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valentines-day-gift-guide

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and yes, gifts aren’t the only way to express your love but they are a sweet way to show your friends and family and express your love for them.

Valentine’s Day gifts don’t have to be expensive or lavish – a small and simple little something is often best! Here are some of our favourites….

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

The simple design of this mug makes it a lovely gift for anyone The ‘Love’ Mug by Ed Ellen Degeneres crafted by Royal Doulton  

 

One of my favourite gifts to give (any time of the year) is a book. I often give my kids books for birthdays, Christmas and other holidays.  For this Valentine’s Day, a book might be a great idea for your little ones….Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day is Cool

 

Chocolate is a classic but I love these limited edition ‘Be Mine’ Tic Tacs – these are great for a class party or office colleagues….

 

Laugh a little …with these cute pillow covers – Couples pillow covers

 

For the LEGO lover …. this Valentine’s Day LEGO kit is just too cute! I know my son would love it! LEGO Bricks Valentine’s Cupid Dog

 

Don’t forget about ‘Galentine’s Day’ – I love these fun wine labels they add some humour and sass to a girl’s night out. Be My Galentine wine labels.

 

 

I often purchase a small token for each of my kids on Valentine’s Day and I have to say I love getting their homemade crafts and cards (I know they put so much effort and love into creating them, too). I know there are a lot of ‘haters’ when it comes to Valentine’s Day but remember that this day is not just about romantic love it’s about all love – love for your family, your friends, your pets and maybe even teat yourself!

 

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christmas-storage-organization

It is late December and the Christmas holidays are slowly coming to a close. Have you started to ‘wrap’ it all up? Or is your tree and decor still on full display? Storage and organizing of Christmas decor doesn’t have to be a total mess – there are so many awesome ways to pack up and make your Christmas storage easy and neat.

 

Christmas Tree Storage

For years, we used the box that our tree came in but honestly after year 2 the box was just being held up with some tape and it was just a mess.  Garbage bags are also a pain – you are stuffing the tree pieces into bags and I know it is damaging and really not effective.

Did you know that there are ‘Christmas Tree Bags’? Yes, these bags are actually designed to fit and store your tree.

Here are some great options for Christmas Tree Bags at all price points – be sure to find one that will fit your tree as they do come in different sizes.

Christmas Tree Storage Bag with wheels by Zober – this one fits a disassembled 9 ‘ tree. The wheels make moving the tree so much easier plus the extra wide opening makes storing the tree inside much easier.

 

Christmas Tree storage Bag by Sanatas Bags – this bag is designed to fit trees from 6-9 feet (disassembled) I love the exterior label option so there’s no mistaking it for sporting equipment.

 

Christmas Tree Storage Bag by Handy Laundry – again this bag can fit a disassembled 6-9 ft tree and the red and green colour is just perfect for the season – there is really no mistaking that this is a Christmas storage item. This is a very affordable option and it gets great online reviews!

 

Christmas Ornament Organizing

Like my tree, I have been storing my ornaments in boxes, old shoe boxes to be exact, and it suited us fine until we started get some glass and more delicate tree ornaments.  I will say that Christmas is a great time to get ‘new’ boxes for your Christmas ornaments – toss out the old ones you have been using for years and use boxes you received as gift wrapping.  Now that I have some special tree ornaments that I want to hang onto and possibly even pas son to my kids once they are adults – I love these ornament organizing boxes.

Here are some of my favourite ones.

Compartment Cube Ornament Organizer by Richards Homewares – this 12 x 12 x 12 box can hold up to 64 ornaments – the exterior label allows for the box to be identified, too!

 

Christmas Ornament Storage box by Handy Laundry – another box that holds up to 64 ornaments.  One feature I love with his piece is adjustable dividers, so if you have ornaments of different shapes and sizes, you can easily make room for them in this box.  Plus …the zipper top means no losing the lid and you can collapse the box when it is not being used!

 

Other Christmas Organizing Products

Christmas Wreath Storage Bag – I know my wreaths have taken a beating when they aren’t protected or stored properly, so I love this bag as it keeps away the dust and moisture.

 

Master Craft Gift Wrap and Storage Bag – when it comes to gift wrapping and all of the necessities, my area used to be a mess! But now with a gift wrap organizer, I have it all in one place.  It does make wrapping gifts for all occasions easier – I also keep rolls of tape and a set of scissors in mine.

So if you find the tidying up and packing up of Christmas to be a big task – maybe these pieces will help keep you organized and make the whole task easier.  So when do you plan on taking down your Christmas tree and decor?

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Christmas time is in full swing … but you say you don’t like colourful Christmas home decor. Well you are in luck, Christmas decor comes in all styles and ‘colours’ – let me show you some of the Best Neutral Christmas Home Decor …

Neutral Christmas Decor – white, gold and beige

Maybe not your typical colour scheme but this is just so elegant and chic.  Gold and white are a classic combination and by adding the beige and taupe tones – this room looks so rich! The white lights add some beautiful shine and the rustic touches like the deer head on the tree top add a woodland look which is very popular right now.

Photo credit: Kirklands

Neutral Christmas Decor – Silver, Green and White

I love Christmas decor that can really extend through the long winter months and when you opt for a neutral palette you definitely have that ability to keep up a lot of your decor through the winter.  This combination has a cool, outdoorsy vibe think evergreens, snow and ice….This beautiful staircase with evergreens and baubles is so seasonal and fresh looking!

Photo credit: Lowe’s

 

Neutral Christmas Decor – Brown and Gold

This combination of brown and gold is so rich and elegant. This tree has a traditional feel and the colours of brown and gold add drama and depth. Al of the the sparkle that contrasts with the more rugged textures like the burlap makes this tree make this tree one of a kind.

 

Photo credit: TrendyTree

 

Neutral Christmas Decor – Black, White and Wood

This combination is not your typical Christmas combination but it also has a great modern meets outdoors feel.  The mix of the Buffalo Check and the wood log chargers gives this Christmas table setting a relaxed and casual feel but still says Christmas.

Photo credit: HobbyCraft

Neutral Christmas Decor – Navy and Metallics

Navy Blue is a great way to add some depth and drama yet still keeping it classic with a winter feel and you can easily mix in some metallic tones like silver or gold (maybe even both).  Navy blue and white are also a great neutral combination for the season – a little unexpected but it works!

Photo credit: lushome

 

Neutral Christmas Decor – All White

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…..make your home a winter wonderland with layers of white on white Christmas decor. With these colour scheme you can remove the tree and keep other decorative touches up because the white decor is more seasonal and less holiday focused.

Photo credit: skimbacolifestyle

Remember, neutral decor is never boring mix it up with pattern and texture for everyday and for the holidays,


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christmas-decor-favourites

Christmas time is here! and you know what that means…Christmas decor! I love any excuse to decorate but Christmas has to be my absolute favourite time of year – the cool air, the white fluffy snow, the music and the overall spirit of the season is just so warm and welcoming.  In my house we love to start decorating around the American Thanksgiving weekend – that way we can make the most of the season and really get into the spirit.

Over the years, my Christmas decor style has evolved and every year I add a few more pieces to the mix – here are just some of my favourite Christmas Decor items…

Christmas Decor Pillows

I love how simple these are to ad to an armchair or a sofa – plus these would look really cute in a guest bedroom (how welcoming).  This is such an easy piece to add to a room and what I really love about it, is it brings the holiday feel into all areas of the home.  You could either store away your ‘regular’ decor pillows or if you are short on space, get some Christmas pillow covers instead and zip them on for the season and zip them off at the end of the season.

This is a really cute and festive option from Wayfair

Christmas Decor Canvas

One of the big holiday trends that we seeing a lot of this year and it is a bit of a nod to the whole farmhouse look is the canvas signs with sayings – I love the simplicity of the farmhouse style and adding in a great farmhouse sign with a Christmas feel is a great addition to a fireplace mantle, a gallery wall or a front foyer vignette.

This wrapped ‘Peace on Earth’ canvas from Wayfair – is not only a wonderful message but it comes in great neutral tones so it will work with most colour themes.

Christmas Decor Wreath

The Christmas wreath is a classic, we all know that but I am loving wreaths in vignettes, fireplace mantle styling and handing indoors.  I added a festive red and white one to my gallery wall in my family room and again I love how it brings the spirit of the season into all areas of my home.  I also love the look of a wreath hanging on the outside and the inside of a front door – so chic!

When it comes to a Christmas wreath – there is a style for everyone but in my home I tend to stick to the classics like this one….

 Christmas Decor Candles

Candles are a great way to add some soft lighting – they also make a great gift.  This year I purchased some beautiful ‘Christmas scented’ candles for my kids’ teachers – I love the simple look of these ones in the mason jars – plus it is a ‘one size fits all’ gift.  Candles are great addition to a coffee table, console table or a fireplace mantle….

Christmas Decor Snowy Tree

This year, we finally purchased a new Christmas tree – we are a big fan of the artificial tree for a few reasons…it’s not as messy and high maintenance  as a real one and with 4 children under the age of 9 – we need to keep it simple.  Plus we used to travel quite a bit over the Christmas break and a real tree can lead to some real problem if it is not watered regularly, so a fake tree it is.  But there are so many beautiful options – like the one we just purchased.  I have been eying these snow flocked trees for a while and my husband surprised me with one this year and I LOVE IT! It is so pretty just on it’s own but once you add the white lights and all of the ornaments, it is just magic!

 Christmas Decor Countdown

My kids are always asking me…”how many days until Santa?”.  It’s cute and I know they are SO excited! I saw this sign at one of my favourite stores, Urban Barn and I knew it had to come home with me this year.  I love the rustic farmhouse feel of the sign and of course, that chalkboard feature – Santa stops here in # days .  We have placed ours on our mantle (we have the height) but it is actually designed to stand on it’s own, it would be great by the fireplace or at the front entry – it’s a cute addition to family friendly Christmas decor….

Do you have any favourite Christmas decor pieces?


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friday-favourites-fall-decor-finds

We know that summer is still here and we are soaking up the fun in the sun but fall isn’t that far away and of course, we love fall decor! The fall is all about adding nature elements to your space and getting cozy with soft textures – we love the harvest theme and of course those stunning fall tones.

Photo credit: Craftberry Bush

So in preparation for one of our favourite seasons we have rounded up some of our favourite fall decor finds.

Fall decor finds:

A definite fall decor must are some pumpkins…we are really loving the look of white pumpkins – they work with a more modern or contemporary style home or anyone who just doesn’t want to dive right into the orange, red and golden tones of the season.  These white pumpkins look great in a simple bowl, add them to a tablescape or style them on a tray or coffee table.

 

Pillows are a fun a simple way to spruce up your decor and celebrate the season or holiday.  again we are loving these unconventional autumn tones like the warm whites and even light blue tones.  This pillow is a wonderful addition – we love it for an entry vignette.

 

We love curling up with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine on those crisp fall days.  We don’t turn the heat on just yet so we wrap up in a chunky knit blanket – this chunky knit blanket is perfect for a bedroom or living room.  The chunky texture adds a lot of character to any space.

We love inspirational words and quotes in our homes, on pillows or wall decor.  This ‘grateful and blessed’ sign is a great reminder for the everyday but it fits perfectly with the Thanksgiving holiday.

Candle light is a great way to add ambience to your space – whether it is a bubble bath, a romantic dinner or just relaxing at home with a movie or book – candles really add soft and subtle lighting to the room.  We love these flameless LED candles – they are very authentic looking and we love that they are safe.

Fall decor is really about embracing the beauty of nature.  Bringing in the tones and textures that we see outside and bringing them inside – this wood dough bowl has a rustic look and it’s perfect for a kitchen island – fill it with seasonal fruit like apples for a simple and healthy snack.

A fall wreath is a must and we love the farmhouse look of this wreath – the mix of neutral tone sand textures is just beautiful and is quite transitional  in style plus this wreath comes with some personalizing options like scent and the message on the sign!

Fall is such a beautiful time of year to celebrate and when it comes to fall decor finds there are so many and we will likely find some more fall decor inspiration through our shopping excursions but for now these are our fall favourites…

 

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red-white-blue-bbq

Happy 4th of July – to me, nothing says ‘Independence Day’ like a great BBQ with friends, family and neighbors! who doesn’t love a good BBQ?  The sizzle of the grill, farm fresh veggies, delicious sides and a little something sweet not to mention some fun outdoor games in the sunshine enjoying the day off of work…

Here are some of our 4th of July BBQ favourites to make the party even better:

 

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red-and-white-home-decor-inspiration

Happy 150th Canada! What better way to celebrate a beautiful country than with decor….you can celebrate our nation (and it’s colours) with red and white all year long….

 

To celebrate Canada’s Birthday –

Here are some of our favourite red and white rooms:

This red and white country bedroom has such a relaxed look.  This is perfect for the cottage or any home that has a more rustic feel.  We love this metal bed frame that has been painted in a red chalk paint that has a bit of an aged feel and then paired with the crisp white sheets.

 

You know we love a white kitchen and this white shaker kitchen with a cute window seat is perfection! Red is a bold pop of colour so you don’t need a lot to make a statement – a few pillows in this window seat are just enough.  We also love the mix of pattern in this space – the toile in red and white for the window valance and the rug – add some more visual elements in red.

 

 

Tired of blue for a boys bedroom? Ya, we are too! Red is a great alternative – it is bold, sporty but also a classic it pairs well with the ‘typical’ masculine palette like grey, navy blue and brown – it is used in a lot of sports logos so you could use that for decor inspo, it also works well with a nautical theme but for something more current try adding red to a rustic theme boy’s bedroom, like this one featured in Style at Home.

 

 

We love the look of a two tone kitchen – either upper and lowers in different colours or the island one colour separate from the rest of the kitchen.  We showed you a red and white kitchen earlier but this one takes it to the next level….a red painted island in a white kitchen – it might be too bold for some but we like the warmth this tone brings to the space and how nicely it pairs with the wood tones, too

 

With red and white decor, think outside, too

A red door (white white trim) is such a fresh and clean look plus a red door is just so welcoming – depending on your existing exterior colours will help determine which shade of red is best but there are so many to choose from …

 

We love red and white for the outdoor patio and seating space, too! It adds a great pop of colour plus it is a timeless colour combination, so you can re-use these for a few years…

Red and white home decor doesn’t have to be just for Christmas or Canada Day …red and white is a classic combination that you can decorate with all year long….

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happy-150th-canada-home-decor

Happy 150th Birthday, Canada!

When it comes to major celebrations – of course we like to celebrate with some decor…

With Canada’s 150th Birthday right around the corner – we have found so many amazing pieces to celebrate this milestone. These are perfect for the home or a cottage, cabin, chalet or lake house…

Favourite Canadian Home Decor :

The Hudson Bay blanket is a classic – this blanket is iconic Canada in wool and the multi-stripes – this has a historical element too that we don’t see often in home decor.  This would look great on a chair or sofa in a home or cottage.

 

 

Paddle art set is a beautiful decorative paddle perfect for a wall hanging – it might be a bit cliche to think of the outdoors when it comes to Canada but we do have beautiful and vast land with incredible scenery and the lakes and rivers are a big part of that natural beauty.

 

‘More Canada’ Pillow Cover has a bit of a retro feel. We love the colours and the classic Canadian images on this pillow.  It’s a visual across Canada tour all on one pillow.

 

 

 

 

Canadian Flag Canvas  you have to have a Canadian flag on Canada day – we love this stretched canvas with a painted barn wood detail – it adds an element of texture to any room.

 

Canada Maple Leaf Coaster Set    Try adding some small details like this coaster set to your decor – it’s practical and patriotic!

 

Canada Loves Hockey Poster….  Show your funny side and your love with this cute poster – perfect for a home bar or family room!

 

Canada Vintage Posters   We have seen a bunch of these vintage posters and we just love them! they add an authentic quality to any room.  You can find these for the whole country, specific areas like Algonquin Park, cities and provinces.


Canadian Flag Lumbar Pillow  The look of this lumbar pillow as a bit of a country or farmhouse style.  The muted tones and the mix of textures and print give this piece some character – it would be perfect on an accent chair or bed at a cottage or chalet.

 

Decor is a great way to celebrate any holiday and you can celebrate this great country any day of the year….

Happy 150th, Canada!

 

 

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we-answer-wednesday-christmas-tree

“I really want a Christmas Tree but I’m in a small apartment.  Any ideas how I can still have a tree without taking over my whole space?”

You can absolutely have a tree in your space – Christmas trees aren’t just for large homes!

Depending on the size of your space and where you want to put your tree you may need to get a little creative but we have some ideas for you.

A smaller tree can still make a big impact!  To make it look even larger without all the bulk try placing it on a stool.  This image has a mini tree placed in a steel bucket (for a bit of a rustic feel) and propped up on a stool.  this gives the tree height but the stool isn’t big and full.


Photo from House Beautiful Magazine

Instead of a whole tree why not make use of some branches? They are easy to find this time of year and they are an affordable option.  We love the simplicity of some evergreen branches in a glass vases, add some colourful decor and you are set.

 
Photo from Buzzfeed.com

This idea is nothing short of brilliant!  This ‘half tree’ (aka Corner or Flat back Christmas trees) takes up half the space of a full Christmas tree but you can push it right up against the wall so it won’t eat into your living space.  Half the lights, half the decorations so half the work!


Photo from Treetopia Christmas Trees

 Want the look of a gorgeous Christmas tree without all the work and mess? Try a hanging Christmas tree canvas.  IKEA knows all about decorating and furnishing small spaces and they knew that the Christmas tree would also be a challenge – so they came up with this!


Photo from bricobistro.com

 Have you heard of a pencil tree? These are tall and skinny trees, they are perfect for anyone short on extra space as they don’t fill the room but they are full of holiday cheer.


Photo from martahome.com 


Maybe you want something child friendly? This wall hanging felt tree is perfect for the little ones in your life.  It’s fun and festive and bonus – it’s mess free! It’s child height so even the little ones can participate in decorating too – perfect for parents, grandparents or aunts and uncles! 


Photo from Etsy


The shape of a tree can be an inspiration, too! Use cards, twigs, photos, branches and even lights to create a beautiful wall art display in honour of the Christmas tree.  

Photo from PSbyDila.com

Another fun and simple idea is the Christmas tree wall vinyl – this is so easy to put up and it won’t cause nay damage to your walls.  There are so many different designs you might find it challenging to pick one!


Photo from Chrisymas.com 

Keep it fun and festive and find a style that fits you and your space,

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we-answer-wednesday-how-to-create

“Christmas break is coming soon and we have out of town guests staying with us for a few days, how can we make them feel at home when staying with us?”

Hosting out of town guests is a part of the holidays and you definitely want your guests to feel comfortable.  When it comes to hosting house guests you really want to think of the details – it really is the small things that make the difference!

It’s always nice to have a guest room that looks and feels like a bedroom – you really want your house guests to feel like they are welcome and a part of your home.  A cohesive looking bedroom is always a welcoming touch.  We always recommend decorating a guest bedroom in a soothing and calming theme and in neutral colour tones.

These elements are musts when having guests stay over for a few days:

1. Fresh bedding and an extra blanket and pillows
2. Night stand with lamp and alarm clock
3. Trash bin
4.Tissues
5. WiFi password
6. Clean towels (a set for each guest)
7. Available outlet to charge phones, tablets etc…
8. Bottled water and snacks
9. Clothing hangers and space in the closet (and/or dresser)

It’s always a great idea to stock up on some extra toiletries too – everyone always forgets something…

toothbrush
– tooth paste
– dental floss
– ibuprofen
– hair dryer
– shampoo and conditioner
– q-tips
hand lotion

Some little extras that add a little something special…

fresh flowers or potted plant
– Spare reading materials (books or magazines)
– Notepad and pen

Be sure to tour your guests around the house and let them know where to find essentials like bathrooms, laundry, coffee and how to work the TV.

The best thing you can do when it comes to creating an atmosphere that will make your guests feel welcome is to imagine how someone else would make you feel welcome in their home.  Put yourself in their shoes…

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