Easter Table Decor

My Mom always hosts Christmas and Easter dinner but this year I said I would host Easter dinner. A few things you may not know about me 1. It doesn’t take much to stress me out (like…Easter dinner stresses me out lol), 2. I may have a mild case of OCD and 3. I’m a bit of a perfectionist. There are both positive and negative aspects to these qualities but probably more negative when you have 10+ people coming for dinner.

Originally I had 16 people coming for dinner (my parents are divorced so there are more than two sides of the family) so I figured I would have the kids at a kids table, 8 adults at the dinner table two at the breakfast bar, and the rest could pull up a chair close by and use their laps as a table. Not ideal but you do what you have to do.

The list is now at 12 so it’s a little more manageable. I will have the kids table and then 8 adults at the dinner table and I will squeeze in there somewhere. I thought I would share my table set up with you.

Before I do…I shared in my Instagram stories this week, the idea of using paper plates at Easter dinner. Originally this was my plan, but then my dinner guest list grew and I decided I couldn’t have people trying to cut meat on paper plates on their lap, so I went with plastic plates. At the end of the day I could have used paper plates because we will all fit at the table but I am happy with what I chose. (Let me just say though, paper plates are a great option for dinner and you can get some really cute patterned plates out there. Check out some of the patterns I chose under my Motherhood story highlights on my Instagram account.)

For photo purposes, I have set my table with six settings which does include a leaf in the table.

I’ll start with the place settings. The placemats, napkins and table runner I picked up from Home Sense and they were very affordable. I love the texture difference and how much the simple stitching on the napkin adds to the overall look. The dinner plates, dessert plates and cutlery are all plastic! It doesn’t look like it, right? I am very impressed with how the place settings turned out. I purchased the dinner plates, dessert plates and cutlery from Party City.

The candlestick holders and flower vines I purchased from Michaels, on sale! The vine is actually meant for wreath decor and I purchased it for under $10.

The white pails I purchased for under $2 from Michaels (on clearance) and the eggs are also from there and I purchased them when they had buy one get one off their Easter decor. I think it cost me $9 for two bags of eggs. They are definitely something I will use from year to year.

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It’s amazing what fresh flowers can add to a table. I wanted something simple, modern and vintage and I think I pulled it off. It can get expensive when it comes to Holiday decor but if you shop around for what you’re looking for, you can save a lot of money.

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Elegant is sometimes defined as simple. I kept the colour scheme to pastel colours, specifically turquoise, pink, white and cream. This also tied into my the curtains I have in my kitchen, which worked out perfectly.

I am loving how my Easter table turned out. Don’t be afraid to keep your china in the cupboard and go with something easy like paper or plastic. You can still achieve elegance with simplicity.

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Happy Easter, friends!

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Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer

I had read some amazing reviews about a new contour concealer by Tarte called Shape Tape. I didn’t really start using concealer until after I had babies. Newborns bring a whole new meaning to bags under the eyes. Am I right? I had tried several concealers in the past and never found one that I really loved and figured I might as well test this one out. Off to Sephora I went, only to find out Shape Tape was not available for purchase in any Canadian stores. Ugh. It was exclusive to Ulta, or had to be ordered from Tarte directly.

I ended up purchasing one that I was told was similar to Shape Tape by NARS. I have to admit, it was probably the best concealer I had tried up to that point. Shortly after this, a girlfriend of mine was travelling to the US and said she was going to pay a visit to Ulta so I told her she HAD to pick up some Shape Tape concealer. I did some research to best guess which shade I would be, but told her to use her judgment in the end.

I was so excited to try it and boy oh boy let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

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The first thing I noticed was how thick the applicator brush was (is that what it’s called?). The brush was more than twice the size of any concealer brush I’ve used, specifically the one by NARS. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Radiant Cream Concealer by NARS, it is definitely impressive and the price point is what you would expect with a decent cream concealer ($37). Typically I apply it under my eyes in the shape of a scalene triangle, a plus sign in the middle of my forehead and chin, and then a strip down my nose. I then use a beauty blender (wet slightly) to blend it into the highlight areas.

This is where Shape Tape steals the show. The coverage is phenomenal. I can do all of the mentioned areas of my face in one swoop whereas with the NARS concealer, I have to insert the applicator for each area of my face.

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Look at that applicator! See what I mean?

As for the coverage, Tarte chose the perfect name for this contour concealer because that’s exactly how it goes on your skin. It’s smooth, light and the coverage is amazing. The shade I wear is “Light”, and I have fair skin with pink undertones. I will however opt for a darker shade in the summer.

It is long lasting and the coverage stays put the entire day, without the need for reapplication. The only area that could use a little touch up by the evening is my nose, because I have an oily T-zone.

 

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If you have the chance to test out Shape Tape, I highly recommending doing so. If not, my second recommendation would definitely be NARS Radiant Cream Concealer which is available from Sephora.

(I’ve also heard great things about Tarte’s Shape Tape Matte Foundation, so I am adding that to my list of products to try.)

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Lord Elgin Hotel & A Glimpse of Ottawa

Last weekend I stayed at the Lord Elgin hotel in Ottawa and it was lovely. The hotel is located downtown Ottawa and is within walking distance of the Rideau Canal, Confederation Park and Parliament Hill. This historic landmark was constructed in 1941 but has received numerous renovations since, giving it a more modern feel while staying true to it’s heritage.

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I stayed in their Parkview Room which really speaks true to it’s name. The view in the day was beautiful and the view at night was no different. I can only imagine how breathtaking the it would be in the summer. (If you follow me on Instagram you can see my entire room tour saved to my story highlights.)

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The room was clean, cozy and bright. The bathroom had a large marble shower and a large window which is not something you often see in a bathroom in a hotel. There was a  Keurig in the room which was great but I opted for Starbucks which is conveniently located in the lobby (bonus). There is also a steakhouse located in the lobby, Grill 41. I was only there for one night and didn’t have a chance to try it out, but the menu looked amazing.

One of my favourite things about the hotel is it’s how close it is to so many tourist attractions! I had a few things I wanted to see/do while I was there and everything was within walking distance. (The only thing that wasn’t that I had to drive to was the Tanger Outlet but it was still less than a 15 minute drive from the hotel.)

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I walked from the Lord Elgin to Parliament Hill (a 5 min walk)
From Parliament Hill to Byward Market (a 10 min walk)
From Byward Market to the National Gallery of Canada (5 min walk)
From the National Gallery of Canada to the Rideau Centre (less than a 10 min walk)
From the Rideau Centre back to the Lord Elgin (less than a 10 min walk)

I loved that everything I wanted to see in my short trip was within walking distance of the hotel, and let me tell you it was COLD, so I was even more thankful for the short distances.

Just a glimpse into some of the places I visited:

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If you are looking to visit Ottawa book your stay at the Lord Elgin, and enjoy everything the beautiful city has to offer!

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Vintage-Style Jug Finds

I’ve been on the hunt for a vintage milk jug for a while now. I checked a few antique shops in the last few months but nothing jumped out at me, or what I did find was too over priced. I wanted something I could keep inside for now, and move it outside come gardening season (and no I don’t have much of a green thumb).

I actually stumbled upon this one accidentally, and literally. The top had come off this one and I tripped over it at Home Sense. I slapped the lid back on and realized what it was. I flipped it over for the price and saw it was $39.99. I have seen them from $60-$200 so this was definitely the cheapest one yet, and I loved the look of it.

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I brought it home with me and figured I could add a few faux pieces to it that I had from Michaels. Voila! I’m not sure if this piece will make it outside come gardening season because I love it where it is but we shall see.

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I had a few of you message me after I posted the picture on my Instagram feed about where I purchased it from, so thought I would source a few for you. For my US followers, Home Sense is comparable to HomeGoods, so if you find something you like you need to snag it because there is no guarantee they will have it next time.

The first one I found from Pier1 and I actually love this one.

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This retails for $49.95 CA, so a little more than what I paid for mine.

Although it is hard to see in the picture, you can remove the lid and add some faux stems to it as well, or real plants come warmer weather. I LOVE the distressed look on this one and really ties in the farmhouse-modern feel. This one is 25 inches high so it has some decent height on it which was something I was looking for.

This one I came across on Amazon and it looks very similar to mine.

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This galvanized milk jug is definitely more pricey ($142.77 CA) and more rustic looking. This one is only 13.75 inches high, so if you’re looking for something with a little less height, this one is for you.

I chose these ones on Wayfair because they are just so stinking cute; retailing at $101.99 for the pair.

Brigantine+Farmhouse+Round+Iron+2+Piece+Milk+Can+SetWith these, you have the option of keeping one inside and one outside, and they both have great height. I love the distressed look on these and the ear handles. The large one is 20 inches high and the smaller one is 17 inches high. These also come in red but I much prefer the white.

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Happy shopping, friends!

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Key Lime Pie without the Key

I was determined to bake a key lime pie and was going to hit one grocery store with the kids. If said grocery store didn’t have key limes (I would have settled for key lime juice) then too bad. Sure enough, no key limes. I decided to go ahead with the pie anyway, sans the key limes. You can’t really substitute key limes with anything else, but you can get pretty close by adding in some lemon juice to pump up the acidity levels. I have to say…it turned out DELICIOUS. It was the perfect amount of tart and tasted almost identical to the one I made with key limes.

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Ingredients

Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I use HoneyMaid)
7 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp himalayan salt
Filling:
1½ tbsp zest from a lime
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 fresh lemon juice
3 egg yolks
Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream (35%)
1 tbsp sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
For the crust:
1. In a medium bowl add graham cracker crumbs, melted butter or margarine, sugar and salt. Mix until well combined. Pour mixture into a 9 -inch pie dish and press down. Bring crust up the edges of the pie dish. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool while preparing the filling.
For the filling:
2. Add 1 tbsp of the lime zest to the egg yolks and whisk for 1-2 minutes, or until thickened.
3. Add sweetened condensed milk and mix for another 2-3 minutes.
4. Add lime and lemon juice and stir until well combined.
5. Pour the mixture onto the pie crust.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow pie to cool for 30 min and then place in fridge for at least 2 hours.
For the Whipped Cream (make right before serving):
1. With an electric mixer, whip the cream and sugar together until stiff peaks form.
2. Top the pie with the whipped cream and sprinkle the remaining ½ tbsp of lime zest on top as a garnish.

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Try it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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