Farewell, 2013

Is it just me, or does time just speed right up the older you get? Wow. This past year seems to have flown by.
2013 was a pretty fun and exciting year for both the husband and I, individually and as a little family unit. Here are a few favourite moments from my highlight reel ;)

We both started new careers-mine in Interior Design and his in the family business.

{I even got to try my hand at acting-so awkward!}

We bought a new house.

 {Can't wait to cook in my new kitchen}

And we travelled. (the best!)

I can't wait to see where 2014 brings us. There is so much to look forward to. 

Wishing you all the best in 2014, and cheers to a happy and healthy New Year!

All I want for Christmas...

If you know me well, you know I am crazy for presents! I love to search (read:shop) for gifts for friends and family and get satisfaction in finding the perfect fit.

I also LOOOVE getting presents. Selfish, I know. But I can't help it!
To me, there is something so sweet in receiving a gift from loved ones and being reminded of them every time you use or wear that special something.

The best gifts are the most unexpected (and usually practical) ones. A few years ago, my husband gifted me a Kindle and it is by far the most used/loved item in my house. That, and my stand mixer. I love that baby!
This year I have my fingers crossed for a portable/handheld clothing steamer. Exciting, hey?!

Besides small household appliances, here are a few things on my Christmas wish list this year...

For the closet {a pretty new top for work & play}

For the Home {I hope to do alot of entertaining in our new house}

For the Bookshelf {love me a good design book}

 Just for Fun {Drop earrings and studs are my go to jewellery}

I would love to know, What are you wishing for this Christmas?

Holiday outfit

Did you ever have a "holiday outfit"?
You know...the one your mom picked out and made you wear. For me, it usually meant a plaid dress, sweater tights and black mary janes for church on Christmas eve.

As I get older, I like to carry on the tradition (without my mom choosing my outfit, of course).
When I saw this Tulle party skirt , I knew it would be perfect for the holidays!

I am planning on saving it for dinner on Christmas at my in-laws. It's a bit out there as far as skirts go, but with the help of Pinterest, I found a few ways to style it:

Seasonal plaids
 {Lily says go}

Delicate lace

Thin knit sweater
 {via pinterest}

Comfy tee
{via pinterest}

And here's hoping I can avoid looking like this...

Life, lately

It has been so.cold. lately
Minus 30 Celsius...so not ready for you. 
Apparently my car isn't either, as everything that could be lit up is. 
Should I be worried?

 Decorated the office Christmas tree with my lovely co-workers

This little guy waits outside the bathroom every morning for a chance to "shower" with his buddy, and completely ignores me. 
He actually gets quite upset anytime we deviate from his routines. It's pretty darn cute

 This makes me laugh. Who knew how much work a bun would be?!
Also-Bangs!! Love them. Selfie's, not so much

All dolled up for our company Christmas party,
wishing I could wear cocktail dresses everyday. Ooh La La

Gingercane 2013

For the past 3 years I have entered in the Evans 2 Design Gingerbread house competition.
Local Calgary builders and land developers are invited to take part, create a design and compete for votes/donations! All donations and proceeds go to the Alberta Children's Hospital-a wonderful place doing so much good for the kiddos.

Although everyone is given the same basic gingerbread house kit, I always try to incorporate items from scratch. It is so much hard work, but so so fun. I love seeing how differently my houses come out from how I picture them in my head!

This year I really wanted to attempt something different...a Cuckoo clock design complete with LED lights and a working clock. 

Phew! 8 hours total time spent.

It turned out completely different than what I had in mind. I had a lot of setbacks from the get-go...my from scratch gingerbread was a recipe fail, and my house actually fell apart when I tried to cut out the windows. I think it turned out really well, considering! There may or may not have been a lot of hot glue involved.

If you are feeling extra generous this holiday season, click here to vote. 
You can also check out the other competitors designs. Some creative stuff!

Whipped shortbread cookies

One of my favourite things about this time of the year is all the treats and goodies that go along with it! I love any excuse to bake, and was a little sad when our girls annual cookie exchange was cancelled this year.

So, in honor of all things fatty and delicious, I present my favourite classic holiday cookie- Whipped shortbread. This is one of the easiest recipes out there (only 3 ingredients).

Don't scrimp on the ten minute whipping time, I swear it makes a world of difference and yields a melt in your mouth experience!

Charlie was jealous of my cookie tasting, and decided to join in on the fun. Brat.

I would love to know...What is your favourite holiday treat?

Holiday decorating trends

This week I am so excited to be included in Condo Living magazine's December issue!

I was interviewed for tips on how to decorate your tree like a designer.
I am by no means an expert, but I came up with a few neat trends to try!

Check out the original article here: http://digital.sourcemediagroup.ca/CondoLiving/december2013/

I thought it would be fun to share two of my favourites with you!

Trend :: Natural & Rustic

I mentioned this is my very first blog post for work-the rustic trend is huge right now for homes.
How fun is it to incorporate that rustic feel into Christmas decor?!
Picture sheepskin rugs, stag horns, natural greenery, burlap and other interesting textures.

I personally can't wait to try this next Christmas in our new house. The all white kitchen and handscraped hardwood will be the perfect backdrop for this rustic feel.

Trend :: Mixed Metals

I am a huge fan of this trend. No more worrying about matching your metals (clothing or jewellery too!), just mix 'em all up! I especially love oil rubbed bronze with gold and shiny chrome.

via style at home

Another trend gaining popularity is using LED lights on the tree or in your decor. They are more cost effective than the traditional style of lighting and last way longer. Anything to help save a few dollars during the holidays, right?

December Goals

It's easy to lose track of ourselves (and our weekends) over the busy-ness of the holiday season. Precious spare time is spent running around, shopping, wrapping, baking, partying and the list goes on!

Inspired by Carli's goal list, I made my own list of goals to focus on this month, which could easily transition into goals for the upcoming year.

Slow Down:
I tend to way overbook myself with plans in December, which I ultimately regret later. Taking the time to slow down, pay attention and plan with intention will also help with goal #2

Savour the small moments:
I recently came across this quote and it really spoke to me:

"Always cherish the small moments. Because one day you'll look back on the small moments and realize that they were the big moments." - Kurt Vonnegut
There are so many little things that we can focus on to remain grounded and grateful.

Note to self: It's not always about the next biggest and best thing. It's more about the great chat you had with a close friend, that smile on someones face when you give them a compliment or mastering that yoga move you couldn't do a month ago. (Personal goal=handstand)

Try something new:
Rarely do I push myself out of my comfort zone. For me (aka wallflower), engaging strangers in conversation at holiday parties this month is something I want to focus on. That and try a new Christmas cookie recipe :)

Take more photos:
I can just hear my husband groaning at this. I come from a family (and have inherited in laws) that aren't crazy about photos being taken. I personally love looking back on old photos and being reminded of the fun times. This is also the perfect excuse to get outside more and snap some photos of our beautiful city.

Handmade & Homemade:
There is nothing more special than creating something from nothing. Especially when you can give it is a gift! I love to create and want to give each person on my Christmas list at least one homemade gift this year.

I would love to know...do you have any goals for December?