charcuterie board, cheese board, diy, crackers, cheese, fogs, cold cuts, diy, eat

How to style the perfect Halal Charcuterie Board

The one thing I have always wanted to order at a restaurant is a totally Instagrammable charcuterie board.

It’s almost become a staple menu item at some of the best restaurants in the city and although I can’t order it there, I can certainly put it together at home. With all the cheeseboards I have obsessively collected since being engaged, it’s definitely a sign.

A good board is put together with the best combination of ingredients for a charcuterie which includes cold cuts (obviously!), cheese, spreads, nuts, fruits, veggies, crackers and bread. The actual definition of charcuterie is ‘a collection of cold cut meats‘, and with the fast-paced progress of the North American halal meat industry, this couldn’t be a better time to share how to make this perfect charcuterie board.

Ready to get started? Below a full breakdown on how to craft the perfect halal charcuterie board. Flip to page 36 of the Summer 2017 issue of Halal Foodie Magazine for the full breakdown. Pin this handy guide on How to Charcuterie for later so you can finally accomplish those #PinterestGoals!

Like this article? Keep up on my fun foodie and DIY adventures over on Instagram!

 

 

 

diy charcuterie, halal charcuterie, cheeseboard, fancy eating,

How to style the perfect Charcuterie Board

 

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DIY: Budget Industrial TV stand

I am a late kinda gal, let’s face it! Regardless, here’s a blog post for this week.

I built this TV stand when I moved into my place because I wanted something that was affordable but had an industrial look.

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This entire DIY industrial TV stand cost me only about $50. I got the cinder blocks off of Kijiji because I wanted them dinged in a bit and the wooden planks from The Home Depot. You can also find brand new cinder blocks at your local Home Depot.

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The wooden plank was one large piece which they cut in half for me right at the store. I also purchased a sanding block to make sure the plank was smooth with no risk of splinters (crucial step!), as well as some sticky felt floor protectors.

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After hauling these heavy blocks home and giving them a bit of a clean-up, I placed the felt stickers on two of the blocks which touched the floor. After this, I simply added a second block on top, placed down one plank before repeating the process for the top layer. You can do this with different dimensions or shorter planks to create an DIY industrial bookshelf or display shelf as well.

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This is a super-easy DIY project which could be completed in an afternoon. I usually have a wooden crate of blankets and some coffee table books on my shelf but we are in the process of moving to a new place and some of my things were already packed away!

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Would you build something like this? Any other home-related DIYs you may want to see? Let me know in the comments below. Otherwise, follow me online on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Catch you later!

 

DIY

Project Wedding: DIY Floral crown

With one project done, another begins. I completed (& got to use!) my floral crown and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It was much easier than I thought and todayI am sharing how to make a floral crown with fake flowers below! 
I used flowers from Micheals and few smaller ones from the dollar store as fillers for any small gaps. I was able to make the fake flowers look real by using specific kinds and being very picky of which ones I chose as well as which ones I paired/grouped together. 
I used ranunculus, eucalyptus stems, a peony and a hydrangea stem. I ended up using less than I thought I would but it was better to have extras instead of running out. My floral crown base was made using the stems of some faux roses for my wedding flower wall. Since I had so many extra stems that were going to be tossed out, I made use of the wired, already-green stems.
For this project I also used floral tape, a glue gun, scissors and kept some thin wire on hand in case I needed it. For the base, twist two stems together to ensure it is sturdy and can be extended in size if needed.  measure around your head and add an extra half inch of space. This will be needed as the base of the flowers and floral tape will add bulk round the base. When using floral tape, be sure to give it a bit of a stretch so it gets tacky. Floral tape sticks to it’s self so don’t worry if at first it does not seem sticky at all!
I started with the large pink flower and arranged how I thought I wanted my crown to look. Arrange the crown so that it tapers out at the back and the bulk is off to one side. You don’t want your entire forehead to be blocked by bulky flowers. I kept the peony one side with other white ranunculus while on the side I added a single pink ranunculus. I thought I would have used more of the pink but it looked better on it’s own. I also used the hydrangea and smaller flowers to fill in small gaps as well as some yellow/green hydrangea bits from a Dollar store stem. 
Start by removing the flowers from the stems and cutting them to have about an inch to a half inch stem that you can glue to the base. Add floral tape around to secure. Go around from the front to back on each side so that all the flowers are facing the front, gluing and taping along the way. At the end, use the smaller flowers to fill in spaces where you can still see the base. I also glued down some of the actual petals to the base if needed. Below, you can see photos with step-by-step directions. 
Do you plan on making one of these or want to try some DIY? I will be at the Nikah convention sharing some tips on the main stage around 3:00 p.m.! Get your tickets online or at the door.
Follow me on Instagram for more fun DIY projects and on Facebook to stay in the loop! 
Photos of me taken by Belinda Burtt Photography.


Step-by-step photos below

Eid-al-Adha Inspiration & DIY

 With the summer still with us, there really is a chance to celebrate Eid outdoors without any rain or cold weather (fingers crossed!). For the last Eid, we celebrated outdoors and it was really fun! We brought all our gifts outside, decorated the yard and had a relaxing  time without having to worry about sitting at the kids table about how many people would fit on the table.

Below I have shared some photos from Eid including gift wrapping ideas for Eid gifts and Eid money envelopes. I got these great printables from an Australia-based graphic designer, in my studio. You can download them for personal use here.

The great thing about printables is that you can use them in many ways, not just how they are intended. I used the lantern print out to decorate the plain bags and printed the tags on clear sticker paper to put onto plain envelopes. You can take a peak at the custom bags and cards on my Instagram feed here. All using the same printables in many ways.

What are your Eid plans? Do you exchange gifts on this Eid as well or just on the first?

DIY – Re-purposed Roses

In the last few weeks, I’ve had roses, bouquets and potted plants hanging around all over the house as a result of a series of events. I love having fresh flowers on the house and think it should be on everyone’s grocery list at least every other week.
Flowers and greenery bring out a fresh and energized feeling in the home – especially in the spring when the weather in Toronto hasn’t decided what it wants to be yet!
Having so many roses in the house, I knew they would all eventually dry up and die at the same time. Now usually, I let flowers run their course, let them die and then toss them out. I am not one to hang the bouquet upside down while my flowers are looking the best that they’ll be just to get a perfectly dried bouquet. If you feed your flowers with the water and food they need, they can last up-to two full weeks looking pretty decent!
What I did this time around was repurpose my dead roses to get one more use before getting rid of them. Because these were sentimental roses, I wanted to be sure to keep them for a little longer.
Here’s a quick DIY for your dried-up roses:
Get a vase that you think will fill to the top with the roses.
Snip the roses right at the top so there is hardly a stem left.
Pile them nicely on the vase with the tops showering along the sides of the glass.
That’s it!
 Would you try this DIY? What other vase shapes could this work in? Let me know in the comments below!

Brides who DIY

Hi all!

I skipped a few weeks again – I know! But to make up for it, I have an exciting announcement next week and a a string of DIYs connected to that which I will be sharing. 

In the meantime, I wanted to share a really fun thing I am going to be doing in collaboration with a group wonderful, inspirational women. I am working with Hafsa of Hafsa Creates, a fellow artisan, Nicole of Nikah.ca, the go-to wedding website for Muslim brides and Sudduf of the Salam Shop. I highly recommend checking each one of therm out! 

The Salam Shop is in inspirational lifestyle boutique for modern Muslims. It is located in Mississauga, Ontario (Canada) in the heart of one of the most diverse cities in Canada (about 30 minutes west of Toronto). The shop houses products that are handmade, ethically produced, fair trade, and organic. Salam Shop takes great pride in carefully sourcing only the highest quality products from predominantly local brands and artisans. They carry home décor, art, apparel, stationery, health & beauty products, books, toys, jewelry, fresh flowers, and halal treats. They also house an in-shop café serving organic and fair trade teas and coffees, as well as baked goods. 

I will post  the DIY I will be leading on June 6th in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Paper, Plants and Provisions

Just as we hit the halfway point of Ramadan, I finally found some time to write a blog post, host a dinner and make it my kinda fancy.

I called my friends over for a small iftaar and realized that I enjoy hosting smaller groups of people now in comparison to when I was much younger and called everyone I even kind of knew to come over to my place. That was also when I was completely okay with a messy bed and tons of people cramped in a room — glad that phase is long gone.

Here’s a look at how I served up a delicious meal, made a beautiful table scape and it took less than two hours to put it all together.

The Tablescape: I used scrapbook paper as placemats. This helped keep them all a little different, yet match in terms of colour scheme at the same time. I used the Dear Lizzy Neapolitan collection from American Crafts – one of my favourite lines of paper.

I cut out mason jars from another sheet of the same collection and used that as simple place cards. These stood up with clothing pegs and I hand-stamped names for each person. They were a definite hit. Everyone loved them!

I added to the mason jar love by putting candles into mini jars across the table, incorporated my mason jar potted mint into the centrepiece and used my 1920’s Ball Mason jar as a vase for my flowers. I clustered my succulents onto a lazy Susan with the other elements and it looked great!

On the Menu: For the main, I made a delicious and easy baked spaghetti dish with whole grain pasta, ground beef, low fat ricotta, skim mozzarella and parmesan. I will include the recipe after the break.

For the apps, we had spicy hummus with pita and home made lavash (followed this recipe), whole grain bread & butter and puffed chicken pastries. Everyone drank San Pellegrino Limonata (my fave!) and some Bamboozled ice tea from David’s Tea. We finished off with some delicious mousse desserts.

 

Baked Spaghetti:

8oz cooked whole wheat spaghetti

2 tablespoons of butter OR margarine1 cup grated Parmesan cheese – divided1 tub of low fat ricotta cheese 1 lb ground beef – browned1 can spaghetti sauce250g skim mozzarella cheese — shredded for top layer
Spices and/or herbs of choice. I used dried basil, salt and chilli flakes 


Directions:1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking tray with foil.2.  Add butter to hot cooked spaghetti and stir until butter melts and coats spaghetti.  Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; stir to coat.  

3. Add spaghetti to a foil-lined pan in an even layer.  
4. Spread ricotta cheese over spaghetti and sprinkle it with half of the remaining Parmesan cheese.  
5. Brown ground beef and burn away any water. Add pasta sauce, spices, salt and herbs. Mix well and let it cook for a bit on Medium. 
6. Evenly spoon it as the next layer on top of the cheese.  
7. Top with mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese.
8.  Cover with foil — try to leave some space so the cheese does not stick and bake for 30 minutes. 
9. Remove foil cover and continue baking 15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

It’s been a while – but here’s something!

I just started my first official job (yay me!!) and here is a little sneak-peak of my desk. 

I used some tissue paper from target to turn the grey into a nice white and just put some twine across to hang some project life cards with clothing pegs. 
I bought this cute little tin from target and keep my thumbtacks and some stickers in it. 
I tend to get free printable calendars online so I can always have a differntly style. I just searched some on Pinterest and the floral yearly calendar was found there. I printed it on some cardstock and just pinned it on. 
Thoughts? 

You’re Invited: A Tea Party Bridal Shower

Last Month I hosted a tea party themed bridal shower for my cousin and it turned out amazing! I originally planned on having it in a venue somewhere in Toronto, but we ended up having it at one of the host’s houses instead. This way, we were able to invest our budget into the event details instead of a venue. I would always recommend spending less on a venue if possible so that more money can be invested in the actual event.

Sophie loves Taylor Swift’s so we based this bridal shower off both a tea party as well as a Taylor Swift T-party. The playlist was all Taylor swift, the invite fonts were based off of her album fonts and the colour scheme was also based off of photos we saw of the Taylor Swift themed T-party.

I had tons of fun decorating for the tea party and making it unique and special for the bride-to-be. She absolutely loved it and so did all the guests.

Here are some photos from the event, enjoy!

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Quarter Century DIY-Confetti-pink & gold & blank & white birthday party

So the deal I made with myself, was to post at least once a month. I am going to say that February kinda short-changed me by only giving me 28 days and that technically, this can count within the one-month range.

On February 2, I turned 25 and it was a bit of a big deal! I considered one of two paths after finally realizing I was hitting the big 2 5. Actually celebrate and have a party or not really acknowledging the quarter-century number change and moving on. I decided to go with the former and couldn’t be happier.

Throwing an event during a Toronto winter can be an unpredictable feat — and having it snow on the day of your party? Not the best idea, but that wasn’t going to stop me. I was lucky that it wasn’t too far from home and had the helping hands of some very good friends to put everything together.

I decided to go with a gold, pink, and black & white colour scheme and a confetti-style theme for a 25th birthday and it was a great choice. Originally, I wanted to go with peach, pink, and gold, but who knew how hard it was to find anything peach? Trust me, you’d be surprised!

I used a lot of DIY skills and ideas for my 25th birthday party decor. I customized my table covers by hand painting black polka dots all over white paper-type covers. I put a bit of gold wrapping paper in between the whites to give a little more gold. I used black as a grounding colour and it worked really well against all the lighter tones of golds and pinks.

I made a piñata with a cardboard box and a roll of mylar gift wrap. It took a really, really long time but it was worth it! I would spend nights watching TV and slowly cutting and taping each strip to each face of the piñata. The best way to do this is to start from the bottom and work your way up. Everyone at my party asked to break the piñata but I just couldn’t let that happen after all that hard work. It deserves one more night out before it’s dead!

I put each place setting to get with plates and napkins and put all the cutlery in small glassine bags. These bags were misted with some Heidi Swapp gold shine mist to give them a little shine and sparkle!

I brought out some trusty washi tape to customize my Ikea Korken bottles and used them for drinks. I also put washi tape to decorate some Ikea Ensidig vases. Those were each filled with confetti pieces (some of which I punched out) and more mylar. I love me some shine!!!

I love fresh flowers and made sure I had some on the table. I wanted the table to be a long dinner table where everyone could sit together. The venue had a pool table to keep people entertained and we made sure we brought the ever-popular Cards Against Humanity!

See below for some photos from the event. I didn’t get a chance to take many photos on my own though I wish I did! I remember a lot of the decor and wish I had more photos to share, but on this day, celebrating totally trumped that.

I’ve shared a few great DIY ideas for a 25th birthday party and may post a few more images of my decor on my instagram account sometime this week!

To see more,