About Malika Smith

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So far Malika Smith has created 248 blog entries.

Bedroom Makeover

Well it’s definitely been a while since my last post. It was a busy summer and a great September with my quick trip to New York! I’m so excited to finally share my bedroom make over with you guys. 🙂 It has been a long time coming. I really hated my old dark wood bedroom set and it was getting old and outdated. You can check out what our bedroom looked like here, on my previous home tour post. We finished redecorating it in June but I have been waiting for the final piece to arrive, my beautiful juju hat handmade from Cameroon, Africa. There were some issues with shipping and it just arrived this week. It really does complete the room and anchor our bed. I bought it on Etsy and saved a bunch of money as they sell at The Cross store in Vancouver for  $650!

I love love the midcentury modern side tables I scored from HomeSense. I also liked a similar style from West Elm but wanted to save money as we splurged on our sleigh bed frame from West Elm. The lamps are also a steal from Target in Bellingham. I’m so happy to finally have a vanity table to get ready at. The Ikea vanity was bought second hand from a friend and I added gold hardware to the drawer to dress it up. I finally have a spot for my vintage fur stool. 🙂

The mirror is also from HomeSense as well as the cool marble gold lamp. All the rose gold makeup tray and accessories I got from Home Outfitters. I knew we needed to add some green so I got this mini fiddle leaf fig tree from Ikea. The throw pillows on the bed are all from Hudson Bay. The white duvet is Ikea. I feel so cozy and relaxed in our light and bright bedroom. I’m very happy that we changed where the bed is located, now it is the first thing you see when you walk in the room and we can still see out the window from bed.

I found the 2 brown frames at second hand store a few months ago and they had some girly wall paper in them, which I liked. My boyfriend was not a fan, so when we were in New York we bought 2 photos that reminded us of our trip. I love waking up in the morning and being reminded that we love to travel.  Last but not least we replaced our huge old brown dresser with a smaller taller dresser, it’s grey and it’s sexy!! lol I love that is has self closing drawers and we didn’t have to put it together. It is originally form Moe’s Home but I scored it for half price at HomeSense. I hope you loved my bedroom update, what is the room in your house you would love to update?!

xxx Malika

By | Sep 30th, 2017|Decor|0 Comments

My Favorite “Natural” Beauty Products

OMG I cant believe it’s September already! Where did the summer go?! I love summer, but I adore fall.  I’m getting excited for sweaters, boots and pumpkin spice lattes. 😉 I thought it would be fun to share some of my favourite beauty products with you. I never used to read the label of beauty products and check out their ingredients. These days I’m more concerned about what I’m putting into and onto my body. There are a lot of nasty, harmful  ingredients in makeup, shampoo and creams that get absorbed into your body, yuck! So I try to buy products that are FREE from parabens, paraffins, phthalates, formaldehyde and aluminum. It’s not easy to know what each ingredient does and if it’s bad for you. My rule of thumb is to buy deodorant that is free from aluminum, as it is thought to be cancer causing. For creams and shampoo, I try to buy brands that state that the are free from parabens and sulphates. Once I find a brand I like and trust its a lot easier to go shopping!

I do have to order some of my favourite products online, like the PiperWai charcoal deodorant I use. The LaVanila deodorant you can buy locally at Sephora or Anthropology. I just went down to the Bellingham  and found Jessica Alba’s Honest beauty line face cream at Target last week. It feels so nice and smells great too, it is a deep hydration cream. The eye cream from Arbonne is called RE9 Advanced corrective eye creme and it feels amazing. The lip balm is from doTerrea and is made with essential oils and natural ingredients. I also love to use this Amore Pacific lip treatment in the winter when my lips are very dry, it’s a life saver, it’s also from Sephora. For hand and body cream, I like this alba botanica body butter in mango papaya! I just found this hand cream from the Australian company Om SHE and it is nice and luxurious with argon oil and lavender. What are your favourite beauty staples?

 

xxx Malika

 

By | Sep 2nd, 2017|Life, Lifestyle, Uncategorized|0 Comments

How To Make Your Patio Feel Cozy

I can’t believe that summer is more then half way through…a few more weeks and I will be back to full on boss lady mode. The kids go back to school, work will be very busy and weekends will slow down. I feel like summer lets go of all routines and There is something about the summer heat that makes me want to spend all day at the pool/lake and live on fruit and sandwiches. I hate using my oven and stove when its hot, so basically we live on cold food and take out in the summer. 😉

I plan on enjoying my patio for as long as the weather permits, which could take me into the middle of fall. Since moving to a condo, the concept of using every square foot as living space is huge! I want my patio to feel like an extension of my home. I know condo patios can feel small and grimy, especially with strata rules about deck cleaning. I always recommend to my clients to throw an outdoor rug on their patios or buy some outdoor flooring from IKEA. It really warms up the space when you feel good outside with bare feet. The next step is to create a seating area that fits your space, if you have large patio, you can buy an outdoor sectional or couch set. If you are like me, you need to keep it small and simple. Adding outdoor pillow is a MUST! 🙂 Then I would add some candles or lanterns to give the place some mood lighting at night. I also hung some mini outdoor lights outside for that glass of wine after the sun sets. Last but not least, you NEED to have plants on your patio/deck. Your space just wont feel alive and cozy without them. It is way too hot here in Vancouver and I am certainly no green thumb so all of my patio plants are fake. They last way longer and I don’t have any guilt over killing them. I found my faux lemon tree from Superstore!! If you are a gardener, by all means buy real plants to make your patio feel inviting and lush. This is actually the best time the year to buy patio items for next year as everything is on sale, winning!

xx Malika

By | Aug 12th, 2017|Decor|0 Comments

Setting the Table

Who else loves setting the table for guests?! We actually very rarely have dinner guests over. Tonight is one of those special occasions, we are having my boyfriends family over to see our place after changing most of the decor, I’m so excited! That being said we will probably oder Persian food and serve it buffet style from our kitchen. 😉 But I do love a good formally set dinner table! Growing up my mom always made us put out the fancy napkins, table cloths and silverware when we had a dinner party. It was fun for me and my sister to help. 10 years ago I remember registering for my wedding at the Bay and picking out boring dinner ware and beige napkins….how times have changed. 🙂 I went into West Elm last week and was so inspired by there beautifully set tables, I just had to recreate one of my own! Luckily I had a gift card to use so I picked up these mint green napkins at West Elm. The marble looking plates are from Walmart, can believe it?! There are 2 differ net set of bowls one from West Elm the other set the the rope like design is made in Portugal and I scored them on sale at HomeSense. The gold leaf leather drink coasters are from Wing Woo which is a kitchen store here in Vancouver. For the centre piece I decided to do a trio of items, a succulent, a gold pineapple and a wonderful scented candle form West Elm!

Obviously I don’t have the time or the energy to set the table like this on a weekly basis but it is fun to create something special once and a while and pull out all of your fancy dishes! I just cleaned out my cupboard last week and got rid of all the mismatched one off plates and bowls and made room for my new matching sets that I have collected over the last few weeks. I scored the most gorgeous bowls form Anthropology with blue and white swirl pattern and gold trim.

xx Malika

By | Jul 29th, 2017|Decor|0 Comments

Long Overdue House Make-Over

I am soooo sorry that I have not done a blog post in months….. What can I say… I have been really busy with work and life and blogging just hasn’t been a big priority. But I have been dying to share some photos of our new dining room/living room with you! When I first moved into this apartment it was just me and my son, now we are a family of three (my boyfriend moved in a few years ago). When I first decorated it, the space was quite feminine with a shabby chic style. When my boyfriend moved in, I sold my Cindy Crawford couch and tried to make it less girly but it was never “our” Style. So over the last 3 months we have done a complete overhaul and got rid of a ton of suff. We kept the couch, the teal curtains and pillow as well as the coffee coffee table but bought a new dining room set, sideboard, lighting and plants. It is a midcentury modern vibe now and it’s way less feminine. 😉 I love it!

Below are a few photos. I apologize that my photography and interior lighting skills are lacking. I was finally getting the hang of food photography…. but shooting my house is a whole other ballgame…..

If you want to see what our place looked like before, check it out here.

We also have redone our bedroom but it is not quite complete… I will leave that for my next post!

Enjoy!

The photo at the top is of our new dining room. We got rid of our bar stools, small table, ghost chairs and the IKEA chandelier. It looks so much BETTER. The lighting is from West Elm, I love it. The only issue I have with it is that the 6 lightbulbs I had to buy for it from Home Depot cost me $100..WTF! Anyways it looks great. 🙂 The table we got from CB2 and I just love the brass with the glass top. The chairs were a steal from Stuctube. We moved the floor length mirror to this wall and the bar cart sits in the corner, I think it all came together nicely.

Ok so the photo above is of our new sideboard from Structube. If you haven’t been there, GO!! It’s awesome, great furniture pieces at great prices. A sideboard is great for hiding all of your crap that you don’t want anyone to see. The fake fiddle leaf fig tree I ordered from www.wayfair.com and the basket it sits in is from HomeSense. I got rid of my heavy IKEA cubby hole book shelf and added these light floating shelves form IKEA and Target to hold my treasures instead! I love love how it turned out.

This little nook by the window used to have a cream studded chair and a silver mirrored side table. I sold both pieces of on bidding wars. 😉 This new tray side table with black and wood legs is from HomeSense and the wish bone on top of my coffee table books I got from Wayfair.com. The floor lamp I scored from Target on my last trip across the border.

I didn’t really update my kitchen that much, I just moved a few things around and added these cute Umbra wall planters, you can get them here. I also got this cloche as a gift from my mom and found a cute cactus to go under it, LOVE. We also got new wall art, as you can see to the left. It has some teal colour in it to tie the space together and it’s from Marshall’s.

By | Jul 18th, 2017|Decor|0 Comments

Maple Whiskey Sour Cocktail

Wow, its been a while since my last blog post! I have been super busy with work and I was in Portugal travelling last week, it was so beautiful. If any of you are interested in me doing a blog post about my trip, please leave me a comment below?! I was asked last month to make a recipe for wayfair.com  with maple syrup in it and I decided to do a whiskey sour. They are so good, just the right amount of sweet and sour. I thought I would share the recipe here on my blog in case you missed it on my Facebook page. Enjoy!

xx Malika

Maple Whiskey Sour Cocktail
Author: 
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • ½ shot maple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • thyme
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 1 shot whiskey (I used chives regal)
  • shot of bitters
Instructions
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously.
  2. Pour over ice in a scotch glass, garnish with thyme.
  3. Serve and enjoy.

 

By | Mar 25th, 2017|Drinks|0 Comments

Tray Styling and Treasures

It’s Sunday, my favourite day of the week! I’m sure it’s most peoples favourite day of the week, most of us don’t have to work, we can sleep in and enjoy a day of leisure. It’s the only day me and my hunny have off together so we cherish it. I have been so busy with work the last few weeks I have had no time for blogging! I thought it might be nice to share a few of my latest treasures I found for dirt cheap as well as my current tray styling.

I love having trays in multiple places around my house. I also love to change whats on them to give them a fresh new look. I usually change them at least every 2 months. Since we just had Valentines day, I styled one of my trays with roses, and these adorable glass bottles with gold arrows as corks. I found these gems in the strangest place, SAVE-ON-FOODS! They were on sale to boot, I think I paid $7 each for them! The white pineapple jar is my favourite, I have been looking for a good one for some time. The ones at my favourite store THE CROSS are $50, but I found this one as Real Canadian Superstore for $12!!

I love this ghost tray I also found at Superstore, I think it cost me $23! It looks so chic styled with a few coffee table books and a nice plant. This gold trimmed glass prism piece could be used as a small terrarium, I decided to just stuck a little candle inside.

This is one of my favourite scores ever! I was on a bidding wars site on Facebook when I stumbled upon this cute antique faux fur stool. I won the auction and got this gem for $20!! I am currently using this stool in our bedroom, it would look great at a nice vanity table.

What are your favourite fabulous finds?!

xxx Malika

 

By | Feb 26th, 2017|Decor|0 Comments

Chicken Noodle Soup

With the weather being so cold the last few weeks, all I have been craving is warm comfort food! This is one of my favourite foods to make, good old chicken noodle soup. I can make it about 15 minutes, which makes it a win for everyone. My son requested I make it this week and I realized I didn’t have the recipe on my blog yet. If you have the time and energy then go ahead and roast a chicken yourself and make your own bone broth. If you are busy like me these days don’t feel bad and pick up all the ingredients from Whole Foods. 😉

xx Malika

Chicken Noodle Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Gluten Free
Cuisine: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 900 ml package of bone broth, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cooked organic chicken (found in hot section of local grocery store)
  • 2 organic carrots, washed and chopped
  • 2 stalk of organic celery, washed and chopped
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • handful of millet and brown rice noodles
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, cook for 3 minters, then add the garlic, carrots and celery.
  2. Cook for another 5 minutes and then add the thyme and bone broth, bring to a boil and then turn down, cover and simmer for 10 min.
  3. While the soup cooks, shred the chicken from the breast or leg into small pieces.
  4. At about 5 min left, season with salt and pepper and add the uncooked noodles, I like to break them up into small pieces first.
  5. After the 10 min is up add the cooked chicken and check if the noodles are cooked, if they are, your soup is ready if not, cook for another few min.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

 

By | Feb 10th, 2017|Soups|0 Comments

Fennel Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

This salad so light and fresh it reminds me that spring is around the corner. Winter makes me crave warm comfort food, but after months of hibernation, I crave lighter food like salad and fruit. I made this last week and I was surprised and how nice all the different ingredients tasted together! 🙂 I stole this recipe from my cook book Eat Drink Paleo. As always I changed a few things to make it to my liking. I love fall and winter but by February I am ready for some warmer weather so I can get outside more. This salad would be a great starter or just a light snack. What is your favourite salad or spring recipe?!

xx Malika

Fennel Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo
Cuisine: Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pink grapefruit, first zest, then peeled
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ½ fennel bulb, shaved or thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • fresh mind leaves for garnish
Instructions
  1. Make the dressing by mixing the grapefruit zest, lemon juice, olive oil, honey and salt together.
  2. On your plate layer the fennel, grapefruit pieces, and avocado.
  3. Drizzle with dressing and toss on the fresh mint.
  4. Serve and enjoy.

 

By | Jan 29th, 2017|Salads|0 Comments

Home Staging

 

What is home staging?! 10 years ago I think a lot of people would have no clue what a “home stager” does. Today when I tell people my job is to stage homes, I think 80% of people have heard of a stager, but they’re not entirely sure of what we do. I thought it might be cool to share a little bit more about what I do since I love my job so much. Basically a home stager helps their clients prepare their home to be sale ready. The goal of staging is to make your home appealing to the highest number of potential buyer’s; it is a fact that staged homes typically sell faster and for more money.

Most people could benefit from a home staging consultation at the very least. When we go into a clients home for the first time we basically go room by room and give the homeowner homework to do to get their place in tip top shape for sale. If the homeowner has great decor and taste they don’t need to go any further than the consultation. If their place could use some “fluffing’” up we come back with rentals such as art, throw pillows, lamps and accessories. Typically a home stager would come back the day the photos would be taken for the listing and arrange all the rentals to make the clients home look its best, kind of like a show home. People love seeing the “before” and “after” home makeover and that’s why shows on HGTV like love it or list it and flip or flop are so popular. As easy as it may seem on TV, its harder then it looks. It’s one thing to see a home makeover show on TV and is whole other beast to try to do it yourself on your own home.

The main difference between decorating your home and staging your home is that decorating is how you would like your home to look to suit your personal taste. The end goal of staging is to make your house more neutral and appealing to a wide variety of buyers. You may love leopard print pillows in every room and pink walls but that is not what the typical buyer wants to see when they come to your open house. Stagers gently nudge clients to tuck away special decor and treasures for when they move and leave a more neutral space for potential clients. It’s a fact that most buyers have no imagination and they need to be shown how to arrange furniture to maximize a small space or to turn rooms back into their intended purpose. Here are my top 5 tips for getting your home ready for sale.

 1. Clean your house from top to bottom! Buyers do not want to think about having to clean once they move in. Nothing will turn off a buyer more then seeing dirty windows and moldy grout in your bathroom. Take the time to deep clean your house before it hits the market, or better yet, hire a professional cleaner.2

2. Declutter your home. It’s hard to see a space for what is it if it’s full of clutter. Before your home hits the market, take a few days to get rid of stuff you don’t need and want. Then pack up extra treasures that are overcrowding your bookshelf or room so the space feels light and fresh.

3.  Lighting makes a big difference. If you have a light bulb out, replace it. All rooms should have good lighting. If they don’t have a large window, make sure there is overhead lighting and lamps to make the room feel inviting and cozy.

4. Painting goes a long way. If your home is fairly new, you probably don’t need to repaint. If your home is over 10 years old, you should probably consider re-painting the most used rooms. A fresh coat of paint can make a HUGE impact on a home. If the walls are dark, lighten them up. Make all the rooms on the main floor the same color. The top 2 paint collars right now are light grey and off white.

5. Refresh your home. Not everyone has the budget to go out and buy new decor, but simple things like new white fresh towels in your bathroom and new crisp white sheets in your bedroom can make your home feel clean and fresh and will make your MLS photos look much better.

There are definitely more then 5 things to do to get your home ready for sale, including re-arranging furniture, replacing flooring, power washing your house & deck to name a few. I think it’s well worth the money to have a professional stager come and give you a list of things you should do to get your place ready for sale. Some of you are design inclined and you might be able to get your home “sale” ready on your own, but the majority of people need a fresh set of eyes to see your home from a buyers perspective. I like to call real estate shopping online a little like online dating, you only have one chance to make a good first impression! That’s why staging your home is so important.

xx Malika

Here are some Before and After photos of an occupied home I staged last week.

Before – Storage

After – Office

 

Bedroom – Before

Bedroom – After

Living Room – Before

Living Room- After

Note: The before photos are not great as they were taken on my iPhone at night. The after photos are taken by the talented professional photographer Stacy Thomas. 🙂

By | Jan 25th, 2017|Decor|0 Comments