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Saeco GranBaristo Avanti


I can’t function in the morning without a coffee. Well, perhaps I could function, but it’s something that is a ritual, a way to start my day that is always adored. I’m married to a lovely man that often brings me a cup in the morning while Oscar and I snuggle in bed the days that we have the luxury to lounge. Or the days that we’re hurried, getting Oscar out the door to school – he still always asks me each morning – “Coffee?”

When we were first married, and up until a year ago. Aubrey and I used to brew a full pot of coffee – but over the years we got up at different times, and then we had Oscar, and we really  had different schedules. Brewing a full pot was always tedious and sometimes it felt wasteful with just one person drinking it because by the time the other person was up, the pot was cold. We eventually got rid of the pot brewing machine because it ended up either always being too much in a pot or, too little and I found myself just spending way too much money at Starbucks, buying brewed cups. This led us to invest in a automatic brewing machine a year ago – a mid range machine, still an investment, in order to solve the issue. Working from home I just wanted a single cup sometimes. Switching to an automatic brewer was amazing. You don’t need pods, it grinds the beans on command and froths the milk. But the machine we bought was riddled with annoyances that made me miss my hot Starbucks that I had sworn off, as a sacrifice that I had promised in return for buying a new automatic brewer. Neither Aubrey or I were terribly in love with it, but the automation was an improvement.

A month ago, Saeco reached out and invited me to try their GranBaristo Avanti machine as if sensing my displeasure with our existing machine and I replied YES. I was tired of the lukewarm coffee I was getting and unappealing cup (so I had been secretly still been going to Starbucks to get a fix). The new machine couldn’t have come at a better time to try. With the start to the school year, a new change in schools for Oscar, and a much earlier start to the day, I’ve been relying on my Saeco GranBaristo Avanti machine that I can brew with a touch of a button….. On my phone. You read that right. On. My. Phone. From bed. Yes. I’m brewing my cup of coffee from bed. And it’s AMAZING.

The Saeco GranBaristo Avanti is an automatic brewer that is bluetooth enabled and can make 18 different drinks. Each drink can be customized (like the temperature setting! Huzzah! For people like me who love the hottest cup possible) and for Aubrey, who prefers a less than steaming cup.

In the mornings while it is still dark out, we’ll stumble downstairs and the first thing one of us does is press the on button. It starts up, ready for you to select the button of your favourite drink. If it’s a Cappuccino, which is my preference in the morning, I attach the milk container from the fridge. Other drinks, like Espressos, you needn’t attach the milk. Or, while the hustle and bustle of the morning, of all of us getting ready – I can select my coffee I want made (make sure there is a cup waiting to accept the coffee!) and press a button to brew.

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The coffee is amazing, hot, perfectly brewed and I gave my old machine to a friend – totally enamoured with the Saeco. It’s reliable, lovely, and brews the perfect cup – making my mornings that much sweeter as we get out the door with making sure the lunch is in the backpack, the child is dressed and I have my wallet and car keys in my purse.


Want to see it in action? I was so enamoured with the machine that I felt inspired to show the beauty of bluetooth via a short story video. Waking up in the morning (I am not a morning person) and the beauty of bluetooth. Again, for the sake of storytelling some things you must consider – such as you must have a cup, ready to accept the coffee underneath the brewer. But the convenience of the technology is remarkable and, a game changer for me. I truly must recommend, and have been recommending to my friends, that should you think of investing in a new coffee maker, to really consider this one. It makes the perfect drink, right when you need it with a press of a button – even from your phone.

This post has been sponsored by Philips Saeco GranBaristo Avanti

In Room Makeovers

#HelpingMyLittleBrotherDecorate – Bedroom Reveal

And finally – the other room we chose to decorate, with the help of Leon’s. The Bedroom. Lindsay and Peter chose the Whitely collection (which I pronounce the white -ley collection because it’s white but I think it’s pronounced the whit-ley collection) It’s white, and, pretty grand. This room was the one that was giving me trouble in terms of coming up with a “look” – but in the end, is is the room I’m most in love with. I LOVE white. It’s my wall colour throughout my house, and I have it for my own bedding.

When I arrived at their place to style their place, this is how the room looked, which I can appreciate is likely how many of us have our rooms. We spend all of our money on the furniture, and then stare at it wondering how on earth we’re to style it. Although I love white, I think you need to bring in some colour / pattern in somewhere, in order to bring in style. Especially if your headboard is as white as your bedding.

The most common thing I think is to head to a store and buy a matching duvet set with matching pillows and call it a day. I’m personally a proponent of white bedding – for me, it’s the most luxurious look and reminds me of a hotel. It also means you can switch up your look often, should you like to.  I don’t love 99% of patterned bedding. I feel as though it’s too much look for one room. (Like this. How many pillows does this bed need!?) But we needed some colour and pattern. And we had to do it in a relatively affordable way. And so, with a few accents, the bedroom set above went from the above, to this….

The throw on the bed was the jumping off point, as I showed in this post. From there it was pretty easy for me to get on a roll because the colours are really my colour pallet – I love cool tones, blues, greens, purples – everything goes together.

Some changes:


I switched out the lights that they had on their side tables for bigger ones that would be more in scale with the big headboard and also allow for them to read in bed.  Bigger lamps, minimizes the feeling that the bed is too big. I their existing lights to their dresser, and flanked each side – the height of the lights make the big mirror of the Whitley dresser set feel more in scale with the room. It also provides some beautiful light in the evening, should you not want the overhead light on.


I brought in three large Euro sized pillows from Tonic Living that was made in a dark blue linen. The pillow inserts are faux feather and feel like feather but aren’t, and therefore, not as expensive. Tonic made me a bolster cover in this fabric for an existing bolster form that I had (well, I stole from my Mom’s house) The custom pillows are what makes this room go from white, to AMAZEBALLS. (links to everything below)


I kept it pretty simple, going with the feeling that a bedroom should be relaxing and zen. On one side of the bed is an abstract print that I did, and on the other side, two smaller original pieces from Etsy hang. I lined them to no higher than the headboard.


I think every room needs plants – and lucky for them they have gorgeous light that makes their place a suitable home for a fiddle leaf fig tree. (i know, the blogger plant of the year) Also, I found a little piece of blue pottery while out in cottage country – I think it was $2, and I planted a little succulent in it. The blue of the pottery, plays into the blues throughout the rooms. A yellow Pehr hamper ties in the yellow from the bolster and has a similar pattern. The replication of colour and pattern, I think is what makes this work. There is also a hint of yellow in the throw, so we have the yellow in a few different places.

The investment in pillows isn’t inexpensive, perhaps the tally for the three on the back, the fabric, the pillow inserts (excluing the bolster) is around $350 (more or less). But it’s exactly what was needed to make this bed go from a showroom piece, to something warm and cozy and “designer”. Really, that’s a small, small price for really transforming a room!

And there you go! Our bedroom makeover! xo


Bedroom SetWhitley Collection from Leon’s

Custom Euro Pillows – Fabric, Sewing, and Inserts – All Tonic Living. Linen fabric – Tonic Living

Custom Bolster – Fabric and Sewing Tonic Living  (insert our own)

Bedding– Peter and Lindsay’s own

Vintage Wool Throw – Vintage, but similar ones can be found on Etsy

Side Tables and Lights– Ikea

Artwork – Abstract – Lindsay Stephenson, Cloud Painting by Roisin ReillyLandscape by Pamela Munger

Green Chair – Vintage – My Grandmother’s chair

Pillow on Green Chair / Kelly Wearstler pillow – Aurelia

Succulent and Pottery – Succulent from West Elm, Pottery was a vintage find

Hamper– Pehr

Basket – My own

See other posts in this series

In Room Makeovers

#HelpingMyLittleBrotherDecorate – Living Room Reveal!

I’m pretty darn excited to reveal the makeover I did for my brother and sister in law using awesome pieces from Leon’s. (Read previous posts on this collaboration here) I’m going to break it into two posts – the first up is the Living Room!

The living room is a bright beautiful room on a second floor overlooking a slightly busy street in Peterborough with 10 foot ceilings and beautiful architectural details. I felt as though the room could easily be in Paris. It seems fitting then, that Lindsay and Peter chose the

Tristan couch from Leon’s  – the linen, the curves and tufting reminds me of something that you may see in a Parisian home. Going with my original inspiration, this is what we ended up pulling together…

The piece that they picked for their living room was the Leon’s Tristan sofa.

Everything else is purchased on a budget or, handed down to the couple. The look is comfortable for a young couple – but the couch will transition with them as they change their style, or, living quarters.  One thing I’ve realized over the years of decorating my own home, is that a small room doesn’t mean you need a small couch.

One may have worried that such a grand couch would look too big in this room, but instead, it helps fill the room up – and makes everything feel to scale. Here are some key things that I think pull this look together

Couch Changes
Couches sometimes come with matching throw pillows. Matchy-matchy isn’t my style, so consider recovering the pillows they provide you with (with your couch purchase) or, do what I did and invest in bigger pillows. And, splurge on feather inserts, to give your guests extra comfort when they sit down.

We added two larger (24 inch feather) pillows to the couch, with a wool plaid I sourced from Designer Fabrics.  To keep costs down, I did one side of the pillow in  the wool plaid, and the opposite side in a black velvet. The wool I chose for the front was not what I’d call “budget” but by pairing it with a less expensive fabric it brought down the cost. I also went with 24″ pillows, which adds to the comfort of the whole couch. I feel as though 16″ pillows / 18″ pillows for a couch of this grandeur are too small, so it’s fun to invest in custom pillows in a fabric that you love. Just because a couch comes with pillows doesn’t mean you have to use them!

Art On The Walls
I think gallery walls are amazing – it’s a great way to bring in a lot of colour or art to a room to give it personality (see our living room as an example). There are a lot of resources out there as to how to do a good gallery wall – we just eye balled it – making sure that the pieces stayed within the width of the couch. We mixed in DIY Art (I made the “Darling, let’s be adventurers” using stock photography found online) with their own vintage artwork, and a framed print of a deed to the moon, a gift from Lindsay to Peter a few years back.

Extra Furniture
Things like the coffee table were handed down to the couple from my Mom, and that stunner of a leather chair used to be my Grandfather’s chair (I almost stole it from their apartment) The acclectic mix of pieces gives this room personality and a lived in vibe that is comfortable, which is exactly what Linds and Pete wanted! If you don’t have a family member getting rid of furniture, go to second hand shops and keep your eye open for great pieces.

And there you go! A pretty comfortable living room, a nod to Canadiana – but really reflective of the couple. 🙂 Stay tuned for the

bedroom reveal tomorrow!


CouchTristan Sofa from Leon’s
PillowsCustom made – Fabric from Designer Fabrics 
Art: Darling, Lets be Adventurers. (Custom made by me) Similar ones found on Etsy
Deed To The Moon: Available Here
Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree: Ikea
Ikea Light: Ranarp, by Ikea
Leather Chair: My Grandfather’s chair
Paddle On The Wall: Scored at auction, painted by me – inspired by this paddle
Coffee Table: Handed down to Peter and Lindsay from my Mom
Rug: Handed down from my Mom
Wall Colour: Classic Gray by Benjamin Moore

See other posts in this series  – This post is brought to you by Leon’s. Leon’s provided the products from their store, to Peter and Lindsay, as part of this blog series.