Cookbook giveaway!


Paper & Birch - Hummingbird Cookbook Giveaway

Alright yo, it’s Friday! Can you believe it! This week has been super crazy busy. I’ve been in headless chicken mode more than once. Sometimes more than once in a day. But HALLELUJAH the weekend is here!

A couple of weeks ago I bought this cookbook a couple of weeks ago from Hummingbird Bakery. Yes, partly because I liked the cover – I tend to buy my wine the same way ;) But also because I wanted to try every recipe! They all look incredible yummy and sooo pretty.

Today also happens to be my birthday! We won’t say how old, but let’s just say there’s a 3 in it and leave it at that. It’s also the day that the iPhone 6 & 6Plus comes out and I think I may be more excited for that. Usually my husband gets the new phone and I get his hand-me-down, which is great. He even cleans it, puts it back in the box like it was new, just for me. He’s cute that way. :) But this year, I’m getting the new phone too! Booya!

So, I thought since I’m getting a present today, YOU should get a present today too!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Friday!
~Natalie :)

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Giveaway on Friday!!

Paper & Birch - Giveaway

It’s Hump Day! Woot woot! This week has been CAH-RAZY! Last night a girlfriend and I went to a scarf dying class at Lululemon Lab. Who knew that you could dye fabric with plants and flowers? Not this lady! Was pretty neat.

Tonight I have my baking class that I started last week. Tonight we get to take our cakes home, which works out great since my birthday is on Friday. So, if you read my previous posts, I’ve been on a crazy baking kick lately. And I picked up a new cookbook last week that I wanted to make EVERYTHING in it. Seriously. Everything. If my husband and I didn’t go to the gym regularly, we’d be so fat right now.

Because I like y’all, I decided to have a little giveaway. You are gonna want this cookbook!

Stay tuned!

~Natalie :)

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Dream Kitchens!

It may be sunny out, but man it was cold this morning! Ok, so it’s not “Snowing in September Calgary Cold” but I couldn’t close the windows and turn the heat on fast enough this morning! Still cold 2 hours later with bootie slippers on too. Gotta love old apartment’s and their “take a lifetime why don’t ya” heating system! I mean 2 hours?? I usually don’t have that kinda patience and jack that thing up and end up sweating 4 hours later! Which my husband so lovingly reminded me of this morning. :P

I can’t wait to have a dream kitchen. Heck, I can’t wait to have a kitchen that has regular sized appliances!

Our kitchen is so narrow that if my husband and I stood side-by-side, we could play a game of red rover and no one would be gettin’ through.

Our fridge is so small, you can’t stand up a bottle of pop, or more importantly a bottle of wine. If I put a milk carton on the main shelf, that basically takes up half the space.

Our oven is so small, that I can’t bake with a regular sized cookie sheet. When we first moved in here, most of the things that went in the oven did so on a pizza pan.

So….the lesson here is our kitchen was made for elves, teeny tiny elves.

I cannot wait to have a big girl kitchen. My dream kitchen would be one with a oven big enough for a turkey – no make that 2 ovens! Gotta think big here. A fridge that I could fit a bottle of wine AND a carton of milk. And not having to use a deep freezer as the only prep area.

Oh to dream… :) Do you have your dream kitchen? If ya do, can you feel my jealousy from here? I betcha can!

Here are 10 dream kitchens, I would soooo love to cook in!


Paper & Birch - Dream Kitchens - Black & White Kitchen - Desire to InspireDesire to Inspire


Home TourSavvy Home Blog


Santa RosaHomedit


 Paper & Birch - Dream Kitchens - Italianate-Villa-Lake-Washington_5Denoxa 


Paper & Birch - Dream Kitchens - jen-langston-interiors-1Dust Jacket


Paper & Birch - Dream Kitchens - Lee CarolineLee Caroline


Paper & Birch - Dream Kitchens - Pioneer Woman LodgeThe Pioneer Woman


Paper & Birch - Dream Kitchens - Spanish Style Black:White KitchenThe Art of Awkward


Paper & Birch - Dream Kitchens - Susan+Greenleaf+San+Francisco+Home+classic+sCi1wjl3Ab3lLonny


Paper & Birch - Dream Kitchens - Vintage Interior HelgHannesdagbok

Happy Friday All!

~Natalie :)

P.S. I love hearing from you, so please leave a comment below letting me know ya stopped by! Let me know what your favorite things are :)

3 Responses to “Dream Kitchens!”

  1. Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t mind being forced to bake in one of these beauties :D I like feel and atmosphere of the “Savvy Home Blog” kitchen the most, but I feel like the others with more counter and work space would be better for a chaotic baker like me :D

  2.'/ Lydia says:

    Great posts. That looks delicious.

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Friday Favorites!

Things are a changin’ this past week. Kids are back in school….well except here – they’re on strike. But other kids are back in school. The temperature is starting to cool down, the sun is going to bed a little earlier and the leaves are starting to change. I love this time of year.

Last weekend the husband and I went camping at Thousand Trails in Cultus Lake. Now, let me clarify something here. My husband (and the other husbands we went with) wouldn’t exactly call it camping. They referred to it as “Glamping”. So maybe technically we didn’t sleep in a tent, but rather a mobile home at a RV camping place. Yes, it had electricity, and a small kitchen and a bathroom, with a plug for my flat iron….BUT you try and fit 9 people in 250 square feet and try and say that’s not roughing it!

Seriously, my husband and I slept on twin bunk beds. Twin!? When I was a kid, I always was jealous of friends who had bunk beds. But as an adult, I realize now that those things are only comfortable when you’re 12.

My main contribution was baking. I’m loving dessert bars right now. Last week I made a batch of Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Pecan Krispie Treats (on the blog soon!). For camping, I brought a batch of my Salted Chocolate Chip Pecan Blondies, The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction and Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies and trust me people these things ARE outrageously good! By the end of the 2nd day there, they were all gone.

I’m also loving the Vitamix we bough recently. If you don’t have one, you my friend are NUTSO! We make smoothies every morning and it is soooo much easier than when we had an old fashioned blender. That thing reminds me of a rotary phone. For all you kids out there, that’s one of those phones that had a cord that plugged in the wall and you had to stay still while on the phone. No really, these things did exist. I ain’t no liar!

Since today is Friday, in our house we call it “Fun Food Friday”. We generally eat pretty clean during the week, but on Friday it’s all things yummy and gooey! Tonight I’m making these California Club Grilled Cheese Sandwiches from Lauren’s Latest. If you don’t follow her already you must. She also loves things yummy and gooey. That makes her good people in my books.

On the girlier side of things (yes, it’s a word – don’t judge) I’m loving Cover Girl’s Lipslicks Smoochies Lip Balm. I’m a bit of a lip balm hoarder. No joke, you can look in any purse I own and find at least 1 or two lip balms. I’m not a fan of lipsticks, I find most dry out my lips and the husband doesn’t like glosses – he calls them gooey. And not in the good gooey way those sandwiches are. So, I’m all about the tinted lip balms. Any of you have any favourites??

I’m also loving Lush’s No Drought dry shampoo. This stuff has rocked my world peeps! I have used SOOOOO many dry shampoos and I either find they don’t work or they leave such a heavy residue on my hair that it tangles. But this stuff – no residue AND it works! Hallelujah.

We eat a lot of salads here. I try and make most of our salad dressings because I have an onion sensitivity and most salad dressings have onions in them. So unless I want to anger my stomach, I make them myself. Dear Salad Dressing Making People: switch it up a bit, try not using onions all the time. Maybe forget them at the market next time. Alright I’m back, I’m back. I’m loving this Salad Dressing Shaker by Oxo. Best one I’ve used so far.

If you love baking….you gotta get this cookbook from Butter Baked Goods. It’s from an amazingly talented local bakery here in Vancouver. I’ve tried several recipes from their book already and loved every one of ‘em.

Alright thanks for tuning in for another edition of Friday Favorites! Now, go have a great weekend and make something gooey.

~Natalie :)

P.S. I love hearing from you, so please leave a comment below letting me know ya stopped by! Let me know what your favorite things are :)

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The Best Lemon Cupcakes

Paper & Birch - The Best Lemon Cupcakes


Lately, I’ve been on a huge reading kick. For those of ya who know me, know that I’m somewhat of a book hoarder. But the last couple of years I’ve been finding it hard to find the time or the focus to read. Last week I spent an hour going through my 4 large moving tubs (and my random stashes around our apartment) to find my copy of “Orange is the New Black”. As someone who is obsessed with this show, I thought I’d finally read the book – what could be better I thought. So I literally went through hundreds of books before I found it. And then my husband says to me: “We’re still watching the show, do you really want to know what happens?” Couldn’t have said that BEFORE I dug through all of those books?? Usually I read a lot of heavy non-fiction or biographies, but this time I just wanted an easy old favourite. And ya know what? I opened the first tub and it was right on top – hallelujah!

Besides trying to find some down time, I’ve been testing a lot of recipes lately. Some good…..some well let’s just say I wouldn’t have fed it to our dog. We don’t actually have a dog yet, but when I finally convince my husband, we WILL have one….or two. I mean if ya already have one, what’s one more? ;-) Anyhoo, back to our dogless reality. So, I’ve been testing Lemon Cupcake recipes like they’re goin’ out of style.  I think at this point I’ve probably tried 5 recipes before I finally adapted one to make the best lemon cupcakes. It’s a good thing I like lemon because I’ve tasted countless cupcakes the past week. I have a feeling I’m going to regret my next dentist appointment with all the sugar I’ve consumed.

The Best Lemon Cupcakes



  • 1-1/2 cups at self-rising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, divided
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift the self-rising flour and salt together in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, beat the unsalted butter and sugar with a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating each egg until incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  4. Gently beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture, one third at a time, alternating with half the milk and half the lemon juice.
  5. Fill the prepared cupcake liners with batter 3/4 full, and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, approximately 17-21 minutes, depending on your oven.
  6. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing them to finish cooling on a rack.
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Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.


Daily Dish Magazine

Would love to hear from ya, so leave a comment below and say hi! :) 

~Natalie  :-)


12 Responses to “The Best Lemon Cupcakes”

  1. Lemon desserts are among my very favorites. These cupcakes are gorgeous.

  2.'/ Heather says:

    Oh lemon cake, so pretty and fresh. Looks amazing!

  3. […] #1 The Best Lemon Cupcakes from Paper & Birch… […]

  4.'/ Danelle says:

    I love knowing someone has tried a bunch of recipes before posting their favorite. I know when I hear that, it’s going to be a great recipe!

  5. These look so good. I love good lemon cupcakes and I think these are by far the best looking and I bet best tasting too!

  6. These are so pretty! I love lemon desserts! Their flavors are so nice and bright.

  7.'/ Luci {Luci's Morsels} says:

    These look amazing and mastering a lemon cupcake feels like such an accomplishment! I’m sure your nonexistent dog would have loved every rendition!

    Luci’s Morsels – fashion. food. frivolity.

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