French Pressed Mocktail

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DSC_0907Oh hey there- I guess I’ve been a bit M.I.A. lately. Well I’m happy to be back with a new post! Something about the warm weather and sunshine has got me all inspired for some fun summer projects. First up: repurposing some of those forgotten kitchen gadgets.

I’m all about kitchen gadgets- let’s just make that clear. But then eventually something else comes along and makes life easier and you phase out some of the older items. Case in point: my French press coffee maker. Ever since I got a Keurig machine, I haven’t used my French press once… not once! I love the look of it but it’s just not as convenient as using the single-serve coffee machine. On vacation recently I saw a restaurant using their French press to make cocktails and drinks and I still can’t get over how clever an idea it is.
DSC_0888I decided to try a simple combination for this first mocktail (you could easily add vodka or any liquour to this because hey, you only live once!). Here’s what I put in mine:  

Blood Orange sparkling beverage (found at Superstore)
Lemon flavoured sparkling water
Orange slices & raspberries
DSC_0901I find the blood orange drink a bit too sweet for me, so wanted to cut it with something that would mellow out the flavour a bit. I did about 2 parts blood orange drink with 1 part lemon water- then added a few orange slices (blood oranges aren’t really in season right now) and raspberries. I let this sit for a while so the fruit could infuse the liquids. Right before serving, I pressed them down to the bottom. I served over ice and garnished with orange slices and raspberries. Could not be easier and what a great new way to serve drinks all summer long. Cheers!
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Happy Easter

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Happy Easter to all who celebrate this holiday. I’m heading home this weekend to spend time with family and my cousin even made a last-minute trip home from Vancouver (hey Lauren!) which means we get to celebrate her birthday together.

Here’s what my dining table looked like yesterday morning via my iPhone. Hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!
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Sprouting Carrot Place Setting

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DSC_0863I just love a good place setting. And since Easter is almost here I wanted to come up with something that would be fitting for an Easter dinner table. You may remember the Easter Egg place settings I made last year- I really believe that however you choose to decorate your table you need to consider spacing. There’s nothing worse than having a beautifully decorated table with no room left for serving dishes of food!

Here’s how I made these sprouting carrot name card settings:

Supplies (all from Michaels):
Mini terracotta pots
Foam craft carrots
Shredded paper (mine came in a bag)
Toothpicks
Cardstock
DSC_0841I started by snipping off the loops from the carrots. Next I skewered them onto a toothpick (if your toothpicks are too long you can cut them down to size). I took some of the shredded paper and started filling the terracotta pots. I put enough in so the toothpicks could be wedged in and stand straight up. If you’re having trouble with this, you could always put a bit of stick-tack or tape on the bottom of the pots and secure the toothpicks this way. To top it off, I added a few more pieces of shredded paper to fill in any bare spots.  DSC_0842 DSC_0845Lastly, I cut out small banners from cardstock and wrote the names on them. You could definitely secure them somehow, or even write the names on the pots themselves. I left my banners just leaning against the carrots so I can use these for general Easter decor, not just place settings.

DSC_0854DSC_0859I still can’t get over how cute these mini terracotta pots are. And these have already been a great addition to my Easter centerpiece!

Ta-da! (a new beginning)

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Welcome to the newly designed InvitedDIY! I’ve been wanting to make change for a while and today’s the day they all came together. This blog has changed so much since Krista and I first started it in 2012. Krista has been focusing on other exciting projects and going forward I will continue to be the sole contributor (with the exception of some guest posts- don’t you just love those?) Thanks to Lauren for helping me put the finishing touches on the new header/logo. Our conversations went something like this “ok can you take away one dot? Now add 3? Now take away 5?” I think I gave her a headache… I also updated the “about” page so head on over there if you want some more info!

I feel like with this new season and some of the new changes on this blog, it’s sort of like a fresh start. The posts will still be a similar style as in the past but I’ve also got some new ideas kicking around that I’m really excited for. Must be this whole spring cleaning/trees blooming/waking up my creativity- thing. And I like it! Thanks to all of you who continue to follow this blog- I love hearing when some of you take ideas from here and make projects of your own. It makes my DIY-heart so very happy.

xo, Kerri
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Hello: Faux Flower Wreath

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DSC_0780Is it just me or is this weather seriously getting old? I’m so over winter and I’ve decided I’m moving forward with spring no matter what. Enter: a spring wreath! This was so simple to make and who wouldn’t want to be welcomed by this wreath as they approach your front door? I sometimes hang wreaths on the inside of doors so I can enjoy them more than if they were outside. Selfish? Maybe.
DSC_0787Anyway, all I did for this wreath was pick up a floral ring (from Michaels) and a few bunches of plastic flowers (from the dollar store).  I wanted there to be some kind of message on the wreath as well and really liked the idea of it saying hello or just hi. Michaels must have been feeling my vibe because I found this little wooden hello and it was perfect!
DSC_0773 DSC_0776I started by hot gluing a few of the larger flowers onto the ring. I wanted these to act as a guide. I then squished some of the smaller flowers in between- in no real colour order. I gave the hello sign a few coats of white paint and hot glued it to some of the flowers. For those of you who ever take on DIY projects and know how time consuming some of them can be, it’s so nice to have simple and quick projects like this for those times when you can’t spend all day on something.
DSC_0783I’m loving this wreath and am excited to keep up these spring projects. Are any of you working on a spring DIY?

Let’s Get Organized! (In the Kitchen)

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The After!
DSC_0756Even though there’s still (a lot) of snow on the ground, I can feel that spring is coming and with it, my urge for spring cleaning! I was standing in my kitchen last week and was all of a sudden horrified at the state of my metal kitchen shelf. I love this shelf. It’s from Ikea (found here) and I picked it up on sale a few years ago. I have a decent amount of kitchen cupboards but my counter space is next-to-nothing in my apartment. I like to use this shelf as an extension of the countertop to store things I use on a regular basis. I like things to be easy to see, easy to grab and out in plain sight. This is how the shelf looked last week:
DSC_0751 DSC_0754So last week when I really looked at how I was using this shelf, I realized how much space I was wasting. I decided to tackle it by taking everything off and then carefully rearranging and reorganizing what I put back. The 3 baskets on the middle shelf were (as you can see) overflowing and were stuffed with bills, old birthday cards and appliance manuals. SO not a good use of space! I filed those things away and started using these baskets for kitchen-related items that are small and sometimes get lost among the bigger things. I packed in milk bottles, paper straws, vases, aprons and my coffee press. And oh. my. gosh. Such a better use of space! 
DSC_0763 DSC_0762 DSC_0767The serving pieces I left out on the shelves are the ones I use most and like to have on hand. My favourite part about this is that this shelf wasn’t just styled for these photos. This is how it actually looks now and it’s become so much more functional for me.
DSC_0758 DSC_0759 DSC_0755I just hope this spring cleaning vibe carries over to other areas of this place that need some organization!

Anyone else catching the organization bug?

DIY Gift Toppers

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DSC_0726Let’s take a moment to talk about gift wrapping, shall we? I am usually pretty good about this kind of stuff when it comes to major occasions like Christmas or weddings. For Christmas I have wrapping paper and bags and tissue paper and gift toppers galore. Mainly because when I see this stuff in the stores I just can’t pass it up. Bur for more everyday occasions like birthdays, housewarmings, etc., I’m not as well prepared and I’ve decided to change that! The first step for me was to make DIY gift toppers. You know these- you see them in stores, little words or flowers you can buy to “top off” the gift wrapping after the paper and ribbon. While the store-bought ones are nice, they can be a bit pricey sometimes and they don’t always have the perfect one for the occasion. I pulled out some craft supplies and just sort of went to town- for some of them, I hot glued a small clothespin on the back so they can easily be clipped to the ribbon and after you’ve given the gift, they can be re-used or clipped onto anything really for display.
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These will be great for me to have on hand and be able to pop onto any gift I may need to give- although the ‘5’ I made with my nephew Liam in mind since his birthday is coming up in a few months. Some I used with ribbon or string to replace the need for ribbon and a topper altogether.
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I think they look great on top of these gifts and I plan to make new ones each time I use one up- that way I’ll always have some on hand!

What’s your favourite way to top a gift?

I’m Learning to Sew // 001

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DSC_0709You guys, I am so excited for this post! Last week I got the chance to visit with my cousin Lauren who was home from Vancouver. I hadn’t seen her in exactly 1 year- although we talk every single day! She is a very talented crafter/sewer/baker and even has her own successful Etsy shop REDandDANDY. She recently bought a new sewing machine and surprised me by bringing her older one home for me! She’s given me a few lessons over the years but I am really starting from scratch on the sewing front. Right now I am just becoming really good friends with the instruction manual, but my plan is to pick up some scrap fabric and just start practicing my technique. Basically if I can learn to sew a straight line I will be so happy!
DSC_0713DSC_0714 DSC_0717I am planning to make my sewing progress a series on the blog, and hope you’ll follow along with me. And definitely, if you have any tips or tricks or great sewing projects you’d like to share, I would love to hear them!

You can also follow along with REDandDANDY on Facebook. If you’re in the market for some modern neck ties for men or dogs (seriously!) then this is the place to get them. She does custom orders too!
https://www.facebook.com/REDandDANDY

Table Styling / Two Ways

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DSC_0610I received this accent table as an early Christmas gift and I absolutely love it. It’s the perfect size for a wall that was always empty in my apartment. For a while I had it decorated with Christmas decor, so when the holidays were over I started to think about how to style it for the everyday. I love the way this framed “home sweet home” print looks so I often keep that, along with the white vase while switching out some of the other details like fresh flowers, candles and accent pieces.
DSC_0619 DSC_0621Living in an apartment, my furniture often has to pull double duty. I’d love a nice buffet or hutch in the dining room but just don’t have the space for it. I decided to try using this table, set up as a small buffet and I think it worked really well.
DSC_0636I plan on having it set up similar to this when I’m hosting friends next weekend. I switched out the black frame for a flower print (it’s usually in my kitchen), hung my Valentine garland, added a new vase and then just the treats- milk bottles for punch, candies and baked goods.
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I like that I can change up the look of this table so easily for different occasions and it can be really functional too. Do you change up accent decor throughout the year?

HERE is the accent table (this is from the U.S. site but mine is from Canada)

HERE is the Etsy Home Sweet Home print

Making: Mini Paninis

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photo 4A few weekends ago  my boyfriend had a group of friends over to watch a full day of football… As in two games… in a row. While my attention span for football topped out after 30 minutes, it was a fun afternoon. Dwayne is a great cook and I always delight in being his sous chef. I asked him to share his recipes for the mini paninis he made for dinner that night- they were such a hit with everyone! These photos really don’t do them justice- we were just trying to snap a few pictures as we were making them and our hands were covered in olive oil! Here’s how it all came together:

Potato Chips, chili, mozza sticks, all the staples of a football party are there, but the real star of the night were the mini Paninis. I’ve owned my Panini press for about 2 years now, and really only started using it about a month ago. Now that I’ve realized it’s awesome, I keep thinking about different combinations (even though I should be at work).

A couple came to mind that day. The first was a Turkey Pesto. Start with a fresh baguette, mediumly (is that a word?) sliced and spread the pesto on the baguette. Next layer is the Turkey, (Remark has a pretty great in-store one). I followed that with Swiss cheese, spinach, salt and pepper.
Panini2The second one was a little more Italian inspired. Same baguette, this time it was layered with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, roma tomatoes, arugula and again salt and pepper.
panini1Lightly cover the outsides of the sandwiches with a nice olive oil, and into the Panini press until they’re browned and crunchy.
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photo 4Seriously you guys, these were so good. Have you ever made paninis? What are your favourite toppings?