Let Us Introduce You To…French Creek Collective

It always so exciting to see a new business open here in Campbell River! Especially one with unique home and gift items like French Creek Collective.

French Collective Pic 1

Deanna just had to stop in and take a peek at the new store located on Shoppers Row. Here are a few pictures of some of the neat things you can discover when you swing by for a visit.

French Collective Pic 2

The folks at French Creek Collective have lots of stock coming in for their Grand Opening this Friday, March 27!

French Collective Pic 4You must go and check out this fantastic shop for lots of great gift ideas, both new and antique.

For more information, visit the French Creek Collective Facebook Page at : https://www.facebook.com/pages/French-Creek-Collective/327883987402478

Or contact the store by Phone: (250) 914-0355

Deanna and Sam’s Favourite Things…Holiday Edition!

Welcome to Our Little 5 Part Series regarding our Favourite Things!

Over the next couple of days we’ll be sharing our Favourite Ideas, Tips and Tricks for the Holiday Season.

Today’s post is all about Decorating for Christmas!

decorating blog pilllows

This time of year I love decorating the house. I am a throw pillow addict. One closet is already dedicated to throw pillows, and since Target has moved to town it’s officially full! Target is a GREAT place to buy a couple of festive pillows. I personally love the golds and silvers. Maybe I might pick up a bright turquoise or classic red. Or you can add a throw blanket in a festive colour or pattern to introduce a bit of Christmas magic to your room.

white pine decorating

You don’t have to wait until Christmas Eve to snappy up your table. I like to bring the outdoors in (no need for Febreeze). I prefer white pine myself, but snipping a few pine, fir and cedar bows and arranging them on your mantle or just a bit in a vase is easy and smells delicious. I even pop fir bows into my outside planters since they’re empty of all their summer flowers.


My all time favourite decorating technique is simply using Christmas balls. I fill huge glass vases, dishes and even old wooden crates .Then I put them all over the entry, the bathroom (all over the house really). You can keep it all solid colours or you can mix them up.

Happy Decorating!

We want to know if you are seeing these posts on your Facebook news feed. If you could take a moment to like, share or comment on our Facebook post and/or on this actual blog post that would be swell!! As a thank you we are going to pull a random winner at the end of our favorites week to win this basket of our favorite things including a wreath!

Christmas Gift Basket

Homemade Christmas Presents That You Can Actually Make (We Promise!)

Yeah!! It’s time to start the CHRISTMAS POSTS!! We LOVE this time of year! It’s such a wonderful season to gather with family and friends and celebrate the holidays.

One thing we can all agree on is that there is nothing quite like the joy of gift giving. But it can be expensive and it’s not always easy to come up with new and creative ideas. And as Deanna points out, “I like to have some emergency gifts on hand for those times when that neighbour that unexpectantly arrives at your door with a gift and you have nothing for them!” That’s where we come in. Here are a couple of suggestions for some pretty DIY gifts for you to brighten someone’s holiday! The first idea comes from Deanna, read about it below.

3b0e91ee08883e627e55e54ccbe9b144A couple of years ago I bought some cute jars at Superstore, some twine and tags and went to town making a huge batch of homemade hot chocolate mix. Here is a recipe adapted from here http://www.morelikehome.net/2013/10/day-26-hot-chocolate-mix.html
To make the hot chocolate, just mix the following ingredients and store them in an air-tight jar:

  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups dry milk powder
  • 1 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

To make hot chocolate, just fill a mug 1/3 – 1/2 with the mix, then fill the rest of the way with hot water and stir until dissolved. If you’ll be keeping a jar refilled like us, I made a recipe card sized printable you can download (just print if off and cut out the cards). This would be a great one-time gift in a smaller jar, but it’s also great as a gift that keeps on giving if you use a jar big enough to hold the whole batch and include a copy of the recipe card with it! Let your friends keep a steady supply too!

You can attach a small bottle of Bailey’s to the mix, crush some candy canes on top or add some mini marshmallows. There are tons of ways to personalize this gift!
Another fabulous (and ridiculously simple) idea is to make some hand and body scrub.We have both made these and they can be customized with different essential oils to personalize each scrub for the perfect gift!
my scrub
  • 1 C. Coconut Oil
  • ½ C. Brown Sugar
  • ¼ C. Honey
  • 4-5 4 oz. Jelly Jars
  1. In a medium size bowl, combine the coconut oil, brown sugar, honey and mix well.
  2. Add the scrub to your 4 oz. Jelly jars.
  3. Makes 4-5 4 oz. Jelly jars.
  4. Stored in an airtight container, the scrub will last for about 6 months. If there is any separation simply stir the mixture. Coconut Oil solidifies under 65 degrees, you can warm in microwave for a few seconds if it solidifies. Remove the metal ring and lid before warming. * A lot of recipes called for real lemon zest, but we like it with a LOT of lemon, so essential oils are where it’s at.*

Lastly, a personalized photo gift is always appreciated and can be very simple or a little more elaborate. We have made beautiful Christmas cards with simple family photos and blown up pictures of our kids and placed them into nice frames for the grandparents. But, I think our most favourite and personalized photo gift we’ve made are photo books. Below, Sam explains how she makes her photo books.


I like to use Blurb for our photo books. They have a ton of templates to choose from and you can reorder books anytime. These make great books for our parents and grandparents and they can even be made into stocking stuffers for the kiddos! You can find a link to the website below.
Throughout the next month or so, we look forward to sharing some more gift, decorating and recipe ideas to help you make the most out of the holiday season. Do you have a DIY gift idea that you would like to share with us? We’d love to hear about it! Comment below, email us at deannacollins@royallepage.ca or samanthamackenzie@royallepage.ca or comment on Deanna’s Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/realtorD?ref=bookmarks.

Carpet vs Wood

Everyone has a preference. Some people love the cushy, homey feel of a plush carpet throughout their home. Others would rather give their home hardwood floor for the ease of cleaning and a possible drop in allergies. Statistically speaking, it has been shown that buyers will pay more for a home with hardwood then one with carpet.

Hardwood fans boast that their floors don’t hold on to allergens that can sink into the fibers of carpet. They are easy to maintain, don’t stain, and really feel “clean” unlike carpet where you often feel like vacuming is not really pulling up all the dirt and germs.

There can be some downsides to hardwood however. Depending on what kind or type of flooring you purchase, you may leave yourself open to scratching and scuffs from pets or kids toys. There is also the fact that you will be cleaning the floors more often to rid yourself of obvious dirt, dust and pet hair.

We found some great ideas on this website for Hardwood and Engineered Wood Floors: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20413594,00.html


On the flip side, carpet feels so cozy and warm especially in the winter. It can be ideal for tumbling kids and gentle on the feet. Carpet also comes in a lot more colour options than wood, and is usually cheaper and easy to change.

But what about carpet off gas or the fact that dirt and allergens can be lurking in the fibres? The carpet industry claims that most carpet has been certified as low emitters of VOCs these days and that carpet does not aggravate asthma and allergies. It traps airborne dust particles in the spaces between the tufts, where a good-quality vacuum can dispose of it.

Carpet lost market share in the 1980s and ’90s as hard surfaces became popular. Today, about 51 percent of all floor coverings in the United States are carpet.


Here is helpful and informative link all about choosing and installing carpets: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20420275_20840343,00.html

For those of us with pets and carpets, I think we can all relate to this story that Deanna told me yesterday. It highlights the unfortunate fact that even if you have the smallest bit of carpet in your home, your furry family member will always find it for the worst reasons. (Warning: The Story Below Contains Some Graphic Content. Finish Your Dinner First)

This morning is a prime example of my love hate relationship with carpet. I have a cat door as I like to let my cats go in and out and be crazy wild animals. But that means sometimes they bring in a mouse or as in this morning’s case throw up three piles of what appears to be The chewed up half digested remains of about a 1 pound rodent. Of all the places in the house to do it they find the small section of carpet I have.

You can wash it but you always know what was there and it never really feels clean.


So at the end of the day, you may have to take a few factors in to account when thinking about the right flooring for your style and taste. And a mixture of both carpet and hardwood (my personal choice) can give you the best of both worlds and add beautiful dimension to your home. Here is a link to an article about combining both flooring styles here:


Happy Designing!

Let us Introduce you to… Whimsy Woolies!

It’s that time again for Local Feature Tuesdays! We’re so excited to bring some well deserved attention to these fabulous Campbell River and Area businesses and events.
This week we are showcasing Whimsy Woolies, a great mother-daughter business. I have had the pleasure of being personally tutored by Mimi herself and have been grateful to receive a couple of the adorable hats from her patterns for my boys. Here is a little bit more about these lovely ladies and their business below.
Mimi Wilson & Kate Denne, mother and daughter team, are the creators of “Whimsy Woolies”; a crochet pattern design business.
To follow the business please visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/whimsywoolies
To view their online stores, visit: www.whimsywoolies.etsy.com or www.zibbet.com/whimsywoolies
“Myself being the artisan and Kate the queen of computer savvy, allowed my dream to become a reality in this high tech world. Inspired at a very young age by my protegee, Mimi Foort, who was an amazingly talented and spirited Lebanese woman. She lived on Quadra Island, across Discovery Passage from my home. I am reminded of the kerosene lantern, the spinning of the wheel and the smell of fleece. Mimi taught me to knit, crochet and spin. I was 19 when I opened my yarn shop, taught others my crafts, and had a design company for a number of years. This was prior to the web, when it was a great effort to market your talent. I was fortunate enough to sell my designs both in Victoria and Vancouver, but burnout hit and I lost my creative spark for a number of years. Then along came my sweet grandchildren, who have re-ignited my flame. I read a quote that lit a spark, by George Elliot, “It’s never to late to be what you might have been”. I want to leave a legacy, my patterns, a book, something to hold in your hands, a craft that I hope will ignite your creativity. I want everyone to be able to create and enjoy my Whimsy Woolies as much as I have in their creation.I am so fortunate to collaborate with Nycky-jay Vanjecek, the talented artist behind Bluetree Photography. She is amazing, how she captures my precious models personalities and indulges visual touch to my ‘Whimsy Woolies’, releasing the essence of each design.

Whimsy Woolies official opening May 6th, 2011
And remember, if you want to showcase your local business or event, email us at deannacollins@royallepage.ca or samanthamackenzie@royallepage.ca. We’d love to help you get the word out to the community!

Bedrooms Kids (and Parents) Will Love!

Kids room design has really evolved in the last few years. Kids rooms have become a place for parents to showcase their children’s interests as well as matching the vibe of the whole home. You can take the simplest of kids rooms and turn them into functional and fun sanctuaries for your little ones. From bright and bold wall decals to cozy little reading nooks, we’ve gathered some great ideas to inspire your creativity. We’ve also found some awesome shared bedroom ideas that will make your kiddos more than happy to have a roommate!

This first link showcases some AMAZING Toddler Room Ideas:



These links will show you some really neat DIY ideas to transform your kiddo’s room into a unique little hang out.




Next up are some ideas for a reading area for some quiet book time for your littles.




These are some excellent options we found if your wee people will be sharing a room.




And lastly, here is one really awesome space to inspire you to pass your love for Star Wars onto your kids. They’ll thank you one day.



DIY Chalk Paint Furniture Make Over

photo 1
This old chaise lounge has sat rotting on my back deck for 2 years so I decided to give it a make over. I love chalk paint because it fits my painting style perfectly. NO prepping, quick drying, no rules, and very forgiving to work with! I bought a few colors at Red Living in Courtenay. I know that the cans are fairly pricey but a little goes a long way here! You can use this paint both indoors and out. Below I have provided the step-by-step instructions of this great DIY project.
Step #1- Prep! A quick hose and wipe of the major cobwebs and dirt. That’s about all the prepping I can
handle. I HATE prep work!
photo 2
Step #2- I watered down the paint a bit to give it more of a beachy, distressed washed look. This paint is non toxic and so easy to work with that my 5 year old helps me with projects! 
photo 2-2
The paint drys within minutes and you are done!
photo 3
In this case I rubbed on Annie Sloan Dark Wax to give it a darker finish that would complement the surrounding outdoors. 
photo 3-2
And in LESS THAN AN HOUR, the cushions are on an the chaise is ready to enjoy!
photo 4
If you like this look but are not into the DIY thing, check out Joanna Winter Watson’s work at: https://www.facebook.com/RevivedByJoanna 

How To Pretty Up Your Clutter…


Is it just us, or does it seem like no matter how hard you try you can’t seem to contain all your stuff. Towels are spilling out closets, papers are sticking up out of overstuffed filing cabinets. And your junk drawer has gone from one to four. 

Thankfully, there are lots of beautiful ways to store your belongings! Check out the links below for some creative ideas to tidy up.


Pretty Bathroom Storage


Pantry Storage Ideas


Laundry Room Storage


Organizing Files

Now you can take some of these ideas and hopefully implement them in your home to make your storage both functional and pretty!

How To Get Your Home Show Ready

 Show Ready
First impressions count, especially when you are selling your home. Getting your house “show ready” doesn’t have to break the bank.
 One of the best (and free!) things you can do is DE-CLUTTER! And when I say de- clutter I mean get serious and get ruthless.  Take down the fridge pictures, hide knick-nacks, and clear the kitchen counters of everything! Get rid of carpet runners, area rugs, bulky curtains, even furniture.
Take a few chairs, an ottoman, or side table out of your entrance or living room and put them in storage or even in your garage. Freeing up some space will show off your homes true square footage and open up the space. Remember when a realtor brings a family in to see your house there may be 5 people crammed in your entrance. Make sure to move that plant and give them some space!
Washing walls and adding a fresh coat of paint where needed is also a great way to freshen up a house.  New light fixtures and simple things like kitchen and bathroom cabinet knobs can really update a room.
When the day arrives that you have buyers coming to view your home, make your home feel like a home. Be sure to leave all the lights on and curtains open. Light a fire in the winter and open the windows and curtains if its summer.
Lastly, LEAVE THE HOUSE! Buyers will spend more time in your home if its empty and they don’t feel as though they are intruding.
If you have any other questions about staging or are looking for suggestions, please contact us! We’d love to help you get your home “show ready”!

What to Do With All Those Photos…

We are so very lucky to have some great photographer friends in our lives who have been able to capture beautiful family photos for us. And as you know (because we mention it a lot so you should), our town is beautiful and we love to take lots of pictures while we’re out enjoying it!

But, what do you do with all of these amazing photos? You want to showcase them all, but you don’t want to clutter your space right? We hear you! So we’ve done some Pinterest Research and found some really cool ways to show off your beautiful images. Check out the links below to get some great ideas.









Photo Gallery Ideas



 Graphic Wall Displays









  A Beachy Themed Photo Wall










 Turning Photos Into Canvas Art


We hope these gave you some inspiration to turn your beloved photos into works of art!