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Adventure | Washington D.C. with Kids

Adventures, FamilyLesley PocklingtonComment
Adventure | A Guide to Washington D.C. with Kids by Swell Made Co.

Adventure | A Guide to Washington D.C. with Kids by Swell Made Co.

In May, we took a much needed break and headed to New York City and Washington D.C. as a family (auntie + uncle included). New York City is always fun; but never having been to Washington D.C. as a family, we really enjoyed our time together. Washington D.C. is beautiful and family-friendly with so much to see and do. And eat! The best part, so many things are free! Known as the Capitol of Free, that's reassuring when traveling as a family. Am I right? We'll be back again soon. Here is a quick guide to some of favourite family spots in D.C.


Washington D.C. is known for its food and restaurants. During the week, you'll find food trucks lined up around the downtown core, high-end dining is abundant and you'll easily find everything in between. Here are a few of our favourite family-friendly choices. My sister-in-law is an expert at finding fun restaurants, so I give her all the credit for helping us track these down. Most of these are (by coincidence) "chainlets". Meaning, you'll find multiple locations throughout the city and surrounding area.

EAT + DRINK

Busboys & Poets
Described as a haven for writers, thinkers and performers from America's progressive social and political movements, Busboys & Poets is a restaurant, lounge, theatre and book/gift shop. This casual spot offers southern comfort food (and more) and drinks in a relaxed atmosphere.
busboysandpoets.com

Founding Farmers
A love for local, seasonal food fuels this farm-to-table American restaurant. Rustic-chic, you'll find brunch to dinner at this busy spot. Try the beignets and sausage at breakfast and a cauliflower steak for dinner. 
wearefoundingfarmers.com

We, The Pizza
Need to nosh on the go. Kids love pizza, am I right? We, The Pizza has NYC style pizza by the slice or pie. Wash it down with homemade sodas.
wethepizza.com

Ted's Bulletin
Ted’s Bulletin is an American classic with a bit of style, complete with savoury homemade food and a family friendly atmosphere. Try the homemade pop tarts, pies, and cakes. Kids and adults will love the shaketenders and baristas who can whip up a custom milkshake —with or without alcohol (seen below).
tedsbulletin.com

District Doughnut
Handcrafted daily, District Doughnuts offers delicious pastries with signatures flavours: Brown Butter and Salted Dulce de Leche. They serve the nation's capital with a penchant for classic and internationally-inspired flavours and a commitment to Washington's history and creative spirit.
districtdoughnut.com

Adventures with Kids in Washington D.C. | Smithsonian National Gallery of Art

Adventures with Kids in Washington D.C. | Smithsonian National Gallery of Art

As mentioned above, Washington D.C. is the Capitol of Free so don't worry about breaking the bank. And for Canadians, this makes the current exchange rate easier to swallow. From concerts, events, renowned galleries and museums, there are so many things to do as family for free or almost nothing.

SEE + DO

Smithsonian Museums, Galleries & Zoo
Come to Washington D.C. to see the Smithsonian museums, galleries and zoo and you pretty much have your trip planned. There are so many intriguing properties and their collections to see. Kids will especially love the Museums of Natural History, Air and Space and American History. Parents will love a little quiet time in the American Botanical Gardens and National Art Galleries and the Renwick Gallery (seen below), which are also great for kids.

While not downtown, don't forget to take trip to the zoo and explore the animals and park system. The best part of all, everything is FREE! Giving you a chance to visit them all, not once, but as many times as you like.
si.edu

International Spy Museum
Not free like the Smithsonian museums, but high on entertainment value, this museum guides you through an exciting look at the history of spies. Our kids are 7 and 4 and they thoroughly enjoyed this museum; although I'm sure older kids would get more out if it. Be sure to let staff know you're a family and you'll be given a special task with a surprise at the end. My 7 year old daughter loved solving puzzles and deciphering secret messages as we learned about spies. It had an "escape room" vibe which is fun (not scary).
spymuseum.org

The Newseum
The Newseum promotes, explains and defends free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. Considered one of the most interactive museums in the world, the Newseum experience also traces the evolution of electronic communication from the birth of radio, to the technologies of the present and the future. I'd recommend this museum for "bigger kids" (10 and up).
newseum.org

Playgrounds, Parks & The Potomac
Take a break from the tourist spots and explore the neighbourhoods of Washington D.C. where you'll be delighted by "epic" playgrounds (Palisades Playground seen below). See a list of the best ones here. D.C. is lush and green and full of parks, trail systems and gorgeous neighbourhoods to enjoy the outdoors and be active. This is your best way to live like a local and explore. If you want to get wet, check out the Yards Park at the Capitol Riverfront in the summer (or skate in the winter). You can certainly walk the parks; and if you're so inclined, see the outdoors from a kayak or paddle boat along the scenic (a tidal basin) Potomac River.

Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts
When you visit Washington D.C. be sure to see what's on at the "Ken Cen". There are free performances on the Millennial Stage every night at 6 pm! Regular performances start shortly after and tickets are reasonably priced. The types of performances vary from folk music to orchestra and so much more. There's something for everyone.
kennedy-center.org

The Mall
You can't visit Washington D.C. without a trip to The Mall. Take a walk among the monuments and visit the galleries and museums that line it. There's lots of room to move around as a family and so much to learn about American history. Use the Circulator to get around easily from site to site. It's a bus system designed for those touring the sites with regular frequency and only a $1 to ride each time (kids are free). The routes also extend beyond the mall.

I didn't get into accommodations, but there are plenty of places to stay in Washington D.C. As a group of six, we found it best to rent an apartment through Airbnb to give everyone lots of space. It also allowed us to explore neighbourhoods like Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights away from downtown which I'd highly recommend. We just happened to be steps from one of the zoo entrances, which was a huge bonus with kids.

That's it! Just a quick and easy guide to Washington D.C. If you have suggestions for family-friendly things to see, do or eat in D.C. I'd love to hear them! Feel free to comment below as we'll definitely make a trip to Washington D.C. again. Politics aside, there truly is something for everyone and it's a fascinating place to see where history has taken place for generations. Not to mention, it makes watching House of Cards so much more intriguing ;)

Thanks for reading. Enjoy!

Adventures with Kids in Washington D.C. | Lincoln Memorial. Martin Luther King Jr. Quote.

Adventures with Kids in Washington D.C. | Lincoln Memorial. Martin Luther King Jr. Quote.

Love It | Neutral Palettes + Grid Patterns

Decor, Love It, InspirationLesley PocklingtonComment
LOVE IT - Neutral Palette + Grid Patterns with Swell Made Co.

LOVE IT - Neutral Palette + Grid Patterns with Swell Made Co.

For this edition of LOVE IT, I'm exploring one of my favourite styles. It can be called minimalist, Scandinavian, Nordic, neutral... whatever you want to call it, it's so simple. Combining a neutral black and white palette with subtle grid patterns is so basic, yet so comforting and clean. It's pleasing to the eye and mind as everything appears to effortlessly fall into place.

Here are a few of my favourite ways to go neutral and minimal with grids at home and beyond:

  1. DO GOOD + BE KIND (11x14) by Swell Made Co. These black + white, minimal art prints are a perfect reminder in any room that doing good and being kind never go out of style. They're also a perfect complement to grid patterns.
  2. Baggu Zip Bag in grid from Otherware. A grid pattern to take on the go! This versatile and durable bag from Baggu features the perfect grid pattern to make a statement.
  3. Wire Basket from Bloomingville. Grids can take many forms. This wire basket features a grid pattern that's perfect for storing goods. You can also purchase a wood top to make it a table.
  4. Carina Ceramic Jar by Bloomingville. Store items in these adorable jars. Also available as canisters with wood tops.
  5. How Sweet It Is Velveteen Throw Pillow by Swell Made Co. Black and white type to make your spaces inviting and cozy. This pillow is ultra soft and durable to live in your spaces. Bedrooms, nurseries or living rooms - they could all use a pillow like this.
  6. Grid Tea Towel by Anchal Project. An adorable addition to your kitchen. Hand-stitched from 1 layer of cotton, this towel features geometric stitches. Every purchase provides an artisan with a full-time job, health care benefits, design training, and educational workshops. Quilts and throw pillows are also offered in this simple grid pattern.

I hope you love these pieces as much as I do. Want more inspiration? Follow Swell Made Co. on Pinterest to see more. Here are a few of my favourites (click the images to see sources). There are loads of ways to bring grids into your spaces with a little DIY.

My favourite decor items include textiles such as bedding and curtains. Subtle hints of gold and pink work perfectly with a neutral minimalist palette, but it's so versatile you could come up with many combinations of colours, patterns and textures to complement this look. You could even combine this subtle look with elements of these styles we've posted about in the past - Bohemian Style + Moroccan Style.

Thanks for reading and enjoy!

How To | Style Throw Pillows

How To, DecorLesley PocklingtonComment
How Sweet It Is Velveteen Throw Pillow Cover by Swell Made Co. | $48

How Sweet It Is Velveteen Throw Pillow Cover by Swell Made Co. | $48

I'll admit, I have a bit of a throw pillow problem. I love, love throw (or accent) pillows for any room. In an instant you can change the feel of a space with a quick change of accent pillows. They add texture, colour, pattern and comfort with minimal effort. Here are some tips on how to arrange your throw pillows with ease. From bedrooms to living rooms and outdoor spaces, follow these 5 simple steps and you'll be a pro.

5 Tips for Styling Throw Pillows


  1. AVOID BEING TOO MATCHY
    When choosing throw pillows for your spaces, the first thing to keep in mind is DON'T match the sofa or bedding. YES, to complementing your pieces and fabrics (see below), but NO need to be too matchy. Do you have a grey sofa? That's a great neutral to work with, but avoid using grey pillows. Grey + grey = yawn. That takes us to the next tip.
     
  2. CHOOSE PILLOWS THAT COMPLEMENT
    Whether your pieces are neutral or vibrant, choose accent pillows that complement your space. Use them as a way to pull a room's look together. In a neutral room, throw pillows are a great way to add a pop of colour or pattern. In a vibrant or very modern room, throw pillows can soften the look with neutral colours and textures.

    Do you have a piece of artwork with a hint or yellow? Don't be afraid to complement it with a yellow accent pillow in your "pillowscape". If you have a colour scheme in mind, choose pillows that complement that palette without going overboard.
     
  3. USE ODD NUMBERS
    A go-to design "rule" is to use odd numbers. The same goes for throw pillows. Use odd numbers in your spaces. Depending on your pieces, 3 pillows are better than 2 on a couch. 1 accent pillow is better than 2 on a bed. And, so on. Remember, less is more. If you have too many pieces, edit and take away to achieve a more natural, lived-in and effortless look with odd numbers. 
     
  4. MIX THINGS UP
    This is the most important and FUN tip. Don't be afraid to mix the colour, texture and patterns of your throw pillows. Create interest, depth and delight with a variety of accent pillows in your "pillowscape". Solid colours paired with different patterns and textures are a great way to show your style and personality in a space. Don't forget the simplicity and beauty of pillows with type like our new How Sweet It Is throw pillow (seen above), or the collection of accent pillows from Dayna Lee.

    This also applies to pillow size and shape. Throw pillows can have complementary shapes and sizes and still work well together. Fun accent pillows shaped as animals and letters are perfect for nurseries/kids rooms. My favourites are from Sun + Stars with sweet moons, trees and dinosaurs. I also love the nordic style knotted pillows from Juju & Jake. They're versatile and make a statement on their own. See both below.
     
  5. LEAVE ROOM FOR REAL LIFE
    Going back to the principle that less is more, be sure to leave room for real living. Your spaces should be inviting and ready to enjoy. Avoid filling your sofa, beds and seating areas with so many throw pillows you can't sit down. If it looks like too much, it probably is. Feel free to edit and avoid having your pillows literally "thrown" on the floor! Gasp. I'm guilty of this.

    Use bolsters for arm chairs which allow people to sit in comfort. Use one accent pillow on a bed as a focal point with complementary pillow shams (instead of more throw pillows). If you have multiple pillows on a couch, layer them to save space.

How Sweet It Is Velveteen Throw Pillow Cover by Swell Made Co. | $48

How Sweet It Is Velveteen Throw Pillow Cover by Swell Made Co. | $48

You really don't need as many throw pillows as you'd like to have. I know, I know. Buy quality over quantity just like you would with clothing or shoes. You can always have a collection of classic and timeless accent pillows, and accent those with new patterns and textures to change things up if you like!

Here are a few more quick tips to keep in mind:

SIZE UP
When buying inserts for your throw pillow covers, size up to achieve a full look (no sagging). For example, if your pillow is 18" x 18", get an insert that is 20" x 20". Don't worry, it will fit.

RE-PURPOSE OLD PILLOWS
New inserts are easy to find at home decor stores and big box stores like IKEA. Better yet, if you have an old throw pillow or one of those matchy pillows that came with the couch that's the right size, re-use it and stuff it in your new pillow cover. It will save you time and money, plus it's wise to re-use.

That’s it! Five easy steps to styling pillows:

  1. Avoid Being Too Matchy
  2. Choose Pillows That Complement
  3. Use Odd Numbers
  4. Mix Things Up
  5. Leave Room for Real Life

Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Love It | Boho Style

Decor, Inspiration, Love ItLesley PocklingtonComment
LOVE IT - Bohemian Style with Swell Made Co.

LOVE IT - Bohemian Style with Swell Made Co.

I love Bohemian style for spaces indoor and out. Rattan, fabrics and textiles from around the globe, tropical plants, baskets, handmade ceramics and a general carefree feeling. I'll take it all. Mix these items with modern or mid-century pieces and you've got the look.

For this edition of LOVE IT, I have collected Bohemian pieces and tied in a hint of blue to make it feel even more relaxed, but this style can be complimented with almost any colour palette. Hints of pink and green for a tropical vibe? Or, black and white neutrals for a minimal Bohemian look. It's whatever your thing is. Little hints of gold (of course) can be seen throughout and are versatile. Check out LOVE IT Moroccan Inspired Decor, for a similar global look, but with a different palette.

Here are a few of my favourite ways to go Boho at home:

  1. Gold Palms Art Print (11x14) by Swell Made Co. Add a tropical vibe to your space all year-round with this gold foil art print.
  2. Greta Belly Basket in white by Rove Concepts. Store your stuff, or give plants a home with this handmade belly basket. Colour blocked in white. Other colours available including mint. Swoon.
  3. Jassa Basket from IKEA. In March, IKEA launched the JASSA collection which is full of wonderful rattan pieces for the home or patio. This collection is available for a limited-time only.
  4. Palm Leaf Keytag by Swell Made Co. This little keytag shows a love for plants and all things tropical.
  5. Blue Spatter Bowl by Settle Ceramics. Found at Leif. A hand thrown ceramic bowl with blue spatters are a casual way to make a statement on the table.
  6. African Indigo Throw Pillow from Rug & Weave. Vintage indigo fabric from Burkina Faso combined with natural mudcloth, this pillow will elevate and complete any Bohemian space. Rug & Weave has an outstanding collection of pilows, rugs and textiles from around the world.
  7. Mastholem Chair by IKEA. Available all year round. This arm chair is another way to turn up the heat indoors. Mix with eclectic and/or minimal fabrics and textiles for a casual Boho look.

I hope you love these pieces as much as I do. Want more inspiration? Follow Swell Made Co. on Pinterest to see more. Here are a few of my favourites (click the images to see sources).

Confessions of a Solopreneur

Confessions, InspirationLesley PocklingtonComment
Confessions of a Solopreneur by Swell Made Co.

Confessions of a Solopreneur by Swell Made Co.

We all have pivotal moments in our lives. Ones that set you on a trajectory without intention, but force you (or at least encourage you) to take action. While it was a gradual process, it started in my early twenties. I was fresh out of University and employed at my first corporate job. I was a graphic designer at a marketing company in western Canada. I'll admit, I was hugely naive. Who isn't at 22? I still had a LOT to learn, but I was "good" at my job.

I cringe when I remember sitting in a lunchroom with my boss and co-workers. We were tossing around casual jokes and conversation. I don't even remember what the topic was, or what I said. Then it blindsided me. My boss, in a deadpan tone, called me stupid. Not once, but twice. This person was going through a rough time personally, so I'll give them that; but from that moment forward I vowed to never work in that type of environment again. The corporate world had revealed its true face and it wouldn't be the last time (because, that's reality).

I've endured far more devastating comments and events in my life. Being called stupid is rather petty. I get that. However, that comment from the mouth of a respected mentor/leader haunted me for years. It directed me on a course that has simply allowed me to "do good work, with good people" on my own for the past decade. For that, I am very grateful.

Not all workplaces are toxic. I have had hugely enriching experiences from being employed accross Canada; but if you've experienced one or a few of these environments, you've probably thought about going out on your own too. Thankfully, the definition of work has changed drastically and there are countless opportunities to define and create what work looks like. The majority of my daily interactions are with people who are living a solopreneur life, or making the leap and it's truly inspiring.

I'm no expert. Truthfully, I'm always learning and figuring things out. Aren't we all? Here are a few lessons I've learned (sometimes the hard way) from being a solopreneur. I'm sparing you with the logistics of making the transition. There are loads of articles and books out there to help you out. Plus, it really comes down to you, and how you design that transition. Gradual or quick, there's no right way.


DON'T TAKE SHIT
Life is short. It really is. Taking any type of shit from anyone is NOT worth your valuable time (more about time coming up). Shit pay, shit work, shit attitudes, shit offers, shit hours. If you smell shit, walk away. You are so much better than a pile of shit. That goes for anything in life. Phew! Got that one? I'm trying to be as clear as shit. I promise, I'm moving on to more enlightening and serious content.

NURTURE GOOD RELATIONSHIPS
You will meet a plethora of wonderful people throughout your career. You were brought together for a reason. Nurture those relationships well beyond your given time together. It will serve you well. As a solopreneur, the majority of your work and inspiration will come through connections you make throughout your career (employed or solo). Thriving and respectful relationships will open you up to collaborating with talented and smart people, just like you. If a relationship feels shitty, refer to the tip above.

BE KIND. BE GRATEFUL.
Kindness matters and goes a long way. It doesn't cost a thing to be kind. Don't take shit, but be kind even when it's hard. When good (and bad) things come your way, be grateful for them. See the value in experiences big and small and express gratitude. It helps the world make sense.

DON'T STOP CREATING
Don't stop creating. Whatever creating means to you, (writing, beer making, cooking, photography, painting, designing, etc.) just keep doing it. In your career, you'll go through a body of work and some of it will be shit, trust me. Keep working HARD. The more time you invest, the better you'll become and one day you'll find your way. You'll find yourself. You have talent. Don't give up. This quote by Ira Glass helped me through the creative process years ago. I still repeat it when I hit a rut, as you do. Grit and hustle really do go far.

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, and I really wish somebody had told this to me.

All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But it's like there is this gap. For the first couple years that you're making stuff, what you're making isn't so good. It’s not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not that good.

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you're making is kind of a disappointment to you. A lot of people never get past that phase. They quit.


Everybody I know who does interesting, creative work they went through years where they had really good taste and they could tell that what they were making wasn't as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short. Everybody goes through that.

And if you are just starting out or if you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you're going to finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you're going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you're making will be as good as your ambitions.

I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It takes awhile. It’s gonna take you a while. It’s normal to take a while. You just have to fight your way through that.


- Ira Glass

GUARD YOUR TIME
Time is your most valuable commodity. Guard it fiercely. You will always find ways to make money. After all, you're smart and full of ideas. You CAN'T get time back. Spend your time wisely. Personally and professionally. Edit, edit, edit.

DEFINE YOUR OWN SUCCESS
Success is a subjective and nuanced thing. Don't worry about what anyone else is doing. Just focus on what success means to YOU. You have an opportunity to create your OWN reality. Define what that means and take the steps to make it happen.

For me, success means doing good work, with good people. I do what I love with equal amounts of discipline and flexibility. I make time for my career/personal passions and for my family. I learn something new every day. Over time, that definition will change and I will continue to adapt. So will you. It's part of the process and life of a solopreneur, but worth every enriching moment.

That's all I got! Keep it real and work hard. If you're a solopreneur, does this resonate with you? What else have you got to tell me? I'd love to hear what you've learned.

 

Netflix & Wine | March Break 2017

WineLesley PocklingtonComment
Netflix & Wine - Pairing your favourite shows and movies with delicious wines. By Swell Made Co.

Netflix & Wine - Pairing your favourite shows and movies with delicious wines. By Swell Made Co.

Bring on the Netflix & Wine because it's March Break! At our house anyway. That means days filled with a balance between burning off some energy and having some chill time. When the day is done and the kids are snuggled in their beds, I'll be snuggling up with a glass of wine and some of my favourite shows and movies.

If you're like me, March Break sort of snuck up this year, so I'll be flying through the aisles of my local wine shop (LCBO - where you'll find these easy drinking bottles and tasting notes) to stock up on some of these bottles below. They're all red, because winter is still here in Canada.

  1. Chef's Table - Fantini Farnese Numero Uno Primitivo, Italy

    NEW episodes of Chef's Table Season 3 launched on February 17. If you haven't binged this series already, you're in for a treat. The seasons just get better and better with stunning footage and captivating story lines, that make your jaw drop and your stomach grumble. My favourite episode will take you to Peru's many landscapes. Pair this show with Numero Uno Primitivo, because you have to be numero uno to make it as far as these chefs.

    Primitivo has a very long history that dates back to the times of the Phoenicians and has an lot in common with a more well-known grape variety called Zinfandel. Fantini' s version is an intense ruby colour with aromas and flavours of dark berries, cherry, and prune; full and soft with a harmoniously tannic finish.
     
  2. Sing Street - Flagstone Music Room Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, South Africa

    I can't resist British movies. If you love Brit humour and whimsy, you'll love Sing Street. This film takes us back to 1980s Dublin seen through the eyes of a 14-year-old boy. While trying to adjust to his new inner-city school, he finds a glimmer of hope in a mysterious girl. With the aim of winning her heart he invites her to star in his band's music videos. There's only one problem: he's not part of a band... yet. Pair this film with Music Room Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Spicy oak, well integrated with sweet black fruits, mint, good focus on the palate. Chunky, rich, well integrated with a light, lifted finish.
     
  3. Abstract - Southbrook Seriously Cool Red VQA, Canada

    Step inside the minds of the most innovative designers in a variety of disciplines and learn how design impacts every aspect of life with this new series that follows a similar format to Chef's Table. As a graphic designer, I found the Paula Scher episode the most inspiring, but all episodes are equally fascinating. Pair this wine with Seriously Cool Red because these designers are cooler than you'll ever be.

    New from Southbrook is this lively red that offers aromas of mulled cherry, candied strawberry and light spice. The palate is medium-bodied and dry with medium acidity and tannins; look for flavours of black cherry, raspberry, and candied apple followed by a lightly spiced, medium length, finish. The packaging is seriously cool and comes in three colourful variations.
    .
  4. Love - Sandbanks French Kiss Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot VQA, Canada

    Back for another season, Love follows the not so "perfect" pair, Mickey and Gus as they go through the triumphs and tribulations of finding contentment, or love. Pair this romantic comedy with French Kiss from Sandbanks.

    Medium ruby with a garnet hue; aromas and flavours of plums, smoke and clove; dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity and tannin.
     
  5. Where to Invade Next - Charles & Charles Red Blend Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah, USA

    Michael Moore is "back". He's been somewhat quiet the past 8 years, but with a ripe political climate under Donald Trump, he and his commentary are louder than ever. This warm up documentary follows Michael Moore as he playfully "invades" European countries to see what they have to offer in comparison to the United States. Pair this documentary with Charles & Charles Red Blend.

    Deep ruby; notes of cassis, dark chocolate and vanilla on the nose; the palate is dry and full bodied with moderate acidity and tannins; flavours of chocolate covered cherries, mocha and vanilla.

Love It | Greenery

Love It, Inspiration, DecorLesley PocklingtonComment
LOVE IT - Spring Greenery with Swell Made Co.

LOVE IT - Spring Greenery with Swell Made Co.

Spring is on the way which has me dreaming of everything and anything green. It's only natural, right? After days of grey skies and snow, I always feel "ready" for the shift to warmer days, more sunlight and green spaces.

I'm also crushing on green because Pantone's colour of the year for 2017 is Greenery. "A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings. Greenery is nature’s neutral. The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world. This shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of Greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally. A constant on the periphery, Greenery is now being pulled to the forefront - it is an omnipresent hue around the world."

Here are a few of my favourite ways to bring greenery indoors:

  1. Gold Palms Art Print (11x14) by Swell Made Co. Add a tropical vibe to your space all year-round with this gold foil art print.
  2. Brass Wall Planters by Umbra. Hang easy-to-care for plants, like succulents and air plants to bring some greenery into your space. These planters add dimension to any wall. On their own, or as part of an existing gallery wall.
  3. Palm Leaf Pendant by Swell Made Co. This little pendant shows a love for plants.
  4. Brass Plant Mister by CB2. Care for your plants with this classic brass mister. It delicately mists plants so they can thrive.
  5. Vevlet Pillow found on Etsy. Maybe you can't quite splurge on that green velvet couch, but you can add a splash of green to any room with this lush velvet cushion.
  6. Micro Greens Planter Kit found on Uncommon Goods. Grow your own micro greens with this stylish and functional planter. They look great and taste even better. Plus, they pack a a lot of nutritional punch. Eating your greens is easy. Add them to sandwiches, soups, pastas and salads.
  7. Faux Palm Leaves by CB2. If you're not a green thumb, add these faux palm leaves in a vase for a simple (no-fuss) splash of green. You can always opt for the real deal too. Just buy stems from your local florist.
  8. Walk in the Woods Art Print (11x14) by Swell Made Co. Nature's simplicity is stunning. This art print will remind you to get outside. Being among the trees is good for your mind and body.

Happy Spring!

Love It | Swans

Inspiration, Gifts, Love ItLesley PocklingtonComment
LOVE IT - Swooning over swans with Swell Made Co.

LOVE IT - Swooning over swans with Swell Made Co.

Valentine's Day is less than a week away. I usually do a Valentine's Day printable or Valentine's Day DIY, but this year I am swooning over swans. This LOVE IT list follows the heart day theme with an adoration of swans and what they symbolize. Creativity, grace, balance, beauty and of course, LOVE. Those are just a few.

Swans have made their way into art and design since ancient times. They're just so lovely. Swan fact - did you know swans mate for life? And, in many cultures they represent light and dreams.

Enjoy this fun list of swan inspired items for your home, or to simply play with. These aren't your grandmother's swans. Although there are some vintage swans seen above. Let's just say, grandma had solid taste in her day.

  1. Queen Art Print (11x14) by Swell Made Co. This art print is as elegant and graceful as the Queen of the pond herself. Pair with King for the perfect match. Or, pair two Queens. Two Kings. Love is love!
  2. Swan Pouch by Indigo. Bring this dreamy, Swan Lake inspired pouch wherever you go.  
  3. Vintage Brass Swans found on Etsy. Bring some vintage (mid-century) elegance into your space with this set of brass swans. You can also find beautiful brass swan planters and use them for succulents and air plants. Make it modern again.
  4. Swan Tumbler by Xenia Taler. I love the simple graphic work by Xenia Taler, including this swan tumbler with metallic copper finish. 
  5. Gold Swan Pool Float by Fun Boy. Float like a graceful swan (hah!) with this fun pool toy.
  6. Gold Stationery by Swell Made Co. Tell your mate(s) how much you adore them with these gold foil cards.
  7. Deco Bottle Opener found at Leif Shop. Swans had their heyday during the Art Deco period. Pop a bottle with this balanced and beautiful brass opener. A work of art to add to your bar cart.
  8. Swan Chair by Rove Concepts. Show a love for swans mid-century style with this whimsical Swan Chair (Arne Jacobsen). Available in an array of shades, but especially stunning in bright cashmere and boucle wool colours.
  9. OUI OUI Art Print (8x10) by Swell Made Co. Because this is a post about love, after all. Also available as a mini 5x7 art print.

Follow Swell Made Co. on Pinterest to see more swan love. Happy Valentine's Day! Much love.