A few summers ago, I read Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, and I have always recommended it to others so that they too could be impacted by his words. We have lost a truly inspiring individual. And yet, his beliefs and teachings remain for us to continue to pass on.
This past weekend had me starting to decorate our home for the holidays. Ryan and I got our lovely smelling tree and did some shopping that turned out to be surprisingly quiet amidst the crazy black friday madness. I also crafted a few decor items that I can’t wait to share. I was absolutely planning on sharing a decor post today but then realized my lovely winter lighting had left me earlier than expected! So it will have to be postponed to allow for better photos. In the meantime, here is a little taste of what’s to come with some holiday snapshots.
We now have to hunker down for what is supposed to be a pretty nasty winter storm tonight. It may look pretty outside now but wait until you have to drive to work in a white snowy mess! For now, I plan on staying cozy inside with my tea and Christmas tree.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend!
A couple of days ago, you saw my inspired gift guide for her and today, as promised, I have some more gift ideas for the men in our life! I know that sometimes those guys can be pretty hard to shop for so without further ado, here are some gifts for Him.
- What guy wouldn’t love a timeless leather watch?
- Suede Desert boots are both comfortable and stylish. A great casual option for a wide age range too!
- This plaid number would make a great jacket on a cool day or layered underneath another coat when our winter temperatures drop (don’t remind me!). I like that it can also be worn like a blazer too.
- I don’t know what it is about a light grey sweater paired with a white T, but it can never go wrong in my books. I love the fit of this Shawl Cardigan
- Did you know Toms has eyewear? I love the shape of these ebony wood sunglasses and you can feel good knowing Toms helps with restoring sight to those in need when you buy a pair.
- Crafted from Irish Wool, this tie makes a great addition to any suit.
- There are a lot of evenings spent huddled around our IPad watching a movie online. This device, Chromecast, lets you send movies and more from your smartphone or laptop or IPad to your TV. And it’s only 35.00! A perfect stocking stuffer!
- Have fun creating some fun cocktails with this bar set.
- Who says guys don’t need a little pampering too. Essentials for him has shave cream, cleansers and scrubs to keep him polished and shiny.
- These wool gloves are treated to work with smartphones and other tech gadgets. No Frostbite here!
I also noticed through my online foraging that Restoration Hardware has a ton of stocking stuffers perfect for any man. Check out Tools for the Witty, the Wonderful and the Wise
Happy shopping everyone!
It is officially one month until Christmas day! I haven’t actually started my shopping yet but I have some ideas for gifts this year. If you’re having some troubles thinking about what to get for the lady, friend, mom, sister or whoever in your life, maybe this list will help you find some inspiration.
- These lip glosses look heavenly. Perfect for a stocking stuffer!
- I have my eye on a fancy headband for those days when my ponytail needs an extra kick. Glamorous yet simple!
- I love that my Nana had a tin full of recipes for years and years. Give this beautiful Recipe box with a few cards of your own favourite recipes to inspire your recipient.
- Everybody needs a 2014 calendar and the Kate Spade collection is gorgeous.
- A little plaid goes a long way and you can never go wrong with simple graphic t’s for any lady. Creme de la creme and &
- How cute is this mug?
- One of my personal favourites – Essie’s Master Plan is a great neutral.
- Need a hostess gift? Gold Dot Coasters are a great idea!
- Having a Polaroid camera is fun at any age but this one is especially heavy duty!
- Besides the cozy cable-knit scarf, I am loving these headbands to keep warm over the winter.
- I usually use an old plate or small bowl to catch my jewelry, but this Giraffe Trinket
Make sure to check back this week for more gift ideas!
If you are like me then one of your favourite parts of the holiday season is transforming your home! I absolutely love cranking the holiday tunes and decorating the house with cozy additions, adorable knick knacks and, who could forget, decorating the tree. Holiday home decor is simply the best. Like last year, I plan to stick with plenty of texture, lots of soft whites and a touch of fabulous gold to add that glitter every Christmas needs.
I started feeling especially inspired when I browsed some Pinterest images…
So how can I achieve something similar? I thought I would round up some great options to help inspire an amazing holiday interior and maybe it will inspire you as well!
1. This Bronze Plated Lantern makes a beautiful addition to any console or entryway. Lots of candles at Christmas? I think so!
2. These burlap stockings would go perfectly with my burlap tree skirt (layered fabric from our local fabric store)
3. How adorable would this Woodland creature look in a tree!? Love the natural wood ornaments popping up all over again this year.
4. I’m pretty sure making this Driftwood tree myself wouldn’t be overly hard….
5. All of the SS Prints are amazing but this festive one would look great leaning in a frame on my bookshelf for the holidays
7. Need a quick addition? Frame some beautiful holiday cards or switch out some of your existing prints for holiday themed ones.
8. Ring in the New Year with these beautiful gold champagne flutes. Just the right amount of sparkle!
9. Wreaths a plenty please! Love this one made of wool.
10. Add a touch of play with this woodland stocking holder.
Let the decorating begin! I can’t wait to show you my finished holiday home decor this year….stay tuned for pictures and more inspiring ideas.
First off, I wanted to include a nice variety of art & prints, some of which would be my own creation. I don’t imagine myself to be anything close to a painter and I can see how it could be very intimidating to plaster your own artwork all over your walls. But trust me when I say experimenting with some watercolours or acrylics can be pretty fun and the perfect addition to any household gallery wall.
I was inspired by this Serena and Lily wallpaper, so I decided to recreate it with watercolors. You could try painting geometric shapes or just lines of different colors too. Remember when it comes to watercolors, the more water, the softer the line. I also decided to paint on canvas using acrylics (seen on the bottom). This was a simple, abstract piece that was super easy to create and offered some contrast in the arrangement.
When I visited West Elm this summer, I loved this piece of artwork, among many others. Since I couldn’t bring it home with me, I grabbed a deep frame from Ikea and layered different white paper/canvas products to create a piece with interesting textures sort of like the one at West Elm. This one ended up being a bit too big for the wall arrangement, so it will lean for the time being.
Once you have collected your pieces and frames, play around with the arrangement on the floor until you find one that works. Think about visual balance (more on that later). Then trace your pieces on kraft paper. I got a roll at Michaels for around 5 dollars. Take those paper replicas and stick them to the wall in the arrangement you decided on the floor. I played around with mine a lot before I settled on the final placement. Always try to start with the bigger pieces and layer in the smaller.
To hang your frames, measure where the wire or hook is from the top of the frame then find that same spot on your paper. I used a pencil to make my mark and then hammered in the nail (remember to use wall anchors if you are hanging something pretty heavy). Pull the paper off the wall and hang away! Easy peasy!
And there you have it!
Besides my own art, I have included (from left to right):
- Gratitude print (a gift)
- Rifle Paper Co. Card And They Lived Happily Ever After
- A vintage letter addressed to my Nana
- Vintage petit points also from Nana
- Watercolor art by the amazing Sarah Swanson, one of my favorite (sort of local) designers
- Anthropologie & Sign
- Film Noir from Society 6
- Elizabeth Mayville Bun Print
- Etsy Art – Tandem Bicycle Print on Vintage Dictionary
I hope that you have as much fun as I did creating a gallery wall. If you have one you would like to share, please leave a comment and I will be sure to check it out! xx
I am so happy to say that I can finally share my completed gallery wall. It was a long time coming, let me tell you. I spent the summer collecting pieces, creating artwork and finding the perfect frames. And even though I say it is completed, I know that I will continue to add to it and change certain pieces from time to time – that’s what makes gallery walls so great – their versatility.
Before, I had a large canvas painting on the wall that I had painted myself. I loved that it was original and that I had created it but it just didn’t fill the space or the wall very well. I decided that I needed something that would not only fill the wall better but become a great focal point in our living room.
I used various styles of frames, some gold, a bit of silver and even some wood. And I decided to use Washi tape too for an even easier print switch in the future. I ordered prints from Etsy, I recycled art from my family and I, of course, created some of my own. The perfect mixture for a gallery wall!
I felt like the grouping really came together when I added the personal touches – my Nana’s vintage ship petit points, an old envelope addressed to her and the gratitude print from my best friend. A gallery wall should first and foremost reflect your personality and include pieces that are meaningful. These ones definitely are for me.
I also created a few pieces that just didn’t make it onto the wall…so they are simply leaning for the mean time. I love the look of leaning artwork so maybe I will create a “leaning gallery” display on another wall in our home.
So, are you loving the gallery wall as much as me? Interested in some of the gorgeous prints you see? Want some helpful tips for creating your own gallery wall? Tomorrow, pop by for all that and more!
(I couldn’t resist including this one last shot with Shya. Isn’t she beautiful!)
For my birthday this year, I got a lovely gift from my best friend Jenny, and I decided I had to share it. It would be a fantastic gift idea for the holidays, especially if you want to add that personal, homemade touch. I used my Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub right before jumping in the shower the other day and I loved how soft it made my skin feel (and, in my books, nothing beats that pumpkin smell). Coupled with a light lathering of coconut oil post shower, my dry, wintery skin was definitely thanking me. Here’s how to make your own homemade sugar scrubs:
Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub
Get ready to be relaxed with this rich scrub. You will need…
- 2 cups Brown Sugar
- 1/2 cup White Sugar (Raw Sugar or Coconut sugar works too)
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/3 cup Almond Oil or Coconut Oil (add more if needed)
When you have all that…
- Combine the sugars and spices with a wooden spoon
- Slowly pour in the Oil and stir until well blended. You can always add a bit more if you find the texture to be on the dry side. Think damp.
- Cover in a tight container. Store in a cool, dry place.
Lemon Sugar Scrub
This scrub is both rejuvenating and luxurious. You will need…
- 2 cups White Sugar
- 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup Coconut Oil (or almond oil)
- Few Drops Lemon Essential Oil
Then…follow the same steps as above to create your perfect scrubbable texture and then seal in an airtight container.
How great is this gift idea? Not only is it relatively easy to make but it uses simple ingredients from your pantry. No harsh chemicals here. And as you can see, as long as you have your sugar base, you can easily experiment with different scents and flavours. I absolutely love mint, especially around the holidays. Mint body scrub? I think so. Maybe even chocolate mint!
When designing your front entry, it’s always important to consider the style of your entire home. You want people to get a taste of what’s to come after they leave the front entry. I also put a lot of thought into how I can change my entryway with the seasons. This year for fall, I decided to take some of these adorable gourds (that were only $3 at Superstore for a bunch) and give them a quick spray with some of my leftover paint from past jobs. It worked out that the spray paint dripped through the gourds natural indents to create a pretty pattern. No carving, pumpkin guts or mess here!
Instead of flowers, I also took some fallen branches and sprayed them with a light coat of silvery gold and placed them in a vase. I think I’ll probably grab some more to give the vase a bit of a fuller look.
I love my glass lamp from HomeSense and my stacked, coverless books…oh and of course, my Autumn candle has the perfect scent to welcome my guests. I think the combo makes for a perfect fall front entry! What do you think?? Do you change your front entry to reflect the season?
When it comes to the changing season, everyone has their go to fashion wardrobe pieces. Most of us (me included) see our closet fill with comfy, cozy sweaters. But I also notice that I drift to the classic combo of black and white. You can never go wrong with the perfect white T and a loose, black blazer paired with laid back boyfriend jeans. Classic fall uniform.
Finding a perfect fall jacket always brings me a lot of happiness since we in Edmonton only get a limited amount of perfect fall days in which to wear them. When the temperatures drop, the parkas come out! This season, I’ve been seeing a lot of leather sleeved jackets and this H&M number was a great price. And how could I say no to some more army green?? The bonus is that the quilted leather sleeves are actually a bit warmer than expected…so maybe I will get a bit more days out of this number.
With my Behind the Blush expert Janna, her fall uniform consists of loose layers, tights and a beautiful injection of fall colour. Her style is always relaxed while still looking polished. I also have to say how much I admire Janna’s shopping abilities. While wandering the aisles of H&M, she popped over to the men’s section…and found some incredible pieces!! The scarf she grabbed looked almost identical to one for much more $$ at another store and she saw these great shoes! Because of the poor selection of women’s sizes, Janna often heads over to the men’s side to check out footwear. And it clearly pays off. How perfect! So we’re curious…what is your fall uniform??
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