Good Reads

When I was a kid I used to stay up late reading books well past my bedtime. My mom would peek in on me and I would not-so-sneakily hide my book and pretend I was sleeping (totally fooled you didn't I, mom)? Nowadays it's no different, except instead of hiding my book I have a husband beside be complaining about the light and telling me to go to sleep. Lucky for him, these preggo hormones haven't kept me up much past 9pm these days.

Good Reads

With some down time (and sick time if we're being honest) over the holiday break I managed to sneak in a few good reads. I find good books almost addicting, when you find a good one you want to devour another good one asap. Here are a few good reads that have been on my nightstand lately...

Good Reads
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 
Currently reading this local author for book club and have this, this and this on my to-read list. I'm also pretty excited about this list of books being made into movies. Seeing the movie before reading the book always ruins the book for me, so I'll need to tackle some of these asap!

I'm always looking for recommendations, read any good ones lately?

Christine


Shop Girl: Jenna, Plum Home + Design

I kicked off the new 'shop girl' feature with the lovely ladies of Charlie Ford Vintage and today I am so excited to share one of Edmonton's local gems, Plum Home + Design. Run by interior decorator (and mum-to-be!), Jenna Pryor, this shop is gorgeous and is one of my favourite places to pop in and peruse some pretties. I swear I walk around a minimum of four times when I'm there just to catch everything.

Jenna is sweet, talented and I'm so happy to introduce her to you today...

Shop Girl: Plum Home + Design

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR SHOP AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED?
Jenna: I started out having spent almost a decade being an event planner, having spent so long planning events, planning spaces was a natural transition. When I had my first place my desire to create beautiful spaces took over and I decided to go back to school to become a certified interior decorator.

I opened my store after finding it difficult to find beautiful and really unique decor pieces in Edmonton. It's also a nice way for Edmontonians to get to know who I am and what I do.

How do you juggle your interior design business with running your shop?
J: Juggling is the perfect description! It keeps me very busy but I'm fortunate to have an amazing husband and family that support me. The two businesses are so closely intertwined so each day I can't help but work on both of them. It's not a Monday - Friday kind of job but when you love what you do like I do it never (well almost never) feels like work.

Plum Home + Design


How did you come up with your shop name 'Plum Home + Design'?
J: My family is English and when things are "plum" they are just right and where they are supposed to be. That's what I wanted my store to feel like, peaceful and just right.

WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR LIFE LIKE (OR IS THERE ONE)??
J: That's the best part of my job, there is no such thing as typical. I work with clients Monday - Friday and run the retail store Tuesday - Sunday which means each day brings new adventures. From finding the perfect fabric to dealing with a marble installation crisis, each day brings it's own surprises and I wouldn't have it any other way. Last week I unpacked a 20' container in the morning and then did a tv interview, seriously every day is VERY different.

Plum Home + Design

You recently got back from a buying trip to the UK. I think it's so cool how you travel abroad to source vintage goods for your shop, what made you decide to do this (and how much fun is that)?!
J: It is so much fun! It's a lot of hard work but I'm fortunate that I get to do it with someone I love, my business partner, my mum!

I go to Europe because I'm driven to find things that nobody has ever seen and bring back beautiful things at reasonable prices. Beauty, quality and originality should be available to everyone. By going to Europe I hope we bring back those specious pieces that people cherish and enjoy in their homes.

Plum Home + Design

Along with great new and vintage items you also feature a ton of local artists in your shop, why do you think this is important?
J: Local artists always have their pulse on the newest trends, in my experience they are also a creative and dynamic group of people and who doesn't want to support that? What they create always surprises me and I'm happy to be a place that Edmontonians can come and support local artists.

Best advice to those pursuing their dreams?
Find something you are passionate about and stay tremendously interested in it. - Julia Child

Jenna - Plum Home + Design

FiveFaves-Plum

1. FAVOURITE VINTAGE ITEM IN YOUR HOME?
J: I can't choose just one, how about 3?
- I just bought an mahogany dresser c1830 in England on our last trip. It's huge, impractical and I love it.
- My Staffordshire Dog, c1860 it makes me smile every time I see it on my bookshelf.
- My Beswick collection, I've been collecting cream Beswicks for over a decade. My mother has been collecting them for 20. It's part of my childhood memories and hopefully part of my children's.

2. FAVOURITE GUILTY PLEASURE
J: Italian bakery Bismarck donuts! Bare in mind that at this stage in pregnancy bake goods are the way to my heart! An insider tip you have to order them ahead of time they sell our by 8:30 am!

But when it comes to design without a doubt: pillows, I can't help myself I change them every few months. A few new pillows can change an entire room. That's why my store always has new pillows every few weeks.

3. FAVOURITE place to hang out in Edmonton?
J: For me hanging out is about good food and good company so I'm currently obsessed with Under the High Wheel, they have the best waffles and I can always find someone to come with me.

4. FAVOURITE BLOGGERS OR INSTAGRAMMERS TO FOLLOW?
J: Such a tough question... Ecmothdesign (IG), Rambling Renovators, Just Bella :), Design Maze, Elliven Studio, Little House blog, Justinemadesign (IG), Hellofashionblog (IG), and Doctorscloset (IG)

5. FAVOURITE never-fail design trick?
J: Every room needs a hit of black. Many of my clients shy away from it, but once I've added a touch of black in the space they see how it grounds the space. Every space also needs a bit of history. I never consider a space complete until I bring in something that's been around longer than the home. Even in a modern home it always works.
--

Can you believe she is juggling all this AND is 8 months pregnant!? I can't wait to see her nursery come together, it's going to be amazing. Thank you so much for being here, Jenna. I'm so happy to share such a local treasure and to learn more about the girl that makes it all happen. Also, I'm sooo excited for those waffles she mentioned (waffle date is on for this Friday!).

If you're in Edmonton be sure to pop into her shop and p.s. it's down the street from my favourite bakery! What are you waiting for?

xo,
Christine

Shop: Plum Home + Design, 12407 108 Ave, Edmonton, AB
Blog: Polished Plum
Instagram: @plumhd
Twitter: @plumintdesign
Facebook: Plum Home + Design

photo credits: Debbie Boccabella

Spreading the Love...

Spreading the Love

- did you see the new custom made faux leather banners and felt ball garland Cindy is offering up in her shop? Sooo cute.

- quite possibly the cutest colour/pattern combo ever. Love this look from fellow Edmontonian blogger, Kastles!

- I may have squealed in the store when I spotted all the love themed throw pillows at Chapters. I picked up this one and this one for Alice's big girl room. I can't get enough of all the love day goodies out there right now.

Happy Friday, y'all! Have an awesome weekend.
Christine

photo credits: @cindyconfettisparkle (IG), Kastles, Chapters/Indigo



Big / Little Style: Plaid (+ baby bump)

When I am pregnant all I want to wear is leggings, skirts or dresses - pants are officially the enemy. This was easy with my first spring/summer pregnancy but a winter pregnancy this time around has proven to be a bit more challenging. I've invested in some fleece leggings, long tunics and today I am making my maxi skirt work for winter paired with a cozy flannel top. This outfit is basically a glorified nightie and I love it...

Big / Little Style: Plaid

BIG STYLE:
top: j.crew factory
necklace: j.crew factory (also worn here)
maxi skirt: joe fresh, old (similar)
bracelets: Indigo
lipstick/gloss: mac: speed dial and prrr.

LITTLE STYLE:
top: boys dept, target
skirt: joe fresh
book: value village
bow: handmade by auntie brittany (similar)

None of my items are actually maternity so you could easily rock this without a bump. Here's me, Alice and the babe at 21 weeks. Baby is growing fast!!

21 weeks - big/little style

Christine

See more big / little style posts here.


*post contains some affiliate links

Winner! Etsy Giveaway

We have a winner.... Congratulations to Andrea (emailed you) who has won a $25 gift card to Etsy! I'm so excited that they have gift cards now, what an easy gift idea (hint, hint to your husbands ;)

PaperFelt Card
photo and card from the awesome Paper Felt Shop, just one of my etsy valentine's faves.

Thank you all for entering (hope you caught the love bug) and to Etsy for offering up this lovely giveaway, I had so much fun virtual shopping for valentine's day. I guess now is the time to do some real love day shopping too! I may have added one too many things to my list...

xo,
Christine


*winner generated using random.org

Heart Marshmallows

There is something about valentine's day that makes me want to get crafty. I'm not interested in fancy romantic dinners or gifts, I just want to sit down with some glitter, glue and pink paper, haha. 

Last year I hosted a crafternoon with friends and, while I have no big plans for this year, I've been pinning DIY ideas like crazy for inspiration. Let's be real, most of which I'll probably never do, but I did manage to get fancy with my hot chocolate today... it is Friday after all and cutting marshmallows hearts is way more fun than laundry, right?

Heart Marshmallows

Hope you all have a great weekend!
xo,
Christine

p.s. speaking of valentine's day, did you enter the Etsy giveaway yet?

Loving... Love (+ Etsy Giveaway!)

I'll be honest, the hubs and I don't ever make a huge deal out of valentine's day. I am, however, a huge fan of spreading the love and can't help but get sucked into all the love themed goodness (and goodies) floating around this time of year.

I've gathered up some of my faves from Etsy that'll make you all warm and fuzzy (and not just on valentine's day because things should be lovely and pretty all year, am I right?).

Valentine's Day Etsy Picks

Click on over to Etsy to view all of my 'valentine's favourites' and for all of the sources above.

And to continue spreading the love (or heck, for yourself) I have an $25 Etsy gift card for one of you! Happy Shopping!

Contest closes Sunday, January 19.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway






Spreading the Love...

Spreading the Love

This week I want to spread the love to some peeps who truly inspire me to dream big, reach for my goals, focus on family, and all round do what makes you happy. Big hugs to all you ladies!!

- My pal Sara is a rockstar. This past year she quit her day job, followed her dreams and started an event company, Top Knot Events. How great is her first ever styled shoot? Plaid, tulle, and lace up boots together at last *swoon*.

- My other pal, Sarah (with the 'h') is also a constant source of inspiration to me. Seriously this girl has creativity out the wazoo and never ceases to amaze me with all she accomplishes while caring for three adorable kiddos. She started a new blog this month, go check it out!

- Have you heard of the 52 week project? 1 portrait a week for a whole year - a brilliant idea to document these fleeting days of childhood (well, fleeting for us adults!). I've talked about how I want to take more photos, like not just with my phone, but I am not doing so great. Photography has always been a passion of mine so this project may just be the motivation I need to do this for myself.

"Super sam's" mom from the photo above is even doing 365 days - go, Cait! I was hesitant to commit, but inspired here, here and here I've decided to take the jump (late, of course). Stay tuned!

Happy Friday, y'all!
Christine

photo credits: wedded bliss photography/caitlin harper photography for top knot events, sarah m style, caitlin harper photography

Looking Back...

January 6 seems to be my official day of reflection. Last year I was reflecting on a great 2012 and on turning 30, today I am turning a slightly less dramatic age of 31 but am equally as excited about this year to come. It's bound to be another year of big changes (with the new baby arriving in May) and (I think) I am ready. Ready to focus on the things that make me happy, stop caring so much about what others think and spend time with the people that love and lift me up. Keep it simple and spread the love!

I'll be honest, these last 4 months of 2014 have been pretty uninspiring around here. Making a baby left me exhausted, nauseous and with zero energy to focus on anything but taking care of myself and my family (which at times it felt like I was barely doing). It was kinda nice to look back at the highlights and more productive moments of the year. Here are the top 13 posts of 2013...

Being present and putting down the darn phone every now and then...
be-all-there

Valentine's Crafternoon featuring diy heart garland and heart arrows...
valentines-crafternoon-06

My favourite wall in the house...
Gold Polka Dot Walls

Gold Desk IKEA hack...
Gold Desk Ikea Hack

A look back at Alice's monthly'ish photos...
Alice: 18 months

A new big/little style series, stripes for the win!...
Big / Little Style: black & white stripes

I still can't believe I'm keeping this up, but meal planning has seriously saved my sanity (+ free printable!)...
Weekly Meal Plan Free Printable

The best craft collab with my pal Justine, I'm still so in love with these paper flowers and had SO much fun doing this together...
DIY Coffee Filter Flowers

Travel highlights including my sister-in-law's wedding in Toronto...
Toronto Wedding

Blogpodium...
blogpodium07

Tea with Sarah Richardson (still pinching myself)...
Sarah Richardson's Office #teawithsarah

Hawaii...
Hawaii 2013

Gold Foil Christmas Cards...
Gold Foil Christmas Cards, minted

And I'm pretty sure we saved the best for last this year, baby #2 due May 2014...
16 weeks

So while things aren't always perfect, I'm so thankful to have this little corner of the internet to connect and focus on the good things... even when life gets in the way and there's a bit of radio silence every now and then. Thank you for still reading!

Hugs to a great 2014! What are you looking forward to?

xo,
Christine