Roundup of Christmas projects and DIYs

I’ve been putting a phenomenal amount of pressure on myself to do and make new projects for our first Christmas in Canada as a little family. Reality, however, always has different plans. The reality is that we moved into our apartment less than 2 months ago and there is SO MUCH I didn’t realise would be involved with starting from scratch with everything. I’m working on cutting myself some slack [and will be trying my best to actually relax over the holidays], but I still wanted to spread some Christmas cheer, so today I’m sharing a roundup of my favourite Christmas projects. And luckily, 50% of them are edible [my kind of project].

VEGAN BAILEYS – I made this recipe two years ago for Sadhbh of Where Wishes Come From’s Christmas Craft Advent. I promise this recipe legit tastes like Baileys. It was sooo good. But if the whole vegan thing isn’t your thing, two years previous to that I published my Nannie’s Knock-Off Baileys recipe.

STORMTROOPER STAMP TUTORIAL / STORMTROOPER WRAPPING PAPER – a really fun project I made for Wayfair a few years ago combining Star Wars and my affinity for wrapping paper. You could very easily use this stamp tutorial to make a stamp to create a wallpaper effect!

EDIBLE ORNAMENTS – another one of my favourite Christmas projects that I was hoping to recreate this year but never got around to it. I’ve made these zesty lemon Christmas ornaments a few times and they do not disappoint. They’re very easy to make and even more fun to eat straight off the tree.


SEASONAL SWITCH PLATES – this is an oooooold project [as noted by my photography ‘skills’], but making these seasonal light switch surrounds were one of my favourite projects years and years ago. I can’t wait for them to arrive in our container. Actually, I might have to make more to suit Canadian light switches as they’re a different shape … ANY EXCUSE RLY.

Those are my strictly Christmassy projects, but if you’d like to see all my DIYs, just check out my DIY tab. Merry Christmas / bottoms up!

Secondhand baroque style mirror and console

Kijiji has fast become one of the most visited pages on my browser since moving to Canada [actually, since before we moved to Canada. I found our green chaise lounge and even our apartment on it]. More recently, one of the many things I’ve been looking for is a fancy mirror for our hallway. I came close to it a few weeks ago when I found a [proper] vintage ornate gold mirror with built-in candelabra’s, but at the last minute, the seller sold it to someone who had a car and could collect it themselves [welp]. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because just this week I found a baroque style mirror AND console table for half the price … 

Neither are antiques but TBH I don’t care too much about that stuff. Trust me when I say these photos don’t do either much justice. The mirror looks very plastic in the first picture, but it’s actually plaster and VERY heavy. The console table is solid but it isn’t marble; the seller was upfront about that and it’s not hugely obvious. And more importantly to me, it’s not something that bothers me. 

I was hesitant about hanging the console table here because of the heater in our hallway, but I mean, the heater is prettier than the storage heaters in our Dublin apartment so I’m not going to loose sleep over it. It’s a perfect spot for us to drop our keys, leave our laundry money and maybe a candle [because MOAR CANDLES]. I already have big plans for our little hallway and can’t wait to paint it [after the living room is finished being painted of course. I try to finish one project before starting another.]. 
Not bad for $75. 

Design pieces I packed in my suitcase when we moved country

This might a bit of a strange blog post, but there were a lot of design pieces I packed and brought with me when we moved from Ireland to Canada. Meaning on-the-plane-packed, not container-packed. They’re all either sentimental pieces or pieces I couldn’t be without for 4 months until our container arrived from Ireland. So I figured, if there was anyone else out there about to embark on a similar move and you’re thinking of packing less conventional things, you’re right at home here. 

What I did was I started to make a list of the design stuff I wanted to pack in my suitcase and bring with me immediately [vs. ship in the container]. I started this list in about March of this year and whenever I thought of something important or something I couldn’t live without, I added it to the list. It also came in handy because as time went on, I was able to prioritise what I really needed or wanted and ended up taking a few things off the list. 

These are the practical [and I will agree, wildly impractical] things I decided to bring with me. I’ll start with the pieces featured in the picture above … 

Floral tealight holder from Easons. I love this little tealight holder. I picked it up one day in Easons on O’Connell Street as I was picking up a small pregnancy snack / craving. I very nearly didn’t get it.
Antler jewelry holder from Penney’s [aka Primark]. This was actually a candle I bought in the Christmas section of Penney’s a few years ago. I bought it just so I could use it to hold my earrings.
Baby head vase from April & the Bear.
– A small chopping board from Sostrene Grene. This sounds weird, but I brought a small black chopping board. I used it to keep some paperwork flat, and it came in handy immediately when we moved in and had nothing. Not even plates. So I used our cutlery and chopping board to give Cora her food.
A set of cutlery. It might sound strange, but I packed 4 of my favourite forks, knives and spoons. They’ve a small cutlery set that I actually have had since I was little, but they’re something we used almost immediately after arriving to our apartment. 
Two wooden spoons. I inherited them from my mom and yes, it sounds silly, but they’re really good wooden spoons. Another two pieces we used almost immediately [for making prison levels of porridge – all we could make for the first 3 days].
– All my camera and laptop equipment and accessories including my tripod, mouse, mouse pad etc.
Brass scissors from Hay. We had to have scissors in our checked luggage to cut Juniper and Toshi out of their cages after the flight, so if you have to bring scissors, might as well make them pretty ones.
Letter board from April & the Bear. Just because I wanted to bring it. It’s huge but I made it fit.
2018 Paperchase diary. Because Paperchase doesn’t exist in Canada and they’re the best diaries.
– Both my iBride trays. I have yet to hang them up since moving, but I couldn’t be without them for 4 months. I’m trying to decide the best spot for them. 
– A collection of Christmas stuff. I really love Christmas so I brought a collection of my favourite Christmas cards that we hang up every year along with some small ornaments including Cora’s first ornaments. 
Paperwork. Lots and lots of paperwork. Robert and I filled a plastic sleeve folder with paperwork for his work permit, the cats vaccinations, Cora’s citizenship and birth details, college paperwork etc. But I also snuck a few paper design things in there too. Like our car bumper sticker and Cora’s swan mobile.
– Cora’s Stokke crib and allen keys. Yes, we brought Cora’s crib with us on the plane. It seems insane, but it was an idea I had early on and I’m so glad we brought it with us immediately. It ended up only costing us €60 to bring it on the plane [even though it was oversized and weighed more than 23kg]. When we got to our apartment at 23:30 that night, Robert and I assembled it and Cora immediately had somewhere to sleep. I couldn’t justify buying another crib while waiting for Cora’s to arrive.

TIP: we didn’t have the box for Cora’s Stokke crib since we bought it secondhand. I called Stokke, explained our situation, and they sent us an empty box for free [you should have seen the delivery guys face when he delivered and empty box. I pretended to freak out asking where our crib was. LOL]. 

Tools and paint brushes. I brought my hammer, screwdriver, tape measure, paint can opener and two paint brushes. All of which I used in the first few days so I’m very glad I brought them all. It might seem a bit over the top, but I use all of them all the time so it was a no-brainer for me. 
Throw pillow cases. I brought our dark green and pink pillow cases so we could feel a little bit at home as soon as we got there. A quick trip to IKEA for inserts and they were perfect [any excuse to go]. 
– Cora’s playmat from Elodie Details. I smushed this up and put it in with the crib, and I’m really glad we brought it as Robert and I slept on it for 2 weeks until we bought a mattress. It’s been on Cora’s floor in her new bedroom ever since and plays on it every day.  
Wood touch up pens from the Euro Store. This was another one of those things I thought am I insane for prioritising bringing these? But I’m glad I did as I’ve used them on all the secondhand wooden furniture I’ve bought so far. 

For some people, I completely understand some of these things seem completely unimportant to bring with you in your luggage when moving abroad. But every one of these pieces was either practical, or for us, would make us feel at home sooner. What about you? Is there anything you can think of right now that if you moved you knew you couldn’t leave behind? It’s amazing what I started to prioritise 😉