Remember when I mentioned over the holidays that I wanted to bring more ENTERTAIN content to JustineCelina this year? Although these weren’t quite the circumstances I envisioned (now that’s an understatement!), I’m thrilled to share A Simple Easter Dinner For Two with you today! While Easter certainly looked a lot different for everyone this year given the current global situation, we decided to make the most of it and celebrate here in our home in Calgary — just the two of us. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we’d spend an Easter without the large family gatherings in the country we’ve become accustomed to over the years — but rather than mourning the loss of our cherished traditions, we resolved to stay home and create a few of our own!
In over a decade together, this was the first Easter dinner we’ve celebrated in our home — and I wanted to mark the occasion by capturing these memories to look back on. I put on a dress, ordered flowers, made some nostalgic family recipes along with my first ever carrot cake — then we popped some Prosecco and enjoyed A Simple Easter Dinner For Two (Adam was actually peeling potatoes in the kitchen to my left as I snapped these photos from my tripod!). I was reminded of my ability to find beauty in uncertainty and create amongst chaos — these are things I find very cathartic and truly bring me joy. While it wasn’t a traditional Easter, it was still a lovely weekend — gifting us with lessons in resiliency, enjoying life’s simple pleasures and doing the best you can with what you have, where you are! Whether you’ve stopped by today for details on our Easter in quarantine, are planning a more intimate Easter gathering of your own, or are visiting years in the future once this is all behind us in search of some easy Easter entertaining ideas, I’ve got you covered!
With the holidays just around the corner and the height of entertaining season upon us, I’m elated to share my go-to Easy Holiday Entertaining Ideas in my first dedicated ENTERTAIN post in… gulp… 3 years! The absence of entertaining content here at JustineCelina in recent years has happened authentically, as we’ve scaled back on entertaining in general — simply because life is busy (I’m sure you can relate, especially at this time of year!). Although we love to have an apartment full of company eating, drinking and be merry during the holidays, I’m all about making this festive time of year as fun, stress free and healthy as possible — and that’s what this post is all about! Whether you’ve been with me for years or are new to my cozy little corner of the internet (welcome!), you’ll know I also love to incorporate better-for-you food and drink whenever we’re hosting or attending a party — because I believe in balance and mindful choices in every season of life.
Earlier this month as I pulled out our festive decor and entertaining essentials I discovered Kombrewcha — a delicious, 4.4% ABV hard kombucha made from organic ingredients. As a plant based eater with a sensitive stomach thanks to numerous food intolerances, I’ve long enjoyed kombucha as a way to help keep my digestion on track — especially during the holidays! I also love to mix this effervescent, probiotic-rich, fermented tea into my COCKTAILS (if you follow along with my Instagram Stories, you’ll know I’ve been developing kombucha cocktails since last summer!). This holiday season, I was absolutely delighted to find a better-for-you beverage that incorporates all of my libation must-haves (made from incredible ingredients and free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar!) in a convenient, ready-to-enjoy format. Tonight I’ve partnered with this new to Alberta brand to host a casual holiday dinner party and share my tried and true Easy Holiday Entertaining Ideas — complete with my best decor, styling, hosting, food and drink, fashion and beauty tips to create a festive and memorable evening. Cheers to a happy, healthy and joyous holiday season!
Interior design lovers, I’m back today with a highly requested post in our SPACE REFRESH series detailing exactly how I created our built-in-looking Dining Room Bar for less than $900 (please keep in mind this project was completed n 2019), all in! In the initial reveal of our Dining Room, Bar & Kitchen, I touched on our design choices and the process of how the room came together, but today I’m sharing everything that went into bringing our home bar from concept to completion — including inspiration, planning, sketches and mock ups, alternate shelving options, sources (plus how I hunted down the best deals!) and of course, the finished space. If you’re planning to create a beautiful home bar yourself and are up for a healthy dose of DIY, or you simply want a closer look at where all the COCKTAIL magic happens behind the scenes here at JustineCelina, you’ve come to the right place!
Although this project didn’t turn out as I had originally envisioned it due to timeline and budget constraints, we truly couldn’t be happier with it! Throughout this process, I’ve learned that great interior design does absolutely not have to be extravagant to be functional and beautiful. Our goal with this space was to utilize its recessed features to create extra storage for our libations and glassware without losing any square footage in our main living area. We wanted to create an inspiring area to whip up cocktails, serve wine and allow guests to pour themselves a drink without having to come to the kitchen, which can become full easily. Since we love to entertain, creating a relaxed, informal bar area adjacent to the dining room table allows for much better flow in the room — and it also keeps the liquor flowing! Fix yourself a cocktail or pour up a delicious glass of wine and take a seat at our bar to see how this space came together!
If you would have told me 3 years ago that I’d be writing an article about How to Select and Care For Houseplants, I would have never believed you! While my green thumb is fairly new, to say I’ve learned a lot since I began selecting and caring for our houseplants since November would be a major understatement. And while I don’t yet consider myself an expert, I have managed to keep our 15 houseplants alive for 9 months and counting now — so I must be doing something right! Our plants are growing like crazy this summer and while I’ve wanted to publish this post for awhile now, seeing them thrive prompted me to push this highly requested post to the top of my list!
If you’re considering plant parenthood, it’s important to remember that plants are living things and they deserve their best chance to thrive. They become your responsibility as soon you bring them home and you should commit to caring for them just as you would a pet. Plants need a great home, water (and sometimes food!), sunshine and most importantly, consistent care and love! Today I’m kicking off a brand new PLANT section here at JustineCelina with a crash course in plant selection and care — including how to select the right plants for your space, cost, the best plant shops in Calgary, planter selection and potting tips, and watering guidelines and schedules! If you’ve always been curious about the details of our urban jungle and how I keep our houseplants healthy, happy and thriving, pour yourself a delicious glass of wine, kick back, relax and settle in for a in-depth mid-week read!
Happy Monday everyone — and welcome back for the next, highly anticipated reveal in our SPACE REFRESH series! Today, in partnership with HomeSense Canada, I’m elated to unveil the other half of our refreshed main living area — the Dining Room, Bar & Kitchen. While we’ve been refreshing our space since last summer (when we embarked on our hugePaint Transformation!), most of our time was spent gathering inspiration for the Living Room, as we almost completely started from scratch furniture and decor wise over there. Our Living Room took the better part of 6 months to pull together — and during my many HomeSense runs as it came to life (a lot of you came along via Insta Stories!), I also had a vision for the adjacent Dining Room, Bar & Kitchen in mind, picking up items for this space as I curated details for our Living Room. So, relatively speaking, this area came together quite quickly in comparison!
Our Living Room, Dining Room, Bar & Kitchen are all located in the same space — a large, long and somewhat narrow room. So, we kept the overall look and feel as cohesive as possible to unify the separate areas of the room with an overarching design sensibility. We took design cues for our SPACE REFRESH from our developer who was inspired by earth’s natural elements — our space features natural materials and textures with a warm, mid century modern vibe, a touch of boho and an abundance of greenery! Not only are we thrilled with the aesthetic appeal of our refreshed Dining Room, Bar & Kitchen, this space is also very functional for the way we live in it, which I consider the true mark of great design. Today I’m sharing all my tips, tricks and inspiration for designating different areas within one large room, creating and maximizing apartment storage, as well cost effective ways to refresh your space while repurposing your existing furniture (our only new piece in this space is our sideboard — the rest has been with us for years!). Pull up a seat at our table and settle in for your evening read, friends — can I fix you a cocktail?
Welcome back, friends! This post officially kicks off our SPACE REFRESH series here at JustineCelina and I’ve never been more excited to publish as post as I am today! If you don’t follow along with my Insta Stories (where I’ve been documenting our Space Refresh BTS for the past 6 months!), you may only vaguely remember that we embarked on a massive space refresh project in August — starting with a with a fresh coat of paint. Due to some furniture delays as we refreshed our Living Room, we finally completed our huge paint project mid February (yes, really — you’ll have to read the post to find out why!). Today I’ve compiled a mega post detailing every step of our Paint Transformation and how you can DIY a professional quality paint job yourself — including the tools you’ll need, tips about paint selection and finish, what to expect when you’re painting over a dark colour, project cost and time involvement. If you love a good before and after, you’ll love today’s post!
But first, let me bring you up to speed about why we decided to start this huge project in the first place! We purchased our home, a 1500 sq ft apartment in inner city Calgary, from the builder back in 2012. At the time it was very modern compared to everything else on the market, but it was love at first sight! However, as the years passed we grew increasingly tired of the builders greige and the itch to refresh our space struck. Ultimately, in 2017 we decided we’d be here for another few years and there was no time like the present to start creating a our dream space. Initially I had planned to have our apartment professionally painted — that is, until the estimates came back! On average, a professional paint job for our entire home rang in at $2300 (and I was shocked!). I knew we could take the project on ourselves and achieve similar results for a fraction of the cost. Interior design, styling and DIY are huge passions of mine and I’m elated to be sharing more DWELL based content here at JustineCelina this year in our freshly painted space — so come on in!