Out with the Old: Happy New Year!

December 31, 2013

Hello there! I hope that you’ve been enjoying the holidays as much as I have! It’s been one party/gathering/cocktail/cheese cube after the other but with plenty of R&R in between so overall its been really great. We’re having a small group of friends come over (somewhat last minute but that’s how we roll!) to ring in the New Year tonight so I’ll have to rustle up some appies this afternoon before cracking open the bubbly. Do you have big plans? Here’s some sparkling inspiration to get the party started:

The Glitter GuideThe Glitter Guide

West Elm: Party in a BoxWest Elm

The Flair ExchangeThe Flair Exchange

Camille StylesCamille Styles

The Curvy CarrotThe Curvy Carrot

I’m taking the rest of the week off but couldn’t say goodbye to 2013 without wishing you all a very Happy New Year! See you in 2014, I have a feeling it’s going to be a BIG year! Cheers :)

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Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2013

I’m going to sign off for the Holidays but not without wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! We’ve got another packed weekend ahead of us starting with our Spruce partners/spouses party (our first, can you believe it!?), our annual progressive dinner with friends and their kiddos (my favourite tradition!) and our men’s shopping day at the shop (um, what man wouldn’t want to shop when there are fresh pretzels, beer tastings, hot shaves and friendly gals waiting to wrap gifts for you!). Not to mention my own party prep and still-not-started gift wrapping. So yes, I just might sleep through Christmas :)

I’m really looking forward to a few days off filled with baking and cuddles with the kids and then the Christmas circuit with each of our families. Hurray for Christmas! Here are 5 links to love this week and just a smattering of my favourite Holiday tunes:

  1. Miracles really do happen, I’ve seen them! Let’s all spread a little extra love this Season.
  2. I’ll be making this Caprese tart tomorrow night.
  3. These printable gift tags are perfect. Adding printer ink to my shopping list!
  4. So many pretty wrapping ideas here.
  5. Nothing to do with Christmas but this blog post about the mom/work/life juggle rocks!

Wishing you all the happiest of Holidays full of family, friends + lots of good cheer and I’ll be sure to check in before we start the New Year. Merry Christmas!

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Calm + Bright: A Church Conversion

December 18, 2013

Here we are, only a week away from Christmas! How are you feeling? Hopefully not too overwhelmed or stressed. I’ve got a lot to do but I’m feeling oddly relaxed about it all, which will likely change all too soon! But seeing these photos (featured in the December issue of Chatelaine, which my Spruce Collective girls and I just happen to be featured in too :) instantly brightened my mood and alleviated my writer’s block last night. I’m a sucker for a good house conversion and I doubt there could be anything more peaceful than living in a former church, unless of course, it meant living in this former church:

Chatelaine Magazine. Photo by Sian Richards.Chatelaine via The Marion House Book. Photos by Sian Richards.

Chatelaine Magazine. Photo by Sian Richards.

Chatelaine Magazine. Photo by Sian Richards.Chatelaine

Chatelaine Magazine. Photo by Sian Richards.

Chatelaine Magazine. Photo by Sian Richards.Chatelaine via The Marion House Book. Photos by Sian Richards.

This stunning church-turned-home belongs to Alison Westlake (owner of the Toronto flower shop Coriander Girl) and her husband, Tyler. Together they took on a pretty ambitious renovation (you can read more about the process here) of the nearly 150 year old building and I just love how bright and airy it is, not to mention their subtle Scandinavian-style take on Holiday decorating. It’s like a breath of fresh air, isn’t it? Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String

December 16, 2013

Well, I made it through the weekend (just barely!) and I’m really happy that Monday is here. The shop has been bustling with Holiday shoppers (yay!) so I’ll be focussing a lot of my energy there before the kiddos are home on Christmas break next week. I’ve managed to tackle most of the presents on my list but I always save the wrapping until the end, just to be sure I haven’t missed anything. I’m usually up far too late on Christmas Eve powering through the last of it but, this year, I plan on giving myself much more time. Even the simplest gift feels extra special when it’s wrapped up pretty, don’t you think? And speaking of simple, I’m a big fan of plain kraft paper mixed in with bright patterned wrapping and fun embellishments. Here are some festive examples, right up my alley:

Little Low StudioLittle Low Studio

A Little Empty RoomA Little Empty Room

Artifact UprisingArtifact Uprising

Scout MobScout Mob via 100 Layer Cake

PoppytalkPoppytalk

Do you wrap as you go or leave the giant task right until the end, like me? Luckily, I really enjoy wrapping gifts and adding personal touches. Isn’t the nautical rope know above divine? I wouldn’t even want to open a present that lovely! Hope you had a wonderful weekend :)

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Merry + Bright: 5 Friday Favourites

December 13, 2013

The past several weeks have been insanely hectic (to say the least) and although it’s Friday and I’ve got a fun weekend ahead (it’s our last weekend of The Urban Market and we’re headed to an Ugly Sweater Party on Saturday night), I must admit that I’m really (like, really) looking forward to Monday. Not like there’s anything exceptionally special about Monday, there’s just nothing on my calendar for Monday! Odds are good that it will end up being just as busy as any other day but sometimes you’ve just got to have a visual goal in mind to make it through the busy bits, right? Works for me ;) We’re officially halfway to Christmas Day and here are 5 festive faves that caught my eye this week:

1. Loving this Scandinavian table, especially the sheepskin chair covers:

100 Layer Cake. Loft Photographie & Anne Marie Photography 100 Layer Cake. Photos & concept by Loft Photographie & Anne Marie Photography.

2. This DIY marquee lighting pretty much sums up all things Merry & Bright:

DIY Marquee Letters by A Beautiful MessA Beautiful Mess

3. I’m super envious of anyone blessed with beautiful hand lettering skills (ahem, yes I’m talking to you Jessica!) and Lindsay Letters has some fabulous prints for the Holidays and beyond. (But seriously, I’m pretty sure it was supposed to be my great talent, I just got missed somehow)

Lindsay LettersLindsay Letters

4. There’s no excuse for wobbly card tables over the Holidays, not after seeing this adorable kids table:

Kids Table by 100 Layer Cakelet100 Layer Cakelet

5. I have no idea when I’m going to get any Christmas baking done (maybe when the kids are out of school?) but these Peppermint Chocolate Crackles look pretty darn delicious:

Peppermint Chocolate Crackles by Say Yes to HobokenPeppermint Chocolate Crackles by Say Yes to Hoboken

Ok, off I go to run the kiddos to school and get things set up for The Urban Market but have yourself a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back to chat on Monday (ah, glorious Monday ;)! Cheers!

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