Chasing Shiplap Giveaway!

imageWhat an exciting, whirlwind past 3 weeks with the launch of Chasing Shiplap! We have recently reached over 1000 likes on our Facebook page! It has been a labour of love, and it feels so worthwhile to be sharing my life and ideas with you all. I appreciate that you are tuning in, and to show my gratitude I am hosting our very first giveaway!

We are on the cusp of summer and I am excited to give you a chance to bring some sunshine into your life, specifically, for my favourite room in the house-the kitchen!

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To enter for a chance to win this beautiful, basket of goodies handpicked by Chasing Shiplap, please “Like” our Facebook page, “Like” the giveaway post on the page, and in the comments of the giveaway post, tell us what your favourite room in your home is and why! To be eligible you must complete all 3 criteria! This giveaway will end on Thursday, June 9th, at 9pm EST.

Thank you immensely for following us and for your support! Remember to check in frequently for the latest blog posts, updates, promotions and giveaways!

Note: The estimated retail value of the prize is approximately $100 CDN. Any duties, taxes, and tariffs upon receipt of the prize is the sole responsibility of the winner/recipient.

Please review the giveaway Rules and Regulations below for contest eligibility and requirements.

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1. Eligibility: Giveaway (the “Giveaway”) is open only to those who sign up at the online giveaway page and who are 18 years old as of the date of entry. The giveaway is only open to legal residents of Canada, The United States, The Bahamas, The United Kingdom, and Mexico, Norway, and The Netherlands and is void where prohibited by law. The Giveaway is subject to all applicable federal, state/provincial and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.

2. Agreement to Rules: By participating, you agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these Rules, and you represent and warrant that you meet the eligibility requirements set forth herein. In addition, you agree to accept the decisions of Chasing Shiplap, as final and binding as it relates to the content. The Giveaway is subject to all applicable federal, state/provincial/provincial and local laws.
3. Giveaway Period: Entries will be accepted online starting on or about Sunday, June 5th, 2016 and ending Tuesday, June 7th, 2016. All online entries must be received by Thursday, June 9th, 2016 9:00PM EST.

4. How to Enter: The Giveaway must be entered by “Liking” the Chasing Shiplap Facebook page, “Liking” the Chasing Shiplap Facebook Giveaway post, and answering the question asked in the Giveaway post, by commenting on the post. The entry must fulfill all giveaway requirements, as specified, to be eligible to win a prize. Entries that are not complete or do not adhere to the rules or specifications may be disqualified at the sole discretion of Chasing Shiplap. You may enter only once and you must fill in the information requested. You may not enter more times than indicated by using multiple email addresses, identities or devices in an attempt to circumvent the rules. If you use fraudulent methods or otherwise attempt to circumvent the rules your submission may be removed from eligibility at the sole discretion of Chasing Shiplap.

5. Prizes: The winner will receive the contents of the gift basket handpicked by Chasing Shiplap with an approximate retail value of $100 CDN. Actual/appraised value may differ at time of prize award. The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by the Chasing Shiplap. No cash or other prize substitution permitted except at Chasing Shiplap’s discretion. The prize is nontransferable. Any and all prize related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state/provincial/provincial, and/or local taxes shall be the sole responsibility of the winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by winners is permitted. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for Chasing Shiplap to use winner’s name, likeness, and entry for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.

6. Odds: The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.

7. Winner selection and notification: Winners of the Giveaway will be selected in a random drawing under the supervision of the Chasing Shiplap. The winners will be notified via Facebook to the Facebook account that they entered the Giveaway with within five (5) days following the winner selection. Chasing Shiplap shall have no liability for a winner’s failure to receive notices due to winners failure to respond to attempts made to contact the winner via their Facebook account, other security settings or for winners’ provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If the selected winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within 7 days from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return a completed and executed declaration and releases as required, prize may be forfeited and an alternate winner selected.
The receipt by winner of the prize offered in this Giveaway is conditioned upon compliance with any and all federal and state/provincial/provincial laws and regulations. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY ANY WINNER (AT CHASING SHIPLAP’S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN SUCH WINNER’S DISQUALIFICATION AS WINNER OF THE Giveaway AND ALL PRIVILEGES AS WINNER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED.

8. Rights Granted by you: By entering this content you understand that Chasing Shiplap, anyone acting on behalf of Chasing Shiplap, or its respective licensees, successors and assigns will have the right, where permitted by law, without any further notice, review or consent to print, publish, broadcast, distribute, and use, worldwide in any media now known or hereafter in perpetuity and throughout the World, your entry, including, without limitation, the entry and winner’s name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness, image or statements about the Giveaway, and biographical information as news, publicity or information and for trade, advertising, public relations and promotional purposes without any further compensation.

9. Terms: Chasing Shiplap reserves the right, in its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Giveaway should (in its sole discretion) a virus, bugs, non-authorized human intervention, fraud or other causes beyond its control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness or proper conduct of the Giveaway. In such case, Chasing Shiplap may select the recipients from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by Chasing Shiplap. Chasing Shiplap reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Giveaway or website or violates these Terms & Conditions.

Chasing Shiplap has the right, in its sole discretion, to maintain the integrity of the Giveaway, to void votes for any reason, including, but not limited to; multiple entries from the same user from different IP addresses; multiple entries from the same computer in excess of that allowed by giveaway rules; or the use of bots, macros or scripts or other technical means for entering.
Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the giveaway may be a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, Chasing Shiplap reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

10. Limitation of Liability: By entering you agree to release and hold harmless Chasing Shiplap and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from (i) such entrant’s participation in the giveaway and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof, (ii) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware or software; (iii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (iv) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (v) electronic or human error which may occur in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries.

11. Disputes: THIS Giveaway IS GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF Canada AND Ontario, WITHOUT RESPECT TO CONFLICT OF LAW DOCTRINES. As a condition of participating in this Giveaway, participant agrees that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Giveaway, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in Ontario having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, other than participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering this Giveaway), and participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.

12. Chasing Shiplap and the entrant acknowledge that this promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. This statement serves as a complete release of Facebook by the sponsor, entrants and participants of the giveaway.

13. Chasing Shiplap: The sponsor of the Giveaway is Chasing Shiplap, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

Home Office Organization-Spray paint all of the things!

Spray paint all of the things!! I will shout it from the rooftops! Shiplappers, I am hooked. There is a “chalk paint” movement sweeping the design world. What is chalk paint you ask? Chalk paint is typically a water-based decorative paint that dries in a powdery, chalk-like finish. In a design sense, it flows extremely well with the rustic, farmhouse look because it is not high gloss and shiny,both of which tend to give a modern or contemporary feel. A popular brand of chalk paint is made by a company called Annie Sloan. They offer an array of chalk paint colours to choose from.

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So naturally, I am ALL OVER the look of chalk paint. There is just something about the powdery, matte finish that appeals to my inner Joanna Gaines. I especially love the soft neutral colours that tend to be featured in chalk paint palettes. So you can imagine my excitement when I came across a new line of chalk spray paint by Rust-Oleum called “Chalked Ultra Matte Paint” at (none-other-than) Walmart! Before I knew it, I had 3 cans of prettily coloured chalk spray paint in my shopping cart. It took a significant amount of restraint, but I returned two of the cans to the shelf and left the store with a single can, costing about $10. I ended up with a colour called “Serenity Blue”, a subtle and chalky muted blue/green. It’s a colour that I felt would work well with my current decor scheme, plus I really just liked the look of it and knew that I could make it work in the space in our new home as well.

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I wasn’t sure what I was going to use the spray paint for initially. After some mulling, I decide that I would focus on some office/desk organization supplies. Since I launched Chasing Shiplap, I have realized that it would be beneficial to have a dedicated workspace for myself in our new home when we move. With that in mind, I hit the Dollarama to find some inexpensive pieces to transform for my soon-to-be workspace. Dollarama did not disappoint. I ended up getting a wire mesh file holder, letter organizer with pen compartments, a rectangular pen cup, and a shallow circular cup. Each piece is from the same collection so they coordinate perfectly and ranged in price from $1.50-$3.00 per item. For fun I also grabbed a wooden picture frame ($3.00), and a package of metal drawer knobs ($2.00). Finally, I loaded my basket up with some cute and colourful pens, pencils, erasers, binder clips, and a package ofchalkboard style labels, to stock my new desktop.

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Fast forward to spray painting time. I did the painting in our garage with the garage doors open for good ventilation. It took me about 5-7 minutes to spray all of the pieces. I let them dry for the rest of the day, and applied a second coat the next morning. I am really happy with how they turned out! The chalk paint added a subtle hint of colour and softness to the gray metal Dollarama pieces.

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To add an extra element of style, I added the little chalkboard labels (you can actually write on them with chalk!) that I found at the Dollarama to a couple of the pieces. They make the file holder and cup holder stand out more, but also add a functional component if you have multiple pieces that and want to further organize with labels!

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I did a mock up of a desktop using the little built-in desk area (aka junk surface) in our kitchen. I borrowed a few other items in from various places around my house to set up the space in a way that I found to be visually appealing and a functional use of the space and supplies as well. Here is the end result!

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I hope this displays how easy it is to transform basic items into something a bit more exciting! The beauty about using spray paint is that it is super easy, fast, and it comes in such a variety of colours making it super simple to customize your items any way that you would like. Here at Chasing Shiplap, we love simplicity and versatility!

I also painted the picture frame and drawer knobs that I picked up at the Dollarama. If you have a desk with drawer knobs or pulls, you can add continuity with your colour scheme by painting them too!

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Spray painting things can become a little addictive. I was having so much fun that I went looking for something else to paint! I found and old paper towel holder that was in a box of items to be donated. I happily sprayed it, reminiscing about when my husband and I purchased it (for $8) for the first apartment that we lived in when we moved to Ontario. Realizing that the paper towel holder had been with us for 12 years, I was glad that I found a way to give it new life and hang onto it a little while longer. Here it is, looking like it has had a talk show makeover! It now sits on my counter, newly liberated from the donation bin. I get a warm tingly feeling in my heart when I can repurpose old stuff! If you have any old items that you are on the fence about keeping, consider giving them a facelift and new life with a couple of coats of spray paint!

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Having my new, pretty, office supplies and paper towel holder fuels my motivation to continue on this blogging journey. I can’t wait to share my workspace set up in our new home in the coming weeks! Until then, I’ll be Chasing Shiplap, and I encourage you to go get your paint on!

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Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Placemats

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Can I be real for a minute? I absolutely adore my boys. I truly do, with all of my heart. They are busy, curious, tenacious, and strong willed. They are also sweet, affectionate, kind and funny.

All of their amazing qualities aside, I sometimes find myself thinking “This is why we can’t have nice things”. My boys can be rough on our belongings. They love to jump, climb, push, pull and explore in all the ways that you can imagine little boys would. I love that they are curious, imaginative, and adventurous. The curiosity tends to mean that our home looks like a tornado has swept through daily!

The evidence of their love for cars and trucks takes over our family room floor daily. My sofa cushions, accent pillows, and throw blankets are almost alway askew. Objects get disassembled (ahem, broken) on a regular basis. It comes with the territory of having young children (3 under 4.5 years old in our household!). With that said, I try to be realistic about the types of things I buy at this period of our lives, with the expectation that they are very likely to get dropped, ripped, taken apart, and spilled on.

So today I am sharing with you a super easy DIY project for making your own placemats! Sure, I would love to get some gorgeous cloth printed ones from Pier 1 Imports, but at this point in our lives there is no point. Keeping them looking nice would be futile and they would quickly become covered in yogurt and stained with spaghetti sauce.

The placemats that I have made in this tutorial are low-maintenance and easy to clean. Most importantly, they are very inexpensive to make so it’s not a huge loss if one (or all) get destroyed. The idea came to me while shopping at Walmart last week, after seeing some rolls of easyLiner shelf and drawer liners on display. The liners are typically used to line the bottoms of cupboards, shelves, and drawers which makes them durable and easy to clean. They come in a variety of colours and patterns and cost $6 a roll. Lightbulb moment!

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Supplies:
1. A roll of easyLiner Smooth Top shelf liners
2. Scissors
3. Measuring tape or a placemat that you already own
4. Optional: Glue gun and ribbon

Directions:
1. Roll out the liner with the back side facing up (I photographed it with the back side facing down to show better in the picture). Using a measuring tape or placemat, measure the length of the placemat (or 19″) and mark a straight line with a pen.

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2. Cut across the line that you measured to cut out the placemats.

3. Repeat 5 more times to use the entire roll, or until your desired number of placemats is achieved.

4. Optional fourth step: To add more of a design/esthetic element, add ribbon to the outside edges of the placemats using a glue gun.

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There you have it! A set of 6 placemats for about $1 a piece. Allow your kids to use these bad boys guilt-free, for everything from eating on, colouring on, and making messy arts and crafts. They wash up easily with a cloth and warm soapy water, and dry quickly.

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Depending on how much you want to perk them up, you can easily use them for your hosting needs as well! You’re welcome!

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For fun, here is a little feature of my 2 year old’s most recent art project! At least he choose one of my favourite colours, right?

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Summer Entertaining and an Overlooked Detail

The summer is rapidly approaching! The upcoming warm weather months are a peak time for entertaining. Whether it be a family barbecue, Sunday brunch, or an evening dinner party, we scarcely need reason to host or attend a summer shindig, big or small!

In preparation for your summer hosting duties, you may be interested in stocking your bar, creating a catalogue of yummy food and drink recipes, and planning fun activities to regale your guests with (I highly recommend the game Cards Against Humanity for  copious amounts of laughter!).

One of the things that often gets overlooked when preparing for summer hosting, is the supplies, specifically, dishware for serving your tasty meals on. Summer entertaining does not have to be limited to red solo cups and white paper plates! I wanted to spotlight some places and share some tips on selecting dishware to set up eye catching place settings for your summer hosting!

On a recent grocery shopping trip to The Superstore, I was inspired by a table display of vibrant and summery, plastic dishware that had the look of stoneware. There were a number of solid and printed designs in various colours that could be mixed and matched. The prices ranged from $3-$5 per piece. It got me thinking about how much more inviting a get-together or event looks and feels when the details have been considered. With that in mind, I want to share some tips that I find useful when planning the tablescape for hosting an event. The photos below the tips were taken at The Superstore during my shopping trip that day, to illustrate some of the suggestions.

Tip #1
If you do a lot of hosting and entertaining, opt for reusable dinnerware. To get the maximum use and versatility, choose solid colours for the primary, everyday use pieces (plates, glasses, bowls, etc.). Add bursts of colour or pattern with vibrant cloth napkins or place mats. If you have a bigger budget, add a patterned bowl to the spread!

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Tip #2
When shopping for dishware, take a few minutes to find a surface to lay out an entire place setting on (a store tabletop or counter works well). You can get a much better idea of how the pieces work together, especially if you are mixing and matching colours and patterns. A little bit of trial and error goes a long way to help you achieve the look of a beautiful and balanced table set up.

Note: I didn’t need to purchase anything to get a clear visual of how the pieces would work together-bonus!

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Tip#3
If you are working with a small budget, consider mixing and matching pieces that coordinate from different stores. You can find pretty and durable plates, bowls, and glasses at various dollar stores for $1-$2 a piece. Create the base of your place settings using the dollar store pieces (plastic or disposable), and splurge on a set of beautiful printed bowls, bold place mats, or detailed drinking glasses from another store to perk up the overall look! Add pretty printed paper napkins for an extra element of colour or pattern. Below are fun and vibrant disposable dinnerware from Party City. They have a rainbow selection of colours and prints to choose from!

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It’s possible to create inviting tabletops featuring fun and beautiful place settings on any budget. Incorporate fresh or faux plants and flowers to your spread to complete the set up!  If you are hosting a large number of guests and it’s not realistic to use individual place settings, places like the Dollar store, Walmart, Loblaws/The Superstore and Party City have disposable options that come in a variety of colours and prints! Don’t be afraid to step outside of your white disposable dinnerware comfort zone! Happy summer event planning and hosting!

Our Next Step & The Look for Less

Happy weekending Shiplappers (see what I did there?)! We kicked this beautiful weekend off with the confirmation that our house has officially SOLD! We are thrilled that we can move onto our next chapter by succinctly closing this one. With relief comes the feeling of excitement and anticipation, and I now feel confident giving into those feelings!

Sold-YES!!

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This morning we took the littles to the zoo and playground, and despite the heat, we all had a lovely morning. The two oldest spent time in the backyard running through the sprinkler with my husband. This has been our most relaxed and balanced weekend in a long time, and I am reveling in it. Taking in what will be some of our final moments in our current home. I’m feeling nostalgic, as we have created the most memories as a family of 3, 4, and then 5 in this home. We have brought home 2 precious babies and celebrated many birthdays, Christmases, and milestones here. Though we are elated to be moving closer to “home” and our families, there is a bittersweet aspect of it all. I am ready to move on, but this house, our home for the past few years will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Alright, moving on from the sappy, sentimental stuff! One of the most exciting parts about our big move is the purchase of our new home! House hunting was an interesting and challenging experience this time around, since we had to travel to another province to see things in person. I stalked the MLS listings from the time my husband accepted his new job in January up until we made an offer. We made our first trip to our new destination in January and did not find any properties that fit the bill.

I poured through the new listings daily. There were a handful of potential houses that I was interested in seeing, but nothing that really jumped out at me. One day I clicked on a listing that had a thumbnail image that caught my eye. I immediately experienced a feeling of excited anticipation as a got a closer look at the house’s exterior. As I began scrolling through the images, my excitement grew. The house was beautiful and I felt an immediate sense of chemistry and connection when viewing it. I sent the listing to my husband right away and he agreed that it looked like a great option. It checked almost all of the boxes on our must have list and we were really impressed with the overall layout and footprint of the home. The feelings of excitement quickly lead way a sense of disappointment because I knew that a house like that would not last long on the market.

Time was winding down in relation to our search, so we planned our second trip to the new destination for the following 2 weeks. We were excited and relieved to learn that the house that caught our eye was still on the market! Two weeks later, we set off to our destination equipped with a list of properties to view! The coveted house was the first one that we saw that day. I think that I knew it was the one the moment we stepped foot in the foyer! Viewing it first was a perfect set up because we were able to compare the subsequent homes that we saw to it. None of the other houses held a candle to the home that we fell in love with first thing that morning! We parted ways with our realtor when the showings were completed and went back to the hotel to discuss our next move. It was a quick and easy decision. We called our realtor shortly after and told her that we wanted to make an offer on the house. We meant business! We submitted our offer by 5pm that day. We spent the evening excitedly discussing the possibility that we may have found our new home. It felt right.  The next day we waited in nervous anticipation for the sellers to respond to our offer. The clock rolled by as my anxiety elevated and we began to feel discouraged. Just before noon, as we were packing ourselves up to check out of the hotel, we received the news that we were waiting for…our offer was accepted!

The purchase of our new home was conditional on us selling our current home, so that added an element of pressure. In the grand scheme, we made it through the home selling and buying process pretty quickly and pain free. Getting that sold sign up in front of our current house has felt like a long time coming!

Our New Home!

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Now, we prepare to embark on our new path with our sweet boys in tow. We have many projects (primarily cosmetic) planned for our new home, as well as slew of new rooms to decorate (including a finished basement)! I am excited to get started as my personal decor and design style becomes more defined. I have a much better idea of what I like so I think that decorating our new home will be a much different experience than when I decorated our current home. The modern farmhouse style will be fairly dominant, but I also hope to incorporate some varied elements (think coastal/cottage, industrial, and shabby chic). Only time will tell if I can bring my design vision to fruition!

I have been picking up items for the new house here and there if I see something that I really like. Yesterday I found the below hanging bottle/vases for $11.99 each! A steal considering that I had my eye on a similar set on Etsy for $77! The darling little jar below was $2.98-I love a good deal!

The Look for Less! – $23.98
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The Etsy Version- $77.65 (Appalachian Artisans)

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I hope that you will join me as I document the journey of our move as we take our new property from a house to a home!

Magnolia Wreath Tutorial

 In the previous post, “Farmhouse Chic on a Dime”, I made a grapevine wreath with faux magnolia flowers. Buying a premade wreath can be expensive- I have seen them range from $20-$60 at Homesense. I wanted to share how I made my wreath to show you how easy and inexpensive it is to complete as a do it yourself project!

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I purchased my supplies at Walmart, but you can also find similar items at Michael’s and other craft stores. I purchased a wreath ($4.94) and one stem of faux magnolia flowers ($6.50) to make an elegant wreath for under $12! Due to the simplicity of the look I wanted to achieve, I only needed 1 stem of flowers (each stem had 3 flowers). If you would like to make a wreath with a fuller look, purchase additional stems of flowers. The prices of faux flowers vary depending on the quality and where you buy them.

Tip: The Dollarama has a variety of faux flowers and greenery if you want a fuller look for your wreath but want to keep the costs down. Try Michael’s for a larger selection and higher quality flower options.

For the method that I used to create the magnolia wreath, I recommend finding faux flowers that have blooms at varying height placements across the stem (as opposed to all one height at the very top of the stem).

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Supplies:
1. Grapevine wreath
2. Faux flowers on a stem
3. A wire cutting device (optional depending on your design)

Instructions:
1. Decide where you would like your flowers to be located on the wreath (I choose off centered to the left). Line up the flowers to the location of your liking. With your wreath facing down on the front display side, insert the wire stem of the flowers between a few of the vines.

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2. Using the curve of the wreath, continue to weave the remaining length of the stem through the vines and secure the end of the stem under a vine.

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3. Faux flowers are typically designed so that the flower bloom can be removed from the stem (you just pop it right off!). To position the blooms how you would like and to help them lay flush against the wreath, remove them from the stem and pull the stem part in between the vines. When you are satisfied with where the flowers are positioned, reattach the blooms to the stem.

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4. The stems usually have wire in them to make them flexible and bendy. In the final stage, make any adjustments needed to ensure that the flowers are positioned well. You may also want to “fluff” up the blooms using your fingers to make them look fuller.

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Viola! You now have a simple and elegant wreath using only two items!

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The thing that I love most about this project is that it is completely customizable. You can choose any type of flower, in any colour, and even in a combination of flower varieties and colours. If you are feeling adventurous, you can even spray paint the wreath to a colour of your choosing!

To make your wreath as versatile as possible, I recommend choosing a neutral colour for the base flower. I personally love to make changes to my decor throughout the year. Sometimes on a whim if I find a new piece that I love and want to incorporate into my home, but most often my design changes are seasonal. I love to switch things up in the Fall to emphasize warm earthy tones, and in the winter it’s all about Christmas and holiday charm.

If you choose a neutral flower colour as the base of your wreath, it is incredibly easy to change the look of it simply by adding more flowers in different colours. To show how easy this is, I have included some photos of how I have changed the look of my wreath by adding different flowers, and leaves. This is the part where you may need to use a wire cutter (or other cutting device) to remove individual blooms from the stem. Since the flowers are not permanently affixed to the wreath, you can remove some or all at anytime to change the look, or start from scratch with a new look!

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I had fun doing this little project, and I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial and feel encouraged to try this for your home!

Farmhouse Chic on a Dime

You may find this shocking, but I am kind of a Joanna Gaines and Fixer Upper mega fan. I kid! I won’t reiterate my reasons for my admiration, but if you want some background read my post “Separated at Birth?!“.

I adore Joanna’s decorating style! I would classify it as a mix traditional, rustic, and shabby chic, combined with some industrial and modern elements. Though the dominant theme to her dersign style is “Farmhouse Chic”, I would argue that her ability to incorporate those various elements into designs that flow is quite eclectic! I now find myself recognizing a lot of the elements that seem to represent the Fixer Upper style in so many places in my everyday life.

The homes and spaces that Fixer Upper creates are beautiful and decorated impeccably. The way that the elements flow adds a seemingly effortless continuity from one room to another. We all know that home decor can be pricey, especially when you have multiple rooms and different areas within rooms to decorate.

There are some great home decor stores that offer reasonable prices with a variety of selection. Homesense, Jysk, and Bouclair are great examples of places where you can find beautiful decor with good prices. I know firsthand how quickly multiple items in the shopping cart add up though!

So today, I challenged myself to find some of the lowest priced decor pieces out there, that are reminiscent of the signature Farmhouse style that I love.

Destination? Walmart!

Walmart is one of those places that I have a love/hate relationship. I love the competitive prices, great deals, and one-stop-shop element to the store. My biggest dislike is how busy and crowded the store can get at peak times. I try to eliminate that annoyance by going early in the morning (my local store opens at 7:30 a.m.!).

So, Walmart delivered on the challenge! I find that it’s hit or miss when it comes to the decor options, but there are some great pieces that are really inexpensive.

Tip: Combine inexpensive items with mid and higher range pieces to create a balanced space that won’t break the bank!

One of the things that Joanna Gaines does so well to create beautiful spaces is set up vignettes of decor pieces. Creating a vignette on a shelf, bookcase, mantle or in a cabinet can really elevate the design of your space. It typically involves taking a number of various decor pieces and arranging them in a way that is interesting and pleasing to the eye. That is what I set out to do with this challenge and I ended up with the following items:

1. Wire basket with liner $12.96
2. Medium glass vase with twine $7.47
3. Small glass vase with twine $6.47
4. Crackle candle holder $5.97
5. Flameless 6″ pillar candle $7.97
6. Grapevine wreath $4.94
7. Magnolia faux bloom $6.50

The combined total (prior to tax) was $58.78 (Note that I purchased 2 stems of the magnolia flowers ). I ended up with some great pieces for under $60! Not too shabby for multiple pretty additions that add interest and detail to a highly visual area in your home!

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The end result also included a picture frame that I already own from Homesene ($12.99) and a mini candle from Bath and Body Works ($4.50).

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To show how versatile the decor pieces are, I used them in my master bathroom as well! I love the functionality of the basket for added storage. On the mantle it can be used to store anything from books, magazines and remote controls. In the bathroom is can be used to store toilet paper, towels, or toiletries. Who doesn’t need extra storage?

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I appreciate that the farmhouse style is not for everyone. Others prefer traditional, contemporary, or eclectic design. To each their own! I was able to find many other decor items that would represent the styles above. Whatever your specific design tastes are, there are ways to achieve the decor look that you love,  on a dime! As for me? I’ll continue on my journey of Chasing Shiplap!

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Ice Cream Muffins

Our oldest boys are really into a British cartoon called Peppa Pig. It’s about a cheeky little pig named Peppa and her life with her parents and little brother. I was excited to find a Peppa magazine/activity book at good ol’ Walmart a couple of weeks again (you know, to encourage literacy and all that jazz).

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In the issue there is a super simple recipe called “Ice cream muffins”. I committed the 2 ingredients to memory and made a point to remember to pick them up on my next grocery trip. Our middle son, Landon has a severe allergy to peanuts so we have to be hyper-vigilant about the types of food we buy, in order to keep him safe. I knew that I could get ingredients that are safe for him so mom win for me!

I made the first batch on Saturday, and Landon gobbled his up while Gavin was hesitant (as usual) to try it. He took a nibble and decided that it was not for him. A little history side note- Gavin is an extremely picky eater and struggles with trying new foods. Example, I once offered him $20 in exchange for taking ONE bite of a delicious ice cream sandwich and he refused. Even after telling him I would take him to Walmart to pick out a toy with his promised fortune, he refused to try the ice cream sandwich- what a kid! Anyways, I digress.

Fast forward a couple hours later, and I don’t know how I missed it but Gavin garnered the courage to try the cupcake again and decided that he loved them! The muffins did not last long (translation, they were gone by the end of the day). My husband Tom and I sampled one of the muffins and they weren’t mind blowing. A little plain in flavour but soft and moist. I decided that for the next batch I would make some minor additions to perk them up. I also added gel food colouring to the batter to make it a vibrant blue (Gavin’s favourite colour), so maybe that was the allure for him to give the muffins another chance.

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So yesterday, the muffins were all gone. Gavin kept asking (whining) about wanting more. I placated him by telling him that we could make more, but only if he helped me. This was one of those times that the whiny tantrum resulted in something positive so bonus there. Gavin did an awesome job helping me to measure and mix the ingredients! This time we made them green by mixing blue and yellow (points for an impromptu science lesson, right?!) which the boys loved! I also added icing sugar and vanilla extract to perk the flavour up a bit. I wanted to share the recipe because it really is super quick and easy- a good one if you are ever in a time crunch and need to whip up something quickly (who hasn’t forgotten about the bake sale until the morning of?).

Ice Cream Muffins (or as I call them, Topless Cupcakes)- Makes 12

Ingredients
1 cup of self-rising flour
1 & 1/4 cups of melted ice cream (any flavour, we used vanilla)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 370 degrees Celsius
2. In a medium bowl, pour melted ice cream in with the self-rising flour and stir until well mixed.
3. Based on trial and error, I modified the recipe to add 1/4 cup of icing sugar and 1/2 tspn of vanilla extract. Feel free to add other ingredients like fruit, chocolate chips, candies, etc.
4. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill each one to the halfway mark
5. Bake for 9-12 minutes and test doneness with a toothpick.
6. Let cool, and enjoy!

Easy peasy right? Next time we are going to add Oreo cookie bits to the batter and try a new colour. This is a fun and easy activity to do with your kids and there is an opportunity to experiment with different ingredient combinations, which is a great way to give them some ownership and makes it exciting for them. I hope that you enjoy it!

Separated at birth?!

I’m Okay, so I am the first to admit that I have been fangirling over Joanna Gaines big time. Ever since I discovered HGTV’s super successful home renovation show, Fixer Upper, I have been hooked! As you may have seen on the “Why Shiplap? About Us! ” page, the name of this blog was directly influenced by my admiration for Joanna and my love of her design and style sense (shiplap being a resounding recurring element in her design).

To my amusement and delight, I received the most flattering comment from my 4.5 year old son while watching an episode of Fixer Upper. He took a rare moment to tune into the “boring” adult show that I was watching. At the moment, the camera was set on Joanna as she was giving one of her monologues when my son exclaimed, “She looks like you Mommy!”. Ha! The truth from the mouth of babes! Really, who knows my face better than my own child?! So that means Joanna and I are pretty much twins, right? Haha!

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It’s also worth mentioning that my bestie Jasmine once commented,  “I thought this was you for a second!” on the below photo posted by Joanna on her Instagram account. So what if you can’t see her face in the photo? Clearly this qualifies as twin status-we were separated at birth!

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Joking aside, I have recently been pondering just what is it about Joanna that has had such an impact on me? I often have feelings of inadequacy when faced with women (particularly mothers) who seem to have it all, and do it all. Joanna is a prime example of both of those things, but instead of feeling like a failure when seeing all that she does, I feel inspired and motivated. I have pinned down some of the reasons why I find her so inspiring!

Family in the Forefront- Mrs. Superwoman herself makes it known that family and motherhood are on the top of the list when it comes to her priorities. Her playful and relaxed relationship with her hilariously endearing husband Chip is so amusing and sweet. As a mother, her display of warmth, affection, and silliness rivals that of June Cleaver. Joanna is a great example that having a thriving career, and a balanced family life don’t have to come as a sacrifice of one or the other. This is something that I would love to achieve one day.

Business Savvy Beauty– Anyone who has laid eyes on Joanna would agree that she is a striking woman. She is an easy blend of exotic beauty combined with a comfortable and rustic style. Underneath the beautiful exterior is a sharp and intelligent business woman. Her  attention to detail and exquisite eye for design is the vision behind her and Chip’s successful Magnolia brand. Her moxie has shown me that a great idea and hardwork is all you need to spearhead a personal goal!

Design Maven– You know how some people are just good at certain things? Some have the natural ability to frame out and compose a perfectly taken photograph. Others are musically inclined, or easily make brush strokes to create beautiful masterpieces on canvas. Well Joanna appears to have a natural ability to see objects and spaces, and make them beautiful. Whether it be through a complete redesign, a repurposed object, a coat of paint, or combining elements to make them flow together, she has an eye and the ability to make things beautiful. Have a random bunch of flowers that need to go in vase? Joanna will expertly arrange them into a magazine-worthy spread! Need to figure out the perfect colour combo of walls, hardwood floors, and furniture in your living space? She’s got you covered, don’t worry! In short, Joanna’s impeccable taste for design and style is admirable, and a major source of inspiration for my personal fashion, home decor and design choices, though I like exhibit my own artistic license as well!

The above are the most poignant examples of why I think Joanna is tha bomb! Her positive influence has taken this stay-at-home mother of 3, who has had a diminished self esteem, low motivation, and a sense of loss of self identity over the last few years, and has reminded and encouraged me that I have dreams, and goals. Watching Joanna has allowed me to realize that there is no reason why I can’t at the very least attempt to pursue my dreams. So here I go, on to my next chapter, the one where I’ll be Chasing Shiplap.


Well, Hello There…

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Welcome to Chasing Shiplap! Pull up a chair. I’d love to fetch you a peppermint tea and a warm buttery scone fresh out of the oven. But let’s be real here, all I have on hand is tap water and Ritz crackers (possibly stale) to offer you. I hope that you will still decide to stay!

Chasing Shiplap is my journey through life, love, and parenting. Real. Honest. Optimistic.  This is what I strive to be. I have many great moments,  and an equally comparable number of frustrating, challenging, throw in the towel moments too. My goal is to share the full spectrum of my life. Not just the Pinterest-perfect, strategically cropped ones that  we have a tendency to put the forefront of our lives.  In the spirit of trying to bring positive energy to this place, there will definitely be plenty of those Pinterest-worthy moments -don’t worry! As I attempt to live in the moment, I can’t promise that it will always be pretty and glossy but I will do my best to be real. This is new for me, so I hope that you will follow me down this path, as I seek to live in the moment, through the good and the bad. I am inspired by so many strong, creative, and beautiful women every day. I hope to one day do the same for others out there. In the meantime, I’ll  be Chasing Shiplap.