In With the New…

January 2, 2013

Happy New Year! We’re officially launched into 2013 and I cannot wait to get started on my goals and resolutions! First and foremost, my fitness and health took a major backseat while starting up Spruce Collective but I really need to focus on getting back into shape. Less wine and cheese (a lot less!) and more daily exercise and sleep (a lot more!) starting today. I know that my energy and productivity will see a huge boost, much needed for the busy year ahead! I haven’t had time to really absorb the blur of the last few months but I really do need to sit down and reflect on it all. Opening a store was very likely the scariest/bravest/biggest gamble/craziest thing I’ve ever done but it has been such and unbelievably amazing experience already and I am so proud of myself and my four equally brave partners for taking the leap.  I came across this guide to setting goals for creative businesses over at Nicole’s Classes and think that it will be a great way to get some thoughts down on paper….

Nicole’s Classes

Hitha on the Go

Style Me Pretty

The Stroller Coaster

Helt Enkelt

More one-on-one time with my husband and kids is also high on my priority list as well as more quality time alone with my thoughts…away from the computer! How about you? Do you set resolutions or goals for yourself each year? Feel free to share…sometimes saying them out loud helps me stick to my resolve a little better :)

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Happy New Year!

December 31, 2012

Hello again! Thought I’d pop in before it’s officially 2013 to wish you all a very Happy New Year! We had a really great Christmas and I hope you did too. Our favourite gift ever was my adorable new niece born on Christmas morning…Vera Darling O’Shea! She is cute as a button and I am so proud of my sister Becky and her husband Stephen for being such amazing parents already! Pronounced Vara, her sweet name means faith and truth and she is just perfect in every way…can you tell I’m in love already? Good news and new life are the ideal way to send off 2012 and ring in the New Year, wouldn’t you agree?

Pitsispopis

76 Garments

Camille Styles

Kenzie Kate

Lonny

Quotes & Notes 

Vintage Whites Market for Folk

The Glitter Guide. Photo by Apryl Ann. Styled by Southern Fried Paper.

We’re off to spend the evening with some good friends and all of our kids but I wish you all the happiest of New Year’s Eves…cheers to an exciting year ahead!

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Merry Christmas to All!

December 21, 2012

Well, I think that I can officially say I’m ready for Christmas. Meaning the presents are all bought (but not wrapped) and I honestly haven’t baked a darn thing this year! Can you believe it? Shocking, I know. But I really do hope to make up for the baking (and holiday cards and delayed advent activities like ice skating and a trip to see The Hobbit) after the Big Day, while the kids are still out of school. My sister has yet to have her baby and is over a week overdue now (I was 3 weeks late with my first…hoping for her sake that it doesn’t run in the family!) so we’ll definitely have our own little Christmas star this year. I’m really looking forward to some down time and the start of some new traditions. How about you? Will you be busy running to and fro? Or will you be able to snuggle in by the fire for at least a night or two? Here are some last minute holiday DIY’s and inspiration before I sign off…

Free Printable by {aka} design

Photo by Yvonne Duivenvoorden for Style at Home

Des Troy

Better Homes & Gardens

Camille Styles

Tracey Ayton Photography

First Snow Fall

Design Mom

I’m going to take next week off to hunker down with my family but I wish you all the happiest of Christmases (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa) and I’ll be sure to check in before the New Year.  Merry Christmas to all! Wishing you only peace, joy and good things over the holidays :)

 

 

ps….I was soooo disappointed not to make it into the new West Elm Market on Wednesday! We had a bit of a freak snow storm for these parts and the main bridge into the city was shut down due to ice chunks crashing down onto cars…yikes! But I’ll be sure to take lots of pics (although they may not be as good as these) when I go visit very soon.

 

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Pretty Affordable Christmas Wrap

December 19, 2012

Christmas is officially less than a week away! I’m definitely off of my game this year and will really need to hustle to check the last few gifts off of my list. I’m not exactly sure when it’s going to happen but after last week’s events, I’m not too stressed about it. I started wrapping gifts for my kids’ teachers yesterday and took just a little bit more time than usual packaging each one. With 6 teachers between my 3 kids (they each have 2…job share positions are pretty common here) plus the principal, I couldn’t spend a lot on each person but wanted to let them know how much we appreciate everything that they do. It’s the little personalized touches that make presents all the more special, wouldn’t you agree? The thought and time that goes into thinking about the receiver of each gift means much more than the value of the gift inside, in my humble opinion. Here are some beautiful and inexpensive wrapping ideas for the holidays…

Free Printable by Lindsey Bee via Babble

Katie’s Pencil Box

Sarasota Magazine via Creature Comforts

It doesn’t take much more than a printer and some simple supplies to recreate any of these adorable packages. I just picked up some washi tape and baker’s twine from Spruce and will definitely be giving this bunting a shot! Kraft paper and vintage tins are always a good idea but I’m especially loving the printed family photos and hand painted watercolour papers this year…

Annixen

Country Living

Candice Stringham

Sweet Paul. Photo by Alexandra Grablewski.

Creature Comforts

It’s high time that I put together a wrapping kit like Ez’s over at Creature Comforts, although it’s far too pretty to hide away in a drawer or cupboard! I’ve got a busy day ahead full of school performances, shop talk and an afternoon trip into the city but will catch up with you again on Friday. See you soon :)

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Our Favourite Christmas Tradition

December 17, 2012

This weekend was an emotional one for me and so very bittersweet. The tragedy in Connecticut is unspeakable. I just can’t wrap my mind around such horror and am so incredibly sad for all of the brokenhearted families living through such grief right now. We held our kids a whole lot closer this weekend, as I’m sure did parents around the world, and it was an all-too-real reminder to treasure each and every moment…even the hectic ones. How are you holding up? I can’t stop tearing up, squeezing little ones tightly and listening to Christmas music (like this and this)…

We spent Saturday night with some dear friends and their families for our 4th annual progressive dinner. 3 couples + 8 kids travel to each home over the evening for a different course, crafts for the kids, treats, gifts and more treats! Needless to say, our kids have been counting down the days for the past month! We started at our house for grownup appies and cocktails (this Cheddar and Onion Galette was a big hit as was my version of this Blackberry, Rosemary & Prosecco) and the kids made gingerbread houses…always a fail-safe activity! The kiddos got pretty serious about decorating their little cottages (and giant gingerbread men for the youngest girls) and it kept them busy the whole time. Gabe and Sadie’s are below…

Next stop was Rick and Jody’s house to feed the kids and top up our drinks. Jody’s tables and special touches are always spectacular and this year did not disappoint! From the kid-sized finger foods to the thoughtful gifts for each family, it was a magical stop…

Our final destination was Aprille and Randy’s beautiful home. More amazing gifts and a movie for the kids before getting them tucked in tight in their brand new PJ’s, another tradition! We all sat down for a late (and quiet) candlelit lasagna dinner…I think I’m still full, so good! Wine, treats (and possibly some arm-wrestling) finished the evening off perfectly and we all bunked in, only to wake up and pick up where we left off by putting together the hugest breakfast ever!

I feel so very blessed to have amazing friends like these in our lives and memories like these are irreplaceable. I so wish that I could protect my precious kids from all of the dangers and darkness in the world but I can’t. It’s easy to let the fear take over after tragedies like this but all I can do is trust, pray and count each moment with them as an honour and blessing from God. There is so little comfort in any words written or said but the heroic actions and good works of others that can still shine through such dark moments is truly astonishing. I’ll be trying to focus on the good while working harder to let my own light shine a little brighter.

The Wheatfield

Sending prayers for comfort to all of the parents and families with empty arms and broken hearts right now, in Newtown and around the world.

 

 

 

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