What I Learned This Christmas...

Christmas 2010, what I learned...
It takes a minimum 6 tries to get a good self-timer family photo. (note, missing brother represented by photo held by mom).
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Nerf toys make great $10 gifts. The boys (young and old) loved them. But consider yourself warned: don't get your arse anywhere near these boys while they're at it.

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It's not Alex, it's Superman.

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I love my beautiful new 50mm f1.8 lens. The depth of field on this lens is blurry heaven.
My mom-in-law has some serious painting skills - check out the beautiful mug she painted for me.

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It's not a party till someone is wearing a moustache.

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And now onto 2011... Happy New Year to you!!

Eat, drink and wear something sparkly!
xo, Christine

Heading South Y'all

We ate, we drank, we were merry... and now onto some sunshine!!

We're off this January to laze on a beach in Cuba, pit stopping in Toronto and then way back down south to New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi to visit my brother.

Any recommendations where to stay, eat, or do in New Orleans?? Hook me up, y'all.

Anthropologie: Sales make me happy

Guess who was left alone on sale day at Anthropologie?

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A ton of great home stuff on sale PLUS an additional 25% off all clothes, bags and accessories. 
Pfft. Who needs to wait till Boxing Day?

Merry Christmas to me!  Am I the only who can't avoid shopping for myself while Christmas shopping??

Ladies Who Lunch: Edmonton Rutherford House

One of my favourite Christmas traditions is date day with my bestie, Taryn. Years ago we decided to forgo gifts for each other and instead schedule a day just the two of us. We've done everything from the Nutcracker ballet to a slumber party style night in with Christmas movies and matching pj's. Just us girls.

This year we trekked out into the blizzardy day to the Rutherford House for High Tea.  It was a delicious afternoon of cucumber sandwiches, turkey pot pies and a three-tiered dessert tray.  Oh, that dessert tray.  Scones and raspberry butter is the. best.  Raspberry and butter - together at last.  mmmmm....

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It almost feels like a time warp sipping tea and eating off of dainty little dishes. I wish everyday could be that leisurely... plus it's fun to say we're "ladies who lunch".

Christmas Date Day 2008
Hope you're enjoying your the holiday season so far!

Guest Blogging: Perfectly Imperfect

There is some pretty, pretty stuff out there on the internet. It's one of the big reasons why I blog - all the amazing inspiration! But we all know in real life that's not always how it goes down.

My bloggy friend, Kerry from First Time Fancy asked me to share one of my perfectly imperfect spaces. I always love peeking inside people's homes to see how they really live, so hop on over to her blog to check out the "flowery beast". Okay, we don't actually call it that, but I think we should ;)

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Ugly Christmas Sweater Tee Shirts

It's a blizzardy disaster outside today.  I wish I was at home curled up on the couch wearing one of these awesome 'Ugly Christmas Sweater Shirts'.  They make me feel all warm and fuzzy cause they're so cute, I mean ugly, no definitely cute.

from the lovely, Lynn at Hearted Girl : )

Hope you're staying warm out there!! Drive safe, Edmonton.

P.S. A big happy birthday to probably my most loyal blog reader, my mom!! Love you!

DON'T Do It Yourself, Christine

I read a ton of blogs.  Some really great do-it-yourself ones that show you how easy it is to do this and that around the house.  Replace the floors - no problem.   Knock down a wall - sure.  Well, dear friends, I'm sorry but you are not going to find much of that around here.  If you do, it's because I had help.

I confess: I AM NOT HANDY.
Nope, just not one of my skills.  I'm creative, even crafty, but handy I am not.

My handyman husband was out of town this weekend so I thought I'd take it upon my impatient self to hang the curtains in the guestroom.  Let's just say it didn't go so well.  You know those plastic thingys you put in the wall before the screw... ya, forgot those.

DIY window coverings: FAIL.

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Don't worry the husband comes home today... and I like to think I have other great qualities.

: ) Christine

It's Beginning...

Yep, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. Enjoying a quiet night in just me, the Christmas tree and this playlist.

Jason at 'These Roving Eyes' doesn't know it yet, but he's my official music pimp. I'm what they call a lazy music person, but almost everything he puts together I LOVE and this winter playlist is no exception. I can't get enough of "Winter Song" and one of my faves "Baby, It's Cold Outside" the Glee version. (side note: I think I have a crush on Kurt's glee boyfriend ;)

Thanks for the download, Jason.
Go check out his beautiful blog for more candy of the eye, music and writing variety. www.jasonhudson.com

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Have a great weekend, peeps.
Christine

My House: Guest Room, DIY Pillow

I don't know where the time goes on my weekends (and weeks too apparently, considering it's already Wednesday!) Okay, an hour or two may have been spent in Anthropologie but amongst the Christmas parties, tree decorating (my parents - not mine yet), my weekends are just flying by.   'Tis the season, I suppose.

It does mean my hopeful plans to finish decorating my guest room are being put to the side.  I've given myself a deadline of December 17 when my sister and her hubs come to visit... pleeenty of time.  Right?

I did make some fun progress though.  I MADE A PILLOW COVER! Yes siree, that deserves ALL CAPS.  Let's just say my sewing skills are... limited.  All I've ever made are baby blankets and, quite frankly, that's just sewing two pieces of fabric together.  So is making a pillow cover, but this one can come off!

Check it out!

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The fabric is Amy Butler's 'Ritzy Stripe in Nickel' from the Nigella line.  I've found a new fabric store in Edmonton called Earthly Goods that has a great sale section.  They've got a ton of great fabrics, I'm like a kid in a candy store there!

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I'm pretty excited how easy this was and how it turned out.  And now he just needs a mate...

Holiday Wishes

One of my bloggy friends, Shannon asked me to share one of my items on my Holiday Wish List this year. She is featuring almost 80 blogs this month so she is plum full of ideas and inspiration!

Head on over to What's Up Whimsy for some gift giving goodness! 


Thanks, Shannon for having me :)

Mushing in Whitehorse

I'm back from a great trip to Whitehorse, Yukon and had to tell you about our mushing/dog sledding adventure.

I must admit, I was nervous. We pulled up to the ranch and the sound of 150 dogs howling was deafening, exciting, and... intimidating. Eeek. What if I fall, what if I crash, what if the dogs eat me!?

Luckily, the dogs were full (phew!), pretty cute and rearing to go for a run. And I mean rearing to go... I have never seen such excitable doggies in my life! These dogs live for this. They were looking at us while we were getting geared up like "let's go, let's go, let's GO!".

And ohmygosh, was it amazing. It is like sailing on snow. Smooth, quiet and peaceful. I thought I would have to do more work, but the dogs just follow the trail/guide and basically I just had to hang on and be ready to brake. I started off with a white knuckle grip but, once I realized I wasn't going to die, relaxed and just enjoyed the ride, the incredible weather and the amazing views.

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And they had a cabin just for me! yay.

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You have to try it.

If you're ever in Whitehorse I highly recommend the Sky High Wilderness Ranch. It's an incredible experience.
Just don't be afraid when you pull up to this:

Due North

image and pillow via Nicole Tarasick on Etsy

Yep, I'm heading "due North" for the weekend.  Like way north... to Whitehorse, Yukon.   The company I work for worked on a Yukon co-production of a children's Aboriginal TV show.  The screening is happening this weekend for all the Yukon folk and we're going down for some northern fun!

I'd ask you to send me warm thoughts but the weather is actually not too bad... instead I'll ask for some snow making thoughts so we can go dog-sledding!  Who would have thought we'd have more snow in Edmonton than in the Yukon?!

Happy Weekend!
Christine

p.s. isn't that pillow cute!? Check out the Toronto Etsy shop here.

"Men Do Not Wear Bathrobes" (apparently)

Michael and I have been together for just over 5 years and, already, I find it a struggle at times to come up with something "creative" when it comes to gift giving. Well, apparently "creative" is not necessary.

I came across this blog post at "Honey We're Home" where Megan's husband, Jimmy provides some hilarious insight into 'what to give' and 'what NOT to give' the guys on your holiday list. I just love his hilarious, straight forward, no bathrobes attitude.  Now, these may not be applicable to every guy out there, but there were some things I could definitely relate to and a number of items I know are on my husband's wish list. 

Number one tip in my books "get him something that HE wants, not something that you want him to have." huh.  Makes sense.

Check out the Holiday Gift Guide {For Him} right here.

Thanks Megan and Jimmy for the hilarious inspiration. Happy shopping, ladies!!

p.s. and while you're over there be sure to check out Megan's closet. Seriously, people, this is what dreams are made of....


Any other great guy gifts to add?

Penguin Classics for Children

I love books. I love reading them and I love them even more when they look as pretty as these. Yep, I judged these by their cover as soon as I saw them *swoon*


Available from Anthropologie, I will most definitley be adding these to my wish list this year, especially The Secret Garden. Aside from a hefty collection of Babysitters Club books, The Secret Garden was one of my favourite books as kid.  It was a gift from my Great Uncle Kevin and I just loved it. It was hardcover, it was fancy and it was an incredible read.


The Babysitters Club books didn't stand the test of time, but my Secret Garden still sits on my shelf today... and I think these beauties would be the same.

all images via Anthropologie

p.s. My mom might argue the Babysitters Club point - apparently they're standing the test of time in her storage room and just waiting for me to lug a box or two home. Sorry mom!

Did you have any favourite books as a kid?

Happy Friday

A few (random) things that make me happy today...

J.Crew Finally Comes to Canada!!
It's still may be across the country... but at least it's my country. Baby steps, people, baby steps.
image via j.crew

The cactus my gma gave me bloomed! Yes, real flowers!! I've had a similar cactus for almost five years and it's only ever seen ONE flower.  This is kind of a big deal.

Snow.  Ok, this doesn't actually make me smile.  10 degrees to -20 degrees is kind of a shocker, but I'm trying the reverse psychology thing so I can actually get my butt out of bed in this weather.


Emma Watson's adorable new haircut - maybe that's old news now, but the new Harry Potter opens this weekend so it's relevant AND it makes me happy!
image via posh24.com

My office doggy, Tilly.

Happy Weekend!
Christine

Hip Hip Holiday CB2

Hehe, these Christmas ornaments from CB2 make me giggle.



Nothing says Christmas like a cow.  Right??


Check out the rest of their Christmas goodies here.  It's official, I'm excited for Christmas!!

Have you heard CB2 now ships to Canada and their first Canadian store opens in Toronto in the spring? You Torontonians get all the good stuff, pfft ;)

My House: Guest Room, progress...

It's not finished but there is definitely progress...

After two coats of not one, but TWO different paint colours I'm loving the final colour. Our first coat was Martha Stewart's 'Heavy Goose'. The more we painted the more I felt like we were turning the room into a baby boy's nursery. A lovely and modern nursery, but still it was just a bit too blue for my liking.

Luckily, we ran out of paint (woops) so off to the Home Depot where I picked up a new colour - Martha Stewart's 'Nimbus Cloud' for the second coat. It's nearly identical but more gray than blue, which is exactly what I was going for.

First Coat, Colour 1:
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Final Coat, Colour 2:
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Colour me happy :) And yes, I realize you are probably scrolling back and forth right now trying to actually spot the difference between those two colours... just trust me on this one, k?

I think the paint swatches show the difference a bit better. What do you think, do you like?

Click here for a reminder of the before.

Pigeon Post Holiday Series

Okay, I'll admit I haven't sent a Christmas card in a number of years (email card, *guilty*) but, amongst the bills and junk, nothing beats getting a card in the mail. Trust me, I get super excited for "fun mail" and quite often there is a squeal and happy dance involved ;)

I'm a just loving these Pigeon Post Holiday cards created by Keith and Judi of Vanguard Works. I love these guys and their talent never ceases to amaze me.


They also did an amazing line in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Alberta and my favourite, the Valentine's Day Series.  I just love the sweet and whimsical designs.


Aren't they sweet? Check them out here and their etsy store here. Send someone some "fun mail", you'll make their day :)

Happy Weekend!