The Love List

Dec 19, 2014 +

image by KJP
I'm fascinated by this instagram feed and the true story behind it

Great tips for the (distracted) entrepreneurs

DIY Christmas tree baskets are awesome

Finally, you can move pins from one Pinterest board to another easily


I mentioned it in my house tour but even conversations on Instagram are giving me the sense that we're all feeling pressure at this time of year. Picture-perfect home tours getting you down? Or feeling like you didn't craft enough/bake enough/keep up with the Joneses enough this holiday season? Do what you do. There's no joy in being someone else's echo. Celebrate your individuality this season (and throughout the year too).

Last year, Chloe asked Santa for a "Sidrila Cart" (translation: a Cinderella cart). I wish I had thought to make one like this!

It's time to wrap those gifts up! Here's a roundup of cute gift wrap ideas

We have our annual Pancakes & Pyjamas party next week. I'm looking forward to digging into this book for some fabulous gluten-free breakfast recipes.

I could live in this butler's pantry

Brrr! This little guy will warm you up. The one-eyed blink is the cutest.

Ingredients for a Cozy Night In

Dec 18, 2014

Let's be realistic... if you haven't finished your holiday shopping by now, you're going to be spending a few hours this weekend fighting the crowds, growing increasingly frustrated as you try to find a parking spot, and plunking down your cash for a last minute gift that isn't as heartfelt as you hoped you it would be. But, at least, buying that gift will get you out of the shopping malls and soon back in the comfort and solitude of your own home.

Being home is one of the best things about the holidays. I love Christmas but I think I love the week after Christmas just as much. You're off work and content to spend the day at home in your pj's. It's the perfect time to catch up on Netflix and your reading and maybe do a bit of online shopping for those gifts Santa forgot to bring you. Can you think of anything more relaxing? Here's my recipe for the perfect cozy night in:


Ingredients for a Cozy Night In After Christmas

1. My friend Shannon reminded about the Next Issue app. It provides you access to 140 digital magazines, all for about $10 a month. I use it all the time, especially if I'm going to be travelling. I load it up with my favourites - Better Homes and Gardens, House Beautiful, Chatelaine, House Beautiful, InStyle to name a few. Fine, I download People too ;)

2. A cozy night starts with a hot beverage. You need a good looking mug, one that's hefty that you can wrap your fingers around. This mug from Indigo will keep my tea warm and can't help but make me smile with its message.

3. Even if the fire is on, I like to keep my toes toasty with reading socks. Cashmere reading socks? How decadent!

4. I can't help but love Mindy Kaling. She's funny, intelligent, the epitome of a lady boss, and that BFF who always has you laughing so hard it hurts.

5. I'm a bit particular about pajamas. They can't be too hot (no thanks, fleece) nor too flowy that the cold air gets inside. These waffle knit thermal pajamas seem just right for all-day lounging.

6. You need to have something sweet to keep your energy up while you blast your way through a Orange Is the New Black marathon, right? Macarons are my go-to. They're big enough to satisfy your sweet tooth but small enough that you don't feel extreme guilt at eating a half dozen in one sitting.

7. Mariage Freres is my all-time favourite tea. It's flavourful and never bitter and with one sip, I'm transported back to Paris. You can find it at finer food emporiums like Williams Sonoma or Holt Renfrew.

Tell me, what are your plans for the coming weeks? Do you hibernate like me?

Christmas House Tour 2014

Dec 15, 2014

With Christmas just over a week away, its about time I finish up the decorating around here. And I have! Sort of.

I'm not sure what it is this year, but I'm feeling a bit unsettled with my decor. I can't stop fiddling with vignettes I've already created and my mind is running with ideas on what to do with the leftover decorations (too.many.balls!). But at some point you just need to step away from the Pinterest, stop looking at the blogger home tours, and put down the glue gun so you can actually just sit back and enjoy the moment, know what I mean? Do you ever feel like that? There is such an expectation to make things perfect at this time of year.

master bedroom side table white accessories
Keeping things simple and white in the master bedroom
A berry wreath and plaid textiles add simple seasonal cheer
While one part of me wants to go all out for the holidays, the other half just wants to keep things simple. Pare down. Quiet the house. Fall easily into the season and loosen the schedule. 


Chloe's Frozen tree. Snowball lights, snowflakes, turquoise balls and a shoeless Elsa and friends are all we needed
to bring a touch of Arendelle to this tree in the guest bedroom.
These days go by so quickly. We've enjoyed a few traditions like our annual visit to the Christmas market and found new ones too - holiday brunch at Cluny is definitely on next year's To Do list. I love the trappings of the season. It's a time to indulge, enjoy, and savour; a time to reconnect with family and friends you don't see nearly enough of.

The pink tree takes pride of place in Chloe's bedroom. I love that our collection of treasured and special
ornaments is starting to grow.
But for the most part, what I enjoy most at this time of year, is just being at home. Baking cookies or watching sappy movies together. Spending the day in our pyjamas. Making a crafty mess. Enjoying the warmth of the fire with cups of hot chocolate in hand.



As I sit here on the sofa, with the soft glow of the Christmas tree reflecting on my keyboard, I'm reminded that the best gifts are not the ones found beneath the tree. They're the ones that imprint themselves on our hearts, year after year, moment by moment.




In the end, it doesn't really matter how our house is decorated. It doesn't matter that a string of lights is out on the tree, the pillows aren't plumped on the sofa, or that I don't have perfectly wrapped presents displayed just so in these photos. Its hard to do, with so much visual perfection around us (Instagram, I'm looking at you). But life isn't perfect so its a bit too much pressure to expect the holidays to be any different, no?


I think I'm ready to put the rest of the decorations away now. Join me for some hot chocolate, won't you?

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I always love looking back at our home throughout the years. Here it is in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013
 

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