all things lovely…

A blog by the ladies of Barefoot Contessa Vancouver

Category: behind the scenes

A Very Merry BFC Cookie Party

by bfcboutique

A Very Merry Cookie Party

A little while ago we received one of our most favourite books of the season – A Very Merry Cookie Party. If you like baking cookies, parties or eating cookies, you’ll probably like this book. It’s filled with tons of yummy recipes (about 120!) for pretty much every type of cookie you can imagine. There are also tips for decorating, planning and hosting to help ensure your party is a huge success.

We took inspiration from the book and planned our own little party recently – it was a huge success. Although we didn’t all make cookies from recipes in the book, everything was delicious and we all left with a scrumptious assortment of cookies. Below are some of the cookies that we made, and too see a few more photos from the night you can visit Piper’s blog Pontouf (ooh and more on the adorable mice cookies she made is there too!)

mmmmm.... cookies.

Admittedly, it’s now a wee bit late to plan a cookie exchange before Christmas (unless you’re superwoman with superwoman friends) but even if you don’t exchange any cookies this year, the book is still filled with lots of great recipes that will be delicious all year round – besides, it’s always good to be prepared for the 2012 holiday season!

Do you have a favourite type of holiday cookie?


Question of the Month

by piper quinn

So, we’re thinking of starting a new monthly column of sorts called (ingeniously) ‘Question of the Month’ where us Barefoot girls let you know a little more about us, one question at a time. Hopefully we’ll get to know you a little better as well, if you comment with your own answers! For the first instalment our question is:

Who is the one celebrity that if you saw them, you would have to stop them to say something?

Lauren: Honestly there are no celebrities that I would HAVE to talk to. I am surprisingly (especially to those who know my personality) cool and collected – perhaps even a bit aloof – around famous people. This isn’t to say that there aren’t celebrities who I am mildly totally in love with, but if I ever saw them I would likely be too busy hyperventilating in a corner to chat.

Kim: I’ve always wanted to ask Sofia Coppola what Bill Murray whispers to Scarlett Johansson in the final scene of Lost in Translation.

Kaleigh:  I recently had the chance to see Anthony Bourdain, my favorite chef/traveler/writer and general badass. I had a chance to ask him a question after his talk, I blew it and didn’t – my babble-brain could only think of such innanities like “Omg I’m like the 25 year old girl version of you we’re totally best friends I love your boots wanna give me a job!?” My coolness inevitably degenerates into hysteria, but Mr. Bourdain, you can bet we’ll be hangin’ in the future when my pens and knives are as sharp as yours!

Julia: The one celeb I would have to say something to would be the entire cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I would say “thank you so much for making me laugh so hard!” It is literally the funniest show.

Emily: Years ago I saw the Dalai Lama speak at a huge conference. From what I recall he was such a humble man. I remember thinking he was really cute. A little old man filled with wisdom and a very good understanding of life. I wish that I could speak to him and ask him for myself what he thinks about the world today.

Danica: If I saw Beckham I would let him know that he was my childhood soccer idol and the reason why i spent countless hours in my backyard juggling a soccer ball. Not only did I idolize his uncanny shot, but he also had really awesome hair styles!

Steph: I would have to stop Bill Murray. He makes me laugh and he loves Best Coast and karaoke. I would probably ask him what his favourite karaoke pick is.

Piper: I have a tie and I just can’t choose between them. First is Larry David; I would use my winning charm (har har) to convince him to take me out for drinks, I think we would make an excellent awkward combo. Second is Dolly Parton; I would be like “hey Dolly, remember when my Grandpa opened for one of your tours? Well, since that basically makes you my surrogate aunt (or something), wanna be pen pals?” and she would totally say yes, obviously.

Nina: I would want to talk to Ryan Gosling about music and literature, and about me having his babies. Though I would probably just make awkward noises at him a la Tina from Bobs Burgers, if you know what I’m talking about.

Ashleigh: If I ran into Tegan and Sara I would definitely say hello and tell them how much I love their music. When I first heard them artists like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were massive but I wasn’t really into it. When I listened to Tegan and Sara it opened up an entire new world for me!

Brin: Jason Segel, because we’re getting married. He doesn’t know it yet, but he will soon enough.

We’re curious girls here, what’s your answer? Also, have any questions you’re just dying to ask us?

Happy Halloween!

by bfcboutique

About a month ago, some of us BFC girls decided it would be fun to get together for a pre-Halloween pumpkin carving night (any excuse to gossip and drink wine really…) and the lovely Kaleigh offered up her home, along with her amazing cooking skills for the evening. A simple night of Halloween fun soon became a competition and window display. We were going to put all our pumpkins in the windows of our Commercial Drive shop and then have customers vote on which one they liked best – the carver of the favourite pumpkin would win bragging rights and a little prize. It was going to be great – fantastic even – and we were all sure we were going to win. Unfortunately my friends, it did not turn out quite as planned.

Carving away...

The night itself went well, we all had fun, enjoyed the delicious meal Kaleigh prepared and carved our pumpkins. However, it all started to go downhill after that. Piper’s carousel pumpkin was the first casualty – it barely survived being transferred to the store before collapsing. Then all the pumpkins started to wilt and shrivel once in the windows (being inside? the hot lights?) and then we noticed one or two had started to go mouldy inside and we had to throw them out – it had only been 3 days. Anyways, long story short – the pumpkins didn’t survive until judgement day… but since we all worked so hard on our pumpkins we thought we would share a few pictures with you all anyways.

The feast! Homemade truffle mac and cheese (with yummy toppings) and roasted root veggies.


more pumpkins

Piper's carousel pumpkin and Candice's baby pumpkin

Happy Halloween!

How did your pumpkin carving turn out this year? (hopefully better than ours)

Javertime Magazine Editorial

by piper quinn

The lovely photographer Charlotte Lin recently asked us at Barefoot Contessa to be part of a shoot for Javertime Magazine’s spring edition and I (Piper) was the lucky one who got to style it. These are the final shots, we think they’re gorgeous and have been ogling them all week! Seriously, could you not look at these all day!?

I styled the shoot with an overload of Barefoot goodies (all Barefoot, to be exact) and I had such a great time doing it. There was a fluffy little dog to play with, some tasty treats and tons of pretty things so obviously it was bound to be a good day! The feel of the shoot was romantic and ethereal so I pulled all our soft pastels, long floaty dresses and tons of florals – I was in heaven!

Here are some behind-the-scenes pictures:

all lined up

accessory table

so much makeup!

Got Crafted…

by Lauren W

As most of you may know, we recently participated in the Got Craft? Show this past weekend, and we’re happy to say it was fantastic!  The crowd who came out to the show was wonderful – it was nice to see several mothers out shopping with and being treated by their children (or husbands with young ones in tow), and we couldn’t resist making a few purchases ourselves… or nipping up to the baked goods tables for a treat or two.

Our Table

It was also great to see some familiar friendly faces, including the designers of some of the lines we carry…



Firefly Notes

the ricebabies

And those designers that we will be carrying in the near future…


the beautiful project

However as with all new experiences, or those that you haven’t done in a number of years, we did experience a bit of a learning curve. There were a few definitely a few lessons we took away for next time – for example, start preparing for the show early in advance – you don’t realize quite how much there is to do until you’re doing it, and  you’re less likely to forget about those little details that can make a difference with longer time to plan. Little details such as, oh I don’t know, a sign – yes, a sign with the store’s name on it probably would’ve been good to have… but ah well, next time.  It’s also good to have a little sign letting people know if you accept credit cards. Plus, show up early the day of the show – it will save you a few very frantic minutes setting up riiiight before the doors open.  Luckily we work well under pressure and are pretty resourceful so we were just fine – phew!

All in all, it was great to be a part of Vancouver’s crafting community again! We’d like to say a huge thank you to Lotus Events for doing such a great job organizing the show and letting us be a part of it!

olive and clementine

by Lauren W

If you’ve strolled past our Main Street location recently you will have likely noticed its brightly coloured, crafty, confection-filled windows courtesy of Olive and Clementine. This lovely lifestyle blogging duo contacted us recently with a fantastic idea for a Valentine-esque themed window, being fans of their blog, we of course said yes!

Originally they had told us that it was going to be Marie Antoinette decadence meets pretty Parisian femininity, so we were more than pleasantly surprised when not only did they live up to their word, but they threw in a dash of whimsy and craftiness as well!  They featured sewn paper garland, red and white stripe bunting (with their logo no less!) and craft paper covered book risers (genius!).

We also love how they managed to convey a distinct Valentine’s Day sweet feeling without going overboard into saccharine. Love the canning jars of candy hearts and other retro confections. We are thrilled with the display and so happy that it gets to stay up for a little while longer – probably a wee bit past Valentines day, since it is so great and so much hard work went in to it (and a little bit of extra time to pilfer some candy doesn’t hurt either).

styled with love by olive and clementinesewn paper garland

red and white stripe bunting


so fresh and so clean

by Lauren W

Now, let it be known that we are not the kind of girls who are afraid to get their hands dirty or who sit idly by while there is work to be done. This fact was demonstrated all last week when we gave our Commercial Drive store a bit of a facelift – a little R&R (refresh and renewal) for the new year if you will…

The whole process involved a lot of painting – A LOT of painting. We painted pretty much the entire store  – the walls, the fitting rooms, the clothing racks, the front desk and even the floor.  Nothing too drastic was done though, we still stuck to our usual pallette of cream and white, though spiced things up with a touch of dark grey (for the floor). 

Candice gets her paint on

As you may have guessed it’s not nearly as exciting to redecorate a retail space as it would be to redecorate your home. Since the clothes, jewelry, accessories and other what-nots need to be the focus (as one might guess), the purpose for the rest of the store is to serve as a neutral backdrop to showcase all the loveliness – hence the cream and white colour scheme. Fortunately for us, this suits our shabby chic, romantic, vintage-inspired esthetic perfectly. Unfortunately for us, it means that our biggest choice is which shade of cream to use.  Actually, no – this time we did decide to add a bit of sparkle to the stores… literally. 

Next time you come visit us, you must take note of our fabulous sparkly floor! It took 5 days, what felt like 100 coats of paint, some glitter and then a whole lot of varnish to seal the deal… but we have to admit, it was well worth it – it looks beeeautiful!

We still have a few more finishing touches to do, and of course the Main Street store needs a bit of attention as well… but that is for another day, and another blog post.

Katrina hard at work

Julia demonstrates her brush stoke