Happy Wishes!

Things have been crazy around here - crazy good and crazy busy! We've had an amazing first Christmas with Alice and our family. Hope you all had a happy Christmas too and have a very happy 2012!!

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In other happy news, Jennifer over at Rambling Renovators asked me to participate in her Great Reads of 2011 series where she is sharing some of her favourite blogs and their favourite posts. Rambling Renovators was one of the first blogs I started reading and let me tell you, this girl has got great style and great taste. Hop on over to check out her list - tons of great reads! Thanks so much for having me, Jenn :)


Also, another great blog 6th Street Design School is featuring some photos of my home today. Kirsten is a super talented interior designer from Utah and I was beyond flattered she wanted to feature my home!! Pop on over to her blog here to take a look. Thanks so much, Kirsten, for the feature!

Happy New Year all!

Christine

My House: Christmas Decor!

Christmas finally made it's way into our home! I wasn't sure if it was going to make it this year, but after a nice long nap from Alice I was able to get up the tree and some decorations. Better late than never! My dad reminded me that when he was a kid they used to put up the tree on Christmas Eve. Apparently it's an European/Austrian thing along with opening up presents on Christmas Eve (a tradition I was always happy to keep alive).

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You would think I'm getting paid by Superstore or something - the stockings, ornaments, letters, stocking holders ALL came from Superstore. You might recognize the faux bois pattern in the frames, that's the wrapping paper I used this year! I just cut and framed it up for some instant art.

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These ornaments get sparkles EVERYWHERE.

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And of course the tree...

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Merry Christmas, happy everything all!
peace,
Christine

Wrapping it Up

Things are finally starting to feel festive around here. This past weekend we had an early Christmas celebration which means half my presents are wrapped and already out the door.

I'm in love my with black and white checked wrapping paper I picked up from Home Outfitters. It's cute, can be used all year round, and it's FUZZY!! Love that. I might have been a little too excited when I opened the package and realized it was textured ;) Add some ribbons I had lying around the house, some great free printables from here and here, and we've got some pretty presents that were ripped apart in seconds (as they should be).

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In other festive news, I finally got around to putting up some Christmas decorations. December 21 isn't too late to start decorating, right?

Happy almost Christmas y'all!

Christine

Alice: Month One

warning: this is a lengthy post dedicated to all things baby, one particularly cute baby in fact. It's been such a whirlwind since Alice was born, I just need to get it all down before I forget....

This month has been a big one.  The first month of Alice's life, our first month as parents, our first month as a family.  It's kind of life changing, but in a really good way.

It's started off with a waiting game, 41 weeks into my pregnancy I was starting to wonder if this girl would ever make an appearance into this world.  I seriously had to ask, "I can't be pregnant forever, right? RIGHT??" It certainly felt that way at times.  On November 9, Alice finally decided to make her debut into the world and she was most definitely worth the wait.  She made 16 hours of labour (back labour no less, I don't wish that on ANYONE) worth every single emotional and painful second.  I know they say you forget the pain, well after a month it's still fresh but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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It's been amazing and exhausting month full of cuddles, poops, friends, family and love. Oh, and touch of sleep, we could use a little more of that ;) Thank you to all our family and friends who have been there to support and shower this baby with love. We love you.

I'll be taking a photo of Alice once a month on Alice's blanket given to her by her great Grandma. Here she is looking all grown up at one month.

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Month one and currently loving...

- watching her slowly "de-squish". You know how newborns have the kinda puffy, I-just-came-from-the-womb look, everyday her pretty little eyes would emerge more and more, show pretty little eyelashes and become more and more alert.

- smiling. I don't think I've ever smiled so much in my life. The littlest things she does makes me smile.  Just looking at her makes me smile. My favourite is watching Mike hold her and the smile and love written all over his face - melts. my. heart.

- Alice's smiles. She just started smiling and I love that toothless little grin.

- her grunts, stretches and cute little noises combined with her hilarious waking up and pooping faces. This girl is funny without even trying.

- learning that everything takes longer with a baby.

- the way her head nuzzles into my chest.

- seeing how much happiness Alice brings not only to me but to the people I love the most. She is lucky to have such amazing friends and family in her life. You are very loved, little girl, very, very loved.

Happy one month birthday, Alice.

the little things: Happy Mondays

A full 6.5 HOURS of sleep...
a visit from Alice's Nana and Opa...
a quiet moment with a sleeping baby, a cup of tea* and blogging....
followed by a movie night out with my bff, my mom and Robert Pattinson.

I couldn't ask for a happier Monday :)

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Hope yours is equally as lovely.
Christine


*my new favourite tea "northern lights" from David's Tea. I bought it when I was 41 weeks pregnant. It's a yummy blend of apple, peppermint, juniper berries, and raspberry leaf, so if you're in need it might induce labor ;)

Virtual Shop: Festive Fair Isle

Even though there isn't a sign of Christmas in my house just yet, I've definitely started feeling festive. The tree and stuff will hopefully come soon but in the mean time I'm virtual shopping again. I am just loving all the fair isle pattern out there, makes me want to curl up in front of the fire with a hot chocolate. And p.s. how hilarious is that baby model?? I think Alice needs one of those outfits...

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Things have been a little quiet around the blog lately, this "doing it all" thing with a baby is tough and my one handed typing skills kinda suck (how do you moms do it??). I had great intentions to do some major blogging today, but Alice is having one of those "I don't feel like sleeping" kinda days. Right now she's rocking it in the baby bjorn while I miraculously get to type with two hands!! The things I took for granted....

I hope to be around more often to say hello and Alice, of course, sends her love too! Yep, couldn't go a post without cute baby shot. She's kind of a big deal around here ;)

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One of about a million shots in my iPhone of Alice on my lap.

later peeps,
Christine

The Nursery: Sources

Thank you all for your sweet comments welcoming our baby girl and on little Alice's nursery. It was just enough comment love to kick that girl into action, two days later (and mere 10 days past her due date) Alice decided she'd come out and see what all the fuss was about. We love this room and love it even more now that it has a little peanut calling it home. We've already spent many hours in here cuddling, feeding and pooping. Eat, sleep, poop, repeat... and I wouldn't change it for anything.

I've had a few people ask me where I got some things so here is a full list of sources I did up for the room (pre-baby, thank goodness, time is precious around here lately).

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Wall Colour, Sarah Richardson, Escarpment (colour matched to CIL Zero VOC paint)
Chair, Karbon Swivel Chair, EQ3
Smile Pillow, Etsy seller Honey Pie Design
Knitted Pouf, on clearance (!) at Home Sense
Curtains, made my me and Heathermom (aka Gma), fabric from Tonic Living
Light, Maskros Pendant Lamp, IKEA 

Dresser, Hemnes, IKEA (bought brand new of Craigslist for cheap!)
Knobs on Dresser, on clearance Anthropologie
Elephant Lamp, Home Sense
Mobile, made by me using cut up pieces of felt and this photo mobile I already had kicking around.
Alphabet Blocks, Etsy seller tiny giraffe 

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Crib, Davinci Jenny Lind, All Modern Baby
Crib Skirt, made by me using Tula Pink, Raindrops Fabric 
Artwork, made by me (wrapped canvas with IKEA Nummer Fabric)

Rocking Chair, $3 at used baby sale!
"Book Shelves", IKEA Spice Racks painted same colour as wall
Pillow, made by me using Joel Dewberry Fabric, modern meadow, herringbone in pond
"You Are My Sunshine" Print, Etsy Seller Lydia Crook

For more photos check out the full nursery reveal post here. And because who can resist a cute baby pic, here is Alice enjoying her new pad. I just love this photo Andrea took, she looks so cute and tiny in her big crib. I just want to eat her up!

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photo by pink sugar photography
Also, I'm soooo behind on my blog reading but wanted to send a quick shout out to Cassie at Hi Sugarplum! and Michaela at Michaela Noelle Designs for featuring Alice's nursery. Thank you for the love ladies!!

Christine

Must Eat: Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

Of all the pumpkin recipes I drooled over this fall, I spotted this one on pinterest and I couldn't stop thinking about it. It looked SO good and now that I've baked and devoured them, I can tell you these pumpkin spice donut holes are amazing. The recipe is just like a muffin so a bit healthier than the deep fried donut (nevermind the dipping in melted butter and covering in cinnamon sugar. I said health-IER, not healthy ;)

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Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes
Recipe via The Craving Chronicles (who I'd like to hug cause these are so good)

Ingredients
For Donuts
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup milk

For Coating
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Directions
Preheat oven 350°F. Spray each cup in a 24-cup mini muffin tin with baking spray or butter generously.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices (through cloves). In a separate, large bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined – do not over mix!

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. (Using a 2-tablespoon scoop will ensure uniform size.) Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the muffins bake, melt butter in one bowl and combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. Remove muffins from oven and cool for 2 minutes, or until just cool enough to handle. Dip each muffin in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat.

Note: These taste best fresh from the oven and covered and eaten while still warm. If you're not going to eat them all right away, hold off on coating the ones you aren't going to eat so they don't get all soggy from the butter.


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I want to get one of these fancy donut pans so next time they're shaped like cute little donuts.
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You have to try these, trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Okay and I think I've reached my quota of pumpkin for the year, time I move onto another ingredient?
Christine

P.S. happy thanksgiving to all my American friends out there!

Must Eat: Pumpkin Anything

update: this post was written during my pregnancy obsession with pumpkin. We're covered in a blanket of snow right now so I'm already dreaming of peppermint lattes and such. I guess I am in time for American thanksgiving and, snow or no snow, pumpkin is always good...

As I mentioned in this post, this time I year I get some serious cravings for pumpkin. Pumpkin anything. I've been finding tons of great recipes this year and got some great recommendations from you guys, here's a little sampling for you to drool over:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls via Bakedbree.com
image via bakedbree.com

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles via Annie Eats
image via Annie Eats
Spiced Pumpkin Sippers via Farm Chicks
image via The Farm Chicks

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake via Bakedbree.com (recommended by Andrea who also had the brilliant suggestion of DQ pumpkin pie blizzards. Um, YUM).
image via bakedbree.com

I haven't had time to make all this deliciousness yet, but I did make one amazing dish that I'll post soon and it's gooood, really good. Hopefully, this can tide you over till then!

Christine

Sweet Smiles

Life has been pretty good around here, a lot sleepier than usual but how can you complain when you have this sweet face staring back at you?



Thanks Andrea of pink sugar photography for capturing this perfect moment of Alice, just 5 days old, at our newborn session on Monday. Love :)

Happy Friday everyone!
Christine

oh baby! it's a...

GIRL!!
Please meet our sweet little babe
Alice Michaela
born November 9, 2011 at 10:31 am, 8 pounds 9 ounces.

We are so in love.

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I have a few prescheduled posts to share in the next while but mostly I'll be busy soaking up every little second with this little one, I cannot get enough. She has already brought more joy and happiness than I could imagine, it's the best. She's the best.

love and hugs,
Christine, Michael and Alice :)

Nursery Reveal!

There are few finishing touches left to do, I still need to find a side table for the chair and I think I'll want to add a few things once baby arrives, but all in all the nursery is ready to go! All we need is that little baby! Here's your room little munchkin, I hope you'll like it (and comes see it SOON).

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I love a little kiddie sized reading nook and always loooved the IKEA spice rack turned bookshelves idea I'd seen here and here.  So simple yet so perfect.  Thanks ladies, for the inspiration :)

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One of my favourite details is the beautiful pattern the chandelier makes all over the room:

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It was so fun to do a room from top to bottom. This room was our office before, which was pretty much a dumping ground, now I walk in here and it makes me smile.

From this, to this:
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What do you think, you like?

UPDATE: for a full list of sources for the room click here.

Christine

The Enjoy Centre

A few weeks ago Mike and I decided to have a mini "date weekend" - a potential last weekend hoorah before 2 become 3. I kicked it off with a massage/pedicure at the preggo spa, then dinner and a movie and finally a relaxing day at the Enjoy Centre. Not just a greenhouse this place is just packed with goodies: a cafe, bakery, market, spa, gift shops and then some! We had an amazing brunch, some delicious hungarian pretzels and picked up a few pumpkins for halloween.

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I first heard about the Enjoy Centre from my friend, Dajana and have been wanting to go "enjoy" for ages! It certainly was enjoyable (and I certainly reminded my husband how funny I am throwing "enjoy" into the conversation at least every other sentence).

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Ahh, so lovely. It's the perfect place for laid back brunch and perusing some greenery and goodies. I can definitely see myself stopping by for some sunshine once the dreary days of winter come, I bet this place will be all decked out for Christmas soon (it IS two days after Halloween).

Next time, I think the spa will be calling my name. So, how about that girls day??
Christine

Slightly Scary??

I like to think I took it up about half a notch from last year's decorations. It seems I just don't have the motivation or desire to go all out for halloween, more of fall with a sprinkle of Halloween?

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I'm noticing a lot of my neighbours are really into decorating for Halloween, like more than Christmas!? Really? I'm just in it for the candy ;) Here's hoping we still have any candy left come this evening (Mike and I have been indulging just a bit).

Happy Halloween!!

Christine

Baby update: STILL pregnant.