December 20, 2012
While browsing the interwebs for Christmas baking inspiration, I somehow stumbled upon on a few recipes for cardamom sugar cookies. Though I typically abide by the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” rule of thumb (in other words: classic sugar cookies remain classic for a reason), my gut told me to take the plunge and give it a try (am I living on the edge or what?) I ended up using this recipe and the results were absolutely glorious (glorious!) The hint of spice further elevated the otherwise simple treat and, dare I say it, I truly believe that they’re even more seasonally appropriate than the classic variety. Forget tradition, I’m totally sold.
December 19, 2012
I’ve mentioned in the past that when it comes to wrapping presents I do not mess around. People have since come to expect their Christmas gift to be clad in something crafty (the pressure!) After scouring multiple paper stores around Toronto I’ve come up with a theme: winter mint with a twist (indulge me, won’t you?) The combination of red, white & mint keeps things feeling festive while straying from the a-typical.
Once I wrapped my first present I took a step back and decided that something was missing. The washi tape, twine and polka-dotted gift tags were all well and good, but it needed a bit of pizzazz. After all, I had to compete with that year I swapped wrapping paper for tin foil (some ideas are better than others by the way). So in came the pompom! Once the template was created and cut out the process went pretty quickly (and the template lasted for the 15 others I’ve since made). I’m beyond thrilled with how the entire ensemble came together and cant wait to distribute my gifts come Christmas morning.
Step 1: Trace two small circles onto thick cardstock (or cardboard). As a rule – the smaller your circle, the smaller your pompom. I used a shot glass for this step (keepin’ it classy)
Step 2: Place a smaller template (in my case, a nickel) in the center of your first circle and trace around it
Step 3: Carefully cut your circle templates out (this does not need to be perfect)
Step 4: Place both circle templates together and tie a long length of wool around them
Step 5: Wrap the wool around the templates
Step 6: Keep wrapping…
Step 7: … until it looks something like this. If your length of wool runs out, not to worry, simply tie a new length on and keep going – nobody will know. (Note: the more times you wrap the string, the denser your pompom will become. This pompom ended up being QUITE full)
Step 8: Holding the wrapped templates between your index finger and thumb, carefully cut the wool using thin, sharp scissors…
Step 9: … until it starts to look something like this
Step 10: Once you’ve cut all around the template, spread the two cardstock pieces apart
Step 11: Thread a short length of wool in between the two cardstock templates and tie it in a tight knot. Then, carefully pull the cardstock templates off at either side. (note: your pompom may need a bit of a trim if he’s looking a little uneven)
Ta da!! Now tie it on to your gift using a ribbon (or twine in my case!)
December 20, 2011
While I appreciate all forms of design, I do find that I generally gravitate towards a more eclectic aesthetic. That said, there’s something about Sarah Richardson’s farm home that simply feels like family embodied – and right now that’s what I’m all about. Seeing it all decked out for the holidays has got me feeling nostalgic for comfy-cozy Christmases with my own family. And lets face it, that dining room would make the perfect backdrop for a late Christmas brunch, pyjamas and all.
December 13, 2011
This year I seem to be drawn to the less is more approach to Christmas decor. This may be a result of over-doing it at Christmas in years previous, I won’t lie. Nevertheless, a hint of green garland, some candles to set the mood and a little bit of sparkle here and there (you must never forget the sparkle), and you’re set for a beautifully simple holiday.
January 4, 2011
images via lark + linen
The holidays were perfectly imperfect. I accomplished almost nothing that I originally intended on doing and instead spent more time than I’d care to admit lounging in my pj’s until inappropriate hours.
Christmas was amazing. Busy, as can be expected, but filled with family, friends, laughter and intense games of catch phrase. On Christmas morning I opened up a Nikon D90 DSLR camera and immediately burst into tears. My dad followed suit (he’s such a suck sometimes). I feel so lucky.
New years was spent in a sparkly dress with my dapper newly-bearded boyfriend and a handful of great friends at Pravda, a vodka bar downtown Toronto. With flame throwers, ice sculptures, burlesque dancers and unlimited quantities of champagne, it too was pretty incredible.
The rest of the week was equally split between watching movies in my sweatpants and meeting girlfriends for brunch. Morning Glory, my favourite brunch spot in the city, always promises to offer coffee or tea in vintage pyrex mugs, the ones you’d surely find in your grandmother’s cupboard.
While I was originally a little disappointed that I didn’t fully take advantage of my week off, I truly believe it’s what my body was craving, and let’s be honest, it was a little awesome. I’m happy, I’m rested and I’m ready to face 2011 in full force!
December 22, 2010
Well, I’ve done it! The presents are wrapped and under the tree. I spent three consecutive hours wrapping 22 gifts with only one ice cream break. That alone deserves more ice cream, methinks. I’ve mentioned before that gift tags are important (here) but gift wrap is a whole new ball game. A few years ago I set the standard for wrapping my presents (I like my things pretty). Over the years, I’ve used homemade paper, craft paper and tin foil (yes, tinfoil) and people have begun to expect something fancy from me when they receive my gift. In fact, I’ve already gotten messages wondering what household item I’ll be using this year (tin foil was a bust btw). Well, this year I’ve gone au naturel with real wrapping paper (and leftover craft paper from years past)! I purchased stripped paper covered in cutout snowflakes (at Canadian tire no less), wrapped brown paper packages and tied em with string (um. twine. Thick, fuzzy, serious twine) and used homemade gift tags. I’m so very pleased with how they turned out. And because I love you guys, you can go here to download my gift tags for your own personal use. Simply print them out on some heavy letter paper, cut along the grey line, and tada! All done. Happy wrapping loves.
December 21, 2010
found via Country Living
Generally, a place like this wouldn’t hold my attention for long. It’s cute. It’s cozy. It’s very, very country… But at this moment? Things are a little different. There’s nothing that sounds more appealing to me than packing up and getting away for a few days with just my family and a few close friends. On Christmas eve we’d toboggan and snow shoe while the turkey cooks in the oven and steams up the windows. On Christmas day, it would snow. Big fat snowflakes. We would sit in our pyjamas with cups of hot coco as we open our stockings. We would take multiple naps and drink champagne in the afternoon. All afternoon. Right now, this country cottage in the middle of nowhere, with its too small dining table for us to crowd around, grandma observing from the rocking chair, it’s looking pretty great.
December 16, 2010
Let’s stop and talk about gift tags for a moment, shall we? Guys. Put down those dollar store stickers. Pay attention! Gift tags are comparable to that last accessory that pulls your outfit together as you walk out the door. They make a statement! Plus, if I’m going to be honest, people like this stuff. They really do. I’ve designed my own gift tags every year for the past few Christmases and I can’t tell you how many people have kept their tag! Lord knows where the gift is, but they still have those darn little things. Here are a few ideas for both the beginning craftsman and the novice one. If you aren’t really crafty, or don’t want to figure out how to reproduce these on your own, no worries, many of them are available for purchase. I won’t tell.
Gingerbread cookie tags
Printed tags with a jeweled detail
Simple cut out tags
Sewn gift tags
And some free printable gift tags for you to enjoy!
December 15, 2010
Sometimes a non-traditional Christmas tree is more satisfying than a real one. Only sometimes though.
December 14, 2010
found via Skona Hem
To me, this house is the perfect amount of everything. One part Christmas, one part class, and you know that the little girls who live here wear peacoats and pigtails, possibly even sport little british accents (even though I’m pretty sure this house is in Sweden). The place feels lived in and loved while still maintaining a sense of beauty and museum-like quality. I love how the Christmas decorations are prominent, yet tasteful as not to scream “Christmas threw up in here!” (not to say that I don’t enjoy some Christmas throw up as well). Perfection, in my books.
post script: I never thought I’d speak about throw up on my blog, but there I go! Three times.
December 7, 2010
Another one of my cherished childhood memories happens to fall around Christmas (surprised?). The first day of December was always an exciting one because it meant that I could eat a little piece of cardboard tasting advent chocolate before I even brushed my teeth. While our tradition generally consisted of going to the dollar store where my brother and I would argue over which advent package we wanted, there are a number of great ideas out there that I had never really considered until now. From stringing small gifts on a tree, packaging little treats and hanging them along a clothesline, or even associating a different Christmas tree ornament for each day of december, and as the days go by, hanging each ornament on the tree. While I prefer advent calendars of the chocolate variety (that you can easily eat for breakfast), these are a few great ideas to help you start a tradition of your own.
December 2, 2010
And I present to you my final holiday gift guide! I hope this helped relieve a bit of stress that often finds its way in between the cups of hot chocolate and heavy family dinners we get to enjoy throughout the month. Happy gift hunting, and keep checking back! There will be plenty more holiday spirit where this came from.
update: I’ve been informed that some of the links were not working. I believe I’ve fixed the problem, but if it persists please let me know!
1 teak dining room table $2,669
2 m0851 worn leather duffel bag $480
3 sleek & sexy tabletop fireplace $749
4 spice rack $190
5 watch price unknown
6 wassily chair $2,020
7 harlequin yasmine lamp $222
December 1, 2010
November 30, 2010
When I was younger, my favourite time of the year was when the Sears Wish Book came in the mail. I would tear through that thing in an instant, diligently cutting out all the toys I wished to see under the tree on Christmas morning. I would then take my little cutouts and glue them onto pages and pages of green and red construction paper (I was so festive). As I got older, I began to add a little legend, with stars next to each item, denoting how badly I wanted said toy. * obviously meant, it would be cool if this was my gift, and ******* meant I would run away from home if this wasn’t under the tree (you’re welcome mom). While I feel I’m a little old for Christmas lists such as those, I just couldn’t help doing something this year. So to celebrate the kick off to the holiday season, I present to you my three days of holiday gift guides!
1 tie tea mug (note, you wrap your tea bag around the little cutouts. so nifty!) $25
2 linen napkins $18
3 wooden nesting bowls $23
4 cashmere hand warmers $15
5 mistletoe candle $25
6 damn heels (fold up ballet flats that fit into your clutch for when you can no longer bear your heels) $20
7 ikat bowls $14
November 3, 2010
I know that many of you are severely opposed to the mention of Christmas this early in the game. “It’s only the beginning of November!” you say. So let me begin this post by apologizing. There. I’m Sorry.
Remember when I told you (just the other day) that Halloween was my favourite holiday (this post here)? Yeah. I lied. Sorry, again. Christmas is my bff. If I could become one of Santa’s little elves, trust me, I would. It’s the most wonderful, glorious, joy-filled holidays of the year! Plus, if you’re anything like me, you can make the spirit last for two whole months.
Last year at this exact moment, I was studying for my LEED exam until just a few days before Christmas (totally passed, by the by). As a result, I had my nose buried in books instead of whip cream laden hot chocolate and gingerbread dough. So as you can see, I need to make up for it double this year. I promise I will do my best to keep the Christmas posts to a minimum, at least until December (after that it’s fair game). But for now, I just need to get this out of my system. And as a thank you for letting me burst in Christmas tingle, I will share with you an online magazine that I stumbled upon that gives you a number of great, unique gift ideas. Not only that, but the photography is fantastic, there are over 25 free printable giveaways (gift tags and such) and all sorts of links to help you, too, get in the festive spirit. So head on over to visit Gifted magazine, so kindly brought to us by Creature Comforts blog.
Phew. Thanks guys. Now back to our regularly scheduled programing (ahem, until December).
ps. as of this morning, I’m in first place by just a smidgen for the Design Refuge challenge! Please take a moment and vote here, if you feel so inclined. You may want to check out the other blogs too, because there’s some good stuff going on over there!
This is so very exciting. It’s almost as exciting as when I got a ribbon for my kindernastics dance routine to the Hippy Hippy Shake when I was four years old. (note: everyone got a ribbon). You better believe I still remember that routine.