Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 Recap

2013 was a great year. Lots of fun, travel and weddings-including ours! (!!!!). Here are a few of my favorite moments:

Snowshoeing at Rummel Lake

Engagement Photos



 A new niece


Italy 1, 2, 3

Favorite food posts:
Goat Cheese and Leek Tart
Non Ice Cream Sandwiches
Black Bean Brownies
Watermelon Feta Salad
Roasted Breakfast Pears

As eventful of a year as it was, I'm ready for it to be over. It was so chaotic, I found it hard to give my mind a break and live in the moment. I was telling a friend about being ready for the year to end and she said that someone had mentioned to her that it's normal, towards the end of the Year of the Snake, to feel ready to shed the year and start fresh. That's exactly where I'm at.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

A Very Eventful Christmas

Funny Story. Remember how we booked that trip to Palm Springs for Christmas? Well, when we went to check in online my passport was nowhere to be found. After tearing our house apart I realized that my passport was indeed lost. We cancelled our trip, I cried, and we decided to go to Banff instead.

We had been given some gift certificates to Buffalo Mountain Lodge, so we booked our room and headed out there...unknowingly leaving said gift certificates on the counter. Seriously! I figured a break from work and Christmas madness would restore full brain power, but apparently not.

We decided to stay anyway and I'm so glad we did. The lodge has wood burning fireplaces in every room, so we made s'mores and drank champagne. On Christmas Day we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and went snowshoeing at Norquay.

All the ridiculousness aside, it was an incredible Christmas and I wouldn't have had it any other way. It'll certainly be one to remember!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Love Actually Drinking Game

Love Actually is one of my (and every other girl's) favorite Christmas movies. I can't make it through the holidays without watching it at least twice. As if having Andrew Lincoln in it isn't enough, now some true Christmas genius has come up with a Love Actually themed drinking game!
So awesome :)

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Ginger Creams

Eric and I leave for Palm Springs on Monday! Since we're going away for Christmas, I didn't want to do a ton of baking this year, but I needed something for a little holiday gathering we had last weekend. Using my favorite gingersnap recipe and cream cheese icing, I made these ginger cream sandwich cookies.

Make the gingersnaps a bit smaller than usual and keep the finished cookies in the fridge until you're ready to serve them to keep the icing from getting too soft.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Market Collective

The Market Collective holiday market is happening at the historic King Edward school just a few blocks from my house. Eric and I stopped by yesterday to check it out and get a little last minute shopping done.

The school is a perfect venue with different shops in each classroom. There are so many talented artists and vendors involved it kind of makes you wonder why you'd ever go to the mall! Here are a few of my highlights:

Plant Distinct Terrariums- beautiful terrariums and dry plants, many of which are in vases blown here in Alberta.
Clawhammer Press- cards, coasters, and clever posters
Camp Brand Goods

I also saw the cutest fold over clutch that I should have grabbed while I was there, but was feeling guilty about buying mostly things for myself. I might have to go back this weekend to pick it up.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Gift Guide: For Her

Is it bad that I'm having a hard time differentiating what constitutes a want versus a need? Anyways...

Something she wants:
Frends Rose Gold Headphones
I've been totally obsessed with these since I first laid eyes on them.

Something she needs:
Clarisonic with Josie Maran Argan Oil Skin Care
I know, are you really going to buy a face brush for someone for Christmas? Yes. And she and her skin will love you for it.

Something to wear:
It's a tie between slippers and jewels. Slippers are one of the best gifts I've ever received. They were never on my list, but now I can't live without them. I have a similar necklace to the one pictured. At first I thought it might be too flashy to wear day to day, but it adds a fun pop to everything from denim shirts to dresses.

Something to read:
Magazine Subscription
My Mom gets us each a magazine subscription for Christmas every year. I love coming home to a new issue every month. Great stocking stuffer!!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Gift Guide: For Him

Something he wants:
The complete Breaking Bad box set
Because aren't the holidays for binge watching?

Something he needs:
Baxter of California Shave 1.2.3 Kit
Now that Movember is over, let's keep that facial hair under control

Something to wear:
Nixon 51-30 Watch or Leather Ray-Bans
Something to read:
Chris Hadfield's An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Gift Guide: For the Host/Hostess

While reading this post over on Paper Bluejay, I discovered a new gift giving strategy. When buying gifts, limit them to 4 things:

Something I want, something I need, something to wear, something to read.

This week I'll have gift guides based on that theme. The first is for the host/hostess putting all the effort into throwing the perfect holiday party.

Something I want:
For the morning after the party and beyond: a 3 month coffee subscription from Caffe Rosso. This might be a bit pricier than your average host gift, but you could go together with a few friends and pair it with some cute mugs.
Something I need:
I'm not above drinking champagne out of a coffee mug, but it's always nice to have a nice set of flutes. I fell in love with these stemless ones from Chapters.

Something to wear:
From baking to barbecuing, everyone can use an apron. I like this gender neutral style from Anthropologie.

Something to read:
Not that your host will need any advice on how to throw a great party, but this beautiful book from Kinfolk has lots of tips and recipes for a simple and impressive soiree.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Do or Don't: Skipping Christmas

Eric and I are seriously considering going away for Christmas this year, just the two of us. It could be the last opportunity we have, but we're a bit torn. I won't miss the travel, stress, and overeating, but I'm a bit worried we're going to wake up on Christmas morning and regret not seeing our nieces and nephews tear into their presents  Have you ever gone away for Christmas or spent it alone with your spouse? Was it amazing or a bit sad?

Just in case, I've booked us a room at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs with it's own private patio and fireplace. How cozy does that look?! The unopened confirmation email is taunting me from my inbox.

What to do, what to do...

Monday, 18 November 2013

Lucky Wall

My wildly talented sister-in-law, Terri, has created Lucky Wall where she's selling prints of her adorable animal series. We've been fortunate enough to have several of her paintings in our home and I'm so happy that she's sharing her talents with everyone. How adorable are these?

They're perfect for child's room or baby shower gifts. We plan to hang ours right in the living room for everyone to see.

Way to go Terri!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Warby Parker

I've been putting off buying new glasses for a very long time. I don't wear mine very often (I like to wait until my eyes are burning out of my face to put them on) so they always seem like an unnecessary expense. I read about Warby Parker in a magazine a while ago and decided to give it a shot. I was nervous about not being able to try them on in person, but knowing I could return them was a huge comfort. They came in the mail about a week after I ordered them.

Since glasses are expensive and I only buy them every couple of years, I typically tend to go for frames that are practical, but I felt like I could be a bit more adventurous- while still work appropriate- at $120. I love them!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

60 Years

We're celebrating my Dad's 60th birthday this weekend. As a gift, I've been putting together a photobook of his life. It's been pretty cool going through all the old photos- my Dad looked like a total hipster!

That last one with my brother and sister kills me.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Spooky Spider Cookies

I needed a quick and relatively easy Halloween treat for tomorrow. These cookies (the inspiration came from Pinterest) fit the bill perfectly.

Use your go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe (here are a couple of good ones), but only put in 1/2 to 3/4 of the chocolate chips. When you drop them onto the cookie sheet, use the remainder of chips to create spider bodies on the tops of the cookies (I used about 5 per cookie). While they're baking, melt chocolate in a saucepan. Spoon it into an icing bag with the smallest tip possible. Once the cookies are baked and slightly cooled, pipe on their legs.