SPACES: decorating with nature murals

Happy Friday and Happy Halloween! While you’re reading this post I’m frantically trying to get myself ready for a fun halloween dance bash I’m going to tonight. With everything going on around here, my costume ended up on the bottom of my To Do list which is totally unacceptable for a halloween lover like me.

If you’re looking for some great home decor inspiration, check out my most recent post for Apartment Therapy. I was so inspired by some gorgeous nature murals recently and found 15 beautiful examples of nature murals done right. Here’s a sneak peek but head over to Apartment Therapy to see all 15 examples & their sources.

decorating with nature murals / The Sweet Escape for Apartment Therapy

COLOUR STORY: collections to make you green with envy

I’ve been into groupings and collections as long as I can remember. It was the theme of my final year end project in high school art class and I think it’s the main reason I love flea markets so much because they are full of them. If you come to my loft you’ll find a bunch of collections and one day I’ll get around to photographing them properly to show you on here. There’s just something about the power of numbers. Take a single green item and it’s just a green item but group it with a bunch of green items and it’s interesting and beautiful. And yes, one day I will own a collection of green jadeite to compete with Martha Stewart. One day. Maybe in my dreams. Here’s some green collections that caught my attention on Pinterest lately.
green colour collection / The Sweet Escape

TOP TO BOTTOM / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

EVENTS: a grown-up halloween party

I admit that I’ve been a little bit distracted (read: completely consumed) by my kitchen reno and have neglected my fave holiday, halloween. The end is near with the kitchen people, stay tuned. But as far as halloween, which I loooooove, it’s fun to go crazy and if you have kids it’s kinda part of the job. But if you’re planning on celebrating with a few more…ahem..’mature’ guests this Friday, how about throwing a grown-up halloween bash? You know, lots of black, lots of glam, a little bit of class and still lots of fun. Here’s a few suggestions.
grown up glam halloween party / The Sweet EscapeDRINK THIS / EAT THIS / MAKE THIS / ARRANGE THISWEAR THIS


STYLE: Anthropologie favourites for fall

Man, I need a break from this kitchen reno business. I thought I would step away from the mess and get lost on Anthropologie and dream up all the outfits I wish I could fill my closet with this fall. If you remember this time last year I did a style shoot with some of my fav fall/winter coats from Anthro. It’s one of my favourite posts and I still absolutely love my green faux fur poncho. There’s very little that Anthro makes  that I don’t love but I’m particularly smitten with some of these pieces and put together a few looks. You know in that world where money is no object.  Do you like to update your wardrobe with a few new pieces every season? I’m sensing a trip to Anthropologie coming on this weekend. Have a great one!

Anthro Favs Fall / Get the Look / The Sweet Escape

LOOK 1 / top / bag / boots

Anthro Favs Fall / Get the Look / The Sweet Escape

LOOK 2 / dress / handbagwedgesAnthro Favs Fall / Get the Look / The Sweet Escape

LOOK 3 / sweater / handbagbootsAnthro Favs Fall / Get the Look / The Sweet Escape

LOOK 4 / jacket / handbagbootiesAnthro Favs Fall / Get the Look / The Sweet Escape

LOOK 5 / sweater / handbagboots

DIY: glitter christmas cut-out card with Cricut

Handmade glitter paper cut out christmas card using Cricut / The Sweet Escape

I know, I know…you’re like “get out of my face Christmas, I’m not ready for you”. I feel the same way and I can promise you that there will be no more signs of Christmas until after Halloween but I had to share with you my latest Cricut Design Space Star Challenge project that I submitted today. Last month’s entry got me in the Top 10, woot! The main theme is Holiday and our Lucky 13 team theme is “holiday sparkle”. The possibilities are endless but I decided to keep it sweet & simple and make a glittery paper cut-out holiday card using my Cricut Explore. Keep reading to see the full tutorial and a bunch more holiday projects from my crafty teammates.

UPDATE! I just found out that this merry little piece made the Top 10! Please visit the Cricut Facebook page to vote for this guy. You can vote every day. Hint Hint.

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GOOD EATS: jalapeno cheddar loaf

jalapeno cheddar loaf recipe / The Sweet Escape

I was home for Thanksgiving and got in the mood to try something totally new in the kitchen. My mom had made a jalapeno oil mixture that inspired me. I’ve been on a real jalapeno kick for awhile now. I don’t know what happened, I went from being a total hot spicy wimp to wanting to put jalapeno and chili flakes on everything. It’s kinda hard for me to put together ‘recipes’ because I really believe in expriementing in the kitchen and throwing stuff together and seeing what happens. I’m not very good at keeping track of what I’m doing. But I’m going to try.

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EVENT: be the maker worshop series with West Elm

West Elm be the Maker Workshop with The Sweet EscapeI love starting a Monday with a fun announcement. I’ve been planning this for awhile and so happy to finally announce that I’ll be hosting a workshop at West Elm Toronto on Thursday, November 20! It’s called Be The Maker Series and it’s going to be an evening filled with making, meeting, chatting, snacking and ok, who are we kidding, probably some shopping. You’re going to learn how to make these gorgeous  & unique dinner napkins for either your own holiday table or as a gift for someone special. Oh and I think green is beautiful and festive but there will be lots of other colours to make your own creation.

be the maker craft workshop series at West Elm / The Sweet EscapeHere’s all the details. For $25 not only will you get a fun evening with me and some new crafty friends surrounded by some seriously stylish and festive decor but it also includes a set of 4 West Elm’s Cross Dye Napkins in white (a $19 value!), all art supplies, snacks & beverages from Mildred’s Temple Kitchen and a little thank you gift to take home. Sounds like the perfect way to spend a Thursday night if you ask me. Because of the planning involved and the space there’s limited spots so you do have to grab a ticket in advance. You can reserve your spot and grab your Be The Maker Series ticket here.  

West Elm be the Maker Workshop with The Sweet Escape

A handmade gift is always extra special or being able to say “I made that” is so satisfying don’t you think? Come early and do a little shopping to find some table top pieces that will go perfectly with your new napkins. I just love West Elm so much and I’m so excited to be working with them for this fun event. Although they sell lots of beautiful things, they also are big supporters of artisans and selling handcrafted goods.  Through 2015 West Elm has committed to paying 35 million (!) to artisans that use handcrafted techniques. You gotta love a company that backs up their beliefs with some hard cash money.

be the maker craft workshop series at West Elm / The Sweet Escape

Aren’t you just dying to get your hands dirty (you won’t really get them dirty, don’t worry) and make something? Grab your Be The Maker Series ticket and join us!

be the maker craft workshop series at West Elm / The Sweet Escape


THRIFTING: Aberfoyle Antique Market

Aberfoyle Antique Flea Market / The Sweet Escape

TGIF. Why is it that the shortest weeks feel like the longest? Probably because we cram 5 days worth of work into 4 days. I was just thinking about how gorgeous last long (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend was. I was in my hometown of Guelph for the weekend and decided to take advantage of the stunning weather and head down the street to the Aberfoyle Antique Market. Have you been? I would say it’s definitely one of the best markets in Southern Ontario. Although I have noticed the prices creeping up over the years. I guess it can’t be kept a secret forever. There’s no shortage of amazing vintage pieces and still lots of deals to be had if you keep your eyes open and practice your bargaining skills. The truth is that I really don’t need anything but of course I saw lots of things I wanted. Actually I was pretty disciplined and only walked away with two small pieces but here’s a bunch of interesting things that caught my eye.

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SPACES: 12 open shelving ideas for your kitchen

kitchen open shelving / The Sweet EscapeSo my kitchen makeover is kicking it up in high gear these days. My freshly painted kitchen cupboards are up and I’ll have an update soon on my lights. I’m in love. I stared at them all afternoon after the electrician left. The counters and backsplash are happening this week. I’m just crossing my fingers that nothing goes wrong. Nothing ever goes wrong with these things right?


So once all these logistical details get taken care of it’s time for the really fun part. The styling! If you remember this kitchen mock up – you can see that I’m planning on opening up a few cupboards to create an open shelving nook. It’s something I’ve always wanted but I’m pretty realistic about knowing that I could never pull off a full open kitchen. The key to open shelving is having well curated and styled pieces. I have the great kitchenware to show off, I just need a little help editing. Here’s 12 kitchens with a pop of open shelving that I love.

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DIY: 5 thrift shop halloween costumes

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadian friends and readers! Today many of us are gathered around the table filling our bellies and being thankful. Or we’re on the couch recovering from a turkey hangover. While we’re celebrating one holiday, I admit that my mind is on my most favourite holiday that’s just around the corner…halloween! I never grew out of the idea of getting dressed up and getting to play another character for a night. And the bag full of candy was a pretty sweet deal too. If only I wouldn’t get the stink eye doing it now, I would be out there with my pillowcase ready to cash in.

I think part of the reason I love this holiday so much is the creative factor in pulling together a costume. Sure, you could go out and buy something already put together, there’s so many more options now then there was before but where’s the fun in that? Halloween + thrift stores = a few of my favourite things. Last year I made a mermaid costume all from pieces I found at Value Village (aka Savers for my American friends) which was a big hit. But if you’re not the DIY type, I also showed you a bunch of easy costumes you could pull together with thrift store pieces. Here’s some more great thrift store halloween costume ideas for this year.
DIY Thift Shop Halloween Costumes - 50's girl / The Sweet Escape


DIY Thift Shop Halloween Costumes - female bank robber / The Sweet Escape


DIY Thift Shop Halloween Costumes - fortune teller / The Sweet Escape


DIY Thift Shop Halloween Costumes - Marge Simpson / The Sweet Escape


DIY Thift Shop Halloween Costumes - Sally Jesse Raphael / The Sweet EscapeAs usual, there’s a reference to the 80’s & 90’s for us that grew up during those questionable decades. And hopefully you don’t look like a man in that red haired Sally Jesse wig!

Do you have a costume in mind already for this year? I would love to hear what costume ideas you would add to this list or some of your favourite halloween stories.