Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday faves - New year's Eve

Tomorrow marks New Year's Eve - what are your plans? I'm wishing for a little sparkle and celebration for all of you for the big night. Enjoy!
Images clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3, 4
Images clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3, 4
Images clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Thursday, December 29, 2011

And they keep rolling...

...the holidays, that is! I'm fortunate that my office closes between Christmas and New Year's so this past week up until January 3rd should all be a nice workless blur to me!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas...we went back to Ottawa to celebrate with our families and friends. Ottawa had a white (and chilly) Christmas, although the snow came later in the season than usual. Here is a view of our drive up on the 23rd (I was NOT driving, this is from the passenger seat :) ):

It was a great visit, and we were spoiled with generous gifts. My mom and I have a tradition of boxing day shopping, and although it's dwindled in the past years, Chapters was my target store this year. I had some great finds including holiday cards for next year and:
Stone Object Bookend White
Stone bookends (they are SO heavy!)

This Gold Polygon Object (that is seriously the name Chapters gave it) is the perfect addition to my guest room's bookshelf. I had my eye on it for a bit and patience paid off!

I also went to Homesense and picked up a cute little porcelain cup for pens on the shelf of our coffee table and purple Tahari sheets (who knew Tahari did home stuff?).

All in all my boxing day sales searches have shifted to home stuff instead of clothes, but that's OK - I still love the thrill of the find! I did get a black and grey leopard print skirt which I'm excited about.

Did you have any great boxing day finds? Are you on the lookout for any additional sales?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday faves - what I will be doing over the holidays

Hello all! We are getting SO close to Christmas! For those of you who have been working the whole week, good on you. You are extra deserving of some time off.

The Mr. and I took time off starting Wednesday, and we're not going back to work until January 3rd! I am looking forward to a nice long break. For me, this means a lot of catching up with friends and family, lounging in jogging pants, catching up on blog reading, catching up on real reading, hopefully some time to visit the gym and or granit suppliers, and a lot of relaxing. 

I wish you and your families a very merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My wrapping

I am writing this post in advance because tomorrow (today by the time you read this) is mini-Christmas! The Mr. and I celebrate Christmas on our own before joining our families for the 25th. Today we'll open presents, relax all day and a make delicious dinner (boneless leg of lamp with balsamic rosemary marinade is on the "menu" this year). No blogging or work or anything of the sort :) I can't wait.

I finished up a good part of my wrapping over the last week or so, but still have a few gifts to wrap up. As I shared in my Friday Faves post last week, I wanted to use Kraft paper for presents this year. Our neice and nephew are the exception - they got printed wrapping paper with pom pom's. Here is a peak at some of the wrapped gifts I will be giving this year (sorry for the lighting...didn't get any pictures during the day on the weekend!):
Those of our friends who will be getting drinkable presents from us this year will see something like this:
I also tried to make woodgrain wrapping paper...I saw the DIY on a blog the other night...pre-computer crash...and have no idea how I found it in the first place so can't get back to the site! If this is your idea please let me know, and I will definitely give credit (although my attempt is more of a fail...).

First off you take a blog of wood and wrap string around it:
Then you brush paint all over the strings and block (*note - I wanted to use white paint like in the invisible example I'm referencing, but the $ store only had green and that was as far as I was going...)
And then you stamp!
So, this is supposed to look like wood grain. hmmm Not sure if I see it.  It certainly doesn't look like this:

via Martha Stewart (which is the only thing showing up in my google searches grr)
I'm pretty sure it's a fail on my part...I'll let you know if I change my mind when I try to use the paper! Maybe it was the size of the string, the pattern I did, the green paint...who knows.

Merry mini-Christmas to me :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Need a last minute gift?

Get this:

Isn't this just the most beautiful perfume bottle you've ever seen? Clean. Simple. Feminine. It would look great on any tray on a dresser, that's for sure.

Note - this is not a shameless plea for a gift for myself - I tried the scent and it isn't really my cup of tea, but the bottle is totally worth it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Before there was Pinterest...

So, we all agree that Pinterest is awesome (and a potential black hole that is very easy to fall into - follow me here)...who doesn't love it? Who hasn't spent hours on it? Who doesn't have the iphone app? An online pinboard for all things that inspire. But what did we do before Pinterest?

Well, it's something that I *ahem* still do. Even with Pinterest.
This weekend I tried to tackle some "tidying" of magazines, which for me means going through all the magazines stashed under my coffee table, looking at all the pages I've earmarked and adding them to this:

Yes friends, that's a BINDER. note: Pre-Pinterest, I also had a Word Doc with online design photos copied and pasted into it. I don't do THAT anymore (phew).

Remember binders? I go through my magazines and litterally tear out the earmarked magzine pages I love, 3-hole punch them and add them to the binder.

Just like Pinterest, I have the binder categorized by room (and an extra section for fashion)...however unlike Pinterest I am running out of room and may need to upsize the 3-ring (this is the real amount of pages I am adding to the binder):

I look at it from time to time, and whenever I do, I see something that I saved and that has turned into reality in my house. Like this bench from Style at Home:
That was my first inspiration for the bench we made for our bedroom:
Or this cabinet that I loved from the get go:
And I found this cabinet with a similar mix of glass and solid doors:
I still have some magazines on display, but it's moreso a "holding area" until I get a chance to go through them.

What do you do with your old magazines?

PS - When I embarked on my tidying mission Sunday night, the Mr. looked at me in fear and said, what are you doing (read: why are there 20 magazines surrounding you)? When I responded that I was going through all my magazines so I could keep what I want and recycle the rest, the look of reflief and joy in his eyes was more than words can say. Ha!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday faves - wrap it up

One of my favourite things about Christmas is wrapping presents. If only I could get my act together to get all my shopping done early so I have enough time to REALLY enjoy wrapping...needless to say, I haven't started yet (wrapping that is). I do have a penchant for recycled brown paper as a base, and then layering on other wrapping "accessories", like DIY bows that you can read about in a previous post here.

Here are some great inspiration photos to help those ideas percolate....

DIY Craft paper gift wrap
Place 'em or Stack 'em
Simple as can be...via Project Wedding

via Country Living
17 18 Gorgeous Gift Wrapping Ideas
Have already started making those little pom poms...via Babble
Stamp Crafts
Love the names stamped on...via The Haystack Needle

I love this rosette! via Country Living

via Inspiration For Home

via How About Orange
Tree Wrapping Paper Kraft paper gift wrap for Christmas or all occasion
via Urban Bird and Co Etsy Shop

I love the one in the middle on the bottom - as simple as a gold pen on kraft paper! via The Lovely Cupboard

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Early Christmas Present

The Mr. and I bought ourselves an early Christmas present last week (and it arrived before our party - yay!):

(if you look closely, you also get a sneak peek at our face-lifted cabinets, which I hemmed and hawed about here).

I think it's a nice little upgrade from our old fridge:

A big thanks to Nette over at This Dusty House for sharing her source for appliances. You should pop on over to her blog and see her kitchen and the many other things they have done to their house!

More on my kitchen to come (including sources) soon!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Party, chez nous

I hope you all had lovely weekends! We're getting closer and closer to the Christmas break and I for one can't wait. I can't get enough of Christmas - I love how it stretches out over a month.

To celebrate, the Mr. and I hosted an "open house" style party yesterday - we wanted to do something where all of our friends could come without getting in the way of evening plans and/or kids' bed times. So, we hosted a get together yesterday afternoon. We had a bunch of people drop in before heading off to other events, so I think our timing plan worked well.

One thing I learned for next time - people drink WAY more red wine in the winter than in the summer, so stock up! In the summer I'm always surprisd by how much white gets drank, but yesterday red was king.

Here are some of the elements I captured from the party:
The greens in the vases are from my front door swag project, and the holly is from a plant in our yard.

I wanted to do feather wreaths here, but will have to be something I do next year! I couldn't find boa's where I was looking and ran out of time.

I updated my bar cabinet with some more festive decorations:

It took me almost three years to use these pewter frames (ha - knew I would use them some day! Never pass up a solid Pottery Barn sale item...):

This is what happens when you're dedicated to taking photos for a blog post while setting up for your party:
Yep, I dropped mylittle point and shoot ON the crackers. Well done, non? It was I did a little jenga-block-from-the-bottom move and voila:
And finally, a shot of the table. At this point guests were at the house so I could only squeeze in a few photos before donning my hostess hat.
*PS those "festive" plates weren't our first choice...we have some small plates but only about 12, so the Mr. ran to the store before our party started and these Christmas tree ones were his only choice! What's a Christmas party without a little cheesiness?

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