If you've been following along on Instagram, you'll know I have a GIVEAWAY going on in collaboration with the timing of the Vancouver Home and Garden Show. We were given 2 Ikea crates, a $50 Visa gift card and some Rustoleum paint to create anything! I designed this little shelf for a nursery or kids room that you can see in person at the Home Show this week at BC Place and that will be GIVEN AWAY to one local follower.

IKEA hack with KNAGGLIG crate

The IKEA knagglig crates are only $6.99!!! Create the look for yourself by shopping the items below.

IKEA knagglig crate creation for kids room

01. // IKEA crate; 02. // Magic bunny; 03. // Bunny softie; 04. // Penguin softie; 05. // Dream sign; 06. // Sweet book; 07. // Outdoor book; 08. // Star garland


giant pegboard wall decor

I am beyond thrilled that our kid's creative art space inspired some of you to think about creating nooks for creativity in your own homes! I find so much joy in knowing the work I do helps your little ones. I have been getting questions about where various things are from so thought I would share where to find the basics of this room!

A couple of weeks ago, I shared all of our favourite art books for kids as I felt it deserved a post of its own! I've also been asked to share how we made the pegboards; these were a project themselves but turned out so well. Holes were individually drilled into two sheets of plywood (with a piece of wood wedged in between) so that the dowels would be able to support a good amount of weight.

Many of the big pieces are IKEA as this room is a basement rough space, and we decided we wanted pieces that truly didn't matter if paint was splattered on!!! As this is a space for the kids to be free, the point is that it IS messy...and that's ok.

get the look of Melissa Barling's creative art space for kids

01. // Clear acrylic shelves; 02. // Multi-sized paintbrushes; 03. // White wipeable chair; 04. // Ceramic wall vase; 05. // Graphic laundry basket; 06. // White drawer storage; 07. // Cactus art print; 08. // Clay rolling pin; 09. // Wipeable art table.

If you have questions about any other item, please leave them in the comments and I can answer for everyone to read. More than happy to share.

May your weekend be full of creativity and a little messy playfulness :) Happy Friday everyone!


They say it's a right of passage to have a lemonade stand as a child. I say throw two IKEA LATT kids tables together, paint them white and you're set to go!!!

Our daughter Noelle, who is 6, told me a few nights before school started that having a lemonade stand was on her list of 'must dos' for the summer and she seemed pretty set on it. Without having much time to think about it, we put the kids to bed, I found the two IKEA tables in the basement and a few pieces of scrap wood and set to work (big thanks to my hubby for screwing the wood into the tables enabling a stand to be made). 

kids lemonade stand

Our IKEA kids tables mainly get used for parties or when kids come over for playdates and were definitely not in the best shape, so after finding the pieces of scrap wood to use as the 'stand', I used some leftover paint from my playhouse project last summer and quickly painted it all. You can see how dark it was when I snapped a photo once the paint was on. This is devoted parenting at its' best, right?! Ha!


before ikea tables
before ikea table hack


lemonade stand

I made the 'LEMONADE' sign the next morning by cutting out large triangles from card stock and sticking some gold foil letter stickers on. I already owned the drinks dispenser that we use all the time for parties and playdates and apparently now lemonade stands too!!! The adorable silver star garland is from Pearl and Jane on Etsy. The girls and I walked up to the flower shop to choose some flowers for the stand and they picked out this sweet combination themselves. They also drew, coloured and cut out the lemons and stems to stick onto the stand for decoration. Aren't they the cutest?! This is definitely my favourite detail of all!!!

pouring lemonade
kids having fun at summer lemonade stand

Everyone who came by commented that at 25 cents, our lemonade was the best deal around. I guess we wanted the stand to be about having fun and not making money and we even had a jar of quarters for anyone who came by who didn't happen to have change with them. This turned out to be a great idea as we could then give out free lemonade (therefore getting more 'customers') while the kids could transfer a quarter from our money jar to theirs. Watching the joy on their faces when their neighbourhood friends stopped by was priceless; such a great summer memory.A win win for everyone!

sign for lemonade stand
dulton kitchen scale
summer flowers

We have owned this little silver scale for years and it made a perfect accessory for the stand. The kids filled their own glasses up more times than I was willing to count but I suppose that's half the fun, isn't it??!!

Noelle filling up lemonade
Cutie Xav
bags of lemons

So, there it is. A summer bucket list item ticked off for the kids and hours and hours of fun for us all. Who else has a couple of IKEA kids tables kicking around?



Chocolate, fondue and gingerbread houses? Yes please! Kind of screams a childhood holiday tradition to remember, doesn't it? When Chocolats Favoris reached out and asked if I would be interested in working with them to create a special and memorable experience for our kids using their chocolate, I couldn't resist dreaming up this super sweet (literally!) gingerbread house decorating party.

gingerbread house decorating with chocolate bars
gingerbread house party for kids

We invited a little friend over to join in the fun and I told the kids we would be doing this the night before the party and they were so excited they could hardly sleep. Between the Maple White Chocolate hazelnuts (Kaia's favourite) and the Milk Chocolate fondue (Noelle's favourite), you can see that they not only enjoyed the process, but devoured all of the goodies too!

maple white chocolate hazelnuts from chocolats favoris
toddler smiles with gingerbread house
girls smiles with gingerbread houses
kids hands decorating gingerbread house

I used a little paint palette to separate the candy into separate colours and this gave the kids easy access to the goodies without sticky fingers going into bigger bowls. I also made a few mini gingerbread men and trees so that the kids could dip the cookie into the fondue and try it while saving the actual houses for eating later. It worked out really well to have separate gingerbread houses for each kid and also icing bags and candy. The fondue was perfect to use as glue for the decorations although not a lot of the fondue ended up on the houses as the kids kept using the wooden sticks as spoons and devoured it! 

Maple vanilla chocolate bar by Chocolats Favoris
icing the gingerbread house
dark fondue by chocolats favoris with kids decorating gingerbread houses
kids gingerbread house

We played Christmas music, the kids iced the houses, added candy, licked fondue, nibbled on chocolate and generally had the best time. They are already asking if we can do it all again next year. For a huge selection of holiday goodies, head to Chocolats Favoris' newest location in Victoria, BC or shop online. With a range of delicious chocolates from covered nuts and chocolate bars, to fondues and the cutest advent calendar, they have you covered for those chocolaty gifts. 

*This post was created with Chocolats Favoris. All words, photos and ideas are my own.


Art print in kids' room

When you think back to your childhood home, what do you think of? What graced your walls? Was it family photographs? Or nothing at all? In our home, it was art. Art that had meaning to my parents and had been collected over years. Art that I remember. So when I came across Toi Art Gallery and their collection of special pieces from artists all over the world, I was excited to add some of these beautiful prints to our home collection and thought you might like them too.

Art prints from Toi Art Gallery in a kids room

 Art is almost always the hardest part of the decision making process for clients. There is so much significance in the pieces chosen, knowing they will form a part of making memories for your children.  Choosing original prints is always worthwhile, showing little ones the beauty in the story of the artwork and how they too can aspire to create their own stories in the art that they make.

sweet prints from Toi Art Gallery
handmade doll in basket

I love that Toi have highlighted the artists by name and give a snapshot of their history in each bio.  When I showed the prints to our kids, I could explain where the artist Maria Elina (who created our prints) is from, show them her photo and tell them a bit about her background. The kids loved this and it really brings a meaningful story to the pieces. There are also gorgeous softies in the gift section, including this sweet doll and cozy lamb; perfect gifts for new babies, a child’s birthday or that Christmas stocking (, I'm not talking Christmas just yet)!

After all, it’s the little memories, like art on the walls that will last a lifetime. What do you remember from your childhood walls? Tell me in the comments below!

*This post was created with Toi Art Gallery.