Made in the City – 559 Toys

buddhi baby (2)

Meet 559 Toys. Combining traditional materials and modern style, 559 Toys creates handcrafted wooden and textile toys for infants and up. Handmade in Edmonton by a Mother/Daughter duo, the toys are thoughtfully designed to nurture development through open-ended play

Where does the inspiration for your business come from?

A large part of our company philosophy comes from the basic understanding that children and babies deserve the same respect as any other human being, and as such, they deserve good quality toys (especially since toys are important tools for growth and development). All of our products are designed and handcrafted with the same goal in mind: to create beautiful, interesting, and well-crafted toys that stimulate development through open-ended play.

How did your business get started?

Since taking infant and early/middle childhood classes as part of my university degree, I’ve been interested in and passionate about what makes a “good toy.” After my son was born, I was surprised at how difficult it was to find the kind of toys I was looking for – well-made, developmentally nurturing, and aesthetically pleasing, particularly without having to order them from Europe at a high cost. We (my mother and I) started out making toys for him, and then it unexpectedly grew from there!

How did you come up with the name for your company?

We really wrestled with the right name for our little business, and wanted to avoid anything too ‘cutesy’ or clinical. We thought about our toy development process, and found the inspiration there: all of the toys we make are intentionally designed to ignite development and be versatile. In fact, each toy we create is able to be used in more than one of the 5 Types of Play (Physical/Constructive/Social/Fantasy/Games with Rules), can stimulate more than one of the 5 Areas of Early Development (Physical/Cognitive/Language/Emotional/Social), and can contribute to more than one of the 9 Multiple Intelligences (Linguistic/Logical/Musical/Spatial/Kinesthetic/Interpersonal/Intrapersonal/Naturalist/Spiritual).

5 Types of Play. 5 Areas of Early Development. 9 Multiple Intelligences. 559 Toys.

Where are your favourite places to shop in the city and online?

I do a lot (as in most) of my shopping at local craft shows, including all of my jewelry and gifts (and art, and body care, and home decor). Also, Plum on 124th is the prettiest store I’ve ever seen! With a new baby, I’ve spent a fair amount recently online at ModCloth, getting new (and cute) dresses and tops that are perfect for nursing.

What is your favourite room in your house?

At this point, it’s probably my son’s room. Every other room seems to be in a state of mid-reno or redo, but his is finished and was so intentionally put together that it’s just nice to be in there! (Plus it has a couch, so we can all easily fit and sit).

Have a favourite recipe our readers would love?

Nothing secret or family heirloomish, but I recently made puffed wheat squares for the first time and couldn’t believe how easy they were! I used the recipe on Mennonite Girls Can Cook, and they were gone in no time. My only tip – use a sheet of waxed paper to help you press them into the pan.

We are so excited to see all of their amazing creations, and to stay up to date on all things 559, you can follow them here:
facebook 559Toys
instagram @play559
twitter @play559

Made in the City – Knit Brooks


Today we would like to introduce you to the lovely Kelly from Knit Brooks. Maker of the softest, stylish and most comfy hats, scarves and cowls, that will make you wish for sweater weather to hurry up and get here.


Where does the inspiration for your business come from?

A lot of the inspiration for my pieces comes from nature; from the places I’ve been and explored among the mountains, within the forests, and beside the oceans in Canada and places in the States. The colours, smells, and textures of the natural world around me helps to shape what I make with my own two hands.
Additionally, I’ve always loved the idea of making my own clothing. Since I never acquired the ability to sew (maybe one day!), I found a way to do this through knitting and crocheting soft, cozy, modern accessories that I myself would love to wear.


How did your business get started?

Having my own business has been a longtime dream. The idea of creating something that was mine excited me, though I never really found a place to direct that ambition past the point of saying, “wouldn’t it be amazing if…”
It wasn’t until I discovered the wonderful world of Etsy that I realized I could take my hobby of designing and creating knitwear, and combine it with the dream of my own business. I could take something I loved to do, brand it with my own style, and share it with the world. In 2013 I opened up my Etsy shop (though unfortunately working as a small town reporter at the time, I didn’t have many hours to put into my neglected shop), and last year I plunged into the market scene. I’m hoping to one day do this as my full time job, and this year I can happily say I ‘m taking steps to start that transition!


How did you come up with the name for your company?

There isn’t a very exciting story behind the name of my business. In fact, I was hard pressed to come up with a name for my Etsy shop and getting impatient while I waited for a brilliant name to pop into my head. I couldn’t wait any longer, so I combined what I made (knitwear) and my last name (brooks), and that seems to have stuck!


Where are your favourite places to shop in the city and online?

I still consider myself fairly new to Edmonton, having moved to the City last fall, and to be honest haven’t done much shopping outside of supply runs to Michael’s. That being said, I’ve found the local markets and handmade shows really are crawling with talented individuals selling beautiful, well… everything! Also delicious treats.
As for online, who doesn’t love spending hours on Etsy? I mean, every order comes packaged with creativity and love. I’ve come to appreciate Etsy even more now that I’ve entered the handmade business scene, and know all the time and effort put into each item.


What is your favourite room in your house?

After finally setting up my home office last month, or my yarn sanctuary as I like to call it, this cozy creation nook has of course become my favourite room in the house.


Have a favourite recipe our readers would love?

I have an entire Pinterest board full of recipes I imagine myself making with grace and success, but truth be told my skills do not lie in the preparation of delicious food or drink. I mean, the last time I tried to bake chocolate chip cookies I forgot the flour…


We can’t wait for Kelly to bring the cozy to our market this fall! And for a behind the scenes look at all her new styles you can find her here:
facebook knitbrooks
instagram @knitbrooks
twitter @knitbrooks

The Nest List – 5 fun Indoor Activities for Kids

If you are hibernating inside today like we are, here are some fun activities to add to your list.



Illustrated cookie recipe from It’s Always Autumn. When in doubt, make cookies. This cute printable makes it super easy for little bakers to follow along.



A DIY masking tape racetrack, is the ultimate little boy approved indoor activity.


Screen Shot 2011-10-02 at 5.10.42 PM

Milk Art, scientifically fun.



DIY Marbled Paper from Meaningful Mama. You’re gonna love this one too, promise.



And indoor playhouse is always a good idea, and even better when it is collapsible! DIY collapsible cardboard playhouse from Sheknows.

happy nesting


Made in the City – The Cricket’s Song


Today we are so excited to introduce you to the lovely ladies behind The Cricket’s Song. Two best friends who create one of a kind jewelry, upcycled clothing and refurbished home decor.

Where does the inspiration for your business come from?

Our inspiration starts with each other. We bounce ideas off one another & through this creativity strikes! We also love nature & find many things outside that inspires us to create. Our city is filled with unique people, animals & sights that all enhance our work as well. Inspiration seems to come out of the woodwork for us everyday!


How did your business get started?

Tiarra started The Cricket’s Song by fluke; what started off as a creative challenge with herself, ended as the beginning of a business! She began with string jewelry and a desire to be one of a kind. The Cricket’s Song has come a long way since then, focusing on gemstones, crystals & precious metals. The pieces are meant to be as unique and individual as the people who wear them.

Tiarra reunited with an old friend from high school & met his finance, Lindsey. They instantly became friends! Like a fairy tale, their friendship grew quickly & blossomed into a partnership; Lindsey joined The Cricket’s Song in early 2015 and has brought her diverse background in creative mediums such as sewing, knitting, design, cooking and her love of all things handmade!

From there, The Cricket’s Song expanded, bringing on upcycled clothing and refurbished home decor.

We can’t wait to see where it takes us next!

How did you come up with the name for your company?

This is an interesting story… Tiarra had been thinking about business names and running each and every one them by her loving and very patient boyfriend; Kyle. After months of this, Kyle became annoyed of all the names and ideas so he yelled out “Name it The Cricket’s Song and be done with it!!!”. Tiarra absolutely LOVED the name and asked him where he got it – Kyle said it was the first thing that came to mind as he was shouting. So it was just meant to be!

Where are your favourite places to shop in the city and online?

We both are huge fans of Made Urban and Etsy for our online shopping! Made Urban is founded out of Edmonton and allows you to shop through the Goods From Your Hood!Two of our favourite places to shop are Cerise and Lavish Salon and Massage! They are both locally owned and have fantastic locally made treasures!
What is your favourite space in your house?
We have our creativity den up at the front of the house where 3 big bay windows let in tons of light! This is where we create, imagine and cook in the summer.
Have a favourite recipe our readers would love?
Mango-Coconut Water SmoothieThese nutritious combos of fruit, veggies, proteins, and healthy fats make delicious snacks or quick lunches on the go.2 cups ripe mango chunks (from 1-2 mangos)
2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cups unsweetened coconut water
Pinch of cayenne powder

Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

Serves 2. Per serving: 159 calories; 1 g saturated fat; 0 g unsaturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 39 g carbs; 256 mg sodium; 3 g protein; 6 g fiber. Suitable for any week of the Whole Living Action Plan 28-Day Challenge.

We can’t wait for these ladies to join us in October! And for a behind the scenes look and details on their latest creations and more, follow them here:
facebook the crickets song
instagram @thecricketssong
twitter @thecricketssong
happy nesting!

Made in the City – Crowns and Coroknits

We are so excited introduce you to the super sweet and talented Trish from Crowns and Coroknits. Trish will be one of our vendors at the Festival in October and we can’t wait to see all the sweet fall styles she will be bringing with her!



Where does the inspiration for your business come from?

I think kids should be comfy. I always test out clothing on my children. If I find they don’t want to wear something or I am not “reaching” for it, I don’t add it to my collection.

When I am brainstorming new pattern and prints I try to make clothes that I would wear if I were that teeny tiny. I like to make more mature clothing but still super fun.

How did your business get started?

I started my businesses crocheting but Fall of last year I changed my business concept to sewing. I have been sewing since I was little and find it less time consuming and more productive than crocheting.

How did you come up with the name for your company?

I was trying to think of a cool name and remembered an awesome wallpaper that I loved called “Crowns and Coronets”. I thought about that for awhile and decided to change “nets” to “knits” since I was crocheting at the time, and now I only sew with knit fabrics. I hate that people have a hard time pronouncing it but I think it’s funny when people think there is some deep meaning to it.

Where are your favourite places to shop in the city and online?

For me…Refinery Clothing Company (in Terwillegar). I just love the collection that Christy curates, I have a hard time leaving without buying They have awesome designer pieces that you can mix and match with things you already have in your closet.For the kids…Again, probably WeeFinery (part of Refinery Clothing).I have stopped shopping for my kids at stores like Carters and Old Navy. They fit the clothes for only a few months, and I used to buy mass amounts of cheap clothing that they never even wore. Now I mostly shop off of Instagram. My kids wear a lot of my clothing as well as Rags, Ky.Te Designs  and West of Wonderland.
Have a favourite recipe our readers would love?
One of out favourite dishes that I didn’t realize most people don’t eat a lot is lamb. Buy a rack pre seasoned and frozen from Superstore. Defrost overnight, cut in half and sear the ends on a frying pan with a bit of olive oil. Pop in the oven at 400 for about 20 mins. Best ever.


And because fall is right around the corner and we are busy thinking in shades of red, black, grey, mustard and all things cozy, here is some mini style and mini nest inspiration featuring a Crowns and Coroknits tee and skirt.


flat lay

Sources from Top (L to R): Hooded Cowl, Acorn Headband, Art Print, Tee, Felt Garland, Crocheted Wall Hanging, Felt Wall Hanging, Plaid Skirt, Moccasins, Quilt.


happy nesting!


Donut Recipes to Make This Summer


when in doubthave a donut

Your new summer mantra.

Should you find yourself standing in front of a mini donut booth this summer, debating whether or not to buy some cinnamon and sugar covered happiness. You should do it. Donuts just taste better in the summer.

And if you are at home, why not try out some of these tasty recipes to enjoy with friends and family, or make a batch to take camping or out to the lake.



Cake mix donuts that are super easy and fun to make with the kids. Via It’s Always Autumn



Peanut Butter and Jam filled donuts that would make the perfect breakfast treat. Via Baker by Nature.



Cookies and Cream donuts. Via Handle the Heat



Donut Ice Cream Sandwiches? Donut mind if I do. Via Paper & Stitch



If you like Pina Coladas….well then, you’re welcome. Via Baker by Nature



Vanilla Cream Filled Donut perfection. Via Brown Eyed Baker


happy nesting!

In the City – Citie Ballet Home Tour

On June 27 and 28, Citie Home Tour 2015 returns for its third year. Once again, renovation and décor devotees will have a chance to tour six of Edmonton’s most stunning homes and gardens.

Starting at 11 a.m. each day, tour attendees will discover award-winning gardens, unique décor ideas, and distinctive spaces. Explore stunning a French country revival, industrial interior design, and everything in-between. Guests will be inspired and delighted by the sheer amount of possibilities and inspiration.

And there’s more than just décor. Guests will be treated to some of Edmonton’s best architectural designs, and a few historical tidbits. One of the six homes was completely rebuilt on its original foundation, which includes a power generator and bomb-shelter. And visit another of Edmonton’s heritage homes restored to its former glory, complete with modern amenities, and artwork from around the world.

See below for a preview of what to expect from each stop on the tour:


Richie. Co-home sponsor:  Upperwoods Furniture Company.


Newly built home in the Richie neighbourhood that’s walking distance to Whyte Avenue. The couple built about 85% of the home themselves. Inside is European craftsmanship that will last a lifetime. This is a heirloom family home. There’s also a rooftop patio above the kitchen.


Glenora. Co-home sponsor: Henry’s Purveyor of Fine Things.


Originally built in the 1930s on the historic Connaught Drive, and updated to reflect it’s neo-colonial aesthetic. This home boasts a large amount of original art from local Edmonton artists.


Lessard One. Co-home sponsors: Touchmark / Celebration Homes, Karla Billey Design Inc.


This custom designed bi-level was built as a long-term retirement plan, overlooking Edmonton’s River Valley. The whole home is decorated with artwork sourced from around the world.


Lessard Two. Co-home sponsors:  Willowbend Resort, and GoRV.


This massive bungalow prominently displays art from around the world. Sculptures, paintings, and handcrafted ornaments brings culture to every corner. The house also features an exercises room, fireplace, and shower that doubles as a steam room.


Riverdale. Co-home sponsor: ATB Financial.


Overlooking the hillside of Riverdale, this Old English home adds additional class to this quaint and quiet neighbourhood. Bright and natural light flows into the house allowing the couple to paint with darker shades and undertones. The rich family historys brings treasures to every corner.


Beaumont. Co-home sponsor:  Rescom.



French country style is alive and well in Edmonton. Functionality and design were both essential parts of the planning process. Every room has an open concept look that makes this home a rare gem in Edmonton.


Parkview. Co-home sponsor: Alair Homes Edmonton


This 1960s home still holds a bomb shelter and power generator. During reconstruction the current owners were careful to keep the integrity of the home’s origins in tact. Rich and natural wood is found throughout the home. The high vaulted ceilings give the home a true open concept sense of space for design.


Enter below to win a pair of tickets and get inspired by all these beautiful homes. (You can choose between Saturday, June 27th or Sunday, June 28th)

Citie Ballet Home Tour Giveaway