Etsy Gift Guide for the Young Girl & A Giveaway

Nov 23, 2015

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? I've already spent many an hour shopping on Etsy. There's so much great product on Etsy though that I can spend countless hours going down the rabbit hole of pretty shop after shop. So, I've whittled down the choices for one person on my gift list, my daughter Chloe. Like most girls between the ages of 4 to 8, she is at the stage of wanting to stay a little girl who plays make believe and believes in the tooth fairy, to being a young lady who is starting to assert her own personal style. Here's a gift guide for young girls who are equal parts sweet and savvy.

1. Kids love personalized gifts and this tooth fairy box is one she'll love to keep tucked away - not to mention it makes it easier for the Tooth Fairy to find that darned small tooth!
2. This banner is a simple but chic reminder for your little one to stay awesome a little while longer
3. Washable and waterproof, this pinstripe apron is a stylish gift for your mini chef
4. This sweet necklace, personalized with her name, is one she'll love to wear for years to come
5. If your child needs a nightlight to help get to sleep, why not opt for this adorable Parisian solar powered nightlight? Leave it by the windowsill to charge during the day and it'll cast a warm glow to help lull your little one.
6. This handy Build-A-Fort kit contains everything your little builder needs: sheets with tying ribbons, clamps, clothespins, and a flashlight!
7. I've never met a buffalo plaid I didn't like. This matching Mommy and Me Infinity scarf set will have you both looking cool in the cold.
8. For special occasions (or even dress up days), she can accessorize with this rose charm necklace
9. Add a touch of playfulness to your child's room with these wall hooks in fun shapes
10. Games are a great way to spend time together as a family. Chinese checkers is a fun game for all ages and this wooden Chinese checkers set looks great even when you're not playing.

Now for a giveaway! I have a $50 Etsy gift card to help you get started on your shopping list. To enter, leave a comment below and link or tell me your favourite Etsy shop. For an extra entry, head over to my Instagram and leave a comment mentioning or tagging your fave Etsy shop there. I love discovering new vendors!

Contest open to Canadian and US entries. Gift card is in Canadian $ but is accepted on all Etsy sites. Contest closes midnight Nov.27th. Affiliate links have been used in this post

The Love List

Nov 20, 2015 +

How to Hygge. I'll be getting my Hygge on tonight, at the launch of the Toronto Christmas Market, one of my favourite winter traditions.

A great bucket list for kids

Trim and moulding lovers, you'll want to see this unbelievable transformation

Sugar cookie mini cakes!

This would make such a cute DIY gift for your girlfriends

You've got 10 days to put that Advent Calendar together. Here's ideas to get you started.

This house is the definition of a cozy Christmas

The time is right for these cheddar cheese muffins

Why didn't anyone think of this before?

Creative ways to use drapes

A gorgeous renovation. Photo by Tessa Neustadt.

Have a fantastic weekend!

A Simple High Impact Change for the Holidays

Nov 19, 2015

I love the holidays. I love decorating the house, shopping and wrapping gifts, and spending time with family. But one thing I struggle with every year is how to keep my holiday decorations under control. I have five banker's boxes worth of decor which might not seem like a lot, but in a small house like hours, that's almost half of our hidden storage room!

The problem is I get bored with my decorations and am tempted to go out and buy shiny and new ornaments every year. But this year, I wanted to get more out of my holiday decor and sought out a high impact change that would make best use of the decorations I already had.

I decided to focus my efforts on this spot in the living room, currently piled with wayward vases. It's one of the first areas you see when you enter our house and it's a troublesome spot to decorate. I love the metallic beach prints of Chloe but they don't really work year round and when I take them down, we have visible screw holes in the wall that need to be covered. I've never quite known what to hang in their place - a mirror would be good but we have a mirror right beside hanging over the sofa. Art would be great but I haven't found a large-scale piece I've fallen in love with yet. So, my solution: cover the wall with a temporary wallpaper mural.

installing removable wallpaper | whitewashed brick

Temporary wallpaper is something I've long wanted to try. I've discovered that I tire of wallpaper very quickly so using something temporary in this area would give the me change I'm craving without the long-term commitment. As luck would have it, WallsNeedLove reached out to me while I was in my search for wallpaper so I thought it would be great to partner with them on this little transformation.

They offer a huge breadth of product, from decals to wallpaper to wall murals. I took a look through their site and decided on this white washed brick wall mural decal. It had enough texture and interest without being overpowering. Installation was fairly straight-forward and the WallsNeedLove package came with a squeegee and utility knife, everything we needed to get this job done. Here's what we did:

1. Clear out the area and clean the wall. 
2. Lay the mural out to flatten. Figure out placement. The wall mural came in four numbered panels but we would only need three for our small area. We decided to centre the middle panel and trim the two sides as needed.
3. Mark guidelines for your first panel. Sean found the centre of our wall area and then measured out half the width of the mural panel. Using a level, he marked this measurement down the length of the wall.

installing removable wallpaper | whitewashed brick

4. Fold down the backing off the first 24" of the panel.
5. Using your marks as a guide, attach the first panel. Leave some excess wallpaper at the top that can be trimmed off. Ensure the left side of your panel lines up with the marks. This is where you can use a friend to help as the long panel can start to swing and veer slightly off level. As Sean applied the wallpaper near the top of the wall, I held the panel at the floor and ensured the left side continued to line up with the marks.

installing removable wallpaper | whitewashed brick |

6. Work slowly and reposition the wallpaper as needed. We found that it helped to removed the backing only 12" at a time. The vinyl does have a bit of stretch so getting the panel into place shouldn't be too difficult.
7. Use the squeegee provided to push the air bubbles out. Start from the centre and work the bubbles out towards the sides of the panel. If you notice wrinkles or creases, simply remove the panel and reattach it flat again.
8. Trim the excess wallpaper using a ruler and the utility knife provided.

installing removable wallpaper | whitewashed brick |

Here's the finished wall. It looked just like I hoped it would! A bit of texture, nothing too dramatic. I'm planning to keep this wallpaper up beyond Christmas and I think it will really work well in our living room year round.

But of course, the whole point of all this was to create a special high-impact look for the holidays. Here's what I came up with.

whitewashed brick wallpaper | reindeer head with berry wreath and plaid scarf |

whitewashed brick wallpaper | rustic Christmas decorations |

whitewashed brick wallpaper | reindeer head with berry wreath and plaid scarf |

My initial vision for this was a brick wall with a deer head. I jumped on the reindeer head bandwagon and picked this one up from HomeSense. He got a scarf made of the buffalo plaid Berta Ruta fabric from Ikea which I've used everywhere this season.

brick wall wallpaper reindeer head berry wreath plaid scarf

whitewashed brick wallpaper | rustic decorations in crate |

I'm going for more of a rustic, organic vibe with my Christmas decorating this year and antlers, pinecones and natural wood features prominently. I'm madly in love with these mercury glass globes I picked up on sale at the end of last Christmas. Filled with a string of white lights, they cast a warm glow and really bring this corner to life in the evenings. I'd love to add some birch branches and bring some height to this display but haven't found them in stores yet. I'm constantly fiddling with my vignettes!

whitewashed brick wallpaper | rustic decorations | reindeer head plaid scarf |

I'm really pleased with how this brick mural works with my existing furnishings. The rough texture of the brick is a nice contrast to the curvy, feminine lines of the dresser. The white wall also picks up on other white accents around the room and brings out the teal colour of the dresser which I love.
  whitewashed brick wallpaper | rustic decorations | reindeer head plaid scarf |
whitewashed brick wallpaper | rustic decorations | reindeer head plaid scarf |

We haven't redecorated our living room in a while so this brings freshness and new energy to the space. It will be fun to change it out for the seasons.

Have you decorated for the holidays yet? How do you keep from getting bored with your decorations?

Disclosure: I was provided product for this project. All opinions are my own.

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