new finds! Especially the numerous Victoria’s Secret bras (not pictured here)! 

When something in your closet no longer rings your bell, ring some friends and set up a swap. No snobs allowed. 

Xo Al 

Where Have You Been? DIY Map Board 

DIY

I am a traveller. I have been on the move since I was a child and have been charting my course with my newly completed words map cork board. 

This easy Do It Yourself project has been on my radar for ages. The simple steps:

   
Get yourself a cork board with a frame in a size and style you like. 

Spray paint or brush paint it in a colour you like. Affix hanging hardware to the back of the board. 

Measure it and find a map that suits you and fits the frame. I love this sepia old-fashioned hue. 

Then get yourself two kinds of tacks, some metallic ones to mount the map evenly spaced around the edge and a decorative type to mark where you have been. I chose clear ones because they still let he map beneath them stay visible. 

Tips: Smooth it out before you start pinning. Pin just beside the place names so they are legible. 

 And voila! Next in our travel list: Portugal, Iceland and Ireland. 

Happy Halloween: Tin Man Costume DIY

DIY

It’s Halloween again, my very favourite holiday! I am going out this year with some friends as the cast of The Wizard of Oz. I’m taking on the Tin Man!

Costume:

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This realistic film version of Tin Man is pretty intricate and I’m going to be going for a more representational nod to the character (also more feminine). With my posse I’m sure it will all make sense!


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I’m going to steal the brilliant idea that this little guy had (or his parent) and get some dryer venting materials to add to my ensemble.

Other material: funnel. Hat. Ax. Tape.    

    
 
 
 Makeup:

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Make up is where I get to be really creative. I can go for the authentic film version, or… take a looser interpretation for the evening’s festivities!

Tutorial

There are a few options out there. Both seem awesome!

And the final result:   

    
Wicked Witch with cell phone. Very 2015. 

  
Colonel Saunders joined the merry bunch. There’s no thing like friends!